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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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 generallee
4.92/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The bottle has a freshness date of 7/18/10. It also lists the abv at 9.1% and it has a very brief description of the beer.

Appearance: The body has a very cloudy cooper colored body with a more orange like hue when head up to the light. It is also full of fine yeast sediment hanging in suspension. On top sits a light off white head that starts off a tall 3 and a half fingers and then slowly settles to a small cap of creamy foam. This cap lasted all the way down the glass and left lots of spotty lace and lace fingers which slowly slid down the glass.

Smell: Its nose is full of sweet orange marmalade like notes, citrus (orange/grapefruit) hops, a light hint of musty hops as well as some light cereal and bready malt notes underneath.

Taste/Palate: There is a big hit of citrusy orange zest and marmalade like sweetness with hints of grapefruit pith upfront. This sits on a sturdy backbone of bready malt and yeasty notes which rounds out the front and middle. On the back end the hop bitterness bits into the tongue in a good way. The citrus notes get more concentrated like orange oil and now there are some mild, spruce like piney hop notes mingling with mellow warmth from the 9.1% abv. It's full bodied, well carbonated and still nice and smooth.

Notes: The flavor is outstanding and nicely balanced with may disappoint hard core hop heads. For me there is just enough hop bitterness to make me happy. This is also one of the easiest to drink beers around the 9% range. Overall I feel this is an exceptional IIPA!!!

Photo of Mcculler
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange/amber with a one inch head (after a vigorous pour) that recedes but does not fade. Leaves very minimal lacing.

Smells nice - sweet, bread, and yeast - these are most unique for the style. Candied fruit and pine seem more in keeping with expecations.

Tastes of bread, yeast, raisin, candied fruit (especially citrus peels such as orange and lemon), light honey (honey suckle?), burnt sugar, grapefruit, and pepper.

A bit thin in the mouth for the style with light carbonation.

Given the modesty of the hops, rather drinkable for the style.

This is a nice Imperial IPA. Certainly not a hop bomb as some here have complained. This is its strength to my mind: a pretty Imperial with a complexity that benefits from a restrained use of hops, allowing the bready and candied sweetness to come through. Pleasant.

Photo of Axic10
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, I was excited going into this as I never got to try it in my 4 years of living in Cleveland.

Appearance: Hazy amberish with a finger of foam. Some lacing throughout the entire drink.

Smell: Very much a hop bomb. Piney hops and bitter citrus rule the nose on this.

Taste: Bitter hops, grapefruit and pineapple with a nice balance of malt intertwined.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and clean.

Drinkability: A very enjoyable take on the style by one of my favorite breweries. Look forward to having it again.

Photo of krisandajt
3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle courtesy of mymrrngjckt that I'm breaking in the 4th of July with. Cheers!

Appearance: Poured from the bottle, the beer is a clear mellow copper color. There's a small cm worth of white head that fades quickly, leaving behind only a thin ring surrounding the beer. Lacing is decent, leaving behind some sticky rings where the beer comes to settle.

Smell: Plenty of hoppy pine with a little citrus and some sweetness thrown in there for balance. Smell is modest and well-rounded, pretty nice.

Taste: Hmm...not expecting this. Taste is sweet, but it's a unique kind of sweetness. It's like honey or hard candy, but with some bitter hops thrown in for balance (sort of the opposite of what I expected). It's not bad, but really not what I was looking for when I reach for an IIPA.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit light, and the beer has a thin sort of feel to it.

Drinkability: A unique tasting beer, and one that I'm glad I got a chance to try. While it isn't bad, the hardcore hop-head in me was really hoping for a hop blast. I'd say try it if you can get it, but don't go crazy trying to score a bottle.

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

On tap at the grey lodge pub.

A- very cloudy orange in color with a small cap of off white head that leave some for really killer lace.

S- honey coated lemons and oranges. Musty yeast, sweet, and a hint of bread.

T- honey and hops with oranges and grapefruit. Sweet malty hits that play off the hops nicely. Lots of dusty yeast that add to the fruit complexity. Ever so faint booze touch.

M- medium body with a bit less then medium in carb. Slight heat in the very back.

D- good stuff and rather drinkable. I really enjoyed it.

Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best breweries in American alot of the stuff I cut my teeth on back in the day was from this great brewery.Poured into a standard pint glass a slight hazed burnt orange with a clingy 1/2 finger white head that had great lasting power.Aromas were of sweet alcohol and resiny hop,neither one stood out more than the other really.Big and sweet on the palate, the alcohol dipped fruit and caramel malt flavors really was more prevailing than the resiny hop.Like alot of DIPA's this is more sweet than hop driven,its a good beer but not what Iam lookin for,bummer.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.06/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean, pale orange color with an off white head. In the aroma, sticky hops and a small alcohol hint. In the taste, alcohol and a small, sticky pine like hop. A bitter bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sticky hop aftertaste. Big alcohol presence and quite sticky. OK, but nothing too exciting.

Photo of portia99
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (freshest by 8/10/10 on the bottle) received in trade with lurchingbeast as a great extra. Thanks Frank! Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a clear, bright orange color with a two finger thick dense creamy white head with good staying power. When it dies down it leaves sheets of lacing on the glass. Beautiful looking beer.

S - Big hop aroma up front. Fruity and citrusy with nice orange and grapefruit as well as some pine. Bready malt and a hint of caramel at the base.

T - A bit of honey-like sweetness up front followed closely by a firm bitterness and lots of citrus. I would say this features more hop flavor than bitterness. The sweetness in here really smoothes things out and tempers the hop bite. Pine comes on strong towards the swallow and lingers behind into the aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with a low carbonation level. Has a very creamy feel to it. Resiny, sticky hops coat the mouth and linger forever after the swallow.

D - This is a really smooth DIPA. Bitterness isn't extreme, but hop flavor really shines. Love the creamy feel too. Alcohol is largely unnoticeable...probably goes down way too easily.

Photo of PBoegel
2.64/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle at a Wegmans while in Rochester NY.

Was eager to try some Great Lakes brews having heard good things about them. Picked this and Commodore Perry. 12 oz bottle with best by August 10, 2010.

Poured into a Sam Adams Imperial snifter, Appearance is nice, bright yellow orange with an egg shell white head. A tad hazy, but overall inviting looking.

Aroma is puzzling, very minimal imperial ipa hop character, lots of candied fruit, touch of strawberry, raw egg yolk, rose and a soapish like smell that I struggled getting past.

The flavor is not much better in that regard, there is a sweet honey cloying character and more egg yolk and lemon meringue dominating the palate. Some fusel slickness and oily character, not intense, but it pushes aside general malt profile and it is difficult to say what or where the hop profile is. The bitterness is still there but the flavor just misses the mark on hops for an imperial ipa.

Mouthfeel is a bit too heavy. I need this style to lean toward dry and more quaffable, even as an illusion for an big beer.

Misses the mark. I admit I also after drinking perused reviews to see how the range of palates saw this beer. My guess is I most of come across a funky batch or mishandled batch, but with a best by date well over a month and half from now, it is only a guess. Willing to try again, but I won't seek it out.

Photo of Keffa
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip.

A: Bright orange amber color, nice whitish head that lasted for about 2 minutes before settling down into a small ring. Leaves sticky lace at each sip.

S: Pine and Citrus, mainly. A little tropical fruit, like pineapple and mango, but mainly smells of a strong combination of orange, lemons, Pine Sol, and sap. Very little whiff of the malt gives hope for the taste.

T: Nice citrus fruits and some bitterness. A little caramel sweetness and malt come through, but the bitterness takes it over before it finishes into the pine and a little of the orange. Not terribly sweet, like some IPAs, but not overly bitter like some west coast beers.

M: Slick, slightly oily, very nice carbonation for the abv.

D: Very for the abv. Nice not overly bitter finish makes you want more.

Very impressed. This is comparable to Hopslam, if it were made with Simcoe. Nowhere near as drinkable as Hopslam, nowhere near as good, but almost half the price. I will gladly drink it up.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a cloudy honey color and a very nice head that drapes a curtain of lace

Smell: Plenty of pith but not enough citrus

Taste: The malt, which is very significant, hardly has a chance to make its presence known before the bitter hops kick in; this beer gets very bitter and pithy by mid-palate and after the swallow, though there is a considerable malt presence all the way through

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice DIPA, though it lacks a little in the citrus department; plenty of bitterness and not at all sticky

Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a nice amber color with a nice layer of fluffy white head. Decent.

S - Mostly bitter hops with slight citrus and pine with a bready malty backbone smell.

T - Very interesting. Starts of really bitter than works it's way to a sweetness of hops almost spicy and different than most IPA but not offending. Then finishes really bitter and dry. As stated it's different.

M - Really heavy and dry but hop hounds should enjoy it.

D - Well I bought this on the assumption that it would be terrible as forum posts suggest but it ended up being a nice spicy IPA. That being said I really don't love my IPA's being spicy so I may not try this again anytime soon. It was a nice different IPA though that other may enjoy more.

