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: 143
Gots: 534 | FT: 6
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 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.

Photo of Chiefy770
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

12 Fl. Oz. Bottle
“Enjoy By” 02/11/15 printed on the label
Reviewed on November 7th, 2014
Served in a Snifter

Eyes
A creamy light tan head sat on top of a rust-colored body. Decent head, left a good amount of soapy lace throughout.

Nose
Lots of spice. Cinnamon was very prominent. Good hit of nutmeg too. Very similar to warm cinnamon rolls… doughy and sweet.

Mouth
Very sweet notes right off the bat. Cinnamon and ginger really stood out well. A good malt base held the sweet flavours well. The taste is comparable to sweet rolls, coffee cake, etc… treats for a cold day. The alcohol is well-masked by the overall sweetness of this brew. Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Overall
I am not the biggest fan of spiced beers, however this one is tastefully spiced (pun-intended). Everything was executed well. A warming welcome to the hectic holiday season.

Photo of jdonley1180
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Ginger, and lots of it. If you used to like Great Lakes Christmas ale and think it just isn't what you remembered. Try Thirsty Dogs "Twelve Dogs of Christmas", it's the old GL Xmas ale recipe

Photo of Beerma
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

I don't see what all the fuss is! Bitter and heavy not my thing! Tastes like Christmas? Maybe if you got a lump of coal!

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

Bottle poured into snifter

Clear copper liquid with active carbonation. Dense off white pencil thick layer with dense bubble lacing.

Aroma of cinnamon, orange, gingerbread

First sip has cinnamon and gingerbread. Hint of cloves. Flavor lingers on the middle of the tongue. Smooth

Good sudsing on the front of the tongue.

Had this beer last year and enjoyed it. Good beer that tastes like....Christmas!

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

This is a great winter seasonal. Pleasantly spicy, and very drinkable.

Photo of Deanc
4.75/5  rDev +20.3%

This is one of my favorite seasonal beers. I can't give it a 5 because it varies from year but when its good, its really good.

Photo of AndrewRivera21
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

A must have for the Christmas season. Guaranteed to keep you warm on the cold winter nights. One thing I have noticed is that the taste seems to change year to year. I personally enjoy this brew with a nice coating of cinnamon and sugar along the rim of the glass! Great Lakes never disappoints!

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle of the 2014 edition, poured into the official GLBC Christmas Ale snifter at approximately 50 degrees F.

A: Pours eerily similar to the Eliot Ness lager this year, a clear, ruddy bronze-amber. The pale white head forms thin, and does not linger overlong ere becoming a rim of white. Bubbles rise slowly from the bottom of the glass in a steady stream or three. The lacing is spotty, and quickly slides down the glass.

S: The smell is fantastic, opening with a tone of sweet malt that is quickly joined by a chorus of cinnamon, ginger, and a vaguely floral citrus undertone.

T: Ginger snap cookies sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg open the flavors of this beer, which are then cut with a noticeable floral-citrus hop presence. Some of that bitterness lingers through the finish, which would otherwise be pure cinnamon sugar and ginger. Some clover honey hints swim through the background, adding enough sweetness to offset the hop presence.

M: Creamy and effervescent, this beer goes down smoothly.

O: Being perfectly honest, I have this over a 4 largely due to previous years. The 2014 batch seems fairly on point, though a bit more to the citric-floral hoppy side than I recall previous years being. I'd have liked a sweeter, maltier beer, but this one is still tasty and enjoyable. There's also always next year's batch!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to whitenads for sending me this one.

Enjoy by: 3/24/14.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, gingerbread, cinnamon, ginger, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with gingerbread, cinnamon, and ginger flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth and spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that still has a fresh spice and ginger combination even being over 6 months past its enjoy by date.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of malprep
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Did a beer swap of another Great Lakes beer for a Christmas Ale. Went from bottle to tall chilled glass. Great pour, about 1/2 inch of head on it. Smell is winter seasonal (cinnamon) but not over powerful. Feel is a little effervescent but not over done. If you are a Troeg's Mad Elf fan you are expecting to get beat up on the flavor (it is only 7.5% ABV as compared to 12.5%, but it is smooth. Beer goes down nicely. Not my favorite from Great Lakes, but I do like them all!

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