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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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2,265 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,265
Reviews: 647
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 160
Gots: 267 | 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: 2,265 | Reviews: 647
Photo of fastpass17
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, thanks miketd

A: light amber with a one inch head that faded over time

S: rich mix of floral, citrusy and fruity hops with a malty sweetness at the end

T: sharp, hop start. smooth, clean middle with a crisp finish.

M: lingers on the tongue in the back of the mouth

D: more than one would overwhelm the palate.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Romulux for sending this out.
Best by 8/10/10

Poured into an Ommegang tasting glass. The monster has a cloudy, orange body with a thick, foamy white head. Light lacing.

Light citrus with sweet malts and a bit of hop on the nose. Not as strong as I'd like to see for a DIPA, but this isn't the freshest bottle, so maybe the hops are a bit stronger at the bottling time. Peaches and orange wedges. A little bit of pine from the hops. Nice, light fruits.

Lots of maltiness on the tongue followed by some bitter hops, a bit of honey and some alcohol. Some grapefruit and peach notes as well. Hops kind of take a back seat to the malts and the alcohol is a touch heavier than I would like, but not too bad.

Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat creamy, but still has some nice hop bit to it. A good amount of warming alcohol. A bit jarring on the finish.

Drinkability is pretty good. This is still a fairly tasty beer, but with so many other good DIPA's on the market I'll probably pass on this next time. The overall flavor seems a bit muddled and the ABV is somewhat more noticeable than I would like. However, if I get the chance to revisit this at the brewery, straight from the tap, then I'll probably give it another try. Worth checking out, but fairly average.

Photo of abuliarose
3.89/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into an Ommegang tasting glass, best by August '10. Pours a hazy deep gold with plenty of yellowed, foamy head. Some bubbling. Some lacing. Smells malty and a little sweet honey over the thick head, but no hops! Where are the hops? Maybe a little floral-type in there somewhere, otherwise my nose is broken.

Tastes nice and malty with a decent bitter bite, but not at American Imperial strength. There is some grassy in the finish, but it tastes very attenuated. Maybe I'm not used to the subtleties of non-west coast DIPAs, or I could be spoiled by a good supply of fresh hop beer but I remember the Bell's offerings to have more bitterness with the same age on them. The body is grand: smooth, silky and creamy with a tingly carbonation that adds volumes to the medium thickness. Drinkability is great; alcohol barely noticeable on the mouth.

I would love to try this beer absolutely fresh to see if I am missing some of the flavor. It's great otherwise, still very enjoyable.

Photo of popery
2.73/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Decent DIPA. Unfortunately, it doesn't really live up to expectations and isn't a standout for the style. It's a nice looking beer. Transparent, light to medium gold, and a tight, white cap. The aroma is relatively weak, particularly in terms of hops. Hops are floral and a bit piney. The malt is a bit strong, contributing lots of caramel. There's some pepper and spice in there, too. The flavor has too much residual sweetness for my taste, but there's some good lingering bitterness. It's just a bit too simple and weak in hops. It needs more of the delicate hop notes of the best in the style. The beer has some good body, though the sweetness really hurts it for me. It's an alright beer, though not something that I'd trade for again or seek out otherwise.

Photo of mothman
2.84/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Decent retention with some lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Smells salty with odd grassy hops. Some orange and pinapple flavors.

Taste: Odd malts with an odd flavor. Has a lot of orange flavors and vodka like flavors. Floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Very slight bitterness, mainly creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. End sticky and weedy.

Overall, this is not a very well done dipa. Ihad high expectations from this one since it is coming from Great Lakes but I was let down. Not very drinkable in my opinion.

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

Pours a slightly hazy peachy color, with a cap of creamy cream coloring.

Smells sweet like pineapples and sugar cookies, with a floury, perfumy undertone.

Tastes great with a full creamy feel as it slides down. Lots of fuitiness; pinapple and tangerines, flowery and smooth. Bitterness follows in the wake, lightly lingering, lapping leisurely.

Just another tasty treat from the boys from Cleveland.

Photo of halo21
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This was my first time trying this beer. I poured the golden orange liquid into a Sam Adam's Perfect pint glass, allowing light to shine through this hazy beer, showing colors of ambers and golds. It was all topped off by a thick, fluffy white head.

Smell: An inviting beer, sweet with grapefruit and citrus, with a bit of malt on the end. Very much an Imperial IPA, with more citrus than floral.

Taste: A burst of citrus hops - grapefruit giving way to tangerine - malty and sweet and followed by a drying hop bitterness. The finish is a balance of the sweetness and that wonderful hop combination.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy mouthfeel. Very creamy, especially when agitated. It is a smooth beer that coats the whole inside of your mouth.

