The cold days of January keep on coming in central New York, and for beer enthusiasts, that may mean a "Winter Warmer" or two. What style of beer is considered a Winter Warmer? Glad you asked, check this out.

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Here is an accurate description of so-called Winter Warmer beers, according to "Beer Advocate Magazine":

"Winter Warmer

Description:

These malty sweet offerings tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. Big malt presence, both in flavor and body. The color ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black. Hop bitterness is generally low, leveled and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon.

Many English versions contain no spices, though some brewers of spiced winter seasonal ales will slap "Winter Warmer" on the label. Those that are spiced, tend to follow the "wassail" tradition of blending robust ales with mixed spices, before hops became the chief "spice" in beer. American varieties many have a larger presences of hops both in bitterness and flavor.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-8.0% [ ? ]"

One of the beers in this category listed is "Saranac Rudy's Spiced Christmas Ale" from the F.X. Matt Brewery.

For the top Winter Warmer beers and their ratings, visit beeradvocate.com.