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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Alberta ClipperGreat Lakes Alberta Clipper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

110 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 110
Hads: 456
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 19.08%
Wants: 19
Gots: 87 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: irishmoss on 01-18-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 110 | Hads: 456
Photo of Crubbsy
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip glass from bottle.

Appearance: Almost opaque, but a small amount of translucence. Very dark brown, almost black. thin light tan head lingers.

Smell: Some roasty malt smells coming from this one, but the raspberries are definitely dominate in the aroma.

Taste: Begins with a sweet-ish roasted malt flavor, then balances with a slightly tart raspberry finish. Chocolate notes throughout, but not a dominant flavor in the profile. Roasty flavors linger for a while, along with the slightly sweet malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied, but enough heft to carry the chocolate and raspberry flavors well. Leaves a kind of pleasant silky coating on inside of mouth, despite being fairly thin.

Overall: Love the pairing of roasted and chocolate malts with the raspberry flavor. I would love to see a similar profile in a heavier stout. Good flavors, although I would have enjoyed a bit more of an increased chocolate presence. Good beer, would buy again (although fairly steep at $12 for a 4-pack).


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

Great Lakes Brewing Company Alberta Clipper.

First and foremost I'd like to state that this beer is likely from last spring. I wanted to try it but simply never pulled the trigger on a $12 four pack. Found a single today for 2.99 and I'm hoping for the best since GLBC almost always makes great beers. Not much else to say here, let's drink this fucker.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a dimpled pint glass. This brew pours the deepest of deep garnets nearly reaching over into the depths of black. Small fragments of light can still be seen while head up to the light. The head amounts to about a finger and a half and dies down to a thick froth amongst the top of the brew. Carbonation is unreadable given the darkness. Very small amounts of lacing and stick amongst a finished glass.

Smell - The smells consists of exactly what the bottle tells you that you shall receive. A bog dosage of chocolate and a big dosage of raspberry. See what I mean by consistent? Admittedly not a massive nose but it sure ain't false advertising.

Taste - Well the flavor profile completely follows the nose. You get the huge and dominant hit of chocolate with a small to moderate though quite tart amount of raspberry. The chocate does eventually take a bit of a cocoa aspect as it warms but the flavors are mostly the same from the first sip to the last sip.

Feel - The feel is about what I had expected given the fact this wasn't a depth charged porter. Body is over all on the lighter side of moderate with a typical amount of medium carbonation. The raspberry becomes stronger as it sits but it does get met in the middle by the cocoa chocolate whateverthefuckyouwanncallit. Goes down smooth as a 1970's black pimp trying to pick up yo momma.

Overall - I liked this beer but I was hoping it was better. Don't get me wrong, it is straight fours across the board but I was hoping for a bit more raspberry. Anyway,tasty enough for anybody and it is simply far too easy to drink. You could drink this beer easily after two dozen other beers or two dozen bowls later and it won't hit an offensive edge nor will it ever become intolerable given the fact they controlled the sweetness like absolute professionals..

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

A: Pours a deep dark brown with ruby hues when held to light. Head is close to two fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is great and leaves a bit of lacing.

S: Aromas of dark roasted malts, raspberry, dark chocolate, vanilla, and slight notes of coffee. There is some noticeable tart sweetness to the smell.

T: You get big flavors of dark chocolate covered raspberry's right away. Then some roasted, and sweet malts, as well as some vanilla bean, and a slight hint of espresso. Finishes slightly sweet and tart with some subtle almost wine/sour like flavors. Fairly unique and quite good.

M: Fairly light in body for its style, defiantly on the lighter spectrum of medium bodied. Moderately high amount of carbonation lends it a distinct crispness that is also unique considering it's a porter. Not as creamy as I would expect or hope it goes done rather easy and its lack of depth in body takes away a bit from the beer. It's still a nice drinkable brew don't get me wrong, just not exactly what I would want in a porter.

