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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterGreat Lakes Lake Erie Monster

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

689 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 689
Hads: 2,513
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 22.56%
Wants: 173
Gots: 417 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 689 | Hads: 2,513
Photo of SometimesIfart
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one has been on the top of my " wants " list since I started getting into craft beer since the Summer of 2012. And now, It is finally in my possession. Let's see if it loves up to the hype.

Look - Whew, you could smell this fucker the second the top popped. Pours a clearish copper/amber mix with a two finger slightly off white head that sticks around and leaves a beautiful amount of lacing as you drink alllll the way up to the thick spider-web coating upon finish.

Smell - This is hands down the best nose I have ever gotten out of a beer. Pineapple, Mango, and Pear juice are straight up on you like a hypothetical Mike Tyson upper cut to the face. Only with pleasure and not pain. The malts balance well too.

Taste - The taste is of a strong tropical fruit juice hit with a touch of the maltiness to keep it interesting and a smack of banana smoothie that lingers around forever.

Feel - Light creamy body with just a touch of carbonation. Coats the mouth like a delicious smoothie and could happily have it sit for an hour.

Overall - The was well worth the wait. Where was this brew all my life? perfection in a bottle!

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4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best IIPA's I've had.
I didn't even know about it until i went to Hienens and the beer guy suggested it.
Great head when poured right.
Great flavors from start to finish.
Nice colour and lacing.
I am partial to GLBC though. I live about a mile from them and have always liked their beers.

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Photo of generallee
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
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!!!

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Photo of mkabull
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a- nice golden color , small head , good lacing
s- awesome smell grapefruit , citrus , hop wonderland
t- great taste bitter but not pithey grapefruit and citrus delight
m- good mouthfeel not heavy not to light
d- a wonderful beer totally drinkable the only thing holding it back is the 9% ABV
By far the best DIPA I have had hands down .

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Photo of Icedogs
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite Imperial IPA of them all. I just tried Heady Topper and I think I still like LEM best. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers!

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Photo of JohnF
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am so impressed with Great Lakes that I am trying any of their beers I can find in PA. Monster was enjoyed yesterday. Beautiful smooth double IPA with a taste good enough to go out and buy a case. This will be a definite beer to keep around. Good color, head, smell, and the taste was over the top.

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Photo of Zormac
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- golden yellow cloudy with a one and a half finger bright white head

S- mandarin orange right away giving way to grapefruit and a slight grassiness

T- very sweet up front balanced by a wonderful light bitterness on the finish very mild alcohol in the after taste.

M- full yet mellow

O- this beer taste like a great session beer aside from the 9.1 ABV I could drink this all day long.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazed orange body. Medium sized off white head....stained to a degree....leaves good lace. Great, great aroma. Resiny and a little pine. Smokey canabis. And tropical fruits, like pineapple and grapefruit. All those aromas translate to perfection onto the palate creating and incredibly flavorful incredibly drinkable DIPA. The flavor I enjoy the most is the resiny, smokey smooth flavor. Also mint, bubblegum and pine. Alcohol is barely perceptible. Bitterness is clean. Very easy to drink....too easy for a 9.1% beer. This is right up there with the best of the best.

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Photo of rabsten
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Like many east coast/midwest hopheads, I've been waiting for this since Great Lakes included it in its annual retailer listing. Described as a very hoppy Imperial IPA in the sales material, I wondered if they were going to surpass their sublime Commodore Perry, or if they even could.

They did.

Lighter amber-to-orange pour into a pint glass, slightly hazy that catches the light and makes the beer almost glow. It doesn't hurt that I'm drinking it as the sun sets and when I hold the glass up to that, they match. Nice. Big orange-tinged, finely-bubbled head that never goes away, providing both a soft initial drink and constant gassing off of the wonderful hop aroma. Lacing all down the glass.

Floral hop aroma dominates in a mouth-watering manner. Slight citrus undertone.

Taste: just like the aroma - funny how that happens so often with a well made beer. Big floral hop up front, grapefruit finish. Some warmth from alcohol but no burn. Very, very nice indeed.

Smooth upfront mouthfeel, with slight acidic finish, not unlike grapefruit juice. Hmmm, citrus aroma, grapefruit flavor, and now this...nah, they wouldn't have. Surely not.

Highly drinkable. Only the big alcohol number keeps this from being a five.

Expy date is 07/10/10. Less than 2 months away for a beer that's just now being released. IOW, it's fragile, a fleeting entry in the I2PA field. Elusive as the monster whose name it bears. Get it whist you can. You'll be happy you did.

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Photo of moosiz
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into Tulip this brew presents a pillowy cloud of suds atop a glowing golden/orange base. Nice head retention and moderate carbonation are also noted. lots of fine sediment in suspension. Lacing is slippery but leaves some good abstract art on the glass.

