Holiday Spice Lager Beer - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Holiday Spice Lager BeerHoliday Spice Lager Beer

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298 Ratings
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Ratings: 298
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 12
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-03-2002

Spice beer brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, orange peel, and clover honey.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 298 | Reviews: 144
Reviews by Garrett092112:
More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle for $0.99 on clearance at Groppi's? Why the heck not. Poured into Mr. Pint

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown with virtually no head. Very fizzy.

Smell: Lots of holiday spices. Honey? Check. Ginger? Check. Cinnamon? Oh yes. Nutmeg, cloves, and orange cloves? Yup, yup, and yup. Smells delicious.

Taste: ... something seems amiss here. The spices seem muted compared to the heavenly smell. Flavors are understated. Not bad, but not spectacular like I was expecting from the smell. Sigh. For something that's 9.4% ABV, I'm pleasantly surprised with how well the alcohol is hidden, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied for sure. Sticky.

Worth $0.99 for sure. Not worth $9.99 for a 4 pack in-season. Maybe I'll grab another to age for a year, but... eh.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nutty brown with a nice foamy white head. Hints of red sneak through as does a bit of lacing. Wow...the holidays literally just went up my nose. Cinammon, apple cider, oranges, caramel candy sugar sweetness. Very nice aroma.

Cinammon apples hit upfront with notes of orange, caramel and spices. Tasty and definetly festive..but a bit too overbearing for me. At 9.5% alcohol is well hidden in the flavor and provides a nice warming halfway through the glass.

Mouthfeel is has a nice creamy quality to it, body is a little bit thin though. I probably couldn't drink more than one or two of these due to the powerful spiciness. However, it does make for a nice treat on a cold December evening.

Photo of tigg924
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, clear, reddish brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, clove, and citrus

Taste: toasted malt, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, and citrus

Mouthfeel: sweet start with slightly bitter end, medium bodied, medium/low carbonation

Drinkability: An average winter warmer that is at minimum slightly overspiced. I have had way better this holiday season. Not a bad beer, but nothing I would search for again.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant garnet amber, ¼” cream colored foam cap, dissipates to a thick film.
S: Malt, honey, orange and spice aromas.
T: Rich deep honey flavors blending with rich malt, orange zest and spices.
F: Medium body and medium high carbonation but comes across soft giving the beer a little creaminess.
O: This is a stealth beer – it does not taste the least bit alcoholic and certainly does not taste like a 9.4 % abv beer.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown appearance, like a hearty brown ale, almost no head or lace or retention. Smells of holiday spice type stuff, cinnammon, nutmeg, you get what I'm getting at.

Smooth taste, you have got to be shitting me if this is actually 11% alcohol, I thought it was more like 6 or 7. Slightly sweet, lightly warming. Consistency was thinner than most beers of this alleged strength. Maybe some orange peel in it. Cocoa powder? Honey seems to smooth this one out.

Really, one of the more enjoyable winter beers out there that is easy to get a hold of.

Photo of ADR
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper appearance, clear. Head builds to just under 1/2 an inch, lasts a good amount of time. Punctuation mark laces on the glass. The aroma is largely from spices, seems typical in the pie spice realm, nutmeg, cinnamon, some mace. Body is lightish but the carbonation is lower, giving the impression of a coating texture. Starts out with flavors that mirror the smells, a bit of orange adds brightness, but nutmeg and spice dominate the beer. Surprising for a brew with honey, the sweetness is low and the overall profile ends with a bitter and almost tobacco-like aftertaste. Hard to tell where a hop contribution begins. Not cloying or overly sweet, this is a nicer beer in the holiday mix.

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.48/5  rDev -60%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

The website states that this beer weighs in at 11% abv it's hard to believe that one. All I get fron the nose is holiday spices with a bit of honey sweetness, dark fruits. Mind numbing spices including cinnamon, ginger, allspice etc. Hints of vanilla and clove dance around as well there was a thread about some guy talking about how he was able to finish a whole six pack of this beer and he called it the Holiday Spice six pack challenge now that's what I call the Biggest Loser. Cloyingly sweet honey tones coats the palate with this shite, what a mess of a beer. Dark syrup with spice infused layers some orange peeel and honey with holiday spices. I can't finish this is pure shit. Mouthfeel is like lighter fluid with spice and booze burn as it warms. Drinkability sucks and I can't make it any more intricate than that.

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle of 2012 (October) Lakefront Holiday Spice served in a Unibroue snifter.
A: clear mahogany color, with a fine but too perishable head.
S: Excellent aroma [4.25] of cinnamon and other "holiday" spicing in good combination.
T: Citrus, bready malts, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg all in evidence and in rather good balance. Lightly bitter-sweet.
I was about to write that the ABV is poorly hidden, then I checked it (ABV = 11%!) so I will instead say that it is partially hidden and that this beer is highly (dangerously) drinkable for the ABV. Although quite fresh, this is sufficiently mellow and smooth to suggest it has already been properly aged a while.

O; LB manages to pack a lot of flavor in this holiday lager without going over the top on spicing. Should age well: I need to try to get a few more for my cellar.

