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Lions Winter Ale | Granville Island Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
70 Reviews
THE BROS
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Lions Winter AleLions Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by IronDjinn on 10-11-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
70
Ratings:
229
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
27.03%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
61
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 229
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

473 mL can from the LCBO; packaged in October (apparently their codes only provide the month). I've tried this brew before, and although that particular occurrence was now many years ago, I do remember enjoying it. Served only slightly chilled.

Pours a clear ruby-copper colour, topped with one finger of off-white head that wastes no time fizzling away into a creamy collar and thin film on the surface. Almost no lacing, but other than that it looks fine. Sniffing this stuff definitely brought back some good memories - the pronounced vanilla and milk chocolate sweetness gives it a relatively unique and recognizable profile, with underlying notes of butterscotch and hazelnuts. Enjoyable, but it really reminds me of Vanilla Coke which makes me think something artificial was used. Maybe I'm paranoid.

Nice, light, drinkable flavour with a good mix of malty flavours, spice and hops. Vanilla is still a major contributor, with more hazelnut and toasted malt backing than the aroma lets on. Small hints of maple and chocolate, with some modest spice and vaguely herbal hop notes. Surprisingly dry finish, with the vanilla and spice lingering into the aftertaste. Fairly light-bodied, bordering on watery, with moderate carbonation levels. Very drinkable for the style, due to its lightness and restrained abv/spice.

Final Grade: 3.67, a serviceable B grade. Granville Island's Lions Winter Ale is a highly quaffable, enjoyable little warmer in its own right, but what it comes down to is this - if someone gave this to me blindfolded, I seriously might mistake it for Vanilla Coke or cream soda, and for that reason I really can't take it seriously. This isn't the greatest winter beer in the world, but it's still a charming brew with far more drinkability than the average warmer. Of the Granville brews I've tried, this is easily the best and probably the only one I would seriously consider recommending to others, or re-purchasing.

 1,943 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerWatcher
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark cherry wood pour with an ever so slightly off white head.
Aromas are all vanilla and chocolate bars.
Tastes are totally the same with the addition, of a sneaky hop bitterness on the finish.
Overall, if you like a sweet beer, it's hard to go wrong with this offering.

 271 characters

Photo of Justindouglas7
1.5/5  rDev -59.5%

Photo of beerhunter13
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Dalia
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Doppelmax
4.57/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

 918 characters

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

 1,222 characters

Photo of BCborn
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of LDuke
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of MJ63
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of biboergosum
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle, procured in Vancouver a few weeks ago - I don't think that I got to traverse the titular bridge then, though!

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 and spiced 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, and sweetly boozy vanilla.

The carbonation is just about average in its supportive frothiness, 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 to their own devices.

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.

 1,217 characters

Photo of smirks
4.48/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Tall boy can, chilled, poured into a pint glass.

Look: 1.5 inches of cream-colored, foamy head that dissipated fairly quickly (~3min). Color is a very red amber, almost a scarlet cream soda color. Lots of very prominent carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Predominently cocoa powder, like hot chocolate mix, dry, faint, milky.

Taste: Immediate cocoa powder taste with a hint of mint. Also a milky, creamy cream-soda vanilla flavour, followed by a roasty, chestnut quality and a little hops bitterness at the end before a final sour ale note. There is more going on than in the nose.

Feel: Pleasant carbonation, slightly thicker but not creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: An interesting winter offering. Comforting, like hot chocolate. Just enough flavour complexity and sweetness to be warming without throwing the entire spice rack into it.

Pairing: I would honestly drink this with powdered donuts.

 900 characters

Photo of mattguterres
5/5  rDev +35.1%

Photo of CWVegas
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of jcubz
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bryanzk
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Archy
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Enjoying this one during the first snow of the year. A bit on the sweet side with heavy caramel notes. I think it could handle a bit more of a hoppy kick to balance the sweetness. Nonetheless, it was enjoyable and lived up to being a winter warmer.

 251 characters

Photo of DavidGross
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Aaronvanderleek
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
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

 593 characters

Photo of RandyFlameThrower
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of cletetron
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of 1stOffender
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ZiggyPop
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

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Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.
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