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Holiday Spice Lager Beer - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Holiday Spice Lager BeerHoliday Spice Lager Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

142 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 142
Hads: 299
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 15.26%
Wants: 12
Gots: 25 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 142 | Hads: 299
Photo of Sammy
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (267 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled during the 4th week of October.

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a 1/2 inch beige head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and lots of spice aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, honey, and a spice overload. There is no real bitterness per se but the spices do linger on the palate with each sip. This beer has a crisp mouthfeel which feels weird with the spices in the beer. Overall, this is a pretty good Winter warmer but nothing I would buy again. None of the spice smells and flavors really stand out which creates a muddled spice quality. (651 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours as a deep amber color with a nice white head on top that doesn't leave much in way of lacing. The aroma is heavily spiced to the point where it almost doesn't really have aberration aroma. The taste was pretty strong, found that this beer goes well with food because the spices are really powerful in this brew. The mouthfeel was a little thick and very warming. Not a terrible brew, I'd drink it again. (409 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Festive reddish orange with a bronze-like glow when backlit with sunshine. A stationary storm of fine yeast makes the beer look even more attractive. The golden beige crown doesn't look tremendous, but it gets the job done, laying down streamers of suds as it starts to fade.

Holiday beer rule #1: spices should be present. Holiday Spiced Lager contains cinnamon and cloves, in addition to orange peel and honey. I probably couldn't have identified the ingredients if blinded, but the combination of sweet, fruity and spicy is very nice.

This is an exceptionally well-crafted winter warmer. My only (minor and nitpicking) quibble is that it would have been better as an ale. The proportionality of the extra ingredients is right on the money. Some might think it's too heavily spiced. I think it's juuust right.

HSLB doesn't drink anywhere near its 9.5% ABV. The lagerilicious mouthfeel is build for speed (incredibly smooth and silky, with no rough edges in sight) and there isn't even a smidgen of alcohol. Now that I'm into the middle portion of the bottle, there's no doubt that the taste score deserves a bump. This is compulsively drinkable beer.

I don't want to simply recite the ingredients listed above when describing the flavor profile, but they're all present and accounted for. A thick layer of clover honey and spiced orange marmalade on toasted bread gets it about right. What a fantastic combination of sweet, bitter, citrus fruity and spicy.

Holiday Spice Lager is Lakefront Brewery's best offering by a country mile. I'm amazed at how seamlessly integrated and how delicious it is after a mere six months in the bottle. It probably ages exceptionally well, but I can't imagine that it'll be any better in the future than it is right now. This is a 'case' beer for sure. (1,792 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a burgandy color (a little lighter at the bottom of the glass). It had a one-finger, white head that left ncie rigns of lace.

S - It smelled of nutmeg!! There was also noticeable ginger, cinamon, and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of nutmeg, clove and citrus (from the orange peel). It had a light maltiness.

M - It was crisp and smooth. It had a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a really good winter brew. One of the better ones that I've had this season. (496 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Gracefully slips out of the bottle a clearish, dark mahogany-hued body with no so much of a head as a sustained, thin, white ring of bubbles along the inner edge of the glass.

Smell: Heady, aromatic combination of toasty malts, sweet-scented honey, fruity orange peels, and a very generous dose of various counter-top spices. Now there's a nice, holiday-type nose for ya!

