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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.
BA SCORE
83
good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 16.08%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | 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: 167 | Reviews: 55 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cletetron
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

cletetron, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of tbeckett
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at Cat's Social House on Granville Island. From notes.

A - Amber pour with a one finger white head. Bright. Light carbonation, spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Sweet spice, lot's of caramel and toffee.

T - Nice toffee and caramel, hops, sweet spice.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body, some hops and spice in the finish.

O/D - Very nice spice which was subtle but mixed well with other elements. Rich malt and nice hops in a winter beer. Good stuff.

tbeckett, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

schopenhauerale, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of goalie35
4/5  rDev +9%

goalie35, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of buddyvelt
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

buddyvelt, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of Telestic
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Telestic, Jan 26, 2012
Photo of CoreyJKelly
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

CoreyJKelly, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of mdevonshire
4/5  rDev +9%

mdevonshire, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of hockeybarbie
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

hockeybarbie, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of kelvarnsen
4/5  rDev +9%

kelvarnsen, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of fizzyted
4/5  rDev +9%

fizzyted, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear, copper hue with thin white head. Lots of bubbles are present.

Smell - Vanilla, caramel and hazelnut aromas are the most predominant. Very sweet smelling like candy.

Taste - Very nice vanilla flavour. Light caramel flavour. Not overly sweet despite the sweet aromas that are first encountered. Slightly bitter aftertaste at the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with nice tingly bubbles. Goes down smooth.

Overall - A pleasant winter warmer from GIB. The vanilla flavour was very nicely showcased and was well-balanced. This ale would be even better if some spices were thrown in - perhaps clove or nutmeg. Would definitely buy again.

leaddog, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of papawu76
2/5  rDev -45.5%

papawu76, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of BradnerBoy
5/5  rDev +36.2%

BradnerBoy, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of timtwoface
4.38/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, a Christmas classic in the Vancouver area. This was my first winter warmer and still among my favourites. When I was first of age, as far as beer is concerned, this beer defined what Christmas was supposed to taste like. The really striking aspect of this beer is the vanilla flavours that go all the way through, from the initial smell to the lingering aftertaste. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that appreciates beer with that sweet vanilla taste; it's so very drinkable.

Another similar one to this in BC is Tree Brewing's Vertical Winter Ale; I think it's even better, though GI's Lions Winter Ale is still excellent. Try 'em both and support your BC breweries this Christmas!

Cheers!

timtwoface, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of beerayrton
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I`ve had this beer multiple times, and thought it would be a good beer for my first review.

Appearance - Pleasant, not much head at all, less than a finger. Minimal to no lacing.

Smell - Vanilla with a hint of nuttiness. Not too bad, but for some reason I`ve had better pours.

Taste - Maple notes up front, desolving into vanilla notes the deeper you get into it. There`s a bitter note there as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium amounts of carbonation, and a crisp and clear, slightly bitter feel.

Overall - Very drinkable. The vanilla is really the key here, it is what makes it as palatable as it is. I most likely will order again next time I am at the pub that offers this beer, seeing as it`s the best one on tap. I will order it soon, especially if I am having a dessert.

beerayrton, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of dougfredell
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. As far as I'm concerned it is the best tasting local beer in Vancouver. It reminds me of Unibroue beers from Quebec, which is high praise. Awesome beer!

I guess it was slightly foggy - but I don't care about that at all - so long as there's no actual chunks in it.

Presumably it tastes better because it's more fresh. It's only available in the fall, so theoretically it's been brewed more recently.

dougfredell, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of ChrisCage
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

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!

ChrisCage, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of JayAre46
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured firmly into a tulip produced 1 1/2 fingers of white head that reduce to a sheet that covers the top, auburn mahogany pretty deep and close to opaque. minimal lacing

A - get some pale malts and vanilla extract that smells absolutely great while not over powering maybe some earthy tones along with slight nutty aroma

T - Holy shit, up front the pale roasted malts, then the vanilla extract dominance this beer tastes very similar to the soda A&W makes, cream soda? very different beer, absolute vanilla bomb, the nose definitely suggests this flavor but not this much. Im not sure what to think exactly whether im enjoying it or not, perhaps on the slopes this might hit the spot...no hop presence or alcohol the cream soda is absolutely dominant.

M - light to medium bodied, medium carbonation, lost all focus from this cream soda....jesus christ maybe this is what a cream ale should be. slightly soothing on the palate, im going to say that this does not have a high drinkability when temps are over 50F and i live in texas....and its may

O - Thank you rutager for this brew,quite the experience. i have put this brew off for sometime now because i always looked at it and thought to myself, i already know what that tastes like...never have i ever been so wrong, the aroma got me thinking real quick im in for it. The character of this beer stands out a lot to me and while im not loving it, i am liking it and also can see how could this may be on the side of a mountain.

JayAre46, May 07, 2011
Photo of Rutager
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Rutager, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of wreckless
4.08/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

wreckless, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of CrazyMike
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber brown appearance with bubbly head that disappears quickly. Has a sweet smell similar to maple syrup with a hint of caramel and vanilla.

Has a strong vanilla taste with malt and nuts as well. Has a nice blend of spices, has a hint of caramel and bread. Taste overall is almost similar to the smell. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Aftertaste is bitter and leaves a lingering vanilla taste in your mouth.

Overall this is a pretty decent winter beer, the overtly vanilla and caramel taste helps it stand out over other beers. Should give it a try when it's available.

CrazyMike, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of andrenaline
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another in-person trade acquisition.

A - Pours a crystal clear copper brown, thin layer of head with no real retention, no lacing, and decent visible carbonation on the body.

S - This one is super bready with some rye malt characteristics, buttered bread, caramel, cinnamon and vanilla.

T - Holy vanilla! Though rather discreet on the nose, the vanilla comes through quite strong on the flavour followed by sweet caramel and buttered bread. Bit of a pepsi-cola flavour to it as well, very unique and tasty.

M - This stuff goes down smooth, but it is a tad watery.

D - I like this winter warmer because the flavours are mild enough that you could enjoy several in one sitting. Definitely a tasty offering from Ganville and I will be buying more of this.

andrenaline, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

joemcgrath27, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of EskimoDave
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lions Winter Ale is a blood red beer. Vanilla dominates the nose with a milk chocolateliness to it. This carries over to the taste of the beer. Toffee is subtly present in the background through out. The low carbonation leads to an incredible smooth beer with a solid medium body. There is a residual cloying sweetness in the finish.

EskimoDave, Apr 20, 2010
Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.