Drinkability: Medium to high. The one went down very easily and could have been followed up by another right after. No hard edges and very tasty to the last drop.

Notes: I love everything that Great Lakes touches, and this is no exception. The citrus and mouthfeel won me over instantly on this beer.

Photo of WakeandBake
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden orange color pour with a thick lasting offwhite head , medium carbonation. Aroma of caramel malt , grapefruit , sugar and pine cones
Flavor is sweet and malty with lots of caramel malt to balance the citrus and earthy pine resin , nice level of bitterness ,long sweet ,hoppy finish , creamy mouthfeel , full body , and a good sessionable drinker for the high ABV .

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, with another nod to Jeff (Alewatcher) for the endless stream of awesome beer flowing from IL to TN. Mucho gracias, compadre!

Pours dark copper, murky, with a dense two-finger head with excellent retention and lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Nose is rich; notes of caramel provide an intensely bready sweetness to the citrus notes flowing from the hops. Big dose of alcohol adds a hit of booziness.

Taste follows suit. Hop bite takes off first; malt body comes through immediately following, meshing the big caramel breadiness with a sweet, ultra-clean citrus presence evoking oranges and grapefruits but with a surprisingly restrained astringency that never feels harsh or coarse. This is a very refined DIPA, surprisingly so - exceedingly smooth, hugely rich and with a moderate booziness that makes the whole experience just a bit heady. Bitterness is well managed on the finish, never getting out of hand. Straddles the line between a DIPA and a barleywine, but does so quite well. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel is very full bodied, creamy carbonation, drying on the finish. This one feels even bigger than it is, but not in a bad way.

Drinkability is hurt by the alcohol - tasty, though definitely boozy. It's something when a 9+ abv DIPA tastes bigger than it is. The mouthfeel is key to this one, quite nice overall.

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

A: Pours a cloudy orange with an inch of creamy white head, which fades quickly to a thin layer that leaves some spotty lacing.

S: Very, very heavy on the hops. Strong citrus notes, as well. The heavy amount of hops gives it kind of a grassy scent, too. Something seems a little off-putting, but it's still good.

T: Sweeter and maltier than I expected.. probably because this isn't "fresh" so to speak, it is a few months old. Oh man, the hops are still present, though. Very strong bitterness accompanied with bit from the alcohol. Citrusy, oaky and slightly dry finish.

M: Medium-bodied with active carbonation. Dry, piney finish.

D: At over 9% abv, it is quite drinkable! I've had some better IIPAs or DIPAs or whatever you prefer to call it, but I would have it again. Would love to try it on-tap.

Photo of primrose54
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Pours cloudy orange with a small white head. There is very little lacing throughout this beer.
S= Sweet malts with citrus hoppyness to it.
T= Taste starts off with very sweet malty with some citrus hops in it.
M = A full bodied beer with great carbonation.
D= Not the best imperial ipa I have ever had, but it is still a great beer. I thought it was a little too sweet, but I know I will be drinking more in the near future.

Photo of bobsy
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to TJ for grabbing me a bottle from Cleveland. My one of my favourite breweries and favourite styles should be a match made in heaven.

Pours a hazy gold with a finger of creamy white head tat laced prodigiously considering its lack of volume. A note of interest is that already from the pour I can tell this has the signature heavier weight and mouthfeel of a Great Lakes brew.

Interesting aroma has bright tropical notes (mango and tangerine), mixing in with more herbal, woody elements, and perhaps even a hint of smoke. Its quite complex, but also a little underpowered. The same cannot be said of the flavour, which is definitely in your face. Tangerine and pine resin join in marriage with brown sugar and vanilla to create the core of this brew. Alcohol, wood, ink and herbs are in the wedding party. The bitterness is moderate (as expected so early in matrimony). I'm not sure I altogether appreciate the flavour, as the residual sweetness seems a little out of hand, and while it adds heft to the already meaty mouthfeel, it also seems to skew the balance.

I won't call this a miss, but based on my expectations I was a little surprised that I didn't enjoy this more. The sweetness proved to be too much of a distraction for me and the alcohol occasionally shone too much, which is quite bizarre, as Great Lakes seem to be masters of finesse and balance. Interesting to try, but I think I'll stick to the rest of their line-up in the future.

Thanks again, TJ!

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Into a Great Divide tulip. Pours a dark orange with red highlights and a big fluffy head sitting atop. Lacing started immediately.

S: Absolutely lovely nose. Huge hop presence with some citrus, but an overwhelming peach-like smell. Nectarine and a good amount of grapefruit as well. Malts creep up from behind, but the hops are the highlight of this beer. Just a small amount of the alcohol comes through.

