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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

2,049 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,049
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 89
Gots: 165 | 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: 2,049 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WhaleHopper
WhaleHopper

Connecticut

3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap in Cleveland airport and carried 6 to go - way to go in terminal brewpubs in Cleveland! A great holiday beer taking a more subtle and unique approach to holidays flavors - honey, cinnamon, ginger, all come through but not overwhelming. Consistent with GL beers- very clean, well made, and easy to go through a few in a single session.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2014 20:47:10 | More by WhaleHopper
Photo of SteveMcGlone
SteveMcGlone

Ohio

3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is one of my favorites for the Holiday season year after year.
A - Pours a deep copper in color with a little tint or amber red
S - Smells malty with a lot of cinnamon, honey and spice
T - Tastes a bit sweet with a cinnamon finish. the honey comes through more in the nose than it does on the tongue.
M - A bit watery, My main wish is for a little more creaminess here, but it's not a huge negative
O - Overall this is a staple in my fridge over the winter, but it's more of a one and done beer for me. The cinnamon honey and spice start to wreak havoc after two or three bottles

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 23:53:56 | More by SteveMcGlone
Photo of zimm421
zimm421

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper colored with a thick, foamy, white head that dissolves slowly, with some remaining the entire time. Leaves little lacing.

S - Ginger, with a little bit of honey scents. Not a lot that stands out here

T - A lot of taste, hard to pick out a lot of specific tastes, but there are certainly ginger and honey, following the nose.

M - Thick and creamy with some good carbonation.

D - Not difficult to drink at all, but definitely something that would go better with a meal, rather than on it's own.

A good Holiday beer, but definitely not the best holiday drink I had this year.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 23:35:54 | More by zimm421
Photo of Jaycase
Jaycase

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: copper hue. thin head. small bubbles floating up to the surface

s: caramel, spices. malty

t: mix of spices with some maltiness. Ginger stands out from all the spices.

m: medium body, good carbonation

o: A nice offering from GL. Very drinkable. Seems to improve as it warms as well. A nice way to kick start the holiday season. Will look forward to trying this again next year.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 03:35:21 | More by Jaycase
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was happy to grab a six-pack this holiday season...

A - Slightly less than a fingers worthy of creamy white head... Minimal retention gives way and identical lacing... The color is a mix of equal parts which auburn and cherry red... Loaded with brisk carbonation...

S - Spices are at the forefront... Cinnamon... Touches of clove and ginger... Honey... Some cherry notes... Bready malts...

T - The taste is an exact replica of the nose... The spicy notes dominated by cinnamon are at the start... Followed by a deep rich bready malt base... Some notes of honey and cherries... The spiciness returns on the finish and slightly lingers...

M - Medium bodied... Subtle carbonation... Even and consistent... A bit chewy... Nothing to fancy here... Simple and straight forward...

D - A unique holiday offering that is loaded with subtle complexity... A sipper due to the spiciness, not the alcohol... This one really captures the spirit of the holiday it represents... I will enjoy the rest of these throughout the season...

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 02:36:38 | More by philbe311
Photo of Tifore
Tifore

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

A - Pours a orange, brown, amber color that is clear. It develops a 1/2 finger head that turns to nothing quickly and has a small ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Lots of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and ginger in the nose. Pretty intense but thats what GLBC is known for in their Christmas Ale.

T - Taste has all the spices from the nose at first taste. Slight booze and sweetness comes next and hangs around for a while.

M - Mouthfeel is medium. Not too heavy and not too light. Somewhat oily and smooth.

D - A good drinkable Christmas Ale. Alcohol creeps on you and will catch you off guard. (Has happened to me a few times) Three is typically my limit and boy are you feeling good.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2010 00:51:14 | More by Tifore
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Great Lakes in July 2009 as part of Christmas in July. Sampled side-by-side with the Independence Ale. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate copper-amber color with an off-white head and a touch of lacing. The nose is quite spicy with some cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove. A bit of lightly-sweet and toasted malt backing it all up. The taste brings all the spicing together quite well and the more spicy notes of the ginger and cinnamon begin to stand out. Feel is a bit over the top in some ways and I wish there was a bit more sweetness. Drinkability suffers from the same problems, but overall this is a pretty good winter brew.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2010 17:10:45 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of crossovert
crossovert

Illinois

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, best before Feb 11.

It pours a beautiful color, a deep orangeish red. The head is foamy and white and recedes very quickly leaving some okay lacing.

The smell really hinges on the ginger, it is spicy and sweet. There is also a thick, bready malt scent that provides the base for the spices.

The flavor is very nice and malty, the ginger again is at the forefront. It is like drinking a ginger snap cookie. There is a ncie malt sweetness that really makes the flavor pop.

Overall a nice Christmas ale with a gorgeous color.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 03:14:43 | More by crossovert
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Could have swore I reviewed this one. Apparently not! On draft at Fathead's at lunch on Friday November 18. Poured into a Nonic glass...

