Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterGreat Lakes Lake Erie Monster

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2,289 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,289
Reviews: 651
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 165
Gots: 290 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004

"An imperial india pale ale"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,289 | Reviews: 651
Reviews by Marko84:
Photo of Marko84
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can't speak to appearance, as it's out of the bottle. Appearance is a silly category anyway. Moving on...
Smells hoppy, citrusy, and a bit sweet for a dIPA. And it is all of these things. But hopheads will be disappointed, because sweet malts underline the flavor of this brew. Maybe I'm crazy for drawing this comparison, but imagine a hoppy oktoberfest. Lake Erie Monster has the mouthfeel and sweetness of an O-fest, but finishes with a distinct bitterness that makes me think it's a beer with an identity crisis. Aftertaste is, again, malty once the bitterness wears off (which is relatively quickly). A head scratcher for sure, but glad I tried it.
I love Great Lakes products, and like many others have said, snag Alchem...ahem...Chillwave if you can. Or don't and grab some 'Fitz instead. :)

More User Reviews:
Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A golden pale ale clouded with a considerable yeast suspension. Lots of fine bits floating in the glass while still looking like a glass of sunshine, relatively active carbonation. Nice thick head that fades quite slowly.
Nose has light sweet malt, a nice hop melange of pine, citrus, and tropical fruits. Nice amount of bread and malt giving a healthy amount of grain based sweetness and breads. Remarkably balanced with a large malt base that lends itself to missing just how hoop this brew is.
Taste follows with a decidedly citrus bitterness. Lots of bread and honey. No hint of the abv. lots of malt and even more complex hops that bring pine, tropical fruits. Yum.

Nice crisp, light, feel that combines weight that satisfies with smooth carbonation and easy drinkability. Just enough chew to slow you down, while you allow yourself to chase the desire to keep chugging.

Great DiPA that begs you to session and quaff instead of sip.

Love this one.

Photo of ajones13
4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best while on draft so avoid floaties. The taste and smell is outstanding and a world class beer

Photo of LJM925
5/5  rDev +24.4%

My #1 pick from Great Lakes and my Favorite IPA. A must try.

Photo of DarthVorador
2.78/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Way to bitter, barely any subtle hop flavors. Just BITTERNESS!

Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best breweries in American alot of the stuff I cut my teeth on back in the day was from this great brewery.Poured into a standard pint glass a slight hazed burnt orange with a clingy 1/2 finger white head that had great lasting power.Aromas were of sweet alcohol and resiny hop,neither one stood out more than the other really.Big and sweet on the palate, the alcohol dipped fruit and caramel malt flavors really was more prevailing than the resiny hop.Like alot of DIPA's this is more sweet than hop driven,its a good beer but not what Iam lookin for,bummer.

Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is deep, bright orange in color tinted with a bit of brown. The beer just looks gorgeous. There wasn’t much of a head coming out of the growler, though.

Smell – The hops are classic East Coast (whatever the predominant hops are over there) and very pleasing. There’s also some good spicing and a solid, sweet malty base.

Taste – The malt base is large and full of brown sugars. The sweet fuggle-type of hops are huge and very smooth.

I can see how one could think that this is a “lightweight” because it doesn’t have that gigantic, PacNW-stomping pine sap to it, but this is just as intense with the ingredients that they chose to use. This is a Double IPA by any standard of measure.

Mouthfeel – This one is smooth as silk and incredibly well-balanced. The life was long gone from the growler it came in otherwise I would have probably 5-ed the mouthfeel.

Drinkability – Big and smooth with a nice, satisfying dry finish. What’s not to like?

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

Served up in a GL stemmed glass at Oktoberfest. Nice appearance at a cloudy light peach with a thin but lasting white head. Hues lean toward orange. Very citric aroma and flavor but definitely under wraps a bit. Caramel shown through the hops. Not for hardcore hop heads. Sweetish, sugary flavor on top of the orangey hops. Juicy and sweet mouthfeel with a relatively bitter finish. Drinkability is really too high for this style. Basically, I liked this beer a ton but it certainly wasn’t what I expected. The hops were one dimensional (huge citrus fruit) and the sugars were so high as to make the beer almost fruity as opposed to IPA like. Bitterness was present to be sure but it wasn’t at the level of an average IPA let alone a DIPA. Conclusion, great beer but don’t expect your typical “Extreme” DIPA. Perhaps these brewers should be commended for showing restraint in a time of giant beers.

