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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,224 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,224
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 151
Gots: 240 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
"An imperial india pale ale"

(Beer added by: BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,224 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vonerichs
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's a beautiful transparent copper color with a copious amount of head, but little lacing.

The smell is orange rind, some floral notes, and lots of sweetness. There's a heavy toasty malt characteristic to it.

The taste is that of a "balanced" ipa. Hops show up as orange up front, then are abrubtly canceled out by sweet and toasted caramel malts. It's too malty in the middle for my personal preference but it wanders it's way back to the hoppy side with a perfume-like bitter finish. I noticed as it warmed there was more of that toast-cracker aspect to the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium body and sticky. There's a slight puckering effect.

Drinkability is pretty good for a 9% beer. The alcohol is masked well and it's relatively smooth. It's a decent brew, but don't expect a hop bomp because it's far from it.

Vonerichs, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of IronCitySteve
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slight hazy golden amber color. With an aggressive pour, there is a nice 1 1/2 foam finger head with ample lacing.

S: Lots of pine hops hits the noise at first with a small malt backbone. Some caramel and bready malt.

T: Lots and lots of bitter hops hit the palate at first but in the middle and towards the end the hops are balanced out by the bready malts.

M: A medium body beer with ample carbonation. Leaves a bitter taste on the palate.

D: A really nice IPA from Great Lakes. A high ABV does not make this sessionable, but a very tasty IPA.

IronCitySteve, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of ChrisMon02
4.72/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this one on tap in a pint glass. I live in Cleveland so Great Lakes is always available but I had not tried this yet. Poured a yellowish golden color with a very small head. Smelled really good and hoppy. I couldn't wait to taste this...

YES! This beer was killer tasting. By far one of the best IPAs I have tried. Starts off bitter and then the sweet citrus comes through and then the bitter again. What surprised me most was the balance of this beer. As the beer got warmer, the taste got better and more distinctive. With and ABV of 9.10% I am not sure I could drink alot of these in one session but I would love to try someday (when I have a ride home). Overall one of my new favorites and I will certainly be drinking this one again soon.

ChrisMon02, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of claminat420
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a slight transparent goldish amber color with a thick off white colored head. medium lacing.

S- more of a malty aroma than hops which is a bummer.

T- extremely bitter. perfect balance of malt and hops. i'm sick of the blance in ipa's. they are suppose to be hoppy. for the 9%abv it is well hidden.

M- medium/ heavy bodied. good carbonation.

D- wish this came in a 6!

Overall- i've been waiting for years to try this one and i was alil disappointed. i mean it could be hoppier. their website states the commadore perry has a higher ibu rating but i can't believe it. all this thing has is bitterness but not alot hop taste to back it up. great lakes needs to work on their ipa's!!

claminat420, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of jagoffyinzer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: A very nice gold color, pretty clear with a slight chill haze. A thick head subsides to a thin layer. The lacing coats the edge of the glass like tiny ant farms of carbonation.

S: Very citric and earthy that has a subtle sweet malty backbone.

T: Bitter as to be expected and at first it's almost too much. As I drank the beer it started to blend more with other flavors. Up front is bitterness that subsides briefly and allows for a citric sweetness to shine. That note is finished off by more bitterness but is by no means off putting.

M: Boy is this smooth and creamy, the beer clings to your mouth and really allows you to take it all in.

D: For being an Imperial IPA I could session these for sure. Extremely easy going other than the initial bitterness you perceive. The alcohol isn't in your face like other IIPAs.

Overall: Quality brew from a great brewery, I recommend picking this up if you get the chance.

jagoffyinzer, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of SupaCelt
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Boy did this one look great right outta the bottle. Beautiful dark tan body with a nice fluffy head of white on top. Steady carbonation. Just a glass of beer that you can't wait to stick your face into.

The smell was a fabulous bouquet. Smelled a bit like cherries and parfume with some fresh cut green grass thrown in. Don't think I have ever smelled one quite like this.

