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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Burning River Pale AleGreat Lakes Burning River Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,018 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,018
Hads: 3,099
Avg: 3.99
pDev: 19.3%
Wants: 136
Gots: 515 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) | 6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-06-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,018 | Hads: 3,099
Photo of brandongoblue24
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

L: 2 full fingers of creamy off-white head with a fairly aggressive pour. Dwindled to a film, where it remained. A good amount of visible carbonation, with a bit of particulate floating. Color was a crystal clear golden amber.

S: Spicy, floral hops certainly lead the charge, but there is a substantial amount of grainy malts.

T: Again, the floral hops were forward, but this time there was a tiny bit of lemon/citrus added. The malt took on a biscuity flavor that I wasn't getting in the nose. Well balanced, if a little on the malty side for a pale ale. Less bitterness than I expected with 45 IBUs.

F: Medium bodied, with fairly high carbonation. A smooth, medium-dry finish. I wouldn't call it crisp per se, but certainly refreshing.

O: A clean, refreshing pale ale, with strong malt flavors and floral hops. Certainly a good showing from Great Lakes!

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Photo of quikfish13
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a dark orange/copper color with a tan off white head. Very clear not cloudy at all, looks great.

Smells of citrus, oranges mainly, and a malty aroma hit first. A very sweet aroma with some roasted scents thrown in for good measure. My mouth was already watering in anticipation.

Very nice floral hops taste with the citrus coming forefront. Not much bitterness at all. A nice earthy malt flavor comes through at the end with the grains dominating all the way through. A slight hint of mango as well with reminders of perhaps papaya are tasted.

Not thick at all and almost slick as it goes down. Still no trouble actually drinking this as it is one of the smoothest beers I have had yet. Being exeptionally tasting, great looking, and smelling amazing this is a highly drinkable beer. I have bought 6-12 packs of this beverage on a regular basis. Another great brew from Great Lakes.

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Photo of zhooker
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a large footed pilsener glass, with ample time before the drink-by date. Pours a nice, clear dark honey (or, lighter-hued amber) with a mound of craggy, airy foam on top. Nice head retention throughout the glass, but only a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is primarily hops, with a tinge of sweet malt. My previous pint was Great Lakes' Lake Erie Monster (an Imperial IPA) -- and this smells significantly more hoppy. It is not an overly bitter scent, but piney, green, and a little citrus-like (Cascade and Northern Brewer hops, says the info sheet).

Taste was also pleasantly over-hopped (which I think is an apt adjective, considering this is a Pale Ale -- not even an IPA). Citrus comes through more in the taste than was sensed in the nose. Sweet malts also deliver. Leaves a piney residue in the back of the mouth, but nothing egregiously unpleasant. Think IPA.

Relatively clean mouthfeel except for that slight chalkiness in the finish, typical of an over-hopped brew. Carbonation felt just right. As a fan of big and bold flavors, I usually don't pick up many Pale Ales -- but this one was a nice surprise! Recommended.

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Photo of zakery
1.48/5  rDev -62.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I'll start with the easy stuff: A white fluffy head pillows on top of a good looking crystal-clear amber brew with low visible carbonation.

Now to the tough part: Let me begin with a little bit of background. In Sweden, there exists a kind of tobacco called "wet snuff". It is Kentucky tobacco that's been matured and ground into tiny particles. This is then moistened and stuffed into small round boxes. When using it you grab some and squeeze it into a loosely compacted mass that you stuff under you upper lip. It also comes in portion sizes in something that looks like a tiny tea-bag. We used to joke about how it would make the most awful drink if one brewed a tea from these portion bags.

Now on with the rest of the review. This beer tastes _exactly_ like one would imagine a tea made from this wet snuff would taste like. I'm not talking subtle over or under tones here... smack bang exactly like the snuff. Both in smell and taste. I do recognize the quality of the beer, and I would generally enjoy a highly hopped beer like this. If I'd never tried the snuff it would've been fine I think. I tried to persist through the bottle, but it was just too much. The more I drank, the more it reminded me of the tobacco. The aftertase of the beer is exactly like when you accidentally swallow some of the snuff. Too bad... I had high hopes for this beer as I love other Great Lakes brews.

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Photo of tom444
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours: A rich, clear reddish amber color, with a thick off-white head. Excellent head retention, little lacing.

Aroma: Somewhat malty, with a strong hop scent.

Taste: Crisp and fairly bitter, with plenty of floral and citrus hop notes. A bit of lingering hoppy aftertaste.

Overall: A very good pale ale, and yet another excellent brew from Great Lakes.

