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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
694 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An imperial india pale ale"

Added by BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 694 | Ratings: 2,540
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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Photo of Genuine
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Poured a beatuiful deep dark copper white a 2 finger off white head that stayed around for the duration of the pint.

Aroma - Right off the bat you get a tremndous amount of hop aroma, lots of tropical and citrus notes. The 9% abv is noticable on the nose, however welcomed.

taste - Hops, hops and more hops. They take this IPA over and beyond what was expected. Hops on the nose carry over in the taste and help to balance out the big malt presence, which brings some toffee notes along with it.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied, well carbonated which makes the hops shine. A nice warming ABV that rounds out this solid IIPA.

Overall - I will definitely get more of this when I'm able to. A solid double IPA and well worth the wait for it.

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Photo of misternebbie
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tart and crisp a little too heavy on the alcohol taste to be consider one of Great lakes best Imperials and for its price point one I will steer clear of unless its on tap somewhere

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Photo of KTCamm
3.83/5  rDev -4%

8/2..pours bright copper, lighter shade. Ring of white foam. Resin pine nose, musty and damp. Taste is an overwhelming hop, potent bitter, puckering. Beneath is a boozy alchol burn. Oily hop residue stays behind. Packs a wallop for sure. 4 3.5 3.75 3.5 3.75

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4/5  rDev +0.3%

An excellent IIPA from Great Lakes. Pours a hazy yellow amber with nice froth head and great white
lacing. Excellent bouquet of caramel, citrus hops, bittering hops, floral like mead notes, and tons
of sweet malt. Taste is very similar with sweet malt up front, alcoholic warmth on the back mingling
with beautiful citrus and caramel notes. While I am no IPA drinker THIS is one fine brew with
a smooth caramel malt and bittering hops aftertaste and great decently carbonated mouthfeel.


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Photo of TheRougeBastard
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

I have to be completely forthright, I feel I have to tell you I picked this up at a Wally World when food shopping for the week while was TDY to Wright Patterson AFB. My selection was based solely on the 9.1%abv (needed a high octane offering) and that it was an Imperial IPA (my go to fav)!!! That being said, I count this among my best "random" picks ever! True to form, the IIPA does not disappoint! Anyone that's read my rambling posts knows I am a true Stone convert, and as such, believe "Enjoy By", is the standard from which all other IIPA's must be judged! Therefore, I am obligated to say Great Lakes "Lake Erie Monster" stands tall! The 9.1% is well hidden and hop bang is sublimed so that you're not wrecking your palate (take note Green Flash), leaving you with an enjoyable experience from start to finish! Do yourself a favor and give this a try!

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a couple weeks past the freshness date. I wasn't disappointed. Poured into a snifter. Thanks, Darren.

A: A bright golden, opaque, with a white one finger head that dissipates down to foam. Light lacing.

S: Honey, mead. A citrus bomb featuring tangerine and banana.

T: A killer citrus hop/malt balance. Picking up some sweet mead, too. Lightly bitter on the finish. I didn't really feel the alcohol at first, but it snuck in later. My wife commented it was a great summer beer.

M: Light to medium with medium carbonation.

O: An excellent IPA from Great Lakes. I love the juiciness of this one. Tasty little monster.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.77/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my absolute favorites. It's not too easy to describe. It pours a rich amber with an off white/ light yellow head and a little bit of lacing. It smells of dark fruits and burning wood. It tastes sweet and nectary. The abv is pretty well hidden. To me this beer feels perfect, very smooth, lightly carbonated. Overall, I think this tastes better out of the bottle. A perfect beer for mid to end summer. Unlike many DIPAs I've had. Love it!

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Photo of Cheshire_Crew_Al
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, very solid beer. It is fairly light on the hops. Has some similarity to a doppelbock with the sweet component. A touch boozy but I like that about it.

Ap: small head - pours a hazy light copper color.

S: Surprisingly not that hoppy in the smell.

T: Complex, well-balanced taste. Finishes up with some citrusy hops, but the maltiness and sweetness, a touch bread dominates the palate at first.

M: light carbonation, slightly syrupy.

