Father John's Winter Ale | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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84
good
68 Ratings
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Father John's Winter AleFather John's Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
howesound.com

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BDTyre on 11-17-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
68
Reviews:
33
Avg:
3.76
pDev:
11.97%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
6
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 68 |  Reviews: 33
Photo of LampertLand
3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound's 'Father John's Winter Ale' @ 7.0% , 1L pot-stopper bottle , paid $10
A-pour is a rich brown with some xmas red along the glass edge , a beige head which left little lacing along the pint glass
S-sweet spices (caramel , cinnamon , nutmeg , vanilla)
T-malty like a brown ale , no hop presence at all
MF-medium body , light/medium carbonation , don't taste or feel the 7% ABV
Ov-an ok beer , best part is the re-useable Pot Stopper bottle for home brewing

cheers LampertLand

 485 characters

Photo of LagerHOGGER
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of KalanM
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of urbantornado
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.3/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber with a full finger of just off white head, noticeable lack of bubbles, and just a scant lacing drifting over the cap.

S: Sweet candy/caramel with bourbon vanilla and not a hint of hops. Very sweet smell with out any bread or yeast notes.

T: Sweet malts and a little bit of artifical caramel taste. Finishes warm, smooth with the bourbon vanilla, similar to a tiny sip of bourbon. It's a caramel and vanilla brew for sure, I'd like to have this after dessert and sip like an after dessert night cap.

M: spanning between light to medium body and a surprise buzz on carbonation on the tongue with each sip.

O: Father John's Winter Ale a great brew to pair with winter snacks of dried fruit, soft cheese and crackers. Comes in a full litre its warming and predictable, tastes are simple and straight forward easy to drink and enjoyable on a cool winter night.

 878 characters

Photo of 4ster
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Coastal_Brew
4.25/5  rDev +13%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of spointon
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 1 liter crown capped brown bottle into an Imperial nonic pint glass. The bottle is also outfitted with a swing-top closure, making it extra useful for my home brewing hobby!

A= This ale poured a mahogany brown color with some reddish orange highlights. With a fairly aggressive pour the beige head rose about 1.5" and then settled to a 1/4" thick cap. Not much in the way of lacing.

S= This bottle is getting a little old for a winter spiced ale, but its holding up pretty well. I smelled cinnamon and nutmeg first, followed by some nice vanilla and ginger notes. There was a detectable amount of oxidation as is common for a spiced ale such as this, but it was not a deal-breaker.

T= The flavor started off fairly clean, with a light chewy malt character reminiscent of an amber or lighter brown ale. The spices are all there but they are not overwhelming. Nice balance of spices actually. Not much in the way of hop flavor (a good thing) with just enough bitterness to balance. Finished medium dry and spicy.

MF= Medium bodied with a slight creamy mouthfeel and a spritzy carbonation level.

D= A nicely spiced ale that packs the ABV and just enough spice to make it a successful winter warmer. I would have liked to try this when it was super fresh and the spices were at their best but it was still damn good. Would drink again if given the chance.

 1,386 characters

Photo of Syr
3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.36/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer pours a dense reddish-brown body with a glow at the base of the glass. There is a thick bubbly beige head that last a bit.

S- The slightly sweet malt aroma has some toast notes and a brassy molasses and dry spice finish.

T- The brassy molasses character has a slight fishy character to it with a dried spice blend in the finish that lingers as molasses and vanilla.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz and no real alcohol heat.

O- This beer is heavy on the spice flavor which is a bit odd or cooked in flavor. The malt and hops are buried underneath but some vanilla hint is welcome in the finish. The description on the bottle says it uses yellow sugar? which I hope is different than yellow snow but I don't think I will try this one again.

 792 characters

Photo of w00ddy
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of TheBarnes
4.5/5  rDev +19.7%

Photo of hannaho
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -33.5%

Photo of leaddog
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark and hazy copper brown, bubbles present, with a fine white head. Slight lacing on the glass.

Smell - Winter spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Slight aromas of ginger, vanilla, and citrus (orange peel).

Taste - The winter spices are the predominant flavour, co-starring flavours of molasses, citrus, and hops. Nice balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Very bubbly with plenty of carbonation. Medium bodied ale that goes down smooth (despite all the bubbles). Spices leave a refreshing aftertaste.

Overall - A good example of a winter warmer by Howe Sound, incorporating all the spices of the season. I was pleasantly surprised by the high volume of bubbles, as other winter warmers I have sampled recently have dialed down the carbonation. A great warm-up ale after a day in the snow or on the slopes!

