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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.
very good

2,139 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,139
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 99
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: 2,139 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
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773-F-I-B, Mar 28, 2014
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bbeane, Sep 13, 2013
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BlakeAM, Nov 23, 2012
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athomasPSU, Sep 18, 2013
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4/5  rDev +1%

OUJayhawk1799, Dec 12, 2013
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4/5  rDev +1%

szmnnl99, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of dbc5
4/5  rDev +1%

dbc5, Jun 06, 2013
Photo of beerman207
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light brown and ruby red. Leaves 1 finger of head and a great skim remaining after the head dissipated. Decent lacing left behind

S: Got to be honest. At first, I wasn't impressed with the smell but as it warmed the smell started to come out of my snifter. Nose had nutmeg and clove coming through and some malt.

T: Taste is hops, nutmet, and some clove. Has a nice warming effect for the finish.

M: Medium. Has the right balance

D: Very high drinkability. I could go for another one of these. I have to admit that this is probably one notch below the 12 dogs of chistmas from Thirsty Dog.

beerman207, Dec 05, 2009
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4/5  rDev +1%

boszormeny, Feb 13, 2014
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4/5  rDev +1%

target88, Jul 19, 2014
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4/5  rDev +1%

nwatson, Dec 27, 2012
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4/5  rDev +1%

agileh, Dec 01, 2011
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4/5  rDev +1%

FMPLover24, Nov 30, 2011
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4/5  rDev +1%

McTavern, Nov 18, 2012
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4/5  rDev +1%

cfh64, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of joeseppy
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cranberry amber with half inch white head. Wispy on the top and spider webs down.

Aroma mainly of cinnamon powder and ginger snap. Smells deceivingly full bodied. Basically a full onslaught of holiday spice and sweet malt.

Tastes pretty darn close to a lot of pumpkin ales I've had this year. Cinnamon is the first spice to come to my mind. Candy spice drops and crystal ginger essence. I'd say its Christmasy alright.

Mouthfeel is of medium body and is actually refreshing. Nothing overbearing or heavy laden.

Again, this reminds me of a lot of the pumpkin beers yet the ginger, for me, gives this the edge to give this that christmas feel. Shared some this year with my BMC friends who all agreed this was a quality beer. Nothing is worse than weighing your friends and family down with heavy beers. GL Christmas ale is a great choice for yourself and to share during a festive time such as this.

joeseppy, Dec 29, 2013
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 dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 6 pack, sadhanna's

appearance: pours a beautiful and vivid clear copper, tinted ruby...slight foamy beige head, not a whole lot of lacing

smell: similar to the Lakefront Winter aromas...lots of cinnamon spice - smells like red hots, touch of nutmeg and other spices...loaded with honey, mild maltiness

taste: cinnamon red hots, thick and sweet honey, nutmeg and other festive spices, a fair amount of pine, fair amount of alcohol present, ginger, slight cherry, caramel, biscuit-esque

mouthfeel: medium bodied, cinnamon spice, touch of hop bitterness

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper with about 2 finger widths of fizzy light tan foam. Once it settled down, it retained well with a nice light frothy covering that left some light lacing. Very pleasant looking brew. Aroma is sweetness, spice, and citrus.

Taste is dominated by spice initially. Most notabley cinnamon and ginger. It's nicely balanced though by a mix of honey sweetness and orange zest. Finish is just slightly hoppy. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium with just a slight underpining of heat.

I nice mix of festive flavors and easy drinkibility make this a great Christmas beer and another winner from the GLBC.

Kegatron, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says it's best served before 1/22/07. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark copper color with a nice off-white head and good lacing. It smells like cinammon, ginger, pine/floral hops, nutmeg and honey. The flavor is spicy, tasting like it smells. There's also some sweet malt and caramel in the taste. The mouthfeel is medium/full and a bit chewy. Even with the 7.5% ABV, this is a pretty drinkable beer. It goes down pretty easy. Overall, I think this is a pretty good beer. I wish Great Lakes would make this all year long.

bluejacket74, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of Briarbush
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer poured a deep copper with an auburn hue. Little lacing with a small head. Smell is good with a prevailing cinnamon smell little ginger. The mouthfeel was excellent with a great full body. I really enjoyed the subtle flavors of this beer. It isn't very drinkable, I imagine after a couple the spices would become pretty abrasive. The only downside to this beer is the complexity, being a beer n00b it is hard to take it all in. Great Beer. This beer at 7.5% is pretty potent. Beware cravings of eating ginger bread cookies after drinking this beer.

Briarbush, Nov 04, 2006
Photo of hustlemuscle
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Please note, this review is from an aged bottle. Drink by date of
01-08-05, consumed 07-30-05. Kept chilled.

Pours a very nice, crystal clear amber, with suspendies, but not cloudy. Still smells of cinnamon and spices, nutmeg, but much more subdued than a fresh bottle. The taste is equally subdued, in my opinion to the better. Still spicy, gingerbread cookie spices, christmas cookie spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, ginger. Easier on the toungue as well, smoother, and the hops come out, they were a little hidden in fresher bottles. I think it is easier to drink with a little maturity. Much smoother, a little less burn from the spices. Overall a very nice beer, even though the last thing I need to be in July is 'warmed!'

hustlemuscle, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of KYbrewgal
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Flanigans Ale House. Aroma of cinnamon, clove and caramel. Nice off-white head with small bubbles that lingered. A good drinkable brew with definate cinnamon and ginger spice flavor, a rich copper color, and a medium body that will fit with any holiday meal. One of the better "holiday-spice" beer offerings this season.

KYbrewgal, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of drtth
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chimay chalice. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice dark ruby reddish color with orange highlights and a ¼" white head that recedes fairly soon leaving some lacing. For much of the beer there is a small ring of foam around the glass and sipping leaves small scattered speckles of lacing that mostly slide back down into the liquid.

Smell: The aroma is spicy and malty with some ginger, cinnamon and other spices backed up by a nice bready and caramel malt character.

Taste: The flavors have just enough brown sugar sweetness to attract but not so much as to cloy. The major spices seem to be ginger and some nice cinnamon. The hops only play a role in the background as a trace of earthy, spicy bitterness to prevent the sweetness and spices from taking over. There's little or no alcohol detectable in this one.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with gentle but persistent carbonation. The finish is moderately long and mostly ends as a pleasant bitter counterpoint to the spices and malt.

Drinkability: Each sip of this one followed naturally from the preceding one and this one was soon finished. It would be quite easy to have second one. I'll definitely be having this one again.

drtth, Dec 30, 2010
Photo of tctruffin
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit to a pro-Great Lakes bias, but they keep making quality products. What can I do?

This years Christmas Ale brings the familiar deep amber hue. The bar where I got this in a 25oz mug didn't pour it with any head, and it seemed tad flat. Once I let the ale warm up from its too-cold serving temp, I was able to smell a bit of spice, mainly cinnamon. I seem to remember last year's version having more aroma. However, once I took a sip, I was given all the spice I could want floating on a solid malt base. Cinnamon and nutmeg stand out. What I love about this ale is that if you took away the spices, you'd still have a very tasty, well-balanced ale.

Even though this is a spiced ale, the spices don't assert themselves so much that they overtake the whole show. After downing 25oz, I was seriously considering another mug.

tctruffin, Dec 18, 2007
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,139 ratings.