Lions Winter Ale - Granville Island Brewery
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Ratings: 164 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
3.69/5 rDev +0.8%
Actually a fairly interesting brew built around a very nice malt backbone. Very sweet, but not overpowering, nicely balanced off by hop bitterness. Interesting flavours of vanilla, caramel, cocoa, dark fruit work together well.
Clear coppery-amber brew under a short head that settles to a steady cap and gives up lots of lace. A pretty beer.
Nose is full of vanilla, caramel, very pleasant malt character.
I like this simply because it comes off as fun to drink. Lots of simple, interesting things happening in the glass. On one hand almost comes off as caramel sundae topping, but is quickly brought around by malt and spice.
Reminds me off a lighter, poor man's Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock. Nicely done.
05-25-2013 02:11:30 | More by TerryW
3.68/5 rDev +0.5%
(4.0) A: Beautiful clear mahogany-amber with a sizeable and creamy head. Recedes to a blanket fairly quick while clinging to the glass well.
(4.0) S: Dry cocoa, vanilla, marshmallows, figs and dates, some dark fruits (mostly cherries), and spice. Overall leans towards a generally sweet (marshmallow & cocoa) aroma but it’s very enticing and wonderful stuff.
(3.5) T: Cocoa, dark fruits, nutmeg, and caramel. The taste comes across as a subdued and scaled back version of the aroma. Slight mineral quality. Restrained hop and malt presence.
(3.5) M: Lighter bodied with a lighter carbonation. Fairly thin, a bit powdery, and rather flat.
(3.75) D: Flavours could be more prominent and mouthfeel is lacking a bit, but overall still a decent winter ale. This would actually be a good gateway winter ale to introduce to those just getting into spiced/hoppy ales.
04-19-2013 01:54:09 | More by Digimaika2
3.5/5 rDev -4.4%
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
3.53/5 rDev -3.6%
Appearance: A respectable amount of lace with two fingers of head that retained respectably as well compliments a deep ruby red body with low carbonation.
Smell: Vanilla, caramel, and candy cane mint with huge brown sugar smells. It's strong and didn't need a lot of warming to come out, but it smells like it's going to be sickeningly sweet.
Taste: As I predicted, this beer is REALLY sweet. It starts with caramel malt mixed with molasses and brown sugar that turns more herbal as candy cane mint, cinnamon and vanilla notes come out and then fade away. It's just so overwhelmingly sweet...I'm almost inclined to think of it more like a liquor then a beer.
Mouthfeel: The carbonation is very low, and I think it's absence is what is letting some of the sweeter elements run wild here. The sweetness thankfully doesn't linger as a nice cinnamon/nutmeg note provides nice closure.
Drinkability: I don't know if I could stomach more then two or three of these. It's surprisingly heavy bodied, which you wouldn't think at first, but then makes sense as they must had added a lot of spice and malt to this to make it so sweet. Still it goes down well enough.
Final Thoughts: Well, this beer tastes like Christmas, simply put, and like Christmas, it is good it only comes around once a year. The good outweighs the bad here, but I wouldn't want to drink this on a regular basis.
03-30-2013 00:05:53 | More by TheHammer
4.46/5 rDev +21.9%
This is one pleasant ale that reminds me of Christmas. Deep brownish red with a thick, creamy, two finger head, this beer is a beauty to behold. Smells of banana bread, malts, caramel, vanilla and winter fruits. Tastes delicious. Big bold malts, bready character, strong hint of vanilla, some banana and plums... Mouthfeel is velvety and smooth. Too bad I'm having this during the spring.
03-29-2013 23:16:13 | More by slitherySOB
3.74/5 rDev +2.2%
Chestnut is always a handsome colour for a winter seasonal and, indeed, Lions Winter Ale has a look that exudes both class and personality. It demonstrates flawless clarity, decent froth and is rich with gleaming highlights. You'd sell a lot of magazines with this on the cover!
A bit quiet initially, the aromas of vanilla and creamy caramel build effortlessly once they've had a chance to properly breathe. A dash of carob and pecan-like nuttiness also grows on you, as does the faintest whiffs of waffle and bittersweet Belgian chocolate. These sweet, universally appealing scents make a very friendly introduction.
The vanilla flavouring is hardly creamy or candy-sweet - it tastes like vanilla pod not vanilla cupcake. Still, the beer feels a bit artificial. The toffee and creamy caramel notes aren't the subtler, nuanced type typically suggested by specialty malts - they are the kind you get in a store-bought cake. The flavours are rather buoyant and very toothsome, which isn't bad...
though it must be said that there is hardly a palpable taste of winter in this 'winter ale'. Christmas, maybe, because of a carob/nutmeg-like spice. But winter? This doesn't quite have the body, strength or makeup to match the harsh realities of a (non-Pacific) Canadian winter.
British Columbia's Lions Winter Ale is kind of a reflection of where it's brewed. It would be a great pint to share with friends after a mild day on the slopes, but it doesn't have the depth and complexity to support a long night of solitary inner-reflection in the midst of a dark, dead, frost-bound environment. Very tasty stuff, but buy accordingly.
03-08-2013 02:24:19 | More by biegaman
Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.