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Great Lakes Independence Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Independence Ale
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BA SCORE
89
very good

62 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 62
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 8.71%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: PhantomVodoo on 07-21-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 62 | Reviews: 40 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Great Lakes in July 2009 as part of Christmas in July. Sampled side-by-side with the Christmas Ale. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a moderate amber color with a bit of a stronger reddish character when light hits the glass. A bit of a light head that dies down a bit too quickly. The nose brings some citrus and pine hops as well as some very lightly-toasted malt with a bit of bread and biscuit. The taste is mostly bready with a small spattering of hops. Good body and slight bitterness; a bit plain, but drinkability is nice.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2010 17:13:31 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes is taking full advantage of the holiday that few brewers choose to celebrate with a special brew. On a day when drinking and outdoor activities are paramount, why not accomodate the celebration with beer?

A medium amber-copper colored beer with bright clarity. Off-white foam amounts to a froathy, long-lasting head while lacing well.

Malty-rich aromas hit with medium intesity, leaving more than enough room for citrus hops to take firm hold. Low on esters or other yeast character, the beer has a super clean and balanced aroma.

Graham cracker maltiness rises first with a hint of caramel and spice. Lightly toasted grains give more malt flavor than in typical pale ales. Grapefruit and orange zest take precedence from mid-palate heading into the finish. Growing hop bitterness gives a clean, crisp, and refreshing taste late.

Cleanly malted early, but falling off to a crisp and drying bitterness without much effort. Moderatedly creamy turns minty dry and fleeting. A nice texture for hot weather consumption.

This beer makes for a very moderate American pale ale but with a slighly more amber-malt color, aroma, and flavor than most. ...And as always, with Great Lakes attention to quality and consistent across the board.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2010 12:34:35 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

08-09-2013 23:18:57 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried on-tap at GLBC brewpub

A: Dark, clear amber with a creamy white head that has decent retention and leaves a lot of sticky lacing.
S: Strong piney, floral hop aroma with a little fruit/citrus sweetness but not much.
T: Malty amber flavor with dry, piney hops turned up. Not much in the way of fruity sweetness, medium body with a very dry, hopped finish. For this hoppy amber style I still prefer nugget nectar or red rocket, but a very drinkable beer I enjoyed a few pints of, but probably wouldn't seek out in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2008 15:50:38 | More by yourefragile
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear warm orange body with a creamy thin head that soon breaks up into patches and then disappears. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles gliding to the surface.

S- The big green pungent aroma dominates with some herbal and pine hints coming through as the beer warms.

T- This beer has a big pungent hops kick with some softer cream and pale malt hints to follow. The finish is a big crisp bite of dandelion bitterness that lingers on the tongue after each sip.

M- This beer had a creamy medium-full mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.

D- This beer is big and pungent with not much depth which is ok but the hop bitterness was just to bitter, especially as it warmed.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2009 13:56:06 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

11-29-2011 03:54:37 | More by brandoman63
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber-orange bodied, perfectly clear and sporting an inch or so of sturdy off-white suds.
The nose is full of pine tar, crushed flowers, dried prairie stems, mangoes, melons, crusty breads, and toffee.
It begins through the mouth with a doughy breadiness that meanders toastier as the sip progresses. Some vague nuttiness is noted as this point, It sweetens with caramel and toffee, and a slight tropical fruit nod, as the hops begin to take their turn. Here on out, it's piney and flowery, with a dried wild grass crispy bitterness taking the reins and riding it long through the swallow.
Taut, medium bodied. Steady, moderate carbonation.
This is a all-around solid quaffer, and a completely enjoyable, hopped-up Amber Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2009 07:18:42 | More by cokes
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: clear deep amber in color with a khaki head that shows strong retention and heavy lace, inviting appearance

s: caramelized malt sugars support a hop profile that provides a blend of candied pine with some soft citrus and tropicals, rich and aromatic

m: carbonation soft and around medium in level, with a smooth medium body

t: much like the aroma, candied pine hops are carried on a caramelized malt body, some tropicals work their way in

d: no problem, good for at least a couple

standard pint at Alchemy, Madison, WI

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2009 23:59:10 | More by blackie
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint at Cole's in Buffalo.

