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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.

2,189 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,189
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 146
Gots: 234 | 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:
"An imperial india pale ale"

(Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,189 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
3.3/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out of the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottle good till August 11th 2011.

Off white brown head that falls very quickly in a soapy consistency. Body is a slightly cloudy pale amber orange but kind of a weak hazy looking color. Some slow rising carbonation can be seen. Head goes and never returns and leaves a thin collar. Kind of weak looking.

Malt and fresh squeezed orange juice. Hints of buttery diacetyl but small. Not much of a noticeable hop presence either. This is kind of pedestrian.

Strange tasting and kind of buttery feel. Small orange, but muted hop spice. Buttery diacetyl seems to come through a bit. Mild hop bitter on the swallow, but not a big tasting high alcohol that the abv indicates. Some of the orange juice taste from the nose comes through in the palate also.

This is a fairly un assuming and weak double IPA it seems, I've had plenty of better ones so I think I'll pass on this.

smakawhat, May 29, 2011
Photo of BigDRS
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Really cool artwork on this bottle.

Standard pour yields a nice two finger eggshell colored head. Lace is decent. Color is a pale apricot.

Nose is a bit light. Lots of fruit ... it has almost an apple cider character to it. I also get a bit of banana and grapefruit.

Taste has a lot of fruit and hops. This is really syrupy. There's a bit of a hop zing right at the back of my throat followed by a warming feeling ... not a surprise at 9.1% ABV. Just a touch of carmel comes across at the end as well.

Mouthfeel on this one is nice. Carbonation levels are great and finish lingers for a while.

I REALLY wish they brewed this one year round. It's also a shame that Great Lakes puts this out in 4-packs. Shelling out ~$10.99 for 4 12oz-ers hurts a bit, but it's worth it. Great DIPA.

BigDRS, May 28, 2011
Photo of nasty31
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice golden reddish color with a tight white foamy head. I got about three fingers on this one but i might have poured aggressive. Very nice lacing after the head finally laid down.

S- Very nice aroma of fruits backed up by a malty smell. Neither overpower one another a perfect blend of smell.

T- I get the fruity flavor upfront on this that tastes amazing. Backside slightly hits you with that malty flavor like in the smell but it is a perfect blend. Slight alcohol burn going down but nothing harsh.

M- Spot on carbonation which is nice considering the last couple beers i have reviewed were highly over carbonated.

O- Excellent IIPA sad this one comes in a four pack. Putting down 2 or so of these in one sitting would be pretty easy, but i wanna conserve. Might have to head back to the shop for another four pack!!!!

nasty31, May 28, 2011
Photo of Dan3279
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured the 12oz bottle into a pint glass to find a clear golden body with a white one inch head that left a nice sticky lacing. The aroma was dominated with the grapefruit hops with a few hints of pine and some caramel malts. The taste was good, full of grapefruit hops upfront, some malts in the middle with hints of sweetness at the end.

The mouth feel was good, I really enjoyed drinking this one. You would also never guess that the ABV was over 9%, this beer is very easy to drink. Overall I enjoyed the beer and it is amazing how my tastes have changed over the past year because a year ago I had this beer and was completely turned off by it. Now this is one of my favorite styles of beer and I will be looking forward to this beer every spring.

Dan3279, May 28, 2011
Photo of avaccani
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poures a bright golden yellow. Almost copper. Has a tight 1 finger white head that laces all the way down the glass.

S - I am getting all sorts of tropical fruits, some mango, grapefruit, lemon, orange. Also getting some bready malt in there as well. Smells fantastic.

T - The citrus/tropical fruit hop oils hit me upfront. Tangy, sweet, fruity, slight bitterness but nothing overpowering. Later in the sip the caramel malt starts to take over. The hop resin coats the tounge and throat but never too much. Very nice sipper.

M - Carbonation is spot on. Medium to medium high. Finishs dry.

