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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very good

655 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 655
Hads: 2,363
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 166
Gots: 330 | 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
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Reviews: 655 | Hads: 2,363
Photo of larryarms847
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours sun yellow with a paper thin head.

This is a very hop forward brew, the first whiff is a haymaker of hops to the dome. Sticky, bitter hops that stain the nostrils.

At first sip, your mouth is absolutely decimated by these bold and explosiveness hops. Also, just a slight note of citrus to balance the all out hop bombardment.

Overall my second favorite Great Lakes offering, only second to Chill Wave. (449 characters)

Photo of zhivago373
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lake Erie Monster is a release i look forward to every year - a sweet, nearly over-ripe-tasting DIPA.

the '14 batch pours into a glass with a deep amber/golden color; thin white head that dissipates quickly. lacing left around the glass.

on the nose, a sweet, citrus-driven hop aroma with an english-type malt backbone. this beers smells wonderful.

tasting, it hits the front of the tongue with a sweet bitterness, citrus and slight tropical notes, fading to a malty middle-of-the-tongue base and a sweet finish. wonderful. not overly thick and not too thin - a great mouthfeel.

definitely in my favorite IPAs list. this one deserves more love and recognition. (665 characters)

Photo of glass_house
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Pours a deep, clear straw-gold with one finger of fizzy off-white head. Maintains a thin cap with some oily lacing. Aroma is muted citrus (faint lemon peel), a bit of grassy funk, clove-like spice, and alcohol. If I got a blind whiff of this, I'd never guess DIPA--smells much more like a spicy Belgian ale.

The taste is much like I expected from the smell--soft light fruity notes, sweet biscuity malt with caramel undertones, funky fresh-cut hay, and white pepper. I'm getting a marginal amount of hop bitterness. Alcohol warmth comes through on the finish, but maintains a smooth drinkability. As it warms I do get a bit of pine resin, but never the bite I was expecting from a Monster. Mouthfeel is excellent for my taste in the style--thick, sticky, and coats the palate well. Carbonation is tame and comes through just enough to give it a slight crispness.

Don't expect it to taste anything like a standard American DIPA. It reminds me much more of a strong Belgian pale with some tripel-like characteristics. Certainly a well made beer, and it may be more appealing to others, but I'm glad I bought a couple singles before snagging a whole case. If Chillwave is Jim Brown, and Rye Of The Tiger is Leroy Kelly, this Monster is more like Earnest Byner. (1,296 characters)

Photo of lochef81
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This dipa pours a handsome amber hue with a small off white head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is an overly sweet blend of citrus, floral, and tropical fruit hops. There is also a generous amount of malt and alcohol present. The body is thick and sticky; almost too much so and I love sticky ipas. The flavor is overly sweet almost cloying. It is very fresh with an abundance of hops but the degree if sweetness interferes with how great of a beer this could be. This is a solid ipa but if you can pick up Chillwave instead. (545 characters)

Photo of Omnium
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours clear yellow gold, nice two finger head, a wall of lacing.
S - Huge fruit aroma, pineapple, mango, papaya, grape, a hint of pine, and bread malt. It might be an overwhelming amount of fruit but I love it.
T - Bright lush juicy fruits, there's a lot of grape and papaya flavor, and finishes more on the floral side with a nice fresh bread maltiness.
M - For 9.1% this is stupid drinkable, very balanced feel.
O - This took me by surprise, this does not taste anything like I remember from last year. I distinctly remember a lot of pine and pineapple from last year, but there was a lot of alcohol burn and somewhat boozy flavor, this is not the case this year. I also love that it follow alchemy hour in release. Time to buy a case of this stuff.

EDIT #1 6/2/13: Just had a bottle of vintage 2012 that's been in the fridge since last year, yes I know that its an IPA, and old blah blah, but I much prefer the 2012 to 2013, Its a lot more mellow in the tropical sweetness, and more balanced, with more pronounced pineapple as I remembered. Proof that IPAs can age well, there's still a decent bite in the 12. Still doesnt change the fact that I like this one.

EDIT #2 5/20/14 I had to drop my scores on this beer. This year's version is different. The blast of overly ripe tropical fruit is here, but there's also a very pronounced grape presence, which is good, but there's a lot of strange bitterness hanging on to my palate. And there's more of a malt balance in this one. Though its still as drinkable as ever. (1,548 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pale amber color with 1/2 a finger of white bubbly head. Then head recedes pretty quickly down to a white film.