Photo of AUSFUR21
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always look forward to have my first Lake Erie Monster of the year, I am not a big IPA fan but this beer here is not so over powering with Hops that I can't taste the other flavors. If your looking for a beer to get you were you need to be this is a great beer to start with.

Photo of warnerry
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 9/4/10; bottle date best by 8/10/10

Pours a hazy golden orangish-brown with 2.5 fingers of tan head; some lacing coats the glass.

Main aroma is caramel malt, along with presence of citrus and pine hops.

Caramel sweetness overrides the hops in this one. Though this isn't as fresh as it probably should be, still a nice amount of pine hops.

A bit on the oily side, but less so than many other DIPAs. Some slight astringency on the tongue.

Decent drinkability, but a little too sweet for the style. Will try to get a fresher bottle next year.

Photo of Beaver13
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, best by 8/10/10. Pours a very hazy golden orange with a big creamy white head that retains and laces the glass.

The aroma is rather subdued - some bready malts and sugary melon with peppery hops and some sharp alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary caramel malts and some fruit followed by a big dank earthy hop bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The alcohol is noticeable and warming. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, it's an OK DIPA. It's just not too balanced with the sugary sweetness clashing with a big dank bitterness.

Photo of generallee
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle has a freshness date of 7/18/10. It also lists the abv at 9.1% and it has a very brief description of the beer.

Appearance: The body has a very cloudy cooper colored body with a more orange like hue when head up to the light. It is also full of fine yeast sediment hanging in suspension. On top sits a light off white head that starts off a tall 3 and a half fingers and then slowly settles to a small cap of creamy foam. This cap lasted all the way down the glass and left lots of spotty lace and lace fingers which slowly slid down the glass.

Smell: Its nose is full of sweet orange marmalade like notes, citrus (orange/grapefruit) hops, a light hint of musty hops as well as some light cereal and bready malt notes underneath.

Taste/Palate: There is a big hit of citrusy orange zest and marmalade like sweetness with hints of grapefruit pith upfront. This sits on a sturdy backbone of bready malt and yeasty notes which rounds out the front and middle. On the back end the hop bitterness bits into the tongue in a good way. The citrus notes get more concentrated like orange oil and now there are some mild, spruce like piney hop notes mingling with mellow warmth from the 9.1% abv. It's full bodied, well carbonated and still nice and smooth.

Notes: The flavor is outstanding and nicely balanced with may disappoint hard core hop heads. For me there is just enough hop bitterness to make me happy. This is also one of the easiest to drink beers around the 9% range. Overall I feel this is an exceptional IIPA!!!

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Beer pours a pale golden color. A one-finger head of eggshell-white rather loose foam sets up and then quickly falls down to a 1/4 finger head that lasts for several minutes. When this finally disappears, a thin sheen of lace rests on the surface with a very fine ring around the edge of the glass. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a rich golden wheat, moderately opaque with a bit of cloudiness, with just enough sight to be able to see a few tiny streams of bubbles very slowly rising up from the bottom through the center of the glass.

S - Citrus and resin hops mix with caramel malts with a subtle background of somewhat astringent alcohol. Ruby red grapefruit sitting right beside freshly made buttered French toast. Orange marmalade on a lightly toasted English muffin. As it warms, the caramels of the malts push even more forward into the nose, along with some subtle, lighter floral hops. The hops and the malts become very well integrated, trading off in the nose rather than one dominating. At the end of the glass, notes of lemon and vanilla were noticed. If you like to experience a number of different nose profiles, be sure to give a glass of this plenty of time to warm up.

T - Grapefruit and orange, just like it smells. Solid, full base malts support rich caramel malts that bathe the tongue with bits of English butter cookies. A little boozy on the back-end, but overall, the ABV is hidden. Piney, almost woody hops through the finish that really wash away any cloying from the richness of the malts. It's a really interesting, positive effect.

