Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter WarmerBourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #1
Ranked #3,462
4.13 | pDev: 12.59%
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter WarmerBourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer
Notes: November Release - English dark ale aged in bourbon barrels - fresh American oak - dark malts - English hops - sweet, smooth vanilla & oak finish
Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 452 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking a lot big, wonderfully abrasive big stouts and barleywines lately. This is a nice change of pace.

This is mellow and approachable, but with many layers and nuance. Smooth toffee, potpourri like spice and dried fruit, roasted nuts, and well incorporated barrel notes of light bourbon and vanilla with very little oak. Maybe a trace of coconut. This goes down easy for 11%.

Oh my, this is splendid. If available, I'd buy a case annually. Love the 12oz format. Highly recommend!

Feb 11, 2021
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UWDAWG from Washington

4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a snifter.

Look- Semi-frothy medium tan head, black, average head retention, below average lacing.

Smell- Bourbon, vanilla, oak, cocoa.

Taste- Bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, coffee.

Feel- Thin body, smooth, slightly mouth warming, below average carbonation.

Overall- A nice beer for a cold winter day.

Jan 21, 2021
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

coffee black with an excited tan frothy foam head that has high retention and leaves sticky patches of lacing as it settles to a thin cap

strong aroma of bourbon, dark fruit, and roasted toffee malt; shades of oak

bourbon front and center; rich raisin and plum back it up, along with a sticky sweet toffee malt; vanilla comes through as it warms, as do various holiday spices.

moderately low carbonation, medium body; feels full thanks to carbo prickles and strong booze kick. finishes boozy but with a solid earthy hop bitterness. wildly enough, the booze hit takes a seat after about 30-45 minutes.

whew. wish I'd let this sit about 6 months. this is an incredible brew that has been just drenched in bourbon booze heat. I wonder, however, if this brew would actually be too sweet if not for the booze kicker. only time will tell with my other bottle, but this was sublime as-is. best winter warmer I've ever had, hands down - especially when the booze heat takes a break and calls it a night about 40 minutes in. absolutely beautiful after that point.

Nov 30, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can. Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of bourbon, roasted malt and toffee. Sweet bourbon taste with toffee, roasted malt, vanilla and chocolate.

Mar 02, 2020
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can into a glass. Julian dating suggests a canned date of 10/22/19, so about 7 weeks old.

Looks wicked good in the glass. Black body, but deep red with amber notes when held up to the light. Small tan head persists in some form throughout, impressive considering the abv. Does not manage to leave lacing though.

Very nice aroma of raisin and other dried fruit.

Upon tasting, it's sweet, warm, bourbony and very tasty. No vanilla or oak notes. Perhaps they would come through with some more time in the can, but who has the patience.

Mouth close to full, finish sweet and a little boozy.

Overall, would love to drink this in front of the fire watching the snow gather on the skylights. Very good beer.

Dec 12, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown body, clear; thick and creamy head depositing fingers and tentacles of sticky foam along the glass. Rich and heady aroma of charred grain, vanilla and oak; deeply hidden esters. Sumptuous flavors; cocoa and milk chocolate; marshmallow; caramel; lightly charred wood; subdued bourbon edge; mocha. Heavy body; sludgy and slick, very smooth; palate coating; alcohol warmth complemented with rich residual sugars.

Wow! And wow, again!! What an incredible delight to let this beer grace your palate. There is a lot of dichotomy going on here: heavy yet easily ingested, powerful yet very approachable; high ABV well-tempered with creamy and rich malt backbone. This is one of the creamiest and smoothest beers I've enjoyed in a long, long time. I should have ordered a few more of these for the coming winter months...

Dec 03, 2019
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Witten’s in a tulip glass. Rich, dark and beautiful. Had a nice creamy head. Some decent lacing. Smell was subdued initially but after a taste the sweet coconut and vanilla comes through. Some molasses and brown sugar sweetness is very tasty. Smooth as silk and the mouthfeel is just perfect for the style. Way to easy to drink. Overall a fine Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer. Rahr’s finest offering.

Dec 03, 2019
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mmilyko from Nevada

4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely loved this in the fall, will it be even better in the winter? The most Belgiumesque (not sure that is actually a word) beer brewed in the state of Texas that I have ever experienced. Warm, spicy, complex, this one has it all. Very impressed, thank you Rahr & Sons, awesome job.

Nov 22, 2019
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown, appearing nearly opaque black in the glass with a fine, one finger dark khaki head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of dark malt, dark dried fruit, vanilla, bourbon and a hint of cinnamon. Flavor is dry caramel and light biscuit malt, dates, raisins, vanilla, bourbon and winter spicing (allspice?). Lingering light malt, bourbon and spices in the finish. Medium bodied with light to moderate creaminess, very nice mouth feel. A really well made winter warmer, possibly one of the best I've had. Lots going on here with a rich malt base, nice dark fruit and good vanilla and bourbon flavors from the barrel, both excellently integrated into the flavor. Good balance and deft use of barrel and spicing. If this was available locally, it would be a seasonal regular. This 2018 canned version is listed at 11.0 ABV which is very well covered.

