RATINGS: 997   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.51/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 225   ABV: 7.5%
It has a cinnamon and ginger spice flavor, a rich copper color, and a medium body that will fit with any holiday meal.

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ChadPolenz's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - DEC 23, 2011
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.

randy1969 (112) - Marengo, Illinois, USA - DEC 26, 2017
The aroma of Christmas- caramel/ chocolate malt, with dark fruit, fruitcake, ginger, cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg. Amber, reddish color, a nice clear with pale 1/4" head which does not dissipate. Taste is slightly sweet- a BIG flavored ale without weighting you down. Lively on the tongue with moderate carbonation, a complex and nicely balanced Christmas ale

Kleg (447) - The Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 26, 2017
Clear amber pour with a small khaki head and fair retention. No lacing. Honey nose. Strong honey flavor and minor cinnamon notes. Warming 7.5 ABV is noticeable but not overpowering. Okay.

tonyreynes (15) - - DEC 21, 2017
The pour has a coppery color and holds the off-white head for about 30 seconds. The carbonation is not only visible but you can taste and feel it on your tongue. I found that it had a small nose when I opened the bottle but it grew. I first detected some bread and some fruit. As I drank the glass I could detect ginger caramel and cinnamon. Good holiday beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

AWISLguy (3429) - Wisconsin, USA - DEC 19, 2017
On tap at random Lou Malnati's in Naperville. For my 50th spice/herb/veg -- also randomly... Copper amber pour with a bit of an off-white head. Aroma starts a bit piney and fruity hoppy, but down through the glass, the spices take over; ginger, cinnamon and some nutmeg. Taste is of sweet malts and herbs & spices, with some bready presence. The cinnamon really winds up leading the mouthfeel. Less than medium bodied, the blend is ok. It is what it is. Did wind up with a bit of a Christmas feel to it, which is good since a week before Christmas in Northern Illinois, there is no snow and none of the kids are wearing more than sweatshirts. 13

wxman (1865) - O’Fallon, Illinois, USA - DEC 10, 2017
Pours a clear bright amber with a respectable off white head. Aroma is malty and spicy. Taste is sweet caramel malt, buttered biscuits, mild hoppiness and the cinnamon and nutmeg are noticeable in the back.

asswrangler (1) - - DEC 8, 2017 does not count
UPDATED: DEC 8, 2017 Better this year than last. I taste nutmeg a little more hoppy. Some ginger. Very nice overall. I will be buying more of this.

AndyW68 (1641) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 8, 2017
Clear copper pour with white head. Aroma and taste AR cinnamon and nutmeg. Very sticky and some sweet.

rcarlisle2020 (1) - - DEC 2, 2017 does not count
This is a delicious Christmas Ale. My favorite! It changes every year based on the local ingredients used. This year is not the best I've had but definitely still amazing! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

jbruner (5466) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - NOV 7, 2017
Pours a clear golden brown from the bottle with bubbly off-white head that leaves light lace. Aroma of mild spice notes over a light caramel and bready malt base. Taste follows, clean and light, but something dirty about it, a bit of oxidation. Meh, not one I would go out of my way to have again.

Itzjerm (3175) - Taft, Tennessee, USA - OCT 30, 2017
Sweet light cinnamon candy flavor. Yeasty malt. At brewery. Thin head. Ok for a Christmas ale. Not over the top. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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