Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 2,595 | Reviews: 985 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +0.8%
On-tap at the Cleveland-Hopkins airport
Nice, there's a touch of cocoa in the malt that really sets this pale ale apart nicely. Otherwise, the hops provide a great, piney hops bite. Overall this is a nice change of pace from SNPA wannabe's with the slightly dark grains and more rounded yet more harsh hops in use. It may not be crisp, but it's mighty tasty.
04-08-2008 21:27:35 | More by tempest
4.47/5 rDev +12.6%
Picked this up in West Virginia while I was on vacation there. A great session beer that I wish I could find locally, It pours dark golden with a thin head that sticks around and creates some decent lacing. The smellis lovely, with beautifully balanced earthy hops and a light malt background. Some cherry fruitiness at the finish. The taste is a beautiful example of a pale ale. Relativeley lightbodied, but with a nice fruity and bitter flavor throughout. Cherries and orange zest and earthy hops make this a delightful quaffer. Nicely balanced and crisp but full mouthfeel make this one great to have in the fridge often.
06-24-2007 00:41:39 | More by Georgiabeer
3.68/5 rDev -7.3%
A 12 oz bottle obtained in a trade with jdoolin.
A: The ale is a coppery red color with auburn orange highlight. There is a small ring of white head in the glass.
S: The aroma is a strong biscuit maltiness with a slight hint of hops.
T: The beer has a big malty base, grainy with a cereal finish. The carbonation adds an astrigent sharpness. The hops add a nice finishing flourish without detracting from the malts.
M: The malty graininess is the real winner here, providing thick tasty body of beer.
D: The ale has a nice malty grain flavor that makes it easy to drink.
11-13-2006 01:37:16 | More by akorsak
3.36/5 rDev -15.4%
12oz bottle poured into pint. The brew appears a clear copper color with a slight off-white cap. Some stringy lace sticks to the wall of the glass.
The aromas is strikingly similar to a strong tea than beer.Ffaintly herbal and a little mineral filled. Some slight fruity alcohol emits as it is swirled.
The flavor is also tea-like and astringent like strong tea with a bitterness that creeps in slightly herbal. A bready grain backing is also present to contrast.
This is a light bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is an ok offering but I really dont think I would revisit this.
01-17-2014 19:50:06 | More by stakem
4.03/5 rDev +1.5%
Served on-tap at Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH
A: Pours a crystal clear pale amber in color with some moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation and some golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a medium patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Light aromas of caramel malts with some moderate aromas of floral and citrus/orange rind hops.
T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of pale and caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness. The malts are followed by light to moderate flavors of floral and citrus/orange rind hops which impart a light bitterness which lingers for a short amount of time.
M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of crispness upfront.
O: This is an easy drinking beer that pairs up well with the food served in the brewpub at Great Lakes - I think this beer would go with just about anything. Easy to drink and refreshing, enough hops to be interesting but still enjoyable and not overly bitter. This is just about sessionable (just a touch high on the ABV to really be a session beer).
03-06-2013 12:33:05 | More by dbrauneis
4/5 rDev +0.8%
(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a bright light orange hue with a crystal clear body and a small off-white heat that is very creamy. A nice slow carbonation of small bubbles.
S- A nice aroma of green hops and citrus notes with some pale malt notes.
T- Nice grapefruit hops very bold at the begining of the taste. A slight orange hint is mixed with the pale malt flavor and a nice hoppy bitter finish.
M- Medium-full mouthfeel with no astringency or alcohol warmth.
D- This is a very smooth drink with a great juicy hop flavor. A well-built, easy-drinking beer.
09-09-2005 23:40:39 | More by rhoadsrage
4.5/5 rDev +13.4%
Sampled through the efforts of Murrayswine and UTBIF.
Pours a clear deep amber to almost copper colored ale with a tall tan head.
Smell is quite malt and spicy in the first sniff. Lots of malt scent and bready grain smells. Very spicy from the hops chosen for this beer. Individual aromas of caramel and nuts with a little bread dough and vanilla.
Taste is quite malty at the beginning with a trace of smoke and starts out a lot like a Scottish ale. Quickly the hops kick in and add a nice complex bitterness to this brew. Faint lemons in the hops but mostly I taste smoke, malt and drying bitterness. A very tasty APA that isn't just a SNPA clone. Spicy after taste that is cleaned up by a woody bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is very good and surprisingly full.
