Brigadier (3155) - Clevelandish, Ohio, USA - JAN 24, 2013
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle
I can’t remember who sent me this but I believe it was a 2011 bottle. If so it has held up exceptionally well. Straddling that line between old ale, barleywine, and American strong ale it packs a whallop that can sneak up on you.
Aroma / Appearance - A dense rusty brownish / black base pours heavily. Idle legs crawl down the sides. Black coffee, anise and malts shine but the main star is the smell of frozen chocolate pudding popsicles. All of it hangs in the air like a dense fog of alcoholic goodness.
Flavor / Palate - Chocolate, coffee, and ripe plums warm the tongue. Figs and dark fruits carry the wave of flavors towards an eager palate. This isn’t as heavy and cloying as I thought it might be. Just thinking about it makes me wish I had a glass in front of me right now.
Chad9976 (1293) - Albany, New York, USA - JAN 23, 2015
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
I always wondered what a warm weather state like Florida would consider to be a “winter warmer” since it’s always warm there all the time. Cigar City’s “Warmer Winter” is apparently how they interpret the style down there. This is a classic American-style barleywine, and not an actual winter warmer despite the name. It definitely hits on all notes as a barleywine, which is probably why I enjoyed it.
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 11/5/14 and was sent to me from a friend in Florida (thanks, Matt!).
Appearance: Attractive shade of burgundy/mahogany color. Fairly clear with some haziness, slight carbonation is visible. Pours to a two-finger, eggshell, foamy head which retains and laces pretty well.
Smell: Classic barleywine aroma of dark malt, though plenty of American hop character is present, too (mostly citrus and flowers).
Taste: It’s not surprising that a big beer would start out with a big taste. Tons of malty sweetness is present right away, creating for a fruit basket of flavors: cherry, plum, and even some strawberry or blackberry notes (oddly enough). At the same time, there’s a noticeable bitterness. At first it’s dry, then it becomes dank and citrusy – akin to orange juice concentrate rather than orange or grapefruit juice straight up. Subtle confectionery notes can be found, as well. There’s definitely a vanilla character due to the alcohol presence. There’s absolutely no spice in the brew, though the hops offer some balance to the malt. It’s not especially bitter and hoppy for the style (if anything, it’s less bitter than most), but there is some citrus and floral character on the second half that complements the brew quite nicely. Overall, it’s tasty and satisfying, but not quite as amazing as I was expecting. I was hoping for intensity and complexity and what’s here is less than that, but much more than just “solid.”
Drinkability: This is one of those beers where the high gravity works for and against it simultaneously. On the one hand, this is a 12.65% ABV brew (according to Head Brewer Wayne Wambles who told me this) and it doesn’t have the dense weight or high heat you would associate with a borderline “extreme” brew. On the other hand, the mouthfeel does feel a tad thin and the fairly clean aftertaste actually seems to be a demerit. A beer of Cigar City Warmer Winter Winter Warmer’s caliber ought to be thick, sticky and cloying. That being said, I doubt anyone other than a complete and total lightweight is going to have any difficulty with this beer.
TXBadger (1660) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 3, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a clear light brown, more dark copper color with off-white head. Dark fruits, caramel, biscuit, and toffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some warmth and spice.
DWestrick (459) - Ft Wayne, Indiana, USA - DEC 22, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Bottle - friend brought from Tampa. Very nice Barley Wine - and easy to drink for 10%
boozedude (2134) - Des Moines, Iowa, USA - DEC 19, 2014
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bomber brought over from Jeremy , poured into glass with hakes, and lamont, clear dark red/brown pour with white head, aroma is alsovhol ad fruit, some malts, sugar, really good shit,
Crichton99 (3) - - NOV 28, 2014 does not count
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Faint smell of Jai Alai. Initial hint of jai Alai in the taste followed by boozey sweet taste with hints of raisin and fig. Very nice.
suprchunk (2452) - Crestview, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark brown pour. Big tan head. Tons of lacing. Nutty malty aroma. Taste is malty. Nutty. Slight bitterness in the finish.
sloshgator (503) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 26, 2014
4.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Cigar City Warmer Winter Winter Warmer hits the mark as a strong winter brew. It is officially described as a mash up between traditional English-style barley wine and old ale. Faint aroma of carmelized raisins and dates rising off a very dark pour with a thick tan head. Taste is raisins, dates and toffee with maybe a hint of chocolate. The high ABV is masked well in the taste, but you will definitely feel it. Warmer Winter is not breaking any new ground, but definitely hits that winter strong beer style.
DocJitsu (1100) - Florida, USA - NOV 23, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours a clear Amber color with no head. A thin caramel colored ring sits atop the beer. Faint date on the nose. Cottony mouthfeel. Moderately thick. Some alcohol heat is noted. Cereal, Amish bread, and crispy chocolate chip cookies. Some zinc too.
slowrunner77 (6286) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 27, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
"whoa nelly - this was a bit more intense than i thought it’d be. this english style barleywine/old ale manages a ridiculous level of complexity. toffee, caramel, citrus hops, rye spice, and a strong chocolate undercurrent, both in the nose and flavor. a wonderful sipper. if the sweetness in the flavor and the alcohol in the nose were toned down just a notch, this would be one of the very best."
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - SEP 17, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Serving: 750 ml. bottle. It pours a medium ruddy brown with a thin head. The nose is fresh baked spice bread and sweet caramel. Full bodied and warming. Toffee, spice bread, candied orange, and caramel on the tongue with a lingering spicy sweet finish. Tasty stuff.