Lions Winter Ale | Granville Island Brewery

BA SCORE
83
good
249 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:
249
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
Ratings: 249 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of Mikeharris27
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MatthewWalters
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 22Blue
3.74/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of theDuck
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 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 OneTuffPony
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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 mark_mla
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seems very vanilla. Ok but prefer their English bay pale ale

60 characters

Photo of kevofficiel
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale

Look: Dark brown medium carbonation

Smell: chocolate malts vanilla and a touch of mint maybe

Taste: Chocolate, vanilla, mint.

Feels: mild carbonation

So overall would I recommend it? Yes give it a try, you won t be dissapointed. One of my favorite Granville Island Brewering

 314 characters

Photo of SirDirtJoe
3.69/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MattCampbell
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fortyfield
4.04/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A shiny copper colour, noticeable carbonation, and a thin off white head forms. Doesn't stay long and doesn't have strong legs.

The smell is a strong aroma of chocolate which outweighs any of the other scents, though there may be some detectable vanilla as well. Chocolate is stronger but still not overwhelming. Very enjoyable.

The flavours come off as the aroma suggests. This is an interesting winter warmer, not quite like any of the 5 or so that I've had. The chocolate dominance is very enjoyable in the style.

The feel is just slightly thin and prickly, which to me is the only slightly disappointing aspect of the beer.

Overall I am very impressed and slightly surprised by this beer. It is one of my favourite winter warmers and is also my favourite beer from Granville Island. For the $3 price of the can, I recommend giving this a try.

 851 characters

Photo of al_al1357
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very interesting beer served from a can. Beautiful colour with a quickly dissapating but small remaining head. Not much on the nose other than molasses and chocolate. The taste is quite fascinating with notes of spices, cocoa, vanilla and sweet molasses. Smooth and creamy on the finish making this a very enjoyable beer for the long Canadian winter.

 352 characters

Photo of mattumeo
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jotora
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hunterjames
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of crimsonknight331
4.36/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is just an all around exceptional beer. It looks good, it smells good, and most importantly it tastes great.

It has that sweet fresh taste of winter Ales and it does it well. It tastes almost like a candy cane, which is perfect for that Christmas feel, but ends with the distinct ale taste.

Overall it's not the best winter ale I've ever had, that goes to Okanagan Springs winter ale but the Lions by Granville Island is a very close second.

 449 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 headlessparrot
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

For such a widely available, mass-produced seasonal, it's actually pretty tasty. So that's the good news. The bad news is that it doesn't hold a candle to the really great versions of the style out there (I'm thinking of Deschutes' Jubelale, in particular).

Pours a cola colour, ruby-ish around the edges. Decent, carbonation-heavy head that recedes fairly quickly to a few islands. Smell is cocoa powder (like hot chocolate mix?), artificial vanilla, caramel malt, chocolate malt? Chocolate milk syrup? And the taste echoes most of those notes, even down to the almost gritty, chocolate-powder-like flavour. Some dark cherry notes? The vanilla feels a bit off, here, somehow synthetic? And the whole affair is rather sweet. Body is light--almost too light, and yet it feels heavy in its sweetness and artificiality.

A mixed bag. I always remember this one fondly, but every year when it finds its way back into rotation, I'm reminded why I'm never that sad to see it go again in the spring.

 993 characters

Photo of Tpop1005
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Mousel
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mad00d1
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of InsideLiquorMan
2.78/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Tried this beer with high expectations. Seems to be a big hit on here and in my store, but I was not very impressed. The smell is amazing. Lots of chocolate, molasses, caramel and coffee. It has a really nice, dark, dark ruby red color that is almost more black than red. Taste is not impressive. This is not a beer for me. Way, way too sweet and heavy with that molasses taste to it. Almost like a dessert drink. Honestly, i'll take a spiced ale over this any day of the week. Not to say this stuff doesn't sell amazingly well in the winter season, but it's not for me and if you're an IPA, lager, pilsner or lighter beer guy, you won't like this. A beer is not supposed to be sweetened. Not going to try this again.

 718 characters

Photo of KaraBoBeera
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lions Winter Ale from Granville Island Brewery
3.69 out of 5 based on 249 ratings.
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