JCapriotti (1379) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 16, 2006
Nice deep, clear amber/copper color. Thin off-white head. Aroma is sweet with spices... maybe honey and allspice / cinnamon. Its a bit of warming in the belly... nice sweet flavor, complimented with spices and some hops around the edge. To me, this is a [mostly] great example of a holiday spice beer. Its pleasantly sweet and nicely spiced without being overdone in any area. Nate (4279) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 8, 2006
Wonderful warm spicy nose. Alder, spruce boughs, light pine resin, juniper. Herbal grasses, Ricola cough drops. Light herbal hoppiness. Mild sweet malts and curacao. Brilliant golden amber clear with creamy off-white lasting lacing head. Medium bodied with medium carbonation and light alcohol warming. Starts with decent sweetness and herbal grassy notes that remind me of a saison, but heavily spiced with lemon grass, juniper and curacao. Good mellow spices, warming. Mild dry bitter finish and herbal bitter after. This is a very enjoyable Xmas beer. Toward the end it was a bit watery but the flavor is really enjoyable. MrBunn (2826) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 2, 2006
Pours a darkish amber with a nice thick head. Spicey aromas mix with a sweetness that dominates throughout. Taste is of apple, caramel, sugar and maybe ginger. Well balanced but it tastes/feels weaker than it actually is. Smooth mouthfeel and warmth as it goes down. SuIIy (1983) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - JAN 28, 2006
12oz bottle from OhioDad. Pours a bright ruby amber color with a think frothy off white head. Nose is typical holiday spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, light ginger, and some caramel malt. Taste is lots of honey and clove, some light caramel, very sweet sugary notes, A light bitterness in the finish. Has a very smooth palate, quite creamy but with a fizziness in the end. zach8270 (4022) - Henrietta, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2006
(bottle - 12 oz) Hazy and opaque orange color with not much of a head or carbonation. Faint aroma of spices and sweetness. Maybe a touch of honey in there somewhere. Good amount of spice in the taste; flavors of clove, cinnamon and honey throughout with a sweet finish and aftertaste. Full-bodied and very creamy.
mds (2250) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JAN 27, 2006
bottle. from Premier Gourmet. the body pours a clear copper brown with a short-lasting small head. the aroma is soft and restrained with bread notes along with honey and light spices (ginger, mint). the honey flavour provides a nice smooth, quaffable palate. warm cinnamon spice, alcohol, and chewy malt. it’s not overly complex but for what it is it’s very nice and drinkable. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 25, 2006
Great Lakes Christmas Ale is a really wonderful, rich, malty, warming brew spiced with ginger and honey. It is perfect for sipping during the holidays, and the cold winter months. Christmas Ale pours to a beautiful, opaque caramel color with a nice white head and a soft carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful. Really big sweet caramel malt aromas marry with some ginger spice character, and peppery hints of alcohol. The palate is rich, and delicious. More big sweet malt flavor, a touch of toffee, a hint of chocolate, and traces of honey flavor. Honey gives this beer a nice warming alcohol boost, but in general honey really doesn’t impart all that much flavor to a beer. The body is hefty, and slightly syrupy. This beer finishes with more sweet malt up front, then ends with some nice ginger spice and a warming, high octane burn.
This is a fantastic winter warmer. I would match this beer with desert. It would work well with mince meat pie, or ginger bread men. I look forward to this beer every Christmas. This beer is hard to find, it can only be found in Great Lakes market, which is a few Midwestern states. So if your lucky enough to get Great Lakes beers, keep a eye out for this one.
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JAN 21, 2006
In the bottle. Picked this up as a Christmas Sampler pack at Roof Bros. in Paducah, KY. This pours a dark golden to something of a copper color. Head is fluffy and white. Aroma is very strong with herby fresh ginger. Strong ginger flavor in the taste. For a beer with this strong of an unbalanced spice, it was surprisingly tasty and drinkable. If there ever was an "everyday of the year" ginger beer, this might be it. lethe (177) - New York, USA - JAN 17, 2006
Murky brown pour breathes spices and a malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is slightly uneven and body is on the light side. Flavor is all spice and is dominated by cinammon that overwhelms any other character or depth. Still enjoyable on a basic level, but disappointing as it becomes monotone. jcr (2705) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - JAN 15, 2006
Copper, bubbly pour. The nose was filled with malt, yeast and spice. The spices dominated the flavor especially the cinnamon. Still, there were hints of sweet malts and bitter hops that lead to a bitter aftertaste. Thin to medium body with substantial carbonation. A comfortable and tasty winter warmer.