Drinkability is among the best. A damn tasty beer that isn't extreme in any respect. What makes this beer is a lot of great qualities extremely well executed. A malty spicy and smoky pale ale that doesn't get tiresome at all in your mouth. A superior APA in all respects.
03-04-2006 01:47:16 | More by Zorro
4/5 rDev +0.8%
Thanks to JAYW for this brew.
Pours a nice clean/clear golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice creamy one-finger head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is hoppy, malty, slight piny, and lots of caramel. The taste is a good balance of hops and malts, with lots of caramel. The finish is very dry and bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice Pale Ale, glad to have a chance to try it.
09-09-2007 22:25:50 | More by Wasatch
4.3/5 rDev +8.3%
12oz bottle poured into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass.
A- A pretty, amber/orange mix with a ever rising fluffy semi thick white head. It settled after a few leaving a loose skim. Some bubbles loose bubbles barely sticking to the glass I would not call it a lace.
S- Getting citrus hops plus floral scents with some caramel from the malt. Nicely hopped for a american pale, the best scent from one in recent memory.
T- I first get a nice dose of hops giving off citrus with grapefruit, orange, plus floral tastes. A very nicely hopped APA. Some sweetness from malts with a nice balance. Some bitterness afterwards which is nice.
M&D- The feel is light to medium with a good amount of carb livining things up a bit. Very impressive. I get hops than some sweetness than some bitterness, nothing over the hill. Hmmm, only 6%, sign me up.
08-02-2009 00:55:29 | More by BARFLYB
3.65/5 rDev -8.1%
12oz bottle obtained via SS08 from kirok1999. Thanks for the opportunity.
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the slightly cloudy orangey amber brew. Head lasts and lasts, with goodly amounts of chunky lacing. Aroma is balanced, leaning slightly towards piney hops. Taste is slight vegetal upfront, citrus hops in the middle, and then combination through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, and drinkability is about the same. Things just don't come together quite as well as I would hope.
02-13-2009 21:36:22 | More by ppoitras
4.13/5 rDev +4%
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears burnt orange in color with a lingering soapy white head which provides ample amount of lacing.
Smell is lightly floral. Sweet malt also there.
This beer has a very good balanced flavor, leaning to the hop edge. Caramel and biscuity with a solid citrus hop lending notes of orange sherbert as well as pine.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finishes semi dry.
Drinkable? Very.. Sessionable, definately. Sure does go down easy hard to have just one.
09-01-2009 15:32:42 | More by Stinkypuss
4.23/5 rDev +6.5%
12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 5/20/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a fairly dense 1 finger off white head with good retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange, caramel, apricot, pine, herbal, biscuit, honey, floral, and grass. Very nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of grapefruit, biscuit, pine, floral, honey, orange, caramel, and herbal spiciness. Good amount of spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange, pine, biscuit, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great malt flavor balance with bitterness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is a very excellent and balanced pale ale that is highly enjoyable and flavorful.
04-06-2012 05:43:15 | More by superspak
3.98/5 rDev +0.3%
Burning River isn't all that fiery. In fact, it's actually a fairly dull and commonplace shade of gold. That's not to say it isn't kindled with just a smudge of amber but don't let the name or label put any pictures in your head. Its complexion is glossy, its clarity immaculate and its head bubbly and adhesive - this doesn't need any glitzy highlighting to look good.
This is supposedly an English pale ale but it's brimming with pungent, piny American North-West hops (Cascades, to be specific). And it gives you a little sample of everything the cones are capable of being: sprucey and piny, fresh and minty, herbal and earthy, zestful and spicy, candied and citrusy. One beer - a dozen different smells.
What ends up making the cut is the mintyness, the citrus and the herbal character. It tastes like a fresh, ripely picked hop cone that was drowned in pineapple and bitter grapefruit juice before being crushed together with fresh mint leaves. If Great Lakes Brewing ever decides to make a salad dressing flavoured like this I'll be sure to buy it.
The malts are tasted but even more so sensed. They are toasty and sweet with a sugary honeycomb flavour and trace nuttiness. The hops are felt too, even for a considerable period after the swallow, as they release their resoundingly bitter resins. Neither hops nor malt seem to dominate; having the presence of both in the same beer is appreciated.
