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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.

2,243 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,243
Reviews: 643
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 154
Gots: 243 | 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: 2,243 | Reviews: 643 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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
3.1/5  rDev -22.9%
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
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
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
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
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
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a burnt orange with a fair amount of haze to it. A big three finger's worth of head that sticks around forever and leaves great lacing behind.

S- Hops and butterscotch greet the nose immediately. Mostly citrus and a surprisingly good malt presence.

T- Bitter hops on the forefront. Not as much malt on the palate as in the nose. A good citrus burst and a nice bready finish.

M- Medium bodied but seems a tad thin for the style. Good bitterness right away. Good carbonation and as I write this, a nice cap is still hanging around on the beer.

D- A less aggressive DIPA IMHO. Still plenty of hops but not as bitter as some. A great drinker on a hot summer's night.

Photo of fear025
2.8/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma:A pleasant mild orange and grapefruit aroma. I do hope for more aroma from a DIPA.

Appearance:The beer has a a hazy golden amber. The head has fine bubbles that stick around a long time.

Taste:At fist sip, the hops do hit you hard like a DIPA should. The hops taste more bitter and less fruity. Through the middle and aftertaste I do get a little orange flavor. The aftertaste is a little harsher than I like in a DIPA. The alcohol does stand out in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:This beer is bit harsh, even considering the style. It has nice carbonation that lends to a dry sensation in the mouth. The alcohol warms the mouth nicely.

Drinkability:This intensely hoppy, strong pale ale does hit the style pretty squarely, but there's something missing to make it a beer I want to come back for again and again.

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

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
best by 7/18/10

A: A normal pour easily yields a 1/5 finger off-white head that is a mix of creamy and big bubbles. A hazy dark orange with a little red meets my expectations for the style. As the head starts to drop, there is a massive amount of lace left on the glass.
S: Surprisingly muted nose when first opened, hints of citrus and pine along with some sweetness like honey. The nose never seems to match the flavor. I would like to see a crap ton of dry hops in this, probably would be amazing as a cask ale.
T: A blast of rough hops hits immediately followed by a ton of sweetness to balance things out. The hops match the nose, lots of citrus and pine, the coarseness makes me think of Chinook hops. As it warms, there is a bit of honey taste.
M: The mouthfeel is very rich, almost but not quite cloying. At the same time, there is enough attenuation to seem crisp. Seems like an oxymoron, almost cloying but seemingly crisp, it points to the well balanced (for a DIPA) nature of the beer.
D: This is an execllent example of the style. It is completely over the top with malts and hops, yet it is not punishing to drink. I could easily think about opening another bottle after finishing the first. Well done Great Lakes. Highly recommended for anyone who likes hops.

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

* Re-review 6/4/11

12 oz bottle with brewed and botteld by date NOT marked on label. Monster on label.

Pours a slightly chill-hazed deep gold with many slow carbonation bubbles. Head is barely off-white and leaves complete rings around the glass. Smell is sweet, almost floral hoppy. Good balance with the malt. Taste is pretty balanced too. Starts off bitter and hoppy, but with that DIPA sweetness. Sticky at the end, with some mellow overlying bitterness, but - where is the huge hop flavor? A tiny bit disappointing, as oiliness (bug-like?) and sweetness overshadow the hop profile I was expecting. Easily drinkable though, I would never expect this to be at 9.1%

Good, but not great.

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 2,243 ratings.