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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

2,138 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,138
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 12.88%
Wants: 99
Gots: 198 | 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: 2,138 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

rolltide8425, Dec 03, 2012
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +1%

harpus, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, lightly carbonated, copper coloring with a filmy, sparse, thin, white head coating the surface. Aromas of cinnamon spiced honey sweetness, both rich and smooth. Some roasty, bready notes in the background, also. Flavors are rich and sweet, on a very smooth, robust body. Almost creamy feel in mouth. The honey creates a semisweet, solid backbone with spiced and fruit highlights. The spice profiles of nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice are very subtle, and blended very well. This is what fruitcake is supposed to taste like, instead of candied evil and garbage. Lightly spiced aftertaste, with the honey giving off some tropical fruit esthers, also. Smooth, clean finish. Very tasty brew, and extremely easy to drink.

GarthDanielson, Jan 03, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

iL0VEbeer, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +1%

TurdFurgison, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

THECPJ, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 6 pack, sadhanna's

appearance: pours a beautiful and vivid clear copper, tinted ruby...slight foamy beige head, not a whole lot of lacing

smell: similar to the Lakefront Winter aromas...lots of cinnamon spice - smells like red hots, touch of nutmeg and other spices...loaded with honey, mild maltiness

taste: cinnamon red hots, thick and sweet honey, nutmeg and other festive spices, a fair amount of pine, fair amount of alcohol present, ginger, slight cherry, caramel, biscuit-esque

mouthfeel: medium bodied, cinnamon spice, touch of hop bitterness

drinkability: pretty drinkable

dirtylou, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.45/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/12/11
*From notes

A: A darker, golden color. Huh...there's a part of me that would like to see my Xmas ale with a reddish hue...or maybe green. A good pour yields a tight 2.25 finger head and above average lacing.

S: Cinnamon and the traditional holiday warming spices.

T: It kinda tastes like I'm chewing on a piece of Big Red. It's pretty cinnamony, with a generous dose of mulling spice to boot.

M: The texture's decent, but this time of the year I'd like a bit more weight. It's a bit thin, especially for the ABV and style.

O: Great Lakes doesn't disappoint with their Christmas Ale. If you're looking for a well spiced winter warmer, this is for you. I don't foresee me knocking back many of these, but if I was gonna reach for something spiced, this would certainly suffice.

Rhettroactive, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice medium amber. Small bubbles and very faint lacing. A head thats only a finger and a half in width. But maintains all through my drinking experience. For some reason, a Christmas beer has to be more cloudy to be festive. The aroma is very festive indeed. Plenty of X-mas spices like some nutmeg and cinnaon and anise all mixed together very well with a toasty malt profile. The taste is a little more clear on whats really driving the beer's flavors. Lots of nutmeg adn a few hints of chammomile. Don't forget the cinnamon. All of these spices are blanaced with a light Pacific hop presence and a medium toasty alt stance. Great Holiday beer, certainly has the best drinkablility of all the winter warmers. Doesn't bog you down with Holiday spices and aromas.

scruffwhor, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at hawthornes in philly

Pours a deep copper color with some brighter reddish hues. A nice beige head rests on top, retaining for a while and leaving some patchy lacing on the glass.

Rich and malty in the nose with toffee and caramel. Some bready notes with cocoa and and sweetness. Light alcohol warmth.

Malty and rich up front with toffee. Some dark fruit notes with a touch of burnt sugar. Some pine and spruce-like spice. Burly backbone with bready and caramel tones. Decent amount of sweetness, but not overwhelming. Finishes a bit warm and chewy.

Fuller medium body, well carbonated, a little chewy and sticky on the tongue. A pretty tasty beer for the season, something I'd definitely have again.

xnicknj, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
2.58/5  rDev -34.8%
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.

jrallen34, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz tap-pour into a snifter at The Barley House in Algonquin, IL.

A - Served to me with a nice dense dollop of light tan foam on top of a clear ruby amber body. Decent retention with a little lace left.

S - The aroma opens with rich toasted malts and a hint of caramel with grassy, mulch-like hops and a spicy finish that's rather light.

T - The strong grassy hops blend well (thankfully) with the spice addition which don't have any stand-out characteristics. The beer finishes a toasty malt flavor.

M - Medium-bodied and robust in flavor with a dry finish. It's a bit over-carbonated as it has a sharp finish.

D - A good Christmas ale that works well as a sipper from the big snifter it's served in. The spiciness gets a tad cloying towards the end. Also, it seemed to be served just a bit cold as well.

BeerFMAndy, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of WoodBrew
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love a beer that actual tastes like the description. There's no lip service with this beer! The warmer the Great Lakes Xmas gets, the more the aroma and favors become. This is not a session ale, so careful with consumption...pace yourself.

Drink it up to make the Holiday Season a true event. Enjoy!

