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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

2,086 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,086
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 90
Gots: 177 | 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: 2,086 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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...

Serving type: bottle

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 00:35:38 | More by gabedivision
Photo of fizzyted

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +1%

12-25-2011 01:48:36 | More by fizzyted
Photo of dexterk1


4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is light brown with a medium head that had some staying power and left pretty good lacing.
Odor is sweet. Many holiday notes (of course) with nutmeg, cinnamon and others. Mostly sweet smell with hint of hops/pine in there as well.
Taste is sweet and caramel at first. The spice is prevalent as well, but I really like both of these is a Christmas beer. Some minor notes were gingerbread, toffee, and a touch of hops/ pine coming thorough at certain points(mostly middle end). Ends with cinnamon and spice that lingers for a bit.
Mouth feel is very good. Not too much carbonation and reasonably smooth.
Overall, it is a Christmas beer and brings what might be expected. Plenty of seasonal spice and sweet flavor. Perhaps my favorite Christmas beer!

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 00:08:45 | More by dexterk1
Photo of AaronBurr


3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

12-24-2011 18:02:28 | More by AaronBurr
Photo of greenlab


4/5  rDev +1%

12-24-2011 15:11:47 | More by greenlab
Photo of jwhawkins81


4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tastes of 11/2/10 with a best by date of 02/02/11

Aroma - Spice and sweet notes dominate the nose. Particularly cinnamon.

Appearance - Golden red with a quickly dissipating white head but an OK level of carbonation.

Taste - Cinnamon sweet and smooth at 55 degrees or warmer. I really recommend drinking this beer at cellar temperatures. Overall the flavor profile is heavy on spice and sweetness with hints of ginger.

Notes - The best Christmas Beer I've ever had but it really beats you over the head with all that spice and sweet flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2011 14:52:55 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of bezakjon


4/5  rDev +1%

12-23-2011 20:55:31 | More by bezakjon
Photo of orm56


4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

12-23-2011 09:54:18 | More by orm56
Photo of Etan


3/5  rDev -24.2%

12-23-2011 06:36:42 | More by Etan
Photo of GregSVT


4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip

A: Pours a clear dark amber with an off-white head that fades to a ring and leaves a tiny bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose smells like candied apples and toffee with a sweet malt base.

T: The taste is pretty much a mirror of the nose with big flavors of candied apples, light caramel, and sweet malt.

M: The feel is on the lighter side of medium with a tad bit of creaminess.

O: Pretty good christmas ale. It's pretty similar to Saint Arnold's christmas ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 05:58:58 | More by GregSVT
Photo of 1Adam12


4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color. Lots of bubbles. Smells awesome. Smells like blended honey, gingerbread, and cinnamon. Loads of cinnamon. Tastes much of the same. Possibly some lemon in there as well. Has a bit of a ginger snap cookie to it as well. Very good. Mouthfeel is a bit over carbonated, but full. Very crisp. This is by far the best Christmas Ale I've had this year. Thanks to JohnPPutz for the extra.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 04:19:45 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of ckollias


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz beer out of a pint glass.

A: pours a clear dark copper hue with an off-white, frothy, 4-finger head that quickly dissipates into a solid persistent lace leaving a nice trail all the way down the glass.

S: spicy aroma with hints of ginger and honey with alcoholic overtones.

T: crisp and slightly sweet and bitter. Smooth and malty and nicely spiced. Hints of ginger, cinnamon, and bitter.

M: medium body and medium carbonation.

O: this is the best Christmas ale I've ever had. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 18:56:36 | More by ckollias
Photo of TwelveOunces


3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle in a tulip

A- Clear dark Autumn orange with a small quarter finger head that dissipates quickly.
S- Very interesting smelling beer. Bizarre ginger up front followed by a tiny amount of cinnamon. Some alcohol. I cant really get a good Idea on how the malt/hop smell is because the ginger just overpowers the rest of the beer. Im not crazy about this much ginger.
T- This is a spicy beer, the cinnamon certainly gives this one a nice kick. Cloves, honey and cinnamon are all apparent in the taste but just like the smell, I think its too heavily dominated by ginger. A very sweet beer by the way.
M- Medium bodied and good amounts of carbonation, higher in alcohol then your average brew so it warms the tummy. Interesting texture that hits somewhere in between creamy, gooey and smooth.
O- My first winter warmer so yeah, Im pretty disappointed. I feel like this is a pretty decent beer and that this just isn't my style. I will probably try again next year and hope my taste buds have had a change of heart.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 12:08:51 | More by TwelveOunces
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,086 ratings.