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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.
very good

2,199 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,199
Reviews: 642
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 147
Gots: 234 | 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: 2,199 | Reviews: 642 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Daniellobo
2.85/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A rather short DIPA, monotonous in flavor and aroma. All in all, while somewhat drinkable, it is quite forgettable.
Presentation: 12 oz capped brown bottle. Black design with white lettering and an image of monster/dinosaur emerging from a lake. Side narrative notes commitment to excellence, main characteristics, inspiration, and main ingredients. Neck label notes geographic context, and adds a bragging line. Notes freshness date (08/10/10), and Alc. by Vol. (9.0%) Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber pour, rich and generous frothy head with medium retention and fair surface memory. Appearance is pretty solid, unfortunately with what comes after more than a redeeming quality it feels like a deceptive characteristic.

S - Rather shy nose, almost non-existent at points and certainly nowhere close to what is typically associated with the style. Faint, really faint, citrus touch with a generic soft malty sense.

T - Taste follows with a monochord malt emphasis, hefty sweet sense lingering over a hop profile that is less hoppy than bitter. Not much range or a noticeable richness.

M - Medium-full body with adequate carbonation in an uninspiring structure.

D - Broadly speaking this is not a pain to drink at all. Now, for a DIPA this is rather boring and uninspiring.

Notes: With a difference so far this is the most avoidable Great Lakes brew I've encountered. Typically they offer quality and great work with a nice range. Unfortunately this is not the occasion. Good for those that love this offering, but for me not only it feels overhyped but rather avoidable.

Daniellobo, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Translucent golden-orange with a finger of smooth, creamy, white head. Yellow highlights, lacing where the head used to be.

Smells of rich pine, very floral. I'm getting a little of a juniper smell, too.

Taste is bold & abrasively hoppy, like raw pine, with an underlying peachy/passion fruitiness that lifts it a bit. Still very dry & bitter in the finish & aftertaste, really lingers. A big taste, but I'm not getting a lot of nuance. Kind of a char of smoky character, very subtle.

This is a palate-stripper -- very harsh mouthfeel, full-bodied (I'm guessing cause it's unfiltered), ends very dry -- whew!

A biggie, for sure -- not bad, some interesting things in there, but a little formidable for me. One is plenty.

OneDropSoup, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light gold with a large, soapy head. Lots of lace.

Smell: Very piney, some citrus and even a hint of malt.

Taste: Fruity. Tropical with a slight notion of honey and pineapple. Hops are there with light citrus, pine and tropical flavors. Bitterness is moderate to minimal for the style. Malt body adds a touch of caramel. I find the alcohol presence to be minimal as well. And after completing most of the beer, the monster is getting me drunk.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, wet hop finish.

Drinkability: Dangerously drinkable. One of the easiest drinking DIPAs I have come accross. Worthy.

Stinkypuss, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a small amount of loose bubbly white foam which quickly retreats to a thin layer of film and ring. the beer is slightly hazy, dark gold in color.

S - very fruity, almost tropical. grapefruit and some pineapple backed by a modest grainy and lightly caramel malt bed.

T - quite sweet, ripened melon with some grapefruit and a lot of orange rind. abundant amount of slightly burning alcohol at the end. some piney bitterness plays in near the end

M - very, very slick and oily...coats the mouth. alcohol makes its way through for some heat. lingering pine and grassy hops, more alcohol.

D - not really getting this one. odd choice of hops to build a DIPA around, and the alcohol is WAY too hot and very distracting.

Stigs, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of trbergman
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a translucent orange-yellow with three fingers of dense, clinging off-white head.

S - Caramel sweetness with tropical fruits and pine and grapefruit hop aroma.

T - Starts off sweet and malty with caramel and plenty of fruit. Tropical flavors include mango, pineapple, and even a hint of lychee. Loads of delicious pine and grapefruit hop flavor, with a bitterness that builds on the palate, culminating in a long, dry finish.

M - Medium body, active carbonation without going overboard.

D - A good DIPA, although alcohol is poorly hidden. If it were less hot I could see this being a great beer, although it's worthy as it is.

trbergman, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single from Before You Go Liquors, $2.99

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Frothy speckles of lace around the edges, a finger of offwhite foam initially. The head remains with a few clusters of larger bubbles on the surface. Deep glowing orange, hazy and opaque.

Initial whiff of sweet tropical fruit, mango maybe, but it's not clearly defined. There's something fresh and intoxicating about it.

Bitter and sweet flavors alternate, orange peel and grapefruit juice, the resiny bitterness builds in the finish, leaving a more grassy/herbal/pine impression. Alcohol is perceptible as it warms.

Overall not bad, didn't really blow me away, but i'd drink it again.

emerge077, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of oneaday
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This turned out to be a much better beer than I expected.

