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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.
very good

689 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 689
Hads: 2,513
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 22.56%
Wants: 172
Gots: 418 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 689 | Hads: 2,513
Photo of matt_duthie
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Probably poured too cold, minimal head but decent lacing as it drank. Pear, pineapple, sweet delicious tropical fruits in the smell. Not overly bitter like many DIPA's, this is just what I want out of this style. Thicker mouthfeel, sweeter, well-balanced, and delightfully drinkable for 9%. One of my favorite double IPA's, if not entirely characteristic of what the style seems to be nowdays. After burning myself out on hops for some months, I'll happily come back to this over and over again. Incredible balance and just a fine flavor profile.

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Photo of Aewachiw
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a surprisingly balanced and drinkable 2xipa. Very enjoyable and very strong! This was on draft at Goodnight Irene's in Wikdwood New Jersey, an excellent beer bar at the beach.

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Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fruit juicy smell with a dash of pine and pepper. Same goes with the taste, just more pepper. Very sweet. Really good and interesting. I would get this again.

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Photo of hotpauko
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a big ole fruity sweet hop bomb from start to finish. Amazing citrusy tropical sweet smell. Heavy sweet hops follow in the mouth the high is noticeable but smooth. Lingers sweet on the tongue. Very much liked it but the sweetness really stands out maybe too much.

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Photo of TooGood
3.43/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

It looks fantastic! Excellent color and a nice frothy 2 inch head. Smells very citrusy with hints of pear and overly sweet. The taste is way too sweet and that is all I get, unfortunately.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice golden color with a burnt orange tint to it. Thick and frothy head that lacks retention but leaves behind some lacing. Smells tropical, citrusy, and possibly some pear in there. The taste is of sweet malt with flavors of orange and wood peeking through. Very smooth mouthfeel with slight bitterness and a lingering juicy sensation. Alcohol is barely noticable. This is right up there with Chillwave, but I think I would give the nod to Chillwave. Either way, this beer is fantastic.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.51/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

When i first started drinking this beer several years ago it was one of my favorites, looked forward to it every summer. Last year I thought it was really off and figured I might have gotten a contaminated 4 pk. Decided to try again I have concluded that something is defiantly different the last 2 years compared to prior relases. I just don't care for it anymore.

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Photo of champ103
4.17/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear copper/orange color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Lace is left in rings.
S: Piny and fruity hops, not over barring bitterness at all. Juicy, lightly sweet for a bit of balance. Very nice.
T: Piny hops, a bit of grapefruit bitterness. More fruity hops come through with citrus, lemon, even a bit of apple juice. Sweetness is in the background and a great counter. Not over the top in any way. Perfectly balanced and really enjoyable.
M/O A medium to full body. Crisp, clean, and super smooth. The incredible balance makes this something I want to keep coming back to. Which is not very common for me with this style.

Plenty of hops that are very fruity and juicy. With enough sweetness to balance. Nothing is over done, and that is what I love about this. An old school example of a DIPA, and a good one. Like everything done at Great Lakes, this has refinement and nuance that is very moreish. Really well done.

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Photo of HattedClassic
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a nice white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a clear light amber that looks nothing super inspiring or awe worthy. Still it looks nice.

The beer smell is certainly sweet and fruity. While I can't distinguish most of the tropical notes, some sweeter peach notes and banana with a bit of pineapple do stand out. The beer also has a very tiny hop note.

The beer taste is also pretty fruity with a slight bitterness to it. The fruit notes mainly come off as they do in the smell; banana with peach and pineapple notes.

The feel is a bit syrupy with a heavy body. There is very little carbonation and that adds a tiny bit of texture.

Overall, not a bad beer and fairly decent. However, it doesn't seem that impressive and kinda of a let down compared to their other beers.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky amber color. The head is a finger high and white in shade. While the retention is poor, a thin yet consistent ring of lacing is left behind. (3.25)

Smell: A lot of beers from these guys have a nice 'juiciness' to them. This is no exception. Not only do I get some light tropical fruits, lemon, and orange, there even seem to be some ale esters to this one (like peach or cherry). On the other hand, there also seems to be something strange - can't put my finger on it, but it smells a bit like BO (an unfortunate side effect of Amarillo) at times. Malts are seemingly just 'there' as they are in a lot of DIPA. Could have been a great nose, but it's hampered (not ruined, however) by its mildness and BO qualities. (3.25)

