It wasn’t enough that Santa Claus was super good to me – I got myself brand new brewing equipment so now I can make my own beer anytime I want, as well as a four pack of pilsner glasses in which to put the fruits of my labor. I got more good news when a FedEx truck pulled up to my house and delivered a package. I looked and saw that it was from my longtime friend Jason Kessler, hailing from my hometown of Fort Worth. Upon opening, I found a mountain of styrofoam peanuts and other padding inside. My curiosity getting the best of me, I dug deep, only to discover a new treasure. I found within the padded abyss a six pack of Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer.

Looking over the bottle, I found plenty of associated media that would tell me this is from Texas. Right on the neck label is the name “Rahr & Sons” resting above an image of the Lone Star State. Little did I know that this was from my hometown of Fort Worth, however upon looking at the label in the body of the bottle, I was quickly informed where this beer originated. I had already heard that this was good beer, but I had to see for myself. Feeling a bit of hometown pride, I was eager to open this up and immediately give it an A+. Lucky for me, I wasn’t disappointed nor was I let down by mediocrity. This beer is awesome. Quite a nice take on an English-style Dark Ale, especially from a place like Texas. Here’s a newsflash for everyone – Texans can brew some damn good beer. It may not be the Pacific Northwest, but there is a certain work ethic, fighting spirit and determination that Texans have that really translates into a great product. This may just be yet one more example of it. Let’s break it down –

Upon first pour, I noticed a sea of deep brown, nearly black color filling my glass at a fairly slow pace, and a fairly thick tan head began to form above it. It poured a nice creamy head, but it disappeared faster than I had expected. It did however leave a nice 1/4 inch-thick film above the surface as I drank it, so it wasn’t altogether lacking in carbonation. The aroma immediately calls to mind chocolate and fresh ground coffee beans. It’s a nice invigorating smell that really makes you feel warm and cozy. Also in the nose, one can detect some dark fruit and bready malts.

The flavor palate that hits your mouth is one that I really enjoyed. A full-bodied ale, it brings forth the tastes of chocolate, caramel, toffee and maybe a touch of vanilla for a creamy smoothness that really make this one a pleasure to drink. Also present for the taste buds to enjoy are plum, raisin, dark roasted and caramel malts, with just a touch of English hops. The finish is creamy and pleasant. Overall, this gives you a nice dark beer, full-bodied but not something that makes you feel bloated at the end. The flavor is excellent and it goes down so smoothly that you don’t mind waiting a while to finish the whole thing.