T: Fresh grapefruit, lemon, some sweet fruits like pears and peaches. Quite nice flavors mingling here. Hop explosion basically. Can't tell if the sweetness is coming from the malts or the hops. There's some pineapple and mango in here, just a very tropical fruit flavor. Quite interesting and different from many DIPA's I've come across. Hops aren't overly bitter and the malts play a very small role.

M: Big and full bodied, good level of carbonation. Reminds me of an American barleywine mouthfeel.

D: Sweetness makes this a great beer to sip on for a while, don't know if I could take too many of these. Especially with the ABV. Goes down a bit too easy, though. ;-)

Photo of Arbitrator
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks drabmuh!

A: Pours a cloudy orange amber body with half an inch of off-white head. Short retention, but the head leaves some register marks before vanishing into a thin collar. No lace during sips.

S: Tropical citrus with a general sweetness to it. The aroma is a bit muddled, and try as I might -- swirling, letting the beer warm, etc. -- I can't get it to open up much.

T: Less tropical than the taste suggests: just the barest hint of pineapple, with a more traditional candied grapefruit and orange pith running amok. There's an herbal bitterness behind it all that manifests almost as a minty finish. Malt is toasty and contributes a general sweetness, though a bit lacking in oomph to cover the bitterness.

M: Almost enamel-peeling at times -- I wouldn't call it solventy, but it's harsh. To be honest, I really enjoy that sometimes (this is one of those times).

D: Not the best in its style -- and let's be honest, the style has a lot of competition -- but it's really solid. I would drink it again.

Photo of 33nickadams
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on June 30th

A- Golden amber, translucent, about a finger of head throughout, great lacing
S- Very citrusy
T-citrusy and sweet
M- very smooth for a dipa, not a strong alcohol taste
D- very drinkable, almost sessionable for me

One of my favorite dipas-right up there with double crooked tree, hopslam and double trouble.

Photo of curasowa
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy dark yellow color with 2 finger of head that faded slowly with thick lacing. A big citrus hop nose, as expected, but also a grassy/cooked veggie aroma. Big, sticky sweet body upfront immediately followed by a sharp bitterness that stays until the finish, where some malt sweetness creeps back in. The finish is lingering and very warm - there's not hiding the 9% here. Drinkability is decent for this big of a beer.

Photo of Tilley4
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting to try this one..

Pours a beautiful reddish coppery color with a persistent fluffy head... Very cloudy and hazy.. Definitely unfiltered... Looks really good...

Very pungent oily hop aromas right off the bat.. Lots of pine that pairs quite well with the ample malts that balance this one out nicely... Its quite pungent and I'm really liking this one so far...

Unusual taste here.. Its extremely hoppy and oily and resiny but at the same time the malts are quite prevalent as well and I'm getting a little earthiness as well... Like a DIPA crossed with an English IPA or something... Its terrifically bitter and punishing to the palate while still being quite drinkable.. Now... The booze is prevalent here but at 9% you kind of expect that...

This isn't something I could sit and drink a 4 pack of due to the ABV but its really quite delicious... Intense and bitter and oily and hoppy... Very very nice... Nice job Great Lakes...

Photo of chaz410
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at, where else, the flying saucer!
Pours a nice medium amber body with a finger length white froathy head. The lacing stays very well thoughout drinking this beer.
Smells of mild citrus and grapefruit with hints of sweet barley and caramel. Some piney notes underlie the sweet hop character.
This beer taste totally different than what you would expect from an IIPA. Taste of grapefruit, pinneapple, apple, raisin, caramel and wheat malt with heavy taste from the hops but not in the bittering area. It finishes with some mild grapefruit and peaches.
Very smooth mouthfeel but it's pretty thick due to the lack of bitterness.
Easiest to drink, impressive, and high abv, IPA out there

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very similar to Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, but a bit lighter. Light golden and copper, with great lacing and carbonation. Very thick.

Smell: Burnt whiskey smell with lots and lots of hops. More hops but less malt than 90 Minute.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Spicy hops with a whiskey alcoholic bite. Definitely one of the most heavily hopped IPAs on the market. Very smooth beer overall.

Drinkability: Bitterness makes this a good sipper, definitely not something to pound.

Overall: This stuff compares favorably to 90 Minute IPA. Overall, Lake Erie Monster is not as balanced with the hops and malts, tending to swing heavily in the favor of spicy hops. That said, there are really no huge differences. So you can easily interchange these beers.

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

12 oz with enjoy by date of 08/10/10

A: Pours a beautifully opaque golden orange color with a nice thick one finger head that shows good retention. Lacing is present, but spotty at best.

S: Initial aromas are of citrus and grassy hops. Mostly orange scents with some pineapple as well.

T: Taste is more dominated by a grassy hop flavor. A sweet caramel taste is evident to somewhat offset the hops, but bitterness most definitely prevails in this battle and lingers on long after the swallow.

