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Archive for the tag “seasonal beer”

Leapbeer Review #331 Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

I originally had planned to do this review in conjuncture with my wife and daughters gingerbread house day. I thought it would make for a great picture. Alas I missed out on my window for pictures, and someone got a bit hungry. My fault, at least they didn’t drink the beer.

When 5 yr olds attack!Apparently someone got a bit hungry before I could take the pic with the beer.

When 5 yr olds attack!
Apparently someone got a bit hungry before I could take the pic with the beer.

While I’m a proven fan of the rejuvenated bomber line from Vancouver Island Brewery this beer didn’t pique my interest. I’ve had a hit and miss relationship with winter beers. And when I think of a gingerbread beer it seemed wrong. I was expecting this beer to be overly sweet and overly spicy and generally over the top. I’m glad to report that it isn’t. This reddish amber ale has all the ginger and spice aroma that I was expecting. But when you drink it, it isn’t overly sweet. It tastes like a carbonated gingerbread house. If you’re looking for a hair burning ginger sting, don’t look at this beer, but if you’re looking for a gently flavoured seasonal this is a great choice.

Leapbeer #331 is Dough Head Gingerbread Ale

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

Dough Head Gingerbread Ale by Vancouver Island Brewery

Brewery: Vancouver Island Brewery, Victoria BC
Size/ABV: 650ml Bottle/5.5% ABV
Availability: Wide Release in BC
Website: http://www.vanislandbrewery.com/default.aspx?PageID=1053
Other Reviews: Ian Lloyd (@left4beer), Mikes Craft Beer Blog, Parting Glass Beer Blog, Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #83 Father John’s Winter Ale by Howe Sound Brewing

Tonight I’m sampling from the winter seasonal offering from Howe Sound Brewing. To be honest I was kind of hesitant due to the bottle where listing flavours it reads “complex blend of ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, molasses, honey and yellow sugar.”

That’s a mouthful. Howe Sound typically uses these 1l bottles with their pot-stopper to retain carbonation. This beer is 7% ABV, so it’s up there a bit.

It pours to a cloudy copper with nearly no carbonation. My first sip tasted like an all out attack on my taste buds. It was very powerful. Almost so much that I considered calling this a write off and dumping the bottle. Feeling that this could have been a cop out, I soldier on and keep drinking.

As I keep going this beer starts to lengthen out in the taste and I start to see the separate notes. The ginger and cinnamon are initially overpowering, but they begin to soften revealing the other tastes. I think they brewed this beer low in carbonation, so that the ginger and cinnamon can stimulate your  palate instead. Its like they tried to cram a gingerbread house into a beer bottle, but not in an entirely bad way.

Its definitely not a session ale. I’d suggest this for the adventurous beer drinker. This is likely a beer I’d only drink once a year.

#83 is Father John’s Winter Ale

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