ChadPolenz (1629) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2011
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Pretty shade of dark amber/orange/light red. Mostly clear with plenty of visible carbonation. Forms a large, white, frothy head which laces and retains well.
Smell: Mostly ginger, some cinnamon: a graham cracker-like overall aroma.
Taste: The palate begins with immediate sensation of spice: ginger being the most prominent, followed by a firey cinnamon bite and a sweet, rich honey taste to round it all out. Vanilla and the taste of shortbread seems to be lurking somewhere in the palate, too. Thus it does live up to its reputation of being a liquid Christmas cookie. The actual beer components of hops and malts seem to take a backseat to the spices and flavorings, though. Thereís a biscuity maltiness holding up this palate and only minor hop presence since the cinnamon and ginger account for the bitterness here.
Iím not usually a fan of ginger, but its presence here was justified by it being paired and balanced out by the cinnamon and honey. Not too sweet, not too spicy, not too "beery". Nothing that blows my mind, though. Just a tasty, enjoyable brew.
Mouthfeel: Full-bodied flavor throughout with noticeable energy, but still comfortable with a soft texture.
Drinkability: This is one of those rare beers thatís overtly spicy that doesnít tear you up. Itís easy to drink considering its palate that just about anyone can enjoy and has a smooth finish with only a slightly doughy aftertaste. Weighing in at 7.5% ABV, Great Lakes Christmas Ale drinks like something much lower than the numbers would indicate. Thereís no alcohol presence in the nose or palate, but you definitely feel the potency afterwards. A great beer to have with pumpkin, pecan, or mincemeat pie or with homemade Christmas cookies.
oldrtybastrd (4914) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a nice deep clear dark brown color. Aromas of spruce, pine, cinnamon, and a hint of cloves. Flavor has a nice chocolate taste to it, mixed with the nice array of spices.
TimE (4836) - Tokyo, JAPAN - APR 22, 2016
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep amber brown color. Big consider ginger, cranberries, oranges malty, slightly sweet nose. Sharp, probably connected ginger and oranges, cinammon. Malty mouth. Lingering cinnamon and ginger finish.
MarkSachon (883) - Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 23, 2016
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz bottle. A nice holiday ale from the always reliable Great Lakes. Try one on for size.
altonbrownd (5290) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - MAR 19, 2016
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle from Chevy Chase Wine and Liquors. Dark amber body with medium head. Nose is sour, fruity. Taste is malty, with cinnamon and spices for sure. Nice prickly texture. Solid warming finish. Enjoyable.
MaltOne (305) - Wisconsin, USA - JAN 31, 2016
3.3 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a clear, light copper, brief white head. Light toasty aroma. Taste is lightly sweet, slightly spicey - ginger; a hint of peppery hops in the finish. Palate is light, but lingering. Overall, a light, easily drinkable holiday ale. Better crafted then some similar offerings.
edgallow (3477) - nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 26, 2016
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 10/20
12 oz bottle pours amber with a off white head. Aroma of spices and malts. Taste is cinnamon, caramel and grain.
Niko100 (2595) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 18, 2016
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Rich amber/cider color; Medium body; Aroma of caramel malt, cinnamon, & some fruit; Flavor of sweet malt, caramel, cinnamon, hops, and fruit; Nicely balanced; Solid.
arnold931 (1229) - Iowa, USA - JAN 2, 2016
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours clear amber with thin off white head. Nose and taste is ginger and cinnamon. Okay.
oldestof9 (1) - - DEC 31, 2015 does not count
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is good seasonal beer but my homemade is better...a smidgen more honey and a weeeee bit -not much - less hops
fuzzcro (199) - Illinois, USA - DEC 27, 2015
3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 10/20
This was the best of the winter ales I chose to try this year. Next year Iíll pass on seasonal ales completely I believe.