M - Decently fizzy. Moderate carbonation. Moderate body with a nicely integrated structure made of solid components. Clean finish that's well-balanced; neither noticeably sweet nor dry. It tails off slowly, leaving echos of both the malts and the hops to savor and encourage further tasting - a really nice effect.

O - This beer is a good example of why to do tasting notes. As a result of this, I'm going to pair this with a breakfast of a citrus bowl, French toast, and grilled light sausages - for dinner. In general, I don't enjoy standard IPAs because I find them unbalanced. This beer, and other Imperial IPAs I've tried, however, seem to be brewed with a much richer malt bill (and higher OG) that stands up to the IBUs, so not only is the sum of the parts bigger and fuller, it's also much better balanced. Another great creation from one of best breweries in the region.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a hazy orange body with a small offwhite head. Lots of sheet lacing on the glass.

Aroma is the weak point of this one. Pine and grassy hops are apparent but just a hint of citrusy grapefruit and toasted caramel.

Body is a full medium with a creamy carbonation and slight chewiness.

Taste is brazenly hoppy. Pine resin, grassiness, and a prevailing dryness from start to finish. Solid malt backbone serves up some caramel sweetness in an effort to balance. Hints of apricot and pink grapefruit as it warms to room temperature.

A solid DIPA, certainly, but as a fan of Great Lakes I was hoping for something to knock my socks off. This one just lacks the "Wow" factor for some reason.

Photo of Mora2000
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is resiny hops with some sweet malt and citrus notes. The flavor is orange citrus with some resiny hops. The bitterness is about medium. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of bsp77
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Enjoy by August 4th, 2011.

Appearance: Slightly hazy honey-gold with moderate head but very little lacing.

Smell: Loads of citrus and spice with some tropical notes.

Taste: Burst of sticky sweet citrus, with light tropical notes and caramel malts. Some spiciness and pine at the finish, but not much bitterness. Slightly detracting aftertaste.

Feel: Creamy and smooth body that is dripping with hop oils, but the finish is not dry enough and it is a little too boozy.

Overall: Pretty good overall, but there are other DIPAs that I would reach for first, and would rather have Great Lake's own Commodore Perry.

Photo of djwilson
4.79/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at GLBC into a clean beer glass.

Color/appearance: Light golden copper, slightly hazy with nice thick creamy head that lasted for several minutes left a nice belgian lace around the glass.

Smell is all hops! citrus, lemony, grapefruit, and hints of pine. Very lite malt and alcohol due to its 9% ABV (seemed higher).

taste is all hops. This beer really is for the true hop head! Very little malt to cover the hops. I find this to be a great double IPA since most other breweries seem to load this style with malt to hide the bitterness. This lets the hops shine through!

drinkability is good the hops hides some of the alcohol and this beer seemed to go down nice and quick. Had to swithch to their regular IPA due to the fact I was driving.

Photo of pat61
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: I have had a bottle of this less than a month old and another bottle 11 days past its best by date and both have had floaties even after careful decanting. The floaties are easy to see because the beer pours brilliant gold under a 2” clingy cream colored foam cap.
S: Moderate fruit, citrus, light malts.
T: Begins with strong malt flavors featuring caramel and biscuit followed up with citrus rind, grapefruit, faint peach and hints of melon, alcohol with a drying finish.
F: Medium body and carbonation with an acidic bite from the carbonation on the finish.
O: This would be a world class beer without the floaties.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12OZ bottle at about cellar temperature. best before date of 7-18-2010.

pours a cloudy golden orange amberish color with a big 3 fingers of off white head. fades to a thin layer which stays for awhile. tons of foamy sticky lace. that seems to be everywhere on the glass.

not a huge hop aroma, but its there. alcohol noticable as well as some caramel malt sweetness. resiny, piney, grassy hops are somewhat noticable, mostly grassy. kind of surprising for this big, well tasting DIPA.

really well balanced taste. lots of tasty caramel malt sweetness that so smoothly blends with resiny, piney, tropical fruity hops. pienapple definatly noticable, as well as a little grassy. hints of alcohol noticable throughout. finishs resiny with a lingering hop bitterness. i really love the hop flavors in this, soo good.

great mouthfeel, oh so smooth and almost velvety. medium to heavy body. resiny on the palate.

for as big a beer as it is, its really goes down easy. i could definatly have a couple of these in a session, if it wasnt for the big ABV. this is a great new beer from a great brewery, get it if you can. goes to show the east coast has got it goin on too when it comes to big ipas.