The server brings me an amber coloured beer, with a finger of off-white head that has good retention, and lays down a bit of lace. The nose screams balance. There's a strong citrus hop component, but this seems to be ably countered by a bready malt base and caramel compliment. Extend that to the flavour, but amp up the bitterness a little. Independence Ale drinks like a damn fine IPA, with a full load of juicy grapefruit and pine, but with that bready base to balance it out. Some decent caramel and fruit notes round it out. Medium body and carb. Just a great beer.

I have the utmost admiration for this brewery. Great Lakes continue to produce exceptional beers, and Independence Ale continues that fine tradition.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2009 15:49:16 | More by bobsy
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Geat Lakes- Independence Ale

A- Deep ruddy red/ brown with a slim light lacing head. Small rings around the glass.
S- Nutty molasses and light chocolate malt. Very light on the nose.
T- Vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel malts with a slight woodsy oaken licorice hoppiness.
M- Creamy smooth and nutty dry malt. Thick sweet malty dry finish.

Overall- Big malt and a nice earthy hop touch. This 1 drinks pretty good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2009 22:29:44 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of PittBeerGirl
PittBeerGirl

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-22-2011 20:50:46 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of Tyrawlings
Tyrawlings

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap poured into a pint glass.

A:Soft clear amber in color with tea like hues. The off white head pours one finger thick and hangs around for the duration of the pint. Nice sticky lacings climbs all over the glass.

S:Floral citrus and pine hops. Sweet caramel or toffee. Wet earth and fresh baked bread.

T:Citrus and pine hops make their presence known with a nice bitterness. A soft wave of caramel malts flow in to balance things out with a fresh bread aftertaste. Floral hop bitterness finishes things off from apparent dry hopping.

M:Slightly slick and sticky. Medium carbination. Slightly dry and bitter.

D:Easy to drink and pleasantly satisfying. I would prefer this to Commadore Perry IPA any day of the week. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2009 22:34:58 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of IrishColonial
IrishColonial

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

12-15-2011 00:08:29 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice copperish red color with a nice tan colored head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice spotty lacing.

S- Smells of grapefruit and piney hops, caramel malts and a toasted note.

T- Taste really good. Starts off toasty, with some caramel sweetness, followed up with a nice hop bite.

M- Medium in body and carbonation.

D- A very solid brew. Wish they would have bottled this one rather than Glockenspiel or Grassroots.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2009 18:16:36 | More by nrbw23
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

06-17-2013 18:14:42 | More by Brew33
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, poured in a standard shaker pint. Pretty clear, copper color, with a small off-white head. Decent head retention. Fair amount of lace. Good looking, but nothing spectacular.

Nose has a bit of bready malt, some citrusy and floral hops. Maybe a bit of caramel malt, but not much. Balanced nose, with nothing standing out.

Bready malt, with just a slight caramel edge. Citrusy hops, with just enough bitterness to balance things out. Minimal fruit.

Medium body, decent carbonation. Very easy to drink. A very balanced beer here. I was expecting a bit more, simply for the name, however this could be a great session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2009 02:34:42 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On my mobile, so a short tale of an amber with balls. Exceptional mouthfeel - almost perfect, no, actually perfect! Smells & tastes great - nice carapills caramel sweetness after a trip on the C hops (cascade for sho') train. A really outstanding offering from GL. Kinds like Nosferatu Jr. Happy July 4th!! America is the best country ever!!!

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2009 21:57:37 | More by jampics2
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep red/amber color with some nice head and a tiny bit of lacing. Great scent, very deep and malty with a nice hop hit. Excellent taste, a deep red ale with excellent malt flavor and a very nice American hop hit at the end. Typically, I prefer less hops in my red ales, but this one was excellent with a nice citrus hit; the hops weren't overpowering but complemented it nicely. Went down very well. Quite possibly my new favorite American red ale.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2009 14:01:11 | More by JamesS
Photo of adamette
adamette

Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio poured into a clean, clear 22 oz. pint glass purchased for $4.25 (it was happy hour). Review from notes taken last night as I experienced this beer.