O: A LOT less hops than I anticipated, I suspect it was because of the imperial nature, slightly more boozy and had some malt added to balance off the hops. Not what I was anticipating but highly desirable, very enjoyable.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

- Spiegelau ipa glass.

A: Pumpkin orange with a good clarity, sporting a solid 2 finger antique white head of good retention. Solid display of macro-effervesce with a near solid sheet of lacing.

S: On the nose, dry grass, hay and pine are dominant. Baked bread, with a moderately aromatic sense of hops at first, but quickly fades.

T: dry orange , dry grass and hay for flavor. Bready with strong indications of sticky pine hops. Hopping is moderately strong with some signs of toasted sweet speciality grains blending in with a lingering dry orange-grassy finish.

M: Syrupy, sticky medium full mouthful consistency with a carbonation factor of good. A warming of grassy-orange glow on the inner cheeks from the alcohol and hops.

O: Overall a 9.1abv% gives a generous glow of hops and alcohol warmth with some sweet toasted nature backing. A lingering, dry bittering and aggressive hop nature as well alcohol content gave me flashbacks from the first time i sampled a DFH 90 minute ipa. Very good and comparable.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured bottle best by 7/29/14 into New Belgium globe

A-Pours clear golden one finger creamy white head. Spotty lacing

S-Aroma dank citrus and tropical fruit, slight fresh dough and pine.

T-Taste bitter, dank, resinous tropical and citrus hops up front, fresh dough and a hint of sweetness mid mouth, bitter hoppy finish that lasts.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

O-Overall a great DIPA love the sweetness in the taste with a dry finish to make you want more, like a saison.

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Photo of cjohns73
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a fairly fresh bottle. Color is deep gold, nice and clear; had to turn the volume up on my pour to get the billowing head to appear. Smell is... funny. Mango? Taste was good, but a bit too malty and spicy for my taste. The malty IPAs can get it done, but I think the 1-2 punch of malt and spice covers the hops too much. Bit too sweet and sticky on the tongue. Good beer, but I will pass next time.

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Photo of PJKSR02
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Disappointed by this one. I'd been hoping to get LEM for some time, and finally found it in Western Ohio. Within its "enjoy by" date. The flavor is overwhelmingly alcoholic. There's not a big hoppiness, or much malt flavor, just alcohol, unbalanced. It's like a beer liquor. The 9+% gives a good buzz, but that's not why you buy a premium-priced brew.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date of 7/29/14:

Pours deep golden with a lasting thin head. Lacing sticks.

The aroma of citrus and pine blend with caramelized bread.

The taste is of citrus and pine with a firm caramel-ish sweet backing.

It is robust with a chewy body. Alcohol warmth adds to the richness without masking.

A great example of a DIPA!

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Photo of andrewjraab
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - A light golden orange with good clarity. Two inches of soft oily head form and leave a nice web on the glass.

S - Fruity, grapefruit, figs, raisins, malts.

T - A juicy hop snap up front followed by a nicely balanced malt blend - nice to mash the bitter with the sweet that creates an easy as hell to drink DIPA.

O - This brew is world class. A DIPA that is easy to drink and brings a wonderful hop blast mixed with a nice malt presence. My wife even enjoyed this so this might be a nice DIPA as a gateway for someone wanting to expand their repertoire. Extremely drinkable - I will most definitely try this again.


Tried this again in 2014 and it is equally as good when I first reviewed. Excellent balance for a DIPA.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into imperial pint glass.

A: Lightly hazed dark goldenrod with a cream colored frothy head that originally stood about two fingers high, but now sits steadfast at a finger width. Tons of thick lacing around the glass.

S: Definitely an interesting aroma... Unlike the citrusy grapefruit aromas that I'm used to in DIPAs, Lake Erie Monster sports a medley of apricots, bananas, and some pineapple and orange perhaps overtop of a very outspoken grain-like sweetness from the malts. I'm surprised, no doubt... maybe even shocked... But, I'm not put-off. This is kind of exciting.

