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Holiday Spice Lager Beer - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Holiday Spice Lager BeerHoliday Spice Lager Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

260 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 260
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 16.44%
Wants: 9
Gots: 7 | 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:
Spice beer brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, orange peel, and clover honey.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-03-2002)
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Ratings: 260 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.18/5  rDev -14.3%

The beer pours a caramel brown color with a cap of foam that dwindles to a wisp. The aroma is bursting with nutmeg and clove and orange. This a very flavorful brew. Malty, but mostly fruity and sweet, perhaps a bit too much. The fruity sweetness plows through the center and finishes with sweetness and a dash of spice. The chest fills with warmness after a few sips. A big beer for the holiday season. The large ABV makes me wish I would have saved it for when the in-laws come over.

12-15-2010 02:23:03 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of coalcracker


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red with only a smidge of head. Active carbonation throughout the tasting.
Smell: Spices are quite apparent upon opening of the bottle, infinitely more so upon the pour. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cherry licorice aroma most apparent.
Taste: Upon tasting, the spices and dark malts quickly march in on top of a wave of sweetness. The spices peak at the middle of the taste and continue to act through the end. Malts are a bit bready in nature. An alcohol warmth also arises towards the end of the tasting. Beyond the aforementioned spices, a little citrus is also noted. On the down-side, it is a bit more difficult to discern the honey (as advertised on the bottle). I also felt as if the flavors began to mesh together into a relatively unrecognizable mass towards the end.
Mouthfeel: Medium to above average feel
Drinkability: Limited to sipping as per the ABV. The sweetness and spice may be a bit much for the casual beer drinker.

Overall- a lot going on here! Big and bold and a pleasant experience, though probably not in my top 3 holiday brews.

12-05-2010 02:20:53 | More by coalcracker
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

12-03-2010 03:10:22 | More by claspada
Photo of crossovert


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%

12 oz bottle.

It pours a deep cola color with a big, fluffy off-white head. The head just sticks and sticks, it lasts for ever. The lacing is pretty good too.

This one smells amazing. I smelt something similar with Sam Adams Winter Lager but this one just blows that one out of the water. All of the spices are easily detected: orange peel, nutmeg, ginger, and clove.

The flavor is big and bold. It tastes like Christmas. Lots of caramel, the aforementioned spices, and a lot of citrus lead the flavor charge. There is a bit of gingerbread character as well. As you go the oak appears and adds an extra layer of depth.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, it is very smooth. It is a bit cloying but that is expected at this abv, and the alcohol presence is pretty low considering the abv.

This is the quintessential holiday lager, no doubt about it, I thought it would be overpowering but it was smooth and delightful

12-01-2010 04:12:10 | More by crossovert
Photo of TheDTrain


4/5  rDev +7.8%

12oz bottle from Nov. 2009 poured into a globe glass

Lakefront Brewery makes consistently good seasonal brews. The holiday spice lager is no exception. Pours a hazy amber color. Nice aroma and taste of oranges, honey, vanilla, nutmeg, spices, and yeast. This beer taste like Christmas and will certainly get better with age.

11-24-2010 20:26:07 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of ch473


1.58/5  rDev -57.4%

This beer pours a cloudy burnt sienna with cream colored foam. An unusual looking beer, but inviting.

Smell consists of banana, clove and brown sugar. The scent does make me want to drink it. Smells very sweet, but I don't pick up much of the added flavors like clove and cinnamon. Maybe a bit of nutmeg.

The taste is terrible; I taste metal (like a penny) and cherry cough syrup. I can barely finish this one. The lackluster aroma was much better than the flavor. I don't even get a hint of the 11% alcohol content because it's completely covered by the cloying sweetness.

No way I would drink another one of these, I can barely finish one. The sweetness is overwhelming. I could never drink this to complement any food. It reminds me of overly sweet, cheap whiskey. It's not enjoyable to drink; I found it hard to get down. I don't often give bad reviews but this beer is nearly undrinkable.

11-21-2010 03:12:06 | More by ch473
Photo of TMoney2591


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

11-06-2010 01:28:09 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of cyraxx


2.93/5  rDev -21%

This ones been sitting around for a while, so I finally got to it...
12oz bottle poured into my Mad Elf snifter:

A - Best part of the beer. Pretty chestnut/ruby color with a bit of eggshell foam that lingers.

