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Father John's Winter Ale - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Father John's Winter AleFather John's Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
A rich, malty seasonal ale brewed every fall for the winter months, this ale is made with four different malts, Nugget & Hallertau hops, and a complex blend of spices. It is named for John Mitchell, Howe Sound's original brewer.

17 IBU

(Beer added by: BDTyre on 11-17-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 32 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by demcorhip:
Photo of demcorhip
demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +7.4%

A nice looking brew. Bronze coloured body, nice off white head. Fairly lively carbonation helps keep it around too. Nice sheets of lace break down into intricate webs that slide back into the generous collar.

Interesting aroma. Ginger is quite noticeable, and a hint of treacle and golden sugar. Some toasty and nutty malts, and hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Some floral and leafy hops at the finish.

Yummy stuff. Rich malts, some caramel blends with toffee and a touch of treacle. Toasty nutty malts also present. Nice interplay between ginger and vaniilla, with nutmeg and cinnamon playing a mild supporting role. Hop bitterness is pretty clean with some mild floral notes at the finish.

A rich and warming medium bodied brew. Smooth and creamy in feel. Nice use of spice, im a fan of the ginger, its almost a liquid gingerbread. Nice finish with clean touch of bitterness.

A nice ale for a cold January night. Rich with malts and added sugars, yet not cloying. Nice use of spice. This is something I was surprised to find in northern Wisconsin, but am very glad to have had the chance to try this brew, and recommend it highly to fans of ginger and gingerbread.

01-03-2010 02:16:31 | More by demcorhip
More User Reviews:
Photo of chickenm
chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

11-21-2011 05:10:30 | More by chickenm
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -10.3%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a dense reddish-brown body with a glow at the base of the glass. There is a thick bubbly beige head that last a bit.

S- The slightly sweet malt aroma has some toast notes and a brassy molasses and dry spice finish.

T- The brassy molasses character has a slight fishy character to it with a dried spice blend in the finish that lingers as molasses and vanilla.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no real alcohol heat.

O- This beer is heavy on the spice flavor which is a bit odd or cooked in flavor. The malt and hops are buried underneath but some vanilla hint is welcome in the finish. The description on the bottle says it uses yellow sugar? which I hope is different than yellow snow but I don't think I will try this one again.

02-21-2012 18:39:05 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.1%

1L resealable, homebrew-friendly bottle, a nicely hearty, pipe-toting 19th century Santa figure adorning the label, along with plenty of descriptive text concerning the brewery's history and methodologies.

This beer pours a clear, dark golden amber colour, with three fingers of creamy, puffy off-white head, which leaves some decent curtained lace around the glass as it slowly melts away.

It smells sharply of old-school gingerbread - cloves, somewhat metallic cinnamon, ginger, and bready, cookie-like malt. The taste is more given to the malty side of the Force - lightly roasted caramel, some oily nuttiness, earthy, fruity brown sugar, a bit of lingering clove and cinnamon spice, and a decently restrained dose of boozy vanilla warming.

The carbonation is rather mildly innocuous, the body medium-full in weight, and adequately smooth - nothing really cloying here (other than my undeserved expectations). It finishes more than a bit off-dry, as the malt and spices seem to acquire sentience in their first step to a moderately higher existence.

An enjoyable enough holiday tipple - the booze stays within bounds, as do the spices, and we're simply left with something to wile away the shortened hours of this collective end of year experience.

10-28-2009 23:06:52 | More by biboergosum
Photo of bazzz
bazzz

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

09-30-2013 21:34:27 | More by bazzz
Photo of joemcgrath27
joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +8.2%

A - poured cloudy deep orange-amber, one finger of beige white head that dissipated quickly

S - strong scent of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, fruity, like a christmasy potpourri. Also sweet molasses with rich malts.

T - sweet & toasty malts, then the nutmeg, cinnamon, and spice take over, reminding me of eggnog, with light fruity flavour as well

M - relatively light feel, nice carbonation, with the spiciness filling the mouth and lasting on the tounge

D - the product definitely lived up to the description on the bottle. It really reminded me of a christmas fruitcake, which I generally don't like, but in beer form it's pretty enjoyable. Left me with a warm feeling that would hit the spot on a cold winter evening. Very unique!

06-17-2010 01:43:51 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of souvenirs
souvenirs

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

Poured from a 1L bottle.

A: Clear mahogany with lots of tan head.

S: biscuit and spices.

T: Very pleasant, but no hop presence at all. I'm also not really tasting the alcohol, which I sort of expected to at 7%. Edit: it got better as it warmed.

F: A bit thin for my liking, and lacking in crispness.

O: Certainly not a bad brew, but I don't love it. Would I get it again? I'm really not sure.

11-24-2013 23:34:02 | More by souvenirs
Photo of ChrisCage
ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +10.9%

A- This comes in a cool 1L "pot stopper" bottle, which is nice as I can re-seal this beer once I've had enough! It pours a rich red/orange/amber color with a nice thick, if not a bit too fizzy off white head. The carbonation otherwise looks relatively fine, and the lacing is not really there much, hence a slightly lower score than I'd like to give.