T: Woah, nelly! This is different! A lot of the flavors follow suit with the nose. Tons of fruity flavors upfront: those banana and apricot notes, but I'm also noticing some juicy red apple notes as well. The malt presence here is super-strong and there's a powerful grain-like sweetness that overrides much of the hop bitterness that is really only present in the finish. The lingering flavors are fairly Earthen and dank and do well to offset the seemingly out-of-place sweet and fruity profile. This is certainly unique, to me... and delicious!

M: Dear lord, this mouthfeel is nearing perfection. Velvety, slightly creamy, carbonation is subdued into submission to really allow that silky smooth body to shine. Without sounding too stupid, each sip is literally like a hug for your mouth. Glorious.

O: Honestly, Lake Erie Monster was not at all what I was expecting, but goddamn if it isn't delicious... I'll be the first to admit that I'm a huge fan over stupidly bitter hop-assaults when it comes to DIPAs, and this is far from the aforementioned, but the flavors here are so complex and wonderfully executed that there's no possible way I can be disappointed by the huge malt presence and fruity profile. I don't know whose idea this recipe was, but someone give that individual a firm handshake. This beer is damn good.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
4.04/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy golden color.

Aroma: The smell is light and mainly of caramel malt.

Taste: It's called the monster, but there's nothing scary here. Instead, it's hops. Neither bitter nor overly floral, the taste is instead earthy and rich. The brewer lists Simcoe and Willamette as the hop varieties, and they are delicious. The finish is smooth, malty, and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very good. I might prefer a touch more carbonation.

Overall: Don't drink it when on the water, but try it anyplace else. Hopefully the monster returns next year.

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Photo of Quercus67
4.06/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[12 oz NR bottle] pours a light orange/golden straw color with a nice half finger creamy white head. crisp and clear. large and small bubbles coexist. alcohol legs galore. 007

has pungent desirable aroma which showcases strong grape fruit, citrus, grass, and slight bubble gum and alcohol.

up front strong bitterness which balances well with the heavy sweetness and high alcohol of 9.1%. strong citrusy grapefruit hop flavor explodes and lasts through the back end. nice malty backbone with some honey hints. medium body. very sweet, but in a good way. kind of goes with the style. taste some alcohol with light warming effect.

pretty good DIPA. I'd drink it again if I saw it on tap somewhere.

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Photo of nicholas2121
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co. This brew has an ABV of 9.1%. Lake Erie Monster pours out a nice amber color with a nice white head. The smell is nice and pleasant with some citrus and grains. There is also some sweetness in the smell. The taste is bittersweet. The taste is different from most brews on the market. The bitterness is not over powering to this brew. At the end it is sweet with a some bitterness. You also pick up on the sweetness of citrus. The bitterness is nice in this brew because it is not overpowering. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth. This brew goes down nice for having a high ABV. Overall This brew is well balance and a smooth drinking brew. Overall I'm giving Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster a 4.5 out 5.

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Photo of Caveworm
4.34/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co., a bold experience I'm told I need to try myself. Poured from the bottle into a glass, this monster's got a 2 finger thick head, medium gold body, and heavenly lacing. What a sexy brew!

I smell what seems to be a medicinal marijuana dispensary, and certainly lots of hop resin.

Tastes like the brightest of grapefruits, the fattest hops' resins, and the cleanest of ANY imperial styled brew I've experienced.

Talk about a clean finish! I'm absolutely STUNNED that I can't sense hop oils blanketing my mouth. Dually so for this being an Imperial IPA. This has a crisp, clean finish. Slightly dry.

Overall, a dynamite 4.25 is given to Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co. I've admittedly been an IPA skeptic for a while now, thinking that it just wasn't my style. But this brew has changed my opinion of IPA's for the better. I urge you all to give this a try.

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Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This comes out a beautiful clear amber with a thick creamy white head. The head has moderate retention and leaves nice soapy lacing. The aroma is delicious, light hops reminiscent of tropical fruit. The taste is equally flavorful, again with the same tropical notes but this time coupled with a hint of citrus and a nice malt backbone. It has a thinner body but it matches up well with the flavor profile. This is truly an outstanding IPA.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.