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Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

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

1,964 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1964
Reviews: 767
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%


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: 1,964 | Reviews: 767 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Lindseyk12
Lindseyk12

Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I get so excited every year for Christmas Ale, as do most in NE Ohio.

I think Christmas ale taste best on tap rather than bottle. Golden-Amber in color, Similar to GL Dortmunder, only a little more red. Great smells such as Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg. Very warm comforting beer, Reminds me of family and friends. Next year save a case for Christmas in July. All your friends will be jealous!!

My favorite shot is "A Christmas Story Bomb"

Fill pint glass 1/3 with GL Christmas Ale
Equal Parts of Goldschlager, Bailey's, Frangelico in shot glass
Drop Shot glass into beer and drink

It Tastes like Christmas. How does christmas taste?... Christmas taste like "A Christmas Story Bomb"

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2011 22:54:06 | More by Lindseyk12
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

100th review! Ein Prosit!

I try to be as scientific as possible, but hype does play into my review. Its one of my most sought after beers in my book, even though it is released yearly in decent quantities.

Pours a red-ish light orange with a near perfect 3/4 inch head. Looks beautiful in the GL Chirstmas Ale snifter.

Smell has the typical GL grain bill, but wait a minute. Theres a ton of spices in this thing. Honey is there, as well as nutmeg and cinnamon in bits. Exactly what a winter warmer should be like.

Taste is fantastic. The honey keeps the grain bill in check in the best way possible. The spices are spicey, accenting the sweetness of the honey which comes in between the initial spices and late dryness. Its really the highlight of the beer. The addition of honey really sets it apart. The dryness on the backend is mead-like, making it crisp and refreshing. Full body which makes it sippable as well as full gulps.

The alcohol really doesnt show up until at least halfway through the finish. the 7.50% makes it presence known, but not in a bad way.

This beer is perfect. A perfect example of something that shouldnt be barrel-aged. The latent sweetness is nice which is accentuated by the dryness from the honey and spices.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 22:52:13 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of luckylefty
luckylefty

Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer review #1:

It is not by coincidence that GL X-Mas Ale is numero uno.

This beer is cherished by many in central/ northern Ohio and is a symbol to Christmas similarly to that of a present under a tree. There are a number of beers that I get excited about during different times of the year but no more so than THE X-Mas Ale. Furthermore, this beer is very dangerous if not drank in moderation, like tequila it has the ability to erase ones memory (I just don't understand why at 7.5abv)? Future reviews will be more scientific in nature but this beer is not judged with the same criteria by me.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 19:23:04 | More by luckylefty
Photo of Wolfee02
Wolfee02

Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In this review I am instructed to be constructive and I am. The appearance is red... I have never seen a beer that literally looks so red. The smell is like Christmas cookies! Perfect for the Holliday season! As far as the taste, it is the best beer I have ever had. It tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and Christmas cookies. The mouthfeel is extremely pleasant with the perfect balance of malts and pure utter greatness!!! I recommend this beer to anyone who likes great beer! Great Lakes brewery continues to prove that they are one of the best breweries in the world. I have never had a bad beer from this amazing world class brewery!

Serving type: growler

08-23-2012 00:23:01 | More by Wolfee02
Photo of CleJB
CleJB

Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer. Every late October/early November is like Christmas for me. The minute you crack this beer, it smells like the holiday season. The cinnamon, ginger, and honey blend very well together. This beer goes down extremely smooth for the 7.5% alcohol content, so drink with care. This beer goes well with Turkey, Ham, or pretty much anything you would eat around the holidays. Christmas in a bottle. A little pricey at between $12 and $13 a 6 pack, but worth every penny. Christmas in NE Ohio isn't Christmas without Christmas Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 01:43:52 | More by CleJB
Photo of StretchZep
StretchZep

Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome winter warmer. Had it yesterday on tap in a 23 oz glass. Lots of cinnamon and clove flavors. Nice malt balance. No hop bitterness at all but anything but sweet. Really nice Holiday beer that you find yourself looking forward to year after year.
Loved this beer to death and will be looking to pick up a case as soon as I can!

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 22:01:01 | More by StretchZep
Photo of brew3crew
brew3crew

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into great lakes sniffer
A-deep amber color with white lace head. Bubbles running the side.
S-Can smell some ginger and cinnamon.
T- tastes exaxtly like the way,you want christmas to. Cinnamon and honey. Nice malt profile. Taste like a ginger bread cookie.
M- very full and delicious. I wish they made this all year!
D- very smooth and crisp. I could drink this all day, every day.

I dont normally like spiced beer but this is the bee's knees! Best winter warmer by far!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 03:15:22 | More by brew3crew
Photo of joshwilliams
joshwilliams

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

GLBC never stops amazing me year after year with this seasonal brew. I figure that when I go to heaven this is what will be there waiting for me on tap. Christmas Ale is so delicious during the Christmas season I purchase a keg to have in the house (it doesn't last to long). This is my favorite winter seasonal of them all, the taste and smell of the brew is more of a Christmas smell to me than evergreen and sugar cookies could ever be. Side note: dunk your snicker doodle cookies in the beer and it makes the cookie that much better.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2010 04:25:20 | More by joshwilliams
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.93/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I lucked into a bottle at my friend's house, yet this review is based off a on-tap serving at a bar 30-45 minutes later...