The look is uninspired, with a lighter color and whiter head than I expected.

The smell is sour, leaning toward a heavy wheat beer with some extra hops. Not at all what I wanted to taste. Give it a bit, have a little taste, then try the whole thing again in a few minutes.

The taste is heavy, just a little sweet and more bitter than I expected based on the smell. It lacks the over the top piney smell and greasy hop feel I want when I look forward to a DIPA, but it's still a delicious and drinkable beer. Not at the top of my list, but one I will enjoy again.

oneaday, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of beachbum1975
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've read about this beer for years, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this for sale at my local beer store. $9.99 / 4 pack. Love the label! FRESHNESS DATE: Drink before 8/10/10, then the numbers 6829DL.

Pours a light peach with brass highlights. This one's semi cloudy and leaves a big, fluffy and bright white head.

I get a moderate wave of citrus and mild grapefruit notes on the nose. I can also pick up on a slight caramel sweetness in the mix.

There's a high level of hoppy bitterness when it hits my tongue and throughout the taste. This is definitely a hop forward style beer! I can also get hints of honey sweetness in the finish. The malt backbone is there, but very well hidden with the high alcohol.

The mouthfeel contains high carbonation and an almost piney, waxy residue. Very nice!


beachbum1975, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of gibby
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at TJ's in Paoli for their Great Lakes Philly Beer Week event. 1st time trying this beer.
Served in a snifter glass, $5.50 for a 10oz pour. Nice amber color with barely any head when it got to the table. Looks very inviting. Smell was nice, I can tell right away it's not a hop bomb. Bit of pine, citrus and candy in the aroma. Taste was very nice as well, sweeter than expected. Thicker mouth feel with nice carbonation. Drinkability was high for me. I had 3 snifters with dinner and enjoyed them all. Glad I finally knocked this off my "wants" list. If your looking for the more "balanced" dipa then this is a great beer for you. I like mine more hop forward, but that being said, I really enjoyed this offering from Great Lakes.

gibby, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of thetomG
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an appealing orange/amber with some slight foamy head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma is sweet - I think I'm getting some notes of sugary caramel and fruits with some boozy undertones. Flavor is similar but with some heat from the alcohol, a twinge of grass, and very nice bitterness form the hops - just when you think it might get a bit TOO bitter the bitterness plateaus nicely and finishes on a very well balanced note.

Another VERY solid beer from Great Lakes and something that I look forward to drinking again.

thetomG, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Please enjoy by:

A: Pours a honey hued gold with a thin, 1/2 finger of creamy, just off-white head on top. Retention was decent, with an unbreakable ring and swirly skim left after the smallish head receded. Some nice lacey collars were left stuck to the glass. Carbonation was pretty active.

S: The initial hop aroma was quite tropical. Papaya and mango with maybe a touch of pineapple. As it warmed, I picked up notes of fresh cut grass, biscuit malt, honey, dried flowers, and alcohol.

T: Follows the smell exactly with an even larger alcohol presence.

M: I wasn't exactly thrilled with the mouthfeel at first (thin with way too much prickly alcohol heat) but as it warmed a bit it thickened up nicely. Actually, it ends up being pretty smooth and oily with a pleasant hint of prickly heat.

D: As much as I liked this beer, by the end of the glass I was really ready to be done with it. I felt the alcohol presence was just too "in your face". To each his own, right?

GbVDave, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of zhooker
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint, with ample time left before the drink-by date. It's golden honey in color, with a fair amount of haze. A big, light and craggy mound of head formed on top and slowly disappeared, leaving some impressive concentric rings on its way.

The hop-driven aroma is wide and smooth; there is none of the instinctive nose-wrinkling induced by many "super" IPAs. The scents are earthy and subtle, maybe even a little floral. Overall it's a surprisingly nice and welcoming scent, fueled by Simcoes and Fuggles, which avoids the one-dimensionality of many big-hop brews.

The taste is equally balanced. The malts are very sweet, and the hop finish is -- like the scent -- very subtle, avoiding that harsh and chalky bitterness. On one hand, I would expect bigger flavors out of an Imperial and am therefore a little disappointed, but on the other hand, there is a nice balance and drinkability here. The sweetness of the brew is the most surprising aspect.

Because the hops are so subtle, the mouthfeel is enjoyable and, well, tolerable -- something other truly big DIPAs eschew for in-your-face hoppiness. I liked this brew more than most most Imperial IPAs. It hides its 9.1% well. But on some level, I feel like I am being cheated out of a certain bombast I expect from a seasonal Imperial. Still, recommended.

zhooker, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of sidetracked
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with lots of cream colored head. Little lacing.

Very faint aroma of citrus and tropical fruit.

Taste upfront is sweet fruit, mango, and citrus with a light bitterness. A biscuity malt middle leads into a nice mix of sweet caramel malt, bitter grapefruit, and pine resin. More sweet than bitter, but not overly malty either.