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Photo of slagle9480
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer just didn't do it for me. I tried it three different times, but each time I had too high of hopes going into it. The third time around it improved. Rather than a 3.3 it probably bounced up to about a 3.5 in my book.

In my short history of sampling beer, Burning River has thus far been the most disappointing. Try it for yourself though. I don't know every little nuance of an APA.

If you like APA's, try Southern Tier's Hoppe. You'll thank yourself.


"Keep drinkin Southern Tier. Everything will be alright."

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Photo of thisisshsas
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- appears blond with a slight reddish tint.
S- citrus smell is stonger than spice smell. THe aroma is there, but it is by no means overpowering.
T- hoppy but under control flavor. creates the desire to have another one in order to be fulfilled.
M&D- swirls around the mouth to create a slight wooden flavor. A beer you could stick to all night. also a great beer to convert the bud crowd, as it is a very easy drink but still has some flavor.

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Photo of Petrislav
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Perfectly amber color, high clarity, 1 finger tan head, massive bubbles!

S: Fruity hops, weed like skunk

T: Mouthfull of cascading hops, grassy finish with grapefruit peel

M: Bitter! Medium bodied

A tasty hophead brew, smells fantastic

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

Appearance: Straw/amber color with good carbonation and a strong head. Lacing remained on the glass throughout.

Smell: Brilliantly hoppy aroma. Floral with some citrus notes.

Taste: Sweet up front with a very faint skunkyness. Well balanced by hops in the finish. Finishes clean with a slight carbonation astringency.

Mouthfeel: Prefect level of carbonation and a creamy head.

Drinkability: Great session beer. Good taste and mouthfeel with a finish that doesn't kill your palate.

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

Pours a clear deep copper/amber color with a bubbly beige head that impales itself to the glass all the way down. Smells of citrus, light sweet fruit, slight mineral. Taste is smooth citrus with a fruity burnt sugar malt sweetness. Good balance! Twinge of hops, bit of malt leaves a hop bite at the end of every sip. Crisp carbonation, sticky, resinous mouthfeel, medium body with a semi dry finish. Good session ale here.

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

It pours an golden to amber color that is completely clear with a little bit of white head on top. The smell is not over powering but give hints of citrus and some piney-ness. From the first sip those citrus and pine flavors kick right in. The carbonation adds a good amount of fix to it and makes this beer extremely drinkable. Great Lakes Brewing Co. makes some amazing beers and this one is tied with Eddie Fitz for my favorite right now.

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Photo of aficionado224
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer tastes so good it's hard to put down. Full of smoky maltiness, and balanced by exactly the right amount of hoppy bitterness. It's an award-winning brew, and it certainly deserves them. Pale Ales of all types are my favorite styles, and this is one of the best examples of the style I've ever tasted, and flavor is the name of the game.

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Photo of mayor55
3/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber color with thick head . Poured in to a pint glass. Head over 1" thick. Leaves good rings on glass. very average, one dimensional flavor. burnt malty nose, weak on the hops. My first sampling of Great Lakes. Very average beer. Harsh bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of djwilson
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle exp. date 7-5-07

Appearence: Poured into a pilsner glass. nice copper color thick white head forming high above the glass, head held for several minutes leaving a nice heavy belgian lace on the side of the glass, with tiny bubbles rising to the surface.

Smell: hoppy aroma with hints of citrus, light pine and very light caramel scent.

Taste: Slightly sweet on the front of the tounge, picking up hints of caramel, slighty burnt malt, finishes with a very dry hoopy finish that lingers for several minutes.

Mouthfeel: Very typical for an APA, medium body that may get gummy if served too warm, but at 45 degrees the hop flavor is really starting to explode in the back of my mouth.

Drinkability: My old stand by from GLBC, usually enjoyed from the pub on draft, but represented nicely in the bottle. This one goes down quickly do to the sweetness from the malt but nicely balaced by a slight hop kick. At 6% ABV serveral can be enjoyed without feeling the effects the next day, especially if enjoyed at 3:00 in the afternoon.

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Photo of Slar211
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Pours dark gold and almost clear in a pint glass with a thick creamy head.

Smell: Floral hops and sweet malt, some citrus as well.

Taste: Big hops give hints of lemon and orange, balanced with just enough sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, dry enough to invite another taste.

Drinkability: This is a good one, very drinkable.

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Photo of Rainne
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. Still going from notes, but it's burned into my memory anyway.

A- Orange amber color with a sweet head and crazy good lacing.

S- Malt (caramel) with a hops presence citrus and earth.

T- Hops bitterness is the first thing I get followed by caramel malt and earthy and citrus tones hovering. Nice balance. Much like an IPA actually. Grapefruit and pine in there as well and a little bread/toast.

