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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

2,123 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,123
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 96
Gots: 195 | 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: 2,123 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev +1%

From 12/30/11 notes. Had on tap at The Big Hunt in Washington, DC. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of gingerbread, spices, bready malts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toasted malts. Lots of cinnamon and ginger, smells great to me.

t - Tastes of cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, spices, bready malts, toasted malts, light toffee. More cinnamon than the nose, and a tiny step again. Really liking this.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and creamy.

o - Overal I thought this was a great Winter Warmer. Lots of cinnamon and gingerbread in the nose and taste which I love, and exactly what I was expecting. Would certainly buy it again.

01-01-2012 20:22:02 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Extrajoker00


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

01-01-2012 19:37:54 | More by Extrajoker00
Photo of slasich


4/5  rDev +1%

01-01-2012 01:30:21 | More by slasich
Photo of MaxBrewell

West Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -7.1%

A - Clear copper color with ample head and carbonation bubbles releasing; minimal lacing.

S - Cinnamon and sweet malts dominate the nose. Honey and ginger don't come through.

T - Cinnamon present up front and malty sweetness in the finish. Nothing special, but a nice Winter Warmer.

M - A little thin, but nicely carbonated.

D - At 7.5% the ABV is well hidden and it is a nice example of the style. A nice beer to ring in the New Year!

01-01-2012 01:14:20 | More by MaxBrewell
Photo of StayCeeJay


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

01-01-2012 01:11:13 | More by StayCeeJay
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.

12-31-2011 18:32:16 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of kizyle


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

12-31-2011 15:36:24 | More by kizyle


2.5/5  rDev -36.9%

12-31-2011 04:36:19 | More by CORKSCREWFISH
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.18/5  rDev +5.6%

Crisp and clear, copper in color, only a little bit of head that goes flat quickly. No lacing.

The aroma and flavor are really well done. Subdued spices provide character and a warm feeling without overwhelming my palate or my nose. Cinnamon is more evident than the other spices, but ginger comes through too. A prominent malty sweetness is evident throughout, but there is also a dry finish.

Slick and little bit flat, the mouthfeel is a disappointment considering the other solid qualities of this beer. Still, a very nice winter warmer, and no doubt, I will drink this again.

12-31-2011 02:53:16 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of HopNelius

New York

3.78/5  rDev -4.5%

A-Red/orange body with a medium head not overly carbonated.
S-Smell notes of Ginger and Cinnamon. Smells of holiday spice.
T-The ginger and Cinnamon hit you immediatly but mellow out for the finish.
O-Great Christmas Beer. In my part of the country it sells out quick.Not a beer that I would want to drink everyday but I appreciate a few around the hoidays. The Ginger and Cinnamon balance makes this beer unique compared to other Christmas Ales I have had. The 7.5 abv is balanced nicely and does not come off boozy at all.

12-30-2011 18:03:03 | More by HopNelius
Photo of ArchEnemyBrew


3.73/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured into SA perfect pint glass 12-29-11

A: Pours a perfectly clear beautiful copper color with about a half inch of white head that hangs around for a bit.

S: Intial smell is of cinnnamon and ginger for sure. A very familiar smell to me only because I have brewed a beer with those same spices. As it warms I get a nice bready and caramel malt aroma and a little bit of alcohol as well.

T: Taste is of subdued spices, just the way I like it. I enjoying smelling the spices in the beer a bit more than a full on onslaught on the palate. Once again bready malts and a nice crispness to the beer. A small hop kick at the end rounds things out nicely. Just a trace of honey lingers on the tongue.

M: Nice bit of carbonation, not too sweet, nice level of spices. A little thin but doesn't detract from the beer itself.

O: I have to admit that I'm a bit of a sucker for spiced beers and I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Could have a few on a cold winter night.

12-30-2011 03:27:05 | More by ArchEnemyBrew
Photo of mdmoore


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

12-29-2011 23:07:11 | More by mdmoore
Photo of docrates


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

12-29-2011 20:56:41 | More by docrates
Photo of amart80


4/5  rDev +1%

12-29-2011 16:13:19 | More by amart80
Photo of Fliptunes


5/5  rDev +26.3%

12-29-2011 14:59:57 | More by Fliptunes
Photo of jrpapajcik


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

12-29-2011 11:28:24 | More by jrpapajcik
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

3.73/5  rDev -5.8%

I enjoyed a bottle of this over at my in-laws house while just hanging out and watching the Simpsons during the Christmas holiday 2011.

I poured this into a Jolly Pumpkin tumbler.

A: Poured a clear, festive, soft red color, with a good bit of visable carbonation, and about a one finger head.

S: Right away, the recognizable Great Lakes profile poked through brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Christmasy!

