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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,893 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,893
Reviews: 624
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 130
Gots: 155 | 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:
"An imperial india pale ale"

(Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,893 | Reviews: 624 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Trystero


4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've consumed this beer rather fanatically the past two years as soon as it's released. Whether from bottle or from tap it is an exceptional DIPA. As soon as I sampled it during it's 2010 relase I knew it was a special brew and it quickly gained in rank, ascending to Bell's Hopslam and Founders Double Trouble status to me. 2011 release poured into a Hopfleaf Tulip glass.

A - A deliciously golden, nectar appearance that looks as though it could sustain life on it's own and quite possibly grant immortality. The color is so vibrant it brings to mind images of tropical fruit at the pinical of ripeness. Pours smoothly with a 2 finger head that quickly melts away.

S - Immensely sweet with twangs of bitterness. Robust citrusy hops harkening to a farmer's market fruit stand.

T - Initially this DIPA sets on so smooth and sweet, a more unobservant patron would mistake it for a less potent libation. However, while the sweetness of the hops (Simcoe) lingers decadently, refreshingly imparting citrus sweetness, the bitterness of the bittering hops santers in. This by no means disrupts the flavor, but excentuates the fantastic complexity of the Lake Erie Monster. Practically no intrustion of the 9.1% ABV.

M - Smooth and creamy, similar to fresh squeezed juice; a nectar worthy of beer gods. Very drinkable, even dangerously so.

O - A resounding showing from Great Lakes, who in my opinion seem to deal much less with bigger IPAs. I look forward to this Monster and all the destruction it brings every summer.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2011 23:47:41 | More by Trystero
Photo of boudreaux


4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: this IIPA fills my glass with a hazy amber and effervescent brew.  A tight, white foam quickly fills the remaining space within my pint and refuses to recede.
Smell: Pungent notes of grapefruit, citrus and pine accentuate its imperial status.  A nice malt backbone brings a welcomed balance to the obvious hop bias.  
Taste: Sticky hop lupulins quickly overcome the matly sweetness that builds the overall base of the flavor.  Definitely on the hoppy side, but not so much so that its out of balance.  Floral and citrus notes come through as it warms.  And alcohol and bitterness take the main stage to help dry out the finish.
Mouthfeel/Finish: One of the better Imperial IPAs on the market.  I like the malt backbone and bold hop aromas.  Easily drinkable and well balanced.  It comes in a four pack and is a bit pricy.  But if you are a hop head, this is one that you should go out of your way to try.  Easily in my top five when it comes to IIPAs.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 21:24:24 | More by boudreaux
Photo of beerman207


3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beer stores started selling 1/2 growler bottles so it was time to pickup some monster

A: Pours a nice fluffy white head that lingers forever. Leaves a good 2-3 inches of lacing on the glass as I sip on this one. Very impressive

S: Nose is candied apple as well as citrus and malt.

T: Bitter up front and a nice apple highlight along with the bitter hop and malt balance

M: Creamy and tart, easy to drink - a bit of burn on the way down

O: Just a solid beer overall from Great Lakes. Can they make a bad beer? If they do, I haven't had it!

Serving type: growler

07-06-2011 02:52:27 | More by beerman207
Photo of MattyG85


4.03/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 02:14:25 | More by MattyG85
Photo of KeefD


3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perfectly clear pale orange color with a finger worth of head that left some spotty lacing on the glass. Big time hoppy aroma, loads of citrus, orange, and a ton of herbal qualities. This thing definitely smells like a hop monster. Yep, it sure is. Hops completely dominate this beer, tons of pine needles, citrus, grapefruit, with only a hint of pale malt flavor on the semi-sweet, sticky, resinous, oily finish. This is a bit too much for me. I probably would have liked this brew a whole lot more in my early years of craft brew enjoyment, but find myself shying away from over the top beer these days. There's just no balance whatsoever, all insane piney/grassy/herbal hops with a splash of citrus/orange to boot. Mouthfeel is medium, again, oily and slick. If you love a hops-dominated beer, you'll like this one, but after one, I don't think I have the tastebuds to tackle another.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2011 20:40:31 | More by KeefD
Photo of enfield249


3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Honey gold in color, very fine white head.

