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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

2,137 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,137
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 98
Gots: 198 | 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: 2,137 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keenan41
1/5  rDev -74.7%

keenan41, May 06, 2012
Photo of fbloise77
1.5/5  rDev -62.1%

fbloise77, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of jtennyson99
1.5/5  rDev -62.1%

jtennyson99, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of Bigboyash73
1.65/5  rDev -58.3%

This beer is so hyped up that it drives me nuts! I had this beer on tap with some cinnamon shit on the rim and that was the only good thing about it! The taste was absolutley awful! It has a super bitterness to it and maybe im bias, but im just not an ale fan....ILL STICK TO LAGERS!

Bigboyash73, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of mariposafan
1.73/5  rDev -56.3%

The pour gives maybe a half inch of loose head over a coppery body. The head dissipates fairly quickly with just a little lacing persisting.

The smell is where I knew this wasn't going to meet my expectations. Where I was hoping for gingerbread and malts I got sweetness and hops. Lots of hops. If there were spices there they're completely drowned out by the hops.

Taste is much the same as the smell, though there are some winter spices evident in very small quantities. Some alcohol is present as well. Mostly, though, there are those hops. If I'd wanted hops I'd have bought an IPA or APA. The bitterness starts fairly gently but increases as I drink more of it. Now, 45 minutes later, I've still got some of that damned bitterness on my tongue.

The mouthfeel was rather thin with prickly carbonation, but not bad.

The experience of drinking this was akin to ordering a hamburger and biting into a veggie burger. It might be fine in its own right but it wasn't what I was expecting at all and it was nothing like I'd expect from the description of the style.

mariposafan, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of j_hollings13
1.75/5  rDev -55.8%

j_hollings13, Jun 19, 2014
Photo of beeristhefuture
1.8/5  rDev -54.5%

This is not a bad craft brew at all, despite my lackluster numbers. The color is beautiful, and frost-like lacing, when poured correctly, stays in the glass. However, I find the blend of spices to be too sour and bitter in a bad way, and the thin mouthfeel Great Lakes Beers typically have doesn't augment the flavors needing some heft. The highher alcohol content is also immediately obvious, making the beer taste like alcohol.
However, as is typical for Great Lakes, first-class ingredients are used and the flavors that make me uncomfortable are often enjoyed by others.

beeristhefuture, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of pwoods
1.83/5  rDev -53.8%

12oz. brown bottle, purchased from Party Source, poured into a pint. 1/22/08 best before date.

A: Pours a deep copper that is probably clearer than any other beers I've seen. Very small amount of very small bubbles lazily stroll to the top. average pour produced only 1/2 finger of off white head and didn't last very long.

S: Spicy cinnamon(like Big Red) is the first thing that hit me. Brown sugar, clove, nutmeg, and ginger bread also make an appearance. Not getting anything else but spices. Not terrible but not very complex, either.

T/M: Dominated by hot cinnamon and a cough syrup taste. Some clove and ginger try to make there way through but just don't manage. I don't even want to finish this. Body is medium heavy and carbonation is low.

D: Didn't drink much at all. Winter Warmer isn't my favorite style but I don't dislike it by any means... this one just didn't do it. It's very unfortunate, too, since GLBC is one of my favorite breweries.

pwoods, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of maximum12
1.83/5  rDev -53.8%

I guess I am going to have to give up.

I just don't like Christmas Ales. But this is the spiciest, & least drinkable, of the bunch.

This is the third one I've tried to put down, & I'm not going to be able to finish it. For me spices like this belong in a pie, cake, or salad, not in my liquid libations.

Nothing personal. I just can't handle it.

maximum12, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of Corkpuller
2/5  rDev -49.5%

Corkpuller, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Monnie
2/5  rDev -49.5%

Monnie, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of billhelm
2/5  rDev -49.5%

billhelm, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of Achoo_Bacca
2/5  rDev -49.5%

Achoo_Bacca, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of sarch
2/5  rDev -49.5%

sarch, Nov 30, 2013
Photo of the1hammer
2/5  rDev -49.5%

the1hammer, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Fergyx825
2.25/5  rDev -43.2%

Appearance: a brownish red beer, with some head on the pour. It sticks around for a bit around the edges of the beer and on the surface of the beer. This matches the description of a winter warmer.