Taste: Yep, this is indeed juicy. Basically, I get a mix of tropical fruits and lemon to start, and some peachy esters in the middle. Caramel and toffee surge in the finish. There are a few great elements to this one, but all told, it doesn't come together particularly well. (3)

Mouthfeel: This starts off feeling rather full and sweet, like many DIPAs. On the other hand, the back end is quite astringent and tingly in feel. Even with that in play, this is more of a sipper than a chugger. Carbonation is fairly powerful, helping to redeem some of its drinkability. (3.25)

Overall: While it's a competent DIPA, this one could have been so much better. I can genuinely taste a great example of the style at times, it just needs a LOT more integration and balance. I prefer Alchemy Hour (NOT CHILLWAVE DAMMIT), but I can see why some would love this. (3.25)

3.15/5: I wonder if the Lake Erie Monster will end up just being an overgrown catfish just like the Loch Ness Monster?

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the glass a clear, dark orange gold with a single finger of thin off-white head.

Aroma of banana, tangerine, and tropical fruit notes.

Tasted of over-ripe banana, juicy tangerine and tropical fruits. Light malts in the finish for good balance. The 9% abv is there and warms the palate.

Medium bodied and syrupy with a moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Chris33
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Only fault here is it smelling like an old banana.. Almost maybe like a Saison smell with coriander too. May have got a bad bottle. I always support GLBC

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Photo of MUTINY
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Pours a clear pure copper with 1/2" white head that dissipates quickly. Retention & lacing are both quite nice.

S: Unreal. Juicy, juicy aromas dominate. Lemon candy & sweet lime. Basically a sweetish citrus explosion on the nose.

T: Comes on a bit malty with a graham cracker character that quickly leads to what I'd call sweet lemon sauce like the stuff they give you with lemon chicken at Chinese joints. Finishes off-sweet & hoppy with a slight bitter note at the very end.

M: Lowish carb & a fairly full body can't seem to stop this brew from being refreshing.

O: Very, very enjoyable DIPA.

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Photo of bobhits
2.8/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

The pour is a light orange, thick body, low carbonation beer. The imperial body is unmistakable.

The nose is of grape fruit, and light malts. Light tangerine and other tropical fruits lightly come in here. Not the most aromatic beer ever. A bit of bread on the end as well. A lighter fluffy bread.

Bread, caramel, garlic, cat piss?, some tropical fruits/ citrus notes. Really the cat piss and bread dominate this one.

A really good body and feel for the size of this beer. They got that dead on.

I know a lot of people who love this one. I get texts about how great it is pretty often. For me this is a good but not great double IPA. Great Lakes to me makes some really good beers, but they seem to miss on the IPA style for me.

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Photo of Suds
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a peach colored brew, slightly hazy, with a frothy head. The aroma is sweet and spicy, herbal, and flowery. The taste is warming and sweet, with an underlying bitterness. Full in body and very enjoyable.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one has been on the top of my " wants " list since I started getting into craft beer since the Summer of 2012. And now, It is finally in my possession. Let's see if it loves up to the hype.

Look - Whew, you could smell this fucker the second the top popped. Pours a clearish copper/amber mix with a two finger slightly off white head that sticks around and leaves a beautiful amount of lacing as you drink alllll the way up to the thick spider-web coating upon finish.

Smell - This is hands down the best nose I have ever gotten out of a beer. Pineapple, Mango, and Pear juice are straight up on you like a hypothetical Mike Tyson upper cut to the face. Only with pleasure and not pain. The malts balance well too.

Taste - The taste is of a strong tropical fruit juice hit with a touch of the maltiness to keep it interesting and a smack of banana smoothie that lingers around forever.

Feel - Light creamy body with just a touch of carbonation. Coats the mouth like a delicious smoothie and could happily have it sit for an hour.

Overall - The was well worth the wait. Where was this brew all my life? perfection in a bottle!

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Photo of Dontlikebud
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love Lake Erie Monster - until this year's batch. They must have changed the recipe 'cause it now tastes and smells way too much like Belgian Style. Best by date is 10/6/15 so it's not too old. I kept wondering why they released it in July instead of early spring. It must be that they were toying with it somehow. I'm going to try it again (I don't give up on old friends) but as of now I'm disappointed. And bummed.

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Photo of 420Dude
4.54/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was so happy when they released this seasonally. Me and some friends went to the release party before they made this regularly. Great beer then and still to this day.