A Medium brown body under a light brown head. Good lacing. 4.0

S Surprise hop presence with some malt. It smells inviting, interesting. Keep in mind I did not have access to internet prior to tasting this beer so I was not aware of the style. 4.0

T Well this is like so many other GLBC beers. Big hop, barley presence in a NEARLY unbalanced way. There is enough malt to balance things out just barely. Really, this is very consistent from GLBC and I was really hoping for better. 3.0

M Moderate beer beefed up by hops, barley. 3.5

D Just fine. 3.5

Notes: Unfortunately GLBC Independence Ale is too much like at least 3 other GLBC beers and not different enough really to warrant a different name.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2009 12:05:35 | More by adamette
Photo of goblue3509
goblue3509

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale yellowish color with a one finger head and good lacing as the beer is drank. The aroma is of earthy hops and some malt. The taste is of malt and it is balanced out with earthy hops. The mouthfeel is good there is a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall this is a very good beer, it tasted more along the lines of an ipa than a red lager to me.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2009 13:34:00 | More by goblue3509
Photo of tmoneyba
tmoneyba

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark copper color with an average frothy white head that was mostly lasted and had good lacing. Good malty and earthy hop aroma. Medium body with slick dry texture and soft carbonation. Moderate to heavy balanced smooth flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration. Good brew.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2010 01:55:19 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of spointon
spointon

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Binny's South Loop in Chicago on 8/1/2009.

A= This ale poured a vert clear copper orange color with a 3/4" off-white head. The head dropped to a skim fairly quickly but left some incredible lace down my glass.

S= Lots of citrusy west coast hops in the nose, but also a big sweet caramel and bready malt presence too. Pretty balanced actually.

T= The caramel and chewy malts were the first things to stand out, soon followed by those citrus and resiny-pine hops. Hints of floral and fruity esters danced throughout. Finished dry but not astringent, and left a 75% hops / 25% malt aftertaste.

MF= Medium bodied with a nice, lively carbonation level that suits this beer perfectly. Nice and crisp.

D= Extremely easy to drink. Fairly balanced, yet the obvious dry-hopping gave this one a respectable hop bite. I could easily session this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2009 21:49:03 | More by spointon
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler a clear copper brew with a 1/4" of white foam for a cap. The head faded to a decent film concentrated towards the edges.
Smell is mix of citrus and pine hops, big on orange rind.
Taste follows the nose hoppy (orange, citrus, pine) there's a sweetness from the malts almost a faint vanilla cookie type thing, different but it's wonderful.
Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, medium bodied leaning towards lighter.
Drinkability is spectacular this would be a wonderful patio beer on a hot summer day, something you could sit there throw a few back and just relax in the company of fine people.

Serving type: growler

07-09-2010 23:19:58 | More by sliverX
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice Copper color. Pure white head that dissipates quickly into a ring.

S: Malty and sweet with a nice subtle hop aroma.

T: A malty sweetness at first, with a slight biscuit flavor. Backed up by a rich, but not overpowering hop flavor.

A: Nice body, full, not a huge amount of carbonation, but good. Coats the mouth going down.

D: A Nice beer, tasty and perfect foe right now; Sitting on the patio with friends in the summer. I think it has just the right amount of hops. Anymore and I would start to dislike it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2009 00:59:59 | More by Beejay
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

tried it a pint over a salmon and pepper pizza

sat a deep reddish amber in my glass. the sudsy head left good lacing

the aroma is of piney hops, and the pine follows to the bitterness. it's fairly sweet, with dry dark fruit, though the hops lend a feeling of a much drier finish. i'm glad i tried it, although i have trouble placing it next to other ambers...maybe it's a little fruitier than most

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2006 01:03:55 | More by bruachan
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Great Lakes Independence Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.