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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.

1,957 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,957
Reviews: 628
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 134
Gots: 173 | 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: 1,957 | Reviews: 628 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

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

On tap at the brew pub. Pours a golden orange with a thin white head, lots of lacing. Smell is bursting with hops and some type of fruitiness. Taste is of citrus hops, and I think melon. Very sweet, but not as much as some east coast IIPA's. Very drinkable as I finished my glass in just a few minutes.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2010 19:25:09 | More by kwjd
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a clouded orange bright bodied hue with a large foaming off white cream colored head layers huge with a nice biscuit clouded appearance. Leaves behind chunky sporadic lacing on the sides of my 4.95 pint glass. I like Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH. I couldn't even get a bottle of this down my way and they already had it on tap, nose consists of floral citrus candy coated hops, this stuff is excellent especially for Midwest, Great Lakes region DIPA. Flavor again sugar coated blast of hops I will definitely grab a bottle when I'm able to in order to compare the 2 versions. A touch of clean alcohol and hars bitterness from grapefruit like components but no other off flavors become unbearable throughout the whole drinking experience. Full bodied easy going carbonation body builds with layers of proteins from the malts and hops used here, nothing is offensive in a good way. Drinkability overall when of the best east coast/midwest DIPAs I've come across awesome experience I will find more of this beloved elixir.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2010 18:42:42 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of hosehead83


4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Tawny gold in color with a moderate head of foam
Aroma-Fresh citrus, sweet malt/honey notes
Taste-Tangerine and grapefruit citrus, fresh, juicy hops that roll over the tastebuds deliciously to the finish.
Overall, aromatic, juicy, fresh and full of flavor. Very drinkable, but beware the Monster's 9.1ABV. Sip and enjoy! Another winner from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 14:32:31 | More by hosehead83
Photo of Natural510


4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle. 8/08/10 best-by-date...guessing this was bottled about three months before.

Pours a light, completely-even amber with a soft, bone-white head which leaves a strict ring of lace around the brew.

Scent not quite as bright as expected, but still getting alot of fruitiness, such as peach & mango, to the nose.

Initial sip elicits a sweet, tropical fruit cocktail. Brown sugar & caramel malt come through followed by the bitterness of the hops. Hop is not at the forefront, but instead rounds out the tropical sweetness of the malt.

Even mouthfeel. Full-bodied but not syrupy like others of the style. Hop bitterness only semi-dry and not overly astringent.

Not overly sweet or bitter...never thought I'd find a "balanced" DIPA which didn't skimp on ingredients. Dangerously drinkable, and charters new territory for the style. The best DIPA I've had since Pliny The Elder.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 06:54:09 | More by Natural510
Photo of CaptCleveland


4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Trip over to Great Lakes Brewery for a pint (or two) and purchase GLBC's dipa.
The pour is 10oz into a tulip glass.
Honey/yellow color, surprisingly clear for an unfiltered brew.
Nice cream-colored head leaves Belgian lace during tasting.
Heavy floral, fruit aroma; no grapefruit, but pear, peach and honey.
Smooth hops from beginning to end with nice bitter finish. Medium to light body hides substantial ABV.
Overall nice addition to the GLBC stable of brews. I find the hops in their Commodore Perry IPA more to my liking--grapefruit bitter. Could not determine the actual hops, but would guess not Simcoe or anything imparting much bitterness. Being close to the brewery I know this is a favorite of their employees and will be gone before too long.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2010 20:59:21 | More by CaptCleveland
Photo of Pdiddey3d

New York

4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honored to be the fist in Western NY to review Great Lakes latest. Big props to Pizza Plant for holding an awesome DIPA tasting and being the only place in the area to score some of the Monster. On to the review:

A. Hazy amber/oragnish color with a nice one finger of white head. Not much active carbonation.

S. More fruit than hops here. Citrus, mango, peach, malts, some pine. Hops are there but not as forward as some DIPAs I've had in the past. Great aroma here, very delicious.

T. Once again surprised by what is going on here. Very well balanced for a DIPA. Sweet malts blended with some piny hops, neither one overwhelming the other and blending beautifully. There is a slight smack of booze but at 9% that no shocker. Bitter on the back of the palate. This is very tasty.

M. Is is defiantly a full bodied beer. Thick and robust. Very pleasant mouthfeel. Mild carbonation
D. Seeing as I had 2 of goblets back to back (1 courtesy of Great Lakes own Ryan) I would say this is a very drinkable DIAP even for the ABV. I can't wait to get my hands on a couple 4pks of this when it hits shelves here next week (hopefully).