O: This one really surprised me as it was not quite what I expected. I really like this brew and will defiantly have it again when the next batch rolls around, but it just felt like it was missing something as far as porters go. The flavors are great and really unique but like I stated above the feel of the brew really takes something away from it all. I really like Edmund Fitzgerald and feel that if this brew had a similar profile to that with the same flavors of this it would have been one of my favorite beers. Overall a solid brew that is absolutely worth picking up and giving a try. In fact if your looking for a really easy drinking porter this would be a no brainer choice. I'm going to age my other two bottles and re-visit it in the future. Maybe some time will bring out something more in this brew.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 4 pack of this, not sure how much. 7.8% ABV per the bottle, 40 IBU's per the website, brewed with chocolate and raspberries, but no other specs per the website.
Pours out to a clear near black, very dark brown, forming a creamy dark tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Carbonation is medium, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose full with the obvious chocolate and raspberries, cleanly fermented, suggestions of vanilla and light roast character. Mouthfeel is very smooth with a balanced acidity from the raspberries and the roast, and a medium - dense body. The taste is predominately roasted malts, followed by subtle raspberries and dark chocolate. Not a fake "herskeys syrup" chocolate flavor...tastes more like cocoa powder. Bitterness is well balanced, enough to let the raspberries show thru while balancing the acidity. The acidity is a bit peculiar overall at first, but mellows out towards the finish. I think it would be better with a tad less roast (chocolate malts, black patent, roast barley, etc) and maybe some crystal malts instead.

Overall, a very nice brew. I'm glad I picked up a 4 pack of this. Great Lakes brews great stuff, and this is no exception.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle poured into a nonic pint.
Look - Chocolate brown with hints of red. Thin head settles to nothing. No lacing.
Smell - Raspberries, dark chocolate, hint of vanilla.
Taste - Chocolate-covered raspberries. Tasty.
Feel - A little thin. Sticky sweet feel.
Overall - A good porter from Great Lakes. For dessert or a night cap. I couldn't see this being a daily drinker.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Taste: Dark semi sweet chocolate, toasted malts, raspberry, tart and tangy.
Dark brown and semi opaque.
Cocoa semi sweet nose.
Medium body.
Tan ringed lace to head.
40 IBUs

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow.....I like this one....it reminds me of the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake form the Cheesecake factory.....or Graeters Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Ice cream.....HELL YEAH. The beer poured an opaque black with thin ecru head that is not lacing. The scent has great raspberry flare. The taste is where the chocolate is....as well as raspberry. The mouthfeel in medium with smooth carbonation. Overall.....YUMMY!

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Photo of stortore
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 of bottle into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown, mostly clear, with a small head and little lacing. Smell is roasted malts, chocolate, a pleasant raspberry aroma, a hint of vanilla. Taste also leads with the malt- less roasted in the taste than the nose, chocolate, maybe less raspberry, too. Seemed very bitter at the pour, but less so as it warms. Good body for the style. a touch harsh, aftertaste is not so good.

This is ok, but probably will not buy the next time around. Expected this to be better.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very dark brown, nearly black but not quite black. solid dark creamy head.

smell is not very strong, slight coffee aroma but nothing over-the-top.

tastes like sweet coffee/chocolate. i can understand the raspberry aspect to this now, has a fruity sweet taste while also offering some chocolate coffee notes. would not think this was 7.8%.

goes down smooth, not an incredibly full-bodied beer but also not water thin. closer to thin than full though. leaves a sweet taste in my mouth.

overall a good beer but nothing crazy about it. the combination of raspberries and chocolate in a porter is certainly different, raspberries are one of my favorite fruits and chocolate is a nice change up for me (i don't eat sweets very often). I'm used to the chocolate and coffee flavor in stouts/porters but the sweetness of the fruit makes this quite different. i would love to have this fresh, next year i will!! not a bad beer but not a favorite of mine.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice balance in this brew, the raspberry is not cloying or syrupy / artifical and the chocolate isn't bitter or too sweet. There isn't much depth to it, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to be a nice desert beer, balanced and clean with its flavors.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours seal brown with a moderate head of very fine, creamy, khaki foam. Complex aroma features raspberries, cocoa powder, roasted malt, peat, and coffee.

The taste is comparable to the nose, featuring juicy raspberry, dark chocolate, black coffee, and a twinge of herbal bitterness. While each of these elements is nice in their own way, they don’t quite synergize how I’d like. There’s also something of a vegetal quality lurking in the background, which isn’t usually a good thing. Medium body and carbonation make for a robust mouthfeel that’s slightly more tingly than I would prefer in a porter.

