Christmas Ale
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Christmas AleChristmas Ale
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Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Winter Warmer
Ranked #12
Ranked #13,490
3.95 | pDev: 12.66%
Feb 10, 2023
Nov 16, 2002
Very Good
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
Notes: Do not open ‘til Christmas? Whoever coined that phrase obviously hasn’t tasted Christmas Ale’s fresh honey, cinnamon, and ginger flavors.

A Yuletide’s worth of holiday spices and sweet honey to keep you a-wassailing all season long.

World Beer Championships 6-Time Medal Winner Since 1999 (Gold, Silver)
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Photo of BeerGeekExtraordinaire
Reviewed by BeerGeekExtraordinaire from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Color is amber.

The label description says there are cinnamon, ginger and honey flavors. I get cinnamon and ginger aromas and generally goid cinnamon and ginger flavor notes. Up until this particular bottle (I had a 6 pack), I really didn't get the honey. With this one, I do get subtle honey notes. I have had this beer in years past, but I will admit that I partially picked it up because it's one of those beers you're "supposed" to get during Christmas. It's a decent winter beer. I think after the six pack I got this year, I may pick up a single because it's again a supposed standard for Christmas/winter beers, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to pick up a six pack again
Feb 10, 2023
Rated: 4.02 by beerrat from Virginia

Jan 31, 2023
Rated: 4.04 by Crabmando from Ohio

Jan 28, 2023
Rated: 3.63 by Samnem from Georgia

Jan 09, 2023
Rated: 3.87 by liquorpig from Massachusetts

Jan 02, 2023
Rated: 3.85 by Monkeyknife from Missouri

Dec 31, 2022
Rated: 4.3 by SeymourDunn from Wisconsin

Dec 31, 2022
Rated: 2.12 by Nkott01 from Ohio

Dec 30, 2022
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Reviewed by maddogruss from New Jersey

3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured this from a can.
A: Pours a dark, orange-amber body with a small, off-white head with nice retention and lacing.
S: strong, burnt toffee notes with hints of fig and sweet alcohol notes.
T: sweet, burnt toffee notes with hints of buscuity, fig notes and subtle alcohol notes; hints of nutmeg, as well.
M: full bodied and pretty smooth.
O: Nice feel and taste combo; very malty, filling beer, so solid for a winter warmer. Pretty good for the style.
Dec 28, 2022
Photo of Smutz17
Reviewed by Smutz17 from Pennsylvania

2.15/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5
One of the worst Christmas brews I’ve had. No head to speak of. Not overly flavorful.
So very disappointing. Expected more from Great Lakes- certainly not a “very good” rating.
Dec 25, 2022
Photo of thin_mint
Reviewed by thin_mint from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
12oz bottle into a pint glass.
Look: a nice reddish brown with a thin tan head.
Smell: sweet and spicy smell of honey with ginger and cinnamon
Taste: tastes how it smells with a nice malty flavor and bitter hoppy finish.
Feel: crisp and smooth. Nicely balanced carbonation.
Overall: a holiday classic! Can't go wrong with a pint of this.
Dec 24, 2022
Photo of barnzy78
Reviewed by barnzy78 from Illinois

3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle from Ken
enjoy by 2/6/23
it’s gotta be about 10-12 years since I had this, and I’m pretty sure it was at Ken’s during the holidays
L: deep copper/ruby colored ale; thin foamy tan head
S: cinnamon, ginger, caramel, bread crust
T: bread crust, rich caramel, cinnamon, ginger, earthy bitterness
F: medium body, ample carbonation, balanced finish
O: better than I remember! Merry Christmas!
Dec 24, 2022
Rated: 3.77 by BubbiesR

Dec 23, 2022
Photo of ilikebeer03
Reviewed by ilikebeer03 from Texas

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Pour is crystal clear red/brown with a nice light khaki head.
Nose is honey, hint of spice, subtle toasted malt.
Taste is toffee, toasted bread, ginger, very subtle cinnamon. Smooth and easy to drink. Very nice balance between the spice and malt. Spices do not dominate. Finger becomes more apparent as the beer warms
Dec 21, 2022
Rated: 3.77 by mothmanscott from Georgia

Dec 17, 2022
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Reviewed by tolar111 from New York

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This beer pours a pretty dark copper color with a rocky light tan head that lingers for a bit. The smell is of honey, ginger, cinnamon and bready malts. The taste follows the smell, it is more balanced, between the malt and spices and has a near perfect balance. The feel is luxurious, smooth and fills the mouth with the full flavor of this brew. Overall, this is an excellent brew, it looks and smells great. I'm not one to pick up spiced beers, but the subtlety, balance and mouthfeel make this beer a winner and a soon to be annual tradition for me
Dec 17, 2022
Rated: 4.7 by wheelsnipecelly from Minnesota

Dec 14, 2022
Photo of jmdrpi
Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12 oz bottle, with an "enjoy by" date of 2/6/23

pours a clear dark copper color, thick off-white colored head. good head retention. sweet aroma of honey, a little fruitiness, mulling spices. Similar flavor in the taste, long lingering finish. medium bodied.
Dec 13, 2022
Rated: 4.01 by RalphStanley34 from French Polynesia

Dec 13, 2022
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Rated by dsa7783 from New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Traditional holiday time brew laden with sugarcane and molasses. Sweet aroma and flavor. Highly drinkable. Modest ABV.
Dec 12, 2022
Photo of Brook82
Reviewed by Brook82 from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Dark copper/brown color. Got about an inch of off white foam head that lingered around for five minutes. Left moderate lacing in a pint glass. Smooth drinking with malt taste followed by some earthy bitter dryness. 6 pk bottles was $12.99 + tax. Would buy again.
Dec 04, 2022
Rated: 4.43 by magikbagel from Wisconsin