Smell: at first you can smell the spices in this beer, they smell rich and thick. Cinnamon and nutmeg, and then you can smell the light hops of the beer, and some maltyness in it.

Taste: the rich spicy flavor is evident, the beer is spicy like fire sauce. Its very high in alcohol content. This is not enjoyable whatsoever.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, and a medium thickness beer. These match each well.

Overall: This looks good, smells good, but it tastes terrible. I was looking forward to this too.

Fergyx825, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of CheapHysterics
2.3/5  rDev -41.9%

A: Really nice reddish copper color. Head is soapy looking but otherwise a pleasant looking beer.

S: Spice and pine, dominated by cinnamon. A pleasantly sweet candy like aroma combines with the spices to remind me of holiday candy. The aroma is the best of part of this beer, but I don't buy beer just to smell it.

T: Starts out with spice candy and pine, which seem like they should go together but somehow don't. at all. It's not horrid, but it seems like it should be good and it just is not. Finishes with a bitterness that has a metallic tinge to it, leaving you wondering where all the spices disappeared to - not that they were very good to begin with, but at least they were better than the bitter metal you are tasting now. Malts are totally MIA.

M: Thin and crisp. Carbonation is almost prickly. unpleasant.

D: Don't want anymore. Hopefully my holiday guests will finish the sixer.

CheapHysterics, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of k3n
2.3/5  rDev -41.9%

Bottle traded from tangfoot (thanks!), dated freshest by 1/19/07. Got in under the wire.

A: Really nice coppery-orange color. Not much head or carbonation.

S: Slightly malty smell, mostly sweet, reminds me of spiced apple cider.

T: In a word: Sweet. IMO, too sweet. The malty sweetness runs right into the gingery, honey sweetness. There's a bit of acidity at the end, but is then overwhelmed by the cloying honey.

M: Mouthfeel is light to begin with, but that sticky honey taste/feeling hangs around too long at the end.

D: Not impressed with the drinkability of this one, and I tend to favor winter warmers. Seems like there's not enough balance to this one.

k3n, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.33/5  rDev -41.2%

My 1st Great Lakes!

Clear copper color with a thick head that's quick to vanish. No lace, shameful retention.

Aroma is honey with a malty backbone. Cinnamon.

Smooth and malty up front with ample, but not overpowering, spice. It's the backend of this beer that I object to; it has a tobacco, herbal antiseptic tongue tingling ick that doesn't float my boat. Downright sinks it. Slick, booziness makes this beer seem stronger than 7.5%.

I'd heard so many great things about this brewery that I left Christmas Ale sitting on my counter for an hour and kept going back to it to make sure I wasn't missing something. It eventually ended up down the drain.

donkeyrunner, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of drtacks37
2.38/5  rDev -39.9%

Ap - Clean, amber color. Thin creamy white head. Little lacing.

Ar - Damn this cold, my nose is not what it should be. Am I detecting raspberry?

T - I'm gonna need a few more sips to try to sort this all out. Sweet, nutmeg and other spices. Still trying to sort it out. Complex... but I don't think I like it. All the spices of Pumpking, but none of the pumpkin.

I don't want any more of this.

drtacks37, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
2.4/5  rDev -39.4%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. The beer looks great. A very clear copper color with a finger of off white head. I can smell the spice from a foot away. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. All these and more are confirmed when I take a drink. Wow, there is a lot of spice here, and a sweetness that must be the honey that was mentioned on the label. Mouthfeel is ok due to the carbonation, but I just can't get past the overwhelming spicyness of this brew. For me drinkability of his beer is non existent. There is just too much of a spice presence. Perhaps I have been drinking IPA for too long to truly appreciate this style. I will not be having another one of these.

Sideswipe, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of WraythOsu
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

WraythOsu, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of cornpone
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

cornpone, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Bluecane
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

Bluecane, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of jacewg
2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

jacewg, Jan 18, 2012
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Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,137 ratings.