Chad9976 (1067) - Albany, New York, 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. There’s a biscuity maltiness holding up this palate and only minor hop presence since the cinnamon and ginger account for the bitterness here.
I’m 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 that’s overtly spicy that doesn’t tear you up. It’s 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. There’s 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.
uvbeenwarrened (1) - - MAR 14, 2014 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
This is a fantastic beer with great taste and a great finish. It’s awesome right out of the bottle or for an extra treat you can rim a glass with cinnamon and sugar.
Ed5388 (1619) - Forked River, New Jersey, USA - MAR 12, 2014
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
12oz bottle from jsquire. Pours a clear light amber color with a small foamy tan head. Aroma of mainly caramel malt and spices. Taste of citrus, caramel malt, and spices.
CpyNPrnT (120) - Indiana, USA - MAR 9, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Notes of spice, honey, sweet malt. Wow, a great Christmas beer/winter beer. Well done Great Lakes!
deekyn (990) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 8, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A - pours clear amber with 1 finger head. S - very doughy/bready malts with some wintery spices and pumpkin pie spices. M - medium light body with low carb. Watery mf. T - this is very doughy. Sweet bready malts and spices. Cinnamon nutmeg and the like. Pumpkin pie-ish. Dry finish. O - simple and drinkable Christmas ale.
Wittales (552) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Appearance was clear ruby amber with tiny off white creamy 1/4 finger head, no lacing. Aromas are holiday spices, ginger, sweet toffee malt with slight English fruity yeasts, no alcohol. Taste are ginger, cinnamon, sweet crystal malts, caramel, estery yeasts, no alcohol. Palate was soft creamy smooth CO2 with medium body, soft balanced spice and malt sweetness of a finish. A wonderful winter ale.
stevoj (1627) - Boise, Idaho, USA - FEB 16, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from my brother. Lots of gingerbread and fruitcake, cinnamon and nutmeg. Seems like a decent English ale underneath the spice
icehawk (831) - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - FEB 11, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle, thanks Jeff! Pours a clean brownish red pour with thin white head. Aroma of vanilla, dark malts, maybe even a hint of chocolate. Medium/light body with a slightly watery and flat mouthfeel. Tastes a bit earthy/dusty, with a hint of ginger as it warms.
tbopslt (326) - New York, USA - FEB 7, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark amber color. Sweet spiced aroma and taste. Full bodied. Strong finish. Enjoyable.
jahshuwuh (292) - USA - FEB 4, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Gorgeous ruby color with a smattering of white head on the surface. Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, apple, other spices, some dark fruit as well, cherry. Light carbonated mouth with a good amount of sweet honey with the spices. Gingerbread type tastes, honey biscuit, very little bitter. Very good balance, not too sweet, spices works well. Good beer.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
italarican (1383) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - FEB 3, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Bottle shared at the Foothills Sexual Chocolate pre-release party. Pours a clear gold with standard white head. Pleasant blend of ginger ale, sweet caramel, and some spicy cinnamon in the finish.