A - Presented a deeper copper color with a 1 finger beige head with slightly good retention. Some slight lace as well.

S - Lots of spices right off the bat. Ginger is taking the stage here with connamon, clove and some slight nutmeg. Some sweet, toasted malts in the background, but the spices really take the stage here.

T - Spices come out even more on the palate with ginger and clove standing out the most to me. Sweet, bready malts back it up as they tie the spices together well.

M - There is a slight burn here and there from the spices. Medium bodied with a soft, but continued carbonation.

O - Really a nice winter warmer. One of the better ones that I have had, but still relies on all the spices without much else to make it really pop.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2011 01:57:02 | More by KAP1356
Photo of david131
david131

California

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- A very pretty amber colored beer with a thin, creamy looking head. Very very clear.

S- Christmas spice and everything nice. Raisin, minty, earthy, malty, and spicy. Has sort of a "cold" smell to it. Unique and enjoyable.

T- Minty, spicy and sweet malt. Tastes like a Christmas tree.

M- Crisp and refreshing with good carbonation.

D- An enjoyable and unique beer. Christmas in a bottle right here.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2007 05:18:45 | More by david131
Photo of 321jeff
321jeff

Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle consumed on Christmas Day 2010... fitting.

Pours a light amber with golden edges and a couple fingers of barely off white head. Head fades to a thin layer, leaving some nice lacing on the glass. Lots of carbonation bubbles can be seen floating to the top.

Aroma is a rather sweet mix of honey and some dark fruits and some bread mixed in there. Some Christmas spices appear as well. The aroma is by no means overpowering.

Taste is all malt and quite sweet. Fresh bread is prevalent but there is an underlying fruity sweetness that is a challenge to pin down. Seems like it could almost be black cherry or something similar. I also pick up on just the slightest alcohol bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium and somewhat creamy. Very smooth overall with a moderate amount of very fine carbonation. Highly drinkable for 7.5% and it's fairly unique and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 04:01:51 | More by 321jeff
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a short white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Delicate aromas of cinnamon, ginger, honey and caramel malt. Medium bodied with an oily feel up front, a tangy feel at the finish, and subdued carbonation. Spicy flavors across the roof of the mouth with sweet dark fruit, honey and caramel malts over the tongue. Finishes cleanly with a subtle hop bitterness. Great balance of spicy, sweet and bitter in my opinion. This was an awesome easy drinking winter warmer!

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 23:31:33 | More by IronLover
Photo of beerdown77
beerdown77

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I look forward to this beer because of its specific focus on Christmas.

It pours brown, almost red. It has really nice head. I taste honey, ginger and cinnamon. It's transparency almost reminds me of a lager. I will say, although it does not taste boozy for being a higher ABV, this is a one bottler. I cannot see my self wanting more than 12oz of this taste. I would prefer this beer to be more hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 20:59:57 | More by beerdown77
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by Dreadnaught33. Thanks Jonathan!

A: This beer appears a slightly hazy shade of orange, with an eighth inch of head that falls away after a few moments, leaving some decent lacing upon the glass.

S: The aroma is very potent, with a huge bouquet of spices, including cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

T: The taste is full of Christmas spices, with hints of alcohol when you delve past the dominant spice scents. I would like the beer to be a bit more robust, and / or have a more substantial malt bill, better supporting the myriad of pleasant spices used in this creation.

M: Thin in body, with moderate carbonation.

D: A nice choice if you're in the mood for a spiced Christmas brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 05:53:51 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Christmas.

Coppery color. No rising bubbles. Tall pour inhibited the head formation, but a thick ring is long-lasting. 3.0

Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, maraschino cherry, light vanilla, and toasted malts. 4.0

Hearty flavor with loaded spiciness. Layers of cinnamon and coriander with light vanilla and nutmeg notes. Warming alcohol is a tasting note, as well. Backend hops offer some leafy green essences. Fusel bite is still agreeable. 4.0

Medium body with some fullness. Carb is lacking. Booze is right there with you. 3.0

Tasty December staple. Recommended. 4.0

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2012 02:18:17 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pale copper, fluffy off-white head. large carbonation bubbles. palest of the winter warmers ive seen.

S: clove. lots of clove. some brown sugar.

T: evergreen, mint, a ton of ground cinnamon. monkey bread. the sweetness of the honey is pretty evident as well.

M: light and tangy. lets the spice do the talking.

D: very good, very christmasy. ive heard people really rave about this stuff and around the right time of the year i could see why.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 03:52:28 | More by Jimmys
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottles purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

A classic Christmas seasonal that people seem to go gaga over.

Pours a basically clear copper amber/brown, with a half inch head and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like cherries, cinnamon, sweet malt, and caramel.

The taste is similar. Much more restrained than the similarly adored Christmas beer, Mad Elf, from Troegs. Some light Maraschino cherry flavor, some slightly more tart cherry flavors, some caramel, brown sugar, cinnamon and other holiday spices. Not much hop flavor.

