Great Lakes Christmas Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

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very good

2,625 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,625
Reviews: 813
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 13.16%
Wants: 144
Gots: 424 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,625 | Reviews: 813 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 Prospero
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of PGVG
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of GRPunk
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured a deep amber/copper with a 1-1/2 finger head and light carbonation.

S- Nice spices blended with sweet malts and light hop tones. The ginger and honey aromas were very apparent.

T- Noticeable honey and spice, even in the finish. There was sitll a lot of malt flavor with some lighter hop tones.

M- Very solid feel. Medium-light caronation with a little hop bite.

D- Great taste makes for an easy drinker even at a solid 7.5% ABV.

Overall- This is a new Christmas favorite. It's renewed my faith in winter warmers (of which I've recently had a hard time finding something with a good balance of flavors). It was a nice combination of malts and spices which are definitely noticeable, but not overdone.

Photo of Slay40
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of damndirtyape
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle served in a tulip. I know the glass recommendation is tumbler/nonic for this beer, but I'm now more sure it's wrong. GLBC has the beer shown in snifter, and after drinking it once in a tumbler I can say that a snifter or Tulip is really the way to go with this beer.

The beer poured a 1/4" thick foam that died down to a nice thin foam across the top. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass as you drank it down - which I didn't notice so much in the tumbler. A nice copper orange color, with plenty of little bubbles moving up through the beer. The foam is a very light tan fine bubble foam, a little bit of a sparkle to it as you hold it up to the light.

Smell - I only got ginger with the tumbler but with this I get a hint of ginger and a nicely strong cinnamon. No hops or malt really in the smell.

Taste - quite nice. A sweet ginger flavor up front, followed by the cinnamon and then a slightly bitter finish followed by nice malty aftertaste. Really a great beer for sipping and savoring slowly.

Mouthfeel - because of the tulip I think its holding onto the carbonation more - so spicy on the tongue but otherwise nothing really special to me.

Drinkability - I could easily have another. I think I will. A nice holiday treat and I'm glad I was able to get a six pack while in Cleveland earlier this month because I cannot find it now in Dayton.

Photo of tastymug
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Devman171
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of GennyCreamAle
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of alysmith4
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of marct
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of brew3crew
4.97/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into great lakes sniffer
A-deep amber color with white lace head. Bubbles running the side.
S-Can smell some ginger and cinnamon.
T- tastes exaxtly like the way,you want christmas to. Cinnamon and honey. Nice malt profile. Taste like a ginger bread cookie.
M- very full and delicious. I wish they made this all year!
D- very smooth and crisp. I could drink this all day, every day.

I dont normally like spiced beer but this is the bee's knees! Best winter warmer by far!

Photo of AMCimpi
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I've had this beer dozens of times, I haven't actually taken the time to review it, so I thought I'd do so before Christmas passes too far into the past.

Poured from a 2009 vintage bottle, so we'll see how well it cellared. Pours a copper color with a soapy white head.

Smells sweet, slightly boost, with hints of ginger, honey, spice, and malt.

Malty, sweet, and spicy, this 2009 vintage seems to have mellowed from a typically tasting GL Christmas Ale for an an even smoother than usual experience. Honey, ginger, and floral notes present, with no hint of the wallop of alcohol that can sneak up on you with this brew. Very low bitterness to finish, this beer is going down way too easy!

Medium bodied, and very easy drinking.

A Cleveland favorite, this is easily one of the best Christmas brews around. Highly drinkable, the only concern is the alcohol content will catch up on you if you're not careful. When they say winter warmer, they're not kidding!

Photo of Iamjeff6
4/5  rDev +1.3%

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

Bottle with a BB date of 3/18/14.

Poured into a Town Hall pint glass this brew has a thin finger of off-white head topping a clear copper brew.

Aromas of toasted malt dominate. A little cinnamon and sweet notes detected.

Taste is similar, very malty with plenty of sweetness with hints of warm spices (nutmeg and cinnamon).

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bit of carbonation zing in the finish. Really smooth stuff. Daddy like. Well done for 7.5%

Overall this beer is malty, sweet and simple, but damn its pretty easy to drink and goes down smooth.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a clear medium red color with one finger of head. There is just a tiny bit of lacing. The smell is dominant with cinammon, but also has hints of nutmeg and cherry to it. The taste has lots of cinammon and honey sweetness that is just a tad cloying. A good bite of hops on the finish. The mouthfeel is just a little light for this style. The drinkability is very very good though for a 7.5% brew. Enjoyable as a dessert beer, and I might even try mulling it.

Photo of zimm421
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Dark copper colored with a thick, foamy, white head that dissolves slowly, with some remaining the entire time. Leaves little lacing.

S - Ginger, with a little bit of honey scents. Not a lot that stands out here

T - A lot of taste, hard to pick out a lot of specific tastes, but there are certainly ginger and honey, following the nose.

M - Thick and creamy with some good carbonation.

D - Not difficult to drink at all, but definitely something that would go better with a meal, rather than on it's own.

A good Holiday beer, but definitely not the best holiday drink I had this year.

Photo of KAP1356
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Could have swore I reviewed this one. Apparently not! On draft at Fathead's at lunch on Friday November 18. Poured into a Nonic glass...

A - Presented a deeper copper color with a 1 finger beige head with slightly good retention. Some slight lace as well.

S - Lots of spices right off the bat. Ginger is taking the stage here with connamon, clove and some slight nutmeg. Some sweet, toasted malts in the background, but the spices really take the stage here.

T - Spices come out even more on the palate with ginger and clove standing out the most to me. Sweet, bready malts back it up as they tie the spices together well.

M - There is a slight burn here and there from the spices. Medium bodied with a soft, but continued carbonation.

O - Really a nice winter warmer. One of the better ones that I have had, but still relies on all the spices without much else to make it really pop.

Photo of JohnnyMc
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of JRed
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours transparent amber with off white head that settles into a nice mist. Aroma of spices, maple, and slight booze. Tastes of spice, cinnamon, maple, gingerbread, brown sugar and slight tang with alcohol. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A refreshing winter warmer: tasty, filling, the flavors rush on the palate but then recede gently leaving you wanting another sip. My favorite winter warmer so far.

Photo of Furley80
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Clydesdale
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, somewhat hazy dark copper color. The robust head has a faint tan tint and a thick, dense, creamy texture. Retention is good, and lacing is also attractive.

S: Sweet and spicy in the nose - quite festive. Ginger, sweet honey, caramel, and cinnamon. Some mild dark fruit and cocoa is present as well.

T: A pleasant punch and counterpunch of sweetness and spice. Honey, caramel malt, and toffee balanced with a measured dose of cinnamon and a near-perfect amount of ginger providing a bite. It's a lot like a gingerbread cookie, actually. There's also a bit of a leafy hop bitterness that keep the sweetness in check. Dark fruit (raisins and maybe cherries) and cocoa linger in the background. Alcohol is very well-hidden amongst the other flavors.

M: Medium-bodied. A touch of sticky sweetness and a spicy finish. Carbonation is smooth and creamy. An appealing, inviting mouthfeel.

D: While this beer may not totally live up to its legendary reputation in Cleveland, it's still a wonderful winter warmer with an almost flawlessly integrated spice character. This scores big points for its seasonal flavor - without question a true Christmas Ale rather than a limited release winter beer.

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,625 ratings.