Lions Winter Ale | Granville Island Brewery

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83
good
248 Ratings
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Lions Winter AleLions Winter Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Granville Island Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
gib.ca

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
Ratings:
248
Reviews:
75
Avg:
3.69
pDev:
15.18%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
71
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Ratings: 248 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of mattguterres
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of bunruh
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of BradnerBoy
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of PanicFox
4.94/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Vyronian
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of boszormeny
4.73/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of indysamra
4.72/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A smooth dark Ale, its name serves it well. On a cold evening, theres nothing quite like a Granville Island Lions Winter Ale. It warms you nicely, and your first taste leaves your mind wandering as to what ingredients make up this aromatic ale. Although, it's flavored with vanilla, I'm led to believe that its actually made up of something a little more nutty.

Nutmeg like. This is the one thing I miss most about winters in Vancouver.

To experience this ale to its full capacity, i really would suggest visiting the Granville Island Brewery, on a winters day, taking up a window seat, and admiring the snow fall as you kick your feet back, and just enjoy that holiday aroma as the smooth ale does exactly what its supposed to.

If you prefer darker ales: Guiness, Newcastle Brown, and most winter ales, you'll love this one.

Indy :o)

 846 characters

Photo of Tee76
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Doppelmax
4.57/5  rDev +23.8%
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 cletetron
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of frontalot
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Telestic
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of DarrenBrule
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of wolf6656
4.5/5  rDev +22%

I eagerly await the arrival of this ale in Ontario every year. This is exactly what it says. A Winter Ale. This is not a patio beer.
They make some other very good beers, but none excites me quite like this one.
This is easily in the top 5, probably top 3, beers I have ever had.
Every beer has it's proper place. This one is in my mouth.

 338 characters

Photo of rudiker81
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Daefido
4.5/5  rDev +22%

very sweet chocolate smell. That lasts to the end of drinking. fairly smooth comparing to other ales, I think. nice ruby or copper colour. pleasant feeling until the last drop.

 176 characters

Photo of smirks
4.48/5  rDev +21.4%
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 joesi
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

double edit: this seems like a very variable/two-faced beer, depending on the batch. I had a 6 pack from bottle, and one of a few that I had at room temperature tasted really nutty. I'm not sure why the others didn't. Sometimes it depends what you've eaten, but usually I don't eat anything before tasting beer (even hours), and just drink water.

Edit: Originally I tried it in a can, and now I tried it in bottle. Bottle seems a fair bit worse; I'm surprised that there's such a difference. Seems more watery, less flavorful. Could just be my perception though. The following review is only for the can.

Smells fantastic. I've had a couple other beers with this smell. Smells strongly of chocolate —liquor chocolates in particular— and some vanilla or cream soda smell as well. A bit of other typical beer smell perhaps, too, but mostly just the previous two.

Carbonation is medium high, and quite fine and not coarse. I like the mouthfeel.

Taste: Chocolate, vanilla (possibly a somewhat artificial vanilla? It reminds me of cream soda, granted cream soda is vanilla-flavored as well) are the most prominent. However, I can also notice a nice bit hops later on as it finishes, as well as occasionally some roasted taste. Overall the flavors are very well balanced in my opinion. Oh yes, and lastly it definitely tastes very sweet for a beer. I rather like that, especially for something that has chocolate and vanilla.

If I recall correctly, it reminds me of Waterloo Brown Ale with vanilla and chocolate flavors added to it. That was another sweet beer, but it didn't have as varied flavors as this, with most of it being roasted malt.

Overall I really love this beer. It's like a liquid desert — and while I've heard people describe beers like that before, this would be the first time I'd definitely or easily agree with them, more than any other beer I've had. Do note though that while I love it, if you don't like sweetness, or prefer prominent hops flavor, this probably isn't for you.

 2,007 characters

Photo of notheroic
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of slitherySOB
4.46/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

 388 characters

Photo of mortsbrews
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a treat. Deep amber colour, gentle notes of vanilla and chocolate. Very smooth drinking, can have a couple easily.

125 characters

Photo of RQuigley
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This tasting was opened as my Day 14th of beer in my Beer Advent Calendar for 2015. This is the 2nd year my wife has made me one of these and it is a great to open a beer every day.
Number 13 - 473ml can - 5.5% - 22IBU
A>4 : Dark with a light head
S>4.25 Vanilla
T>4.5 Hints on chocolate & vanilla
M>4.5 Smooth, creamy, like the finish, bit of a bight
Oall>4.5 Like this Winter Ale a lot. This is a great beer to just enjoy

Lions Winter Ale from Grandville Island Brewing from BC. rq @RorQuig

 500 characters

Photo of JPNesker
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow. Color me surprised. Looks like an amber and drinks like ... deep and delicious cake? Wow. Ohnomnomnoms.

109 characters

Photo of Guillaumeprovost
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a classic Pint glass.

A- Really thin collar of foam about 1/4 inch. Nice red/brown semi-transluscent color.

S- Pretty intense sugar smell.

M- Nothing really remarkable about the mouthfeel. Instead its really comforting to drink and well done. When you drink it you detect maple syrup aroma and fruits. Its really a winter warming stuff. I would probably buy again if I can.

O- Pretty cool beer wich goes down really easily. The aromas seems pretty authentics ( non-artificial ). The beer is overall really enjoyable and fun to drink

Cheers

 557 characters

Photo of timtwoface
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
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!

 708 characters

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Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 248 ratings.
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