S - Blast of artificial cinnamon with most other spices faded and a bit of caramel malt aroma.

T - Sweet up front with the cinnamon from the nose which then moves into a decently sour flavor, which I am assuming is not intended and out of place. Pretty odd, and isn't terribly lager like. The flavors are pretty muddy and not clean.

M - Decent mouthfeel with decent prickly carbonation on the tongue.

D - Drinkability is fairly high considering the ABV, but the tasted kind of knocks it down for me, personally.

07-11-2010 02:45:34 | More by cyraxx
Photo of DrewKid4

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Served: bottle to 12 oz tumbler. Review from a few months ago and was bought in a case sale from Mac's in Atlanta, GA

A: Dark brown, typical of a winter lager. Looked thick but nothing special.

S: Strong smells of many typical fall and winter beers, nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon ... everything. Some may find this overwhelming and gross, but most of my review of this was accepting the uniqueness of this beer

T: Much like the smell, a collision of many strong flavors at once, coupled by a high alcohol content, it's quite smooth at first taste, with a bit of a scotch-like burn on the back of the toungue. I guess that was where the winter warmer description.

M: Full bodied. Not for the faint of beer heart.

D: Not a very high drinkability due to the intensity of the flavors. I actually almost got sick off of drinking three of these.

Like I said before, not for the faint of heart. After buying cases for cheap, they were passed around to friends, while a couple loved it, including myself, the others dispised it after a couple of sips. For beer lovers, especially winters and other darks, definitely an interesting brew to try.

06-26-2010 05:11:48 | More by DrewKid4
Photo of sweemzander


3.43/5  rDev -7.5%

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled week 1, Dec. 2009. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the bottle.

(A)- Pours a clear brown amber color that produced an immediately dissipating off-white head.

(S)- A maltiness of vanilla & brown sugar with bits of ginger and cranberry.

(T)- Same as the smell only with a much spicier ginger presence.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance. A good maltiness & spice.

(D)- A good beer that I enjoyed, but much more fitting for the holiday season for sure. Good stuff.

04-21-2010 22:57:01 | More by sweemzander
Photo of pmcadamis


4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

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.

02-05-2010 17:54:58 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of imanidiot777


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

A: Pours a brown color with a hint of red. Not much head but whatever was there stayed for awhile. Some lacing but not overwhelming.

S: Definitely ginger and pumpkin. My crappy nose is sensing a hint of banana but that doesn't seem right.

T: Sweet honey and pumpkin in the beginning, slight little bit of hops in the middle and strong ginger kick in the after taste.

M: Very carbonated. Too much so in my opinion. Pretty heavy beer.

D: Rough on the after taste with the ginger and higher than average alcohol content. Not really light on the stomach.

02-01-2010 02:31:26 | More by imanidiot777
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

1.4/5  rDev -62.3%

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.

01-07-2010 06:39:17 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of brewcrew76


4/5  rDev +7.8%

A - Hazy reddish brown with a few fingers tan head that lingers for some time.

S - Sweet caramel and toasted malt, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, honey and pumpkin pie.

T - spicy, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, clove with some sweet malts.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation.

D - A solid straight forward spice beer. 9.5abv not noticeable at all.

01-02-2010 00:43:31 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of generalnotsew


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

A: Pours a good 2 finger head that fades to a 1 finger head then lingers. Very deep honey color mostly maroon in apperance. Sucker is fizzing like mad! Never seen a beer react like this.

S: Strong cinnamon and cloves in the front. Seems to have a bit of Pumpkin Ale aroma as well. Maybe allspice? This stuff honestly smells stellar! It smells like Christmas. Best way to describe it.

T: Honey with clove mixture. That Pumkin Ale quality carries through. I believe it is the nutmeg I am really picking up. If you could squeeze Christmas spirit into a bottle this is what it would taste like.

M: At first I thought this would be waaaayyy too overly carbonated. As much as this thing fizzes like a Coca-Cola it really mellows out in the mouth. Very clean oily texture.

D: May just be a tad too sweet and spicy to session but that isn't really what this beer is about. One or 2 should be the limit for anyone. You can sip for hours though.

