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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

2,048 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,048
Reviews: 768
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 13.13%
Wants: 89
Gots: 165 | FT: 4
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: 2,048 | Reviews: 768 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlaskanYoung


2.75/5  rDev -30.6%

03-01-2014 18:29:25 | More by AlaskanYoung
Photo of treyrab


4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just picked some up tonight and poured into my pint glass...

A: This pours a very clear red copper with a small head initially. That head however dissipates quickly into nothing, not even a ring. Oh well...let's see how it tastes

S: This one smells pretty spicy. A lot of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (Whether these were used in the brewing is another story, but it smells like them!).

T: The taste is caramel caramel caramel. An initial taste of caramel followed by some spice, particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. The hop presence is in there only slightly, it is really not that noticeable in this Christmas ale.

Overall this is beer drinks extremely light for the alcohol. You could have told me that this beer was 4% ABV and I would have believed it. The alcohol is not noticeable one bit. The carbonation is slightly low on this one as well.

This is a good beer, not one of the best Great Lakes, but a good beer nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 00:38:01 | More by treyrab


3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Ommegang tulip. From notes.
A: A light colored off white head foams up to two fingers on the pour. Holding well and leaving a frothy layer of lace. The body is clear, but a nice and deep amber.
S: Sweet notes of malts and other spices used. The low to medium aroma is a bit weak when compared to the other intensity of the flavors.
T/M: I am finding a classic taste that runs throughout all Great Lakes brew and it is here as well. The malts to take the front seat and go for the ride on this one. Some spice on the body, with a smooth and honey like mouthfeel.
D: This is another of those classic Christmas must tries. A really great brew but in the swarm of seasonal offerings this one can get left in the dust. Still holding a good bit of ABV and not showing it, overall this one is a bit of a let down.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 15:13:06 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of scottDC

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

12-15-2013 06:01:08 | More by scottDC
Photo of GaryMarkle84


4/5  rDev +1%

11-21-2012 19:12:41 | More by GaryMarkle84
Photo of GreenWBush


4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dusty bronze. Tracing, clingy lace.

Mentholyptus on nose with gingerbread, cinnamon, and hints of honey and nutmeg. Reminds me a bit of GLBC's Dortmunder Lager underneath the spicing.

Taste is somewhat spicy, but balances well with the honeyed malt profile. Almost 'Asian' spices swimming around underneath the well balanced flavor profile.

Drying on the palate, and keeps a crisp taste throughout. Good drinkability. Seems like a good special occasion beer that could easily be shared with non beer-geeks. Velvet, amazing mouthfeel.

This has easily been one of the best seasonal beers i've tasted to date. Not over-the-top with funky spices, but well-integrated, tasty, drinkable, and seems 'seasonal' without being beer-perfume.

Oh, and you can't taste the alcohol in this one at all. Well built.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2005 16:57:41 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of pschul4


4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice ruby red with a 1/4" off white head that dissipates quickly

S- Christmas cookies forsure. Honey and cinnamon and dark malts. So enticing

T- Wow, just like the scent except more intense. Lots of honey and cinnamon and nice malts wrap everything up. Perfection

M- Super smooth, works perfectly with the rest of the beer

O- Best example of a winter warmer out there. Seek out at all costs

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 01:59:23 | More by pschul4
Photo of JeffreyJDavis

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

11-19-2012 20:30:49 | More by JeffreyJDavis
Photo of ChicagoShakeAndBake26


5/5  rDev +26.3%

08-31-2013 08:28:36 | More by ChicagoShakeAndBake26
Photo of SolipsismalCat


4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Anderson Valley Winter Solstice Ale.

A: Clear amber with one-finger, off-white head that lasted a couple of minutes. Nearly no lacing.

S: Sweet malt, dark fruit, and spice. I do detect the honey, but just barely.

T: Medium sweetness. Toasty and spicy. Mostly cinnamon. The honey takes a back seat again, which is fine with me. Overall, nice sweet malt.

M: Very smooth. Slightly dry, and goes down warm.

O: I give this a slight edge over the Winter Solstice. Very good winter warmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 01:49:29 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of nhindian


3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

A - Pours a burnt, rust orange like burnished copper. It is essentially see-through with about 1.5-fingers of head. Retention is pretty good, and the lacing isn't bad either.

S - The nose brings full aromas of holiday spices, especially cinnamon and honey. A strong caramel malt backbone keeps everything balanced, and the back-end carries a hint of ginger spice.