Photo of zoolzoo
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks nolsenwerd

A: Dark Amber, cloudy, one finger head.

S: Citrus, floral hops. Hints of malt come with a swirl, alcohol is evident.

T/M: Citrus in a heated battle with borderline cloyingly sweet malt. A true "east coast" IPA by nature. Finishes bitter, with some alcohol heat. I found the body to be a little thin for the flavor profile.

D: Drinkability suffers a bit due to thin mouthfeel and sweetness. Still a pretty good IPA though, I'm glad I got to try it.

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

Got a bottle thanks to a good friend. Pours a cloudy amber/orange with a pretty small head. I love the color and the hazy. Nose is subdued a bit but is grapefruit, apricot, orange, and sugar cookie. Taste up front has a pine bitterness bite, followed by pink grapefruit and other citrus flavors, moving to a sugary malt presence, and finishes with a decent bitterness. Pretty consistent profile as it warms, minimal alcohol presence. Nice medium mouth. This is one of those "balanced" IIPAs the east coast and midwest types love, and I can get behind this one. A surprising delight.

Photo of meatyard
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light, golden/amber with an 1 1/2", white, fluffy head that has good retention and thick lace. There are a number of visible carbonation streams.
The smell is papaya and citrus hops with some light sweetness from the malt.
The taste is pretty balanced starting with a mildish dose of bitterness, followed by an even amount of citrus hops and malt. But then the sweetness takes over and finishes quite sweet.
Mouthfeel is very nice being especially creamy, medium/thick and well-carbonated.
Drinkability: There's no alcohol presence while being fairly high at 9.1% but it's still easy to drink and a couple of these would go down pleasantly. It's balanced for a IIPA, guess the brewer woke up on the East side of the bed on this brew day. If you want a hop centric beer only, then this won't suit you but it's still a well-made beer.

Photo of KonigObHops
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up because I like the Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA.

This beer poured amber in color. The head was cream colored and poured about three fingers thick. The lace was present throughout.

The aroma was sharp, sweet, and strong. It resembled grapefruit with a touch if tea.

The initial taste has a tremendous bite which is sharp at the front and sides of the tongue. It is, of course, hoppy. The grapefruit taste is still present.

The tsste of tea does sneak in under the sharp taste of hops in the middle.

The beer finishes with a sweet taste of hops and the bitterness lingers on your tongue.

The beer has a good body, and it is extremely crisp. It is light, but not quite as dry as IPAs that I am used to.

If you like double IPAs, this is a good one.

Photo of boss302
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great lakes ipa

A Gold to amber in color, not clear, big head.

S Fresh flowery hop aroma, citrusy.

T There is a bit of sweetness at first, but its overwhelmed by hops. Very astringent in the finish. Wonderful hop flavor, really sticks to the back of your throat.

M Medium body, but the hops really assault the tongue.

O excellent beer for the hop head. I would love to have this on tap.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a bright pale amber, good clarity, with two fingers of 'tight' beige head. Pacing is tight and widespread, like a poorly Xeroxed map of the world. Too specific?

Smell -- Grapefruit zest, apricot, herbal hops, cane juice.

Taste -- The hops are largely unnameable bitterness and tropical fruit, with some odd earthy/herbal notes. The malt profile is not as expected, either: a great deal of cane sugar sweetness with grainy, roast flavors toward the finish. Lingering flavors of earthy hops and cane juice.

Mouthfeel -- Medium to light in body. Good carbonation: prickly and effervescent up front with a sudsy finish. However, the pronounce alcohol presence is distracting.

Drinkability -- Nothing in this beer really jived with me: the hops were bitter and earthy, the malts were sweet and nutty, and the alcohol was biting even for the style. I'm likely going to gift the other three at a get-together, but your mileage may vary.

Photo of BierFan
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Good sized cap of off-white foam has pretty good retention. Clear copper/orange body.

Smell: Quite a bit of orange and grapefruit from the hops.

Taste: More orange and grapefruit dominating the taste. Sweet with a nice bitterness. A little thicker feel than one would get from most DIPA's.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."

--Horace Mann

Shimmering apricot with Kruggerand gold accents and numerous strands of miniscule, slow moving bubbles. Their destination is a creamy crown of pastel orange-beige hue that filled one third of the glass on the pour. Foam persistence is remarkable and the quality and amount of lace is... good enough.