I am really not sure where the Lager comes into play. I really don't detect anything like any style I ever had. For good reason. My first winter warmer. It is like Pumpkin Ale (most notably DFH Pumkin Ale) with a twist of Christmas. Be a great one to show to macro drinkers just for them to see how complex and different a beer can be.

01-01-2010 04:15:15 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of homebrew311


3.45/5  rDev -7%

A: pours a dark brown with some light passage, thin and inactive white head that pretty much dissipates quickly, small amount of lacing

S: a nice boquet full of holiday spices, cinnamon being the most prominent with some ginger and all spice in the background, some malty sweetness and honey, a fair amount of ethyl alcohol on the finish

T:lots of cinnamon up front followed by very sweet honey characteristics. Finishes extremely spicy with some pronounced booziness as well

MF: thin and sharp, a little sticky

D: this is a nice winter warmer but the alcohol will sneak up rather quickly and the spices get to be a tad overwhelming

12-26-2009 00:00:29 | More by homebrew311
Photo of Minotaur


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%

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

12-24-2009 02:24:26 | More by Minotaur
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

12-23-2009 12:45:46 | More by Gavage
Photo of WanderingFool


4/5  rDev +7.8%

Lakefront Holiday Spice Lager pours a dark, slightly hazy dark bronze color. On top is a thin off white head that dissolves quickly to a thin ring around the surface.

The aroma is spicy with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is slightly chewy with a dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

The flavor is mainly spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, orange peel and clove are present. The base flavor is sweet caramel malt which balances out all the spice. .A touch of brown sugar is also present. At the end some dark fruit notes appear. It finishes with a mild floral hop bitterness. Once gone the sweet malt, dark fruit and cinnamon linger on the palate.

This is a full flavored beer that packs quite a wallop. However, it's quite drinkable for a nearly 10% abv beer.

12-20-2009 21:06:31 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

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,

12-16-2009 20:49:11 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of tigg924


3/5  rDev -19.1%

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.

12-16-2009 14:43:53 | More by tigg924
Photo of Schmidts


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

Pours red gold in color with about two inches of Head leaving a bit of lace.
Smell is of fruit and Cinnamon and a touch of Hops
Taste Cinnamon comes on strong as does the Alcohol I did not relise the amount of Alcohol in this the first day I tried it they don't have it on the bottle and after having drank two other beers I had two of these I had to sit down a bit it has some power! The Hops balance the fruit and Cinnamon for a powerful taste in your Mouth.
As for drinkabillity Unless you want to get wacked I would hold at 2 for the session!
I had drank a shot of Whiskey before trying this also and boy I felt a bit light and So I looked up the Alcohol content on their site they claim it is 11% on their web site.

It is a fine Holiday brew!

11-23-2009 16:58:40 | More by Schmidts
Photo of thebeerdoctor


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Poured into a Libby classic ale glass, this mahogany colored wassail has plenty of spice notes in the nose.
This is a big time, full strength holiday beer with plenty of everything. Although it does not have the urbane subtlety of Anchor's "Our Special Ale", it nevertheless is one of my favorite holiday/wassail beers brewed in the United States. Whatever it lacks in nuance is compensated by the bold festive nature of this recipe. This is quite good.

11-17-2009 23:42:43 | More by thebeerdoctor
Photo of beerwolf77


3.35/5  rDev -9.7%

This beer pours a dark red/brown color. The head is at least two inches. It leaves a spot of lace around the glass after settling. The aroma is quite spicy. I also smell fruity hints. A kiss of hops is present as well. The flavor is cinnamon all the way. A bit of clove and a definite alcohol flavor bites on the backend. This beer feels substantial. Which it should since it's a winter warmer. I've spent a few christmas get togethers sippin on this beer. I will most likely be pickin it up again this year.

07-30-2009 02:23:14 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of KarlHungus


2.98/5  rDev -19.7%

This beer pours a cloudy brown color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of vibrant cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, with a firm malt backbone. The taste is even more spicy than the aroma, and I'm not sure that is a good thing. I really like the aroma, but the taste is just too much. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lively carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this would be a really good beer if it were a bit mellower. As is I don't think I'll be drinking this again.

04-28-2009 21:14:45 | More by KarlHungus
Holiday Spice Lager Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 260 ratings.