S - Grapefruit!! Orange blossom, and citrus. Is this orange juice.

T - First sip is a big grapefruit flavor, almost enough to feel the pulp on your tongue. Next comes a medium malt, a little on the weak side for this beer.

M - Medium, lots of C02. Strong hop bitterness.

O - Kinda hard to drink what with the massive hop flavor. If you are a hop head you will enjoy this beer. But I only needed one.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 00:31:15 | More by enfield249
Photo of camil1mj


3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled and then poured into my Victory pint glass.

A: Transparent copper color. Foamy white head. Minimal lacing.

S: Strong citrusy hops with some malt in there as well.

T: Immediate strong hop taste finished with a slight earthy malt characteristic.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: A decent DIPA. Would not turn it down, but I don't forsee seeking it out.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 20:01:01 | More by camil1mj
Photo of Knapp85


4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IIPA poured out as a copper color with a clear looking body to it. The head was very thick looking and white. The lacing was very good also. The smell of the beer had some big citrus aromas coming off of it. There was also some floral and sweet aromas also. The taste of the beer was very good, it had a wonderful hop flavor with some of the lemony orange citrus mixing with the sweetness of the malts . Leaves your mouth tingling and dry. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and had a good amount of lively carbonation to it. Overall I found this brew to be very good and would totally buy it again if it ever shows up at my local store. Good price and a good brew all in one.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 18:35:49 | More by Knapp85
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an unfiltered orange/amber with puffy two finger head that dissipates slowly.

S - Lots of sweet grapefruit. Some of that bitter pineyness in the background. Not a smell-wallop, but pleasant.

T - Very, very sweet with that citrusy grapefruit coming through. Finishes in some of that bitter pine hops. There's sort of a sweet candyness coming through on this one--almost some cotton candy. I actually really like the taste.

M - Very, very smooth, almost like drinking some water. The ABV is hidden very well. Very nice.

Overall - I thought this was a pretty decent DIPA. It wasn't blow-me-out amazing but still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 01:11:31 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of Bighuge


4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 05:08:00 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Buebie


3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A special person grabbed me this nice little 4 pack.

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass. 2 inches of white froth, pale golden color, transparent and filtered.
Thin streaks of lace, small cap of retention.
Aroma is cotton candy sweet malt, fruity not so bitter grapefruit, little bit of pine and orange peel.
Aroma is slightly muted, not so forward.

Taste is bursting at the seems, an extremely flavorful beer!
Large doses of malt, little bit from the grains, plenty of un-fermented sweetness, but hops bitters to balance.
Bittering up with grapefruit, resin, pineapple and orange peel.
Slick feel with a smooth creamyness and moderate carbonation.
Its slighty warm, but mostly masked by hops and sweetness.

Good beer, aroma is undercover, but flavors are large.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 17:38:04 | More by Buebie
Photo of jsulko


3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip glass

Pours an mostly clear goldish color with a large white head.

Smell is slightly citrus hoppy, not a punch in the nose like most DIPA.

Taste is somewhat malt forward with a slightly resin bitter aftertaste.

Not really what I am looking for in a DIPA. I well made brew but not one I think is outstanding for the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 04:09:17 | More by jsulko
Photo of MNPostal


3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

IPAs are not my go to beer by any means, but I have been picking some up as of late from the stores. I heard good news about this one and figured I would give it a shot before they were gone. I wouldn’t say that it lived up to what I was hoping, but I did enjoy it. I’ve had better, but I have had many worse. I try to factor in the price when grading a beer and at $10 a 4 pack I think a B grade is more than fair.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 03:55:56 | More by MNPostal
Photo of EtOHMD


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a tulip glass at pies and pints in morganton, wva. Vibrant copper orange color. Translucent with no head at all. I think I'm influenced by the color by the color but smelling orange , also grapefruit. Mild whiskey smell and pine too. Very enticing. Flavor is less intense than aroma but still good with again combo of citrus and pine. Thin mouthfeel. This went down easy but at 9.1 percent feeling this one. Overall a very good imperial ipa.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2011 18:24:02 | More by EtOHMD
Photo of Reaper16


3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap @The Beer Trappe, Lexington, KY, into a snifter

Pours a very bright orange color, like a popsicle or something. Real bright. It's entirely opaque; not necessarily hazy looking, just not clear. One finger or so of sterling white head. A fair amount of lacing. Nothing mindblowing, but it is certainly an attractive beer.

