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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
72 90 46 6 29 45
Christmas Ale by Great Lakes Brewing Company
Winter Warmer
7.50 % ABV

Review by tavernjef on 11/09/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 10 18 5 9 2010
Slightly coppery amber, clear glossy body with a few speck of bubbles within. Medium sized crown of beige foam lofts up with a good puff of creamyness. Lacing trickles across the glass with some splattered patchy blobs and strings.

Whoa, what a nice medley of warming spices on the nose. Cinnamon most definately is dashed about mixing with a warm honey and caramel drizzled soft biscuity, bready core. Softer ginger, cocoa, pumpkin, spearmint tea, and notes to some barleywine-esque hoppy warmth make for great depth. A very nice nose...softly spiced, warm, and inviting. Like a warm kitchen baking pies and cookies during the Holidays.

Taste is just as nice with a solid malted bready, pie dough, light pastryish center that is warmingly set in caramel brushed with honey. Super softly spiced with cinnamon, pumpkin, apricot, ginger snap cookie dough, and cocoa. The cocoa and cinnamon make a nice little finishing return as it really holds a warm tone the whole way thru.

Beautifully balanced, soft, warm, and a creamy smooth body that is closing in on pretty full. Mainly due to its warming core that doesn't seem 7.5% at all. More like 9 or even 11% seems fitting as it mirrors a wonderful blend of Belgian dark tripel meets Old ale.

Great Lakes makes some super solid brews and this is no different from many other yummy treats from them that normally find a rotational spot in my fridge. As Winter Warmers go, there's a many other breweries out there that should take a lesson from the palate of Great Lakes. Cuz most others make OK to good, but this is outstandingly solid.

Special note: serve fairly warm - 50 to 55 degrees to even room temp. It's well worth the wait.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by joe1510 on 12/10/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 2 8 15 4 7 2009
12oz Bottle
$10.99 6-Pack
Binny's Orland

Best Before 12/31/07

Let's see how the first Christmas beer of the season goes down. Great Lakes Christmas Ale pours a stunningly crystal clear copper. A one finger head formed as I poured but fell to a solid crown in no time. A good amount of carbonation streams to the surface keeping what head is there alive.

According to the bottle this has a combination of cinnamon, ginger, and honey. The cinnamon and ginger are definately there in the aroma and actually are the spotlight of this brew. There's some toasted malt in the background but it's only there as a backdrop for the spicing. I can't pull any honey out of the smell. It does smell like Christmas. As I was about finished with this review it dawned on me the aroma has a strong aroma of gingerbread. Don't know how that didn't register a little quicker.

The honey shows up in the flavor faintly. Toasted grains are the malt backbone. The spicing is, again, the highlight of this beer. Ginger, cinnamon, and honey glide over the maltiness in that order of intensity. A mouthful of gingerbread greets you and slightly fades toward the finish. The honey is mellow and ends things off nicely.

Medium bodied and coating on the swallow. This beer has a solid carbonation that keeps things moving but there is a (just short of) sticky quality on the finish that actually goes nicely with the body and spicing.

Tonight is downright cold and this is a good brew to enjoy as the holiday season quickly comes into view.

My first Christmas brew of the season and a good way to start things off. The aroma of this beer screams Christmas and it doesn't dissapoint.

Reviewed: 11/24/07

Price: $10.99 Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Surly Duff on 12/02/09  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
46 2 5 10 2 4 2009
Pours a medium copper with a slight reddish hue to it. Small white fizzy head settles fairly quickly and leaves no real lacing on the glass. Small ring of white remains around the edges of the glass.

Medium-light golden malt aroma with notes of very light caramel and a touch of honey sweetness. Hint of spice but overall not that strong of an aroma.

Smooth malty profile with plenty of smooth caramel malt flavor and a touch of creaminess. Light copper malt and a bit of honey sweetness followed by a bit of dryness and then a touch of allspice on the aftertaste.

Smooth and easy drinking but not all that substantial in body and a bit thin for my tastes in a winter beer. Not bad by any means but just not all that good either.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by tangfoot on 01/04/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
72 3 8 14 3 8 0
Originally reviewed 12-28-2006

Incidentals: This was my third tasting of this brew, and I was less-than impressed with the first two.

Appearance: Beautiful color, deep amber with nice head..

Smell: I'm not particularly fond of ginger beers, and my initial experience with this one has been rather overpowering. The 3rd time around it was tolerable because I knew what to expect.

Taste: I'm actually beginning to enjoy the flavors in this brew and could probably learn to like it outright after a few more tastings. I've been focusing almost exclusively on holiday seasonals lately and this one is still near the bottom of the list, though.

Drinkability: It took me a surprisingly long time to drink a bottle, but I grew to enjoy it more as the glass warmed a bit and brought out some of the more subtle flavors.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Tip Top on 12/27/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 2 9 16 5 8 0
Review from 12/29/06

A - Pours a crystal clear dark copper color with a decent amount of action in the glass. Off white head pours fizzy and is disappearring rapidly before my eyes.

S - Had to smell it a couple times because I didn't believe what I was smelling. Then I even checked the bottle and it confirmed what my nose was telling me. Huge cinnamon nose. More than I have smelled in any other beer. This combats honey for some strange sort of combination. There is some other spice in here, but I can't quite place it since the cinnamon and honey are so overpowering.

T - Rich and spicy. Cinnamon hits the tongue first with a huge wave. This is followed by a sweetness with ginger and honey. Smooth finish with is even more robust and sweet with the honey combining with some caramel malt. No boozy taste.

M - Medium to full bodied. Smooth carbonation.

D - This is a nice and unique winter beer. Seems to warm the pallette without having much if any taste of alcohol. Very enjoyable beer despite flavors I really wouldn't be looking for.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Kegergator on 11/21/07  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
74 2 8 16 4 7 0
Solid brew. Pours medium dark amber and no head at all(7-14-7). Smell is light spices. Taste is good, not too overbearing on the spices. Just after taking a bite of cheddar the cinnamon REALLY comes out. Solid flavoring here.

Served In: Pint Glass

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