Can’t say for sure, but this has got to be my final 2008 winter/holiday beer of the winter/holiday beer season. This was the very first, palate-restoring beer I enjoyed after my trip to Spain and Portugal – I needed something dark, something spicy, something bursting with flavor. And let me tell ya, after that last GRANVILLE ISLAND BREWING ale I had, I wasn’t necessarily expecting this one to be the ne plus ultra of my ’08 winter beer. But hot dammit, this is a fantastic beer. LIONS WINTER ALE is a mildly sweet, lightly spiced malt bomb. Sure, it’s thin bodied and fairly low in alcohol, but it has an incredible taste to it, with vanilla and cinnamon being the predominant flavors, along with all those rich malts. Drinkability is off the charts, and I glanced at some Beer Advocate reviews of this thing, and just about everyone said what I said: “I could drink this all night”. I know it’s true because I made my wife drink some and she said the same thing – so that’s two experts holding court on this one.
GRANVILLE ISLAND LIONS WINTER ALE is certainly one of the mildest winter warmers and/or holiday ales I’ve had in a long while (compared to the high-ABV imperial beers I had at the Pacific Coast Brewing Holiday Beer-off, this is closer to ice water), but it’s easily one of the best, and it’s going to be listed in the Hedonist Beer Jive 75 next time I publish it. A great knockout beer that’s worth sneaking across the Canadian border to buy a sixer of. 9/10!