Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries


Beer Reviews

Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Cleveland, OH

Style: Spice/Herb/Vegetable
ABV: 7.5%

Jill’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
• Goulash
Full disclosure: It took me a long time to write this review because I caught a cold and knew that would affect my taste buds. However, you can’t drink Christmas beer after Christmas, so I had to try to review it.

Great Lakes adds honey and spices such as coriander and ginger to their ale to give it the holiday cheer. I’m really excited about this beer because I think Great Lakes is a fine brewery, and I’m hopeful that they’ve brought a good amount of holiday cheer to a fine ale.

The pour on this is a beautiful clear amber, and the head is a good size with some nice lacing on it. There’s loads of carbonation, and I eagerly take a sip. I get a bitter taste. Sigh. I so want something more from this beer. Is it me with the cold?

I sit and stew a little. Then I take another sip. This time the taste hits the roof of my mouth a little differently, and it’s definitely a much more interesting taste. This time I get a little more of the spice flavor. It’s still bitter, but the honey makes a lot of difference and smoothes it out a fair bit. There’s a bit of fullness to the mouth feel. I really dig the taste and have to pace myself because I want more.

Unfortunately, I can’t taste the spices, which bums me out because I’ve heard that the ginger flavor is really good, so I’ll have to try another one once I knock out this cold.

You might wonder how I can still give this beer four mugs when I haven’t been able to taste it all. The ale I did taste was pretty damn good, and I can’t imagine the addition of spices would really drag it down a full mug. It’s a good stein of holiday cheer from Great Lakes!

Reviewed by Jill Jaracz on December 28, 2007.
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