WoodBrew, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a light amber colour with some visible carbonation. A light white head formed and actually stuck around.

S - Some warm spice on the nose but overall not an overwhelmingly strong nose. Can also smell sweetness and caramel.

T - Lots of spice! Nice cinnamon notes (the perfect amount) with some ginger. Can definitely taste the honey too, especially in the aftertaste. Sweet and smooth!

M - Medium body. A little bit chewy, which was nice for a Christmas Ale.

D - A very drinkable beer. The cinnamon flavour is excellent.

TheSevenDuffs, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

atrocity, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Cynic-ale, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle says it's best served before 1/22/07. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a dark copper color with a nice off-white head and good lacing. It smells like cinammon, ginger, pine/floral hops, nutmeg and honey. The flavor is spicy, tasting like it smells. There's also some sweet malt and caramel in the taste. The mouthfeel is medium/full and a bit chewy. Even with the 7.5% ABV, this is a pretty drinkable beer. It goes down pretty easy. Overall, I think this is a pretty good beer. I wish Great Lakes would make this all year long.

bluejacket74, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of DrDemento456
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A nice crisp amber with a touch of head.

S - Honey, cinnamon, hops, and spices.

T - Wow it's like it tastes... red. Must be the honey and the mead playing together. Slight cinnamon and a mild hop profile makes it good,

M - Very medium bodied. Liked it.

D - Yes and I will enjoy the last five. Very pleasant offering from Great Lakes!

DrDemento456, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on draught at the Grid Iron Brewpub. As with most beers this has more character from the tap. Poured a rich dark orange/red with a foamy light beige head. Pleasantly spiced aroma. Flavor of spices (ginger and cinnamon) with some malt made it a nice winter warmer. Slight hops finish. Good to have at this time of year.

Dogbrick, Dec 23, 2002
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.8/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean copper color with a tan/ off white head. In the aroma, cinnamon and a sweetness. In the taste, cinnamon and mixed holiday spices. A smooth, yet sticky-sweet mouthfeel and a dry cinnamon aftertaste. Not bad, but cinnamon is a bit much. Easy to drink, but I don't think I could drink two.

OWSLEY069, Dec 03, 2007
Photo of AgentZero
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Clear deep red amber color, very dark. Nice two finger foamy head with quick dissipation and no lacing left. Nice looking right out of the bottle.

S - So much nutmeg it almost hurts. Nutmeg and cinnamon, with a nice malt back. Very sweet and rich smelling, does remind me of the holidays.

T - Deep sweet cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger spice taste. Too much to handle, so thick it feels like I can chew it. Little bit of subtle hops in the finish, but the nutmeg and cinnamon is just too overpowering, was hoping for something more subtle.

M - Smooth, surprisingly little aftertaste for something so sweet. Nice carbonation bite that subtly blends in with the taste.

D - Way too sweetly rich. Had trouble getting through the first one, the nutmeg and cinnamon spice are so overpowering it almost feels like it's burning my mouth. This might go good with some food, I'm thinking Chinese or some cheeses to help buffer the taste buds, but on it's own it's just too much for me.

AgentZero, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of tavernjef
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Slightly coppery amber, clear glossy body with a few speck of bubbles within. Medium sized crown of beige foam lofts up with a good puff of creamyness. Lacing trickles across the glass with some splattered patchy blobs and strings.

Whoa, what a nice medley of warming spices on the nose. Cinnamon most definately is dashed about mixing with a warm honey and caramel drizzled soft biscuity, bready core. Softer ginger, cocoa, pumpkin, spearmint tea, and notes to some barleywine-esque hoppy warmth make for great depth. A very nice nose...softly spiced, warm, and inviting. Like a warm kitchen baking pies and cookies during the Holidays.

Taste is just as nice with a solid malted bready, pie dough, light pastryish center that is warmingly set in caramel brushed with honey. Super softly spiced with cinnamon, pumpkin, apricot, ginger snap cookie dough, and cocoa. The cocoa and cinnamon make a nice little finishing return as it really holds a warm tone the whole way thru.

Beautifully balanced, soft, warm, and a creamy smooth body that is closing in on pretty full. Mainly due to its warming core that doesn't seem 7.5% at all. More like 9 or even 11% seems fitting as it mirrors a wonderful blend of Belgian dark tripel meets Old ale.

Great Lakes makes some super solid brews and this is no different from many other yummy treats from them that normally find a rotational spot in my fridge. As Winter Warmers go, there's a many other breweries out there that should take a lesson from the palate of Great Lakes. Cuz most others make OK to good, but this is outstandingly solid.

Special note: serve fairly warm - 50 to 55 degrees to even room temp. It's well worth the wait.

tavernjef, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of claspada
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

claspada, Dec 15, 2013
Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,138 ratings.