Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer | Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
107 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter WarmerBourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Texas, United States
rahrbrewing.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 05-28-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
107
Ratings:
398
Avg:
4.08
pDev:
25.49%
 
 
Wants:
98
Gots:
136
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 107 | Ratings: 398
Photo of jdshep
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

full review: http://buzzinggeek.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/beer-review-bourbon-barrel-aged-winter-warmer/
I could drink it over and over again.
My nasal cavity might have been malfunctioning though, because it was quite difficult for me to get the little aroma I did.
The flavor was sweet malts with the palate being creamy and soft. Great brew!

 343 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad.

Mohagany body with a thin beige cap. Bourbon, oak, vanilla aroma. Sweet and chocolate tones followed by malt and vanilla. Light to medium in body with soft carbonation. Delicious.

 220 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%

Thanks to CaptCleveland for sending me this bottle, & winter seems to have arrived with a vengeance today (20 degree drop in temp!), so it’s time. 22 oz. bottle from 2013 split with my wife.

The pour is very dark, with enough carbonation to lend three or four of Lost Abbey’s brews. Big toffee & caramel aromas are rolling around with the vanilla & strong bourbon lent by the barrel. Nothing subtle here. Subtle is overrated.

Rahr Winter Warmer – Bourbon Barrel Aged is confusing my taste buds. The initial burst is almost English Barleywine in the toffee/caramel arena, with a stiffening shot of malty sweetness. The mid-section is all beautiful barrel, bringing warm vanilla & soft, sinus-warming bourbon notes. Wood is faint but pervasive, like a cartoon. The finish is clean & sweet. A touch thin, which might be its weak point, but contributes to a helluva drinkability asset. I drinka lotsa.

Color me surprised. Winter warmers are not among my top twenty favorite styles, but this one, combined with the barrel, sucked the skepticism right out of me. Excellent beer.

 1,084 characters

Photo of roblowther
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber and the world is my oyster. It pours a complete black with a very dense, creamy light tan head that leaves small but stubborn lacing. The smell is cherries, tobacco, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Like Christmas at the Marlboro place. Taste is toasted bread, then...an oddly gamey flavor. It's not bad but I'm not sure what it is and I'm not sure how to describe it. A bit smokey, a bit fatty, a bit spicy. The mouthfeel is creamy and just carbonated enough. Overall, I like this beer. It's not something I'm telling everyone to rush out and search for, but if it kisses you on the lips, for God's sake, kiss back.

 617 characters

Photo of RedSunRising
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Bottle - A friend who goes to Texas brought it back for me, I traded him a Driftwood Singularity for it.

Appearance - Poured into a McAuslan Tulip. Deep Brown/black, a bit of red when held up to the light. A bit of particulate floating within. Two fingers of creamy beige-tan head.

Smell - Really, really good. Bourbon is the most prominent note, layered with sweet roasted-malt notes (chocolate, coffee, caramel/toffee, maybe hazelnut?) and oak. Alcohol is noticeable on the nose, but not overbearing. Slight smoke is noticeable as well.

WILL FINISH THIS TOMORROW!

Taste -

Mouthfeel -

Overall -

 609 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, earth, wood, and slight bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel, earth, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of wood bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a fairly mild bourbon presence all around.

 614 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown. Small khaki head. Thin collar. Wispy.

Smell - Kinda fruity. Caramel. Vanilla. A bit of bourbon.

Taste - More of a straightforward caramel flavor. Toffee. Bourbon. Much more oak. Less fruity. Pretty sweet, but doesn't overwhelm for the small pour that I have.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Could be thicker. Oaky. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Tasted interesting at first, but got a little boring.

 459 characters

Photo of cpiray45
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My son brought this beer over for my dad and I to sample and it was very good. It had a dark and robust flavor and the company was great. The company probably made the beer better but I will drink this again. I would like to have this on tap before I really get sold.

 267 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bomber into a snifter glass.

I love the appearance of this beer; it's beautiful. The pour produces a three-finger thick, frothy, chewy, cream-colored head. Below lies a pitch black, thick-looking liquid that resembles oil and is very opaque.

Bourbon is prominent as one would expect on the nose. Some alcohol astringency accompanies this. Alongside these aromas, I get sweet dark malts and oak, and the overall smell is very thick, pungent and inviting. I guess this is part of why they call these warmers.

My taste buds are just as pleased as my nose was. The beer is immediately bourbony and oaken on my tongue and there are notes of vanilla over the silky, creamy mouthfeel. I also get some sweet maltiness, some rye spice and a slight chocolatey aftertaste.

As mentioned above, this beer is silky, creamy and smooth. There's low carbonation, a slight astringency at the finish and a warming sensation on the tongue.

I find this beer to be a great treat. The beer is smooth, balanced and not dominated by bourbon, and thus allows for other flavors to figure prominently.

