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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterGreat Lakes Lake Erie Monster

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2,266 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,266
Reviews: 647
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 160
Gots: 266 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,266 | Reviews: 647
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Paddy's in Hornell, NY

Pours and orangish-red with very thin head. Nose is more malts than hops; malty, piney. Taste is a little less than I hoped for, more malty than most DIPAs. I was hoping for hops instead they are mellow and in the back. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected as well. Not bad, just not what I was anticipating.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a four pack in PA.

A: Really appealing bright golden color A thin covering of white head with a touch of lacing. A little bit of yeast floating in suspension for good measure as well.

S: Lots of citrus with orange leading the way. A little bit bready in the nose. Very piney as well.

T: As I was drinking this beer I kept thinking this is was stone was trying to do with their double English IPA. This really nails that imaginary style down for me. Finishes bitter but fairly clean. The hops are bright but more continental. Quite a balanced DIPA. No way I would ever think this is 9%.

M: Really nice mouthfeel. Perfectly carbonated. Would not change a thing. A little bit viscous which I enjoy in the style. Spot on.

O: I enjoyed this beer. Really cut the heat for me tonight. Again best DEIPA? What. Dry hop this in a cask then call me.

Photo of JNewbs
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy orange with a finger thick off-white head. Smell was a sweet citrus. I was truly surprised at the flavor. Way sweeter than any other DIPA I've had, the hops didn't play a huge role (comparatively). For me, that was actually a plus. Mouthfeel was maybe a bit too sweet, it left a bit of a cloying sensation in my mouth. Could have been crisper. Overall, very good beer, with cool label art.

Photo of rfgetz
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a quite cloudy golden amber color with high carbonation and big poofy white head, some sticky lacing. Scent is dominated by notes of orange with light amounts of grapefruit and pine, backbone is noticeably sweet with some hay and wheat like notes to it. First sip dominated by bitter orange with rind, backbone is toasted grain, notes of a wheaty twang present itself in the malt, quite sweet. Floral, grapefruit, pineapple and pine all come through as the tongue adjusts. Very interesting fruity and fresh grain notes to this dIPA. Medium bodied, smooth but maybe a touch too much carbonation. A somewhat unique approach to the dIPA, pretty good.

Photo of DannyDan
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out a copper colored body with a foamy white head that has good carbonation and some of the best retention and lacing I have ever seen on a beer. This beer is a beer that looks good in a photo. The nose consists of some hops and a hint of sweet malts. Sort of an apple land caramel like smell. The taste is a nice balance of orange, pine and floral hops along with a caramel and apple sweetness. The mouthfeel is a nice smooth and creamy feel that makes the beer enjoyable to drink. It does finish off very dry and makes you thirsty for more beer, but when a beer taste this good you don't mind going back for seconds.

Photo of IronLover
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a bottle best by August 4, 2011. Golden orange- yellow with a viscous appearance as the unfiltered floaties appear frozen in suspension after the pour. Starts with a short, snow white foamy head that slowly reduces to a light wispy cap. Nice sticky lacings on the glass. Citrus orange and lemon hop aromas up front, a bit earthy, with a very sweet maltiness beneath the hops. Medium bodied with assertive carbonation. Finishes clean and semi-dry. Relatively balanced hop bitterness and malt sweetness for a DIPA. Citrus and pine hops and very sweet maltiness from the beginning to near the end when the sweetness tapers, the pine hop starts to dominate and a bit of alcoholic heat shines through.

Photo of warbird07
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into my large snifter...greeted by a pleasent clear burnt orange color, thinish head with slight lacing..nose is malt and slightly piney and fruity hops...not bad..taste is an upfront malty sweetness, not overwhelming but ever present that is quickly followed by a decent mix of hops, piney,fruity and a slight bitter finish, the mouthfeel is nice, a tad surupy finish but pleasent..not the best DIPA but definately drinkable...

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Best by 8/11/11 on label. Consumed as a result of my brother Greg's hard work at running this one down for me -- thanks. Reviewed from notes.

A: Burnished amber with thick, creamy-frothy, off-white head intermixed with some orange, 2-fingers, with good retention and copious lacing.

S: Big, bold tropical fruity pineapple and mango mix with marijuana leaf, pine resin, and floral citrus. The maltiness is dripping with caramel and toffee.

T: The sweet maltiness is a bit too much in this brew, but it's enjoyable nonetheless with layers of tropical fruit, grapefruit, orange, and pine resin with an undercurrent of earthy leafy tobacco. The malts are syrupy sweet almost, and while there is not a cloying aspect, the malt sweetness impedes the hops from really bursting with flavor.

M: A rounded, full-bodied mouthfeel with a good combo of creaminess and slickness. Carbonation is low-medium and works hand in hand with a good mouthfeel.

O: A really good but not quite top tier DIPA because of the huge blast of caramel sweetness. If this were dampened and simplified to include a bigger proportion of pale malt and lesser crystal malts this would come off less like a fruity caramel bomb and more like a more balanced DIPA with big malt and hops flavor and aroma.