Nov 23, 2022
Photo of Spencer96
Rated by Spencer96 from Ohio

5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
The best Christmas time brew there is around
Nov 05, 2022
Photo of KT3418
Reviewed by KT3418 from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Ah finally the local Ohio tradition that is this beer. Overall I'm not disappointed its super smooth but the honey and spice flavors are just on par with a lot of winter warmers, nothing super mind-blowing but definitely one of their best beers.
Oct 26, 2022
Rated: 4.56 by cold_beer

May 06, 2022
Rated: 4.1 by TC-Mojo from Maryland

Apr 18, 2022
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Reviewed by hbeimers from Illinois

3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
Deep copper color and strong nose. Lots of spice and sweetness which covers up the abv. Very easy drinking with a good balance of bitterness and sweetness. Great for a snowy day!
Feb 18, 2022
Photo of Wattie83
Reviewed by Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12 oz bottle poured into a teku glass. Looks clear amber, some carbonation bubbles popping up. Tan head falls to a thin ring. Smell is spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger. There is some maltiness too. Taste follows nose with the spices up front. Sweet up front, then a bit of bitterness enters midway. Finishes with spice, bready malt, and some lingering sweet notes. Feel is light, medium carbonation. Easy to drink. Overall it's a nice Christmas beer. I drank a few around Christmas time and it felt right. This one's a bit past the best buy date, but still solid. I'd go for this again next season.
Jan 21, 2022
Rated: 3 by randelhall from Ohio

Jan 08, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by smartassboiler from Illinois

Jan 05, 2022
Photo of jerdim
Rated by jerdim from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Tastes like a lot like Christmas, could have used some orange peel in the boil in my opinion. But for a commercial product I’d buy it again.
Dec 31, 2021
Photo of JayQue
Reviewed by JayQue from Virginia

3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
This beer has surprisingly good recent reviews. I thought it was OK but the spicing is pretty heavy handed, kind of the potpourri thing I don't care for in so many Pumpkin Ales. Poured from a 12oz bottle. The appearance is very good!!! Clear amber color, big foamy beige head with decent retention and lots of filmy lacing on the pint glass. Aroma and taste feature a bit too much holiday spices for me (ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg). Kind of artificial tasting, I would prefer more malt coming through, Mouthfeel is light/medium, quite drinkable despite the heavy dose of Christmas spicing. The alcohol presence is hardly noticeable. Goes down pretty easy. I would prefer richer, maltier taste and less spicing, but overall this is not a bad beer.
Dec 30, 2021
Photo of HoppingMadMonk
Reviewed by HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Semi clear dark amber appearance
Medium light carbonation with about a medium body. For some reason it has a slight thick malty feel which is really nice
Aroma is very mild but there is malt, fruitcake and I mean that in a good way,bread, grain.
Taste is malty but not too sweet with spice, fruitcake, grain and some cereal.
Overall this was an excellent Christmas beer that I wish I had picked up more.
Dec 26, 2021
Rated: 3.73 by kp7 from Massachusetts

Dec 25, 2021
Photo of Weisenbeer
Reviewed by Weisenbeer from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This beer is legendary in Ohio ... Long before craft beer was a thing, people talked about this brew at the holidays ... And, it's really good... The standard for Christmas Ales for this Ohio dude
Dec 24, 2021
Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Poured nearly transparent in a dark amber color and oddly, no head formed at all, just a thin beige ring around the top. Wondering if maybe the cap leaked oh so little.
The aroma was cinnamon and cloves, maybe orange and ginger. Some malts showed up too, but in the background. Very inviting!
The taste almost reversed for me; malts pre-eminent and the spices (definitely getting ginger now) Really nicely balanced and play well together. I very seldom find a beer with these spices and this mild that I enjoy, Great Lakes did an impressive job on this.
The feel is thinner than I expected, but not at all unpleasant. Rather makes me want to drink it quickly, and I suppose if you are going to spend the night going through a 6-pack, this is a fine one to go with. Festbier with spices!
Dec 20, 2021
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Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance is a bright rusty brown color. Completely clear and rather effervescent. Thin, sudy off-white head forms on the beer but quickly dissipates leaving no residual head.

Aroma on this is very malty - lots of nutty malts with lighter notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, with a light fruity, citrus note. A light honey-like sweetness comes through on the nose.

Taste follows the nose with lots of nutty malts up front giving way to an array of spices - nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, cinnamon, and cracked black pepper. There is a moderate orange, citrus note to the profile that does give it a very holiday like profile when combined with the spices. notes of honey come through quite clearly providing a certain sweetness. Moderate bitterness is noted on the back end.

Feel is medium bodied, smooth, somewhat sticky. Moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a very nice winter warmer. Its not my favorite style, but this is a good example of one.
Dec 20, 2021
Photo of jonphisher
Reviewed by jonphisher from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours beautiful crystal clear reddish brown with a tan head that quickly dissipates to a ring of froth. Aroma is ginger, spice, sweet, dark fruits; taste follows similarly I love how all the spices and honey work in harmony with this beer it is so well balanced. Medium body, nice clean and drinkable. A low to moderate bitterness on the finish. I love this beer because of its balance and holiday feel. The ginger is just so damn perfect.
Dec 19, 2021
Rated: 2.52 by Pens1866 from Pennsylvania

Dec 19, 2021
Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 3333 ratings