The taste was bitter and bold. The rich maltiness showed through in the taste versus the nose. This beer toed the line of being overly heavy and approached that dirty raw bread or dirty feet flavor but managed to stay within palatable range. Close to cloying as the geeks would say. The hops popped off nicely and left some grapefruit notes singing in my mouf. Nicely dry. The taste and the nose were too vastly different beasts. I wish it had tasted more like it smelled.

The mouthfeel was fine and appropriate for the style. It did well to carry the burden.

The drinkability suffered a bit for me because of the richness. I understand that this is a double IPA, but it was almost too much. The hops were the only saving grace.

I was really excited to see this on the shelf. It didn't quite live up to what I had idealized for it, but it is surely worth a try.

SupaCelt, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks to erikkoppin for this great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a hazy, tangerine/golden color with about two fingers of white fluffy head that dissipates slowly leaving great looking lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Slight passion fruit, hops, pine, and a hint of caramel and biscuity malts. More sniffs allow a heavy grapefruit scent to become present.

Taste - Quite balanced. Bitter, but not overly, up front from the hops and pine, followed by a spicy note that almost immediately gives way to a heavy malt backbone. A relatively tasty beer but not quite how I expected it from the nose.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lighter carbonation.

Drinkability - Quite so. I do not taste any alcohol heat and this is quite quaffable in my opinion. A refreshing beer to enjoy after a long day in the sun.

SpdKilz, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of animal69
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a slightly hazy med. golden yellow color with a thick off-white head which dissipates rather slowly leaving a broken coat of lace in my snifter

S- smell is dominated by pine needles, citrus and cat piss, not the regular kind but when they back up against a wall & wiggle their tail kind of spray, a little bit of nutty, bready aroma and some alcohol does come out as it warms however

T- taste starts out with the usual strong hop bitterness(though not as bitter as some) and piney/grapefruity am. hop flavor profile turning to a sweet bready malt flavor, a bit of nuts, dirt(?) and something (chemicals from lake erie maybe) i just can't quite put my finger on, finish is sweet, slick and bitter with little trace of booze

M- a full bodied, average to well carbonated beer, feels sticky to the palate but that's to be expected

D- quite drinkable for a DIPA , just not a noteworthy one

animal69, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of DuffManOhYeah
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My favorite discovery this month. Anyone who loves IPAs will really dig this beer. Overall, it is nothing too ground-breaking but a very quality drink.

A- A rusty golden color with a healthy head that dies down fairly quickly. What you would expect from an average Imperial IPA

S- A subdued floral smell. Enticing for anyone who likes a lot of hops. Nothing exceptional though.

T- Very. very tasty beer. Besides the obvious floral flavors of the hops, there is something fruity behind it, like grapefruit and apricot, and even some malty notes.

M- A somewhat intense bitterness, but which is common for an IPA of this caliber. Light carbonation. Nothing special

D- It can be a difficult beer to drink for how bitter it is. I would say it's average, but the taste is so exceptional that it keeps bringing you back for more.

DuffManOhYeah, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of peabody
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out yellow with one finger of off-white suds that dissipate quickly.
Smell is floral hoppy with fruit undertones. Some alcohol is here but way in the back.
Can't taste the alcohol, but it's there. Nice mix of sweet and hop here. Not too sweet but might need more bitterness. Pretty good though.
Mouthfeel is oily with a lot of resin retintion.
Drinkability is good despite the high abv.
One of great lakes better beers here.

peabody, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a hazy orange body with a small offwhite head. Lots of sheet lacing on the glass.

Aroma is the weak point of this one. Pine and grassy hops are apparent but just a hint of citrusy grapefruit and toasted caramel.

Body is a full medium with a creamy carbonation and slight chewiness.

Taste is brazenly hoppy. Pine resin, grassiness, and a prevailing dryness from start to finish. Solid malt backbone serves up some caramel sweetness in an effort to balance. Hints of apricot and pink grapefruit as it warms to room temperature.

