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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:
Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

kelvarnsen, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of Bfarr
2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Slightly hazy red amber with big tan foamy head, poor retention and lacing. Light floral and spice aroma. Light sweet and spice taste with light hops for balance. Thin lager finish. Smooth even feel.

Easy drinking and smooth but spice and sweet dominate with really no discernable flavor, very muddy. Alcohol is well blended. Not really a challenging or special brew just an easy drinking winter warmer. My overall impression is it’s kind of tasteless especially considering all its vaunted ingredients. But it does come in a big 1 liter bottle with a swing top (course it is also $11).

Bfarr, May 01, 2011
Photo of beertunes
2.98/5  rDev -21%

Poured from 1liter swing-top bottle into 10oz glass. Poured a very nice, clean reddish-amber with just under an inch of light tan head that had good retention and low lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts and just a trace of the expected spices. There an odd sharpness on the tongue, slightly metallic, otherwise the flavors were fairly typical, just on the benign side.

The body was a couple steps too thin for the style. Drinkability was decent, but not really note-worthy. Overall, a decent, if unspectacular, take on the style. The format is too large for personal consumption, but it's worth sharing with friends if you try it.

beertunes, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of EskimoDave
3/5  rDev -20.4%

EskimoDave, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of jrempel
3/5  rDev -20.4%

jrempel, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of w00ddy
3/5  rDev -20.4%

w00ddy, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Viggo
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!

Viggo, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of Strix
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.

Strix, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of chickenm
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%

chickenm, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of FondueVoodoo
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.

FondueVoodoo, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of rhoadsrage
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.

rhoadsrage, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
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

JohnGalt1, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

bumchilly25, May 09, 2012
Photo of LagerHOGGER
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

LagerHOGGER, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of artemh
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

artemh, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of Syr
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Syr, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of Shadman
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

Big pot stopper bottle with content looking Father Christmas type on the label. Cloudy orange/brown, nice thick head stettles into a tan cap. Some lacing.

Light roast maltiness with some cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe hint of ginger.

Nice. Not overly sweet which makes it a bit more of a session beer dispute the 7%ABV. Bit thin tasting in the front. More than makes up for it after that with nice blend of sweet bread malt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg. Maybe a hint of candied orange peel as well. Alcohol warms the tongue a bit in the finish.

Smooth, easy drinking winter ale. Will enjoy the rest on a -28C evening here on the frozen steppes of SE Alberta.

Shadman, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of IronDjinn
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.

IronDjinn, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of LampertLand
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

LampertLand, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of souvenirs
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.

souvenirs, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of brewmudgeon
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.

brewmudgeon, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of BDTyre
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%

I had honestly hoped for a better, more complex flavour from this beer, but overall it is not bad.

Cloudy copper-brown with a cream coloured head. The head settles down quite quickly and leaves lots of spotty lace on the side of the glass as I drink.

The alcohol warmth in the scent is quite noticeable - surprising that this is only 7% ABV. Malt, brown sugar, raisins in the scent. Smells almost like a Christmas pudding, but a bit heavy on the malts and alcohol.

Heavy handed malt taste that is a bit rough. Vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, plum pudding, molasses all lurk in the background. Enjoyable, but the malts seem to heavy and tend to dominate other the other flavours.

Low carbonation, just enough to provide a nice texture on the tongue. Very drinkable, and certainly provides a bit of warmth on a cold night.

BDTyre, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of CookstLiquor
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.

CookstLiquor, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of Kmat10
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Kmat10, May 20, 2013
Photo of maclean25
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

maclean25, Jan 16, 2014
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Father John's Winter Ale from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.