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - Bright orange. Medium head. White. Light lacing. Others talk about sediment but my bottle was clear.

Smell - It has a little of a sour nose. Grapefruit. Malt. Unique compared to other DIPA.

Taste - Bitter. More malt than citrus .

Feel - Dry finish. Tingle on tongue. Medium. Medium carbonation throughout.

Overall - Much higher rating than I expected to give. Unique DIPA. Not a citrus bomb. I would say it is balanced but it adds a new dimension with the faint sour smell and taste.

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Photo of pat61
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: I have had a bottle of this less than a month old and another bottle 11 days past its best by date and both have had floaties even after careful decanting. The floaties are easy to see because the beer pours brilliant gold under a 2” clingy cream colored foam cap.
S: Moderate fruit, citrus, light malts.
T: Begins with strong malt flavors featuring caramel and biscuit followed up with citrus rind, grapefruit, faint peach and hints of melon, alcohol with a drying finish.
F: Medium body and carbonation with an acidic bite from the carbonation on the finish.
O: This would be a world class beer without the floaties.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 9/3/14 into a pint glass. Pale, hazy gold with a coarse off-white head. Hops make their presence known with floral, citrus, and a hint of resin, but very little bite. In fact, it's actually well toward the sweet end of the spectrum, which is certainly not typical for the style. This is one of the smoothest DIPAs I've ever had. Medium mouthfeel; slightly sticky - which is good, because the alcohol is extraordinarily well hidden. Very, very well conceived and executed. Kudos to Great Lakes on this one!

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Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A golden pale ale clouded with a considerable yeast suspension. Lots of fine bits floating in the glass while still looking like a glass of sunshine, relatively active carbonation. Nice thick head that fades quite slowly.
Nose has light sweet malt, a nice hop melange of pine, citrus, and tropical fruits. Nice amount of bread and malt giving a healthy amount of grain based sweetness and breads. Remarkably balanced with a large malt base that lends itself to missing just how hoop this brew is.
Taste follows with a decidedly citrus bitterness. Lots of bread and honey. No hint of the abv. lots of malt and even more complex hops that bring pine, tropical fruits. Yum.

Nice crisp, light, feel that combines weight that satisfies with smooth carbonation and easy drinkability. Just enough chew to slow you down, while you allow yourself to chase the desire to keep chugging.

Great DiPA that begs you to session and quaff instead of sip.

Love this one.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

while i enjoyed it, the first time i ever had this beer was in a 32oz goblet while watching the Buckeyes play in National Championship game. so needless to say, i had a lot too many and my appreciation for the beer was limited.

this time around, i'm drinking it fresh and in a .33L tulip glass and it is somehow even better!

Look - this beer is a hazy dark orange with a nice white head leaving a ring around the glass.
Smell - this beer smelled fantastic right after my pour but subsided a bit as my session went on. the smell is a citric wheat if that makes sense.
Taste - it has a grapefruit, pear, fruity taste that lingers well after a sip. it does have an alcohol bite to it, i would believe that this beer is 9.1%.
Feel - it goes down smooth but it still has a slight syrupy feel to it, which i don't love.

Overall - this is a good beer that i do enjoy; compared to other dIPAs it is better than most but it isn't in my top tier. Enjoy By, Ruination (regular and 2.0), Little Sumpin Extra, Lagunitas Sucks, and Carton 077XX are dIPAs i'd put clearly above this. Chillwave, also by GL, is a beer I'd also put above this hands-down. I do like this beer a lot but there are other beers in this style I much prefer.

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4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

First an foremost i will info you of my bias towards imperial ipas i like to love them alot. with that being said its not the best and its not the worst , here we go. let me crack a fresh one for you.

T- Taste- It tastes like the steady relationship you wish you didn't have. this is good but its nothing super special. it is the epitome of its style. a deep rich hearty imperial ipa its quite lovely but its no super model. Its kinda sweet then the hops kick in, its very rich its like a hot rich girl with daddy issues. almost everything you wanted but its missing something.

M- Manifestation - Well starts with a sweet hop flavor mid range is crisp and refreshing end note is still sweet.

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Photo of AmishLightning
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

This brew totally took me for a loop when I first tried it. It had a fantastic malt character that was almost reminiscent of a strong Belgian Ale. The hops were not overpowering in anyway and complimented the malts instead of dominating the brew. Great thick mouthfeel perfect for the warming imperial that it is.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.