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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

2,581 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,581
Reviews: 807
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 141
Gots: 399 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,581 | Reviews: 807 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Brewing Co. presents its 2010 Christmas Ale in the usual 12 ounce brown bottle. The brew has a beautiful garnet color with a wisp of white bubbles that hovers above throughout the experience. The aroma consists of caramel, apricot, and spices. The honey imparts an interesting character to the nose. Fruit, honey, caramel malt, and spices contribute to a pleasant flavor profile. A medium to heavy palate feels appropriately matched to the flavors. It is a reasonably drinkable beer, considering the style. I purchased a single bottle, but would have gladly drank more of this complex festive ale.

Photo of BigGingDrinker
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: orangish color. good clarity. almost no head that quickly fades.

Smell: ginger, cinnamon and sweetness. fairly weak but smells pretty good

Taste: lots of ginger. cinnamon is weak and hidden underneath. not a lot of malt profile but some sweetness. not the strongest tasting beer especially for its strength

Mouthfeel: fairly light, ginger lingers behind.

Overall: i found the flavors to be nice in this one but it was just too weak in flavor and smell for me. a lot tastier that the other spiced winter warmers ive had

Photo of projectflam86
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep red/copper color with a thick off white foam head. Nice lacing left behind.

S- Strong scents of spice and sweet malt. Some candied fruits and honey.

T- Light spicy bitterness initially with waves of honey, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, and dark fruit flavors. A bit of hot alcohol in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

D- A really easy drinking Christmas beer.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazed medium amber color with a sustaining light cream-colored head. Spiced and malty nose, but something distracting in the aroma, oddly something like a urinal chip (maybe it's just my imagination, or the guy at the bar next to me just is wearing urinal chip cologne*). Light ginger and nutmeg spicing amidst a paler malt sweetness finishing lightly dry and astringent, with some biscuity maltiness lingering. A bit heavy, but drinkable even after the holdays are forgotten but it is still frigid outside.

*This review is proof that sometimes a bar is not the best atmosphere to be taking notes. 95% of my on-tap reviews are from growlers consumed in the privacy of my apartment.

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

This beer has a nice light reddish color body, with a little head that doesn't hang around. The smell is of cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is malt up front then the cinnamon and nutmeg and other spices. The mouth feel is great and overall, one of the best winter warmer i have had.

Photo of sendsilk
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra ina recent trade. 12 oz. bottle siad best drank by 3/3/11 and todays the 28th, close enough.

A- Beautiful appearance. A lovely burnt amber. small head with nice lacing on the glass

S- Good, smells like a spicy ale and sometimes these thing just kick your ass with spice so I am a little hesitant.

T- Nice. mild and well balanced. A very pleasant surprise. This is not normally my style but I can sure dig on this beer for a while.

M- Good

O/D- A surprisingly easy to drink spiced ale. The first Grweat Laked beer that I have had, it set the stage for some better Great Lakes beers I have heard about. Next I will try to acquire their porter, Nosferatu, Eliot Ness and some others I have heard about.

Photo of bschinelli
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of NODAK
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma here is of thick caramel, spice and some booze as well. The 7.5% ABV shows here. A very rich winter warmer.

Pours a nice amber color with a decent, dissipating head to it. Decent lacing.

Taste has a nice sweetness to it that I'm guessing is from the honey advertised on the bottle. Certainly not too strong, it's decent. The spice note, of which I mostly get ginger, melds with a somewhat surprising cocoa component going along with it. Hops are pretty much voting absentee in this one.

I don't find this to be anything special as far as other winter beers that are out there. Of any I've had, this one probably packs the biggest punch. Maybe I expected more based on the hype.

Photo of spw109
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of rxthree
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of Jredner
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of Crizay.

The aroma holds a melange of spices, but cinnamon is the most noticeable and the defining spice, aroma wise. Definitely has a Christmasy smell to it.

The body is amber to light brown and holds a small wispy tan/white head.

Fore is spicy with again cinammon and other spice, ginger seems right. Has a smoothness to it in the mouthfeel I like, but is thin and a touch watery too. It’s liquid christmas treats and I’d like to try it mulled to be honest. Fruit cake, cookies, fig pudding....all in a glass.

Photo of amalburg
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of mwar
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of fuzzcherry
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of WVUbrew
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of becktone
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice copper looking color. It has a nice creamy tan colored head to begin with, however it quickly dissipates to be lacing around the sides of the glass. When agitated the lacing becomes a bit thicker but soon returns to its previous state. The carbonation in this beer makes it look lively.

The aroma of this beer is largely malt influenced. I detect spices in the aroma of this beer, cinnamon and ginger can easily be detected. As a matter of fact the aroma of this beer reminds me of chirstmas ornaments my mom once made. They were gingerbread ornaments made out of glue alot of cinnamon and applesauce I believe. The point is that they smell alot like this beer. I don't smell any hop character in this beer.

The taste of this beer is very much like the smell, but a bit more complex. Alcohol is evident and warms a little bit as it goes down. The overall taste of this beer is "earthy." I detect a flavor that vaguely reminds me of pine in the taste of this beer as well (perhaps Northern Brewer Hops?). The cinnamon and ginger are evident in the taste as well as the aroma of this beer. In my opinion this is a beer that has been brewed very well.

The mouthfeel of this beer is good. It seems to suit the style of the beer. The carbonation in this beer is higher than what you might find in a stout, porter or other beer that is largely malt influenced, but compliments the beer quite nicely. This beer is easy enough to drink, but definitely something that you wouldn't want to drink too fast. This beer is one of those, in my opinion, that you can only drink a certain number of in one sitting before you start to get sick of it. The malty character just becomes too much to handle. However I really like this beer and can see myself buying more in the future.

Photo of beerluvr
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a great light tan head, settling over clear light amber liquid. Light delicate spice in the nose, clean-smelling & not too heavy on malt flavors. The taste had hints of slight phenols with some cinnamon and fruit flavors followed by decent hop bitters. Finishes up dry with a bitter end. A decent Xmas beer, thanks to CRJMellor for the bottle.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother-in-law Dave for hooking me up with this one! Clear copper pour with one finger head that quickly fades with decent lacing. Unique, spicy nose with lots of cinnamon along with hints of caramel apples and clove. Smells a lot like cinnamon Apple Jacks. The taste follows suit with cinnamon and cloves dominating, along with hints of ginger, apple, and honey. This is what a Christmas beer should taste like in my opinion. Smooth mouthfeel makes this extremely drinkable, even for such a rich beer. One of the best examples of a Christmas beer I've had from an American brewery.

Photo of target88
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of HopDerek
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Christmas Ale snifter.

Pours a nice clear ruby red color with amber hues with a thin white head, ok retention touch of lacing. Smells are sweet, lots of honey and cinnamon and other Christmas spices, cherries, berry with a hint of hops and a good malt sweetness. Taste is sweet, like a gingerbread cookie with some fruitiness of cherries and winter berries with a twist of honey, touch of alcohol in the finish. Good carbonation with medium body. Good mix of sweetness and spices and a little candy-like. This is nice beer to enjoy for the holidays, easy to drink and flavorful.

Photo of Flabbyjandro
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of ttylicki
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,581 ratings.