S- This has a very nice aroma that doesn't overpower my nose. It smells of sweet malts, and has a nice combo of wintery spices, including nutmeg on the forefront and some deeper aromas of ginger perhaps and a bit of clove as well. The hop bitterness is there as well but it isn't really strong.

T- First I have to say that the 7% alcohol is really well hidden in this brew. I really like the mixture of sweet and spicyness....I initially detect the malts that are used in the beer, and then I get a bit of a spicy flavor that actually tingles my palate a bit on the finish (the ginger?). The finish also has some mild bitterness that just catches my palate.

M- The body is on the thinner side, which is slightly disappointing. The carbonation, however is mild, providing for a smooth drinking beer. I really am reminded of all the goodness of winter foods and spices with this beer!

D- While this brew wouldn't be something that I'd drink over and over, I really do enjoy this and will have no problem finishing off this litre once this review is done! It has a nice balance and is a nice take on the style...actually one of the better ones that I've had! I recommend anyone to pick this up and enjoy!

01-15-2010 03:22:34 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of hannaho
hannaho

Washington

4/5  rDev +6.1%

01-03-2012 16:46:00 | More by hannaho
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.45/5  rDev -8.5%

Big 1-liter bottle provided at a recent tasting by reinheitsgematt... thanks Matt!! Reviewed from paper notes.

Lite off-white foamy head... clear amber brew... descent lacing.

nose is ginger and lite nutmeg.. mild caramel.

Flavor has a bit more caramel and malt sweetness that helps balance pretty heavy spices... some vanilla helps tie up the finish.

body is on the lite side with a good carbonation.

Thanks Matt... You know I don't normally appreciate spiced beers, but this was pretty okay.

3.5/3.5/3.5/3/3.5

01-12-2010 07:47:18 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of CookstLiquor
CookstLiquor

British Columbia (Canada)

3.71/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured from a 1L bottle. Pours slightly hazy orange-brown. The nose is filled with spice and dominated by cinnamon and nutmeg. Tastes like a pumpkin ale without the roasted pumpkin notes: sweet, spicy and a huge bitter finish. The spice notes in this beer are much more pronounced than in previous versions. Excellent carbonation.

01-07-2014 23:17:07 | More by CookstLiquor
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -5.8%

From a 1 L brown flip-top bottle. Deep ruddy coppery amber hue, hazed yet still translucent, foamy off-white head that settles to a thin cap.

Amber biscuit malt on the nose that is the backbone for a pretty hefty spice bill. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, vanilla, some licorice and treacle aromas are apparent (although the last two aren't listed on the label, well, at least molasses is, close enough....).

Fairly bold for a winter warmer, toasty sweet amber malt, and a tight spice bill that is fairly intense yet no one element gets out of control or stands out too much. All working in unison it provides a candy-like sweetness, although I'm sure the addition of yellow sugar doesn't hurt in that aspect either. Sticky sweet and savoury aftertaste. Vanilla stands out from the crowd in the very end.

Smooth, a bit slick, low carbonation but with a fuller mouthfeel for the most part and especially on the finish.

One of the most enjoyable winter warmers I've ever had, yet saying that it's still a one shot deal for me, at least in a sitting. Worth revisiting while it lasts, and sharing with good company during the holidays.

12-13-2009 04:18:28 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of FondueVoodoo
FondueVoodoo

British Columbia (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -11.7%

A: Clear amber with a full finger of just off white head, noticeable lack of bubbles, and just a scant lacing drifting over the cap.

S: Sweet candy/caramel with bourbon vanilla and not a hint of hops. Very sweet smell with out any bread or yeast notes.

T: Sweet malts and a little bit of artifical caramel taste. Finishes warm, smooth with the bourbon vanilla, similar to a tiny sip of bourbon. It's a caramel and vanilla brew for sure, I'd like to have this after dessert and sip like an after dessert night cap.

M: spanning between light to medium body and a surprise buzz on carbonation on the tongue with each sip.

O: Father John's Winter Ale a great brew to pair with winter snacks of dried fruit, soft cheese and crackers. Comes in a full litre its warming and predictable, tastes are simple and straight forward easy to drink and enjoyable on a cool winter night.

11-04-2012 02:44:13 | More by FondueVoodoo
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -5.8%

Howe Sound's 'Father John's Winter Ale' @ 7.0% , 1L pot-stopper bottle , paid $10
A-pour is a rich brown with some xmas red along the glass edge , a beige head which left little lacing along the pint glass
S-sweet spices (caramel , cinnamon , nutmeg , vanilla)
T-malty like a brown ale , no hop presence at all
MF-medium body , light/medium carbonation , don't taste or feel the 7% ABV
Ov-an ok beer , best part is the re-useable Pot Stopper bottle for home brewing

cheers LampertLand

12-29-2012 07:03:18 | More by LampertLand
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bumchilly25

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

05-09-2012 02:41:58 | More by bumchilly25
Photo of brewmudgeon
brewmudgeon

Wisconsin

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%

father john's winter ale

a 4 light to medium brown with a creamy long lasting off-white head.

s 4 smells of cherries and toasted malts. kind of like a brown ale mixed with abt.

t 3.5 lacks the fullness of flavor suggested by the nose. and it's a little tannic for my taste. but it's not hard to put back even for the uninitiated, so that's nice.

m 3.5-4 medium bodied, pleny of carbonation.

d 3.5 the bottle is probably the best part, and the beer is drinkable.

