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

2,705 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,705
Reviews: 832
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 144
Gots: 489 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,705 | Reviews: 832 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 5ndurda
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of tdm168
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of djtomain
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Hopman1985
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of TCgoalie
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of BluBeers
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of fvernon
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
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).

Photo of beerborn
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of rogueleonardi
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

Photo of mscornwell
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Clowerweb
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of DrGonzoDDS
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of xavier390
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of challenja
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served On Tap at the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan DC.

A: A Nice orange red glow with a head that dissipates quickly to no existence at all. A look of really well aged and expensive bourbon.

S: Now here is the stinker, not that it smell that bad but its not as powerful as most Christmas Ales. There is cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, breaded malt, and wild cherry. It could be that for a badly washed glass deadened the smells. Really good powerwashers are needed like in upscale beer joints.

T: Nutmeg ripe cherry pumpkin spice honey light cinnamon tast, subtle mid-western hops, and a light bready backbone. Subtle sweetness that entices the palate to have another!

M: Nice lingering medium carbonation that is passionate between the gums. I like how it lingers on the palate and entices the tongue.

O: A real winner in terms of a winter Christmas ale. I rank it third only behind the Mad Elf and Fireside Chat. Sorry Anderson Valley Winter Solstice.

Photo of Amyliz4
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jacewg
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of jaredtuk
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of claytong
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of warelphant
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of nmeiborg
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of scootercrabb
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of MuscleConfusion
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of syrupjoe
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Swag Brewery pint glass. Celebrating MLK Jr. Day with brews and Xbox 360. This is leftover from the holiday season, so some flavors may be a bit faded.

Pours an almost crystal clear copper color with one finger cream colored head.

Nose is very strongly pumpkiny, giving off notes of ginger, cinammon, and perhaps nutmeg.

Taste is quite spicy, with the abovementioned smells coming through in the flavor with a significant amount of lingering bitterness. Rather sweet with a slight soap taste and slick finish.

Overall the spices in this are blended quite well but do not make for a very drinkable beer. After a few sips of this one I'm looking for someone to share it with.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,705 ratings.