The cold season here in North Texas is slowly melting away so I figured I better get this one out quick. There won’t be much time left to enjoy it. Now, I’m always a fan of trying new combinations, but my favorite is bourbon barrel aging a darker, maltier beer. Stouts, porters and barleywines lend themselves nicely to this. But they’re already very meaty beers. Rahr’s Winter Warmer is slightly lighter in body than the aforementioned styles and aging it in bourbon barrels made for a nice combination that was tasty but not too heavy. Granted this is a 2013 version I’m reviewing here, so it’s had another 2+ years to age, but the 2015 and sometimes the 2014 are still around and still quite good.
The brew poured a deep dark brown that seemed almost black at first with a minimal fleeting head. It had a surprisingly mild aroma considering its bourbon barrel aging. There was some hidden notes of malty caramel as well. It had a mild to moderate amount of carbonation. The maltiness and caramel were in the flavor profile as well as the aroma and were well balanced. As noted above, the body was medium and crisp which belied the look. I was expecting something much heavier but it was a welcome surprise. At the end I picked up some subtle roasted coffee notes as well.
This was an easy sipping brew and I could comfortably put away a few pints. The bomber disappeared easily enough. It’s definitely worth grabbing one before it gets too hot to enjoy it.