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Lions Winter Ale - Granville Island Brewery

Not Rated.
Lions Winter AleLions Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

165 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 7
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Lions Winter Ale combines premium malt with aromatic specialty hops. The vanilla-like finish of this robust ale is a great excuse to get out of the cold and enjoy BC’s favourite winter beer made from the finest natural ingredients.

(Beer added by: IronDjinn on 10-11-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Justindouglas7

1.5/5  rDev -59.1%

04-02-2014 23:57:06 | More by Justindouglas7
Photo of beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -18.3%

04-30-2013 00:41:01 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of Dalia


3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

12-22-2012 08:49:26 | More by Dalia
Photo of Doppelmax

New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev +26.2%

I liked this beer so much I just had 3 pints. Usually Canadian micros leave me a bit wanting. Not so for this brew. It was served at Snowshoe Sam's at Big White ski area and drawn from a tap that was labeled "Granville Island Winter Ale"
A wonderful reddish copper color but the head faded quickly. The malt aroma was predominant really no hops were noticed. I found the flavour very surprising, the malt just jumped out and grabbed my palate. The hops were so far in the background I didn't detect them at first. All in all a very caramel taste that just seemed right for my liking. After the first pint I had a few plates of various flavoured chicken wings but the malt just kept right up with the various types of wings. A dense body best describes the mouthfeel. I could have certainly had a few more if my much better half said it was time to head back to our condo. I'll certainly try this beer again and again

01-25-2007 02:55:48 | More by Doppelmax
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Can from the LCBO. I remember having this beer about four years ago, and thinking that it was an extremely vanilla-tasting brew. Looking forward to revisiting this. Can label is pretty uninspired, I have to say, compared to the nice bottle, but what can you do.

Poured into a nonic glass. Dark amber-brown, bit of ruby around the edges. Nice creamy head of foam, good retention. Lots of icicle lacing as well. Kept up well in the can.

Nose is certainly vanilla-heavy, so that much has remained the same. Caramel, bit of chocolate, a few odd christmas seasonings, but vanilla sweetness rules the day.

Again, vanilla is this brew's strong suit, but it has a few other cards in hand to play. There is some hop bitterness in there, as well as a decent malt backing with some cracker and biscuit. Actually, quite surprised with this. A bit watery in flavour, but quite easy to drink. Nice break from all the clove/coriander/molasses heavy winter brews I've had recently.

Watery feel, slightly creamy, moderate carbonation.

I have to say I did like this brew, which is a surprise for me with Granville. I happen to like vanilla a great deal, so that helped, but in general it was more balanced than I thought it would be.

12-17-2012 02:13:16 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of chickenm

British Columbia (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

03-12-2012 01:37:47 | More by chickenm
Photo of LDuke

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

11-05-2013 04:08:09 | More by LDuke
Photo of MJ63

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

10-26-2013 00:16:20 | More by MJ63
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%

341ml bottle, procured in Vancouver a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a perfectly clear medium cola-tinted amber hue, with a satisfying amount of thinly puffy off-white head, which melts away at due pace, leaving some random specks of lace around the glass.

It smells of spiced, slightly sweet bread – ginger and nutmeg – quite light, all, with a further caramel/toffee maltiness, and a touch of smoky vanilla. The taste is replete with the aforementioned warming spices, a bit of yeastiness, a strong caramel malt backbone, some softly acidic hoppiness, and some earthy, sweetly boozy vanilla.

The carbonation is just about average, the body sporting an adequate medium weight, some sugary creaminess informing its overall smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, as the spices drop away totally, leaving the caramel malt and vanilla all on their own.

With no appreciable warming from the tweak of extra alcohol, this is a nice, mild winter sipper, less spiced than many of its seasonal brethren, and another agreeable choice for those occasions when a six-pack is the order of the day.

01-12-2009 07:50:47 | More by biboergosum
Photo of mattguterres

British Columbia (Canada)

5/5  rDev +36.2%

12-03-2012 03:15:31 | More by mattguterres
Photo of DavidGross


2/5  rDev -45.5%

02-26-2012 17:18:16 | More by DavidGross
Photo of Aaronvanderleek

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9%

06-14-2014 00:10:06 | More by Aaronvanderleek
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%

A - clear amber, one thumb of bubbly off white head that fizzled away to a light covering
S - roasty malt and semi sweet chocolate, light ginger and nutmeg, and a resiny hop note, very complex
T - sweet caramel and light chocolate up front, very subtle nutmeg and allspice, and just slight herbal hop hint
M - nicely carbonated, light feel with the spice filling the mouth just enough, but a little thin on the finish
D - an interesting mix of aroma and flavour, the winter warmer spice is there but not over the top as so many seem to be, one could likely enough several of these in a sitting

10-21-2010 05:20:07 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of RandyFlameThrower

Alberta (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

07-18-2014 10:02:25 | More by RandyFlameThrower
Photo of cletetron

British Columbia (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

02-16-2012 03:03:14 | More by cletetron
Photo of 1stOffender

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

07-18-2013 06:20:21 | More by 1stOffender
Photo of ZiggyPop

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

01-23-2013 04:07:29 | More by ZiggyPop
Photo of souvenirs

British Columbia (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9%

A: auburn and clear, two fingers or so of tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving lacing across the top
S: caramel, vanilla, cocoa
T: not overly sweet, but sweet flavours - milk chocolate, caramel
F: smooth, creamy
O: I'm not sure I like this quite as much as I did last year when I was first drinking it, but I suppose the good beer becomes separated from the truly great beer the more beer you try!