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This came from a 12oz bottle but I don't think it was completely full so it was more like a 10.5-11oz pour. It tastes good. I am a fan of spiced beer and this was unbelievably drinkable. I love the tingle of the spice on the after taste and it reminds me of a gingerbread house. Or a gingerbread home rather. I don't know what makes it a gingerbread home but lord knows I've been trying for some time...sigh...I wish I was better at things.


Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lakefront- Holiday Spice Lager

A- Hazy red/ brown with a small light lacing head.
S- Sugary sweet candy and malt. Slight touch of cherries and cinnimon.
T- Super sweet sugary cherry, with hints of caramel, cinnimon, grape, and orange.
M- Varying between sweet and sour. Very fruity, barely any spices other than dry cinnimon noted. Fruity tartness dominates.

Overall- Too tart and fruity sour.

Photo of cokes
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very interesting hoilday brew. This beers just screams Christmas.
Murky Brownish-peach in color. Nutmeg on the nose, with just a few hints of citrus.
Spicy taste, with the nugmeg and ginger showing up. Honeyed malt, some orange peel. A little bready. Earthy hops at the end. Medicinal alcohol.
Zesty carbonation helps perk up the heavy alcohol.
Christmas in May! This would be perfect for a holiday feast. I also have a strange craving for gingerbread cookies.

Update on the 2002 edition: Very much a smaller beer this year. There is no way that this even approaches the 9.5% of years past. Still heavy duty stuff, but not quite as medicinial or sticky. In many ways it is better this way, more spice (orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon), less alcohol, and alot more grainy qualities.
As a warning: Do not come near this beer if it is any cooler than 55 degrees. It is almost undrinkable until it reaches cellar temp.

Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lagerish mouthfeel and above average with surprisngly sourness within a lager. It works, with orange and spices following. Imagine a toned down honeyed up cantillon.Some beige transparency and quality aromas. Yeah cloves, honeyed over, and worth trying this beverage.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This holiday brew is dark chestnut brown with a hint of deep beet color when held to the light. The head is very small and short lived after pouring. Oddly, a quick swirl brings up a beautifully thick beige head. That's really strange since I poured this one relatively aggressively. Huh. To be fair, I'll score this one on the head that built up after the swirl. The lace is silky and finely bubbled, and sticks well too. Nice looking brew!

S - Before putting my nose to the glass, I can already smell mashed brown-spotted bananas or banana baby food (my personal favorite). Getting closer, I pick up a ton of banana, hearty yeast (almost hefe-like), and super-ripe fruit notes. Big time apricots, dates, and maybe even a little maraschino cherry/grenadine. This is delicate, but still deep and brooding. Outstanding.

T - Mashed sweet-potatoes with marshmallows, dried apricots, prunes, dates, fruit cake, and minty spruce. This is screaming "HOLIDAY BEER" big time. Soft and juicy orange flavors remind me of those little sugary jelly orange wedges crusted in sugar: the ones that are made of the same stuff as gummy bears but look like an artificial orange wedge. Some spices make things interesting, but never overpower the nice dried fruit notes. I wish more spiced holiday brews had this kind of restraint.

M - Full bodied and sugary. This one is slick like sweet sugary candy, but has a touch of dryness from the spice. Would be a little better if it weren't so cloying, but then again this beer is all about a Christmas pudding/desert vibe and the mouthfeel matches the flavors. The high ABV is totally hidden. I was completely surprised when I read the label after taking a few sips. I was expecting maybe 6%, but 9.5%... daaang!

D - This is a great desert brew or nightcap for a cold winter evening spent in pajamas. I wouldn't want more than one, but that's okay. This one will last me a while as I swirl sniff, and slowly sip. I've been less than impressed with Lakefront in the past, but this is a really well built brew.

Photo of alphagnome
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Surprisingly dark brown body that pours with a nice, light brown head that has horrible retention. Good carbonation. No lacing.

Here is where this one shines. Very sweet with gobs of spicing. Looking for truth in advertising? Here it is - everything the label calls out is detectable. Nutmeg and cloves are the most prominent. Honey is noticeable with a hint of orange. Very clean.

A pleasant bitterness right up front followed quickly by a full on assault of spice. Tons of nutmeg and cinnamon lace a very sweet, lightly roasted malt backbone.

Big body for a lager. Spritzy carbonation. Sweet finish.

I found myself enjoying this concoction of spices. It's easy to drink considering its' big body.

Photo of secondtooth
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red, with rich foaminess. Not any detectable retention, though.

The aroma is definitely spices -- I get coriander, nutmeg, appealing mix, and certainly reminiscent of other winter spiced ales (though much stronger at a startling 11% ABV).

The flavor profile is big, with fruits and spices figuring prominently. The finish is dry and boozy. One to sip, but quite enjoyable.

3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle slowly into 8oz tasting chalice.
A: A dark and hazy body of deep amber. The head sinks quick, but holds a bit around the edges. Lacing is very little at that.
S: The aroma shows a very strong use of spice in this brew. A roasted malt character, but the presence.
T/M: The front is a big blast of spice with a full warming mouthfeel. The caramel presence is nice and creamy, while the use of the nutmeg was a bit harsh and over used. Nice balance of roasted malt and barley, on the overall taste. This brew is a bit over spiced and there is a reason, seeing that the 11% abv is very well hidden.
D: This is a nice brew to try in the winter months, one that I would get a six pack of and save some for years to come. A nice warmer for sure.