M: This beer is full bodied and quite smooth. There is a bit of alcohol burn on the backend.

D: I remember liking this beer more when I had it earlier this year. Right now it's good, but it's not blowing me out of the water anymore. Still, I could drink a couple of these very enjoyably.

Photo of clknowlton001
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is excellent. Probably my favorite beer at the moment and an extremely drinkable Imperial IPA. Sorry about any typos, working on my iPhone.

This time out of a bottle but I have also had this beer on sight (as well as many other GLBC beer and they are continuosly fresh. A clear sign of great craftmanship for the bottling department).

A/ Pours a very nice slightly darkened orange color with great head. I am using a stout glass which provides a nice even pour. Looks like there will be some retention of the head and slightly cloudy body. My 23 year old eye can easily tell this beer is unfiltered.

S/ Initial intense hop fills the nose with hints of fruit and honey. Very interesting and intense aroma. After a couple quick smells, pine also peaks through the hops quite stubbornly.

T/ Ahh. Refreshing yet full bodied. This beer is incredibly hoppy yet smooth and easy on the pallet. Well balanced, this beer is almost taking on a characteristic with little overpowering from the hops. Very piney taste with some dry, fruity, almost pear like aftertaste. Appreciate the malt flavor that is not completely overshadowed.

M/ Close your eyes, melt in your mouth, type of camely sweetness. Very pleasant. Honestly feels very velty/buttery with exceptional smoothness.

D/ Extremely drinkable I believe, especially for the style. These styles can be too overly intense with uneven hop flavor where as this Imperial IPA you can very much taste the malt and balance. Of course you must be a hop lover. Remember that this beer is an Imperial IPA.

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

Pours with a huge 3 finger head and great lacing. Aroma is sweet caramel and floral hops. Quite bold yet balanced.

The flavor is also very well balanced, with a mix of caramel and bready malts dominated up front and a nicely bitter pine finish. A bit of sweet floral hoppiness as well.

The body is medium and sits heavy on the palate. Overall this is an extremely tasty beer, and one that I would enjoy in small doses.

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

Thanks to the rock-steady Prototypic for including this 12 ouncer in a box with 11 other extras. :-)

"Best before 8/20/10" Whew, just in time!

Lake Erie is a clear, slightly spritzy russet color, low head, decent sticky lacing. Wonderful nose - this is like how I remember 90 Minute smelling back in 2004 - biggun blend of pine/booze/sweetness, all very much neck and neck. Fruity, too, with papaya and grapefruit and a splash of lemon. Very bold, yet easygoing...

Taste is super solid. Has a sticky, sweetbun malt presence that is restrained by the resiny, juicy hops. Spicy notes, sugary-rich, dense. Some citrus and tropical fruits but I suspect the (slight?) age has really brought the malt forward, and thankfully there is plenty of interesting malt to bring. I am very much enjoying this... the warming feeling down my throat reminds me that you aren't supposed to drink the entire glass in under 5 minutes, kkipple.

Mouthfeel is heavy and lightly-sharply carbonated but drinking this is easy. The finish is rolling malt sweetness with layered complexity (specialty grains, likely) and again the bittering, complex-ifying hops keep this going strong to the end. Avoids the far too prevalent medicinal bitterness that many recent DIPAs have suffered from. And yes Ohio, it is drinkable. Two bottles would be a delight.

Great Lakes makes Great Beer. Lake Erie Monster is no exception. If you live in Great Lakes' back yard, consider yourself blessed.

Photo of beveritt
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap last night at High Beck Tavern with some free pizza. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger of light tan head. This settles slowly, leaving behind very nice lacing. The beer itself is medium yellow with a slight haze.

Smell: Amazing potent grapefruit and floral aroma! This almost smells "thick"!

Taste: Smacked in the face with floral flavors and a tongue biting grapefruit. Sweet, without cloying, malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is amazingly thick, almost syrupy.

Drinkability: Wow, a great find as I wander into a bar to grab a bite. While super hoppy isn't always my style, this is a great and powerful wonder.

Photo of kjyost
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle BB August 2010

Pours a clear orange-brown (which is lighter than I would expect from this style) with a nice white head. The head disappears quickly but laces like crazy! The aromas coming off the beer are dominated by the hops: spicy, piney, a bit of fruit in there (peaches?). Then I take a sip. Holy cloying sweetness Batman! Caramel, burnt sugar, sugar, sweetness. Thick and sticky to the palate. This takes the beer down a few notches in scoring. I am not sure I can consumer more than one (and I was planning on doing so). As DIPAs go, I wanted to love it (it was sold to me on high recommendation at the store, and I have three more to go), but the sweetness was just too much.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,265 ratings.