Great Lakes Christmas Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Christmas AleGreat Lakes Christmas Ale
Very Good
3,137 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,137 |  Reviews: 893
Photo of Eastside151
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of hockey23kp
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of boot11222
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of davecavemaster
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you live where they distribute Great Lakes beer, then you look forward to their yearly release of Christmas Ale. This is my favorite seasonal beer.

great lakes christmas ale

Christmas, it seems... pours a beautiful clear and copper color. So long green and red.

The head is a nice off white foam. The foam dissipates, and turns into a thin coating on the sides of the glass, and in the center. Nice amount of lacing sticks around while you drink.

The nose of this brew is heavy on the honey and ginger spices it is brewed with. Malty, but a sweet and pleasant blend of fragrances.

The taste of Christmas follows the nose. The sweetness of the honey hit me first, followed by the spices, and then a bit of the hops bite at the end. This is a truly wonderful flavor combination, and the ratio is just right.

Not a heavily carbonated beer, but just enough to make it tingle in your mouth and make the flavors stand out. Very crisp for all the malty tastes, not sticky at all.

Great beer! Although at 7.5%, you need to be careful how fast you put them down.

If you have not tried this seasonal, and can find it near you..I highly recommend checking it out. I would lay money on it becoming one of your favs.

 1,216 characters

Photo of
4/5  rDev +1.3%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of jacobdensford
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of catfan2000
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an orange and amber hybrid color with a ton of red hues and a pretty exceptional amount of clarity all around. Small white head fades quick and doesn't leave much lacing at all.

The nose.... what to say about the nose. Full of a basket of toasted malts and spices - most prominent being cinnamon, but also included are nutmeg and maybe some ginger. There's really so much going on and it's executed with a careful hand; there's really something to be admired in the aroma profile.

The taste hits with an incredibly unique and well-executed balance of sweet and spicy malt - sweetness in the form of caramel, toffee, and butter, and spicy in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. Very nutty, and with the spices, it resembles a warm pecan pie.

Yeast is noticeable in the background, provides a nice bready and buttery aftertaste (think Christmas sugar cookie). Honey is hard to detect, but is noticeable at the tail end as the beer starts to warm up a little bit. Medium body, not too sticky on the mouth, low to medium carbonation.

This beer tastes like Christmas in a bottle. The fact that it's a holiday release makes it all the more alluring and I feel like a little kid on Christmas when I finally get my hands on some.

 1,230 characters

Photo of outsider
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of TubbyDullard
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of CloudStrife
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Freshest by 12/31/12.

A: Pours a clear deep amber with a dense 2 finger off white head. Not very much visible carbonation. Head takes a few minutes to dissipate to a thin film and ring. Leaves some lace once you start sipping.

S: Can certainly get the cinnamon and ginger right off the bat. Seems to be some sweet malts in the background as well as a nice hopping.

T: Starts with the spices, malts give it a body and hops clean it up and finish off the taste. Honey keeps it very smooth and hides the ABV. Lingers with some spice and a sweet malt.

M: Almost getting into heavy territory with an almost syrupy consistency. Isn't sticky though which is nice. Low carbonation. Easy to drink a few in a row.

Overall a Christmas beer I look forward to every year. Consistently top in its class. Would recommend to anyone who isn't scared of a little spice.

 895 characters

Photo of M1A2
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of ChicagoShoop
3.46/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Snifter

A- Cloudy Copper color that looked almost like an iced tea

S-Large Sweet Spices, hints of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. I Don't get as much honey as i would have liked for a Christmas ale but still small hints of it. About a finger worth of off white head that seems to dissipate rather quickly

T- Very sweet at first with the spices lingering on the back end. Cinnamon would be the most predominate spice I could taste. Lingering clove, nutmeg also. I get a very small bit of honey near the end

M- Medium bodied with low carb.

O- I heard that previous years were not that good so I was wanting to try this years for myself. I enjoyed it for about half of the bottle but I would not say this would be my go to for a Christmas ale. Would I drink 1 or 2 of this in a sitting, sure. But, I would not see myself drinking a 6 pack of this in a night. Ill stick with a big stout for the winter.


 923 characters

Photo of mzeld
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of mhabas
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of DarthTremens
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Photo of ThirstyHrothgar
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of carolinahophead
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is always a beer that's always hard to get here .
The color is a bright copper , poured a nice head with bold lace .
Tight nose here , you do get nice malt aromas with spice added in .
This is a big holiday brew .. good flavor with sweetness and a little bitterness as well .
The beer has a medium mouthfeel and a surprising long finish .
It's a good beer .. Let's say we will be having one Christmas Eve to enjoy the holiday .

 437 characters

Photo of ReverendTrips
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard pint glass

A - looks really nice, somewhere between red and coppery, nice amber 2 finger head

S - this beer smells delicious, smells like caramel, cinnamon, and honey.

Taste - tastes sweet to start and then has a bitter aftertaste, can definitely taste the spices with the cinnamon being the strongest and the others less so.

Mouthfeel - really smooth, feels thick as it goes down and really coats your mouth.

O - My friend just convinced me to buy this beer and I cant say I'm disappointing. Ive passed on great lakes a lot of times in favor of imported English ales but this is up to par or better than a lot I've tried and I'd reccommend it to anyone

 680 characters

Photo of Thecasehead
2.5/5  rDev -36.7%

Photo of CleJB
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer. Every late October/early November is like Christmas for me. The minute you crack this beer, it smells like the holiday season. The cinnamon, ginger, and honey blend very well together. This beer goes down extremely smooth for the 7.5% alcohol content, so drink with care. This beer goes well with Turkey, Ham, or pretty much anything you would eat around the holidays. Christmas in a bottle. A little pricey at between $12 and $13 a 6 pack, but worth every penny. Christmas in NE Ohio isn't Christmas without Christmas Ale.

 549 characters

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Wiscivore
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of sleuthdog
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 1/11/13
Poured into Lagunitas mason jar

Appearance: A cloudy copper color reminding me of ice tea. Created a finger to finger and a half of off white head that faded quickly. Moderate amount of lacing upon initial pour.

Smell: Big sweet spices here with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and the sweet honey come through. It really reminds me of sugar cookies with a kick of cinnamon. A very unique and pleasant smelling beer.

Taste: Sweetness hits first with a quick hit but this is followed up by the spices almost immediately. The cinnamon is the most forward of the spices but the clove, ginger and nutmeg mingle among it. Mid palate I get a small hop bite? Then the honey comes through on the tail end leaving a nice sweet, spice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I'd call this one pretty sticky as it does coat my mouth with a candy like sweetness. Alcohol is well integrated.

Overall: I've passed on this one in the years past but saw it this year fresh so I thought I'd give it a shot. Glad I did because I did enjoy this one.

 1,072 characters

Great Lakes Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 3,137 ratings
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