M- Nice. Crisp and refreshing with a great body and perfect carbonation.

D- I might like this even more than SN though it's a close race.

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Photo of StevensBrewing
2.97/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Holy Cascade! This beer is great for hopheads. It looks fine, smells better than it tastes for a small time hop guy like me. This beer is pallet scorching, so be careful if you're not used to powerful alphas. Overall is is decent for Great Lakes.

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Photo of Kicksmile67
3.37/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was just another beer by my standards. The appearnce was nothing unique with a golden color and a moderate head. The smell was hoppy and almost bitter. The taste was mild at first with a powerful bitter finish. Dominant hop flavors overpower the other notes. The mouthfeel is caulky and thin, but is someone expected from the smell and color so not a bad trait. Over all drinkability isnt fantastic but good for a tasting with friends.

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Photo of BatsforBeer
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden Amber with glints of orange, head off white with good lacing. Beer is clear and not very lively

Nose: pleasant nose with overtones of hops and hint of malt and floral yeast

Taste: Initial taste is a bit malty, with the hops kicking in a bit latter. Notes of citrus are present and add to the many layers of flavor nicely. The beer balances very well and the hops flavor lingers for quite awhile, but is not over bearing.

Mouth feel: Frouthy and a bit slimly, carbonation is good.

Drinkability: This beer is extremely drinkable and is a great summer brew. I look forward to having another.

This is my first attempt at reviewing a beer, I drafted this review before reading any other reviews or the lable. Let me know your opinion or sugguestions!

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Photo of JKuras
3.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an effervescent and very clear golden-amber. About an eighth inch of head that lasts for a few minutes.

Smell: First hit by malty chocolate notes and light, sweet caramel. Not too heavy. Very faint traces of citrus.

Taste: Much more bitter and hoppy than I was expecting from the smell. Some light roasted coffee flavors. Clean. The malt and bitterness of the hops come through more than anything else.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. Slightly syrupy, creamy-smooth effervescence.

Overall: A very clean tasting brew with powerful malt and bitterness characteristics. Doesn’t have the citrus I usually associate with pale ales. Not overly complex, but well done. Might be better drinking in the fall.

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Photo of rlcoffey
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours with a large golden tinted head, 3 fingers tall. Light copper color. Lacing all the way down the glass. Aroma is very noticable; fruity and floral. The taste is what an APA should taste like. Citrusy but not overpouring. Bitter but not "blegh" bitter. Crisp. Just a touch of the hop aftertaste left behind. The mouthfeel is not thick, not thin like water. Leaves a thin film in the mouth. This beer goes down fast. I had two down very fast.

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Photo of psyphin
4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Bright copper orange with a fluffy white head with nice lacing.

S - Toasty malt breadiness and oodles of citric american hops.

T - Chewy malt middle mixes very well with the hop combination in this beer. One of the best balanced examples of a true APA and not an ipa light.

M - Perfect carbonation with a medium body.

D - Superbly sessionable pale ale that I come back to time after time.

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Photo of Buckeyes67
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love to drink this beer simply for the taste of it. It has a great appearance, smell, mouthfeel, and is very is to drink but it all comes down to the taste. I haven't tried a beer from here that wasn't of good quality. I have had a beer or two that wasn't suited to my taste but that was a style differenc not a production flaw.

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Photo of rjhaupt
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - On the darker side for a pale ale, amber and honey hues. Excellent head with good retention.

S - Smells heavy and musky for a pale, which to me promises a richer flavor than many pales.

T - Taste like a smoot, heavy pale. A bit watery. Good for a pale but disappointing for a Great Lakes beer. Overall feels closer to an IPA than a pale ale save for the fact that I know their IPA is an even stronger presentation of hop character.

M - Feels great, light, airy and smooth.

D - Good hot day sipping beer but a bit light on the flavor for my tastes.

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

A - Pours a golden brown with a nice sized, bubbly head that sticks to the glass.

S - Sharp, fruity smell, with a hint of the hops to come...I'm smelling grapefruit and possibly some vanilla?

T - What a great tasting pale ale! This definitely has a strong hops bite to it, but it i balanced and not overwhelming. The after taste levels out with a nice, bread like taste.

M - Not to heavy, not too light. A very balanced feel.

D - This is very drinkable and enjoyable. Unless you despise tasting hops, this one goes down smooth and leaves you ready for another glass.

Overall - I'm very glad I decided to grab this beer from the local Kroger here in the Cincinnati area. I've heard some good things about the Great Lakes Brewing company, and this certainly didn't disappoint. This is a great example of an APA, and should be on everyone's list if you havn't tried it.

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Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 1,018 ratings.