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Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,172 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,172
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 107
Gots: 212 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,172 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Bills453:
Photo of Bills453
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured from a bottle into a goblet. Nice orange golden color. Great foamy 2 finger off white almost cream colored head.

Smell - I love the smell of this beer. Smells like caramel malts and some delicious holiday spices. Nutmeg?

Taste - taste is a very nice mixture of holiday spices. I can't stand the over poweringly sweet Christmas beers. This one is not that and tastes very good.

Mouthfeel - good

Overall - a great offering from Great Lakes. One of my favorite winter time seasonals around.

Bills453, Feb 07, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 1/17/07.Tis not quite the Xmas season but its great to see the Winter Warmer/Holiday brews out and Iam glad to be able to get this locally,poured a lighter clear copper with a thin 1/2 finger white head left pretty quickly leaving no mark of lace behind.Honeyish esters really stand out in the nose along with some light roasted nut and a real leafy hop presence wich was nice with most beers of the style not showing enough hop presence this was a nice thing to see,the cinnamon and honey imparted in this beer show thru nicely upfront melding into a dryer leafy almost earthy like presence finishing with a sharp ginger-like note that lingers.Interesting I must say no way I would think this 7.5% alc a little light but man it goes down easy and it warms the inside a little,I like it its not overly sweet and has a hop presence to it.

oberon, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

DanGeo, May 27, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange and amber hybrid color with a ton of red hues and a pretty exceptional amount of clarity all around. Small white head fades quick and doesn't leave much lacing at all.

The nose.... what to say about the nose. Full of a basket of toasted malts and spices - most prominent being cinnamon, but also included are nutmeg and maybe some ginger. There's really so much going on and it's executed with a careful hand; there's really something to be admired in the aroma profile.

The taste hits with an incredibly unique and well-executed balance of sweet and spicy malt - sweetness in the form of caramel, toffee, and butter, and spicy in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. Very nutty, and with the spices, it resembles a warm pecan pie.

Yeast is noticeable in the background, provides a nice bready and buttery aftertaste (think Christmas sugar cookie). Honey is hard to detect, but is noticeable at the tail end as the beer starts to warm up a little bit. Medium body, not too sticky on the mouth, low to medium carbonation.

This beer tastes like Christmas in a bottle. The fact that it's a holiday release makes it all the more alluring and I feel like a little kid on Christmas when I finally get my hands on some.

tectactoe, Nov 09, 2012
Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

t2grogan, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +1%

OhioBobcat, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of ajkiser12
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

ajkiser12, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of sgoodship
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here is the 2009 Christmas Ale. Man, has it been a year already!

The nose is jam packed with sweet honey. Unbelievable. Seems like more than last year to me. Malt and hops fall to the power of honey - no question about this beer's focus.

It's color is an amazing deep honey copper that glows - more handsome than I remember. It has a soft half finger off-white head. Some big spotty lacing. The head remains throughout but drops to a dusting and a ring.

The flavor is strong in honey too. You definitely get some Christmas spice but more noticeable is the uplifting and invigorating infusion of ginger. The finish is dry with a good hop bitterness. The aftertaste is malty and sour with a hint of the honey and caramel sweetness. It's not as sickly sweet as I think last years was a wee bit.

The mouth is on the full side of medium. It feels silky smooth and round in the mouth. The low end of medium carbonation prevents it from being too heavy and syrupy.

Always a favorite of mine at Christmas but beware. These sneak up on you and before you know it... game over. I'm a big fan of Great Lakes and this is a seasonal beer in the true sense. Enjoy!

sgoodship, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark translucent brown, almost black. Abundant head of at least 2 fingers or more - bright white foam. Head receded a bit after a few minutes but had great retention. Laced the glass easily all the way down.

Aromas were moderately malty with a sort of "holiday spice" note to it. I couldn't really pin down if it was nutmeg or cinnamon or what, but it smelled pretty good and didn't detract from the beer.

The flavors in this beer worked fantastically together. There was a solid malt backbone that gave a boost to some of the spices, of which seemed to be nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. There was a grassy herbal hop note but it was just enough to hold back the sweetness a bit. Relatively clean at the swallow with just a bit of that spice mix and some malt clinging on for the linger.

