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Friday, November 2, 2007

Great Lakes Winter Ale

It's that time of year again when the LCBO starts rolling out their winter beer selection. Most beers are set to be released starting December, but most of the time certain ones end up on the shift at different times, in effect, staggering the release of each beer.

One of those beers that will be hitting the shelf any day now is Great Lakes Winter Ale, slated to be released on November 15th. It will be available at the LCBO in a gift set that includes 1 bomber bottle and 2 Great Lakes glasses, retailing for $14.95. At the same time, the beer should start pouring from the draught machines at places like C'est What, Volo and others.

This will be the second year that Great Lakes has created this brew for distribution and for the first time ever, single bottles will be released in Nova Scotia in late November at select NSLC outlets. "We are very exciting about the Winter Ale being available in NS and who knows, if it sells well, there may be a future in shipping them more," states sales & promotions manager John Bowden. "It would be nice to get our Devil's Pale Ale and our Pumpkin Ale there as well, we're all pretty excited."

I had the chance to visit the brewery recently and got to taste a fresh batch of the Winter Ale straight from the fermentation tanks. It is an excellent winter warmer and would make a nice fixture on your Christmas Day dinner table next to the turkey. You will find hints of cinnamon, dried orange peel, honey and fresh ginger on the palate and at 6.2% alcohol, it can hold its own. Bowden informs me that they actually use whole cinnamon sticks and add the other ingredients to a bucket and dip it in the fermentation vessel.

The brewery's retail store will have the bottles available for sale next week for $6.95. So visit the brewery, take a tour and leave with a couple bottles of some of Ontario's finest.



Carl said...

I really enjoyed this beer last year and can't wait to taste it again. I hope the glasses will be nice.

Joner said...

I have to say, the initial hints of spice are nice, although I'd like the spice to be more prominent. I'm more of a hop-head, as you well know Troy, so the dominent malt finish wasn't a huge hit with me.. although I have had a few pints prior to cracking open this bottle, so I'll probably give it another shot with a clean palette.
I'm going to try the christmas ale from Wychwood breweries.. "bah humbug" .. I've never had anything from this brewery before, mainly because the bottle presentation makes it seem like a novelty.. hope it's decent!

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Winter Ale