Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,746 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,746
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 144
Gots: 535 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,746 | Reviews: 839
Photo of redhorse107
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An excellent locally brewed seasonal beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co. Great taste and readily available!

Photo of NYR_Rob
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A much better version of Pete's Wicked Winter.

Photo of Brackh
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did a Holiday beer tasting with the wife. You can smell the spices on this one. Doesn't really smell like a winter warmer to me. The taste is sweet and chewy. A little too sweet for my taste. My wife loves it though. Almost buttery sweetness if that makes sense.

Photo of Andyrectenwald
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great seasonal beer. A good six pack of go-to beers.

Photo of fscottkey
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] Amber to red color. Has a 1/4 finger white cap (even with a hard pour). The bottle lists the ABV (7.5%) and the best by date 1/25/15.

S: [3.00] I get spices and some Belgian yeast smells.

T: [3.50] I still feel like there is a Belgian yeast taste up front. After that it opens up into a sweet middle. The finish has some mild spices. The overall taste is pleasant - no hint of hop bittering.

M: [4.00] I like the mouth feel. It is really rich and robust with no sense of over carbonation.

O: [3.75] This is a nice beer. It tastes more like a spiced lager to me. The taste is sweet and nice. Very rich malty backbone. There is a low hop level (none detectable). I would drink another - but if I am buying I would get something different.

Photo of Radiosox
3/5  rDev -24.1%

The honey sweetness was not my thing.

Photo of BeerHistoryGuy
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

I don't have the ability to pour it as I am on the road, so I can only comment on the taste.

This is one of my favorite winter/Christmas beers. There is a nice hint of spices, cinnamon and ginger come through, along with a nice honey taste. It's not nearly as sweet as some holiday beers, but it balances well with the overall taste of the Ale -- along with the aforementioned spices -- that truly make this a balanced beer.

I love this beer. It is a Christmas treat, like a not-too-sweet spiced cake, that's perfect for kicking back, watching some TV, and just relaxing.

Photo of HattedClassic
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a white foamy head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is a very clear copper with a slightly reddish tinge. The beer color also has a bit of honey gold mixed with the red.

The beer smell is very sweet with strong honey notes. The honey note dominate the smell with a little bit of cinnamon and ginger coming out to give it something extra. The overall smell is a very sweet beer with spices. the spices do not seem to be very prominent.

The beer taste is exceptionally indulgent. The beer has very strong honey notes such that it dominates the palate. The taste notes has a few other notes such as a cinnamon note and very, very light ginger note that is almost unnoticeable.

The mouthfeel is pretty heavy bodied and thick for a winter warmer. The carbonation is minimal but feels appropriate.

Overall, the beer feels like a lower ABV version of Mad Elf, which isn't necessarily bad. The sweetness definitely makes me think of Christmas and the honey is pretty good. However, I can't really see drinking more than one of these a day. Despite this, I think that this is still a pretty good beer worth getting. I can certainly see what Great Lakes was going for (a beer reminiscent of red Christmas ornaments) and they definitely succeeded. I would definitely recommend getting a six-pack of this. I wouldn't recommend finishing it in one session.

Photo of 57md
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%

Copper color. Bready and malty nose. The seasonal spices merge well with the malt base. The finish has a touch of sweet and the potent essence of cinnamon.

Photo of ChicagoGuy
4/5  rDev +1.3%

At fridge temps, it's refreshing with a nice bitterness and very subtle spice vibe in the background. As it warms up a little, it really opens up - the bitterness all but disappears, and a nice gingerbread spice flavor takes center stage. It's a tasty, interesting sipper.

Photo of Treyliff
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoy by 3/1/15, 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A- pours a bright and clear amber color with a small creamy white head that retains long after the pour, remaining creamy on top and leaving behind some short lasting lace

S- lots of ginger aroma up front, quickly followed by graham cracker and pie crust. Hints of cinnamon kick in with toasted bread, dried fruit and a sweet honey aroma to close it out

T- spicing of ginger and cinnamon kick in up front, notes of berry fruit, medicinal & herbal notes and piney hops. Caramel/toffee malty sweetness with toasted notes of bread crust and graham cracker. Honey sweetness as it nears the finish with more fresh ginger on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a chewy, slightly warming finish

O- a top 3 winter warmer that is packed with flavor, while remaining remarkable drinkable

Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, drink by 2/5/2015. Poured into a snifter 12/2/2014.

