A welcome return to the darkness after many delightful lighter drinks; how appropriate on the longest night of the year! Lighthouse is a brewery from Victoria, a city notable in that it has more craft breweries than all of Alberta put together. While this does make me a little jealous, it has also made me favourably disposed towards quite a few B.C. brewers like Phillips, Tin Whistle and Dead Frog. Will Lighthouse bring glory or ignominy to their province?
This Winter Ale, as previously mentioned, pours a luscious dark with perhaps a hint of red, like an aged port or old-school cola. About a finger of tannish foam lingers for a minute before dissipating. The nose is almost musty, with hints of treacly molasses and dark, dried fruits. A robust mouthfeel fills the palate, and the fruit (dried cherries or prunes maybe?) is more discernible. There is a bit of sweetness, but a bitter finish, reminiscent of baker's chocolate, brings a balanced finish to each swig.
In short, I quite like it; at 6.5% it is a civilized winter warmer with a lot of character, but the combination of flavours reminds me of something, and it took me a while to sort it out: dark fruitcake. This beer is the liquid equivalent of dark, boozy,Christmas fruitcake, cut into small slices as finger food, and served at a holiday gathering for friends and relatives, and more so than the taste of it, that is a feeling I can always use more of in my life. Lighthouse's Winter Ale does the Left Coast proud!
The final camel arrived today, sporting a typist surcoat with a vaguely pentagonal design of polka dots. His magi master can't be too far behind with his gift of frankincense for the boy king.
I am digging for more insight, but this is the third camel after all, and frankly, his pose is making me crave animal crackers...