A solid DIPA, certainly, but as a fan of Great Lakes I was hoping for something to knock my socks off. This one just lacks the "Wow" factor for some reason.

merlin48, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I'm glad I took my time and scoured the shelves of Chevy Chase before I left, for lo, and behold: singles of Lake Erie Monster (among others, of course). Yay, I didn't have to buy a whole 4-pack. By the by, I'm cheap and tentative. My prize pours a clear apricot Jolly Rancher with a bit less than a finger of white foam on top. The nose comprises a deeply resin-y pine, heavy on the sap, a sort of mentholyptus effect, and violets. I suspect some caramel or something is hiding somewhere in there, but the 'lyptus is just too powerful, as though someone who's just devoured several cough drops is breathing heavily into my snifter. Luckily, the rest of the hoppy aromas mingle nicely with this semi-unexpected guest. The formally shy caramel shows up in the taste, though the conversation is still dominated by the pine resins. You can feel the stickiness in the taste, even before a true mouthfeel can be determined. Some citrus notes occasionally bring up new topics, but the pines and 'lypti (sure, that's the plural form...) take the ideas and run marathons. I'd rate this higher, but it all just seems overtly one-sided and overloaded with pine and fake-mint. The body is medium, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a somewhat chewy, definitely sticky feel. This one is almost there, but I think needs a tad more malt for proper balance (or something like that).

TMoney2591, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of billab914
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Matt for sending me this one, was really hoping to get to try one of these this year. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a nice bright orange amber color with a fluffy pillow like white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head settled down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some spotty covering on the surface after a few minutes. Lacing was very good though however.

The aroma has a nice citrus, floral and tropical hoppiness to it. There are some notes of mango, pineapple, grapefruit and pine to it. The malt makes itself known as well with a caramel and bready sweetness to it. Very nice aroma and I usually really like DIPA's that have that citrus, almost tropical hoppiness to them.

The taste had a little bit more of a pine bitterness to it then the nose did. The finish is where some of those great citrus and tropical flavors really started to come through though. Overall it was moderately bitter for a DIPA, but still had big hoppy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some very nice flavors to it for sure. Although it hid the high alcohol content very well it did feel like a pretty big beer. I would say it was very drinkable in a moderate serving size, but I probably wouldn't open another one tonight.

billab914, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of samie85
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Hackney's Printer's Row Location; reviewed from notes, originally 6/12/10.

A-Pours a clear rusty, golden color with two fingers of frothy white foam.

S-Pine with some light malt notes and maybe some grapefruit. The nose is really subdued on this one.

T-Wow, based on the nose, I did not expect this beer to be this flavorful. Resiny pine with grapefruit, mango, pineapple, apricot, and some light caramel malt notes.

M-Pretty full bodied and sticky with light carbonation. This is how I like my DIPA's.

D-This is perhaps the easiest drinking DIPA I've had. Very full-flavored and just a great beer. The punch in the face aroma you usually get with DIPA's is absent here but the taste more than makes up for that.

samie85, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a trade.

A: Bright honey / copper color with a small white head that quickly fades. Nothing special.

S: Smells of bready grapefruit with earthy hints of slight malt. Nothing special.

T: Super dry grapefruit blended with a metallic citrus. Ok.

M: Very good here.

D: Goes down decent. Not anything special here.

All in all, this is an ok brew. Not much super special about this one. This beer kinf of give me the "just another beer" feel. Not a good feeling. Ok.

steve8robin, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of number1bum
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best by 8/8/10 on the label. Pours a clear amber color with two fingers of light beige head. Head is pretty creamy and dense and retains well, keeping a full lace and a ring or two of stick as it falls.

Smell is very fruity but it's not your typical fruity DIPA. Smells of apricots, peaches, some pineapple. It's also quite sweet, as all the fruit smells overripe or even candied. The sweetness is honey-like as well.