Taste: Lusciously sweet blend of delicately toasted maltiness and gobs upon gobs of wildflower honey stolen straight from the tiny, stupid mouths of those dumb-struck drones and mindless workers. But this is all a nice counter to the heavy, flavorful blend of spices, with cinnamon and ginger being the more prominent of the mixture. It's nice to actually have a winter beer that doesn't try to pass off a weak beer with an all-too limp malt profile and nary a spice in sight as something 'festive'. Fruity tastes of candied apricots and juicy orange peels. Sweetish, spicy, warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carboantion. Delightfully smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Why, bless my soul, that was all kinds of alright and one I'd recommend, provided you're in the mood for something sweet, spicy, and warming. Generally, Lakefront's brews neither please nor displease, being very middle-of-the-road for me, but this, this Spiced Lager, much to my surprise, (1,429 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Seems a bit early for something like this, but I don't care enough to argue. It pours a murky burnt auburn topped by a mere few layers of small glowing off-white bubbles. The nose comprises cinnamon, nutmeg, mandarin oranges, some pinches of brown sugar, and an underlying aquifer of bland liquid pumpernickel. Honestly, I think I was expecting a bit more in my 'strils. The taste reminds me of gingerbread drizzled with a tropical fruit cocktail, the kind Dole likes to overcharge for. You know what I'm talkin' about. A hint of what seems like spearmint comes forth in the finish, but luckily this is a minor occurrence. Unfortunately, following this is a blast of sickly sweet nothingness. Those were the words my brain formulated on the spot, and those are the words I'm gonna stick with. Suffice it to say that the back end of the finish is rather cloying. The body is a lumbering medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly wet feel. Overall, what was probably a delicious-sounding recipe comes out a bit below par. I hope this is just last year's vintage; if it is, I'll make a second visit and see if things are any better fresh. (1,185 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
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! (527 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
1.48/5  rDev -61.1%
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. (826 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brownish color, lighter-red at glass's foot, with a nice, tight, tannish ring of foam above.
Aroma: an instant stand-out, with cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, big, beautiful spiciness, quite nice. I love it!
Taste: verrry nice, deep and hearty, fully spiced, full-bodied, with a medium finish, and thoroughly tasty, if at times a touch hollow. That's just me feeling the lager of this brew, but the thinness I detect at times doesn't detract from the fullness of the flavor. All my old anti-Winter-Lager prejudices are rescinded and I can enjoy this brew in full. Really, a wonderful creation, not too far away from the likes of Anchor OSA, I don't mind saying!
Mmmm, this was a bottle whose contents did not falter at all throughout it's stay on my palate and I hoist my glass to Mr. Jeffboo for providing this sumptuous repast! (832 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/29/2014. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big caramel, brown sugar, honey, toast, brown bread, plum, fig, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and herbal/spice earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, spices, and dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, honey, toast, brown bread, plum, fig, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and herbal/spice earthiness. Slight spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, honey, toast, brown bread, plum, fig, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and herbal/spice earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, spices, and dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy, and lightly slick/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a small-moderate warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent winter spiced ale. All around great robustness, complexity, and balance of dark/bready malt, spices, and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,516 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (834 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at 3 Cellars, Franklin, WI:

Pours amber with a thin head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of "holiday spice" - cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel, clove.

The spices blend together well. Not too overspiced, but certainly present. A firm malt backbone that is slightly toasted pulls the spices together. Honey sweetness mixes in. Alcohol warmth is noticeable in the finish, and adds more than detracts.

It is lager smooth.

A well-made, well-balanced (for the style) "Holiday" lager. The spices do grow as the beer warms. Alcohol is very well-integrated, adding a bit of "winter" warmth rather than "heat". Nicely done! (626 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Work has been anything but a holiday these last few weeks and I feel like I could use some spice in my life. My local trader, tone77, dropped this off for me recently and as I trudged home from another day of drudge, the thought of a big, spiced beer held a good bit of appeal for me.

From the bottle: "We at Lakefront wish you and yours a truly joyous and prosperous new year."; "Brewed with honey, oranges & spices".

My aggro pour revealed a VERY active beer that was capable of creating an abundance of deep-tan head with great retention. In fact, there was initially so much head that the beer seemed to be cascading as it settled. A good whiff of the nose led me to believe that (at least) clove, cinnamon and allspice went into its production. There was an orange-citrus scent also, but the honey was lost in the mix. Color was a deep dark-brown with cola highlights. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a lot of spice evident in the mouth. I stand by my claim of cinnamon and clove, since they were the most powerful flavors on the tongue. Finish was dry, spicy and pleasant. My headache began to subside and I was ready for another beer, not necessarily another of this one, but another beer all the same. (1,213 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber in color with a 3" thick head. Some nice lace paints the glass during the session.

Smell: holiday spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are pleasant and easy to detect.

Taste: mild malt presence with some cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, plums, and a decent bitterness to balance it out. Alcohol is mildly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lighlty crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. Aftertaste is long as the flavors linger in the mouth for a while.

Drinkabiliy: nice beer for a cold winter day. Slow sipping but more than one could be enjoyed in a session. (596 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, glad to see this one available in the Southland, I'm always up for a new winter beer,

A: Pours a deep red to brown with a medium off-white head. Good head retention, spotty lace.

