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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

2,072 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,072
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 89
Gots: 169 | 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: 2,072 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigdeuce
bigdeuce

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is an incredibly easy drinking Christmas winter warmer. Has lots of cinnamon flavors in it and some ginger as well. Pours an oft-red color with some head, not much, doesn't lace much either. Of course the one I had was way too cold. Very smooth and clean taste. Very potent, although it doesn't initially seem like it as the alcohol is barely detectable. I highly recommend this one!

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2006 21:10:55 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by date printed on label.

Glowing copper coloured, clear, with intense carbonation. Topped by a firm off white head that retains very well.

Fairly clean nose. Hints of cinnamon, ginger, & a touch of hops.

A rush of sweetness, followed by subtle spicing of ginger & cinnamon. A hint of hops dries it out just enough to keep it from becoming cloying. Didn't really pick up on the honey, but its still quite tasty. Brisk carbonation, medium/full bodied, & somewhat creamy. A nicely done beer just for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 18:31:03 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of sonicdescent
sonicdescent

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= just average but possibly from an overly agressive bartender. Small white head and a golden red appearance.

S=light hints of honey is really the only thing I get, but it's an appetizing scent.

T=it's beginning to taste a lot like Christmas! Very nice taste with the honey and spices coming through with no trace of alcohol.

M=excellent, thin bodies with very little carbonation.

D=very high, if I wasn't consciously tryin something different each beer, I would stick by this in a Pittsburgh minute.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 20:57:33 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked some up tonight and poured into my pint glass...

A: This pours a very clear red copper with a small head initially. That head however dissipates quickly into nothing, not even a ring. Oh well...let's see how it tastes

S: This one smells pretty spicy. A lot of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (Whether these were used in the brewing is another story, but it smells like them!).

T: The taste is caramel caramel caramel. An initial taste of caramel followed by some spice, particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. The hop presence is in there only slightly, it is really not that noticeable in this Christmas ale.

Overall this is beer drinks extremely light for the alcohol. You could have told me that this beer was 4% ABV and I would have believed it. The alcohol is not noticeable one bit. The carbonation is slightly low on this one as well.

This is a good beer, not one of the best Great Lakes, but a good beer nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 00:38:01 | More by treyrab
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2013-12-26 in Columbia, PA

A - Clear tawny-mahogany with a 1/2-finger light tan head that fades very quickly and leaves just a smidgen of lace.

S - Candied apples, cinnamon, cherry, pumpkin bread, ginger. Inviting aroma although not real strong.

T - There's a lot more bready malt than the smell would indicate. There also a shot of citrus and bitterness that wasn't evident in the smell. That being said, the cherry, candied apple, ginger and cinnamon make their presence known. It's a pleasing flavor that dries nicely and thankfully, isn't too sweet.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Syrupy but not cloying. There's a nice bit of resin that clings briefly. Leaves you wanting another sip.

O - This is a very enjoyable holiday ale. It's got some seasonal spicing but you still know you are drinking a good quality ale. I'll look for this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 21:15:26 | More by Tucquan
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this beer is kind of a root beer/mahogany color, atop sits a half finger of light tan head, below average amounts of carbonation

S - big spice elements, especially ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, the bottle mentions honey as well, there is a nondescript sweetness, could be honey, as well as a roasted nuttiness from the malt backbone

T - as it should be with a quality christmas ale/winter warmer, the spices element hits the palate first, followed by a rich earthy sweetness, must be from the honey and the roasted malts, quite a flavor combination

M&D - smooth and easy drinking, full bodied and warming, again as a winter warmer should be, a well brewer beer, a nice introduction to GLBC for me

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 21:08:48 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of SolipsismalCat
SolipsismalCat

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Ale.

A: Clear amber with one-finger, off-white head that lasted a couple of minutes. Nearly no lacing.

S: Sweet malt, dark fruit, and spice. I do detect the honey, but just barely.

T: Medium sweetness. Toasty and spicy. Mostly cinnamon. The honey takes a back seat again, which is fine with me. Overall, nice sweet malt.

M: Very smooth. Slightly dry, and goes down warm.

O: I give this a slight edge over the Winter Solstice. Very good winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 01:49:29 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to pimpp for this festive ale. Syracuse just got two inches of snow, let's drink for the season!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light amber with a one finger off-white head that dies down to a thin layer of almost nothing. Some stickiness remains on the sides of the glass. Smell is a powder cinnamon and a gingerbread aroma. Light honey and peppermint tickle the nose as well. Chesnut flavors up front with a fresh cinnamon sweetness. Some floral hops that mellow out from the caramel malt. Light to medium body with a decent carbonation. This warmer is like Goldschläger gone beer, but in a good way. I never would have guessed the 7.5% abv., wow. Great brew for the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 05:59:53 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm surprised at the B+ rating after trying this one. For a Christmas ale, this really rocks compared to most of the beers out there. Poured from a bottle to my snifter.