The taste is also quite sweet, with the taste really following the sweet, overripe fruit aromas. Peaches, apricots, a bit of grapefruit and pineapple, all quite flavorful and augmented by a very sweet malt backbone that gives them all an overripe sort of flavor. The malt is both caramel and honey flavored and quite sweet. There is just a bit of alcohol heat here as well. There is a mounting bitterness in the finish which is never as powerful as many other DIPAs but which does help ease the sweetness a touch.

Mouthfeel is medium-full and quite creamy, but a little tacky in the mouth with the ample sweetness. Very oily and slick but a touch cloying.

This is ok for a DIPA but I am really not in love with it. It's sweeter than I like, and could use more hop bitterness to balance that out. I think the Commodore Perry is quite a bit more bitter actually. The fruit qualities are different than the norm and that's a redeeming quality, but this just isn't my sort of DIPA. Worth trying if you prefer a more balanced IPA/DIPA, rather than a hop bomb.

number1bum, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of chicagobeerriot
2.4/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This Monster is undeniably a beauty in the glass. It pours deep gold with orange highlights with a thick pillow of foam that retreats only after leaving some tenacious lacing on the side of your glass.

From there, things start to go downhill. The smell is fine, but it's not one of those beers where it's hard to get your nose out of the glass. There's a bit of caramel sweetness on the nose, with some earth, grass, pepper and a decent amount of alcohol. Mouthfeel is a bit on the full side for the style, but still within the suitable range.

The hop profile is not what I expect from a quality DIPA. It's easier to describe what's not here: no floral, no fruit, no pine, very little spice. Instead we're left with a one-note bitterness that is left unchecked by any other flavors. The malt flavors make a very brief appearance, providing a transient vanilla note at the beginning and a bit of breadiness at the end.

The finish is disappointing: there's a deep prolonged fuggle bitterness, but without the spiciness or pine of a west coast DIPA or the powerhouse hop/malt complexity of an east coast DIPA.

I'm generally a fan of Great Lakes brewery, but this one leaves me scratching my head with one hand and ordering a Dreadnaught with the other.

chicagobeerriot, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of Spider889
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was definitely worth the hype. I am fortunate enough to be able to buy this in bottles at a couple local grocery stores. Then had it on tap in NE Ohio.

The beer pours with a decent creamy head. The color is a light amber. The beer left an amazing web of lace down the entire glass. Sadly after my first one, I ordered something different, and wanted my third beer to be another LEM; alas the keg had run out before I could have a second.

The beer smells of rich hop resin and supplies a faint sweetness reminiscent of DFH 90 min IPA.

LEM has a rich, bold hop profile. Certainly an IIPA, but not a hop bomb if that is what you are in search of, however. The beer is slightly sweet and maltier than most IIPAs you will find as well. Again, I am faintly reminded of 90 minute, though DFH IPAs have a unique flavor that no other beer actually matches. LEM finishes with a mild alcohol burn, you definitely notice the 9.1% abv, but the beer is still insanely drinkable given what it is. I don't think I'd ever want to drink more than 2-3 IIPAs in a night, and many I'd hold off to just one. But LEM is easy going enough to drink that 2 or maybe 3 over a couple hours.

The mouthfeel is prickly due to the carbonation and alcohol, and also surprisingly creamy for an IIPA.

Overall this is another high quality brew from Great Lakes and I will look forward to its release with great relish next year!

Spider889, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, grabbed a 4-pack at Woodmans for about $9 a week ago

appearance: cool label, served in my delirium chalice - bright orange body with a foamy white cap and a light ring of bubbly beige lace left behind...obviously unfiltered

smell: nose is pretty restrained - tea-like hops, caramel, toasted biscuit

taste: high bitterness - grapefruit rind, caramel sweetness, tea, toffee, a touch boozy, biscuity malts. Kind of dissapointing effort from Great Lakes - way too sweet, bitterness is high but you dont get the corresponding bright hop flavour to go with it

mouthfeel: sweet, bitter

drinkability: ok

dirtylou, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of jwinship83
2.58/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle with a best by date of sometime in august poured into my sierra nevada hop tulip glass. ive been hearing mixed things about this one, but im still excited to try it.

