1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,169 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,169
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 107
Gots: 211 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,169 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rusty18
4/5  rDev +1%

Rusty18, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of JohnnyMc
5/5  rDev +26.3%

JohnnyMc, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of avaccani
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

avaccani, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of jclaydev
5/5  rDev +26.3%

jclaydev, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Zaphog, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +1%

Tyrawlings, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of spark3148857
4/5  rDev +1%

spark3148857, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of jharkins07
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

jharkins07, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

LJWalker, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of maryd837
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

maryd837, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of mpdrago
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

mpdrago, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of meanmutt
4/5  rDev +1%

meanmutt, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of 5ndurda
4/5  rDev +1%

5ndurda, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of tdm168
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jtd1969 for sharing this one with me.

Pours a deep amber with a quarter of an inch of off white head that has little retention. The nose is sweet with mild notes of honey, faint cinnamon, and fainter ginger. The flavor opens up with some faint honey and then moves into a candy-like, sugary sweetness. The finish has notes of cinnamon and very faint ginger. The flavor profile overall is rather light and laid back. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, and moderately carbonated.

This isn't a bad beer, but it's uninteresting. There's is nothing that sets it apart from any of the other winter warmers that are also brewed with cinnamon, ginger, and honey. It was nice to try once, but I wouldn't have it again.

tdm168, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of djtomain
4/5  rDev +1%

djtomain, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Hopman1985
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

Hopman1985, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of TCgoalie
4/5  rDev +1%

TCgoalie, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of BluBeers
4/5  rDev +1%

BluBeers, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of fvernon
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A surprise extra from Corbet - thanks! Poured at 55 degrees into a Portsmouth tulip from a bottle; January 2012 vintage. It pours a clear honey-copper with a short-lived but thick eggshell head, slowly dissolving into nothing but a small film hanging in the middle of the glass.

The aroma is really interesting - it starts as a sour cherry, then transitions into oak wood chips and rye bread. The initial sip is very interesting, and not at all what was expected from the aroma - thyme, clove, and cinnamon. It's basically a savory beer, but lacking in some sweet and spicy to offset the savory spices.

The mouthfeel is just about right, but I'm having trouble getting over the spice profile. Either a bit more honey or a stronger hop bitterness would really help me out here (or a good mix of the two).

fvernon, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of beerborn
4/5  rDev +1%

beerborn, Jan 30, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

ygtbsm94, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of rogueleonardi
5/5  rDev +26.3%

rogueleonardi, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale pours a transparent burnt copper brown color with a small off-white cap that quiets down to a thin film as the glass wears on. Some visible carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass to support the head.

The aroma is full of sweetness and wintery spices. Honey biscuit malt sweetness and butterscotch dominate. Nutmeg is the primary spice, with cinnamon and all spice adding some kick.

The flavor largely follows the aroma, which is large expected given the straight forward nature of the style. Sweet up front, the butterscotch and toffee flavors really shine through, with a lighter, biscuity malt character and some honey in the background. The spices come through in the middle, again dominated by the nutmeg and cinnamon. The end has some ginger flavor and some spicy hop notes, which dries out the feel a little bit, as well as a strange medicinal alcohol flavor I don't really care for. The light carbonation and light body make this a mellow sipper, but it is a bit light-bodied for my taste.

I understand the pride and passion that comes from Ohioans over this beer, but the strange notes at the end drop this from truly enjoyable to more or less replaceable.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of mscornwell
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

mscornwell, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of Clowerweb
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Freshness date: 03/22/2012. Says "best served at 55 degrees F", but I am drinking it from the fridge. I'll sip slowly an edit the review if anything changes.

A: Brownish orange with bright amber highlights, nicely filtered, very clear. 2 fingers of slightly off-white head with respectable retention, but little lacing. Great looking beer, aside from the lacing (or rather the lack thereof), not much to complain about.

S: Honestly, it smells skunky with some piney and citrusy notes, but the nose is on the lighter side with this one, so I'm not picking up much here. Almost smells like an IPA or APA. Definitely detecting hops, but the skunk is a little off putting.

T: Tastes nothing like it smells. Has a very nice depth of flavor with pumpkin, cream, cinnamon, hops and definitely nutmeg. Almost tastes like a swig of eggnog with your pumpkin pie - appropriate for a Christmas ale. It starts and finishes basically the same, no flavor twists to speak of in the mid palate or finish, although the cinnamon and nutmeg spices tend to shine through a little more in the aftertaste. I'm really digging the flavor, it tastes wonderful.

M: Moderate carbonation, body is on the more full side of medium, feels a bit chewy after the finish, doesn't really stick around too much, however it does leave a little bit of carbonation tingle in the cheeks and a creamy coating on the back of the tongue.

O: Oh yeah, this is an amazing beer. This is one of those "warm up with your significant other by the fireplace on a cold winter's evening" kind of beers. You could totally session with this one too. Looks awesome, tastes AMAZING, and leaves little to complain about other than the strange skunky smell.

I've never been disappointed with anything Great Lakes has to offer, and they make me proud to be from Ohio. I'd like to go tour the brewery someday, it's less than 100 miles away. With such a solid lineup of world class brews, who could resist? If you see this somewhere, definitely pick it up, you will have no regrets. Re-buy factor: very high.

Clowerweb, Jan 24, 2012
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,169 ratings.