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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterGreat Lakes Lake Erie Monster

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2,266 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,266
Reviews: 647
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 160
Gots: 266 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

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

Availability: Rotating

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

"An imperial india pale ale"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,266 | Reviews: 647
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.

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.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.