Holiday Spice Lager Beer | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

very good
311 Ratings
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Holiday Spice Lager BeerHoliday Spice Lager Beer

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spice beer brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, orange peel, and clover honey.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-03-2002

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Ratings: 311 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of weezarc
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of TimRasmussen
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.92/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Since this beer is brewed less than 2 miles from my house, I cant be anymore thankful for such a wonderful local creation. I really get excited each december for the seasonal beers that surface in local shops. I first tried this beer last winter and was floored with perfection of it. It is a very complex holiday brew with tons of different and fabulous flavors. It pours a burnt orange color with a small head on it. The nose of this beer is full of coriander, honey, and other spices, but it isnt overpowered by any one specific ingrediant. With each sip, the flavors just jump out at you. This review was sampled 12/7/03 from a bottle that was brewed the 2nd week of 12/02. The high abv is not noticed at all. I suggest to anyone that has the ability to get this beer; STOCKPILE if you have the room for it. It only gets better with storage. This is truly one of my favorite beers!

New Review....2004 Version
I got the first batch off the line and this year's may blow other years out of the water. Last year's weaker ABV is no longer present. This baby packs old school Holiday Spice punch. The Spices are blended masterfully and the aroma screams Winter! I have been waiting and it paid off! On Thanksgiving, sip this with a nice turkey dinner and give thanks that you are in Lakefront's distribution radius.

 1,320 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.89/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite winter beers I've tried...I'd love to have a keg of this $hit on tap for the cold winter months....hard to believe this is close to 10%..thanks to BigHuge via Pieman for the bottle...

Aroma is awesome...strong strong spicy ciniman and nutmeg...The aroma is dang near perfect and I'm rating it that way...I could smell this b!tch all night long....

The taste isn't far behind..for a winter beer it is spectacular...make that for a spice beer it is spectacular...amazingly the spiciness does not overwhelm...there is a incredibly tasty bready malt base to go along with the excellent spicy flavor..

It poured a dark cloudy orange...feels nice in the mouth...not overly sweet or overloaded with spices...I rate drinkability very high as this may be my favorite winter of the year along with Winter solstice from Anderson Valley...

I've found Lakefront to be a bit of an odd brewery...their regular beers are solid but not worth jumping up and down over...but their hard to find seasonals like this...their Bee Line Barley Wine and their Big Easy Blonde Doppelbock are truly special...

I'd pay up to $20 for a sixer of this I love it so much...What I wouldn't do for a kegger of this on tap in my basement....2-or 3 a night would help me fight through these -25 below Northern Minnesota Winter nights...If you see this buy it and drink it...and hord it for the future...

 1,400 characters

Photo of Stezz420
4.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Interesting take on a Christmas beer.

Tan colored lager with small head retention.

Smells heavily of cloves, cinnamon, Christmas popery.

The taste is pretty much just like the smell. Lots of cloves and cinnamon, definitely a bit tangy and spicey.

Not a lot of carbonation in this one, but the booze is very well hidden for how thick it is.

Overall not the best, but still tasty for how strong it is.

 406 characters

Photo of Bobk80
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Photo of mooseisloose
4.74/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a gift form upper Midwest relatives, when here at Christmastime, oh my Gawd, didn't know this was 11% until I opened this review page, might be a record for me (on second check it's #2 on my personal ABV). Well then, let's give it a whirl! Serving slightly chilled, not cold as this should bring out what this selection has to offer. Popping the top I get a big waft of cloves, allspice and cinnamon, not unlike a pumpkin pie. Pours into a tulip glass a deep root beer color with a medium bubble head that wisps away. On the taste, this brew start with a big syrup-thick mouthfeel, very high viscosity. The taste has an upfront spicyness just like the smell. The middle taste has some roasted malts, then the finish has a dry chocolate slight bitterness. All this while maintaining spice flavors through the whole taste. This is one holiday brew.To sit next to the fireplace or as a desert beer, I don't know how this brew could be beat. Outstanding.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear maroon color, small off-white, slightly red head. A very well spiced beer, lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in the nose. Really doesn't smell or taste anything like your average beer of any style, that's what's great about the winter warmer, it's a style based on a goal, rather than ingredients or brewing style. Taste is dominated by mulling style spice flavors combined with alcohol to do exactly what the style suggests. Medium mouthfeel, with some alcohol burn. Good drinkability. A perfect beer for a cold winter's night.

 537 characters

Photo of jmbranum
4.63/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought in Manhattan, KS but enjoyed at home in OKC.

Pours a dark coffee brown into the glass with a big fluffy tan head. Pleasant spicy aroma, but fairly subtle.

Flavor is rich and deep. Raisins, nutmeg, cloves, and hint of cinamin, lots of maltyness, tiny bit of lingering chocolate, maple syrup, caramel, tiny bit of orange, just a bit of black pepper and ginger. Very complex. Some nice balanced toastyness, but not too much. Very smooth. Maybe even a little bit of cream in the mix.

Mouthfeel is glorious. Perfectly smooth.

Long linger aftertaste. Alcohol is high but you can't taste it. Very well hidden. Dark chocolate and pepper is what lasts.

Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of brakspear
4.62/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a find Lakefront's 2002 Holiday Spice on tap in northern Wisconsin was like finding a pearl in an oyster.

This specialty beer pours a dark peach with a pleasant frothy head forming and lingering throughout.

The aroma screams spices and malty sweetness. I detected, I think, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and perhaps cloves.... all balanced with an ever present honey and malt base.

The taste is very sweet, perhaps from the honey, but the spices and high alchohol, along with a generous hop presence blance this beer very well. A potent brew for the holday season.

