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Brewed by Garrison Brewing Company
Style: English Strong Ale
Halifax, Canada

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 66   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 20   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
This strong dark amber beer is brewed with spices evocative of the holiday season. Its warming character makes it a great accompaniment on cold winter nights.


3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JB84 (649) - Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 23, 2011
Bottle from JSPrime. Pour murky brown creamy beige head. Aroma brown sugar, caramel, hops, malt sweetness, chocolate. Taste brown sugar, caramel, nice bitter hops, roasty, cereal grain, chocolate. MF medium thick body mild carb. Overall good balanced tasty brew abv well hidden nice stuff.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
blankboy (6081) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 11, 2011
My bottle [500ml] shared with HogTownHarry & garthicus. Pours a nice looking deep amber with a large fluffy beige head. Aroma of malt, light spices, dark fruit and brown sugar. Flavour’s the same, malty with spices, dark fruit and brown sugar. Medium bodied. A very nice Winter treat.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
neuromatt (1159) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 6, 2011
500 mL bottle from the brewery, served in a snifter. Pours clear reddish caramel with a small tan head. The head fades quickly to a thin cover and leaves almost no lace. The nose has big notes of dark fruit, clove and cinnamon, along with molasses and a touch of alcohol. The flavour is quite sweet up front, with plenty of brown sugar and Christmas spice. Hops enter towards the end, providing a nice balanced finish that lingers. On the palate, it is full in body with a smooth, creamy texture and lively carbonation Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this one; the spices are just right and pair nicely with the malts. Nice for a cool evening in December. 2011-03-06

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
garthicus (2685) - Dublin, IRELAND - FEB 15, 2011
Thanks to Blankboy. Appearance: Dark brown, medium tan head. Aroma: Raisins, plums, nicely spiced, cinnamon predominant. Nice. Flavour: Plums, cinnamon, winter spices, raisins, Christmas pudding like, slightly boozy in the finish. Very nice.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
probstblueribbon (2924) - Nepean, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 10, 2011
500 ml bottle in the Brewmaster’s Mix from LCBO private imports, served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass.

App.: Clear deep mahogany with a decent tan head. Aroma: As expected, some warm spices enveloped in lovely, sweet, thick malts, a Christmas cake in a bottle, some bright fruitiness mixed with dark dried fruits, a little alcohol, ginger, cinnamon and clove, hints of playful esters, caramel and cake batter, well-crafted for the style. Palate: Medium+ body, lush, elegant effervescence. Flav.: A bit more malt than the nose, plenty of warm, Christmas cake spices, decent fruitiness, caramel and brown sugar, a little alcohol, still a liquid Christmas cake; kinda sweet with balancing acidity and bitterness and a malty, spiced finish.

As these beers go, not bad. It struck me while drinking this: why is it called an ESA, while other, similar brews are S/H/V. Food (or drink) for thought...

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
rejtable (1313) - Ontario, CANADA - JAN 15, 2011
UPDATED: FEB 20, 2012 Feb 2012 update: this is more like it. Like having Xmas in your mouth. Lots of ginger and molasses this year. Great warmth, lovely beer. Poured dark amber with a head that dissipates. Light creamy in the mouth. Liked this beer, but I didn’t find the expected winter spicy flavours. Tasted more like a bitter. Enjoyed it and would buy again.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Spab (2421) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 19, 2010
500 ml bottle from Premier Wine and Spirits. Pours a murky brownish orange with small off-white head. Aroma is sweet toffee and dark fruit (plum, raisin) and bread. Taste is very sweet with lots of plum and raisin, brown sugar, toffee and a light spiciness. Alcohol is actually fairly understated and body is thinner than might be expected. Nice.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
swiseman (427) - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CANADA - DEC 18, 2010
pours a translucent dark brown, thin head. tastes of caramel, roasted toffee and some bubblegum. mouthfeel is surprisingly thin with only mild hints of alcohol. easy-drinking strong beer.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
DenisLD (87) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 15, 2010
500ml bottle poured into a nonic glass...
The beer has a nice cloudy deep copper body, with a good healthy light caramel head. The head retention is pretty good.
The smell is very malty and fruity (cherries, plum, figs). A fair amount of hops is also present in the aroma. The yeast comes through in the smell just a little.
The taste starts out with a surprising hop bite, with herbal and citrusy notes, after which the malts take over, bringing a nice, moderately sweet, bread and caramel taste, mildly garnished with cinnamon. There is also a solid fruity profile, with hints of plum, cherry, apple, and grapefruit. The finish is very bready and quite bitter, with a lingering grapefruit and cherry taste.
Medium-bodied and rather chewy. Moderate carbonation enhances the mouthfeel. The beer feels slightly spicy, with just a hint of alcohol. Goes down smooth, kindly providing a pleasant warming sensation that a lot of us crave throughout the winter season.
The drinkability is good, considering this is a strong and full-bodied beer. Goes down smooth. The alcohol does not get in the way.
Overall, this is an impressive beer and a very complex winter warmer. It is everything it claims to be and it does it well! Recommended!

2.8
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
Bendrixian (1114) - Canadiana, Nova Scotia, CANADA - DEC 14, 2010
500ml bottle. Pour brown/mahogany colour with deep pigmentation and little head. notes of nutmeg and, corriander and other spiced pumpkin kinda notes. Medium bodied with little follow through. Kinda boring actually, which considering this beers history i’d say this is an improvement. still nothing to write home about for me.


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