The top notes of this beer start out all nectarine and stonefruit. There's a deeply sweet malt background underneath, but it smells to be in check by the green hop bitterness. When this beer warms, however, it becomes divisive. It features aromas of that love it/hate it hop: Summit. Lots of green onion and gamey meat aromas in this double IPA. They aren't my favorite lupulin smells, but they're always interesting. Lake Eerie Monster isn't as aggressive in the Summit department as, say, Oskar Blues Gubna, so at least there's some balance to the hop bouquet.

I really enjoy Great Lakes' beers, but this one is a miss for me, in terms of taste anyway. Green bitterness meets tangerine pulp meets scallion meets a candified, sugary sweetness. It isn't a ton of caramel malt that is problematic for me, no. It's a bunch of sugar-tasting sweetness. It doesn't taste bad, but balance is typically not something that I am in the mind to credit a double IPA for.

Somewhat remarkably, Lake Eerie Monster doesn't have an ultra-thick mouthfeel. It remains in the vacinity of medium-bodied, which is impressive. Overall, I do think that this is an above average beer for the style. Only barely. It was a good enough drink, even if a disappointment.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2011 14:17:17 | More by Reaper16
Photo of dmolenik


4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Let me start this one off by saying I am a HUGE Great Lakes Brewing Company fan. :) I have also been waiting for a while to get to try this brew. I'm originally from Ohio, but have been out of the state for a few years...

I really like the appearance of this brew. I like the lighter color of the Imperial IPA compared to others...makes it seem a little less aggressive than it is.

The smell is nice, but I would personally think and IPA should be exploding with aroma. The malty aromas come through almost more for me...maybe another attempt to make it seem less intense? ;)

I love the flavor and mouthfeel of this brew though. It's very bitter, but not so much that it masks the malt character. In fact, I think it's fairly balanced, just near the top of the scale on both fronts.

Overall, another great beer by a great brewery! Can't wait to grab another six pack when I visit my folks in a couple weeks!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 01:13:24 | More by dmolenik
Photo of stewart124


3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Dutch's in East Hyde Park.

In a snifter there was at least an inch of white head. Didn't last too long.

Nose was subdued. Some citrus but nothing to write home about.

First thing about the overall body was sweetness and thick mouthfeel. Mellow amounts of caramel with a nice hop bite but again nothing to write home about. Some more citrus, red grapefruit and some vanilla in the overall feel.

Tasty imperial IPA and quite drinkable. Some cloying sweetness but otherwise no alcohol notes and it goes down well.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2011 02:45:44 | More by stewart124
Photo of uwmgdman


4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly clear golden color with moderate-high clingy white head. The aroma is moderate-high citrus hops. The flavor is highly hoppy--pine and grapefruit with medium-high hop bitterness. The beer finishes quite smooth with a pleasant lingering hop flavor. The body and carbonation are both moderate. Overall a tasty, well-made IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 01:37:58 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of FanofHefe


3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 8/11/11. Pours a clear, dark golden color in the body. Big, two-finger off-white head that leaves a good cap and a little lacing.

I like the aroma - plenty of citrus and floral hops set it up nicely. Just a little caramel malt in the background. Very good set up for a bit of a more east-coast style DIPA.

Well, unfortunately, the malt overpowers the hops in the flavor. The flavor blend is not what I expected from the aroma. It's not horrible, but I'm not a fan of malt-forward DIPAs. Since I got this nearly two months prior to the "best by" date, I don't think it's old. I still get some hop bitterness, a little pine, a little citrus, but it struggles to combine with the malt.

