Christmas Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BA SCORE
3.95/5
Very Good
Christmas AleChristmas Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#11,883
Reviews:
911
Ratings:
3,203
pDev:
12.91%
 
 
Wants:
166
Gots:
842
Trade:
10
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 911 | Ratings: 3,203
Photo of AtLagerHeads
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmm mmm good. Surprisingly on tap in April, this seasonal brew still had plenty of snap and talked back with some serious gusto. The look is great with a dark red amber hue, adequate head retention and some fair lacing. Lots of spice in the nose and taste, though to be honest, the flavors are all quite subtle and understated. The alcohol doesn't show through, perhaps because of the spice overlay, and this is very drinkable, but for the high ABV. GLBC just keeps on keeping on.

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Photo of fattyre
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly hazy slightly dark brownish red color with a moderate tan head. The mouthfeel is moderate. The smell is spice mostly ginger and cinnamon. The taste is strong ginger and spice in front with mild malty cinnamony finish. A good spicy holiday season ale with a very deceptive alcohol content.

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Photo of Bunnyhop
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy, slightly dark brownish-red Spiced Winter Ale with a moderate, tan head. I smell cinnamon, ginger, and other spices. I taste many flavors, honey, ginger, and cinnamon, along with a maltiness, and a slight bitterness as it finishes. The cinnamon and ginger linger in my throat. The body is medium in my mouth. Overall, an enjoyable "cinnamon" Seasonal Ale (I emphasize the cinnamon because I almost would like less of its flavor, but just a bit).

(source: PremierGourmet; Buffalo, NY)

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Photo of ZAP
4.67/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this is what Christmas Ae should taste like....beautifull work with the spicing....cinamin and ginger on the nose along with almost a pumkin pie like smell.....copper in color...super clean and clear looking (and this is an ale?)...Is medium bodied...a tich of sweetness, but not overdone...at first it felt like a "bock" in the mouth and I guess it still does...some sweet maltiness, and that great spice flavor..that pumkin pie subtle flavor is there on the taste buds too...I've had spice beers that went too far...this is about perfect...what a treat...I love this Brewery...One of my top 2 along with Stone.

*.I rate the drinkability high for a seasonal sipping beer....not for as if you'd want to drink 12 of these in a sitting...rather if you gave me my choice of several holiday beers I'd rather drink this one than most..

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Photo of aracauna
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not dark enough for mahogany, the red isn't backed up enough by the brown for that. The head is wimpy. The aroma reminded me of black cherries, sweet but without the sourness. Nice but really big malt along with the mild spicing makes it seem a bit cake-like. The black cherries carry through into the flavor. Nice beer but not outstanding.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy reddish-brown body with a thin creamy tan head. The head holds OK, drops to a creamy collar and thin surface covering, and leaves some spotty lace. The aroma expresses soft dark fruit, sweet toffee, a touch of cocoa and some mild spice. Very nice! The full body combines with a very fine carbonation from bottle conditioning to give a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
The flavor offers a very nice blend of softly sweet malt with a touch of honey and chocolate, and mild spice (cinnamon, ginger). It finishes semi-dry with a lingering sweet malt, some clear cinnamon flavor, and a drying spiciness. The alcohol is almost completely hidden! Very well-balanced with just enough spice to keep it interesting throughout the glass, but not overwhelm the palate. Definitely a seasonal to look forward to!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy scarlet red in color. Thin creamy, yet bubbly, tan head. This beer smells like Christmas: Cinamon, spice and everything nice. The beer tastes like Christmas joy as well. The cinamon is the main player of the spices, but the orange contributions are notable and enjoyable as well. Nice little biscuity malt backbone and some alcohol notes to give a little umph to this beer. Carbonated nicely. Medium body. One of the more enjoyable spiced winter offerings I have come across. Thank you PhantomVoodoo for the sample.

I have now sampled 6 Great Lakes beverages. I can't comment on their consistency as I don't have consistent access to them, but the quality of the brews I've had is extremely high. One of the best in the US in my opinion. I've doled out 4.5s to the Elliot Ness, Burning River and Dortmuder Gold. I've rated the Edmund Fitzgerald a 4.6, the X-mas ale a 4.4 and the Loctender Lager a 4.25. My new top 3 would include K-ZOO, Stone and Great Lakes.

I'd love to see what they could do with a Barleywine, Imperial Stout or IPA.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on draught at the Grid Iron Brewpub. As with most beers this has more character from the tap. Poured a rich dark orange/red with a foamy light beige head. Pleasantly spiced aroma. Flavor of spices (ginger and cinnamon) with some malt made it a nice winter warmer. Slight hops finish. Good to have at this time of year.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown glass bottle with hard to read dating, but looks like it says enjoy by 15 FEB 03. Pours a slightly hazy reddish copper with a light tan head. Aroma is faint, but I detect malt and honey. Flavors explode from several directions. Big malt flavor from one, honey and cinnamon from another. Well balanced, flavor is slightly sweet. Finishes very well except for one aftertaste I don't like that creeps in and lingers. Not sure, but it seems to be an alcohol aftertaste. Of course the solution to this is simply to take another drink because up to that point this beer is great. Another very good Great Lakes.

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Photo of Wildman
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish amber color and formed an amazing off white foamy head that left some circular lace as it subsided. It had an aroma of malt and cinammon. The flavor was of malt, cinammon and touch of ginger. A good beer from Great Lakes, but a bit pricey.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a decent orangish white head. Notes of cinnamon on the smell. Malty spicy taste. A real solid beer, maybe a little too much cinnamon, but by no means bad. A good interpretation of the style. Another good reason to live in Ohio.

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Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.95 out of 5 with 3,203 ratings