12-26-2010 16:41:37 | More by brewmudgeon
Photo of Dawkfan
Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

A- From a 1L swing top bottle. This winter warmer pours a dark amber with 3 fingers of off whitehead, nice lacing to boot.

S- Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, bready malt and brown sugar.

T- Really nutty, which I wasn't expecting. Toasty bready malts as well, and a nice hoppy bite in the finish. A little warming from the alcohol as well.

M- Nice mouthfeel, a fairly full bodied brew with a medium carbonation.

D- I love the look of this bottle, but 1L might be to much. I'm off to shovel snow, I'll have to conquer the last half when I get back in.

12-05-2009 07:07:34 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of LagerHOGGER
LagerHOGGER

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

12-07-2012 00:58:09 | More by LagerHOGGER
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

It's Christmas Eve and I'm in BC. Three years ago it was 16 degrees Celsius here, today we must've got 16 cm of snow! So this Father John's winter ale seems very appropriate (and it's a 1L bottle too!).

A Auburn chestnut, light tan head, thin ring of retention, very little leg/lace.

S: Bready, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark fruit, light spiciness, caramel, ginger, brown sugar. Very nice.

T: Bready, dark fruit, caramel, nut, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon & brown sugar. Balanced bitterness, alcohol is subtle. This is really good. I'd give it a 4.25 for flavour if I could.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body has a dry finish.

D: Very drinkable for it's strength.

12-24-2008 23:13:47 | More by Derek
Photo of bernat1971
bernat1971

Washington

4/5  rDev +6.1%

09-15-2013 07:02:16 | More by bernat1971
Photo of KeeganRohovich
KeeganRohovich

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

03-14-2014 03:48:07 | More by KeeganRohovich
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

3.15/5  rDev -16.4%

Pours a murky brown orange, good initial head, leaves no trace.

Nose is full of spices, I'm getting cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Spices are the predominant flavor as well. Malty, with various spices, sort of a lingering cinnamon aftertaste. As it warms, becomes somewhat flavorless. Alcohol not detectable.

Mouthfeel a little on the weak side.

This was a passable example of a style I admit I generally don't go crazy for. I feel like the mouthfeel detracted and the spice bill was just a wad of flavors. Good thing I had somebody to split this with or dealing with 1 L would have been like drinking a spice rack.

04-05-2014 02:28:28 | More by Strix
Photo of Methodd
Methodd

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +11.4%

Came in Howe Sound’s usual 1L pot-stopper. Poured into a 500mL mug.
Appearance: Dark and murky copper/amber color. Good amount of off-white head that slowly dissipates and leaves a collar. Some lacing.
Smell: Very thick malts with lots of spices (cinnamon and nutmeg). Reminds me of ginger-snap cookies.
Taste: Full bodied. Lots of different hops in this one. Bitter as it goes down the throat.
Mouthfeel: I think it’s a little bit over carbonated but the second 500mL pour seemed much better. Goes down fairly smooth but the spice leaves a very long lingering after-taste.
Drinkability: Very warming. I think one liter of this brew is a bit overkill. I’ve found that although Howe Sound’s ales all come with reseal able bottles you still pretty much have to drink it all fairly quickly. If you pour out half and leave the other half in the fridge by the next evening it’s pretty much flat.

11-11-2009 02:26:03 | More by Methodd
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.03/5  rDev -19.6%

1 liter swingtop, thanks Derek for sharing out on his patio.

Pours a hazy and murky brownish orange, some red highlights, thin white head forms, drops to a thin ring, some lace spots, looks alright. Smell is interesting, very spicy, caramel, bread, apple cider, cinnamon and clove, raisins, very malty, pretty interesting spiciness. Taste didn't do it for me, Worchestershire sauce, honey, bread, biscuits, brown sugar, very spicy, cinnamon and clove, gingerbread, kind of weird. Mouthfeel is thin, light bodied with medium carbonation. Alright I suppose, but something about it I didn't really like. Spicing seemed a bit out of whack to me. Thanks Derek!

08-13-2009 17:22:13 | More by Viggo
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +6.1%

The first of a series of tastings following our Christmas beer exchange... Thanks Joe!

A - Pours a nice amber colour, finger of head with solid retention, recedes to small islands, decent visible body carbonation and no real lacing.

S - Very complex and full of spices, namely, nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of ginger. The bready caramel malts also come through.

T - This one is heavy on the spices, with the Christmas cake and ginger snap flavours coming through. Some toffee notes and the slightest chocolate malt are also present.

M - No complaints here, medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and doesn't finish overly dry.

D - This is a complex ale with lots of flavours going on. I'm glad I'm splitting this bottle and it would be difficult to take down more than one. A very worthy winter warmer though, and highly recommended for this holiday season.

12-11-2010 17:45:33 | More by andrenaline
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Father John's Winter Ale from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.