We all got skates. I grew up skating a bit but probably skated last 12 years ago or so. But, it turns out, having a seven-year old who can't skate at all is a great way to cover up one's own failings when you are Canadian amongst Canadians but not good at what Canadians do. The beer amongst the skates came care of the supportive gang over at Ontario Craft Brewers as part of their winter ale review pack. It's from the Great Lakes Brewery of Oakville Ontario (as opposed to the Great Lakes Brewing Co., one country south and one lake west). I understand the copyright lawyers have made their peace.
Once the cork pops gently I am immediately struck how this is a brew for Yule. Figgy pudding-esque. The brewery says:
Inspired by the long, cold and seemingly endless Canadian winter, our 6.2% alcohol Winter Ale is a true winter warmer. Handcrafted with specialty hops and malts, combined with generous amounts of cinnamon, honey, ginger and orange peel, this unique beer is brimming with flavour.Darkest smoked amber with the finest deep cream rim and foam. The ginger stands out in the aroma but it's the honey cinnamon that work really well in the mouth for this rich beer, along with the arc of citrus zest, which is really an old school braggot. It is odd to have a spiced beer where nutmeg is not the main flavour used but a good odd that only makes you realize the power of the nutmeggers' cartel.
Sadly, unavailable other than at the brewery except for an LCBO in a gift pack that has 8 bucks too much in accompanying packaging and glass. I might well go a notch higher than the BAer's B- as this is one of the more successful spiced beers I have ever had. I might even heat it up a bit, too, as it seems like a beer that would mull. It's the ginger that takes control as the beer opens and warms.