Overall, this is an interesting concept porter whose whole is, unfortunately, less than the sum of its parts. I enjoy porters and raspberry beers in their own right, but this amalgam falls a little short of its potential.

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Photo of Mdog
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Brown, with a big brown head.

Smell: Very fruity, raspberries, roast malt underneath.

Taste: Tangy fruit-raspberries to start, then a bit of chocolate, shifts back to raspberries to finish.

Overall: I really like Edmund Fitz, so I picked up a 4 pack of this porter from Great Lakes not knowing about the raspberries. It's still pretty good, I'm not a big fruit infusion in beer guy.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into ale glass

Big foamy head, leaves lacing. Beer is dark brown.

Smells mostly of chocolate and the malt profile.

Taste definitely chocolate-raspberry all the way. You have to decide if that is what you want in a beer.

Decent balance, strong carbonation, some alcohol burn on the finish.

Probably won't want this again, but again, it's a personal taste thing.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up this past weekend down at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge. It was odd to see a beer like this on the shelf this time of the year but thankfully, this turned out to be much more easygoing than I was led to believe. It tasted more like a fruit beer than a Porter and since the alcohol was well-hidden, this beer went down smoothly and almost didn't seem true to form stylistically.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8/7….pours pitch black, light layer of tan foam. Vanilla bean, light chocolate, slight fruit. Hearty roasted taste, slight fruit tart in between. Coffee backed. Very smooth Clean finish.

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Photo of RobinLee
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Color: Deep brown with ruby at the edges. Tan head, nice fine bubbles.

Nose: Pretty muted, actually. On the roasty side, bit like a smaller Blackout. Can't quite tell there's raspberries in it yet.

Taste: 60% dark chocolate with raspberry pieces in it. Lightly smoky. Not that sweet, and has a tinge of tart from the fruit. Finishes almost peaty, earthy roots, slight char.

Feel: Fine prickly bubbles, good velvet without being overly heavy.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, best by 9/28/15, poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep brown/black color with just a hint of ruby hue sneaking through the glass, small creamy khaki colored head reduces to a thin film on top

S- slightly smoky chocolate malt aroma up front with underlying notes of raspberry. The combination resembles raspberry chocolate truffles

T- smoky, lightly charred malt up front adds some milk chocolate notes, the raspberry is more noticeable on the close, and leaves a slight tartness. It actually resembles raspberry yogurt with a bit of a milk chocolaty finish

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a sweet finish

O- a good blend of raspberry and chocolate with both balancing out each other quite well

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

Alberta Clipper is named after the severe winter storms of the same name that plague the Great Lakes region every year. So it's no wonder the beer is black and capped with a tall bank of muddy snow-like head. But there are glimmers of colour - clear, sharp shoots of raspberry red as it so happens.

This aroma is a delight for those who love berries. Those that believe fruit has no business in beer - astonishingly such ignoramuses do exist - will likely complain that it smells artificial and overly sweet. But to my nose there's nothing unnatural about it; it's reminiscent of my local bakery's chocolate raspberry mousse cake and that works for me.

The fact that Alberta Clipper tastes like a chocolate raspberry mousse cake, however, doesn't necessarily make it rich enough to serve as dessert - I say 'mousse' because it's a light and airy flavour not something dense, the kind of thing that stretches the belly and leaves you wanting for a nap. In part, it's the inherent tartness of the fruit that lightens it.

The other component is the mat bill which evokes a chocolate flavour in the 50-60% range - not light enough to be milk chocolate but not heavy enough to be dark chocolate. It's right in that Goldilocks zone: not too sweet, not too bitter, but just right. And combined with a hint of jam it's enough to mask the (hard to believe) 7.8% alcohol.

Claimed to be brewed with Belgian chocolate, Alberta Clipper has the decadent taste and apparent high quality to accord with that fact. I enjoyed it increasingly with every sip - it's a porter that makes one want more and more even while it slowly satiates. Like everything produced by Great Lakes this is a beer reasonably priced, pleasurable to drink, easy to recommend, and tempting to stockpile.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip snifter type glass. Cola brown out of the bottle and gets slightly darker as it rises in the glass. Eggshell colored cap with small bubbles. Not really much in the way of lacing.

