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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

32 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 60
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 8.47%
Wants: 0
Gots: 3 | 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:
Beer added by: BDTyre on 11-17-2007

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 60
Photo of Derek
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (665 characters)

Photo of strangemusic
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first review for BA! I just had this beer from a big 1 litre bottle from the Park Royal liquor store.

Poured out a warm red/amber colour with not a lot of head which settled down quite quickly. The in-glass look reminded me of Rogue's Dead Guy Ale? Initial aromas were of smooth, complex spices and vanilla.

The flavour was rich, with spice and malt, I noticed quite a bit of vanilla and other sweet flavours almost like molasses. There is a lasting, but not too strong, hop/alcohol twinge to the end of each mouthful that balances out the sweet flavours.

This beer feels really nice in the mouth, there is a decent carbonation to it and a smoothness that makes the whole thing very drinkable, which I suppose is an asset for such a big beer!

I'd recommend this if you're looking for something mellow to enjoy over the holidays. There's nothing mind-blowing about it, but there's a certain charm in its sweet and very drinkable character. (946 characters)

Photo of Graham5161986
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, a cold, wet winter's night - perfect for a Father John's!

A: pours a clear, somewhat hazy, brown with a 1 finger, tan head that dissapates quickly to a thin film and leaves a nice sticky lace.

S: aromas of chocolate malts, honey, vanilla and a touch of spice

T: chocolaty malts, giner spice, honey and a slight hoppy bitterness on the finish.

M: thick and creamy, good carbonation and a nice, smooth, crisp finish.

D: It's a big beer, so I wouldn't be able to finish more than one. However, it's flavours are fantasitc and does not taste artificially sweet like many of the other winter ales out there. I've bought it before and I will buy it again - a great beer to warm you up on a cold night. (704 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drinking this tastes like a homage to the great Xmas ales of BC past such as Granville Island, Shaftebury and Spinnakers. The dedication to John Mitchell makes sense as he and my father Malcolm Faviell created the first Xmas beer in BC with Spinnakers version.

This is all malt and spices with a dark fruit note somewhere in there. Very drinkable and well balanced, this is a worthy heir to the aforementioned Xmas beers. (422 characters)

Photo of beertwisted
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After reading the other beer reports, I have a somewhat indifferent attitude to their educated reviews. This beer stands (in my mind) as one of the better winter beers available. There was not the overly intrusive nutmeg flavor that often overpowers other winter beers. This beer had a well balanced assertion of seasonal spices that one might find comforting during the not-so-seasonal cool months in BC. Its head was coppery cool with a nice tantalizing flavor of vanilla and nutmeg.

Another nice accent was in its ability to retain its head long after the first sip. I loved the fact that it came in a swing-top. This is one of the ways you can enjoy a beer while letting it warm up to the appropriate temp; all the while still being introduced to the basic premises of the beer. The bigger the beer the better in my opinion; this from a beer that is well crafted and deserves a second opinion. This one definitely deserves just that... Out of the many Christmas or winter beers I have had, this beer is worth a taste on those unexpected winter evenings. (1,059 characters)

Photo of Hornet2003
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1L Swing-top bottle from the 2007 vintage. 7% listed on the bottle, but previous versions were 8%.

Appearance: Rich looking red-brown in color. Pours with quickly disappearing tan head.

Smell: Very spicy on the nose. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, a little vanilla, and a *little* bit of anise.

Taste: Sweet flavor. The spiciness is great and there is a lingering hop bitterness. The malt is nice and pronounced and manages to keep the 7% ABV in check. A little bit of a honey flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Mid-high carbonation. Leaves a sweet and spicy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Pretty high overall considering the 7%, but the serving size is kind of prohibitive. 1L is a lot for even two people to drink in a tasting. Overall, however, I would say this is a greatly drinkable Christmas beer. Definitely better than stronger winter warmers.

I really enjoyed this beer. Great spice, great malty, wintery character. This really warms you up and gets you want to sit beside the Christmas tree. I have never had a Howe Sound beer I haven't loved, and this one did not disappoint. (1,077 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (830 characters)

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Father John's Winter Ale from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.