Medium bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation, very drinkable.

Not my favorite style of beer, the winter warmer, but this is one of the better ones.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 01:00:38 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of mrquartetman
mrquartetman

Illinois

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A nice darkish golden amber, small head with poured, not persistent.
S - Aroma is ephemeral, malrt and hints of ginger
T - A malty beer that is spiced, but very subtly, with the predominant spice being ginger. The other spice in the beer (according to the label, cinnamon, along with the ginger and some honey) is not detectable. Whereas the wonderful Anchor Our Special Ale comes up and smacks you in the palate, this one is very quiet in presentation.
M - A malty mouthfeel that is neither dense nor thin. Just right.
D - This is one of the Winter Warmers that could be a session beer, except that it is 7.5% abv

The beer should be served at the temperature recommended on the bottle - 55°F. Otherwise the subtle aromas and flavors are buried.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 04:38:29 | More by mrquartetman
Photo of beveritt
beveritt

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label depicts a toy train hauling little red Christmas ornaments. Described as a "Handcrafted Ale with Spices and Honey." Now that I am back in Ohio, I intend to drink locally and this is my first on the way to trying all Great Lakes stuff.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 inches of near white head that settles quickly into a thin layer, leaving behind a medium amount of lacing. The beer itself is a rich reddish brown with ints of orange. A fair amount of activity can be seen. Crystal clear.

Smell: Smells of roasted malts, toffee, oranges, cloves, and some residual sweetness.

Taste: A decent carbonation bite upfront, followed by a bitterness from orange zest. Ginger follows, and it all finishes with a long, lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average body and carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice drink for the colder months, with enough spices to accent a solid beer without overpowering it.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 03:22:47 | More by beveritt
Photo of fattyre
fattyre

Georgia

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly hazy slightly dark brownish red color with a moderate tan head. The mouthfeel is moderate. The smell is spice mostly ginger and cinnamon. The taste is strong ginger and spice in front with mild malty cinnamony finish. A good spicy holiday season ale with a very deceptive alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2003 16:41:53 | More by fattyre
Photo of Gaisgeil
Gaisgeil

Michigan

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber/gold in color with a thin white head that dissapated quickly. Nose is slightly spicy with a bit of aromatic floral hop overtones. Taste is strong but lacking a certain complexity and balance. There is a nice hop profile coupled with the ginger and cinnamon tones. Lacks a certain balance and character however, doesn't really feel 'together' somehow. Quite warming, but the alcohol isn't particularly present in the taste. Body is medium with a smooth mouthfeel.

Slàinte!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 02:00:20 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of drewd0g
drewd0g

New York

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Big M in Potsdam. 1 single 12oz.

Pours a brownish orange, pretty clean. i like darker winter warmers. the smell is like cinnamon and spice, real nice very pleasant. when i drink this i taste cinnamon and chocolate. really good, i'd be interested in tasting this beer with some age on it, tastes like it would do it some good. the mouth has a medium-heavy body, appropriate for the style i think. decent drinkability although im kinda full from dinner ;-) drinking this and its snowing outside, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 03:16:27 | More by drewd0g
Photo of roadhouse
roadhouse

Florida

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is very clear coppery orange with a one inch thick off-white head. Lively carbonation keeps it held up for quite a while. Lots of thick lacing left behind on the glass.

Aroma is of spices mostly, I can detect the ginger, and the cinnamon is there but a bit less prominent. There's a general malt sweetness, or maybe that's from honey. A very light touch of piney hops as well. Either way, it's pretty mild.

Taste is mostly of the cinnamon up front alongside a malty sweetness. Towards the back end up the beer the ginger comes out more as well as some piney hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very creamy texture that goes down easy. Not the most drinkable though because of the spice character.

While I am not the biggest fan of Christmas Ales I thought this stuff was pretty good. I just noticed that it's 7.5% too, that makes it even better.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 04:28:19 | More by roadhouse
Photo of JohnnyHopps
JohnnyHopps

Indiana

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the beer was an exaggerated gold color with a modest white head. The ale left a thin lacing on the glass, giving reminders of your drinking progress. When sipping a winter warmer, this is a plus. The holiday aroma peaked my interest, with scents one might expect from a holiday beer including cinnamon, pine, ginger, and a hint of cookie. In the taste, one gets sweet and spicy cinnamon and honey a little later. The thickness of the ale allows this one to linger for a while. The staying power becomes nicer when one experiences the pleasant warming sensation toward the end. This is a nice warming seasonal with a pleasant aftertaste. I believe I could enjoy this one again in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

12-09-2012 00:31:48 | More by JohnnyHopps
Photo of maxpower
maxpower

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear bright copper color with a decent creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Spicy ginger bread cookie aromas, starts with spicy cinnamon and ginger flavors with honey in the end. Medium bodied with smooth mouthfeel, finishes very dry. It is hard to believe this is 7.5 %.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 19:17:14 | More by maxpower
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,049 ratings.