1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,728 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,728
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 144
Gots: 509 | FT: 9
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,728 | Reviews: 835
Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of steveh
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A trade with a co-worker has allowed me to try this one. Best by 3/22/13.

A -- Clear, deep copper-gold with a dense, long-lasting, off-white head.

S -- Man, I can smell alcohol and spices with the pour: Bready malts, peppery alcohol, cinnamon and ginger-like spices, some vague vegetal character back.

T -- Spice cookie/bread character up front, bready malts follow with hot alcohol in the finish. The ginger-cinnamon character lingers with doughy bread in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft with a dry, crisp finish from alcohol. Body is medium.

O -- Overall, the spices are mildly interesting up front and certainly seasonal, but the hot alcohol character detracts from what flavor may eek through. It's a beer to sample one and probably not revisit in an evening. There's also something distracting to me in a beer that tastes like a ginger-snap. Not my style.

Photo of weonfire
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden/brown color. Off white- say...creme color head roughly finger and half. head dissipates in roughly 2-3 min. lacing sticks to high brew point.

S - Lots of spice. nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla. Wow this smells nice. And certainly not overloaded or unblended like some christmas beers.

T - Real sweet. Nutmeg and pumpkin right away. Cinnamon and vanilla come thru at the end. very floral.

M - As thick as I'd want a beer with this amount of spice to have. Viscosity is high. taste the spice all the way down the throat.

O- If you don't like spicy beers- this isn't for you. i personally find it very well blended. love the spice. very easy on the nose. one of my favorite christmas beers thus far.

Photo of mannyman3000
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of esullivan880
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Pensfan0782
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of cliff1066
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of stuttle13
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of justintcoons
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Brownish amber with 2 fingers of off-white head. Excellent clarity and moderate-heavy carbonation.

Ginger, toast, caramel, cinnamon and blackberry.

Raw grains; some toasted, others drizzled with caramel. A lot of ginger spice. Some hints of cinnamon, orange zest and perhaps some blackberry. Something reminds me of cranberries as well?

Light-medium bodied, smooth and clean.

I don't care much for this Christmas offering. Pretty boring and somewhat over-spiced.

Photo of Happyhopper
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of AdamBear
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-translucent copper colored with a decent dark cream colored head. frothy with lacing

S-light scent of vanilla, ginger, and other christmas spices. i'm getting mostly vanilla though. okay scent, very malty. doesn't seem to have a high quality.

T-comes in tasting like cinnamon and ginger bread. very malty. somewhat bitter. not much of an after-taste. unique gimmicky taste with out much depth.

M-low creamy carbonation with a semi-dry finish

O-your non beer drinker friends might appreciate the novelty in this, maybe some girls would. its not terrible really. its okay to drink, it goes down easy, but its not a good beer. it focuses more on the holidays than beer, and we should never lose sight of whats most important. definitely doesn't drink like 7.5% though. it tastes more around 5%.

Photo of VaporDome
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of bigclydeoliver
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of IPAFrankieH
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of sikora34
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of JALIEN
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 2/22/2013. Pours lightly hazy copper amber color with a small 1 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty minimal lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, toast, brown sugar, cherry, raisin, bread, and herbal spiciness. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of caramel, bread, toast, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, honey, brown sugar, raisin, and herbal spiciness. Slight spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove, bread, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice malt/spice flavor balance with good complexity; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice spice amber ale! Well balanced with good flavor complexity; very smooth and easy to drink. Very enjoyable offering as expected.

Photo of MrTana
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of mattbk
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear, honey brown, slightly amber, appears fairly carbonated.
Smell - That familiar Great Lakes rich malt aroma. The ginger and cinammon make an appearance here. Maybe also some nutmeg. Not much hop aroma.
Taste - The taste much heavier on spice than the aroma. The honey is coming through more here. More cinammon too. The beer is sweet, almost cloying, but not in a bad way. That rich malt taste is right behind the honey and spice up front. It is a balanced beer, definitely a good holiday beer. Not extremely sessionable, but 2 or 3 could go down fairly well.
Mouthfeel - Fairly full mouthfeel. Again, makes for a good winter warmer. Not as much carbonation as I was expecting.
Overall - A very good christmas beer - there aren't many made that are able to balance the spices with the beer base well, but Great Lakes does it again.

Photo of norinco
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the beer was an exaggerated gold color with a modest white head. The ale left a thin lacing on the glass, giving reminders of your drinking progress. When sipping a winter warmer, this is a plus. The holiday aroma peaked my interest, with scents one might expect from a holiday beer including cinnamon, pine, ginger, and a hint of cookie. In the taste, one gets sweet and spicy cinnamon and honey a little later. The thickness of the ale allows this one to linger for a while. The staying power becomes nicer when one experiences the pleasant warming sensation toward the end. This is a nice warming seasonal with a pleasant aftertaste. I believe I could enjoy this one again in the future.

Photo of IronLover
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a short white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Delicate aromas of cinnamon, ginger, honey and caramel malt. Medium bodied with an oily feel up front, a tangy feel at the finish, and subdued carbonation. Spicy flavors across the roof of the mouth with sweet dark fruit, honey and caramel malts over the tongue. Finishes cleanly with a subtle hop bitterness. Great balance of spicy, sweet and bitter in my opinion. This was an awesome easy drinking winter warmer!

Photo of Buster
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of abuss2
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Copper tan/brown, nice 2 inch creamy head and tons of lacing.

Smell - Cherry, apples, spices, some malts. Cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, brown sugar.

Taste - Sweet bite of honey/fruit/brown sugar/molassess at first sip. Loads of sweet fruits like apple, plum, grape and rasin. Spices add many flavors and work well with the malts. The finsish brings alot of cinnamon along with some heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Lots of sweet fruits, spices and malts coat tounge. Palate gets more of the same with alot of cinnamon and some booze. Aftertaste is spiced, malty and a little dry.

Overall - A soild winter warmer, alot of sweetness and spices. Easy to drink and enjoy. Balanced well, each aspect works together to create a smooth, sweet and pleasent drink. One of the best of the style, worth a drink for sure.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,728 ratings.