Another SUPER solid release from Great Lakes. I have yet to taste a bad beer from this outstanding brewer. This is a very welcome addition to my favorite style of beer and I hope I can get my fill in the limited time it is available.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2010 05:15:31 | More by Pdiddey3d
Photo of zimm421


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Appears a nice hazy amber to orange color. Has a nice 1/2 inch off-white head that retains very well and leaves great lacing.

Smells very hoppy, lots of pine and some citrus as well as some malts in the background. The up-front tastes consist of citrus, lots of grapefruit, as well as some pine. There's a good malt balance as well helping to sweeten it up. There's a defined bitterness at then end and in the aftertaste. The alcohol is not too overpowering or even that noticeable, its hidden fairly well. Drinking it at the recommended temp really opens things up, much sweeter and more bitter at the same time making it more balanced.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick, with a decent amount of carbonation. Not too crisp, but feels just about right. Fairly easy to drink, but being at such a high ABV makes it slightly harder. Even though the alcohol is hidden well, it can be slightly difficult to drink. Overall, a great brew, something I'll get as much as I can before it disappears.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 22:09:03 | More by zimm421
Photo of JoePat


3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a beautiful honey like golden/orange holding up a nice white head.
I get a lot of citrusy grapefruit aroma with some pine notes.
The flavor seem a little off with the bitterness and sweetness acting almost seperately. The flavor doesnt seem to flow very well. Maybe some harsh bitterness from the hops or too rich from the malt.
The mouth feel is just thick like a bitter syrup almost grainy at points.
This beer also hurts in the drinkability from the sweetness and harsh bitterness. It is not something I could comfortably have a few of in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 21:08:40 | More by JoePat
Photo of klewis


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

Best before 7/18/10

A: Pours a hazy golden with a moderate foamy head. Good lacing.

S: Fruity hop aroma dominated by citrus.

T: A blast of hops right off the bat. Lots of bitterness with flavors of pine, oak, and citrus. Malt? You won't find it here. A palate scorcher for sure.

M: Full-bodied with high carbonation. A bit rough on the palate with an intense, lingering bitterness.

D: If you like massive hop bombs, this is for you. Looking for even a hint of balance? Stay away.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 19:03:32 | More by klewis
Photo of ndekke39


4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given a 12 oz bottle by a close friend, best by 8/8/10. Decanted into a pint glass.

Color is a tawny orange, slightly cloudy, with a big foamy white head.

Smells and tastes are really surprising, and in a good way. I expected a hop monster, given the Imperial IPA name, but it was surprisingly sweet. Still very hoppy, but with a grapefruit and bready sweetness at the fore-front.

Medium thickness - good for the style.

Very drinkable. Great balance between the sweet and the hops. I prefer this over GLBC's Commodore Perry.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 13:08:33 | More by ndekke39
Photo of Wildman


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

This beer poured slightly cloudy light amber color and formed an off white foam head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of hops, pine and grapefruit. A flavor of hops, pine, grapefruit/citrus and a hint of pepper. The body was medium light and the finish bittersweet with a touch of astringency. A nice beer, not the greatest double ipa, but still a good beer from a consistent brewer.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 00:32:53 | More by Wildman
Photo of crossovert


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

12 oz bottle, got it from the cooler so hopefully it is as fresh as it possibly can be for me because I'm pretty sure it just arrived to my neck of the woods.

Pours into my pint glass a bright yellow/orange in the Pliny and Hopslam school The head is fluffy and white and leaves some nice lacing.

This one is pure citrus in the smell. The most citrus I have ever smelled in a DIPA.

The flavor continues with the citrus. There a a nice bitterness as well. The hops seem super-concentrated. They give off an acidic sharpness that is more lemon than tomato. The malt is heavy in this one and it provides a semi-leveling sweetness though this one is unanimously hoppy.

The alcohol seems non-existent, another easy drinking DIPA.

This one is pretty good, still is nothing compared to a fresh Hopslam though.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2010 00:24:55 | More by crossovert
Photo of rabsten

West Virginia

4.85/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2010 11:32:48 | More by rabsten
Photo of dancinwillie


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

Pours orange and hazy. Lots of floaters in the liquid and it's topped by an impressively dense beige head.

Smells like I'm at a brewery. Aroma of cracked grains and malted barley mingle with a citrus presence. The aroma almost reminds me of a citrusy American Wheat Ale, like New Glarus' Crack'd Wheat. At any rate, it smells very good.

