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Great Lakes Winter Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Winter AleGreat Lakes Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

88 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 88
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Inspired by the long, cold and seemingly endless Canadian winter, our 6.2% alcohol Winter Ale is a true winter warmer. Handcrafted with specialty hops and malts, combined with generous amounts of cinnamon, honey, ginger and orange peel, this unique beer is brimming with flavour.

(Beer added by: pootz on 12-10-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 88 | Reviews: 59 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pisstank52
4.75/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle at the LCBO in Ancaster , Ont. Love trying these winter ales available at the Liquor store eh! Found it to be spicy and a great winter ale eh! It's the first time I've tried the Winter Ale from Great Lakes Brewery and I can honestly tell you it won't be my last. Great taste and package , and and real crowd pleaser eh!

Pisstank52, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of Vyronian
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Vyronian, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Voonder
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nut-brown colour with white foamy head which dissapeared pretty quickly. Smell - spices hit nose right away, ginger, citrus, coriander, then malts become noticeable. Very comlex smell. Nice! Taste - spices again - cinnamon, ginger bread, some toffe perhaps. It is the winter warmer as it should be - complex, spicy, boozy. Carbonation is just right. Drinkability - good.
Very nice brew. Thanks to both bobsy and Viggo for this, one wouldn't be enough anyway;)

Voonder, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andrew who brought this one over for the Super Bowl.

A: Pours a nice nutty brown hue with a creamy tan head. Okay retention exhibited, but no lace resulted.

S: Light sweet malt up front with notes of caramel, cinnamon, and ginger.

T: Wonderful flavors abound. Great sweet malt gives this beer a wonderful backbone. Nice holiday spices come out with perfect amounts of cinnamon and ginger. Nothing too overpowering though. Light lemon hops in the finish make this a very tasty treat.

M: Medium in body smooth with nice carbonation.

D: Damn drinkable. My problem with most spiced beers is they go overthetop. Great Lakes did not do this the balance of malt, and spice was wonderful and actually complemented one another. A touch of hops help to pull it off in the finish.

A real tasty winter treat.

tpd975, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of randallpink
4/5  rDev +13.3%

randallpink, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of mrnobody
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a clear reddish-brown with 3 fingers of off-white head which leaves ample sticky lacing.

S: Smells of orange, cinnamon, like a fruitcake!

T: As per the aroma, tastes of malt, fruit and spice. A late contribution from hops also but definitely not the focus here.

M: The mouthfeel is medium and a little sticky with good carbonation.

D: Very drinkable.

This is exactly what I expect from a winter warmer in the aroma and flavour departments: fruit and spice. Not the English approach of just making a malty ale with slightly higher ABV.

mrnobody, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of jaz58
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. 6.2% alc./vol.

The nose was a nice combination of lemon and sweet malt.

When poured in a glass a thick blonde coloured head formed which dissipated slowly. The ale was a clear reddish brown colour with a decent amount of effervescence.

Wonderful hints of nutmeg, ginger and coriander and in the distance a little orange. Very smooth mouthfeel and a nice dry finish.

A nice ale to sip on a wintery night by the fireplace. A good beer for the holiday season.

jaz58, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of fizzyted
4/5  rDev +13.3%

fizzyted, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of leaddog
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep copper with two fingers of foamy beige head.

Smell - Cinnamon, ginger, honey, orange peel, malts, slight leafy hops.

Taste - Warm winter spices (cinnamon, ginger, clove) with a touch of honey sweetness. Good malt and hop balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A cohesive blend of classic winter spices and flavours. Well balanced and a tasty treat.

leaddog, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Kremlock
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper and hues of amber in colour. Pours a nice thick (1/2 inch) head that is off white. sort of Irish cream diluted with some milk. There is a bit of a haze and the beer lacing continues through the end.

S: Spicy notes of cinnamon, cloves, ginger right off with loads of bread and caramel. Smells like creme brule and has a bit of alcohol in the background.

T: Ginger and cinnamon come threw very well with some ginger in the back. Hints of oranges mingle with the bready and toffee flavours.

M: Med-low body, has good carbonation, dry finish with a lasting bitterness.

O: I love this Winter Warmer. It has the spiciness you'd expect, the bread/caramel/toffee flavours to balance it and it has loads of hops for a nice bitter end. This is perfect for our weather.

Kremlock, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of KrisDLSmith
4/5  rDev +13.3%

KrisDLSmith, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Molson2000, Sep 11, 2012
Photo of MerkurKing16
4/5  rDev +13.3%

MerkurKing16, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of kelvarnsen
4/5  rDev +13.3%

kelvarnsen, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of nighthawk
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle with no production/best before date.

Pours a clear brown with deep gold-amber hues. Lots of carbonation produces a fizzy head, but it quickly sinks to a small island of haze on the surface of the beer.

Ginger and nutmeg prominent on the nose, with a bit of clove. Background sweetness to it, like molasses or caramel maybe.

Smoothness of initial taste is countered by spicy ginger. Some sweetness to it; a muted honey butterscotch. Long ginger finish, but it isn't heavy handed, providing a nice spicy finish without overpowering. There's a faint bitter citrus in there - I'm guessing from the orange peel.

Smooth, medium-light body with a counteracting zing from light carbonation and the spiciness of the ginger. It's probably a touch too light for my tastes.

Somewhere in between a quaffer and a sipper; the smoothness and light sweetness makes you want to down it, but the ginger reels you in.

The ginger is a pleasant surprise in this one, giving it a nice spice without utterly overpowering the other flavours.

nighthawk, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally got around to popping this baby open. Attractive Christmas tree etching. Pours a dark orange red, clear. Not surprisingly, not much head, lacings are spotty.