T - The flavor seems to be a little more disjointed than the nose, with the flavors muddled and unclear. While easy to get the influence of the spices, ginger, and honey, they clash all at one point rather than having clear transitions. The sweetness tends to harm this beer as well, since there are two disjointed flavor profiles combating for top dog. It becomes a little better as it opens up, but it still isn't the most balanced.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with good carbonation. Slick and sweet, with a decently long finish with a spicy aftertaste.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I was hoping for a little more from this beer, but as it stands this is about a middle of the road Winter Warmer. A bit too sweet for me, and the spices and additional flavors just don't seem to play well together.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2011 02:58:23 | More by nhindian
Photo of dtivp


3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber with a half finger dull white head, very little retention or lacing.

Aroma of malt, honey and strong cinnamon spice.

Taste follows the nose with sweet honey, malts hints of caramel followed by cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mouth Feel was the light side of medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth with a nice holiday spice flair.

Overall this is a nice Christmas Ale that does not go overboard with the spices as some other Christmas Ales tend to do.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 22:22:19 | More by dtivp
Photo of giblet


3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

another gem from GLB. the only reason this did not rate higher for me is the fact that it is not my favorite style of beer. color was nice. excellent carbonation and lace. nice flavor for a spiced beer. so far i am inexperienced in spiced beers and will likely stay that way. this was good just not my cup of tea...or beer.

suckem up and movem out!


i spoke with the guy that i buy most of my beer from about 3 weeks after having this beer. i mentioned to him that it was a bit spicy for my taste. he said to let it age a little. well i forgot that i had two bottles hiding in the back of my fridge until May 18. i pulled them out and drank them. Excellent. much better balance of the spice at this point. i likely did not need to wait this long but i will do this again in 08.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 21:02:15 | More by giblet
Photo of Natural510


3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best-by date 1/08/10

Pours a lovely rose color with an intially creamy but quickly dissipating head and faint lacing.
Honey and ginger to the nose, with an underlying maltiness as well. Fainter than I expected given the spices involved.
Honey, ginger, cinnamon all well-represented in the flavor, backed by a caramel malt and hint of molasses. Ginger is kept well in check and doesn't overwhelm the other elements of the brew.
Nice little kick from the ginger and hops; the proper burn down the esophagus when ingesting any drink with true ginger. Medium-bodied and dry on the palate.
A nice entry to the world of spiced winter brews. Ginger seems to be a common theme these days, but they pull it off fairly well here. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but it is balanced enough to be one of the more drinkable winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 04:30:32 | More by Natural510
Photo of fizzyted

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +1%

12-25-2011 01:48:36 | More by fizzyted
Photo of steveh


3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A trade with a co-worker has allowed me to try this one. Best by 3/22/13.

A -- Clear, deep copper-gold with a dense, long-lasting, off-white head.

S -- Man, I can smell alcohol and spices with the pour: Bready malts, peppery alcohol, cinnamon and ginger-like spices, some vague vegetal character back.

T -- Spice cookie/bread character up front, bready malts follow with hot alcohol in the finish. The ginger-cinnamon character lingers with doughy bread in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft with a dry, crisp finish from alcohol. Body is medium.

O -- Overall, the spices are mildly interesting up front and certainly seasonal, but the hot alcohol character detracts from what flavor may eek through. It's a beer to sample one and probably not revisit in an evening. There's also something distracting to me in a beer that tastes like a ginger-snap. Not my style.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 21:52:31 | More by steveh
Photo of bschinelli


3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

01-02-2013 21:22:21 | More by bschinelli
Photo of drdiesel9483


3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

02-24-2014 14:45:13 | More by drdiesel9483
Photo of Magpie14


4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: deep amber color with a touch of copper tint to it, slight lacing and head retention.

Smell: big smell of fruit and hops, mostly orange peels and slight spice. Very nice smelling spice like cloves and ginger? mmmm!

Taste/Mouthfeel: yum! tasty beer overall. Taste follows with the smell: orange peels, cinnamon and a sweet taste lingers of honey/brown sugar and is very pleasing, lingering hoppy taste to boot. Very smooth and rewarding! I can see why they call this a winter warmer has strong alcohol content.

a good mix of flavors and medium mouthfeel. Just a down right good beer! I will have this in the fridge for the holiday's

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 01:09:56 | More by Magpie14
Photo of dcbeers

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

11-30-2013 15:41:10 | More by dcbeers
Photo of ScottP

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +1%

11-28-2013 18:54:54 | More by ScottP
Photo of bbeane


4/5  rDev +1%

09-12-2013 23:20:32 | More by bbeane
Photo of CB2maltygoodness

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

12-15-2013 00:32:27 | More by CB2maltygoodness
Photo of nitter


5/5  rDev +26.3%

06-26-2012 16:47:56 | More by nitter
Photo of spw109

New York

3.5/5  rDev -11.6%

12-10-2013 22:29:33 | More by spw109
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,048 ratings.