Nov 18, 2018
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HoodviewBrew from Texas

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

got in a 4-pack of 12oz cans for about $13.99 so I was nervous about what to expect. Turns out this stuff was great! Holds up well to the Stickee Monkees, Adelbert's quads and other aged dark ales. Would definitely buy again.

Aug 05, 2018
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Neeros from Texas

4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this brew at a local pub. An acquaintance of mine was drinking it. I thought he was drinking a cola. I was looking for something different. Wow, is all I can say about this beer. The color is dark, like a stout. The flavor is semi-sweet, with a hint of bitterness. A bit of chocolate and vanilla, with the oak. You can taste a great whiskey in it, without the burn, in combination with being a beer. I was perplexed, but fascinated. Great beer. This will be my go to beer every winter.

Jan 01, 2018
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emerge077 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark mahoghany color, a finger of tan foam and sticky halo of lacing.
Aroma is somewhat nondescript, vanilla and yeast, lightly sweet nutty malt.
Smooth and rounded feel, fairly light bodied with a little bit of stickiness.
Vanilla and oak, nutmeg and toasted almonds. Corn whiskey sweetness in the warming aftertaste. Mellow and tasty, a great winter warmer that has some nice barrel characteristics and isn’t overspiced. Good holiday beer.

Dec 24, 2017
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a very dark brown, with a small head, and not much lacing.

This smells pretty distinctly barleywine-esque, with lots of vanilla and a little coconut, with fruitcake, caramel, toffee, and a little chocolate.

This deserves the top spot for Winter Warmers on this site- it's honestly awesome. There's spicy rye bread, fruitcake, vanilla, oak, bourbon, coconut, and vague spicing. There's lot of malty caramel and toffee, too. There's barely any booziness to it.

This is creamy and rich, with a full body, and a good level of carbonation for the style.

I expected this to be tasty, but I didn't expect it to be one of the best beers I've had lately. It is excellent stuff.

Dec 18, 2017
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a ballon glass.

Look: Black body under a light cream colored head that recedes to a collar and wisp over the center. Thick bands of lacing.

Aroma: Bourbon barrel wood, vanilla, oak, sugar.

Taste: Bourbon aged wood, oak, vanilla bean, tart cherry.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as silk, boozy, hot.

Overall: Couldn’t taste much more than bourbon barrel and vanilla but isn’t that the damn point? Quality sipper.

Dec 03, 2017
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snaotheus from Washington

3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a tulip. This listing shows it at 8.5% ABV, but the label says it's 10.5%. 2016 bottle. Oddly, I've chosen to drink this on a hot, sunny, late spring Monday afternoon.

Pours dark sludgy brown, initially with no head but slowly growing. Lots of fine, slow carbonation. Smell is maybe pine, dates or raisins, maybe booze and oak.

Taste is nice -- not too sweet, some spices, roasty/burnt-caramel, a little bit of dates or raisins. Vanilla is there, and I'm surprised the oak and alcohol are muted.

Mouthfeel is thick but just lively enough. Overall, this is a pretty good beer.

May 23, 2017
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mjwellman from Texas

3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is has been aged for about 30 months. It was a much better beer 2 years ago. I don't think it aged well.
L: Pours dark brown with a creamy head of about 2 fingers.
S: nice bourbon aroma with a malty sweet smell
T: nice bourbon taste with a hint of sweetness and coffee that quickly fades away to a bitter flavor.
F: lightly carbonated and overall bitterness
O: Disappointing that it doesn't taste as good as it looks or smells

Feb 24, 2017
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ThaneMcC from Germany

4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Release
Pours a lovely deep, reddish brown with 1fb of light khaki head with good retention. Smells of vanilla, wood, bourbon,dark fruits. Tastes is sweet malts forward, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon notes, balanced by hops and ending with a clean finish. Medium bodied with fair amount of effervescence keep the sweet malts from becoming syrupy. Some bourbon notes linger.

Overall, well balanced – all the features of a strong dark ale with the bourbon notes. I really enjoyed this brew.

Jan 14, 2017
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ccg from Virginia

3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 release.
Looks inviting. Deep, dark brown base with plenty of lacing on the glass and thick legs. Leaves a ring of large bubbles around the edge.
Smells of raisins, candied fruit, brown sugar, and a bit of leather and tobacco.
Flavor starts out with a bit of spice and bitterness. A bit of caramel shows up to round it out, and there is vanilla and malt in the middle, but the bitterness overwhelms the other flavors until the beer warms up.
The beer feels sticky and rich, and the alcohol has a nice warming effect.
I think I was expecting more of a sweet sipper, like a dessert beer, but this one has a bite of bitterness.