O - Very impressed with this. If you are looking for an over hopped IPA, this isn't your beer. This is very balanced. Everything blends perfectly in this brew. It is a shame this one is just a seasonal. Try it while you can!

avaccani, May 28, 2011
Photo of plfahey
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Burnished gold with good clarity. Moderate off-white head with decent retention.

Aroma-Oranges, tangerines, pineapple, mangoes, and light resin. Bread and caramel malts linger in the background. Tropical fruit smells are sweet and juicy. Faintest whiff of alcohol in the background.

Flavor-Opens up slightly sweet, but theres a quick rush of caramel malt flavor along with some bready and slightly toasted notes. Malt is balanced by a fair amount of hop flavor, with tropical and citrus fruits similar to the aroma-lemons, tangerines, and mangoes. Hop bitterness is moderately high, and swells in the finish, drying out the beer along with a dose of alcohol. The aftertaste is long and complex, with caramel malt and fruity hop flavors playing on the palate for minutes.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body, moderate carbonation. Tongue feels numbed by high hopping, but the beer is in no way astringent. Slight alcohol warmth in finish.

This is a fantastic DIPA and one of the best beers I've had from Great Lakes to date. The aroma and flavor are wonderful, and this beer manages to achieve a great malt/hop balance, which so many DIPAs seem to lack. Also, the alcohol is expertly hidden here-a dangerous beer for sure. Awesome.

plfahey, May 27, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: golden yellow, cloudy orange body, trace head, brilliant lacing

S: big pineapple, peach, orange rind, pine, malt

T: citrus front, nice malt, long pine bitter sticky finish

M: med body, slick/oily mouth

O: Nice Imperial IPA, but could be better.
Should be a sipper, but feels like a strong IPA.


BeerLover99, May 26, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12ozer to a SA imperial snifter glass.

Pours a hazy dark burnt orange with a 1 finger head that sticks around for a while leaving a thick tight bubbly quarter inch lace around the top of glass. Smells of piney hops, citrus, spicy, malty. Nice aroma with a subtle hop blend that is well balanced on the nose. Citrus hops on the tongue, big mango flavor. Sugary malts, bittery olive flavor. Nice on the feel, medium in the mouth, sugary sweet, and bitter. This is an average to good DIPA. Delicious and extremely drinkable.

gabedivision, May 24, 2011
Photo of WankelEngine
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: A fairly vigorous pour yields an off-white head of about one finger which fades quickly. The beer is orange-yellow in color and lightly hazy.

S: The smell consists primarily of citrus and herbal hops. There are faint notes of tropical fruits and pine. Behind this is a mild caramel malt backbone.

T: Hops is the main player here. It contributes several flavors, ranging from the prominent herbal bouquet of grass trimmings and pine to an inviting peach. Though less prominent than in the smell, caramel malts do a good job of providing balance to the beer. The aftertaste begins slightly citrusy and quickly fades to a dry, mild bitterness.

M: Very good. Light body and high carbonation combined with the short, dry aftertaste make this a surprisingly drinkable brew.

O: One of the more drinkable imperial IPAs. I could drink this all day if not for the over 9% ABV.

WankelEngine, May 23, 2011
Photo of ONUMello
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange hued, 1/4" head
S: Not a lot going on, primarily hoppy pine aromas.
T: Very pleasant. Nice balance of pine, grapefruit, and a bit of ester fruitiness. For being 9.1%, the alcohol is incredibly well integrated.
M: Very pleasant. Smooth and balanced, like the taste.
O: Another winner from GLBC. Hop-forward, but the malt wasn't forgotten. Great drinkability, these could creep up on you in a hurry.

ONUMello, May 21, 2011
Photo of CFHMagnet
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. This lovely light amber beer poured two fingers of fizzy head that dissipated to a half finger within a couple minutes and continued to shrink throughout consumption.

S. The nose on this beer was rather dissapointing, as all I really got was weak malt and piney hop aromas.

T. The taste wasn't very bold for and Imperial IPA. Very standard piney and citrusy hop notes.

M. This is actually a decent area for the beer, it is well carbonated and has a lot of drinkability, with a slight drying effect at the end and decent bitterness.