Dark, honey-amber color with a creamy white head. The aroma was full of holiday spices; gingerbread; cinnamon. The taste strongly followed the aroma with a nice, balancing bitterness. Body came across as in character; smooth, crisp, with a semi-dry finish.

This was equivalent of sipping a warm, nicely spiced liquid holiday cookie. The malts and spice flavors (from whatever the source) just came across so nicely balanced and complex without smacking you in the face with overly strong flavors. This is by far one my best holiday ales I've had in a long, long time. Highly recommended...

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2013 16:34:37 | More by beergoot
Photo of McNealc31
McNealc31

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is the beer that first turned me on to holiday spiced ales. It's elusive, you've got to pick it up when you see it because it likely won't be back. It smells of honey and spice and pours a deep orange, almost copper. It tastes of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, with a subtle honey finish. And at 7.5% ABV, it's holiday cheer in a bottle! Without a doubt, one of my favorite beers and I can't wait until next holiday season for it.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:39:45 | More by McNealc31
Photo of Icedogs
Icedogs

Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My favorite Christmas/holiday/winter seasonal of them all, by far. I crave this beer, I stalk it. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2013 02:19:18 | More by Icedogs
Photo of mashedpotatoes
mashedpotatoes

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly an incredible beer. Definitely one of my new favorites. The balance is perfect. Beautiful copper color pour with a medium to thick head with perfect lacing. Smell is subtle but intriguing. Taste is very smooth, very clean yet a bit complex. The ginger doesn't come through until later. When finishing off your first bottle the cinnamon is much more pronounced at the bottom. The finish is incredible and really keeps you coming back for more. Highly, highly recommended. Seasonal availability Oct through Dec.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 04:18:23 | More by mashedpotatoes
Photo of sublimesipping
sublimesipping

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap and quaffed at Bado's in the Iron City on boxing day. I have had this beer a number of times before, and it has always been at the top of my christmas ale list. The pints tonight absolutely knocked my socks off as well as knocked me on my a--. Very clean lines at this here establishment and the keg seemed very fresh as well so ratings are given as such. Apearance absolutley beautiful reddish mahagony color with good billowy head and eferesence. wonderful notes of the usual spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc but this beer was extremely well balanced with great harmony of flavors- excellent body and high, high drinkability. Great Lakes has always been one of the top notch midwestern brewers; these pints confirmed their rep in my mind and palate as well as reiniforced my view of this beer as the creme of their rotation. Drink it while you can and happy holidays.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2005 06:47:46 | More by sublimesipping
Photo of bcray
bcray

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at Jakes in Ashland Ohio. This is by far my favorite offering from GL though I enjoy many of their other beers.

The spices really sit upfront without being overbearing. The balance of this brew is darn near perfection. Very drinkable considering it has a slightly higher ABV.

I wish it were Christmas all year long! Also delicious in bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2009 16:34:06 | More by bcray
Photo of Tronix
Tronix

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Rich Copper Color.

Decent head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is just what you would expect from a Holiday Seasonal. Honey, nutmeg.. maybe a little cinnamon.

Very nice bite to this beer. It is one my favorites. Mix this with a Blackout Stout or Guinness for a traditional Black Christmas and you have a beer that's all around tough to beat.

From the feel of just one I continue to believe that Great Lakes understates their ABV by almost 1%. But the taste is very smooth considering the ABV.

GL is one of the best brewers in a top to bottom lineup comparison and This one is their Crown Jewel.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 00:36:00 | More by Tronix
Photo of jkwuc89
jkwuc89

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have sampled several Christmas ales and Great Lakes easily bests them all.

The appearance in the glass tempts the drinker with what's to come.

The warm aroma of Christmas spices greets the drinker. This carries over to the wonderful but not overpowering taste of Christmas spices when this ale reaches your palette.

This is definitely a winter warmer not only with the feel in one's mouth but also with it's ABV. This is not a session beer. It is an ale that should be enjoyed slowly.

I have found this on tap at the Winking Lizard near Columbus and Average Joe's in Dublin, OH.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2010 02:02:33 | More by jkwuc89
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice ruby red with a 1/4" off white head that dissipates quickly

S- Christmas cookies forsure. Honey and cinnamon and dark malts. So enticing

T- Wow, just like the scent except more intense. Lots of honey and cinnamon and nice malts wrap everything up. Perfection

M- Super smooth, works perfectly with the rest of the beer

O- Best example of a winter warmer out there. Seek out at all costs

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 01:59:23 | More by pschul4
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - creates a large 3 finger creamy tan head on the pour, very dense on top. Golden orange color with some visible carbonation. A good looking beer.

Aroma - first impression of fruit and cinnamon, very spicy and sweet. Mmmmm....

Taste - nice malty base, but the cinnamon and spice flavors hit the taste buds full force. Some alcohol notes are present, though short-lived. A pretty solid hop presence follows, with just a barely detectable trace of ginger. Smooth aftertaste, a pleasing blend of hops and spices.