S: Corn and malt scents with an alcohol presence on the nose.

T: Slight caramel sweetness, dose of alcohol in the mid palate and late too.

M: "tight" feeling with a slight astringency. The Carbonation level is right.

O: This has almost a lager taste and body to it. Not getting the expected hop pine and fruitiness. In a blind taste test I wouldn't peg this as a Pale Ale. This one does not fit well into any box. I know it is not my favorite (I love Chill Wave - I will stick with that). (607 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lovin' Cup in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a clear golden orange, with some visible carbonation, a half inch head, and lots of lacing. Looks nice!

Smells quite sweet and malty, with a little bit of citrus flavors. The malt seems to be the star here, unfortunately.

This is a fresh keg, first one delivered to Rochester, so I know this is fresh and how it should taste. There is a slight hop bite up front, but it is followed by a wave of malty sweetness. This tastes more akin to a light barleywine. The malt flavor is slightly cloying. The hops are drowned out, but what I can pick out seems to be of the citrus variety. I know Great Lakes can do great IPAs (hello Chill Wave, hi Rye of the Tiger, what's up Commodore Perry) so this is slightly mystifying. Just not my type of IPA.

Medium bodied, a bit sticky and syrupy, low carbonation.

A big disappointment, I was looking forward to trying this one a lot. (916 characters)

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

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA.

12 oz brown bottle poured into a stemless white wine glass. Freshness date clearly marked.

Pours a pale golden, orange-ish color with a subtle haze. Almost three fingers of thick white-peach head linger for a while. Gives way to great rings of lacing all over the glass. A few carbonation bubbles slowly rise, which is good its not over done.

The aroma is inviting. Nice grapefruit notes with a tangy zest to it. The aroma is not very strong but it is good.

Taste follows the nose but with a more robust bold punch of hops. A nice hoppy citrus taste hangs around for a while with a moderate bitter bite at 80 IBU's. The 9.1% ABV is well hidden behind the slightly bitter hop punch.

mouth feel is great. The hoppy taste lingers for a while. It tastes more bitter than chillwave although they both are 80 IBU's. Carbonation is great. A nice hoppy citrus bitterness clings to your palate.

Overall I don't know if i like it more than chillwave or not. The bottle art sure is better on lake Erie. I do like that this one is more bitter than chillwave but at the same IBU's. Today i picked up three four packs, I always buy GLBC seasonals when they come around. Another great brew from Great Lakes! (1,246 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with hints of citrusy hops.
T: Like the smell, this is very much a malt-forward IPA that has lots of malty sweetness along with slight bits of citrusy hops and a tad of bitterness, the latter of which gets a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't have much bitterness, but you can definitely perceive its strength from the strong dose of hops, which lends a caramel-like sweetness. The beer hides its alcohol very well. (870 characters)

Photo of joeseppy
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoy by 7/26/13
Yea, I've had this too long but let's give it a go.

Cloudy apricot pour with one inch white head.

Aroma rush of rich malt. A muddled sweetness. Floral hop and muddled citrus fruit.

Taste is bready with malt sweetness. Muddled richer fruit in the middle. Alcohol hot at the end.

Thick and sticky. Carbonation still very expressive.

This has morphed into barleywine territory. I'm not throwing these away since I do like barleywines. Keeping my eye out again for fresh. (490 characters)

Photo of Extrajoker00
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed: 5/22/14

Previous Quick rating of 4.5 on 4/1/14

Lake Erie Monster by Great Lakes
poured from a bottle into a pint glass

P- Like all Great Lakes labels this one has a very cool Sea monster 4.25

A- Golden with a very thin off white head mild lacing 3.75

S- Apricot or some grape sweetness, hops 4.25

T- Fruity, hops, and a sweet malt balance, very distinctive 4.5

M- Big bold and challenges the taste buds sharp but slightly oily 4.0

D- keeps the palate off guard and interested 4.0

O- The most interesting beer I've drank in some time 4.25

(Special Review 9/16 for my Holiday)

Long long overdue rating, sadly this years model may not be as good as the last few. Luckily, when a beer is this good even an average batch is still very good

Highly recommend ---- J (781 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't think people appreciate subtlety anymore. That's why this beer is getting lower scores these days. Hard to think of a better well crafted imperial ipa. First off, this beer is in a special class when it comes to appearance. Nose isn't much but don't be fooled. The tropical and floral flavors play off one another to create anything but a one dimensional beer. (368 characters)

Photo of witster18
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on mantrip of 2013, my buddy turns to me as the rest of the group goes into a pizza joint and asks me, "Do You Wanna Get Your Sush-On, I just saw a sushi place about two blocks back". So we trekked back to the sushi joint and ordered some food, but come to find out they don't have a license for beer yet so the server tells us they sell beer AT THE RESIDENCE INN LOBBY next door. This stuff only happens in cleveland. I go next door and there is a GIGANTIC cooler full of great beer. Seeing how we were .5mile from the brewery I knew the GLBC stuff would be fresh and it was smokin' new from the brewery.

took a few back over to the restraurant and cracked 'em.

