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Monday, February 27, 2012

Garrison Winter Warmer Ale Review

This is the second of the 5 LCBO Garrison releases and because it is a chilly night tonight, I thought it would be a great match.

The beer is lightly hazy, has a dark red/brown color and pours smoothly with almost no head. The aroma is strong and stunning with cloves, cinnamon, allspice and caramel...and probably a whole bunch of other subtler notes that get lost. The taste is even better. I thought I was going to get a mouthful of sugar, but the flavour is very well balanced and actually has a very heavy roasted character.

The flavour starts off with roasted malt, a touch of hops and allspice, and transitions to a slightly more sweet, still fairly bitter, taste. Some dates and raisin notes appear, but are short-lived due to the roasted malt. The rest of the spices, as well as a bit of orange peel come out in the finish, which still has a very heavy roasted malt backbone.

The alcohol is well hidden for most parts, but it does make a brief appearance in the finish. Also, the added sugar adds a bit of a kick...to the head. Still, I found this ale to be very complex and very enjoyable. If you like stronger, spiced beers, this one is for you.

Cost - $4.25
Taste - 9/10
ABV - 6.5%

Overall - 9/10...very complex, yet highly enjoyable winter beer

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