Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,746 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,746
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 143
Gots: 534 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,746 | Reviews: 839
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant gold under a thin off-white foam collar.
S: Spices, ginger, honey, light malt.
T: Spiced honey and malt with ginger in the middle and a cinnamon dryness on the finish. Possible coriander. Tastes more like a light fruit cake as it warms.
F: Creamy, medium high body and carbonation.

Photo of Kris440
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Rich and spicy with a sweet aftertaste.

Photo of DoctorZombies
2.85/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Lite Amber pour with off white head. Clove and spice notes. Clove,banana,spices and honey. Lite mouthfeel. Honey is cloying.

Photo of larryarms847
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a somewhat murky copper brown with a thin layer of straight white foam.

Brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, caramel, and toasted oats.

Nutmeg, honey, ginger, brown sugar, and bready malts.

Medium-bodied, light carbonation, sweet malt backbone, some herbal/spice bitterness.

Overall, very subtle aroma, but the spice comes through in the flavor. Has the body of a heavy lager, very smooth, a nice winter brew.

Photo of krh
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great December beer, drink before Jan.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, clear, deep, amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department, either that or I’m stuffed up. I get faint notes of malt, brown sugar, clove and ginger, but really faint notes.

Taste: What the beer lakes in aroma, it more than makes up for in the flavor. Massive amounts of malt up front, like freshly baked bread, followed by some brown sugar and honey-like sweetness and spices of clove and ginger. Not much in the way of hops which pleases me.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 7.5%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another excellent beer from Great Lakes! I love the malt and the gingerbread-like sweetness and spice! Delicious! I’ll definitely get this every Christmas time!

Photo of shanegatter
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark Amber color, smooth spice taste, this was my introduction into "specialty" (non bud light) beer

Photo of ChuckZ77
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer only available during holidays

Photo of TX-Badger
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark copper/red color with off-white head. Spice, cinnamon, ginger, and caramel malt on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with more spice. Good winter beer.

Photo of martyl1000
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Side Door, Madison. A quality spiced winter warmer, though too sweet for me.

Photo of jwhancher
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with nice frothy white head. Ample lacing clings to the glass sides. Smells as descripted: honey, ginger, and cinnamon. Spices are all very nicely balanced and not too overpowering. Some light alcohol in the nose. An underlying caramel malt sweetness seems evident.

Taste has upfront honey sweetness then ginger then cinnamon. Spices seem a little more dominant in the taste. No hop flavor, but bitterness seems to balance the malts well. Alcohol seems well in check for 7.5. Feels medium to full.

Overall, a nice and pleasant Christmas beer. Spices seem well balanced and an interesting selection at that. While spiced beers aren't my everyday cup of tea, I could enjoy a few of these annually over the holiday season.

Photo of 29mikoyan
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very good holiday ale. You can definitely taste the cinnamon, ginger, and spices. The beer is moderately malty. The aroma is very weak though.

Photo of Phocion
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Live review. 12 oz. bottle dated enjoy by 2/20/15 poured into a dimple mug. Bronze hue with a finger of creamy off-white head with medium retention.

The nose is of malts, spice, and alcohol. Tons of ginger and cinnamon dominate along with a good amount of caramel malts. Alcohol aromas very noticeable for a 7.5% beer. Touch of floral, honey, and biscuity aromas as well.

The flavor is more mild than the nose would indicate. Toasted and coffee malts slightly outplayed out by the spice. I remember more ginger when the beer was a little more fresh, but it's still very evident. Brandy-like alcoholic sweetness.

Medium body and carbonation. Smooth and a bit warming from the alcohol content.

Overall an enjoyable beer, but there are better warmers out there.

Photo of Barnoloid
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A real winter warmer here, and an annual favorite. Bottle pour - kicks up a nice off white head with clinging lace. Deep copper/orange in color with a slight unfiltered look. The nose is ginger, orange peel and christmas candles. Taste wise, the nose sits true, with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and a dollop of honey - maybe a tad more here than previous years, which have had a little more heat. Quite a heavy mouthfeel, which has a thick throat covering sensation which seems to come from the honey. This is a satisfying festive ale with pronounced spices.

Photo of Jasonkyeager
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first "Christmas Ale" I've tried so I have nothing to compare it with but I thought it was a really good beer.

Photo of thdude5
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my favorite Xmas ales.

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Nice brownish orange color, with a light head. Fades fairly quickly. Decent lacing.

S - Sour notes, along with spices and a caramel maltiness.

T - Following the nose, with a sour fruit note suggesting cherries or cranberries, and a sweet malt backbone of caramel and yeasty bread. Spice comes in light, slightly peppery, ginger and cardamom.

M - Easy drinker, perhaps a bit too light for the style.

O - My only problem is the sour elements almost eclipse the spice and sweet malts. Rather than complimenting the bread and spice, it tugs against it, leaving me wishing I could dial down this element.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber color with an off-white head that fizzes away rather quickly. The smell is full of sweet aromas such as vanilla and sugar. The taste was not as sweet as I thought with some of the vanilla and caramel but then balances with some spice that makes it much more drinkable. There was a bit of a creamy aftertaste which was very nice as well.

Photo of pouch
2.08/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Very bitter. Doesn't leave a nice after taste either. Friends and family like it but I'm not a fan. Not a fan of the spice.

Photo of FFCaldwell
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was my favorite Christmas / Winter warmer for the 2014 season. Just the right amount of spices, but not too overbearing.

Photo of Buzaglod
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I've enjoyed the GL xmas ale in this past however this year I was disappointed. It overall felt very heavy, too dark and was not as enjoyable to drink as it has been in previous years

Photo of mtomlins
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A nice, pleasing Xmas ale, but a little too much nutmeg/clove for my taste. Otherwise, a very pretty beer with a pleasing nose (holiday appropriate!) and is relatively easy drinking.

Photo of avalon07
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish color and a hazy texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted an average amount of time. Sparse lacing.

S: Hints of honey and malt in the aroma along with some spices.

T: Tasted of a heavy malt presence, light spices (cinnamon, especially), and honey. A decent enough flavor, but one that seems slightly thin in spots.

M: A good amount of carbonation with an almost herbal finish. Medium-bodied.

O: A pretty good beer. Easy to drink, but not an overwhelming beer.

Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid winter warmer beer

Photo of humuloner22
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the better offerings from Great Lakes that I have had.

Aroma: This one is odd, it almost has a wine like aroma not much in regard to the spices that you will get from the flavor.

Color: Reddish brown hue.

Taste: More sweet and malt driven nice amount of holiday spices. Cinnamon, clove, cardamom are among the flavors I can detect.

Overall: Solid Christmas beer. Nice amount of Christmas flavor going on here.

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Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,746 ratings.