This is a pretty smooth brew and they go down really easy. The carbonation is matched well to the rest of the brew and it all just works. The heavier gravity also seemed well matched and was essentially undetectable with the rest of the flavors. very well done and an awesome brew to drink with friends during the holidays. Highly recommended!

SIRIUS2, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of blackearth
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber body with a thin white head that quickly fades. Aroma of fruity esters, ginger, brown sugar and toffee. Medium bodied with medium carbonation level, this beer boasts flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar and ginger with a bit of a spicy finish that's not too sweet, but just right. The ginger flavor dials up as the beer warms and seems to take over more than it should. Overall a good Christmas beer.

blackearth, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A lovely clear amber red color with a nice fluffy white head. Small bubbles run up the side of the glass. Quite a interesting nose...citrusy hop tones collide with cinammon and sweet honey. Nice and complex.

First sip is an incredible mix of spiceness, I pick out cinammon, a nice ginger bite along with cirtusy hop notes and a sweet caramel malt background. Almost a subtle cherry / floral taste comes through as well. A very tasty winter brew if I do say so myself....extremely unique.

Mouthfeel is nearly perfect, smooth and creamy with good body. Easy to drink and nice on a cold night. This is a great holiday brew and I recommend to anyone looking for something different!

orbitalr0x, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev +1%

sabitu, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +1%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

markmo, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of DaftPatrick
2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

DaftPatrick, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

best by 1/26/11 consumed 1/15/11

A - Pours a beautiful translucent copper with slow rising carbonation and 1.5 fingers of head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - Mostly caramel malts and cinnamon, with some ginger and cloves coming through.

T - Very nice caramel malts, with a good amount of spicing (cinnamon, some ginger). Spicing doesn't dominate but instead fills out the taste. Also some subtle hops to balance the malts.

M - Fantastic mouthfeel, medium, slightly sticky, really coats the palate.

D - Highly drinkable; one of my favorite winter warmers.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev +1%

DWolf, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of Jpinoniemi
4/5  rDev +1%

Jpinoniemi, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of babyhobbes
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured with very little head but some lacing. It is a pleasing amber color. I smell some spice, notably cinnamon and ginger. The spiciness is not very strong in taste or smell. The taste is somewhat hoppy and bitter with a decent dose of ginger. This is a smooth beer in the mouth with a nice carbonation level.

I like this Christmas Ale but I wouldn't want to down several in one sitting.

babyhobbes, Jan 26, 2004
Photo of ValpoExpo
4.64/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A winter classic from Northeast Ohio. You have to be VERY careful with GLBC's Christmas Ale because it will knock you on your butt in no time. It truly is the perfect sweet honey, alcohol infused taste of Christmastime. November 1 (the release date of Christmas Ale) is a holiday in itself for Northeast Ohioans.

ValpoExpo, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of JonBrand
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

JonBrand, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of Twifiter
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Twifiter, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - 1-finger head. Ecru and thick. Dissipates slowly, leaving rings around the glass. Thin layer of lace remains across the surface. Deep red/orange and clear.

S - Lots of seasonal spices. Cinnamon, and ginger are pronounced. Clove in the background. A touch of sweet citrus mixes in, like candy lemon drops.

T - Toasted malt transport for the spices in the nose. Honey on the tongue. Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg on the sides really linger on the finish, along with alcohol in the background. No noticeable hopping.

M - A bit creamy. Good carbonation. Structure is on the thin side. Finish is on the dry side, although the honey stays with the spices, blending quite nicely in a good balance.

D - For me, a holiday seasonal beer to bring to a holiday event and have one or two to celebrate being in the spirit. As far as this style goes, however, I like it much more than many of the offerings that are heavily spiced and hopped out to the max. And the decently high ABV puts a warm spot in the tummy without feeling like I'm doing shots.

BuckeyeSlim, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of orm56
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

orm56, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of megamass
4/5  rDev +1%

megamass, May 24, 2013
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Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,172 ratings.