Holiday Spice Lager Beer | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

very good
144 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 309
Photo of Weli
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark amber color with thin white head residing to fine white lacing

S-Quite reminiscent of pumpkin pie, with notes of cinnamon and clove, with a strong malty presence

T-Big and boozy with a nice warming note, rich malt flavor with a finish of spice. Nicely balanced

M-Full bodied, without being cloying. Big and boozy nice winter beer

O-I'm not usually a big fan of spice beers but this one is very well balanced. A single bottle is a nice stocking stuffer.

Update: had no idea this beer was that strong until I looked at the above criteria! Wow, it really hides the alcohol well, would have expected an 11% beer to be much less sessionable!

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: handsome auburn, mostly clear, dark though not opaque. No head to speak of but the bubbles keep coming.
Smell: yep, that's a spiced beer. Aromatic spices up front. Citrus and some sweet malt supporting.
Taste: very nice balance of all the flavors mentioned above. I believe it's the honey that really makes this shine, with the aromatic spices and citrus supporting.
Overall: nice surprise. Big beer, nice and balanced. Great holiday treat.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Well doesn't look like a lager but I guess for 11% it wasn't meant too. Orange honey amber, clear and dark with little head that falls to a sticky lace ring.

S - Smell is light almost like an English brown with herbal tea malts and a touch of cinnamon or nutmeg. Smells mild with little notable ABV.

T - Well it's not bursting with flavor most notable is the English like brown malts, nutmeg, and mild cinnamon tones. Maybe it's the orange peel that provides an almost hop bitterness. I applaud that it's very balanced.

M - I don't know where it is but if I were to guess (and you have to since it's not listed on the bottle) it seems around 8%. A fine winter warmer,

Overall I tried their other beers and it seems this has the most balance and taste I ever tried from them. Worth picking up a single which was hella cheap at around 2 bucks.

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Photo of Jfriz25
3.51/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a dark apricot. Kind of hazy and overall looks really inviting. Couple fingers of head that fade to a small ring around the surface.

Smell- The smell is pretty subdued, just faint nutmeg but not much else? This was easily the lowlight of this one.

Taste- Tons of flavor. Nutmeg, allspice, and faint clove with was nice because clove can easily overpower. This is an "either you like it or you don't" in your face spice profile but I think it works even though it is a little aggressive. The 11% blew my mind. Would never have guessed anything even close to that.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full body, reall nice feel for a lager. The carbonation is perfect.

Overall- Being really close I tend to want Lakefront to be more than they are but this is another in a lineup full of decent beers. Not sure I'd seek this one out again but I definitely would try to talk someone out of getting it.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Holiday Spice came highly recommended but fell a little short. I have a new holiday spice benchmark - Southern Tier 2xmas - and this is just not well balanced enough. It is a good tasting spice beer, but the spice is a bit too overpowering (not the worst of the genre by any means).

It's real dark in the glass with just a little head and very little lace. The aroma is overpoweringly spice.

I did just have an ohmygosh moment when I looked up here and see the ABV at 11. I was thinking it was a 6. 11 is hard to believe - that is completely hidden. So there is the redeeming qualtiy of this beer! It is an extremely drinkable beer of this strength and a complete fooler.

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Photo of Megahertz
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10-23-12, poured into a Hoffman House chalice.

A - Deep red with a slight white head. Faintly hazy. Christmas-looking.

S - Complex spicy aroma with a hint of orange. Somewhat reminds me of a belgian ale.

T - Vibrant and fruity with a moderate dose of spices. Strong brown sugar sweetness. The orange is apparent in the mid. Finish is surprisingly dry for such a sweet, malty beer. Reminds me of a spiced Brown Shugga'. Very warming in the finish!

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Could use a bit heavier body.

O - A brown-sugary sweet, fruity and mildly spicy strong lager. Clean yet complex, this would be an excellent choice for the Christmas season.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Brewers pint glass

Appearance- A mahogany color with tiny white bubbly head have widdles down to a cloud like layer.

Smell- Lots going on here. Reminds me of Christmas in September since that is when I'm drinking it. Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, all spice are heavy in the nostrils.

Taste- Pretty much a heavily spiced lager with a slight char flavor on the back side. Spices include clove, all spice, cinnamon. Also nice tiny booze taste on the back.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, but would prefer it to be a little lighter without going watery.

Overall- A beautifully spiced lager that smells out of this world and tastes very nice. The very well hidden abv doesn't hurt either.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Jester King pint. (not knowing that this was 11%)

A- Pours a dark, cloudy amber with a 1 finger light tan head. Minimal lacing on glass.

S- Big spice aroma! Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

T- Sweet amber malts, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg. Don't really get a lot of orange.