Mouthfeel - Solid body, coating the mouth with a bit of a drapy feel, but not overly done.

Drinkability - As it warms, the alcohol presence comes out more, but it can be difficult to have any left by the time it gets to room temperature! A wonderful beer for relaxing with in the evening.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 15:48:47 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of JDK
JDK

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly cloudy honey amber with a 2 finger head.
Nice carbonation giving this a very good mouthfeel. The lingering spices and citrus left a very pleasent taste on the back of the tongue for quite a while.
Love the taste. The blending of spice and hops really brings a nice flavor out. Could definately drink a few in a setting. (working on that tonight!)
The smell is very faint, good but light.
One of my favorite Christmas brews.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 01:55:56 | More by JDK
Photo of smerrell
smerrell

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've loved this beer for a long time - crisp, clean, and full of flavor. Hops take a back seat to the ginger, and the cinnamon is present but subtle. The color is deep amber, and the finish is dry.

This beer gets better as it warms - Love it.

appearance: translucent red/amber

Smell: faint traces of holiday spices

Taste: spicy ginger, alcohol is present (and pleasant)

Mouthfeel: dry

overall: this beer & Troegs Mad Elf = Christmas

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 00:06:38 | More by smerrell
Photo of pauleyh
pauleyh

Ohio

4.68/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Great All Around Seasonal With All Kinds Of Blends And Spices. The Appearance shows a white head. with beautiful copper colored color. very nice thick foam when poured in a 16 ounce thick beer glass. it aroma amazes me ginger cinnamon it's sweet taste is fulfilling. it goes down smooth very lip smackable. the thing about such a high end beer like this that a casual drinker should be careful of is it's 7.5 alc vol content. this is a beer you wanna take sips of and to enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 14:52:46 | More by pauleyh
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this is what Christmas Ae should taste like....beautifull work with the spicing....cinamin and ginger on the nose along with almost a pumkin pie like smell.....copper in color...super clean and clear looking (and this is an ale?)...Is medium bodied...a tich of sweetness, but not overdone...at first it felt like a "bock" in the mouth and I guess it still does...some sweet maltiness, and that great spice flavor..that pumkin pie subtle flavor is there on the taste buds too...I've had spice beers that went too far...this is about perfect...what a treat...I love this Brewery...One of my top 2 along with Stone.

*.I rate the drinkability high for a seasonal sipping beer....not for as if you'd want to drink 12 of these in a sitting...rather if you gave me my choice of several holiday beers I'd rather drink this one than most..

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2003 21:30:08 | More by ZAP
Photo of jwhawkins81
jwhawkins81

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes of 11/2/10 with a best by date of 02/02/11

Aroma - Spice and sweet notes dominate the nose. Particularly cinnamon.

Appearance - Golden red with a quickly dissipating white head but an OK level of carbonation.

Taste - Cinnamon sweet and smooth at 55 degrees or warmer. I really recommend drinking this beer at cellar temperatures. Overall the flavor profile is heavy on spice and sweetness with hints of ginger.

Notes - The best Christmas Beer I've ever had but it really beats you over the head with all that spice and sweet flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 14:52:55 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of ValpoExpo
ValpoExpo

Ohio

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-16-2013 04:19:00 | More by ValpoExpo
Photo of Clowerweb
Clowerweb

Ohio

4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Freshness date: 03/22/2012. Says "best served at 55 degrees F", but I am drinking it from the fridge. I'll sip slowly an edit the review if anything changes.

A: Brownish orange with bright amber highlights, nicely filtered, very clear. 2 fingers of slightly off-white head with respectable retention, but little lacing. Great looking beer, aside from the lacing (or rather the lack thereof), not much to complain about.

S: Honestly, it smells skunky with some piney and citrusy notes, but the nose is on the lighter side with this one, so I'm not picking up much here. Almost smells like an IPA or APA. Definitely detecting hops, but the skunk is a little off putting.

T: Tastes nothing like it smells. Has a very nice depth of flavor with pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, hops and definitely nutmeg. Almost tastes like a swig of eggnog with your pumpkin pie - appropriate for a Christmas ale. It starts and finishes basically the same, no flavor twists to speak of in the mid palate or finish, although the cinnamon and nutmeg spices tend to shine through a little more in the aftertaste. I'm really digging the flavor, it tastes wonderful.

M: Moderate carbonation, body is on the more full side of medium, feels a bit chewy after the finish, doesn't really stick around too much, however it does leave a little bit of carbonation tingle in the cheeks and a creamy coating on the back of the tongue.

O: Oh yeah, this is an amazing beer. This is one of those "warm up with your significant other by the fireplace on a cold winter's evening" kind of beers. You could totally session with this one too. Looks awesome, tastes AMAZING, and leaves little to complain about other than the strange skunky smell.

I've never been disappointed with anything Great Lakes has to offer, and they make me proud to be from Ohio. I'd like to go tour the brewery someday, it's less than 100 miles away. With such a solid lineup of world class brews, who could resist? If you see this somewhere, definitely pick it up, you will have no regrets. Re-buy factor: very high.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 03:07:37 | More by Clowerweb
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Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,964 ratings.