Very impressed. First of all, this tastes like a 7.5-8 percenter, not a 9.1. Which is probably why this little beast sent another one of my friends to the emergency room last year with alcohol poisoning.

Taste is a like an ipa, only with no diacytl notes, and more of a malt profile than you might expect. Very little head - which is expected. Lacing is freakin amazing... maybe the scariest, most unpredictable lacing I've ever seen. Very SCHTICKY!. We could have dragged a bottle of this to the on-deck circle at the Indians game an hour later for them to use as the new, improved "pine-tar". Strong pine notes and strong grapefruit taste. Copper color. Alcohol shows-up late, but still doesn't seem like 9.1. Tastes like there's a boatload of maris otter in there... that earthy yet citrusy malt that I just love. I could be wrong, but I'd be surprised if that's not the base here...if it's not maris it's some odd 2-row... Of course the color is coming from some specialty malts... ... no clue on the hops. simcoe or citra? This beer definitely doesn't do the 'grain bill' any favors.

I'm not a HUGE beer guy. I mean I AM a huge beer guy, but not necessarily a high-gravity guy. Don't usually care for the boozy stuff, but I could easily sit back and pound 3 or 4 of these like we did that day. Just make sure you move onto Dortmunder or something soon - because a six pack of monsters is a very, VERY risky proposition.

Cant' wait to get back up there to the brewery and have some more on tap.

EXCELLENT beer. One of the only 8+ percenters I'll actually order - even though there are quite a few I wouldn't turn down. (2,292 characters)

Photo of thegodfather1076
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Awesome label artwork in the traditional GLBC style. Label gives small back story and description of the beer, a bit of brewery information, ABV info, freshness date(7-29-13), serving temp recommendation. Neck label gives a nice story of the beer and has GLBC logo. 25th Anniversary Cap.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12oz bottle led to a 3 finger densely packed white head resting atop a slightly hazy honey copper orange color beer filling the 16oz snifter. Head retention was very good at 4min 55sec before fading to a thick coating and ring. Excellent lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of floral and slight resin hops along with a huge tropical fruit scent of pineapple, maybe mango, and ruby red grapefruit. Also has a sweet bready malt scent. Very complex!!!

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of piney resin hop bitterness with a very spicy bite on the front end with a honey toffee bready malt sweetness coming through at the midpoint before finishing with a grapefruit bitter back end and finish. I didn't detect any floral aspects that I was expecting from the nose. A bit of alcohol can be detected as well.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the full side of medium bodied with a smooth and slightly creamy mouthfeel. This goes down easy for its ABV.

Overall/Comments: A really good DIPA and another great beer to add to the GLBC lineup. An intense and complex offering on both the nose and palette. A must try IMO. Seasonal Offering(May release). Classifed as an American Double/Imperial IPA @ 9% ABV. Consumed 6/20/2013. (1,552 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Freshest by 8/9/13. 50 degrees. Bottle into goblet.
Aroma citrusy
Head small (1.5 cm), frothy, white, fully diminishing.
Lacing OK.
Body cloudy, light orange.
Begins and ends moderately bitter, no diacetyl, no particularly distinct hop flavor, just a general bitterness.
Medium body, slightly oily, lively carbonation.

The small, short-lived head lowers the appearance rating for me, but this is generally a very good DIPA. (424 characters)

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

This is simply fantastic. Beautiful lacing clings to the tulip glass. Dark orange and clear, decent amount of carbonation. Smells of juicy fruits, floral bouquet, and bitter hoppyness. Mouthfeel is chewy and awesome. Taste is juicy fruit at first that falls into a nice malty and bitter back end that doesn't end too bitter. (324 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Headkeeper: This one pours a clear golden color. There was about a finger of off-white head. Lots of lacing. The nose is good. Grapefruit, some pine, and malts. The taste is good. A bit of sweetness, and a fairly full body. Get a good bit of the caramel malts, as well as pine and citrus flavors. Pretty decent. (321 characters)

Photo of davecavemaster
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another beer from one of my favorite breweries, the Great lakes Brewing Company in Ohio. This is an Imperial India Pale Ale, and packs a punch at 9.1% alcohol level.