 847 characters

Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of chickenm
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of EskimoDave
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of Briken
2.77/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy red amber with big tan foamy head, poor retention and lacing. Light floral and spice aroma. Light sweet and spice taste with light hops for balance. Thin lager finish. Smooth even feel.

Easy drinking and smooth but spice and sweet dominate with really no discernable flavor, very muddy. Alcohol is well blended. Not really a challenging or special brew just an easy drinking winter warmer. My overall impression is it’s kind of tasteless especially considering all its vaunted ingredients. But it does come in a big 1 liter bottle with a swing top (course it is also $11).

 589 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

father john's winter ale

a 4 light to medium brown with a creamy long lasting off-white head.

s 4 smells of cherries and toasted malts. kind of like a brown ale mixed with abt.

t 3.5 lacks the fullness of flavor suggested by the nose. and it's a little tannic for my taste. but it's not hard to put back even for the uninitiated, so that's nice.

m 3.5-4 medium bodied, pleny of carbonation.

d 3.5 the bottle is probably the best part, and the beer is drinkable.

 466 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first of a series of tastings following our Christmas beer exchange... Thanks Joe!

A - Pours a nice amber colour, finger of head with solid retention, recedes to small islands, decent visible body carbonation and no real lacing.

S - Very complex and full of spices, namely, nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of ginger. The bready caramel malts also come through.

T - This one is heavy on the spices, with the Christmas cake and ginger snap flavours coming through. Some toffee notes and the slightest chocolate malt are also present.

M - No complaints here, medium bodied ale that goes down smooth and doesn't finish overly dry.

D - This is a complex ale with lots of flavours going on. I'm glad I'm splitting this bottle and it would be difficult to take down more than one. A very worthy winter warmer though, and highly recommended for this holiday season.

 863 characters

Photo of beertunes
2.98/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 1liter swing-top bottle into 10oz glass. Poured a very nice, clean reddish-amber with just under an inch of light tan head that had good retention and low lacing.

The aroma was mostly sweet malts and just a trace of the expected spices. There an odd sharpness on the tongue, slightly metallic, otherwise the flavors were fairly typical, just on the benign side.

The body was a couple steps too thin for the style. Drinkability was decent, but not really note-worthy. Overall, a decent, if unspectacular, take on the style. The format is too large for personal consumption, but it's worth sharing with friends if you try it.

 637 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.09/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured cloudy deep orange-amber, one finger of beige white head that dissipated quickly

S - strong scent of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, fruity, like a christmasy potpourri. Also sweet molasses with rich malts.

T - sweet & toasty malts, then the nutmeg, cinnamon, and spice take over, reminding me of eggnog, with light fruity flavour as well

M - relatively light feel, nice carbonation, with the spiciness filling the mouth and lasting on the tounge

D - the product definitely lived up to the description on the bottle. It really reminded me of a christmas fruitcake, which I generally don't like, but in beer form it's pretty enjoyable. Left me with a warm feeling that would hit the spot on a cold winter evening. Very unique!

 733 characters

Photo of ChrisCage
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- This comes in a cool 1L "pot stopper" bottle, which is nice as I can re-seal this beer once I've had enough! It pours a rich red/orange/amber color with a nice thick, if not a bit too fizzy off white head. The carbonation otherwise looks relatively fine, and the lacing is not really there much, hence a slightly lower score than I'd like to give.

S- This has a very nice aroma that doesn't overpower my nose. It smells of sweet malts, and has a nice combo of wintery spices, including nutmeg on the forefront and some deeper aromas of ginger perhaps and a bit of clove as well. The hop bitterness is there as well but it isn't really strong.

T- First I have to say that the 7% alcohol is really well hidden in this brew. I really like the mixture of sweet and spicyness....I initially detect the malts that are used in the beer, and then I get a bit of a spicy flavor that actually tingles my palate a bit on the finish (the ginger?). The finish also has some mild bitterness that just catches my palate.

M- The body is on the thinner side, which is slightly disappointing. The carbonation, however is mild, providing for a smooth drinking beer. I really am reminded of all the goodness of winter foods and spices with this beer!

D- While this brew wouldn't be something that I'd drink over and over, I really do enjoy this and will have no problem finishing off this litre once this review is done! It has a nice balance and is a nice take on the style...actually one of the better ones that I've had! I recommend anyone to pick this up and enjoy!

 1,556 characters

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Father John's Winter Ale from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.76 out of 5 based on 68 ratings.
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