Gin Lane Ale | Granite Brewery & Restaurant

16 Ratings
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Gin Lane AleGin Lane Ale

Brewed by:
Granite Brewery & Restaurant
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our “barley wine” is a very strong ale generously hopped with East Kent Goldings and Fuggles. A blend of 2 row, carastan, black malt and flaked barley give this ale a “winey” sweetness.

Added by Sammy on 11-23-2005

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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 13
Photo of RevCraig
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of waiting4lunch
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Wordslinger
2.25/5  rDev -39.5%

Photo of liamt07
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub, served in a chalice.

Came to my table as a mahogany/maroon, unfiltered. Finger of head falls to some bubbles and light retention, not a lot of lacing. Nose of sweet toffee, a whole bunch of indiscriminate berries (strawberry, raspberrry etc?) and a hint of tartness as a result, butter tarts. Alot of the same in the taste, an interesting mashup of this toffee and fruit combination. A bit of brown sugar as well. Somewhat sweet, but not as sweet as others I've had recently. No alcohol detectable, decent offering but I would've liked a bigger body to this. Different from what I recall this tasting like last year.

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Photo of NightINgale
4.52/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

675ml bottle poured into a large snifter glass...

A - Deep mahogany body to it, quite cloudy. Not much head. Some very small bubbles visible.

S - It's got a very pronounced cherry smell to it, also with plums and caramel. Slightly tart and with just a tad of funky leather notes. Some floral notes. Smells like a proper barley wine to me

T - Wow! At first it was extremely fruity, with lots of sour cherries and plums, followed by a very hearty malt breadiness, with caramel notes. Slightly tart, yet sweet. The finish was slightly dry, with some mild floral hops. As I was drinking more of it, the breadiness started to overpower the fruitiness, and more bitterness was coming through. Overall this was immensely flavourful and very enjoyable.

M - Medium (maybe medium-to-full) bodied. Quite smooth. Not much carbonation. The alcohol is unnoticeable at first, but as the beer warms up you will taste it a little (and will most definitely feel it!).

D - Very drinkable for a barley wine. At first it's hard to believe it is 9%abv!

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Photo of mrmanning
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler shared by Cratez. Deep caramel, slightly hazed. Pours a thin mocha head. Aromas of stone fruit, (citrus), plum and other pit fruit, caramel, a metallic twang, bread crust. Tastes very sweet, with almost no hops. Funny thing is that it doesn't seem to need much hops. The fruitiness and sweetness is good. Not overly so. Lots of plum and caramel, citrus, a slight metallic hit. Seems balanced, but the hops aren't present. A strange little beer that I enjoyed quite a lot. Thanks Mike, for sharing!

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Photo of cratez
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler enjoyed with friends. Mahogany brown in colour, ring of beige head, lots of spotted lace on the tulip. Smell and taste are sweetish malts, wood chips, leather, salted barley, a strange BBQ aroma, white plums, fresh cherries, caramel and roasted malts, some oatmeal, and a British hop bitterness to end. Aftertaste is mildly tart and sour. Pruney, vinous character, soft and delicate gooeyness in the mouthfeel. Light bodied for a barley wine, more like an English Strong Ale. A great beer that's worth seeking out.

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Photo of bobsy
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this a couple times last year and been left largely non-plussed, but after trying this cask-conditioned version of it I can only presume that the batches I've had previously were past their prime. The faint cheesiness that I observed back then is completely absent, and has been replaced by a vibrant, leafy hoppiness.

So, this cask has been specially produced for Volo's English Traditional Ales event, and was definitely one of the winners of the evening. It pours a tawny brown with a head of large off-white bubbles, which show decent retention despite their size. The nose, which was spicy and vinous at the granite, is now hoppy and fresh. Somewhat herbal and a touch piny, but with a substantial rich dark fruit aroma to back it up. The flavour makes me think that this has been specially dry-hopped for this release, as the hopping is certainly more to the fore than in previous incarnations, and actually pushes this one towards the American style, and away from the English, as was intended for this event. Aside from the leafy hopping, the malts bring excellent balance to this scene, and provide flavours of berry, biscuit, dried fruit and caramel. Not really any of the sherry or Madeira flavours you would expect in an English barleywine, and certainly not as sweet as many versions. Remarkably, the listed 9%ABV is not remotely discernible, and this drinks far too well. As I would expect from a brewpub that specialises in cask and English ales, they got the format down pat, and this can be seen in the rich depth of the body, which seems to have layers of texture that satisfy the soul.