At first sip, it seems the citrus nose was a good preview. Lots of candied orange and grapefruit flavor. Nice strong bitterness from the hops as well. A little boozy at first, but that observation seemed to fade upon subsequent sips. And the malt, while present, is somewhat pushed to the background. The deeper I get into this glass, the better this beer tastes! The booze facet has disappeared, and the malt is somewhat more assertive, though still a bit shy for the style (or at least my personal interpretation of style guidelines.)

Slick mouthfeel, and full bodied. This is a nice afternoon sipper.

Overall drinkability is really quite high for a few reasons. It's tasty; it's ABV won't leave me unconscious after 2; and I have to give respect to GLBC for only using barley, hops, yeast, and water. No gimmicks, just beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 20:50:05 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of sweemzander


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Best by 07-18-10.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange color that produced a good white foamy head with some good retention. Left a bunch of lacing behind in ring formations.

(S)- A dry, yet floral-like citrus. A damp wood-like pine.

(T)- A fresh & crisp floral citrus of lemon, pineapple, grapefruit, and lime. A respectable hop bitterness.

(M)- A great carbonation level & balance. A great hop kick and a light honey-like sweetness turning the citrus into an almost creamy part. Crisp & refreshing.

(D)- A solid to great DIPA. Has everything you would expect from the style. Not overly bitter, but actually almost creamy with the citrus & malt combo. I could have a few of these, but the 9.1%abv might cause to to stop at 2-3.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 12:58:22 | More by sweemzander
Photo of BeerAndBourbon


4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date: 7/18/10

A. Pours a very hazy yellow with a creamy off-white head that leaves lacing around the entire rim of the glass.
S. Peach and mango are most prominent - intriguing.
T. Very round flavor profile; it fills in almost like a tripel. The peaches and mango both make an appearance upfront. A delicate malt backdrop fills in before it ends with a dry citrus hop flavor.
M. Wonderfully thick with a good level of carbonation.
D. This is a 9%? If this didn't go down hill so quickly or if it was available regularly, I could see it becoming a staple. As it is, I'll have to pick up another pack or two before Bessie goes back into hiding.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 03:55:01 | More by BeerAndBourbon
Photo of damndirtyape


4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single bottle (best by July 13, 2010) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Hazy translucent orange-amber color. Off-white head died down a little while after pouring, but islands of lace all over the glass.

Smell: Strong mango and pine - definitely hoppy.

Taste: Mango, grapefruit hop flavors dominate up front, a hint of fruit-like sweetness in the middle, then a strong hoppy bitter finish that lingers for a bit. As it warms up the bitterness at the end becomes less pronounced, and the sweetness in the middle becomes more noticeable. I think it becomes a bit more balanced as it warms up - recommended serve temp is 45 F on the bottle.

Mouthfeel: Starts off with a hint of carbonation on the tongue (just a bit spicy) but finishes creamy and smooth. Very nice.

Drinkability: I don't taste the alcohol at all (very well hidden) but I do notice it later into the glass, so a one beer an evening for me with this one. Went well with a meal but I can see myself slowly savoring this one as well. This (for me anyway) is a sipping beer - not for rapid drinking. Overall a very nice beer - glad I bought a 4 pack so I can enjoy more of this later.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 22:37:27 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of beerhan


4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 02:51:28 | More by beerhan
Photo of mherring


3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a nice, cloudy, deep orange color. Not much head of the pour, just enough to keep the top of the liquid covered with foam.

S - Got a good whiff of the hops when I popped the cap off the bottle, still get a little bit of that when I smell it, but not as much as I would expect with a double IPA like this.

T - Good, fresh, hoppy start with some definite malty flavors going on. Hoppy finish that kind of hangs around, so it feels like you've still got the hops in your mouth.

M - Great. Not too much carbonation, very smooth.

D - Decent drinkability, not much hint of the alcohol in the flavor at all, which is obviously pretty deceptive.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 01:45:46 | More by mherring
Photo of BikeChef

District of Columbia

2.75/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Just brought back some San Diego double IPA's (Hop 15, Sculpin) and Lake Erie Monster really paled in comparison. Might be unfair to stack it against such great beers, but...