I first sampled Lakefront's Holiday Spice back in 1993 or 1994 in a special tasting held in the old Riverwest brewery...since I moved, I have missed its yuletide presence every is a great beer to go out of the way to purchase if you are ever in Milwaukee when the mercury drops below zero.

 891 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant garnet amber, ¼” cream colored foam cap, dissipates to a thick film.
S: Malt, honey, orange and spice aromas.
T: Rich deep honey flavors blending with rich malt, orange zest and spices.
F: Medium body and medium high carbonation but comes across soft giving the beer a little creaminess.
O: This is a stealth beer – it does not taste the least bit alcoholic and certainly does not taste like a 9.4 % abv beer.

 437 characters

Photo of jj1221
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Mild flavor, smooth, subtle hints of spice. This will be my go to this holiday season.

87 characters

Photo of DIPADude01
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of LoraxLager
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of theholdsteady
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of imprezawrxsti
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of BigDank
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of tavernjef
4.47/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light brownish, burnt orangy yellow color thats quite clouded and has a strange glow from the bottom up with a medium ivory colored head from a vigorous pour, sits soft and thick but dwindles down somewhat fast; minimal stringed lace. Aroma is a whole lotta spice! Allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, fly across the air and is very fresh and lovely into the nose, a light touch of dulled plum and sweet potato and toasty malts are in the back but are hard reaching due to the very spicy array this holiday keeper has. Taste is much more subdued then the smell gives way too, which is a good thing, I don't think I would like a glass of allspice, would you? But the spices are there but favorably mixed with a soft toasted Vienna-like maltyness with a slight sweetness underneath some of the allspice and ginger. Quite a nice semi-milding taste thats very pleasant and subtle. Good medium body feel and has a lingering spiced dryness for the finish. The 9.5% ABV surprised me, its no where to found if that is truely the ABV, no where. This was gone in no time and goes down super easy with a good little zip of spice. More please. Thanks jeffboo!!

 1,147 characters

Photo of Ohiovania
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a work Christmas party, now I'm on my second six pack. I'm not usually a fan of holiday beers/ spiced beers but I tried after a recommendation from a friend. For me this spiced beer hits it right on the head. It's not over the top but is very spice forward. I feel like all of the spice have their place on stage with this one. It's a little sweet but just what I'm looking for after trying all the messes of Christmas past. And at 11% this beer is crazy drinkable. I almost think it has to be a typo, haha.

 519 characters

Photo of chakadrum
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I started sipping away at this brew and felt inspired to review it. It wasn't until I saw the BA entry that I discovered it was 9.5% ABV. This is a sneaky beer.

A - I love the color. Fairly dark but a nice ruby hue. The head dissipated rather quickly but each time I raise the glass for a sip the resulting lacing was slick yet nice. There is a good circular presence of lacing/head around the glass throughout the entire drink.

S - Spices. And even most noticeably, licorice.

T - Spices and a subtle amount of licorice. I also sense a bit of apple in that initial sweet sip. This is what I expect a winter warmer to taste like.

M - It has a pleasant thickness to it. Carbonation feels good. My mouth is happy to pass this one on.

D - As I mentioned, this one is sneaky. It goes down super easy. Definitely the type of beer I'd like to have while I sit around the fire at the theoretical family lodge.

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Photo of jtw5877
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown sort of hue with a very long lasting white head which leaves nice lacing down the sides of my glass. A strong but not overpowering cinnamon/nutmeg aroma. A very smooth spicy malty flavor, ABV is very undetectable. An outstanding winter warmer.

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Photo of tapman
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with plum colored highlights, got 1 finger head out of an aggressive pour and thick, creamy lacing afterwards. Carbonation appears moderate.

In the nose I get pumpkin pie spice, or the collection of spices in pumpkin pie spice rather, a little warm alcohol, vanilla, banana, clove and a slight roast aroma.

This tastes like a mix between bananas foster and creme brulee to me. I barely taste the alcohol at all and I am hard pressed to believe this is 11%. Spices are blended well with the big malt profile, which I would assume left plenty of extra maltose in this brew, and some Noble hops. Almost belgiany in character and my theory is that the spices imitate the by products of belgian yeast pretty well.

Perfectly chewy for this type of beer with enough carbonation to keep it from getting syrupy.

This beer is pretty good. I couldn't drink too many as the high alcohol is getting to me already. I compare this to Anchor's Christmas ale which in my opinion has a better appearance, a richer, more unique aroma and taste as well as a silkier mouthfeel, but that's it. I like this one better than all the rest of the winter warmers I have had this year next to Anchor's.

 1,188 characters

Photo of oNSXo
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of output01x
4.39/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 1-finger tan head that fizzes and crackles away until all that is left is a thin dusting covering a blood clot-red body. Lacing is nearly non-existant.

The first thing noticed is bananas. They are ripe, ready for eating, and beckoning. A sweet maltiness, and some spices (nutmeg and clove, specifically) are also noticed. Which is rather odd as I can normally pick up cinnamon.

Dark and sweet malt flavors hug your taste buds leaving little (but some) room for the spices. Clove and cinnamon are quick to join the party but fall into the shadow of a long-lasting banana note. Odd though it may be in a dark lager, I really enjoy the banana as it plays quite nicely with the spices and sweet malt.

Thick and full bodied, this beer hits your mouth hard. Sticky and somewhat syrupy, it coats your mouth very well, but decent carbonation helps to prevent this brew from being too sticky.

The 11% ABV is completely masked and is nearly undetectable. The thick mouthfeel makes this a definite sipper but the excellent flavors and smells keep me wanting more. This will definitely be in my glass next Christmas morning.

 1,187 characters

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Holiday Spice Lager Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.77 out of 5 based on 311 ratings.
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