overall
91
97
style
Brewed by Garrison Brewing Company
Style: English Strong Ale
Halifax, Canada

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 75   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.55/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 20   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
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.

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4.1
pootzboy (1713) - Kitchener, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 29, 2012
Bottle: Decants a turbid clouded brown colored ale with a 1 finger sticky cap. Soft carbonation obviously unfiltered. Aroma is a complex affair with spice up front and cocoa, earthiness, grains and some mellow ripe fruit esters and a treacle-like touch of sweetness....this intensifies as it warms. Flavor follows aroma with malty cocoa mixing with musty fruits spice and hazel nuts - complexity mid palate - hops add a wonderful support role and hang in the background so the complexity can be savoured. Finish is long wet and malty-yeasty with a small hop bite at the very end. I love this brew! The brewer resisted their normal impulse to over boil hops and the result is the profile on this ale is carried by the complex flavours that develop in a rich unfiltered big ale. I’m impressed. Probably this brewer’s best effort yet.

3.7
DerWeg (1678) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 8, 2012
Murky brown with edges of gold, creamy light brown head. Aroma is sweetly rooty-spicy with some bitter hop. Taste is fairly round and dark-fruity with kola and sarsaparilla, dry herbal hops lead to a nicely dry-balanced finish. Replays of that rooty-spice, mild hop bitter, sweet dark fruit. Tastes a lot like Spruce beer they make.

3.4
Johnsense (1629) - - FEB 10, 2012
Dark copper pour, 2 fingers of pillowy head. Aroma of Holiday spices, clove, allspice, some yeast, nutmeg. Taste: Roasted malts and candied fruit, spicy, slight clementine orange, peppery. Fairly smooth though the spices are very prominent in the aftertaste. Worthy on a cold winter night.

3.6
neongolden (1609) - Linköping, Sweden/Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 25, 2012
(500mL from the LCBO) Pours dark red with a fine particulate suspension and a thin white head that dissipated immediately. Aroma complex, dominated by brown sugar/molasses malts, but with dates, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice), a bit of spiced rum, quite christmas cake-esque. Flavour is sweet malts up front, a bit of fruitiness, some chocolate, bit of yeasty funk comes up mid-palate and then moderately bitter hops dry down the beer quickly on the finish. Mouthfeel is weak to me, watery in the second half and over-carbonated with a soda-pop feel and a lack of structure and depth on the finish. Just doesn’t live up to the smell for me.

2.8
Bendrixian (1514) - Canadiana, Ontario, 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.

3.5
WheatKing (1338) - Phnom Penh, CAMBODIA - MAY 1, 2012
The spice is mainly designated to the olfactory part of your bodily bus here, the taste is mainly that of a strong ale. The hotness is part of the mix in your throat, and it’s nice, I’d drink this while shovelling snow but sorry I live in Victoria so I can’t. I really enjoyed the thickness of this drink.

3.6
ljthiessen (1324) - Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA - JAN 2, 2017
Bottle. Amber pour with a tan head. Aroma is caramel and spices, some cinnamon and gingerbread, some fruitcake notes, pretty nice. Taste is much the same, spices are balanced and mild compared to many winter warmers, makes this quite nice for the style.

3.6
neuromatt (1225) - 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

3.5
andrewturba (1190) - Alberta, CANADA - NOV 26, 2012
2010 release. Pours a cloudy brown with noticeable sediment and a nice small white ring around the glass. Aromas of caramel, dried plum, spices. Flavours of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, molasses, caramel and some light alcohol. Tasty brew.

3.6
OKBeer (1171) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - APR 9, 2009
500 ml bottle, sampled 11/14/08. Dark orange amber colour with a fully lasting pillowy and rocky off-white head. Immediate spicy cinnamon and sugar aroma with some yeasty and bready notes. Bready, orangy, and caramelized sugar malt flavours with a clove phenol, yeasty, and lightly earthy bitter finish. Medium to full bodied, rich and lightly chewy mouthfeel. Nice, but that phenolic note is a bit unpleasant for me - less of a flaw though than a personal taste issue.


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