Schroppfy (2357) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - NOV 22, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: FEB 3, 2008 Thin-bodied and can get a little sweet - but not too much - comments here are about its dryness and I concur - I get a huge tinder dry spicy hit of Styrian Goldings in the aroma. Of course, big ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon - for some reason you can pick them all out and I don’t mind the separateness.
ClarkVV (3579) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 21, 2003
3.2 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
You just got off your connecting flight late and have 15 minutes until the next flight leaves. Youve got a ways to go to the next gate. What do you do, walk to the gate or sprint to the airport bar, down a beer and sprint back? I took option B. Pours a deep reddish-brown with some brighter red-auburn highlights. Medium amount of yellowish head, small amount of lacing, filtered. Aroma of nutmeg, some sweeter ginger (due to the malt) and more spice. Begins with some nutmeg and ginger but has a good enough malt backbone to back it up. Light caramel malt flavor, very spicy all the way through the body. Finishes on a drier hops note. Reminded me alot of last year's Anchor OSA, though was sweeter due to a large amount of honey flavoring that lingers. It's like a honey ginger beer (well I've only had one honey ginger) with some cinnamon and a bit more caramel malt. Medium body, a bit of wateriness, carbonation not a problem as it warms, a bit too sweet to really be outstanding.
bac080 (398) - Boardman, Ohio, USA - NOV 18, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
This is good but the flavors don't jump out like many similar brews. It's not the recommended 45F at the moment, perhaps I'll re-rate then.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 9, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
A nice amber body, reddish hue and a thick, tan head. The aroma shows plenty of spiciness. Honey-kissed ginger, cinnamon and sugar and a nice malty base. Caramel, toasted bread, and some nice nuttiness. Moderate mouthfeel. The flavor, again, brings out all of the spices. A nice balance of spicy sweetness and toasted malt. The spices are certainly present through out the beer, but they don't really become overbearing. One of the more pleasant Christmas Ales I've had. Nice subtle ginger and cinnamon on bed of full, toasted malts.
Ubiquibeer (140) - Cleveland, USA - NOV 2, 2003
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
UPDATED: DEC 11, 2004 2003 bottle. Pours a nice color, small head with light lacing. A medium-bodied ale with a medium mouthfeel. I tase the spices, but it is all understated. I don’t like the ginger finish, but I guess I’m not a big fan of these kind of beers. Drinkable, but not exceptional in any way.
I still am not a fan of ’spiced’ beers, but this is a drinable, smooth and mellow beer.
Silphium (3111) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 1, 2003
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
2003 bottling. Amid a medley of spices and flavors, the folks at Great Lakes forget the "beer" when brewing their Christmas Ale. Pours with a clear copper body and a thin off-white head. Aroma of everything listed on the label: cinnamon and ginger dominate, and honey is evident. Flavor is strong ginger with some cinnamon and a touch of honey. Also a touch of biscuity malts, finishing with light, grassy hops. In summary, this ale is too much spice and too little beer.
kujo9 (1090) - North Ridgeville, Ohio, USA - OCT 19, 2003
3.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Iiiiiiit's BAAAAAAAAaaaaack! 2003 GL Christmas ale. Coppery body with a beigeish lasting off white head. Is beigeish even a word? Probably not, but oh well! Cinnamon and Ginger are very apparent in the nose as is honey to some extent; also has a deep caramelly malty sweetness, as well as toasty and nutty aromas. There is some alcohol and fruitiness, possibly from the alcohol as it warms.
Very well balanced, but this year's seems to be a little on the bitter side as compared to years past. Ginger seems more apparent than the cinnamon in flavor, a little honey, and caramel malt. More hop flavor than I've noticed in the past, and the bitterness dries the finish. Medium body with a moderate carbonation, but has a slight astringency, rather than being smooth on the tongue. Overall still a very good beer, but it seems to have been more malty the last few years.
aaronh (201) - McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 28, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This slightly hazy copper colored ale pours with a beige head that fades quickly, but still leaves a faint lace on the glass. The aroma is faint and hard to pinpoint. Malt and a hint of spice is noticable, but not overpowering. The taste is malty with a touch of cinnamon and citrus, with little bitterness on the rather clean finish. A hint of alcohol sweetness lingers on the finish. The beer feels full on the tongue, with a touch of carbonation effervesence.
Libeerian (209) - Garner, North Carolina, USA - JUL 29, 2003
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 13/20
Malt and ginger aroma on a dark amber brew. Flecks of debris detract from the appearance. I'm not a big ginger fan but this one's done pretty well, not overdone.
tmhst30 (10) - Prospect Park, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 14, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 7, 2003 This beer (along with the other Great Lakes beers) is worth a trip to Cleveland. Two years ago (2001) I was passing through and stopped at Great Lakes for dinner. After several pints of this wonderfully balanced and deliciously flavored beer, I checked in to the holiday inn. That night I dreamt of this wonderful beer all night and planned on procuring it in bottle form for all my friends to try. Alas, I brought it home and realized it's too delicate to be bottled. This beer is great on draught but comes up bland in the bottle.