Good mouthfeel for a DIPA. Overall, I would prefer the hops to stand out in the flavor as they do in the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 23:51:36 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of morimech


4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark amber color with two fingers of dense head that had good retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of sticky lacing is left on the glass. Very good looking ale.

Aroma of citrus and piney hops. The malt adds some sweetness. About what I came to expect.

A lot of hoppy goodness in the flavor. Citrus and tropical fruit fills the palate. A little more sweet than most other DIPAs but I think it compliments the hops well. Bitterness does not seem extreme either which suits me fine. Alcohol is well hidden but it adds a little warmth in the finish.

I expected a little more heft in body considering the malt is not exactly a bit player in this beer. Nicely carbonated with a soft, creamy texture.

Maybe not the DIPA that gets all the attention in the beer geek world, but one that hits all the right notes to me.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 22:10:52 | More by morimech
Photo of ColdPoncho


4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 8/30/2011

A - light copper body, nice big two finger creamy offwhite head. Good look.

S - pungent citrus hops, and pine, and tropical fruits, potential malt balance. nice nose.

T - sweet tropical fruits and light malts up front, big hoppy bitterness in the back. Its nice. Some earthiness in the middle, hops are mostly citrusy. Good complexity, good balance.

M - Very smooth, big mouth. Its good.

O (D) - Super solid, super well-balanced. Not a wow! beer, but it's really good.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 18:07:47 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of tat2dhllblly


3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-A golden hue and completely clear. Nice pure whit head that stands tall in the glass and and slowly shortens while leaving lady fingers from top to bottom. Nice carbonation bubbles throughout, very close to the appearance of an off brand champange.

S-Strong Pine and Citra profile with under ripe grapefruit rine under tones. Really no malt profile in the nose at all.

T-Cloying biutterness upfront with a bit of malt backbone in the middle to try and balance this aggresive DIPA. It ends with an astringent profile that leaves an higher than pleasurable lingering bitterness that has a very wet hay quality.

M-A little to light for such a big beer. Weak across the top with higher than wanted carbonation at the end.

O-A good attempt at the style but the hop profile itself does not balance well with the malt profile. A DIPA is more than tongue splitting IBU's. It still needs some balance in my eyes.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2011 16:32:02 | More by tat2dhllblly
Photo of Tballz420


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Darker gold colored brew, pretty clear but certainly some haze. Small white head. Scent is hop nectar, hop juice, and hop syrup. Nice think malty start, very well blended hops, which are certainly large but not overwhelming. Spicy alcohol. Much thinner bodied than i would have thought. Certainly about the hops, but its not overloaded like a lot of the IIPAs. Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 02:57:28 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Scotchboy


3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Steve! I was really impressed with this one.

A: Pours a golden orange with a slight chill haze and tons of off-white head that laces and sticks to the glass like crazy.

S: Really nice spicy citrus and tropical fruits, with a definitive malt backbone. The hops are front center with a lot of sharp bittersweet citrus fruit esters. The alcohol is noticable.

T: Slightly more subdued hop presence that's covered by a good amount of sweet malt, but not too sweet. Asfar as the hops, the grapefruit really hits the tongue first. The bitterness hits too but it never gets close to where it is on other DIPA's. Pretty quaffable but the alcohol is still noticeable.

MF: More wet than dry, this is definitely a midwest offering in the MF category. Alcohol cuts thru the body and lowers the score a touch.

O: I mentioned the alcohol a few times, and although it wasn't completely distracting it kept me from giving this a higher score. Still a great tasting DIPA.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 05:02:27 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of chilidog


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An awesome DIPA attempt, well done.
Pours golden orange. Nice white head with fair lace.

Aroma of citric hop, spice and grapefruit.

Taste of sweet malts, grapefruit, raw citric with a nice alcohol hint.

Very smooth on the mouth and drinkable. The abv is up as the big drink goes down. Suttle abv while drinking but does sneak apon you nicely.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 23:59:36 | More by chilidog
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,893 ratings.