Smell is good. Like most porters the grain bill is what stands out the most. Dark roasted almost charred grains providing dark chocolate and coffee aromas. Slight hints of chocolate and some berry acidity and sweetness that's feint at the end.

Tastes very good. It's a quality tasting Porter with a good strong grain base. You kinda need to let this one get to a room temperature to pick up the raspberry flavors because they are not strong. Chocolate flavors are there but you can't really distinguish if it's chocolate or the grains. Good tasting beer either way.

Good mouthfeel. Complex layered flavors that linger nicely. Good carbonation level and smooth with a nice acidic to sweet fruity finish. Great balance and drinkability. I like Edmund Fitzgerald better but this is still a very good beer.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-sampled 52F.

A: Bready textured dark tan head of one inch has a raspy-burgundy colored pour appearing dark black in the vessel. Micro-gold beads of effervesce creeps up the glass. Lacing is spongy, thick, and of very good coverage rate.

S: Aroma of fresh raspberries makes their presence known upon the pour. Tart, almost wine like aroma, with a small background of vanilla creamer, yogurt and sweet cocoa.

T: The flavor followed the nose, bit tartness of raspberries, bread and dry cocoa. Raspberry yogurt has a big presence here. Dry chocolate covered raspberries, with a light dry milkiness.

M: Bubbly mouthful, tart, dry, creamy and edgy.

O: The raspberries have a big presence while still maintaining a good balance in proportion of the porter quality. Tart, slightly acidic, dry.

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Photo of spark3148857
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with tan head. Slightly metallic aroma with notes of roasted malt and chocolate and a bit of tartness. Taste is chocolate and bitter coffee up front with a raspberry tart finish.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Dark brown-black, average to light in color for a porter (like Edmund Fitzgerald). The tan head wasn't too impressive on pouring but it leaves a fairly resilient film.
Smell: Roasty cocoa that blends very nicely with fresh raspberry aroma.
Taste: The roasty notes in the nose are mirrored in the palate, going hand in hand with a bright raspberry acidity. Sweetness and hops presence are average for a porter.
Feel: Medium body, nice carbonation that goes well with the fruitiness.

Overall: It seemed strange to me to put out a spring/summer seasonal porter, but the raspberry addition gives it a fresh summery quality. The raspberry combines with the roasted malt much in the same way as it would with dark chocolate - it is very complementary.

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Photo of lastmango
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Almost black pour with a 2 inch creamy head. Nice faint odor of chocolate raspberry truffle. Sweet chocolate forward and after with hint of malt. Just a tad of hops on the tail end of a sip. Medium thickness. This is a nice porter. I would use this more as a dessert beer.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12oz bottle into a snifter glass. 7.8% abv

Appearance- Pours an opaque, deep brownish/black. Lofty light brown head that steadily dissipates leaving behind ample lacing.

Smell- Rich dark chocolate dominates, malt as well with a touch of berry aroma as well.

Taste- Sweet bready malt with rich chocolate notes. Blends into darker, roasted chocolate notes. The rasberries are there, but not core parts of the profile, rather undertones within. Still the rasberry is evident, and lends a sweeter quality to it. The sweet chocolate/fruit tastes end with a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body, good carbonation. Spot on for style.

Overall- Great lakes knows how to make a porter that is for sure. This one was good and interesting. Reminded me of Edmund Fitzgerald with a new spin and bumped up abv. Rasberries were a bit subtle but still nice. Highly drinkable and enjoyable. Try this beer.

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Photo of pat61
2.82/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

L: Pours dark brown with a thin, tinely bubbled tan foam collar.
S: Grain, not a lot of roast, some chocolate notes, and a laundry kind of aroma that turns out to be raspberries.
T: Grain, raspberry and chocolate have a medicinal, solventy, chemical taste to me.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: This is my least favorite beer from Great Lakes. The raspberry and chocolate don’t quite work for me. They do not work well together and initially had me thinking that the beer lines were infected.

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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 110 ratings.