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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

2,720 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,720
Reviews: 833
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 144
Gots: 506 | FT: 10
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: 2,720 | Reviews: 833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Roger85
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of circus_cat
2.54/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

If you charge that insane amount for a beer, people are going to be disappointed when it doesn't taste really special. Some ginger, cinnamon, and grassiness. Pretty good, but again--when Dogfish Head charges me $10 for a 12 oz, I'm annoyed at the cash register but pleased when I see how worth it it is. This just annoyed me all around.

Photo of romain
2.56/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of jrallen34
2.61/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this from a 12 oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

The beer pours a very bright yet dark clear amber with about 2 fingers of heading falling quickly. However, it leaves a nice soapy top on the beer and a lots of solid white lacing on the glass.

Can you say nutmeg? That's all you get at first sniff in this ale with a little mixture of spice. I'm trying to pick something else out but all you get is christmas but its a tad to much.

The taste is a huge let down in flavor from the aroma because you would expect huge flavors. But all you get right away is very light watery mouthfeel which is extremely off putting. As far as taste I almost just only taste water with a little nutmeg.

As far as drinkability you could crush a lot of these because its like, but I'm not sure why you'd want to.

Overall, from the hype I've heard this beer was a big let down in every sense. I would not encourage anyone to drink this.

Photo of hardy008
2.61/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with an off white two finger head with decent retention and minimal lacing. The aroma has light amounts of cinnamon, ginger, and honey with caramel and biscuit malt. Not much aroma coming through, hopefully the taste will be bolder.

The taste is mostly biscuit malt. I can taste some cinnamon, ginger,honey, caramel malt and some hops, but the biscuit malt taste is the dominant flavor. I was hoping the caramel malt would stand out, but no such luck, at least not in this bottle. I also don't care for the taste of spices trying to interact with biscuit malt. Doesn't work for me.

Light side of medium bodied, with average carbonation. The aftertaste has some spice, but not much else. Not my favorite Great Lakes beer. It is drinkable, but there are better Winter Warmers than this.

Photo of mwbeerman
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/copper color with a full head that dissipates rather quickly. Crystal clear with very little visual carbonation. Lots of spice in the smell, cinnamon being the most prevelant with a complementary sweet spice (cloves?). Caramel and sweet malt also in the aroma, along with a slight roast. Altogether a very fragrant beer. Cinnamon hits the palate right off the bat, transitioning into a a sweet malt/caramel flavor, creating a very enjoyble contrast. Finishes with an unappealing bitter spice aftertaste (think the bitterness in cinnamon without the sweet). Spices are aggressive in this beer, but not in a bad way. A nice medium body, though I would have preferred a thicker beer (On the other hand, I have had thinner winter warmers...). Very nice balance to this beer, mixing the bitter spice and the sweet malt. The carbonation in the beer brings forward the spice bite, aiding in the contrast through most of the sip. I will be revisiting this beer throughout the winter, although I would like to see a tiny bit more hop presence in the beer. A great beer to keep you warm.

Photo of BZero007
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle at Rodmans in DC. 2010 Bottling had in December.

Poured a crystal clear amber color with an ever so slightly off white head. The brew looks great and leaves lace through out the glass. Smell is a bit off putting as a clovey aroma takes over the brew in a bad way. The taste reminded me for some reason of candy canes with an ever so suddle hint of bitterness in the background. The spice was around and mixing with this candy cane flavor and did not sit well with me. Mouth feel was good and carbonation was good for the target profile. I would have to say I will pass on this brew the next year.

Photo of BigMike
2.66/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: A nice burnt copper orange color with a creamy eggshell colored head. Initially 3 fingers disipates to about one quickly. Overall it's a nice looking ale.

S: I definitely get the cinnamon and Ginger. Those are the two stand out aromas. Caramel and toffee are right there too.

T: cinnamon is the dominate flavor here. Ginger, honey, toffee and light caramel notes also.