O. Overall I'm not too impressed with the style. As a Clevelander, I see a lot of fans of Great Lakes Brewing Co around, but I was honestly hoping from the name of this beer that it would be bolder and have a much stronger character. It's a decent IIPA, but doesn't really do anything special.

CFHMagnet, May 20, 2011
Photo of wvsabbath
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

APpearance - Golden yellow/tan, nice 1/2 white thick head, lots of lacing.

Smell - Huge hops, malts, sugars, floral spices, yeast, pine, sweet fruits like grape and apple.

Taste - Had this many times before, got fresh bottles, so time for review. Intense sweet malts and hops start the monster out. Bitter and very grapefruitish bite. Sweet taste of grapes, lemon, pine, apple, and orange, very very floral. Malts are very sweet and carmalish. The alcohol is present and adds some pepper-like sting.

MOuthfeel - Not as bad a mouth crusher as id figure, but still mouth gets hop covered, bittered and worked over. Aftertaste is medium and bitter but not overboard. Hops leave a piney trail long after.

Overall - What a great beer this is. Very malty and sweeter then most dipa's. The alcohol is masked well, but after a couple you will know it. Very underated beer, hope it gets exposed more cause this rivals all the top dipa's out there.

wvsabbath, May 18, 2011
Photo of gamwich
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bright white head dissembles rapidly leaving goodly and tenacious lacing. Slightly hazy as one expects from an unfiltered beer. The aroma has lots of dank hops. The flavor has solid hop bitterness, with a nice lightly sweet malt profile underneath. The flavors are nicely balanced. This is a smooth, easy drinking beer; a dangerous quality at 9.1% abv.

gamwich, May 16, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a four-pack at Finger Lakes Beverages in Ithaca, NY. It shows a clear copper color with lots of tiny particulate floating around. The head is fair sized, an off-white color with plenty of lacing. The aroma says banana vinegar and somewhat of a piny hop malt, different but nice. My first mouthful finds both flowery and herbal hops along with a decided caramel malt sweetness. Very nice. It's medium bodied with decent carbonation and a fairly crisp feel. Tangy with a slight lemon-orange edge. This is very nice with fair drinkability.

Durge, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of warnerry
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

warnerry, Feb 18, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug. Pours a hazy orange amber body with a small offwhite head that leaves some sticky sheet lace on the glass. Aroma is surprisingly subdued, but pine resin and grassy hops are noted. Medium body is slightly chewy and has a creamy carbonation. Taste is brazenly hoppy, with a dry pine resin taste from start to finish. Hints of apricot and pink grapefruit struggle to emerge. Toasty caramel maltiness doesn't quite balance the aggressive hop bill. A solid DIPA, but as a big fan of Great Lakes I was hoping for something that would blow me away.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of julian
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Extra from trade courtesy of FullObs.

A: sunrise orange in color that yellows as you leave the center of the glass. cloudy and haze filled. A few carbonation bubbles are noticeable. medium amount of off white head.

S: Smell is of citrus, piney hops, brown sugar, malt, booze. First though is this smells really malty for an IIPA.

T: Predominant sweet malty taste. Hop bitterness is there, but rather mild, and mostly overpowered by the sweetness coming from the massive amount of malt flavor. Earthy and slightly boozy aftertaste. The taste of booze is less than on the nose though.

M: medium bodied. good mouthfeel overall.

D: Pretty high ABV, although the alcohol is almost unnoticeable (as are most IIPAs these days) in the taste. Average taste leaves this as an 1-2 bottle drinker.

Overall: One of the few beers lately that I've reviewed that deviates from rDev by more than 10%. I found this rather average. The high level of sweetness of this beer overwhelms the other flavors, and masks any complexity this beer might have.

julian, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of ElliotNess
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed plenty of 9+ % beers, but the Lake Erie Monster has beat my liver into submission. I cant remember the last beer that made me feel like passing out. I mean I will credit the mouthfeel of a deep and dark hop taste fills the palate. This is a great Imperial IPA a little different then the rest. But so is GLBC.

