Holidays are a time for celebration and cheer and most would agree that the holiday spirit is strongest during Christmas. This is also one of the best times of the year to enjoy special seasonal beer and one of the better holiday brews is Great Lakes Christmas Ale, a seasonal brew from Cleveland Ohio’s Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Style: Holiday Ale
Calories: 199 per 12 oz. serving
Carbs: 20 grams per 12 oz. serving
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5 percent by volume
Great Lakes Christmas Ale sports a copper/golden color with a nose of holiday spices. This beer offers an active level of carbonation that, when contrasted against the copper body looks like snowflakes falling from the sky. Ok, carbonation goes up, not down, but you get the idea. Based on appearance alone, it looks quite nice and is certainly enticing.
The taste of Great Lakes Christmas Ale continues in the spirit of Christmas. Flavors of cinnamon, ginger, honey, caramel malt, and clove dance around on the palate. The flavor, with its combination of malts and spice rack ingredients, reminds me of the great taste of spiced Christmas cookies and for this reason, I like to enjoy a bottle or two of Great Lakes Christmas Ale as an after- dinner drink, either with a sweet treat or as a dessert all by itself.
Great Lakes Christmas Ale is a tad bitter and there is a brief alcoholic bite in the finish, but the sweet malts and spice quickly bring the taste back in line. The pleasantness of these flavors helps you forget the slight bitter edge at the close and many will find it good for balancing the taste and preventing over- sweetness or cloying tendencies.
Christmas only comes once per year and considering the delicious, creative brews offered by so many breweries, it is a shame we cannot have Christmas celebrations more frequently. Great Lakes Christmas Ale is one of my favorite winter warmers and I recommend grabbing a six pack or two if you happen to be in Ohio or someplace else where Great Lakes Brewing products are sold.
Rating: 8 cheers out of 10