Great Lakes Christmas Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
3,067 Ratings
Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 11-16-2002

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,067 |  Reviews: 879
Photo of VanBeer
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Gomeza
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of cfh64
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of SpongeRuiner
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of OldhouseRecs
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of williamv0123
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of tommyd313
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BeerOps
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ckk527
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of ultimatejrod
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of TheGaskin
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Groomsy
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. "Best by" date of 03/09/2013.

This holiday beer pours a crystalline light amber and is topped by a quick-fading head of off-white foam. Scant lacing is left down the glass, and occasional carbonation bubbles come from the bottom of the glass.

Rich with holiday aromas, this beer is packed with smells of ginger, cinnamon, toffee, and caramel. I expected a bolder nose on this, but the smell leads naturally into the taste. There's not much hop aroma detectable, and no alcohol is present either. Mild, but well-done and balanced. About as sweet as expected for this kind of beer.

The taste is much bolder than the nose. Flavors of cinnamon and ginger erupt on the front of the tongue; this spiciness transitions into a toffee/caramel sweetness backed by a firm flavor of raw, toasted grain. The finish is an excellent blend of honey sweetness and earthy flavors from the Hallertau hops. This beer is hyped for a good reason, I think. This is a sweet but balanced version of the typical spiced winter warmer. Very well-done.

In the mouth, this beer is surprisingly non-heavy with a good carbonation kick. There is some dryness in the finish from the spice and alcohol warming. It goes down fairly smooth overall, though.

Great Lakes is an excellent brewery that produces consistently excellent beers; the Christmas Ale is no exception and is one reason that this brewery is famed. If you want a solid interpretation of the Winter Warmer that isn't overly spiced, check out the Christmas Ale. Take it as a post-dinner treat or fireside companion for the holidays.

 1,599 characters

Photo of kuhndog
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Megahertz
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a New Belgium globe.

A - Brilliantly clear bright red with a moderately large, white head. Very pretty.

S - Mulling spices, citrus zest & gingerbread cookie-like sweetness.

T - Malt-forward with restrained spicing; cinnamon & ginger apparent but not overdone or hot. Honey and spices give the impression of a ginger snap with icing. No major hop components.

M - Heavy body with brisk carbonation that helps cleanse the otherwise sweet palate.

O - A sweet, cookie-like interpretation of a holiday ale.

 517 characters

Photo of AuzBlackhand
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jfoley84
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of willitsmckinley
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of beerme626
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of chrisirae
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of sommersb
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-18-2012
Freshness: Best by 02-20-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Globe glass
Purchased: 6-pack from Greenwood Spirits, Bowling Green KY

Appearance: Two fingers of off-white head sit on the copper-colored, clear beer. Both lacing and head retention are very good.

Smell: Spices in the forefront, such as ginger, plus floral and pine from the hops. Also has aromas of dark fruits like cherry and raspberry. Lastly there's a little of an unpleasant vegetable smell.

Taste: Spices are again of note, with ginger and cinnamon. Fairly malty and sweet, with a balance present from earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation seems in the high range on a medium body. Finishes with some earthy hop bitterness and spice flavors. Some alcohol warming is noted.

Overall: All in all a good Christmas ale, although I'd prefer some more malt character. As it is, it seems more like an herbed/spiced beer.

 925 characters

Photo of HeyJim
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of BeerBucks
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of OB1
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Darkmagus82
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – Served a orange-amber colored brew with a one finger white head. The head had a decent level of retention, slowly fading to give a medium level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was a mix of honey and spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. Behind the sweet and spicy smells was a light biscuit aroma as well.

Taste – The taste begins a little on the malty side with a light cinnamon and coriander spice upfront. As the taste moves on the spices get stronger and are joined by a lighter honey and caramel sweetness. More towards the end a light nutty and alcohol taste join the flavor with an increasing in the sweeter flavors of the brew and in the end combined with the rest to leave a warming spiced flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer was a little on the medium side with a carbonation level that was just above average. The medium body was rather nice for the honey and malt flavors with the carbonation complementing the spice well.

Overall - A tasty Christmas style ale that was very drinkable. A nice spice, sweet and malt blend. Quite tasty.

 1,132 characters

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.91 out of 5 based on 3,067 ratings.
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