T: The combination of spices created sort of an odd bitterness that worked somewhat. In addition to the spices I got on the nose, I also detected a good bit of nuttiness and gingerbread as the beer warmed.

M: The beer as whole was moderately carbonated, had virtually no lacing, and the cinnamon actually started to sting by the time I reached the bottom of the glass.

O: To each his or her own on this one. If you dig this type of brew, then knock yourself out. As for me, I liked it, but didn't love it. Anchor still owns Christmas to my mind...

12-28-2011 14:23:19 | More by Chaney
Photo of liftop


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

12-27-2011 22:47:17 | More by liftop
Photo of elNopalero


4.23/5  rDev +6.8%

From the bottle (12/12):
This pours a caramel amber color with light foam. From the aroma I’m guessing it’s spiced with nutmeg? I also get some allspice, clove and ginger hints. The flavor has nice bite without being overpowering. There’s a mild malt sweetness and a pretty straight forward “Christmas” spicing—with ginger, caramel, and a clove note mixed with some honey sweetness at work here. Mellow, easy-going finish.

From the tap (previous): This pours a ruby auburn color. It has a lightly spiced aroma to it, ‘holiday’ spices, like the dusting of cloves and allspice. Tastes so flavorful with a wonderful, big spiciness of nutmeg and allspice, some clove and cinnamon, and a hoppy bite that’s masked by a malty spice backbone. I enjoyed letting this one warm as it held up well.

12-27-2011 22:46:28 | More by elNopalero
Photo of ALifeWellWasted


4/5  rDev +1%

12-27-2011 02:02:48 | More by ALifeWellWasted
Photo of CSQ1111


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

12-26-2011 22:32:26 | More by CSQ1111
Photo of Slats1221


5/5  rDev +26.3%

12-26-2011 01:55:35 | More by Slats1221
Photo of Hophead717


4.4/5  rDev +11.1%

A 12 oz bottle, poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: A nice amber/ruby red, with a one finger foamy head on top. The head hangs around for a bit, before dissipating to a cap on top of the beer.

S: A heavenly aroma that just screams Christmas. Perfect ratios of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg first (mostly cinnamon), with biscuity malt notes. Overall, a nice sweet scent, with light hints of fruitness, and just the right amount of spices. Perfect for a winter warmer.

T: Yummy. Great mix of spices, with the cinnamon leading the way, without being overly dominant. Hints of ginger and nutmeg are most pleasant. The beer has the perfect level of sweet maltiness, enhanced by the spices. It tastes also like a gingerbread cookie! Nothing present from the hops. The finish is of the spices.

M: Perfect. Medium body, with enough carbonation, but not too much. Somewhat creamy body overall.

O: Winter warmers are far from my favorite style, but Great Lakes makes a wonderful one. Highly recommend.

12-26-2011 01:21:48 | More by Hophead717
Photo of BrewerB


3.88/5  rDev -2%

Markfy sent this to me in a recent trade. Cheers Mark! Fitting to open it on Christmas.

Pouring into a Firestone Walker nonic pint glass. Brilliant clarity, copper in hue. Fizzy off-white head collapsed down thin.

Spicy nose, reminiscent of a holiday pie. Cinnamon, ginger, sugar cookie sweetness. Toasted malt undertones. Malt presence hard to detect.

Snickerdoodle/sugar cookie like sweet maltiness. Cinnamon/brown sugar on the medium-sweet finish. Subtle floral qualities. Bitterness is low/moderate-low. Not much in the way of hops.

Medium-bodied with moderate-high level of carbonation.

Great spicy bouquet going on with ginger, cinnamon, sugary sweetness. Not necessarily a beer I'd get a second of but enjoyable none the less.

12-26-2011 01:20:02 | More by BrewerB
Photo of gabedivision

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter glass.

Ho Ho Ho, what a day to review a Christmas ale.

A- pours a clean and clear chestnut red with a 1 finger head that sinks to a thin tight bubbled ring around the glass.

S- Sweet malts and sugary spice all around this one, festive. Cherries, clove, ginger with an overwhelming Vicks vapor rub/cough medicine smell. Breathes winter to me.

T- Brown sugar, huge nutmeg ,honey, cherries, clove, hints of peppermint, and rum. Well balanced sweet malts, and sugary spice. Tastes like a holiday cake or pastry of some sort.

M- Medium on the body and feel, goes down like syrup sugary and over sweet.

O- Overall, this is a fuzzy warming beer, the smell maybe enough to make you not want to sip it due to its medicinal like qualities but the taste makes up for it. Not sure if i could enjoy more than one of these at a sitting, very syrupy and sweet. But well worth a try.

12-26-2011 00:35:38 | More by gabedivision
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,123 ratings.