Photo of juicebox
4.61/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been a Great Lakes beer fan for some time, but it wasn't until this summer that I got the chance to taste this wonderful seasonal creation. I consider myself a hops man, and this beer is perfectly crisp and sharp, yet balanced in sweetness. Truly my favorite from a wonderful brewery

Photo of boatshoes
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was pleased to get hooked up with a few bottles of this down in Columbus from Jaimie at From the Vine. It proved surprisingly hard to track these down even in Ohio, so I was excited to give it a try.

Appearance- Pours a deep shade of translucent orange amber into my snifter. I only get about a finger of slightly orange-ish head off of a fairly aggressive pour though, and it dies back in short order to some thin patches across the top. Some beading carbonation in the body of the beer but no real lacing.

Smell- A nice nose of both fruity and piney hop resin. To me, it smells heavily of orange preserves or marmalade, followed thereafter by a pretty strong dose of pine needle. Some sweet malt seems evident on the finish as well.

Taste- The orange marmalade flavors start off the show and to me taste very much like fresh orange preserves. This is followed up with some very bitter pine needle that finishes on a somewhat aspirin-like note as the beer goes down. As the beer warmed, it became somewhat sweeter with a bit more of the sweet caramel flavors from the malt showing through. That being said, it remained quite bitter and hop dominated.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel was solid, slick, and well carbonated and for 9.1%, the beer went down quite easily. Could probably have had a second one in the sitting but definitely would have felt it after.

Overall, a very solid DIPA and definitely noticeable as the big brother of Commodore Perry. I liked it but was not blown away. Thought it was a solid offering that I would have again if readily available but probably won't go far out of the way to get it.

Photo of MattyG85
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright golden orange with lots of rising bubbles. Big three finger white head with great retention and lacing.

Smell: Solid aroma of mango, grapefruit, orange, and other citrus fruits with some piney and grassy hops. Not quite as strong as a typical DIPA, but still good. Light aroma of caramel malts.

Taste: Strong bitterness throughout with citrus and pine hops. A good amount of mango, grapefruit and orange gives a sweet kick. Decent caramel malt background helps balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly smooth despite the heavy bitterness.

Overall: A pretty solid version of a DIPA. Pretty bitter but sweet and tasty.

Photo of GOBLIN
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't think people appreciate subtlety anymore. That's why this beer is getting lower scores these days. Hard to think of a better well crafted imperial ipa. First off, this beer is in a special class when it comes to appearance. Nose isn't much but don't be fooled. The tropical and floral flavors play off one another to create anything but a one dimensional beer.

Photo of spritepo
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first review -

The aroma of the beer is somewhat disappointing since I expected something hoppy. However, after tasting, the taste is quite complex with fusion of different tastes. The drink will make you trying to figure out the flavors and it will be enjoyable for hours. The color is copper but with little head. It is a great drink to enjoy on a hot summer night.

The taste is quite intruging as I am able to taste combination of hops with a little of honey in it.

Overall, it is a great drink and it is a must during a hot summer night!

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter. Crystal-clear orange/gold, with a thick white head from a regular pour that fades quickly into a nice cap of foam that leaves some spotty lacing on the glass. Smells of tropical fruits, pineapple and mango, with a spicy hop twang behind it that slightly burns the nostrils on a deep inhale. Taste is big sweet clean malts, with tropical fruit hop flavors and a lovely bitter finish over the slightly sticky sweet aftertaste left from the malts. Mouthfeel is smooth and full, without being too sticky.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,289 ratings.