A: Ruby red/copper color and a nice pinky head that doesn't go down. Great lacing. Very nice festive color and look for this beer!

S: Lots of ginger, juniper, cinnamon spice, and some nice sugary malt to round it out. Nice.

T: Very sweet and spicy ale with large notes of ginger, juniper, real tasting honey, caramel and malt. Very nice christmas ale that fits the seasons spices and vibe nicely.

M: Great Lakes excels in this category. Very creamy and great carbonation, sweet and slick on the palate.

D: Impressive easy to drink holiday brew. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 01:52:18 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2006 19:25:18 | More by oberon
Photo of DrunkenPanther
DrunkenPanther

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer actually poured a lot lighter in color than I thought. It wasnt as attractive as Id have hoped. I was a bit nervous that the flavor would follow suit. Luckily it didnt.
The smell was very warm and inviting. The cinimmon was very present. It also was very full of a malt scent. Very nice.
The tastes bursts at first with cinimmon. Much like the aroma, it is follwed by another burst of malt. A light malt though and not something heavy that just sits.
Some x-mas beers are hard to get through. This one was surprisingly easy to get through, so I had a second. I didnt grow tired of the spices. It was very nice to drink.
I had this at the Brewery's Pub from a small batch made for July, I was told that they may tweak it a bit for this x-mas (Color was one thing they mentioned).

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2004 01:40:17 | More by DrunkenPanther
Photo of Osiris9588
Osiris9588

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a freshness date of 1/7/07. Pours a ruddy copper color, with a one finger which dissipates quicky and leaves no lacing.

Spices dominate the nose: ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, along with hone and pine notes--like a big bowl of pot pourri.

The flavor is also well spiced, kissed by a honied sweetness, and undercut by a caramel maltiness that approaches chocolate on the finish. The mouth is warm, spicy, and complex, and slighly creamy.

Very drinable, much more so than many christmas brews which tend to over do it on the spice in my opinion. This a more elegant incarnation of the style to which I look forward to when the fall chill enters the air.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 17:54:00 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of nkersten
nkersten

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Vigorous pour from bottle yields small head that fades quickly. Reddish amber color.
S- Cinnamon, honey, allspice, some hops. Nothing is overpowering or out of place, and this seems pretty typical of a holiday beer.
T- Lots of spices up front that blend together and fade into a hop flavor. Some malt sweetness, a little smoky flavor in the finish.
M- Crisp carbonation and a medium body, the spice flavors linger around for a bit.
D- For a spiced beer this one is very drinkable. GL Christmas Ale tastes like winter to me, one of my favorite holiday beers for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 04:00:39 | More by nkersten
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BBD: 1/19/09 Served at 50º

First time having this beer, surprisingly. Weeks after Christmas, this got pushed to the back of the fridge somehow.

Rusty orange body, lighter than I expected. A frothy finger's width of foam, that slowly ebbs to a ring and skim. Gingersnap and cinnamon snickerdoodle cookie aroma. Light honey too. Flavor is much the same, light cookie malt sweetness with a ginger and cinnamon combo in the background. Clover honey and bitter hop in the finish. Feel is light to medium, nicely compliments the flavors. Not a bad holiday brew, lighter than expected and balanced with moderate spice.

Single bottle from Vrai Amour in Chicago.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 02:04:16 | More by emerge077
Photo of spokeydonkey
spokeydonkey

New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip. A rich amber beer with a slight off-white head. Steady stream of tiny bubbles.

S - Orange, honey, cinnamon and vanilla in the aroma. Some maltiness behind that. Not quite as much going on here as I'd like from a christmas ale.

T - Starts off malty, but not too sweet. A lot of cinnamon following that which lends it a bit of dryness and astringency. Finishes very dry with firm bitterness (probably accentuated by the dryness and astringency). Some alcohol heat peeking through as well, probably accentuated by the dryness.

M - Medium bodied beer. A mild lingering astringency at the finish.

O - A very nice Christmas beer, that's definitely on the dry side of the style. If it were balanced a bit sweeter with a little less astringency, it would be easier to drink, but it's one of my go-to Christmas beers when I can get it.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 03:04:53 | More by spokeydonkey
Photo of gtermi
gtermi

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer has a very nice dark goden orang color with a very thin white head.

S: Man this beer has the best nose of any winter warmer I have ever smelled in my life. There is so much spice, some clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: Man this taste is amazing. I am getting a lot of cinnamon and some other spices. This is just a very great taste.

M: The beer is pretty crisp and even can feel the tingling on you r tongue.

O: This is a very good beer. One of the best winter warmers I have ever had. Its an all around great beer and there isnt a part of it that lacks.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 06:29:50 | More by gtermi
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dusty bronze. Tracing, clingy lace.

Mentholyptus on nose with gingerbread, cinnamon, and hints of honey and nutmeg. Reminds me a bit of GLBC's Dortmunder Lager underneath the spicing.