A- this one pours out a deep and somewhat dark golden amber colored body with a modest bright white head on top. the head is quick to fade and really doesnt leave behind much in terms of lacing.

S- a pretty tame nose for something called "monster." small amount of caramel and biscuit like malts overshadowed by piny and grapefruit hops. were not off to a great start here.

T- the taste is surprisingly balanced for an IIPA. caramel and biscuit malts up against pine, grapefruit, earthy, and herbal hops. pretty disappointing. the alcohol is well hidden.

M- medium to full bodied. ample carbonation. moderate warming from the alcohol.

D- sadly, this one left me pretty disappointed. and from one of my favorite breweries also. combine that disappointment with a 3.50/single bottle price tag and you get something i probably wont seek out again.

jwinship83, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
2.38/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Best by date is 2-Months 8-days away, well withen freshness.

Good looking beer, a large two finger head with good lacing. hazy dark sunburst color. I really like the bottle artwork too FWIW.

Not the most aromatic beer, nothing off smelling just you have to pay attention to get anything from it, and then all you get is a typical light citrusy hop whiff.

Taste is very balanced, there is alot of sweet malts inside this, and the hop profile has a somewhat citrusy character, but its also kinda grassy and floral, and has a somewhat earthy undertone to me.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and low carbinated for the style. leaves a slick coating behind, not the most refreshing, and hurts the drinkability a bit.

_:_ I was kinda dissapointed in this one, maybe if it was called a Imperial Amber ale it would be percieved better, but when your thinking DIPA this is not what you are wanting.

ChadQuest, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of OttoBomb
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (June 13, 2010). "For freshest taste, please enjoy by 08/10/2010" is printed on the label.

Eyes: Hazy orangey amber with a decent one inch head.

Nose: A surprisingly soft nose for a DIPA. I pick up some citrus, a tad sweet but not exceedingly complex.

Tongue: Taste follows the nose, and is again surprisingly subdued. The malt backbone gives a nice caramel profile, but there just aren't enough spicy/harsh hops to carry the day. Despite the soft flavor, the high ABV doesn't poke through the noise.

Mouth: Quick solid carbonation and extremely smooth.

Libation: I like a lot of facets of this beer, but it just doesn't come together well. I'm told Fuggle hops are used here, and I've never been a huge fan, so maybe that's the issue, but I suspect there is a bit more to it. To me there is a great malt backbone, but there just isn't enough of a complex hop flavor to carry the day.

OttoBomb, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in to Duvel snifter
B/B date 718/10

A - Poured slightly cloudy orange/amber colour with a small amount of creamy white head/

S - An intense grapefruit nose up front with some pine. A very hoppy nose. Some sweet malts do a great job of balancing out the hops to there is not a noticeable bitter nose.

T - Bitter hops up front - pine and citrus. A spicy taste is apparent that lingers on in the finish. There is a noticeable malt backbone but it doesn't do much to sweeten up the palate.

M - Medium body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very good DIPA. It seemed like it was so close to being a great DIPA but one little thing (that I cannot quite pin point) was off.

TheSevenDuffs, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of btorsdog
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The more I have of this the more I like! With the so-so reviews I've been seeing/hearing it seems like a love or hate situation. IMO the DIPA is fairly broadrange style and I can understand some people feeling it might fall into other areas , but I feel this is a very solid and unique offering from GLBC.
If you get the chance try it. it's still flying off the shelves around here. That pretty much tells the story in my eyes!

btorsdog, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of weeare138
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears a semi transparent gold with a creamy white head that slowly fades into a mild cap and heavy collar. Scattered bits of lacing re left around the glass.
Smell is of candy oranges, herbs, pine tar, cut wood, toffee, and cracked grain.
Taste is of the aromas with a flavorful punch of bitter herbs and sugary cotton candy.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, and silky in the finish. A bit of astringent flavors left behind.

weeare138, Jun 16, 2010
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,224 ratings.