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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

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2,253 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,253
Reviews: 645
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 156
Gots: 257 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004

"An imperial india pale ale"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,253 | Reviews: 645 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-Tap at The Blue Dog Tavern in a Tulip glass.

Lake Erie Monster came to me looking bright gold with some small amounts of bronze beneath a semi off white head with some legs, leaving some stick. Smells included malts and grain on top of a diminished hop profile under all the sweetness. Some caramel, small grapefruit, sweetmess prevails. Taste is lopsided as well. Malts rule the roost with pale taste plus sweet malt leading to some caramel. Under that is a small tropic fruit thing with the usual suspects. An odd yeast taste afterwardsm not to bright. The feel is kinda on point though, it's pretty much in the middle with a active carb for it. Could stand to be more bitter though. Some alcohol, very slight. This is OK beer but not something I would try again, OK maybe a super fresh bottle would change things.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster has a hazy brown body with an orangish hue that becomes a more radiant orange when held up to the light. The head is a tan color and is about a finger thick. The head settles into a collar and leaves a few spots of lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a splash of grapefruit and citrus, but those aromas aren't as powerful as a good bit of caramel malt.

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster open up with a decent blast of bitterness. Only a bit of citrus comes through. The bitterness and the hint of citrus is fleeting, as the hops give way to a pretty big malt profile. Lots of caramel malts add a ton of sweetness, outweighing the hops. Just a hint of warmth in the finish.

The body is probably below moderate in heft for a IIPA. The carbonation is about average.

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster is a IIPA that is on the malty side. A little bit too malty for me, actually. It isn't a bad beer, but as far as Great Lakes goes, which is a stellar brewery, it is a bit of a disappointment.

Photo of Kelly88
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle with best buy date of 9-2-10 into a snifter.

A- bright orange color with a bright white head that leaves sticky lacing holding on for dear life.

S- this smells like fresh squeezed mango, orange, and grapefruit juice.

T- the sweet juicy hop flavors of grapefruit and orange are in full force. Slightly piney on the finish

M- medium bodied with perfect coating characteristics.

D- one is going down smooth but the tingle in my head tells me to pace myself.

Great beer. One of if not my favorite IPA

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a perfect darkish copper with a suitable topping of off tan head.
Smell is highly earthy with a solid malt presence.
Taste hits heavily with earthy hops that blends well into a malt ending.
Finish is well malted with a lite bitter finale.
Drinks great here few hang ups and light on abv for style.

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

Big thanks goes out to Ryan011235 for including this extra in our trade!

A: Pours a syrupy and viscous looking, slightly hazed, copper color. The head is fluffy and rocky, retention is excellent as well.

S: Crushed pineapple, mango, pear, grapefruit, tangerine, and lots of citrus. Malts play a big role as well, giving some caramel and toffee notes to the fruit salad aroma. Alcohol slightly pokes through.

T: Wow, an explosion of flavor...I almost got heartburn it was so intense. Lots of fruit right off the bat; strong citrus (grapefruit, orange, lemon), pineapple, mango, and pears. There is a slight tartness from the hops, and an underlying bitterness that really hits the spot. The malts balance very very well. This brew is really big, but the alcohol is decently hidden (good enough). The end palate really gets all the residual sugar and sweetness. In general, fruity and with a good sweetness.

MF/D: Carbonation is just right...not prickly or under-carbonated. Feel is a little syrupy and has a bitter citrus finish. Body is fuller for the style.

Notes: Awesome DIPA in my book. The alcohol is slightly noticeable, but its not boozy in any way, just warming.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Very little head, copper orange color. Strong scents of fruits: pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Hops are strong with some pine notes. Flavor is more hop forward, somewhat well balanced malt like backbone. Mouthfeel is somewhat oily and thick. This is more of a sipper, than refreshing. Certainly an enjoyable beer.

Photo of zaq37
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought this is a 4-pack at the local grocery store

served in a Dogfish Head Snifter

A- golden yellow with a red hue, very bright, almost glowing, incredible looking beer. No head though, what little head that formed during the pour faded very quickly.

S- Hops, light malt, very floral, but there is almost a smell of bubble gum in there, never had that before, interesting. a quick swirl brought out more hops aroma and a faint citrus note.

T- Bitter, but not too intense. Strong hops flavor with a sweet aftertaste. It definitely has a lengthy finish but with a perfect sweetness. There is a taste there though that i can't quite identify but it is very pleasant.

M- average, carbonation is very nice, a bite of bitterness is present but again it is not too much.