S: Lots of winter spice. Sweet orange peel and cinnamon, light notes of honey.

T: Good malt flavour, the complexities of the spice isn't quite up to snuff as it was in the nose. A bit of muddled cinnamon, some heavy clove especially on the back end.

M: Medium-bodied, lightly boozy, some biting carbonation, spice heavy finish. I'd never guess this was 11%.

O: There's some good stuff in there, but something that really shines on the nose. Perhaps it's a lot harder to make a winter warmer out of lager. Nevertheless, this is a solid effort and worth a single pickup. (767 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
2.64/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: Coppery exit from the bottle turns a deep christmas burgundy in the glass with a dark tan head that is skimpy, washy, and quick to dissipate. Large collection of macro-bubbles stick to the glass walls.

S: Cinnamon, cold cola, and nutmeg are very soft, low key with no real contributer stepping up.

T: Flavor was spicy, with some cinnamon-nutmeg, toasted caraemel sweetness and a hint of clove and toffee. Cypress and some saffron are also evident. The spicing is heavy handed, perhaps a bit to much so. The flavor is sickening sweet, with some dry cherry coughsyrup and a touch of pine-scotch alcohol coming there-after.

M: sticky, bubbly on the tongue with a medium bodied with some alcohol warmth.

O: Overall a bit unbearing sweet and over-spiced and one that didn't sit well with me. A hot mesh of spicy sweetness, unbalanced, a hard one to consume and not one that i will miss next holiday season. (912 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep tawny brown hue with a haze-free body and a robust effervescence. The head poured a finger of creamy ivory foam but doesn't have a lot of retention. That color is just so rich, though.

Smell: nutmeg, cinnamon and clove are all right there. I feel like the underlying beer is quite sweet smelling, like a bock; I suppose it could be a lot worse, though, at 11%.

Taste: sweet, almost sickly sweet, brew. The spices don't work as well in the flavor as they do in the aroma. Upon further tasting, the disappointing beginning actually ends in a decently spiced pumpkin-pie-type finish. Not the worst thing in the world, although I don't love that start.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation, just as you might expect from the strong apparent effervescence. There's a really good level of creaminess here, which works well in the style.

Overall: an interesting beer, definitely one to limit to once a year. It is a lot like a pumpkin beer without the pumpkin (read: cinnamon and nutmegy), and has some flaws, but overall it is drinkable and perhaps worth a try if you're into this sort of thing. (1,173 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer appears to be a nicely carbonated, chill hazed, dulled scarlet red. A slight ivory white film coats the surface. The aroma is nice...cinamon, orange and toasted malt. The taste is all about the spices. Cinamon is dominant. Ginger is there. And seemingly nutmeg. The malt base is very sweet. The honey adds some sweetness as well. Even with the sweetness and spice, this beer is pretty drinkable. A holiday favorite of mine.

Thank you Pieman for the sixer. (469 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of claspada
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aromas of a boat load of molasses, caramels, brown sugar. A boat load of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice with some mild citrus.

The taste reminds me of an extra spiced thick moist loaf of gingerbread. This is not traditional beer by any means but I find it extremely tasty as an after dinner offering. I never eat dessert so this served as my dessert tonight. The mouthfeel is slightly slick and sticky; with well above average sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a light moderate carbonation. Slightly above in all aspects but should be expected because of the ABV. Regardless there is a lot of spicing, but as a fan of a well done holiday ale I enjoy adequate spicing and flavor so I still enjoyed this. No way you can tell it is 11% ABV. I sure didn't, time to go to bed. (791 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Well doesn't look like a lager but I guess for 11% it wasn't meant too. Orange honey amber, clear and dark with little head that falls to a sticky lace ring.

S - Smell is light almost like an English brown with herbal tea malts and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Smells mild with little notable ABV.

T - Well it's not bursting with flavor most notable is the English like brown malts, nutmeg, and mild cinnamon tones. Maybe it's the orange peel that provides an almost hop bitterness. I applaud that it's very balanced.

M - I don't know where it is but if I were to guess (and you have to since it's not listed on the bottle) it seems around 8%. A fine winter warmer,

Overall I tried their other beers and it seems this has the most balance and taste I ever tried from them. Worth picking up a single which was hella cheap at around 2 bucks. (849 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
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. (437 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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 (554 characters)

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Holiday Spice Lager Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.