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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

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2,253 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,253
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 156
Gots: 257 | FT: 1
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: 2,253 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bogforce
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A dark golden/bronze color with a good head and nice amount of lacing.

S: Great smell to this beer, you get this fruity hop smell then a dank pine smell leaving the malt in background.

T: You get the pine flavor right up front on the tough, then it turns in the citrus hop flavor, very pleasing. The malt is not overpowering.

M: This might be the only downfall of this beer, the touch on the tongue isn't my favorite but for the ABV it is a pretty drinkable beer.

O: Great Lakes fails to make a bad beer, this is a great IIPA. Gives you a good mix of hop profiles with a high ABV and doesn't overpower you with malt.

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a hazy golden-amber with orange highlights at the edge of the pint glass. Two finger puffy white head that quickly dissipates leaving behind some medium levels of lacing.
Very strong scent of pineapple / citrus / pine from Fuggles with minor chords of earthy / grassy /oniony Simcoe herbals over a clean caramel malt body. The pineapple wanes as the brew warms up to room temperature... And there is a hint of booziness in the backdrop of the nose as well.
The sweetness and bittering are well balanced to each other in this one. The malt is a lot less sweet than other malts I have seen used in DIPAS. Also it is not as bitter as some other DIPAs which emphasize hops over all else, and I appreciate that. The weedy herbals of the Simcoe can gently persist for some time in the aftertaste, and the body is on the heavier side of medium with palatable smoothness that makes up for the heft.
Overall a great DIPA, especially if you like a frontal accent of pineapple hop flavor and a slightly more savory malt bill than usual which makes the sweetness come more from the hops than from the grains....just barely.

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

Since this is a limited release, I was excited to purchase a 4/pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA

Price: $11.49/4pk

Enjoyed in a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a rather cloudy, golden honey color. A half to one finger head rapidly fades to a thin skim on top of the beer. A fair amount of lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - A pleasant aroma of citrus, pine and a toffee-like sweetness.

T - A really good DIPA. A DIPA that is more malt forward with a great combination of grapefruit, pine, caramel-like sweetness and hops. Not overly hoppy but just enough to balance out the other flavors. The alcohol is lurking there and this is dangerously drinkable even at 9% ABV.

M - A heavier consistency that coats the entire mouth after each sip. A low to medium carbonation level.

O - This is a top-notch DIPA. My go to DIPA's are DFH 90 and BrewWorks Hop'solutely and this ranks up there as a new favorite. I'd gladly purchase again although it is on the pricier side but well worth trying if you can get some.

Highly recommended!


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

Bottle. Best buy date of 09/07/2011 on the side. Poured into Central Waters globe:

A - Pours a nice golden color with lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom and sides. A soapy, fizzy head forms about 1/2 inch thick that dies into thin foam rind around the edges with bubbles and murky clouds in the middle. Lacing isn't too bad.

S - Notes of pineapple, mango and grapefruit. Hints of pine and a little bit of carmalized, bready malts. Little bit of lemon zest and orange, but only slightly.

T - Pretty straight forward on the citrus notes: lemon, lime, pineapple, grapefruit and a little bit of green grape skins. The finish is a bit bitter with pine and malts.

M - A little syrupy, but not thick at all. The carbonation is good and crisp, with a little bit of a drying effect toward the finish.

O - Not too bad. Pretty crisp and light. Not too over the top with flavors and smells but at least its not in a bad way. This is a nice seasonal to drink but wouldn't be my first choice in a DIPA. Worth a try though for people who like DIPAs.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of 8/4/11 on label. Was a very cloudy honey color with good carb streams. It had an average sized white head that settled into a good collar and some wisps. Moderate lacing with a little sticking.

The aroma was heavy on tropical fruit/c-hops and biscuity malt. More malty than hoppy though. Taste is excellent with a nice balance between the c-hops and malt. Slight bitterness but mainly a good hop flavor mixed with sweet malt. Might not please a hop bomb craving but will satisfy a good balance craving. Mouthfeel was full with good carbonation and good aftertaste.

Overall, a solid ADIPA with a good balance. Been looking to try this one for a long time and glad that my buddy ummagum shipped me a couple - many thanks! Highly recommend. Not avail here - got from ummagum. Rotation - if avail near me this would make the regular rotation. [R;Y]

Photo of buffs9
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours orange and just a bit cloudy. Nice big/tight head with moderate retention

S: Love the smell of this. Smells like a really good brewery, that scent you get right when you step out of your car when they're in the middle of cooking up a batch of something tasty.

T: Lots of sweet malts, some sweet pine and just a touch of citrus and bitterness. I really enjoy the maltiness of this brew.

M: Average for the style, a bit oily, which I like.

D: Very drinkable for the style, I could put down a few of these right now, but just have this one. Dammit!

Photo of Mitchster
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Brewed with Harrington 2 row and C-30. Hopped with Simcoe and Fuggles. 9.1% ABV, 80 IBU, OG=22P.

I think this was $2.99 for a 12oz bottle at BevCo. Pours out to a clear medium amber, forming a tall poofy off-white head with superior retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation. The nose is bold with sweet herbal hops with a touch of skunk and pine. Gotta love those Simcoe. The mouthfeel is bold, smooth, and sits perfectly on the tongue. The mouthfeel hides it's big body, making it dangerously drinkable. Opens with skunk and mango, followed by a pleasant deliciously balanced sweetness of grain lingering through the middle and the finish, pleasantly balanced by a piquant bitterness which seems to linger forever in the aftertaste. Vanilla and orange round out the flavor.

This is a very well brewed beer. It's a touch different than other DIPAs. While this has a great look, nose, and mouthfeel, the bitter aftertaste is a bit mouch. I prefer my DIPA's a bit more hoppy in the nose with less bitterness.

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

Good floral DIPA, very good indeed. Nothing much to go on about it but its easy gulp, and its high floral-sweetness for a 9.2 % ABV.

A-deep orangish , good one-two inch head with a nice white lacing of a DIPAs

N- Very floral + pine

T-As mentioned before, Floral, Pine, Bubblegum, and of course covering taste cane sugar

O- thumbs up. Highly recommend

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: grapefruit, hops, caramel, malts, alcohol,

taste: citrus, hops, caramel, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: it's an alright DIPA. I've had much better. Glad I got to try it. hopefully one day I'll get to try it on draft and compare notes.


Photo of Mdog
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, good head.

Smell: Pithy oranges, pink grapefruit.

Taste: Nice balance, mild sweetness backed with pithy citrus. Gets a little more bitter as it goes.

Drinkability: 4 pack instead of bomber is appreciated.

The Lake Erie Monster showed up in MN this year so I picked up a 4 pack. Its best aspect was the aroma, oranges and the usual pink grapefruit. Not too bitter, a solid DIPA.

Photo of Trystero
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of boudreaux
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of beerman207
3.98/5  rDev -1%
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!

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 KeefD
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Photo of enfield249
3.62/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of camil1mj
3.42/5  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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Bighuge
4.89/5  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.

Photo of Buebie
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

Photo of jsulko
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of MNPostal
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of EtOHMD
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of Reaper16
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,253 ratings.