Photo of elgiacomo
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, best by Sept 18, 2011. Served at around 45F.

Pours hazy golden amber with a three finger white head that leaves some nice rings of lacing and holds a light cap.

Aroma is orange, citrus, floral, some pineapple, a bit grassy and earthy, perhaps a touch of pine, good bready malt component as well as a little caramel. Very good strength.

Flavor is resinous hops, grapefruit and citrus, good caramel malt backbone, rather sweet in the middle, moderate bitterness on the finish. A touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-full, creamy, good carbonation.

A nice little treat that fell into my lap recently and I’m rather enjoying this one. A little heavier in the malt and sweetness than I usually like my DIPAs but very good none-the-less.

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

I picked up a bottle of Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster last week for $2.79 at The Lager Mill. It's another warm night in Mid-Michigan and a DIPA is sounding pretty damn good right about now so lets see how this monster drinks. 2011 release, drink by date of August 30, 2011. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, the monster is drawn well and has dark and menacing look to it, this beer really sticks out on the shelfs. It poured a nice golden orange/yellow color that was a little hazy and it had three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that eventually disappeared and left no lacing.

S- The first thing I pick up are a large amounts of hops, mainly citrus but there is also some pine thrown in there too. The citrus fruits are pretty nice and it seems like grapefruit stuck out the most but there was also some mango, pineapple, lemon zest, and orange zest. I also get a very slight grainy aroma from the pale malt base that smells like it has a descent amount of sweetness to it.

T- The taste does a pretty good job at mirroring the aroma nicely. The first thing I get are all those great citrus hops that I picked up in the aroma, unlike the aroma the pineapple seems to be the major player here and that works for me. I get a slight bit of the base of this beer in the middle, but the sweetness is really the only thing that comes through. The pine flavor is real subtle and only shows up toward the finish which is on the lighter side compared to most DIPA's I have had, combined with the 9.1% being very well hidden it makes for some good drinkability.

M- A little sticky while maintaining a pretty light body, I would say its on the lighter side of medium and it's one of the lightest DIPA's i have had. It had just the right amount of carbonation to match the style and the body.

Overall I thought this was a good DIPA, but it just can't hang with the heavy hitters like Hopslam and Double Trouble, but it's a good DIPA in it's own right. I really liked how this beer had a pretty heavy pineapple presence, most DIPA's tend to focus on the grapefruit and mango and let the pineapple take the backseat, but on this one the pineapple took the wheel nicely and let other fruits ride in the back. The flavor and drinkability is what I liked the most about this beer, the lighter body and the well hidden alcohol makes this beer pretty drinkable and it goes down faster then you would expect, especially on a hot summer day. What I liked least about this beer was the lack of balance when it came to incorporating the malts, the only thing that really came through was the sweetness and that was a little too much for my liking. I will probably buy a four pack when it is released next year and I would recommend this to most hop heads, the heavy pineapple presence makes it stick out from a lot of other DIPA's. This was another good and solid brew by Great Lakes, so far they are my favorite Ohio based brewery, I haven't had a beer from them that wasn't solid for it's style.

Photo of PhageLab
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a weizen glass.

A - Deep amber coloration populated by small bits of sediment. Produced a nice fluffy head that never fully dissipated. Nice lacing as well. Gotta love the label art, the Erie Monster is pretty wicked.

S - Big grapefruit nose, sweet with a sharp citrus punch. Hoppy, but in a more subtle way than I was anticipating.

T - A little boozy at first, but a dominant hop presence does well at covering it. Sweet malty backbone offers a bit of balance, and some fruity flavors add to the complexity.

M - Medium bodied, nicely bitter, mild carbonation level, and a dry finish.

D - Another great brew from Great Lakes. Picking up the 4 pack of this on a whim was one of the best beer-related decisions I've made in a long time. Reco!

Photo of richkrull
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice copper color with a little bit of off-white head. Pretty good lacing on the way down.

Smell is nice and hoppy. Some citrus maybe.

Taste is pretty good. Great hop flavor and a bit of citrus in the finish.

Mouthfeel is fairly light, very good going down.

Overall a pretty damn good beer. I really enjoyed it. Could be a little hoppier for a double IPA but still good. I would definitely buy again.

Photo of AgentZero
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden beer with orange highlights that had a foamy white head. Some moderate retention and solid lacing.

S - Sweet citrus and grapefruit hops, sugar, some alcohol burn, sweet malts, bit of caramel. Pretty standard stuff for a DIPA, not bad.

T - Taste is along the lines with the nose. It's on the sweet side with the sugar and alcohol combining to give it some burn, although it's not a bad thing. Hops tends to be more of the grapefruit and citrusy kind, nothing too exotic. Decent bit of bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, a little sticky, moderate carbonation.

O - Not a bad beer, I don't mind drinking it, although it's not one of my favorites. Could be content drinking it, particularly with a meal.

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.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.