Real nice hoppy resinous aroma(straight citron) in the nose backed closely by sweet malty bread and the alcohol finishes out the whiff.

So well balanced. Sweet and bitter mingle perfectly on the tastebuds. again the alcohol is in the background with a nice warming finish.

Slick, creamy mouthfeel upfront with a ever so slight drying effect out the back.

Dispicably drinkable.

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Photo of BlueCat1
4.85/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I checked out this excellent IPA at the malt House from a fresh tapper. The head was perfect, smooth, rich, almost creamy. The hop aroma was rich, somewhat citrusy, somewhat floral, but very rich. At 9.1% it was a potent treat with great mouth feel. The anticipated bitterness after tasting was there and very pleasant. Another excellent beer from Great Lakes, who I consider a very consistent brewery.

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Photo of JamesS
4.84/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very nice mid copper color with some nice initial head and a bit of lacing. Excellent scent, a very grassy hop aroma with a wonderful deep malt backing. Huge flavor, a great huge thick deep malt sweetness with a wonderful hop profile: excellent grapefruit at the beginning turning into a bitter pine at the end, and lingering for a long time. Good mouth feel, deep and rich, with just a bit of roughness from the hops. Excellent DIPA.

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Photo of djwilson
4.79/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my absolute favorites. It's not too easy to describe. It pours a rich amber with an off white/ light yellow head and a little bit of lacing. It smells of dark fruits and burning wood. It tastes sweet and nectary. The abv is pretty well hidden. To me this beer feels perfect, very smooth, lightly carbonated. Overall, I think this tastes better out of the bottle. A perfect beer for mid to end summer. Unlike many DIPAs I've had. Love it!

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Photo of jjboesen
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This review is based on a snifter enjoyed at RFD in Washington, DC. To start, Great Lakes “Erie Monster” is a sight to behold: there is a half-inch head shimmering atop a translucent body of dark amber, a still pool of liquid void of any carbonation bubbling. There is a small spot of light shining at the bottom of the glass.

As the nose inhales an intense blast of raisin, plum and almond, the palate is being overwhelmed by massive explosions of oak, honey and peat – a taste sensation akin to sipping your favorite single malt scotch; following this initiation, there is an eventual hoppy finish that is camouflaged with a heavy blanket of currant.

This is complex, yet not intimidating. In fact, you really discover, if you have not by now, how delicate is the brewing process; there is a fine balance of sweetness and substance. No, this is no session quaff; it is one to savor and respect. Great Lakes Brewing is an excellent brewery that tempts one to hop a plane to Cleveland. If you cannot make the trip, at least make the effort to seek out the Monster.

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Photo of Sunn
4.76/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of the most well balanced Double IPAs I've had the pleasure of drinking. A lot of Double IPAs around today are just insane hop bombs with a dry finish that leaves you eager for another sip. Not this one. I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a nice sweet malt character when I took my first sip. After that I got a nice earthy, piney, citrus hop blast that any IPA fan will appreciate.

The alcohol is present in the finish, but is not off-putting in anyway. I found myself slugging this down rather quickly despite the high alcohol content. Another winner from Great Lakes.

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Photo of Genuine
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Poured a beatuiful deep dark copper white a 2 finger off white head that stayed around for the duration of the pint.

Aroma - Right off the bat you get a tremndous amount of hop aroma, lots of tropical and citrus notes. The 9% abv is noticable on the nose, however welcomed.

taste - Hops, hops and more hops. They take this IPA over and beyond what was expected. Hops on the nose carry over in the taste and help to balance out the big malt presence, which brings some toffee notes along with it.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, well carbonated which makes the hops shine. A nice warming ABV that rounds out this solid IIPA.

Overall - I will definitely get more of this when I'm able to. A solid double IPA and well worth the wait for it.

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Photo of troegaarden
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A: This beer appears a nice deep orange, slightly cloudy as well. The head is an off white and started out as approximately a finger's width. The head disappates fairly quickly and a nice lacing remains.

S: The smell is very hoppy upfront. Definitely fits the DIPA smell profile. The hops seem very cirtusy, not too much pine happening.

T: Very bitter around the tongue and quite hoppy! The hoppiness lingers around the middle to back of the tongue after each sip. Definitely quite the tasty DIPA.

M: The mouthfeel with this one is solid, not the smoothest mouthfeel, however. The bitterness from the hops nip at the tongue slightly when sipping.

Overal, this beer is very good! Very hoppy and true to the DIPA style. I'd highly recommend this beer to anyone who's a fan of DIPAs.

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Photo of BeerVikingSailor
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fresh 4 pak purchased at Mustard Seed Market in Montrose / Akron, fresh from the Distributor truck same day delivered...poured into GLBC pint glass....

