Great Lakes Christmas Ale

The only other beer I've had from Great Lakes was their amber, and I liked it very much. I'm going through the Christmas beers that my brother stuck reindeer antlers and faces on before giving to me; This one is from his current home state of Ohio. So, let's see if he picked me out a good one.

This surprisingly clear copper beer didn't have much head from the get-go, but what little head I coaxed out is fluffy enough, and it never really goes completely away. The aroma is sweet with spices and honey (just like it says on the label) with very little thought given to the hops. The spices are prickly, but I'm not getting a bite of floral or citrus hops that I might come to expect. I don't even think I smell pine.

First sip makes me forget all of the worries I had about there not being hops in here. No, hops are not forward, but they do seem to be backing up a very nice warmly spiced malt with that sweet honey bringing up the rear beside the hops. The hops are definitely a step behind, though. The sip overall is very good, and I could definitely sip this all night long. I'm not going to, because I'm not a madman.

Tip-in is a prickly carbonation with the sweet malt and honey bringing just a touch of the spices. The middle is downright smooth. It brings the malt, honey with molasses, spices, cinnamon, and even some pomegranate. The finish is where the pine hops peek out over the spices while the malt and honey recede for the evening.

Bottom Line: This is the best Christmas beer in this batch so far.



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