My wife drinks red wine to fall asleep some days, this is my red wine.

ElliotNess, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of psiweaver
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured out of a 12oz bottle into my Delerium Tremens glass.

A: pours a hazy orangish with a half knuckle of white creamy head.

S: smells somewhat hoppy with some pine notes and a fairly malty back.

T: Taste is fairly muted pine without much hop power. Found this to be a bit more malty. It wasn't citrusy which i like.

M: good smooth mouthfeel, though the alchohol stood out a bit more than on most other DIPA's i've had. This may have been due to the lack of hop power.

D: fairly drinkable though not something i would have on a regular basis.

psiweaver, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of SASN
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
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

SASN, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- warm gonden browm coloring, one plus fingers head fade slowly leaving lace everywhere in it's wake.

s- dipa nose here for sure, some malt base, citrus, kinda muddled though, sweet, touch of alcohol.

t- nice, ample citrus, grapefruit pith, some lingering bitterness, sweet piney hops, sweetness comes through more than i was expecting.

m- medium body.

d- nice, glad i got to try this seasonal, i'd drink this one again! great lakes sure makes good beer.

thecarster1, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes to Lunch for this one in a past trade! Best by date of 08/25/10 (oops!). Code 6857DM. Served from bottle into a Delirium Tremens snifter. Poured red-orange with a one finger slightly off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and citrus/bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus hops, and weak alcohol on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. I wish I had the opportunity to try this one while it was fresh, but it was still pretty damn tasty. It had a nicely balanced flavor and good aroma to go along with it. Definitely glad I got an opportunity to try this one. It is a must try for any fan of the IIPA out there.

thagr81us, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of Jayli
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from JacktheBear so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Consumed 11/14
Poured in to a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a murky, cloudy, copper/caramel color with a one finger of creamy, rocky khaki colored head. Head hangs on nicely leaving thick sticky sheets of lacing.

S: Nose is of strong caramel base, piney hops and earthy notes.

T: Taste starts off with a big thick caramel flavoring before the hop juiciness comes through. First are earthy and pine hop notes followed quickly by a fruity, mango, pineapple flavoring that really carries through the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, oily body with a sticky finish.

D: Goes down very easily, big kick, somewhat filling, nice representation of style. If it weren't for the ABV, I would sit with this one all night.

Jayli, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of dickroop
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle has an "Enjoy by" date of 8/20/10, so I'm past due for review. Brew poured into my tumbler a light, golden bronze with a slight haze and a lot of bubble action. Head was modest and thinned but stayed for a while and produced tannish lacing. The brew smelled earthy, a little yeasty, a bit of alcohol, slight fruity tones, a bit of phenol (& not much hops).

First sip struck me a sweeting, fruity, with counterbalancing bitterness quick to assert itself. Sweet is on the tongue, bitterness is in the back, and there's some grainyness. Malt flavors are indistinct, hops are just generally bitter, and it's too sweet (my major complaint about DIPAs and imperial IPAs)

Mouthfeel is fine, the carbonation works well, there is malt sweetness to spare, it's generally drinkable... but why drink it when it's just average DIPA. Sure it goes down pretty good, but it's no hop monster, nothing special. I want less alcohol, more flavor, MORE HOPS (the hophead's lament). I certainly won't go out of my way to get this again (but great thanks to Norma, who brought me bottles from Cleveland!!)

dickroop, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Duff27
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Huge two-fingered, thick head on top of a grapefruit colored beer. Sediment right up there with Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf DIPA...only more in number and smaller in size. Lacing is incredible, can see where each previous drink was.

S- Citrus/grapefruit smell.

T- Bitterness is muted, more of a pungent (good pungent?) taste. Booming sweet(!!!) citrus aftertaste.

M- Just a smooth, rich, and creamy feel to it.

D/O- A delicious beer here. Most wouldn't want more than one of the Lake Erie Monster but it's good enough that others might want to have another. I <3 Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Duff27, Nov 04, 2010
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,189 ratings.