A- Clear, dark caramel-brown body, one finger white head with low retention time. Eventually becomes a thick collar with a thin film forming on top. Not much lacing. [3.75]

S- Christmas spices, as advertised. Cloves. Ginger. Toffee, caramel sweetness rounds it out. Yeasty minerals. Clean aroma. [4]

F- Cloves, ginger, yeast, herbs, a bit of sage. Balanced out by a nice toffee backbone that provides a nice sweetness to the beer. Finish is herbal and mineral in character. Not particularly bitter. Nice balance of malt and spices, here. [4]

M- Medium bodied, on the thinner side which is just about right. A nice drinking beer, especially for a cooler night. Definitely will keep ya warm. No heat, but very easy to drink. [4]

O- Tasty winter warmer that doesn't overdo the spices. It does everything it needs to do and then some without overdoing it. I expect that of just about every GLBC beer I open, and they have never disappointed. [4]

Final score: 3.99

Photo of MANix73
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

I did a side-by-side this weekend with Thirst Dog's 12 Dogs of Christmas. GLBC was lighter in color, lighter on spices & hoppier. If you prefer hoppier, this is the Christmas Ale for you. I prefer the spice & therefore the 12 Dogs. Both are great holiday ales!

Photo of Sir-Buddly-Longfellow
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Very good! Slight taste of pine with a solid finish. Nice seasonal for sure

Photo of Chrismulk22
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%

Solid

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.31/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle dated 3/1/15 at 45 degrees into shaker
Aroma subdued, no hint of ginger, slightly sweet odor, probably vestiges of the honey
Head average (3 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy with large bubbles, rapidly diminishing to 2 mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – virtually none
Body medium orange, clear
Flavor begins sweet but not cloying, muddled spices with none standing out or even identifiable; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.25, Overall 3.25

Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Christmas Ale brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co., with an ABV 7.50% This brew pours out a light brown color with a nice white head. This is a filtered brew you can see right though it. The smell is rich with spices and grains. You also pick on some sweetness in the smell. The taste is bold with flavor, you pick up on the sweetness in this brew. You also pick up on the spies in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice, bold and clean. This brew has a nice balance to it for having an ABV of 7.50%, you can not tell the high ABV. There is nothing overpowering in this brew. Great Lakes Brewing Co, did a nice job with this one. I would buy this brew again. Thank You Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Photo of zCzerwinski
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

Delicious, very drinkable

Photo of elmo7zoe
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Great cool weather beer. A little malty with honey overtones and holiday spic

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of 02/09/2015 printed on the label. A new beer to me from Great Lakes Brewing Co. Expectations are good considering the source.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a medium dark coppery orange body with one finger of khaki froth that wanes, and leaves scattered streaks of lacing. Looks good.

S - The aroma is moderate in strength, but pleasant. Lots of sweetened caramel malts, brown sugar, cinnamon, and some light herbal spice rack notes. An indistinct, muted fruitiness also present.

T - Taste follows the nose - sweetened caramel malt & lots of juicy fruitiness in the vain of cherries and berries. Light herbal notes are noticeable, but I probably wouldn't know this was brewed with cinnamon without being told. A touch medicinal, but not distracting.

M - The feel is crisp, smooth, & clean. Very easy drinking despite the moderate 7.50% abv.

Overall, a very nice exemplar of the style; fruity, tasty, and very easy to drink. I will definitely considering picking up more bottles of this.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale -----4/5.

Photo of BrewUSA
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look 7/10
Smell 14/20
Taste 31/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 15/20

Overall 75/100


Easily the most overrated craft beer in my opinion, While its not bad. I am totally at a loss as to why the hype machine gets fired up the way it does over this beer. It doesn't seem to have any one thing that stands out as a beer worth seeking out. I suppose its less about how bad this beer is, and more about how many other amazing Christmas Ales and craft beers are out there~

Photo of docoman
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Bought some of this at local Kroger store, yes, grocery store to try... not bad, basic winter style beer... tastes good, great ruby red/rust color... but surprisingly no aroma... but again, good drinking beer and seasonal.

Photo of jacobkrotz
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Great Lakes does a superb job in crafting this Christmas Ale. Has the right spice notes, without being overpowering.

Photo of lewis0216
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

I enjoyed this brew mightily. Very clean and delicious for a cold night.

Photo of trainradio77
1.61/5  rDev -59.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Not as good this year. The bottles I purchased all had an off flavor. Not good at all and not the same as previous years. On tap was better but still not good.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,746 ratings.