Sweet, malty nose. Caramel, maple and a hint of cinnamon. Nice, but not that strong really.

Not at all what I was expecting. With all the ingredients listed I was expecting something much more flavourful with a bit of an edge. Instead i get a pretty quaffable, malty, smooth ale with a hint of spice. Nice ginger on first contact. Orange peel gives a sort of juiciness to the beer. Cinnimon is quite subdued. Star of the show is some really tasty, chewy malt, yummmm. What little bitterness there is has a fight on its hands with the mix of spices, hard to tell what comes out.

Very drinkable for the alcohol, no harshness at all. I really enjoy the malt character of these Great Lakes brews. I really enjoyed this one.

CanuckRover, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of CrazyMike
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber brown appearance with decent head. Smells heavily of malt, picked up some orange and spices.

Taste is very malty and lots of cinnamon. Slight orange taste to it. Bitter and spicy. Dark bodied with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is malty and sweet.

Overall, very unique dark beer. Definatly something you would drink in the winter. Curious to try other beers from Great Lakes now.

CrazyMike, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of marty21
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear amber with 3 fingers worth of off white head. Settles to a nice cap and thick lacing covers the entire glass.

S: Orange peel, cinnamon, caramel and some spices for the aroma.

T: Caramel malt with some spices and floral hops. Finishes with some bread.

M: Medium carbonation with a medium body.

D: I enjoyed this one. The spices and aren't too overpowering but they aren't weak which is perfect. A 750ml bottle is no problem with this beer. The taste doesn't get tiring at all.

marty21, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Long813
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Duvel Tulip

A: Dark copper body with two fingers of off white head that has good retention. Leaving faint lacing.

S: Mix of spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Biscuity aromas in the back along with notes of sweet malts.

T: Same as smell. The spices are very dominant here which is not what I was expecting. Biscuit and hint of sweet malts come together for something very pleasant.

M: Medium bodied and medium-low carbonation. Leaves a nice sweet and spicy feeling and goes down smooth.

D: Different take on a winter water than I am use to, but it is good none the less. It's also at an amazing price. Great beer for ontario.

Long813, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of MrHall
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Duvel tulip

A: Pours a clear dark reddish brown with a big tan head that has decent retention and some lacing.

S: orange, honey, toffee

T: malty orange, at the front followed by a kick of alcohol and hops. (I start to wonder: Is this just a "brown ale" hybrid of their pumpkin and orange ales?)

M: Pretty even - not too thin, and nice carbonation.

D: pretty easy to drink.

This was my first introduction to Winter Ales - 2 years ago, and perhaps my palate has changed. I can't decide if I like this better than, say, St. Peter's.

I don't think I do.

MrHall, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of korguy123
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Release in a 750ml bottle.

A- Muddy brown with deep ruby highlights. Three finger soapy off white head. Thin cap is all that's left after several minutes. Lacing is excellent webbing all over the glass.

S- Huge ginger, honey and very dry cinnamon. Slight orange, very subdued under the ginger.

T- Like drinking ginger snaps covered in cinnamon. Definitely getting the sweetness from the honey but not getting the orange peel. This is an excellent winter beer (if you don't have a problem with ginger and cinnamon)

M- Medium bodied, dry lingering aftertaste.

O- I can really see where they were heading with this one. The spices don't offend me, they are a tad over powering but you quickly get used to it.

korguy123, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of pootz
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brewery and bottled in 750 ML stenciled corked bottles for cellaring:

You get a rich copper colored ale in your glass with a substantial puffy cap which lasts...Aromas of the honey, spices and malts give an impression of an Xmas pudding with oranage sauce.

Decent malt spine, smooth palate, spicey-bready character.

Up front the cookie dough malts are there to chew on then the balance comes from the spices which seem to blend nicely with the hops chosen for this brew. Mid palate you get the fruitiness and citrus peel tastes developing...finished clean, slightly sweet and warming with a tang from the spice and hops.

A very well done winter warmer ale.

***imbibing tip: serve this ale at about 50 deg.F and let it warm as you drink it to get all the spice and citrus flavours.

pootz, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at C'est What.

This beer appears a slightly cloudy medium reddish brown hue, with one finger of off-white soapy head, which leaves no lace. It smells of caramel malt, nutmeg, and light cloves. The taste is spicy nutmeg, ginger, and sweet bready malt. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, fruity, and smooth, and it finishes soft, with some extra caramel and Christmas spice.

A decent holiday spiced ale, just as the cold air has returned.

biboergosum, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of peensteen
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper/red colour, ring of tan head, good retention and lacing left behind. Smell is full of cinnamon and malt, bready with citrus notes, most notably orange, faint nutty scents come off of this as well. Taste is fairly malty, bready with cinnamon, lots of spice, light herbal flavours, fairly hoppy, moderate bitterness throughout. Medium carbonation, medium body, good feel. This is a pretty good brew however putting this in a 750ml bottle is completley unnecessary, a smaller serving would be more than adequate.

peensteen, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes in a nice looking 750ml bottle. Pours a beautiful deep reddish/orange/brown with a nice dedicated thick off-white head that sticks around to the last drop.

The only thing I get from the aroma is cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and some malty sweetness.

The taste is similar, very cinnamony and gingery with other spices, the alcohol comes up as it warms up and more flavours come out, dried fruit, caramel.

Not a bad beer, but it needs more body and more malt, it's missing something

GodOfBeer, Feb 02, 2009
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Great Lakes Winter Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.