Winter Ale from the Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto, ON is an excellently-crafted take on the classic “winter warmer” ales from England. This deep ruby-amber coloured beer is brewed with honey, cinnamon, ginger and orange peel added, giving it a robust spicy aroma.
Great Lakes Brewery Winter Ale pours with a light beige head that stays around as a collar. While the cinnamon dominates the aroma, the honey and ginger really come through in the taste. The brew manages to be both spicy and sweet without becoming overpowering.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp and bubbly, a noticeable contrast to the maltiness of most strong, dark ales. Great Lakes Winter Ale has a nice dryness to it and leaves me with a slightly medicine-like aftertaste. In many cases, it also leaves me with a bead of sweat on my brow.