Lions Winter Ale - Granville Island Brewing (Canada - British Columbia - Vancouver) 5.5%
A brownish, reddish amber in a glass. Lots of vanilla, wood tones (oak?), and a touch of molasses in the aroma; maybe a hint of chocolate. Vanilla and quite a bit of something milk chocolatey to the taste. After the frist few sips the chocolate (milk, not dark chocolate) aspect of the aroma really came out. Lots of "chewy" malt flavours in there, enough it would seem, to support a high ABV but at the same time it's nice to have a winter ale that has a sessional alcohol content. The wood tones from the aroma can also be found in the taste but they're actually a blend of the subtle hops character (that balances the malt nicely by the way) and the vanilla which I associate with a bourbon or whiskey even as it plays so nicely in Lions Winter Ale. Suggested food pairs on the back ("sweeter full-flavoured foods and cream-based sauces") look promising. Maybe it's the Rocky Mountains on the label but I think it'd go great with fondue as an apres-aki. This is a really nice beer and a splendid Winter beer. Not that they have a real winter in Vancouver but I guess thye do at altitude in the mountains.