 1,097 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rahr bourbon barrell aged winter warmer
Into a stout glass: This pours a black stout with a light tan/ off-white sudsy head. Lacing cakes as it settles. Great sight.
Smells of chocolate/ toffee and dark cherry esters, some oak burn.
Tastes nice and smooth. Light finish but with such a smooth more chocolatey taste. Very easy sipping because it tastes so velvety and nice, also with a bourbon barrel-flavored mouth-burn imparts a chewiness and a flavor note that cones off as sweet black olive, and there's a vanilla note at the end that lends a fairly satisfying, dry sharpness, if not a bit chalky tasting. Still, a very solid brew from a style a rarely try, and a Texas brewer i dont often sample from. Underrated perhaps. Lives up to its name well as I sip this on a Texas evening with temps headed into the low 20's.

 823 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Flying Saucer, 2013 vintage.

A- Dark brown with a thin, tan head.

S- Roasted malts and another aroma that I can only describe as alcohol. I definitely need better descriptors.

T- The bourbon is very subtle, and it blends in nicely. The main flavor component was chocolate. I mean, a HUGE amount of chocolate. Totally not a bad thing.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- I was super surprised by the chocolate component on the palette. The bourbon melded very nicely. It was not overdone or too weak. Overall, a pretty tasty beer.

 536 characters

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown almost black with a ruby tint when held to the light. I'm pouring into a miniature snifter glass and there is pretty much no head.

S: This beer smells awesome. Toffee, caramel, dark fruit (raisins?), peat, whiskey, and some kind of must.

T: interesting, but good. Peat, bourbon, malts, oak, light syrup, caramel, toffee, raisins and other dark fruits, and a hint of cocoa or chocolate. Pretty good.

M: The mouth is medium, I'd have to say. This isn't a bad mouth feel for a beer like this though. It actually fits perfectly. There's a little carb too.

O: A good brew. A lot like a scotch with some more caramel tones to it. Price is high though...

 669 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
2.48/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I had this year's version of the BBAWW, 2013 release.

A - a typical dark brown, deep caramel color, nothing special.

S - I was expecting bourbon, but it was very faint. A little caramel and some toffee, and a faint hint of vanilla.

T - a mixture of caramel, toffee, slight vanilla, and a little dark fruit, slight bourbon, and I mean slight. The faintest hint to let you know it's there.

M - thin...really thin. Watery would describe it best.

O - not what I was expecting considering I've had the previous two years' releases. This year it was disappointing to say the least. The price skyrocketed and the quality dropped. I would say try it on tap, the price of a bottle is unjustifiable.

 695 characters

Photo of Lowseph
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I couldn't believe how good this beer was
the first time I tried it.

Only had it a few times, and I plan on getting it again it
the next time I see it.

I don't recommend eating anything while drinking this beer,
I do however recommend that you drink it slowly.

its very delicious and deserves to be enjoyed thoroughly.

 322 characters

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer is hella-mazing. It smells like scotch. Seriously, I smelled it and couldn't figure out how to describe what I was smelling except, "whiskey?" It's got a pervasive smoked peat flavour and a real whiskey-like flavour despite the relatively low alcohol content. I don't know how it attains that flavour and bite at under 9% ABV. But it does an amazing job of it. Besides the peaty, woody, whiskey flavour, there's a character of overall sweetness and maltiness. Roasted malt and maybe a little bit of chocolate malt can be detected. This tastes to me like an exceptional Scotch ale, which certainly makes a nice winter warmer in my opinion. Very musty, very warm, and overall whiskey flavour. Yummm

 706 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an unbranded snifter

Pours a murky dark amber capped by a fluffy two finger khaki head. Some light lacing is evident, slightly above average retention. Caramel, toffee, light oaky notes, and some faint bourbon accents on the nose. Caramel, almond, toffee, coconut, vanilla, some light cocoa power and hints of chocolate maltiness . Finishes with toasted oak and gentle warm bourbon booziness. Heavy medium body to lighter full body. Creamy, smooth and silky. I tend to enjoy unspiced, more traditonal winter warmers. This brew fits the bill and the bourbon barrel is an added plus.

 628 characters

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour yields a couple fingers of khaki head on a opaque brown and red body.

Big dark fruit, caramel, vanilla, and oaky coconut goodness.

The flavor brings forth notes of dark fruit, caramel sweetness, light bourbon, and barrel character.

Light carbonation, medium bodied and super smooth.

So sad I've skipped over this before due to being a Rahr beer. This beer rules.

 383 characters

Photo of OgreSanchez
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this on tap at The Gingerman's in Fort Worth. This might be what the Greek's were talking about when they wrote about the God's Ambrosia. If you have access to this hidden gem, you should grab as much as you can find. I hear you can get it in 22 oz bottles at Central Market in Dallas if you get a chance to go.