Taste is somewhat spicy, but balances well with the honeyed malt profile. Almost 'Asian' spices swimming around underneath the well balanced flavor profile.

Drying on the palate, and keeps a crisp taste throughout. Good drinkability. Seems like a good special occasion beer that could easily be shared with non beer-geeks. Velvet, amazing mouthfeel.

This has easily been one of the best seasonal beers i've tasted to date. Not over-the-top with funky spices, but well-integrated, tasty, drinkable, and seems 'seasonal' without being beer-perfume.

Oh, and you can't taste the alcohol in this one at all. Well built.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 16:57:41 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice tannish-white head floating on top of a very appealing reddish-brown holiday ale with nice clarity.

Smells of holiday spices and malty goodness.

You get a little bit of a zing from the hops, but the spices and malts dominate this incredibly well-balanced beer. I like the mouthfeel of this beer...nice and chewy.

A nice change of pace from the single and double Ipa's that I've been drinking lately. Very drinkable. You can definitely feel this beer warm you though. I'd have no problem downing a few of these, but the alcohol would quickly catch up to me.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not as hoppy as I like my beers, but very satisfying none the less. In my opinion, just about anyone could enjoy this beer. A solid choice for the holidays.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 00:49:09 | More by Morey
Photo of brutusmuktuk
brutusmuktuk

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper color with a thin white head. Smells great, of honey, cinnamon, and fruit. My first time with this I was unimpressed, but on a second visit from the same six pack I had a completely different experience. A sweet honey and fruit taste, with a hint of cinnamon and other spices. Smooth with a medium body feel. Very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2014 03:08:13 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of MrMcGibblets
MrMcGibblets

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: lighter color than expected-copper/bronze. Clear. No head whatsoever.
S: definitely ginger. Honeyed malts and baking/dessert spices.
T: saa. Medium to full sweetness. Very little to no hop bitterness, spices bring a little counterbalance. Sweet finish. like drinking a flat sweet mead.
M: I drink at this bar weekly, so I doubt its the taps...this has very little to no carbonation, which would have helped to balance out the sweetness and made for a less sticky sweet mouthfeel.
O: carbonation please.
update: had it on bottle. regardless, CO2 issues on tap-must be a problem w the tap, not the keg i figure.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2011 06:05:05 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of hops4me
hops4me

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - brilliant bright copper. Off white head that quickly falls in to the glass. Lacing is minimal.
S - sweet malt and honey. Toffe/caramel smells. Slight spice in there as well. Maybe some floral hop notes.
T - Toasted malt. Caramel malt sweetness. Ginger is in there but not overpowering. Good malty flavor.
M - medium
D - Very drinkable. Alc is well hidden. Excellent copper ale. Reminds me of Otter Creek copper...only much better.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 21:47:03 | More by hops4me
Photo of tonyh
tonyh

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Have enjoyed this beer on several occasions this holiday season. Both bottle and on tap.
It pours a beautiful amber/red color, with a nice light brown head.

The smell is not overwhelming, with only hints of spices.

The taste is wonderful. No one spice or flavor over taking the others. Crisp.

With one sip you will taste the holidays. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 13:41:29 | More by tonyh
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler filled at an undisclosed location (because they aren't officially offering it up for sale until after Thanksgiving 2010) served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear copper color with a fluffy beige head that thinned after a while but did leave some lacing behind.

S - sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey, sweet!

T - taste is kind of sweet as well, nutty sweetness, spiced sweetness, IMO it's good but maybe a tad too sweet for some.

F - medium bodied with a silky smooth feel.

D - it goes down smooth and easy.

Serving type: growler

11-24-2010 05:09:28 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of keanex
keanex

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle with a best before date of 2/12/2012 into my a pint glass.

A: Clear gingerbread color beer with almost no head. Really boring looking beer, doesn't look very appealing.

S: Huge cinnamon, gingerbread and allspice on the nose, reminds me of Christmas!

T: Very sweet, definitely couldn't stomach more than one of these in a night. Despite the sweetness I'm really enjoying this, allspice, cinnamon and gingerbread are huge on the tongue.

M: Medium bodied, rather syrupy, with light fizzy carbonation.

O: Very drinkable, but I couldn't drink more than one in a night, it's way too sweet. I am definitely enjoying this though and will buy one a year for the holidays!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 04:15:49 | More by keanex
Photo of despainmakesbeer
despainmakesbeer

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very Clear, rich dark copperish red color. Looks like big red in a glass. Thick 1/2" head at pour, with a 1/4" head remaining throughout out most of the glass. Very Spicey aroma, cinnamon, glove, ginger. As beer warms, aroma becomes more like a ginger bread. Same spices found in flavor, relatively consistent from beginning to end, a little sweet. Slight dry finish. Very drinkable christmas ale. Easy, slightly crisp. Probably my top seasonal from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2010 03:56:57 | More by despainmakesbeer
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,072 ratings.