This was a good night - Gin Lane was a beer I never 'got', and I felt that I hadn't come across a good pour of it yet. That's all changed now, though, and I can understand why this is viewed as one of the brewery's better beers. To be frank, I prefer my barleywines heavier and sweeter than this (in a word. 'sippers'), but this is a ridiculously drinkable offering that pitches itself more like a damn good ESB than anything. I'm glad to amend my review upwards!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body sporting a small, white head.

Smell: Relatively mild aroma, but you can glean notes of caramel, apricot juice, and marinated cherries.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness, then you receive a sharp, fruity blast of apricots and maraschino cherries. Gin Lane Ale offers no real hop bitterness, leaving you with a sweet, malty fruit juice. Just a hint of heat on the sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A fine, very easy-drinking barleywine.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear ruby with a long lasting, though smallish head.
S - Butter/toffee an caramel come to mind most. Very rich aroma.
T - Lots of hoppiness and alcohol that's really in-your-face. Butter, fruits, apple, butter tarts maybe. Some citrus and lemon as well.
M - Very heavy sweet body, but with almost no fizz at all.
D - This is just a big, big beer. Very tasty, but wouldn't be something I can drink a lot of.

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Photo of Viggo
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beerbistro, I had missed it a couple times at the brewery.

Pours slightly hazy, deep red/brown, thin off white head, nice lacing, bubbly. Smell is sweet, very fruity, floral, figs and dates, bit of alcohol but mostly hidden, toffee and brown sugar, smells okay! Taste is nice, very malty, brown sugar and toffee, fruits, sherry, bit of alcohol, slightly weak in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, some warming. Not bad, pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of crwills
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised to find this on tap at beerbistro. A local barley wine (besides Mill Street)? Cool!

Very impressed with it as well. Poured into a snifter or small goblet. No head to speak of. Dark brown with orange highlights. Dark, ripe fruits (figs and prunes) all the way through, with just enough hops to back it up appropriately without making it a hardcore American-style BW. Great mouthfeel, and the alcohol is very well hidden in the flavour and aroma (although you can feel it in your ears).

Well done, Granite! I'd never even heard of this offering, but I'll seek it out now that I know it's available.

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Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this for dessert at the Toronto brewpub.

A: Dark caramel (reddish-brown); off-white, bubbly head; some retention, hints of lace.

S: British fruityness, figs (fuggles), earthy-orange (goldings); brown sugar; slight sherry.

T: Dark fruit, sherry, figs, warming alcohol, hints of nutty chocolate, caramel, slight earthy citrus; modest bitterness.

M: Fairly full body is slightly creamy, modest carbonation, finishes dry (well-attenuated).

D: Quite drinkable.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.

Pours a hazy mahogony color with murky ruby glints. The head is essential non existent and produces only a smattering of lace. The aroma is bready with fruity rum cake and vanilla evident. The trademark Granite ringwood yeast is in full force in the nose. Some leafy English hops are there too. The taste is of treacly caramel, ripe cherries, buttery diacytel and musty spent grains. Alcohol heat is very present for 9%, though not to the point of distraction. Some mild hop bitterness dances in the background, hope aroma is herbal and also very restrained. The finish is equal parts malt sweetness, bitterness and booze. The mouthfeel is medium and very low in carbonation, extremely low.

This is a decent barleywine, very english in character, yeasty, fruity and low in hops. Worth a try, it will probably get better with age.

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Photo of DrJay
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/red colour, fairly clear, poured with no head but I managed to produce some lacing after agitation. Vinous dark fruit and alcohol aroma, some floral hops, banana and apple fruitiness, and a bit of toffee. Moderate bitterness with some hop spice, juicy floral hops, caramel, and apple. Medium/full body with light dryness and moderate attenuation. This still seems a bit young, but has a lot of promise if aged properly. Granite is starting to impress me...

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Photo of Sammy
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hop and malt aroma. Retaining white soapy head with some lace. Fairly young barley, a touch of roast, lemon rind and orange peel astringency carmellized away,sugar. medium mouthfeel. balanced. A sipping beer, satisfying aftertaste. Surprising alcohol, and it is warming. The best effort yet by this brewery. Upgraded when had all of 9 weeks old, a couple of weeks later.
Had 3.5 years late and its more of a malt job now.Watery.

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Gin Lane Ale from Granite Brewery & Restaurant
3.72 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.
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