 317 characters

Photo of LITTLESTHOBOUK
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very hearty Winter Warmer, on the cusp of porter/stout. Full chocolate and bourbon attack on the nose, yet, sadly not quite reaching the same level of assault on the tongue, however, it is still worthy of full recommendation from this particular reviewer. I must admit to being a little biased as this is one of my local brewers, but, this fact notwithstanding, Rahr and Sons has a great team and consistently attempt to push the boundaries.

 441 characters

Photo of hornsup
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Winter 2012 version poured into a Sweetwater pint glass courtesy of a trade with sjs0187..thanks

A: Pours an amber murky brown color with no head at all and a small lacing around the edges. Very typical of the style

S: Was expecting more in this area....this smelled like a shot of Jim Beam. Very harsh...Get some wood in the back end of it after shaking my head from the whiskey...would expect about 12% abv from this alone

T: Tastes like a very sweet, coconuty whiskey shot. Load of vanilla in the middle. I personally dont like whiskey but this was a huge improvement on the smell as I was expected to be punched in the face with burning alcohol. Reminiscent of Beach Brewing's Blackfin barleywine....which I really enjoy.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied but has alot of depth. Coats your palate.

O: A solid bourbon barrel aged WW. The bourbon is definitely more pronounced in this brew than alot of its cohorts. The sweet coconuty, vanilla notes cut the alcohol and makes this beer grow on you as you continue to enjoy it. Its definitely a beer you sip, but is very acceptable for a cold winter's night. I would drink it again, but would not put a ton of effort into finding it...many others would substitute fine.

 1,222 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage (as it doesn't have the year on the label, this was the first year for bottling on the new line)

I've had this aging and thought I'd give it a try after being rather disappointed with the 2012 offering (which has replaced this one in the cellar).

Poured into a tulip glass black with a one finger off white head. Good retention and lacing. The scent of bourbon was noticable just pouring the beer into the glass. Once you get past that, there are also scents of carmel and chocolate malts.

The taste has a rather vanilla oak taste that melts into the bourbon. Then it brings out the chocolate flavors. This vintage is very well put together. The carbonation is still great and the body is medium.

I didn't review the 2012 bottle I had a couple weeks ago. But I was VERY disappointed with it. After opening this 2010 Vintage, I'm even more disappointed with the 2012. I'll have to review that bottle in two years.

 929 characters

Photo of mothman
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap in snifter.

Dark color is little head. Full glass of beer.

Normally I don't like winter warmers, but the bourbon flavors take down the spices a notch. There is still spices after the wave of oak and bourbon. Caramel and chocolate with some dark fruits.

A little thinner in body with a touch of roast.

A nice treat and worth a try!

 343 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz, Winter 2012
KtG snifter

A: Pours a deep brown almost black with reddish hues on edges. Initially about a half finger of light tan head. Alcohol feet.

S: Good amount of bourbon on nose. Vanilla. Roasted notes. Dark chocolate. Slight coconut notes. Dark fruits.

T: Really nice soft vanilla from the barreling on the tip of the tongue. Roasted notes. Dark fruits: fig and prune and raisin as it warms up a bit. Goes great with dark cocoa chocolate. No alcohol burn.

M: Full bodied. Great mouthfeel.

 505 characters

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2011 release.

Pours a fairly dark brown color with some ruby hues and a thin khaki colored head that recedes rather quickly.

Aromas are all barrel forward initially. Bourbon, oak and vanilla are all out in the forefront with emerging light toast and toffee in the background. Maybe a little cocoa as well.

The tastes follow the nose with cocoa, toffee and toasted bready maltiness which is immediately taken over by the robust bourbon induced flavors of oak and vanilla. Some warming alcohol emeges as it warms as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is pretty barrel heavy and sweet.

Overall this was a fine end of the night kind of beer but it's fairly one dimentional. The base beer is merely a vehicle for the barrel induced flavors and this falls into the overly barrel forward beer category for me. A bit much to attempt to finish a bomber by yourself.

 902 characters

Photo of BigBarley
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours rich, deep brown, almost black, ruby highlights show when held up to light. 1 finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a standard foam ring. Looks very close to a stout

S - Bourbon up front, dtrong oak notes, slight vanilla, sweet chocolate, hint of molasses, more warm bourbon, sweet potatoe, slight creamy smell

T - Whiskey and chocolate blend, spicy wooden characterweet dark malts, mild alcohol flavor, slight coffee bitterness. Imagina a stout but replace the bitter roasted character with a strong whisky note. Slight coconut, very faint maple, creamy coffee, whisky all over

M - Thick and creamy, carbonation tends more towards the creamy than the fizzy. Lends to an over all creamy beer experience. Very enjoyable and smooth

O - Delicious and strong. Flavorful, packed with all sorts of smell and taste, the kind of beer that keeps you interested, and develops as it warms. An all day drinker for sure.

 926 characters

Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer from Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
4.08 out of 5 based on 398 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe