Thursday, 14 June 2012

Great Lakes Brewery Winter Ale

This charming seasonal brew comes from Toronto's Great Lakes Brewery. It's sold in jumbo 650mL bottles and it has a kickin' 6.2% alcohol content. I had this big beauty in my fridge for quite a while. It was a birthday gift from a wonderful friend. The odd thing about gift beer, for me at least, is that I always hold on to it, waiting for the right time to savour it. For this ale, the right time was a crisp, sunny Friday afternoon in early March in my backyard with a cigar and a mystery novel.

Winter Ale pours a hazy, ruddy gold colour. It has a thick and very persistent head and slight carbonation. A considerable aroma of ginger greets the nose. Just as the blurb on the bottle lead me to expect, the flavour is resplendent with Christmastime notes of cinnamon. As well, some clove is detectable. The aftertaste is where the ginger lives, giving the brew a pleasant cookie vibe. The heightened alcohol content isn't immediately evident from the taste, though it is apparent in the toasty afterglow.

This is a nice winter warmer. Perhaps a touch sweeter than I'd like and a bit more bitterness might be nice, but the ginger and cinnamon essence are excellent touches that make this beer stand out. I'll definitely be watching for this one next winter and you should too.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10.

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