M: Mouthfeel is light and very smooth. This one goes down very easy. There's almost zero indication of the 7.5% abv.

Overall: after a few sips this isn't very enjoyable. gets a bit redundant. I wouldn't want to drink any more.

Photo of jmyers89
2.67/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A lot of people find ths beer really good, however I think there was too much clove, some of the spice that they use (nutmeg,ginger, brown sugar, etc..) I thought tasted a little off. Basically I thought this beer tasted just like a ginger bread coockie... not a fan.

Photo of cproioi
2.68/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Upon being Served this beer at Molly Malones in Cincinnati I gaze at it. The beer is of a brownish red color with an almost tan head with slight carbonation present in the body. The aroma and taste went hand in hand. They both had a strong maltiness to it with an even stronger Ginger aroma and taste that seemed to over power everything. Even with the extremely strong ginger in it I could still make out some cinnimon and something that was reminded me of coriander. The mouthfeel was a medium body with carbonation dancing on the tounge. The drinkability was rather low, the beer did not leave me wanting another.

Photo of Paulieblaze
2.69/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This stuff is good for a beer or 2. Don't buy a 12 pack and think you will enjoy the whole pack.

Photo of bobhits
2.69/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is a really nice looking beer. It's got a nice head that though a bit airy to the touch (instead of more a creamy head) lasts well and leaves a nice lace. The amber color is rich and nice as well.

Maybe it's because the bottle said it had honey in it, but that's the smell that first came to mind. There are some spices and hops that seem to mix together to create a second smell but the the honey smell really stood out.

The first taste is basically that of water and spices. I find it hard to not combine mouth feel and taste as they are the same here. The beer has this overpowering spice character with a bit of sweetness (honey) and some hops there that much like the smell seem to mix in well with the hops. With this I would expect something thicker to allow the flavor to linger and develop in the mouth but instead the beer is very watery and basically it just doesn't work for me. I want my beer to linger a bit longer and be somewhat sticky especially a winter style beer. This stuff even with the strong carbonation when you pour it doesn't really have it any of it left when you drink it.

It's watery and thus you can drink a lot of these and they go down really quickly.

That said I'm done with this when the 6 pack is done. This is the first beer from Great Lakes that I wasn't blown away by but hey you can't always be perfect. This beer however imo is average at best.

Photo of BeerMeColorado
2.7/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not sure why all the high scores.
Light amber. Crystal clear. Poor head retention.
Malt forward. Alcohol warmth comes through.
Decent mouthfeel.
Irish Spring soap?
Overall an average winter warmer for me.

Photo of AlexFields
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Thanks to the guy at the BASC release who gave these for free to my friend Photekut (who then gave one for free to me).

Nice reddish amber color with a good sized and attractive head.

Nose is all christmas spices. Unfortunately, my christmas spice vocabulary is not quite up to snuff, and I'm not going to make a fool of myself by naming a bunch of random spices that I couldn't actually identify by smell. Suffice it to say this beer just smells like a ton of different wintry spices thrown together at random. Not that appealing.

Taste is similar to the nose but better. There's more of a balance to the spice flavors and less weird clash than in the nose. There's also a decent honey-sweet backbone that stops the beer from being totally overrun by the spices. Still, though, let's not kid ourselves, this beer is all about the spices, and if you don't love winter spices this isn't the beer for you. I get cinnamon and maybe nutmeg, but again, I don't know my winter spices well enough to name a bunch of specific ones.

Nice mouthfell, welll carbonated.

I don't generally care that much for winter warmers, and this one is no exception. Heavy on the spices, light on everything else. Drinkable, maybe even good if you're into this kind of thing, but I'm not really into this kind of thing.

5.7/10

Photo of DaftPatrick
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of NSXAG
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

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 cheshire9tail
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of FirstBrewsoon
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Azpittil57
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of nyyfanatic213
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Jaybirdsbeer
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of mmsimmons
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of WillHops
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of Envelopes
2.75/5  rDev -30.4%

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,720 ratings.