11-30-2013 00:54:43 | More by souvenirs
Photo of elricorico

Alberta (Canada)

2.08/5  rDev -43.3%

Pours a reddish brown with almost nothing for head despite an aggressive pour. Something about it is not very appetizing.

Smells a bit like vanilla, with a cut grass, peed on clothing smell mixed in. Again, not entirely appetizing... Things aren't looking too good for this one.

Taste is right up front vanilla. Tastes like the filling of an oreo cookie. Finishes up bitter and leaves a cloying flavour in the mouth.

I have nothing good to say about this beer. I've had a couple of bottles before, and tend to like it less each time.

11-27-2004 03:11:17 | More by elricorico
Photo of anthony81212

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

02-27-2014 22:27:07 | More by anthony81212
Photo of ChrisCage

Alberta (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +13.9%

A- I poured this fairly aggressively and was greeted with a modest looking white head that settled very quickly into nothingness. The color of the brew is a clear looking, maybe slightly chill hazed brown flat out, not super dark, not real light....just brown. There appears to be an average amount of carbonation, and there isn't really any lacing to speak of....kind of disappointing to look at to be honest!

S- Lots going on here, and most of it is sweet aromas! I'm picking up vanilla, macintosh toffee, milk chocolate and pancake syrup all rolled into one. It really smells like dessert or fresh baking....delicious aromas for sure!

T- Whoa, the flavors are just as variant as the smells! Overall, it mimics the aromas closely, just with more earthiness and some nut qualities mixed in as well. The finsih is dry and slightly spiced. Overall, it's really tasty, just not as prominent as the previous category!

M- I was kind of disappointed again in this category....I find the body to be thin like a cream soda pop, which is what I really can liken this to! The carbonation is actually quite smooth allowing this to not make me feel bloated on the other hand, so I'm torn but wanted this to be a full bodied brew....oh well!

O- A very tasty beer, that while considered a winter warmer, I'm finding quite enjoyable on a summer evening! The alcohol isn't super strong to begin with, but it is very well hidden behind all the sweetness. I'd have no problem having several of these in an evening/afternoon! I do recommend this one and will pick this up again when in season! I'm in the same boat as the previous review....had this one maturing for some time...my wife picked it up for me....I thought I knew what I'd be getting but I'm quite happy with the surprise I ended up with!

07-26-2011 02:28:01 | More by ChrisCage
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%

Appearance. Pours a nice amber-brown. Half a finger of off-white head.

Smell. Vanilla, roasty malts. Pretty nice.

Taste. Artificial vanilla and light, roasty malt. Just a hint of sweetness with a beter vanilla aftertaste than the initial hit.

Mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Quite thin.

Drinkability. A pretty good drinker. Goes down easy due to it being a bit watery and not too sweet.

02-13-2011 20:13:33 | More by Rutager
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Bottle: Poured a clear deep amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar and light toffee notes with subtle fruity ester are quite interesting. Taste is also a great mix between some caramelized sugar and toffee while retaining a good balance of sweetness with some light subtle fruity ester. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily drinkable winter warmer style beer with just enough complexity.

04-04-2013 19:50:41 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of DuffMan32

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -18.3%

10-18-2013 01:37:23 | More by DuffMan32
Photo of wreckless

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +11.2%

Vanilla, Vanilla, and more Vanilla.

Appearance: a clear, dark amber, light off white head, slight lace and retention.

Smell: roasty malt and caramel, nutty yeast, dense chocolate and vanilla bean.

Taste: thin bready malt initially, followed nutty chocolate and strong hints vanilla.

Mouthfeel: light carbonation with a smooth, creamy, fluid body followed by an amazing dense vanilla finish.

Drinkability: a great winter ale with an extreme vanilla personality makes this the perfect beer up on the mountain or by the fire on a cold winter night. the elegant mixture of chocolate, yeasty malt, and vanilla give a great balanced feel.

i first tasted this ale after a day of riding at Mt. Seymour. It was on tap, and was an exceptional winter ale. as i've said, this ale is all about vanilla, and although some may frown at that, i embrace it as it is a perfect compliment to the winter months. i have since drank this winter ale in bottle form and can't get enough of it.

02-10-2011 03:10:16 | More by wreckless
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Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.