D- Great beer, once again Great Lakes has done a great job brewing, i would definitely drink this again, i am somewhat of a hop-head and this beer definitely satisfies any hop cravings i have. This is not really a session beer or a "quick drink".

Hovering at 9% ABV this beer is definitely a sipper and one to enjoy during a movie or just while sitting around chatting.

Overall this is a great beer. i highly recommend it anyone looking for a hop heavy beer. Another +1 for Great Lakes.

Photo of jpmclaug
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass

A - Nice orange hued body with a fizzy off white head(tinted a little yellowish)

S - Sweet smelling reminiscent of the flowers on a fruit tree. Kind of pick up a hint of oranges. Not especially strong smelling however.

T - Interesting flavor. Sweet florally hop flavor up front with a nice malt background that gives it a sweet flavor but keeps the hops at the center of attention. Bit of a lingering bitterness similar to the rind of an orange. Kind of a juicy flavor.

M - Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation

D - Pretty good brew. Has a nice bitter bite but isn't overwhelming. Kind of gives me a warming feeling that betrays its higher ABV. I would pick this up again if I saw it but wouldn't go nuts trying to obtain it.

Photo of nickd717
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade thanks to NorthsideFred.

Pours clear golden-copper with a medium-sized off-white head.

Aroma is highly citrusy hops along with noticeable sweet malt, like an east coast IPA, but a good one.

Flavor starts with sweet pale and caramel malt, east coast style but with a big hop blast with lots of grapefruit and tangerine. Substantial hop bitterness adds to the hop flavor.

Really palate-wrecking and enamel-ripping on the palate. Medium body with average carbonation.

Drinkable and enjoyable overall. This isn't quite up to the level of something like Pliny the Elder, but it's definitely a great DIPA that I wouldn't pass up in the future.

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

7/2/2010 Growler from the Hulmeville Inn

Pours a cloudy dark amber with a frothy head and thick lacing. Scent is fruity and of grapefruit. Taste is similar - hoppy and grapefruit. I've read about and have had many IPAs that are supposed to have a grapefruit taste, but for me, this takes the cake. The mouthfeel is semi-thick and is decently drinkable.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 6/7/10

Poured into an oversized wine glass, the color is golden orange with a hint of red. The head: Some bubbles blossom from the pour creating a small film on the surface. All that remains a minute after is some scummy looking bubbles, but in a good way.

There is a big malty presence in the scent with the addition of honey. It is very sweet with only the slightest resemblance of hops. A touch of citrus rounds out the scent.

There is a big time malt backbone to this bad boy. It seems that it overpowers the hops some but the balance is still ok. The malt flavor is caramely and roasty leading to a mild hop bitterness consisting of peach, and some pine. The flavor is not too far from barleywine status.

Medium to full bodied, there is not much carbonation. The taste does leave an exceptionally clean aftertaste...pleasant.

Despite the maltiness of this, a couple of these could be consumed consecutively.

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

12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic. $10 for the 4-pack at Wegman's.

Appearance: A peachy color with a bright white head, leaving clumpy sheets of lacing on the sides of the glass. A lot of nice carbonation bubbling up after each sip. Looking to be some effervescent stuff.

Smell: Lots of citrus hops soaked in honey and caramel to begin with. As it warms, good aromas of dough and breadiness come to the surface. Also mild pine and bitter grapefruit come to the surface as it warms, letting the layers begin to surface.

Taste: This would probably be a tad too sweet possibly for the hop head, but I think it's wonderfully balanced. There's a good amount of bitterness that would probably be pretty out there if it wasn't mingling nicely with the citrus hops soaked in honey and caramel. What you have then, by the end, is the huge amount of bitterness nearly perfectly mixed with the honey sweetness. Another thing I like about this is that I really can't go into my mind right now and say, "This tastes like X," which seems to have become a trend lately with both IPAs and DIPAs. I'm not saying it's mind-blowing or wholly original, but I really think they nailed the balance on the this, whereas some other breweries would've gotten too one-sided with the sweetness or major bitterness from the hops. A lingering finish also stays much longer than anticipated, with different layers of blistering grapefruit bitterness and the honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel: This is a pretty dense brew, yet there's enough carbonation (which is obvious with each sip and the lacing) to make it more creamy than cloying, though it seems to be treading on the latter. Again, I would expect cloying from many other breweries trying to do this, but I'm to expect the most from Great Lakes and almost always get.

Drinkability: $10 for a 4-pack isn't steep, especially for a brew as tasty as this, but for me it's entirely too good to just sip on for a long period of time. I've been waiting to try this for a while, and I'm glad I was finally able to find it. Can't wait to try more seasonals I haven't had as they're available.

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