Medium body with good carbonation.

Not the typical double IPA that I'd enjoy due to the lack of bitterness, but the interesting flavor makes me keep wanting more.


sidetracked, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Beerfayce
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a goblet

A: Cloudy Straw/copper, particulates abound. Fluffy head that clings to the glass, substantial lacing even after the head dissipates.

S: Damp grassy earth,much darker and heavier with slight citrus. It smells like something that could have existed deep below the surface of Erie.

T: Comes on heavy with a spicy grass and earthy hops. Moderate bitterness balanced with abundant maltiness that works well with the earthy hops. Bright tangy notes come out, clean finish that does not linger too much.

M: medium body, ample carbonation with some slight heavy syrupy maltiness that becomes more present as it warms.

D: This is very drinkable and works well as an "alternative" DIPA in my mind- a good contrast to the bright and fiery varieties that I often enjoy. I drank 2 of these with very little effort, and enjoyed them both.

*I had this on tap recently as well but enjoyed the bottle more (and had already written the bottle review)*

Beerfayce, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of cokes
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clouded peach colored with a full puff of bone-hued suds. Retention is moderate but it shows great lacing.
The somewhat closed nose brings dough and light traces of caramel. Hops bring floral and citric elements, with some mango and melon fruitiness. It smells nice, but it seems muted given the style. Considerably so.
It carries that lightly sweet sense of doughiness into the mouth where it lays down a thick malt canvas. Fruitiness ensues with peaches, apricots, oranges, honeydews, and mangoes. Hop bitterness arrives with florals, lime oil, and a (much) lighter metallic wintergreen note, though bitterness is tempered on the whole. Alcohol is shut out altogether, and only hinted at by the heavy mouthfeel and sluggish carbonation.
This is an all-around delicious, well-balanced beer. Par for the course for Great Lakes. Though some balance could be sacrificed for the brightness and loudness that IIPAs beg for. While it's not a standout, I could drink this anytime, anywhere. No IIPA is session material, but this dares a person to try.

cokes, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of paco1029384756
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy orange color with a small white head.

Scent of sweet caramel, spicy hops, citrus, orange zest and some bready yeast. A good balance to the scent, no detectable alcohol.

Taste of bitter hops, citrus, light caramel, bread, and finishing with more citrus and bitterness. I really like the initial bitterness and lasting bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, oily and biting.

paco1029384756, Jun 11, 2010
Photo of homebrew311
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a fresh 4 pack at the local liquor store, digging the label.

A: pours a bold clear golden with a billowing 2 finger white head, leaves heavy lacing, appears to have good retention

S: the front is pungent aromatic hops with a very orange like character without some of the pine and other tropical fruits that I typically pick up in big DIPAs. Some rich malts show up at the end with a touch of caramel and honey. Somewhat unique in the hop profile, smells good.

T: huge bitter hops on the front with a lot of orange again with some pine joining the party as well. Lots of rich caramel malts throughout which balance the hops well. The finish is bitter and a touch sweet.

MF: this beer excels compared to other DIPAs with a velvety mouthfeel and the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: I'm glad Great Lakes put this beer out. Yes there are a ton of IPAs/DIPAs out there, but this one has some unique qualities which make it worth checking out. This doesn't quite do it for me like Abrasive/Hopslam/Double Trouble/PtE does, but great beer nonetheless.

homebrew311, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of mgbickel
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A thick, compact, layer of pearly foam formed on top of a crystal clear yellow-honey colored body. The head receded slightly, leaving some lace behind and staying thick on the body.

The nose is full of light fruits and hops. Apricots, grapefruit, lemon zest and honey. You can pick up a grainy character hiding underneath all the citrus goodness.

Wow...this is a big beer. The first flavor that hits you mouth is a citrus explosion...the hop presence grows and gets more intense throughout the drink. The middle is sweet and fruity that gives way to the finish which has a burning alcohol feel that matches the bitter hop resin.

The mouth feel is medium, oily and well carbonated.

This is very drinkable, but you can easily detect the 9.1% ABV. This keeps the rating down a little.

mgbickel, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Big thanks to nlmartin for hooking me up with this (still can't find it at stores in Chicago).

Appearance: To me, this is very close to what an ideal DIPA would look like - very opaque orange / apricot color, with a thick bubbly white head. I only wish the head was a bit creamier and thicker, but I am just splitting hairs. Good retention, and some nice lace stick, with little islands forming on the side after every swirl.

Smell: Strong apricot, tangerine, and grapefruit hops. Some pine notes and a soft caramel sweetness.