M- Medium body and low carbonation. You would have no idea this was 11%, as I did not until I rated it!

O- Good winter warmer, but even better considering the abv. Will have to look for this next winter.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to trying one of these since it was available via the single bottle in Totowa. This wasn't the best Winter Warmer that I've had since it was lighter in hue, body, and less spicy than others that I've become accustomed to. Still, this was extremely easy to enjoy given how much alcohol was in this and in true Winter Warmer fashion, this did warm me up with just enough spice and body to it to make it worth finding this late in the season.

The hue to this was a deep almond with not a lot of carbonation nor lacing. It was heavy, with a big malt presence and strong in the cinnamon and nutmeg departments as well. Not a strong nose to this either and for such a strong beer, the alcohol was pretty well hidden.

Most Winter Wamers that I've had went down slowly since they felt so strong and spicy. This was not easy to quaff since this had a heavy feel to it. Still, it was a good beer and fans of the style won't be disappointed here. I could see myself having this again next year, with a nice plate of oatmeal cookies. This isn't a must-try but I don't think anyone would be let down by this either.

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Photo of samie85
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep slightly hazy copper color with two fingers of off-white head.

Smells of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon with caramel and dark fruit notes.

Big spice (see above) and dark fruit with a light crispness and some alcohol on the finish.

Light yet sticky with moderate carbonation and an alcohol warmth.

Very drinkable for 11%... I enjoyed the spicing on this one; it didn't overpower the base beer but was prominent enough to be easily noticed.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

3.0 A: Lightly hazed dark orange amber color. Just half a finger of frothy beige head that fell quickly, leaving no lacing.

4.0 S: Very nice mix of spices. Nutmeg stands out the most, followed by cinnamon and honey. Clove adds that extra something to really make this a great spice blend. Orange is somewhere underneath. Malts give a pleasant caramel aromas. Quite clean overall.

4.5 T: I didn't expect a lot from a brewery that I've never heard of, but it appears that this is a sleeper. I have to say this is the best winter warmer I've had this year. Spices follow the nose and as an added bonus, the cinnamon isn't strong enough to add that goofy flavor that cinnamon tends to add. Caramel maltiness with a slight graininess. Again, quite clean allowing the malts and spices to do their thing.

4.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Very creamy given the body. Super smooth.

4.5 D: I'm going to have to look for this next year. I only wish I drank this a few weeks ago when I first bought it so I could buy some more. Very good example of the style.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - murky brown color with a beige head that thinned to a layer leaving a few specks of lacing.

S - lots of spices in the aroma ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg stand out the most.

T - the taste is full of spices from the start to warming finish.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth feel.

O - a good example of the style.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, glad to see this one available in the Southland, I'm always up for a new winter beer,

A: Pours a deep red to brown with a medium off-white head. Good head retention, spotty lace.

S: Lots of winter spice. Sweet orange peel and cinnamon, light notes of honey.

T: Good malt flavour, the complexities of the spice isn't quite up to snuff as it was in the nose. A bit of muddled cinnamon, some heavy clove especially on the back end.

M: Medium-bodied, lightly boozy, some biting carbonation, spice heavy finish. I'd never guess this was 11%.

O: There's some good stuff in there, but something that really shines on the nose. Perhaps it's a lot harder to make a winter warmer out of lager. Nevertheless, this is a solid effort and worth a single pickup.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Random pick at Beercrazy.

Wow, this one turned out to be a good pick. The brownish red color suggests a heavier brew, and the aroma of sweet malt, cinnamon, and plumb encourage it even more. When I took my first sip my tongue was bombarded with flavor of plumb, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of wine barrel aging. This made for a great combination that I found most appealing. It's tasty and thick and smooth, perfect for a night by the fireplace.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled during the 4th week of October.

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a 1/2 inch beige head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Random streaks of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, honey, and lots of spice aromas. Taste is of malt, caramel, honey, and a spice overload. There is no real bitterness per se but the spices do linger on the palate with each sip. This beer has a crisp mouthfeel which feels weird with the spices in the beer. Overall, this is a pretty good Winter warmer but nothing I would buy again. None of the spice smells and flavors really stand out which creates a muddled spice quality.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these last night. Gave weaker head than I remember from last year, so tonight I poured it a little more aggressively. I was rewarded with a finger and a half of head the color of banana pudding. Color is a nice rich brown and there is lacing; albeit weak; noted throughout consumption. When held up to the light a stream of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom center of the glass and disappearing up into the body of the beer.

Banana tannins are strong on this beer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger are main spices noted, with clove playing second fiddle. A little dark fruit and malt are noticed in the background as well. Very complex as winter warmers go.

Malt, a pervading banana flavor and mixed spices are the main flavors. The taste is good but doesn't seem as complex as the nose. I catch some dark fruit in there as well the more I search.