Some hop aroma, but not what I'd expect from a DIPA. Not too promising. Some hops in the taste, but very muddied. I actually like the mouthfeel here, but this just doesn't bring the hops, which is the whole reason for a double IPA. Love Great Lakes, but this is a disappointing effort.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 01:27:41 | More by BikeChef
Photo of BarrytheBear


2.4/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into into a snifter - best before 7/18/10

Nice looking beer...golden orange and slightly murky

Smell is a letdown. Really working hard to pull out a hop presence and all I'm coming up with is soapy perfume notes and malt. Hmmmm. Decided to hard pour the remainder in an effort to release the demons. Come on new bike! Upon further review, soiled wig. Really not much to speak of.

And...the letdown continues. Tastes like medicine with a very muddled hops presence. I pull none of the tropical fruits or juiciness that some other reviewers found. Rather, there's a metallic bitterness that overrides the experience leaving a post dental visit numbness reminiscent of a good gas and pull of the old chompers.

Airy, cotton candy like mouthfeel feels off. Hard to describe, but this beer just seems out of sorts and incomplete. Overall, a bummer.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 00:31:50 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of Brew33


3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was totally stoked to try this beer and left it a bit disappointed. I love Great Lakes, they're one of my favorite breweries. The apperance was fairly orange, slightly hazy. Very promising. The aroma was good. Bright citrus, hoppy, slightly dank. The taste wasn't anything to write home about. Not a slap in the face like I had hoped for. Fairly subdued for an Imperial IPA. Strong malt presence. Fairly sweet, piney hops in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was perfect for the style. The drinkability was very high. No trace of the over 9% abv. Easy to drink.

Not a show stopper but a very nice IIPA from a brewery that does everything very well but nothing over the top. Pretty much what you'd expect from a brewery like Great Lakes. A solid offering but overshadowed by other giants in the same segment.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 13:30:22 | More by Brew33
Photo of ltjska04


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

A- Poured into my snifter, this beer is a hazy orange with a fluffy white head. It leaves some nice lacing until it's empty

S- Mostly fruity; pineapple and grapefruit. Not as strong as some other IIPA's but still very nice

T- The taste is fruity as well. It starts with some bitterness that fades away to be replaced with a sweet finish. I'm kind of surprised how low the perceived bitterness is. This bottle has a best before date of July but it has to be fresh.

M/D- The mouthfeel is smooth and oily; it goes down extremely easy. Drinkability is very high for a >9% beer. This is in the same ballpark as Hopslam or Dreadnaught but not quite as good as either. Still an excellent beer, but not the best Midwest IIPA.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2010 01:28:52 | More by ltjska04
Photo of LordAdmNelson


3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich golden oak in color with about two fingers of pillowy white head that slowly recedes, leaving lumpy, sticky lace. Aroma is a blast of hoppy sweetness--it's like a handful of fresh fruit. Mango, pear, pineapple, papaya, and grapefruit notes are all there. A very nice and inviting aroma if you ask me.

I'm let down by the taste, however. The bottle says best by 7/18, and it's 5/17. I'm guessing because I couldn't find anything with a quick glance at the GLBC website, but I would say that means that this is a few months old. Which is a bit apparent in the taste--it has some nice residual bitterness and sweetness, and a decent bready malt bill, but it is definitely lacking in the hop kick department. It's pretty apparent to me that there were some very nice citrusy hops with a bit of resinous hops too, but they have quickly faded. Not a bad ale now though, just not the DIPA I was looking for.

Feel is very smooth, medium to full, maybe could use a tad more carbonation. Good overall, however. Surprisingly drinkable for the ABV, which is hidden quite nicely. I will definitely try to get this when it's fresher because it seems to have a lot of potential.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 21:43:54 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light orange/amber color, with a thick light-tan head that goes rocky as it recedes, and leaves gobs of gooey lacing on the glass. Visible carbonation is moderate.

The hops in the nose have a very strong grapefruit aroma, there's not a lot of malt in the aroma, but an underlying sweetness is detected. The taste explodes with grapefruit, and the grassy flavor of fresh hops...even wet hops. A nice citrus-spice with alcohol warmth, and still not much in the malt department. Wow this thing finishes bitter, leaving the tongue tingling and the back of the throat tightening.

Medium bodied, and has a fair amount of bite. I really don't think a second one of these would be an option for me. I may be tasting this one for a while as it is.

I had this on draft at the brewery, and it was quite different. Now I wish I had taken notes yesterday. It was nowhere near as grapefruity and as bitter. Had a stronger fresh hop taste and more malt in the back.

Still, a killer DIPA from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 19:28:17 | More by ZimZamZoom
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,957 ratings.