Taste: There is a light caramel sweetness to start, more so as it warms. The malt holds its own before the citrusy and pine hops step in to dominate, finishing with just a hint of sweetness to leave the palette intact.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth from start to finish. A little bit more grainy than creamy though. Medium carbonation in a fuller than medium body. Slightly sticky on the lips, with some hop residue present after the sip. Not surprising for the style.

Drinkability: It definitely drinks like the Commodore's big brother. Hoppier for sure, but I find that the flavor retains a nice balance and is ever easier to drink. Definitely a fan of a quaffable DIPA.

KickInTheChalice, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

I was expecting another run of the mill DIPA from this (despite typically loving most GLBC beers) and ended up being very impressed with this. Initially at colder temperatures the flavor starts off with a strong bready and grainy body before the citrus hops take over and finish with a flourish of honey like sweetness. As the beer warms further, the hops and sweetness almost completely take over and our supported by a thick, creamy and smooth soft body. Appearance is a hazed, yet clear deep honey amber with a light creamy head that leaves a large amount of thin webs of lacing. Aroma was the only letdown in this as it wasn't as complex or strong as expected and had a mild cattiness. Regardless, this is a great, sweet, hoppy DIPA and is recommended.

yourefragile, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of beergod1
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally....Thanx to D Kurtz for landing me a 4 pack, from Slappy's in Ashtabula Oh. Tried to wait for the weekend to open, Couldn't do it. Poured into a Great Lakes Pilsner glass, 2 inch bone white head, sweet copper/orange, crystal clear hue. Smell of fresh Hop, toffee with a lot of citrus thrown in, a touch of alcohol. Medium body and carbonation and a nicely resinous mouth feel and a bit of chewiness. Starts off quite malty, but the hops come on quickly with bitter citrus and a long very dry finish. My mouth is still coated with malty goodness, 15 min after my last sip. A little different than most Double/Imperial IPA's. But 1 Hell of a beer.

beergod1, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of lordkman
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Delirium Tremens Tulip.

A: Pours great with an excellent head and lace retention. Great deep orangish color.

S: Hoppy yet very malty. Pineapple with hints of grapefruit combined with DEEP mango undertones. Touch of malt lets you know this is not going to be like every other DIPA out there.

T: Malt up front, but not cloyingly sweet. The citrusy hops kick in on the sides of the tongue which adds a nice prickliness that leads to the nice spicy but not overly resiny finish that I don't really like in most DIPAs. Nice balance between the malts and the hops. Very nice!

M: Excellent carbonation and quite smooth. The spicy hops stick around long after you swallow but it is far from unpleasant.

D: Simply amazing, especially for something rocking out at 9.1%! Extremely drinkable, just don't drink too many.

Overall I was extremely impressed with this beer. I was going in with low expectations of it being "Just another DIPA." I was promptly put in my place by the beer. Excellently balanced, great non-traditional hopping (Thanks for no Amarillo!). I could get lost in the nose and actually gives me hope that maybe there are brewers out there who actually do know how to expand on the DIPA style, rather than just rehash what the west coast is doing.

lordkman, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to EMott09 for bringing this one over to let me try it. I've been looking forward to it for a while. Reviewed from dictated notes during my "Clean out my cellar weekend."

Pours a brilliantly clear pale golden color with 1 finger of white head. Incredible rings of lace and very nice retention.

Smell is nicely sweet-- malts up front-- not quite toffee malts, but something bready and sweet... but not heavy. The hops are grassy and floral. Maybe even a bit herbal... some earthiness is light too. A light clean citrus note rounds out the flavor profile in a fresh and delicious way.
Taste is very nicely balanced for a DIPA. It isn't super bitter... it isn't a malt bomb... It has a great bright summer day flavor with a good balance.

Feel is near perfect. Smooth. Medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is waaay too easy drinking for nearly 10% abv. This could lead to problems if you're not careful! Glad I have more!

AleWatcher, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of david131
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- A hazy orange liquid with a million tiny floaters and a creamy bone white head.

S- Citrus rind, cooked vegetables, with hints of pineapple, mango, and mint.

T- Steamed asparagus, alcohol, citrus, and grain. Not really my bag.

M- Carbonated to give it a bit of a kick, but smooth on the finish with a lasting bitterness.

D- This take on the style did not impress me much. The alcohol is not as apparent in the taste as it is in the aroma. The vegetable aspect kills it for me.

david131, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of boothbeer
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark yellow, almost copper color. A little cloudy. Beautiful white head that leaves tremendous lacing and nice film.

S: Nice Piney hops. Little citrus blended with malts and some honey.

T: Nice bitter hop flavor with lots of carmel maltiness. This beer is very well balanced. Not too much citrus goin on here.

M: Nice and clean. Good carbonation. Medium body.

D: Great beer. Perfect for a hot summer day. Went down easy for the alcohol in this and was delicious.

boothbeer, Jun 07, 2010
Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,199 ratings.