lumikuuro (26) - British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 7, 2009
1 litre bottle, known as Father John’s Winter Ale in bottles and as both Winter Ale and Christmas Ale at their brewpub. Powertrip (1000) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 27, 2009
Appearance: Fairly opaque, brownish mahogany colour with fairly white head receding to a ring. Head was monstrous when previously enjoyed in a ceramic stein; this time minimal when poured into tall central European style half litre glass tankard.
Aroma: A wonderful blend of nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, distant cinnamon, rich sugars and malts. Alcoholic nose blending in with the spices like a true winter warmer.
Taste: One word: phenomenal. The nutmeg, vanilla, and the sugary blend of honey, treacle, and yellow sugar added to this beer work in perfect harmony with each other. The added ginger blends into the warming alcohol taste, while the added cinnamon is barely noticeable but surely helps round the spice flavours. There are also hints of black cherry and even orange in here, showing just how well this beer is brewed: there are port notes here as a result. The blend of the honey, treacle, and yellow sugar add a rich sweetness that reminds the drinker of Christmas, without overpowering any of the other flavours and nuances; everything is in perfect balance. In fact, this beer is also known as Father John’s Christmas Ale at the Howe Sound brewpub.
Mouthfeel: Fairly full bodied, wonderfully silky as the beer seems to explore the mouth without any effort from the drinker.
Drinkability: A true winter warmer that entices the drinker to have more, but is so complex and rewarding that it also begs to be savoured. Easy to drink, but not as a result of thin body or light flavour; this beer is in a much higher class.
The best winter ale in British Columbia by a country mile. And there is plenty of countryside in this part of the world. Absolutely fantastic beer.
Foggy light red colour (like a winter’s fog settling in on a town) with medium head. Huge nose bursting with cherries, plums, sugar cane, lime and exotic spices. I could smell this one all day long! Rarely do I come across such a lively and rich nose. The taste starts off exactly the same, with gigantic malt and more cherries. Mid palate shows a hint of pepper and some salt water taffee, with a finish that’s surprisingly short but quietly rich in citrus. An extremely well-crafted beer which should be in everyones fridge at some point or another, a real gem! MrRoss (646) - Delta, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 14, 2009
UPDATED: JUN 10, 2010 Love those wonderful one-litre swing top bottles so favoured by Howe Sound! A creamy tan head started out at perhaps two fingers in depth, and then fell away, slowly, to a quarter-inch, all this taking some five minutes. The body was a lovely dark amber, and the aroma was malt, spices, and a suggestion of dark fruit. Much the same for the taste, along with a mouthfeel I can only class as "solid". Finished smooth with just a hint of sweetness. THis is my new favourite Christmas season beer. yogibeerra (30) - KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 12, 2011
four different malts and two different hops plus a cornucopia of spices and other goodies. at this point, this is my favourite Xmas season offering. TimInBC (17) - New Westminster, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 2, 2016
A very nice winter beer. Like the best fruitcake you ever tasted. Smooth, a bit flat. Malty, fruity, but generally a very pleasant, enjoyable beer. Not up there with the top-quality specials, but this is the affordable beer you drink in between. I got the litre bottle, which makes for a nice pint on two consecutive days.