The aroma features a modest amount of the mid-range malts, but they let hops have the run of the place. Tropical fruity Simcoe was a great choice and earthy-herbal Fuggles was an odd choice. Hopefully, the Americans dominate the English on the palate.

Sorry, but Lake Erie Monster is still not my kind of DIPA. And here I thought the bottled version would be better than the tap version, which is often the case with this brewery. There's too much flavor contribution from the malt and there's too much malt in general. Looks like the masters at Great Lakes need some lessons from the masters at Surly, 3F, Bell's, etc.

If the malts were either more pale or more caramel-like (as opposed to toasted-earthy-nutty), this would be better beer. That's strictly personal preference, of course. 72 IBUs seems like a lot, but not when there are this many malt sugars to balance them out.

Specific flavors include sugar-crusted toasted grains, steely caramel, cedar chips, orange peel and pink grapefruit zest. What the hell, this big beast is improving a little as it warms and is better than my memory of the brewpub version back in '04. Therefore, the next highest taste score has been granted.

There is little question that beer from GL has a better mouthfeel when bottled. And there is *no question* in my mind that these guys are the single best mouthfeel brewery in all the land (top-3 at least). This offering is lush and plush and velvety smooth and big in all the right places. Carbonation is, as always, dead... solid... perfect.

In the end, bottled Lake Erie Monster is a little bit better than on-tap Lake Erie Monster. However, it still isn't the hop-soaked beer that I'd hoped it would be. Oh well, there's still the awesomeness of Edmund Fitzgerald and Burning River and Dortmunder Gold and Eliot Ness and Holy Moses and Blackout Stout... and on and on and on.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at bocktown this weekend.

A- Body is a nice light minimally translucent amber hue. Served with a 1 finger or so foamy white head. Good head retention and lacing all the way down the glass.

S- Nose is good. Citrus, citrus everywhere. Lots and lots of white grapefruit with a noticable caramel malt backbone.

T- A lot like the smell but more subdued. Sweet grapefruit and other citrus come through and the caramel malt backbone balances the flavor initially. The finish is a bit more hoppy and a minimal citrus rind bitterness lingers.

M- Medium carbonation and a medium weight body-not particularly smooth and oily.

D- This is a good brew overall. One of the sweeter DIPAs for me in recent memory. This is certainly no 'monster' but its a good starter DIPA. I was expecting a bit more of a punch-but this is a nice sweet brew.

Photo of deereless
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A finger thickness of head off a hard pour that sticks around for a while, medium gold in color, a few spots of sticky foam in the interior - 3.75, S: I'm struggling to pull a lot of the nose but a strong swirl does bring out some citrus and a touch of nuttiness, alcohol is evident, as an imperial I was expecting to be blown away but the nose was somewhat of a letdown - 2.50, What the nose lacked, the palate pushes in the right direction, lots of bittering hops and a decent pine bite, obvious alcohol which provides a drying element on the tongue, mild rum and faint syrupy sweetness in the background, a touch of honey as well - 3.75, M: Creamy and quite full bodied mouth feel - 4.00, D: All and all a good beer but the nose was somewhat of a disappointment, alcohol was a touch disruptive - 3.00

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked a growler up at the HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI. Poured a hazy orange with a tan head. This Double was more floral in it's smell and taste then many other doubles. The hops were there but I really liked the subtler take on a double, almost european. I love doubles that punch you in the face too, it was just fun to ahve a different take.
The mouthfeel was short and pleasant and for the strength it was highly drinkable. Probably the best Great Lakes effort I have had to date.

Photo of John_M
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Capones the other day.

The beer pours a peachy orange amber color with an impressive creamy white head, showing good retention and excellent lacing. The nose is attractive with citrus, ginger, dank earth and light pine. On the palate, the beer is pretty sweet and malty, very much in the East Coast style. The beer shows considerable bitterness in the finish as well, but the sweetness in the flavor profile definitely dominates everything else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but there's some noticeable alcoholic heat in the finish that, coupled with the sweetness, detracts from this beer's drinkability.

This is a decent enough DIPA (especially if one prefers the East Coast style of IPA), but it's just too sweet and boozy for my taste. Had this side by side with a glass of sculpin and stone double dry hopped IPA, and to say the Erie Monster was the least impressive of the group would be an understatement.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Golden/copper color with half an inch of head. Smell is pretty faint: slight bits of honey and pine and some sweet fruit. Taste is initially sweet with strong citrus and peach flavors. Finish is crisp and hoppy. Excellent drinkability for such a high ABV beer.

This is an atypical double IPA; it definitely wasn't a hop bomb to me. Very drinkable and solid.

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