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, 6 pack from sadhannas for like 6.50

appearance: pours a lovely amber with a fluffy white head and impressive lacing. looks quite nice

smell: cinnamon, honey, brown sugar...a very festive malty beer, smells sweet and toasty and very appropriate for the season

taste: this is classified as a winter warmer, but it certainly branches out a little. very nicely spiced...cinnamon and honey are dominant, sweet fresh fruit flavors and some grassy hops

mouthfeel: cinnamon burn, alcohol hidden quite well

drinkability: pretty darn drinkable

Photo of jj1221
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Mild flavor, smooth, subtle hints of spice. This will be my go to this holiday season.

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me preface by stating if this is 9.5abv then they have hidden it extremely well ( was thinking 6 to 7)

Appearance: Copper color which pours bright and throws minmal head and not much more lacing

Smell: Ginger, cinamon, honey, malt and alcohol

Taste: Cinamon, ginger, brown sugar, slight peppery taste and alcohol

Mouthfeel: A little slick, more carbonation please, nice balance

Drinkabilty: Not my kind of session beer, but appropriate for the holidays, would work well with ginegrbread or a nice pork roast!

Photo of jackndan
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lakefront Holiday Spice Lager Beer: a hazy tan color, with a nice thick off white head. Thick belgian lacing and Irish rings as you take each sip. The aroma is very fruity, and spiced, very much like mulled wine or perhaps grog.

The taste is not unlike the aroma, very heavily spiced with, well, Christmas spices, and a hint of pine. There is also a very significant blast of orange flavor as well, interesting taste, but if it were not for the carbonation you'd almost think this was a spiced wine. In addition, I wonder how this would taste if I were to warm it up. Point being it is that spiced of a Holiday/Christmas beer. Great between Thanksgiving and St. Swivens day, not as appropriate on Good Saint Patricks Eve, but still tasty. Its rather high in alcohol, and a pint goes a long way, but I'll look for this next Christmas.

Photo of output01x
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1-finger tan head that fizzes and crackles away until all that is left is a thin dusting covering a blood clot-red body. Lacing is nearly non-existant.

The first thing noticed is bananas. They are ripe, ready for eating, and beckoning. A sweet maltiness, and some spices (nutmeg and clove, specifically) are also noticed. Which is rather odd as I can normally pick up cinnamon.

Dark and sweet malt flavors hug your taste buds leaving little (but some) room for the spices. Clove and cinnamon are quick to join the party but fall into the shadow of a long-lasting banana note. Odd though it may be in a dark lager, I really enjoy the banana as it plays quite nicely with the spices and sweet malt.

Thick and full bodied, this beer hits your mouth hard. Sticky and somewhat syrupy, it coats your mouth very well, but decent carbonation helps to prevent this brew from being too sticky.

The 11% ABV is completely masked and is nearly undetectable. The thick mouthfeel makes this a definite sipper but the excellent flavors and smells keep me wanting more. This will definitely be in my glass next Christmas morning.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
1.71/5  rDev -53.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is dark copper with OK carbonation. The head is small tan and leaves no lace.

The smell is a overly spiced malt, Hops are hard to get.

The taste is gross, like spooning pumpkin spice. Just nasty.

The mouthfeel is, yuck just can't get that taste out of my mouth, body ok, carbonation, ok. Yuck.

Drinkability... NOT

Photo of Minotaur
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours from the tap into a goblet a dark cloudy brown; it has a dense, thick head that evaporates quickly and leaves an attractive skim on the top of the beer.

The aroma is strong with honey, clove, cinnamon. There is a slight dark fruitiness: cherry, plumb.

The taste is very "in your face" with both spice and alcohol. It is a very strong array of spices: nutmeg, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, honey. The fruitiness remains in the taste: elements of the orange as well as berry or lighter/sweeter fruit (apple, pear?) come through. There is some bitterness and a toasty malt taste. Overall it is well blended but intense set of tastes. It has elements of a bock beer, traditional warmer, and strong spiced ale. Compared to other warmers which attempt to hint around at the spice... this puts that element right up front.

It is tingly and bubbly in the mouth and down the throat. This would normally lead to higher drinkability. But the lingering strong alcohol presence seems to make the mouth feel a bit more astringent. And that makes it only moderately drinkable.

It was unique for

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very spicy, nutmeg and ginger standing out. Taste is also full of spice, some oranges, lots of flavors blending well together here. Feels full bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a very good beer.

Photo of Samp01
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown, with a minimal tan head. Aroma of orange peel some cinnamon and sweet spices, some fruitiness, caramel malt. Taste is bitter orange peel, some sweet spices, dark toasted malts. Moderate carbonation and full body. Finish is sweet dark malt with bitter orange peel and sweet spices. The alcohol esters really come thru in the end. Overall an interesting and complex brew.

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Holiday Spice Lager Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 298 ratings.