This is a medium bodied beer that goes down very quick and easy for 11% ABV. It does develop the alcohol burn in the back of the throat, but hey, winter WARMER, right?

This is my favorite winter warmer. I like most of the ones I've tried, but this one I keep on coming back to. I do have to second that note on the side of the page that says it isn't recommended for cellaring. I attempted to cellar a 6 from last years batch, and it just ended up tasting like bad bananas with some spice. So don't ruin the beer, drink it while it's fresh.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

No date, just says 2011.

A: Pours a dark copper with a thin off white head.

S: Lots of nutmeg with hints of ginger and cinnamon.

T: The nutmeg comes out first and is quickly followed by ginger and cinnamon with a bit of orange zest. Finishes with a bit of hops and some dark fruit along with caramel malt. Lots going on.

M: Just heavy enough for a cold winter night with a perfect amount of carbonation. Finishes with a bit of alcohol warming.

O: One of the better winter beers I've had this year.

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Photo of znichols
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark red, like rudolph's nose. A baby off-white head that quickly dissipates. Not a whole lot of lacing. Regardless of the head/lacing (or lack thereof), this beer still looks like its got some great body and flavor.

S- Complex aromas here. Lots of spice; big orange and clove with a hint of cinnamon. A touch of nutmeg in there too. Some alcohol in there as well. A little bit of sweet chocolate malt subtle hops finish it out. Really, really nice smell to this beer. Slightly reminiscent to the spices used in their Pumpkin lager.

T- The flavor is akin to the aroma, but not as pungent. More mellow and smooth flavor of orange, nutmeg, and a little cocoa. This one could use a year of aging to lighten the alcohol, but its really not that distracting. Little to no bitterness here. This has a nice flavor that screams holidays.

M- Very, very smooth mouthfeel. Sorta boozy and slick, but the moderate carbonation makes it creamy and rich. This is a festive treat.

O- This beer bring much merriment. Probably my favorite holiday beer (which i tend not to like). I would say its a doppelbock lager thats got the perfect amount of spices; not too much but you can notice them. Maybe not the best beer for the new craft drinker due to the heavier body and powerful flavor, but aficionados will appreciate it. Get a six pack for a loved one, or a case for yourself. Either way, this lager is a holiday must.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a whisp of creamy head over a murky mahogany body and that whisp fades almost immediately.

Interesting aroma. Some alcohol there but also a lot of orange oil and honey. Some spices as well but they're not at the forefront.

The flavor isn't nearly as orangey as I expected after the aroma. It is rich and malty. The orange and honey are still there but they're in balance. I'm not getting any nutmeg but some cinnamon for sure and maybe a hint of ginger. The alcohol is there but it's not hot, just a lingering aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is actually quite pleasant. Thicker than I was expecting but the alcohol and the fine carbonation cut through it just fine.

Overall it's my favorite winter warmer so far. This is closer to what I was expecting from the others. The lager part of it comes through as it's very like a dopplebock that's been dressed up for the holidays. I think I need a 6 pack of this around.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown appearance, like a hearty brown ale, almost no head or lace or retention. Smells of holiday spice type stuff, cinnammon, nutmeg, you get what I'm getting at.

Smooth taste, you have got to be shitting me if this is actually 11% alcohol, I thought it was more like 6 or 7. Slightly sweet, lightly warming. Consistency was thinner than most beers of this alleged strength. Maybe some orange peel in it. Cocoa powder? Honey seems to smooth this one out.

Really, one of the more enjoyable winter beers out there that is easy to get a hold of.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red, with rich foaminess. Not any detectable retention, though.

The aroma is definitely spices -- I get coriander, nutmeg, appealing mix, and certainly reminiscent of other winter spiced ales (though much stronger at a startling 11% ABV).

The flavor profile is big, with fruits and spices figuring prominently. The finish is dry and boozy. One to sip, but quite enjoyable.

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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 Knapp85
3.32/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours as a deep amber color with a nice white head on top that doesn't leave much in way of lacing. The aroma is heavily spiced to the point where it almost doesn't really have aberration aroma. The taste was pretty strong, found that this beer goes well with food because the spices are really powerful in this brew. The mouthfeel was a little thick and very warming. Not a terrible brew, I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Samp01
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy brown, with a minimal tan head. Aroma of orange peel some cinnamon and sweet spices, some fruitiness, caramel malt. Taste is bitter orange peel, some sweet spices, dark toasted malts. Moderate carbonation and full body. Finish is sweet dark malt with bitter orange peel and sweet spices. The alcohol esters really come thru in the end. Overall an interesting and complex brew.

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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.

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Holiday Spice Lager Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
3.77 out of 5 based on 309 ratings.
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