The beer has a nice orange/cooper color, and pours with a nice off-white foamy head. It has good lacing..I love a beer that leaves a web of foam all the way down the glass when you dink it.

The aroma of the brew is a mix of sweet malt, and the grapefruit and pone you get from good IPAs. It's not really strong, but very pleasant.

The taste leads with a sweet malty flavor, and finishes with the sour bitterness of grapefruit and pine. The flavors are extremely well balanced, and it gives you a pleasing bite on the sides of your tongue.

Lake Erie Monster has a medium body, and what I would describe as "medium" or moderate carbonation. There is a bit of an oily feel to the beer, as it coats the inside of your mouth. You get a warm feeling fairly quickly, due to the alcohol level.

Overall, a great IPA. A little heavier, due to the stout brewing, so it's definitely not a session beer. This is a good one, I highly recommend. (1,102 characters)

Photo of Zormac
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- golden yellow cloudy with a one and a half finger bright white head

S- mandarin orange right away giving way to grapefruit and a slight grassiness

T- very sweet up front balanced by a wonderful light bitterness on the finish very mild alcohol in the after taste.

M- full yet mellow

O- this beer taste like a great session beer aside from the 9.1 ABV I could drink this all day long. (393 characters)

Photo of Icedogs
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My favorite Imperial IPA of them all. I just tried Heady Topper and I think I still like LEM best. Yes, I am quite biased in favor of Great Lakes Brewing Company because one of my best friends worked there for nine years and I've spent many a fine afternoon/evening at the place. But my preference for GLBC beer is primarily because the beers are almost always outstanding. Cheers! (381 characters)

Photo of JohnF
4.89/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I am so impressed with Great Lakes that I am trying any of their beers I can find in PA. Monster was enjoyed yesterday. Beautiful smooth double IPA with a taste good enough to go out and buy a case. This will be a definite beer to keep around. Good color, head, smell, and the taste was over the top. (300 characters)

Photo of Amalak
3.69/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had at Monk's in Chicago.

A. Hazy light caramel, opaque. It has a big foamy white head and good lacing.

S. Slight caramel and banana scent.

T/M. Extremely sweet. Full-bodied. Has a bit of a banana taste, like the scent. Tart. Some dark fruit flavor. Very smooth. Fairly high in alcohol. A bit of pumpkin.

O. It's very potent, intense, strong. Good in small doses. (369 characters)

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

Enjoyed this brew on at Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland OH.

A: Pours a copper hue with a frothy white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Hoppy malt and citrus aroma.

T: Strong malt and hoppy flavors.

M: Heavy body and minimal carbonation.

O: Excellent DIPA – worthy of a try. (307 characters)

Photo of MikeWard
3.92/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Best before date of 8/11/13, so a few weeks past "expiration".

Poued just beautifully. Golden slightly hazy body, with 2+ fingers of fluffy white head. Some decent carbonation, Lacing was very nice initially, though did disappear about 2/3rds through.

Smell was heavy on the sweet malt, seconded by fruity hops, nd a whiff of the 9.10 alcohol.

Taste, considering being a few weeks past best by, was very pleasing, Seemed to be nicely balanced. Got a good buzz from the alcohol, fairly sweet from the malt, but still some decent hop bite.

Mouth was a little over medium, faintly syrupy on the tongue. Did initially get an odd flavor on the back of the tongue which I couldn't really identify.

Overall, a very decent beer, which would appear to retain at least some hop bite past it's prime. Will be interesting to try this within a month of bottling, but if you are looking for a good balance with both hops and malts shining through, don't be afraid to grab a Lake Erie Monster close to it's best by date. You might be pleasantly surprised. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Fcolle2
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/19/13

Pours golden with a slight bronze hue. A half finger white head leaves a nice lacing

Smell is dominated by sweet tangerine like hops and milder pine hop notes. malt is light and grainy. Some alcohol is also detectable.

Taste is great, there is a nice almost sour bitterness that works really nice with the orange like citrus hops. A little bit of pine and grassy flavors are also detectable. Some nice sweet caramel malt is in the finish.

Mouthfeel is good, medium body with high carbonation keeps this pretty drinkable for all the booze.

Overall this is a good ipa, glad I got to try it so fresh. (618 characters)

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.