Have eagerly anticipated this one for the past few weeks, and was not disappointed one bit...

Poured a beautiful caramel amber, with thick fluffy head and great lacing on the glass; this beer smells terrific and tastes even better! This one has big upfront citrus tropical flavors, nice hop and sweet malt balance, not overwhelming with the hops like some IPA / DIPA's I have had lately...the finish is just perfect for this style...not too sweet and not too puck-up bitter.

The 9% alcohol is well hidden, until I realized I was drinking this one a bit too fast, just delicious! Easy to see why so many good things are said about this nicely done Imperial IPA...just watch it if you drink too quickly on an empty stomach, this monster will bite!

World class DIPA, no slouch in comparison to many others out there, will be picking up several more 4 paks of this one before it disappears until next year! A great value at $9.99 / 4 pk! Nicely done, Great Lakes! Cool new label this year, with Bessie, the Lake Erie (Beer) Monster! Cleveland rocks!

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Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Thick gold with a thick foam like head, poured almost like syrup

Smell - Great smell, very sweet with lots of citrus smells coming through, pineapple and an almost sweet butter smell dominate the aroma

Taste - Wow is an understatement. Big citrus hop bill, dripping with wet tropical characteristics, very very sweet, slight alcohol presence at the end but it a good way. Just a massive sweet and hop filled DIPA

Mouthfeel - The thickest mouthfeel of any IPA/DIPA I have ever tasted. Coats the mouth in flavor and lingers on the tongue after it is gone. Great stuff here

Overall - This was a surprising gem that blew my socks off. Between this and Alchemy Hour, Great Lakes makes two of the best DIPA's I have ever had and neither of them get the recognition I believe they deserve. If you like sweet big hop flavor beers then this is a must have. Fantastic stuff

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Photo of Deuane
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the GLBC pub--April 2009. Good thing it was or I would have had to drive sholland119's Forester into Lake Erie!

A-Hazy, orange/yellow copper with a thin white head that never goes away and leaves nice lace.

S-Fresh, bright orange and tangerine, a touch of alcohol burn and sweet biscuit malt. Secondary notes of French oaked Chardonnay and mango.

T-Mmmm, mmm! Hops burst in first and take over....tropical fruits and bitter orange rind dominate. Then, sweet honeyed biscuit malt--but not too much--just enough to tone and balance the hops. This one is delicious!

M-Medium bodied, somewhat light feeling actually and not in a bad way. Sharp and crisp with long lasting hop bitterness.

D-Hell yeah! Finally I get this brew on tap and it does not disappoint! Big, juicy hops up front with just enough malt to carry it through. This is one that every hop head should strive to get FRESH on tap!

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Photo of raznug
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: LEM pours a dark orange color and is topped with a good inch of white head a good amount of lacing all the way down the glass.
Smell: HOPS HOPS and more hops. There are a nice blend of different hop aromas, there are citrus pine and grassy notes waff into the nose nicely.
Taste: This isn't my first time tasting LEM but it is just as tasty this time as it was the 1st. The taste is just like the aroma and is dominated by hops as a IIPA should be.
Mouthfeel: This is one of the tastiest IIPAs I have ever drank. It is easy drinking but still dominates the palate like a IIAP should. This is a first class beer by a first class brewery.

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Photo of beerhan
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lake Erie Monster has a wonderful aroma as well as a smooth crisp taste. This is the perfect balance of hops for a DIPA. You can actually taste them but they are not too pungent that it is undrinkable for my palette. This beer looks nothing special but it is definitely one of great lakes' best beers. The alcohol is hidden for sure and I think I'm in love with the picture on the bottle. The only bad part about this beer is that I can't stop drinking it and I will be sad when it is gone. I have already bought four 4-packs since thursday...oh well, this is for sure my drinking beer for a while.

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Photo of ChrisMon02
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap in a pint glass. I live in Cleveland so Great Lakes is always available but I had not tried this yet. Poured a yellowish golden color with a very small head. Smelled really good and hoppy. I couldn't wait to taste this...

YES! This beer was killer tasting. By far one of the best IPAs I have tried. Starts off bitter and then the sweet citrus comes through and then the bitter again. What surprised me most was the balance of this beer. As the beer got warmer, the taste got better and more distinctive. With and ABV of 9.10% I am not sure I could drink alot of these in one session but I would love to try someday (when I have a ride home). Overall one of my new favorites and I will certainly be drinking this one again soon.

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Photo of SASN
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: beautiful golden-amber

S: citrus-pine, mildly sweet

T: smooth, citrus-pine, hoppy but not overly bitter

M: medium body, excellent

D: moderate drinkability, too heavy for drinking all night but you could have a few

Conclusion: an excellent beer, one of the best imperial pale ales I have ever had

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.