Jan 03, 2017
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nizzle8287 from Texas

5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on draught at The Gingerman in Fort Worth TX. Amazing. Best Bourbon Barrell I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, creme, coffee hint, slight alcohol burn warms me from the inside. Medium carbonation, full bodied and delicious. I would rate it a 6 if I could.

Mar 10, 2016
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Myotus from Texas

4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured at 47°F into a nonic pint glass. Consumed on 30Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth within 1 minute and 20 seconds. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. Rising bubbles are moderate in quantity and both small and medium in size. Lacing is thin and moderate. 4
SMELL: Mild aromas of black tea, caramel, toffee, tree nuts, and sweet bread entangle with subtle bourbon, spicy hop, and earthy hop aromas along with hints of oak. 4
TASTE: INFECTED!!! Or maybe that's just how this beer ages. Strong flavors of sour green apple and mild balsamic vinegar flavors enter initially and are immediately followed by mild caramel, black tea, and toffee flavors. Subtle flavors of tree nuts, spicy hops, and earthy hops finish off the flavors as bourbon and sweet bread flavors are nowhere to be found. 3.25
FEEL: Medium-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down somewhat smooth while also clinging to the back of the throat like syrup. Ends with a hint of dryness. 3.5
NOTE: I'm not sure if this was just an infected bottle that has been sitting for a year, or if this is how this beer develops over time. Typically Winter Warmers don't age well, but I though that this being at 9% would do well. Now you know, folks! Don't age this one! My main question is why didn't this smell like it tasted???
OVERALL RATING: 3.5 out of 5.
2015 vintage
Poured at 47°F from a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Allowed to warm up to 52°F before drinking. Consumed on 30Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth of foam within 1 minute. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. There is a large quantity of gray particles both small and medium in size. Rising bubbles are medium in size and moderate in quantity. Lacing is thin and moderate. 3.25
SMELL: Mild aromas of figs, plums, toast, caramel, toffeel, and spuce entangle with subtle oak, vanilla, and bourbon aromas along with hints of earthy and spicy hops. 4
TASTE: Mild spruce and bourbon flavors first strike the palate and are immediately followed by mild flavors of toast, caramel, figs, plums, and toffee. Subtle oak and vanilla flavors continue the complex taste profile. Subtle spicy hop flavors and hints of earthy hops enter lastly as all previous flavors persist, except for spruce, which grow slightly stronger. 4.25
FEEL: Medium-bodied and highly carbonated. Goes down rough due to the carbonation. Clings to the back of the throat like syrup. A mild and welcoming alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat. This beer ends with a mild dryness. 3.25
NOTE: This was the single best Winter Warmer that I have ever had. Aged 1 year, this is not that good. But fresh, this is excellent! The bourbon is not overpowering and allows the other flavors to shine.
OVERALL RATING: 4.03 out of 5.

Jan 30, 2016
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pants678 from California

4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a thin off white head.

All Bourbon.

Malt and wood that could be fitting for a stout. Toffee and dark fruit, not so chocolatey or desserty. Good bite on the end from the hops, I assume.

Cola-esque, pleasant.

Dec 22, 2015
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tbryan5 from Louisiana

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Exactly what I was looking for! The essence and body of the winter warmer was not overpowered by barrel characteristics. A great offering from Rahr & Sons and perfect for a cold night. Definitely living up to its name!

Nov 23, 2015
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Jlabs from New York

4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

nice creamy bourbon flavor on this one..a bit thin than most BBA i've had but tasty nonetheless..some light fruit notes in this, which mix nicely w/ the bourbon..would love to try this again

Aug 21, 2015
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Extremely dark brown body with a brown cap. Malts and bourbon fill the nose, with the spices, caramel, vanilla, and semi-sweet chocolate partnering. Taste explodes onto the palate, with those underlying flavors from the smell coming into the limelight with a bourbon backing. The cinnamon stands out in particular among the spices, invoking flavors of fruit cake, raisin, coconut and wood. Booze is very well hidden. My only qual is the feel doesn't have the usual spicy nature of a winter warmer, but the barrel is extremely smooth.

Apr 27, 2015
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DeepBrew from Texas

3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2014 edition, poured from 22oz bomber into snifter.

A: Walnut colored, almost opaque, with medium-high off-white foam with medium retention. Leaves behind good lacing.

S: Malt, dark fruit, barrel

T: Taste follows smell, with some wine-y sour, maybe from the barrel. There's also little spice and bitter lingering. Cannot identify the bourbon in the taste.

M: Creamy with good carbonation, medium-high strength.

O: Had higher expectations after 2013's great execution, and this was a let-down. Still it is a drinkable seasonal.

Mar 28, 2015
Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 452 ratings