If anyone is looking for a tasty, easily quaffed and highly rewarding pale ale then I might just point them in the direction of Cleveland, Ohio. There are pale ales out there just as good (even better) but there aren't many breweries who turn up as high a number of quality beers as Great Lakes. They either make good beer or they make great beer.
10-11-2009 00:08:36 | More by biegaman
4.53/5 rDev +14.1%
From which this pint glass holds from yonder bottle of goodness comes the appearance of a clear amber/orange color nectar. Antique offwhite head with decent lacing and some solid ice cream cone retention.
Smell is a dominant flavor of toasted grain. Toasted rye or whole wheat bread. Literally this beer smells like toast from the toaster, I want to BUTTER it it smells so good.
That grainy toasty taste comes through in a not overbearing way, with excellent body. It feels as it coats your palate everywhere as the toast aromas finish, and then this mellow aromatic hop flavor comes out that isn't bitter at all. The afterfinish goes on pleasantly for what feels like forever, superior clean finish, and I don't know how but their is a whisp... a hint... of cocoa on the aftertaste, how they did this just blows my mind. This is one of the best mouthfeel/finishing beers I've ever had.
Drinkability is just flat out high.
12-02-2010 03:51:19 | More by smakawhat
4.22/5 rDev +6.3%
Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger pillowy white head. There was good retention and lacing.
The smell featured a very aromatic oily citrus hop. There was a nice peppery element as well.
The taste was upfront oily hop with excellent grapefruit, orange and white pepper elements. There was a solid biscuity grain bill as well.
The mouthfeel was full with a dry finish.
Overall a very good APA experience. This beer has more kick than your average APA. Highlt recommended
10-23-2006 14:08:26 | More by plaid75
3.7/5 rDev -6.8%
A: A bright orange color sits in the glass revealing a medium strong effervesce that was quickly paced. On top sits a dirty bone colored head, foamy in nature, with some patchy spots with an overall slight statue and average retention. The lacing was weak on the hold, leaving quickly sliding bubbly patches that soon vanished within the drink leaving little to hold interest or impress.
S: Dried toffee and caramel along with some sugary pine hints first opens things up aromatic wise. The strength is light with some fresh soft citrus. With a name like burning river I expected perhaps a bit more feistiness and strength from the nose.
T: Nice sharp delivery and definition of citrus hops come to light with a flavor of sweet caramel malting. Proof you cant judge a beer by its cover, err smell. Sweet start turns to a warm toasted affair of caramel malts on succeeding sips with a warming citrus and alcohol presence. There is a bit of dried ale like fruitiness that comes to light briefly before the close along with some pine oils and a flowery dryness closing with a dose of toasted grains.
M: The mouthful was medium in body, warm citrus oils are detected on the inner cheeks while a good bitterins sense could be determined on the tongue. The carbonation is a bit tame at the start hurting the crispness factor but the swallow makes up for it with a dry flowery bitterness lingering behind.
D: Good drinkability, nice balance of toasted malts and hops that is neither over the top in execution nor under appreciated, seems they got it just right for the drinking factor. You can easily down a few of these with general conversation.
End Beer Musings: though my rating may say differently I did enjoy the flavor aspect of this drink, the most important. When not scrutinizing such factors such as appearance and aroma, you will find this to be a good pale with a moderate strong hopping per style and worthy of a try and to put down in repeats.
09-27-2010 23:34:09 | More by beerthulhu
3.9/5 rDev -1.8%
12 oz bottle, purchases in Buffalo.
Pours a clear amber orange, some copper, thin white head forms, quickly settles down to a medium sized ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, looks alright.
Smell is nice, big citrus aroma, orange peel, some lemons, nice sweet malt character, caramel and biscuits, grapefruit, floral, a bit of fruit, pineapple, really nice hop character.
Taste is similar, heavy on the malts for a pale, caramel and biscuit jump out, quite sweet, some nice fruitiness, apricots, strawberries, grapefruit and orange peel hopping, nice floral, balanced bitterness, a bit peppery going down.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light to medium carbonation. I like my pales a bit hoppier but this is still damn nice and almost perfectly balanced.
12-02-2009 01:37:51 | More by Viggo
Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 2,595 ratings.