1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Alberta Clipper
No picture uploaded.
Have one? Upload it now.
very good

73 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.5%
Wants: 10
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 26
Reviews by brown2cu:
More User Reviews:
Photo of dogfishandi
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on tap at the brewery into a standard pint glass.

nearly black, more of dark dark murky brown color. nice looking, creamy, light tan colored head with good retention and good lacing.

big raspberry aromas, with just a slight tartness. a little light roast and cocoa, but nothing really jumping out and saying "i was made with chocolate"

follows the aroma. raspberry at the forefront with a somewhat light porter base. a little more chocolate noticable than the aroma, light roast, a nice semi bitter finish and just a bit of tartness from the raspberries.

medium bodied, maybe comes off a little lighter because of the fruit and tartness. good feeling carbonation.

pretty much an average brewpub fruit porter. the raspberries taste a little artificial and its hard to even detect actual chocolate. i was maybe expecting more seeing as edmund fitz is such a winner. i wouldnt order another one of these, but i can see the mass apeal here.

Photo of Infamous7100
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown, near black. Finger width tan head.
S: bittersweet chocolate, light coffee notes and subtle fruitiness. Awesome.
T: follows nose impeccably. The raspberries really add something to the chocolatey notes. Throw in the coffee flavor and you really have something.
M: started a bit carbonated but beautifully changed into the viscosity of a milk stout as it warmed. Great.
O: fantastic effort and glad i was able to catch this while it was available. It's like the dessert version of the Eddie Fitz. Kudos to great lakes.

Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Its no Eddy Fitz

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a small Great Lakes snifter. The pour is dark brown, not quite black, with very little light escaping through. The head is fine and tan and very pronounced. The nose is all raspberries with just a hint of roasty cocoa-like notes.

The beer is medium-bodied and has a nice firm feel. Up front, I get flavors of fresh raspberries and just a hint of cocoa. It's almost like a fruit beer. At mid-palate, more of the porter characteristics arrive. More roastiness and cocoa take over, but the fruit flavors never completely depart and contribute a red wine or port-like character to the porter flavors on the finish. The beer is very drinkable and walks a fine line between refreshing and hearty.

Overall, a really nice twist on a porter that I wouldn't have believed appetizing if I hadn't tried it myself. I spoke to a GL rep who said that it's likely this beer won't be brewed again for a while because all those raspberries really make a mess and the brewers hate working with them. That said, if you like porters and have an opportunity to try this one (and have an open mind), don't pass it up.

Photo of irishmoss
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I made it to Great Lakes this past weekend and was very elated to see a new porter being offered. A beautiful dark brown body with a medium brown head. The head stuck around until a ring remained around the edges of the glass, then clingy patches down the sides of the glass. The aroma was sweet roasted malt, a little orange, and a good deal of chocolate. The taste was chocolate with subtle tones of chocolate, orange peel, and even a slight suggestion of coriander. This finishes clean, yet leaves a slight taste in your mouth that wants you wanting more. This porter has a medium body that goes down smoothly. This is a exceedingly drinkable offering, I was so impressed that I broke down and bought a flip-top growler of this to take home. Great Lakes always seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to style examples, so it’s equally satisfying to see a variation of a style to come out so good.

Photo of neenerzig
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another on-tap only "pub exclusive." I first had this at the brewery 2 years ago, and had it again twice recently. Served to me in a pint glass. this beer is a clear, dark brown, mahogany color with ruby highlights when held to the light. has a tan head 1/2 inch when drawn before settling to a nice surface layer with a good tan ring lining the inside of the glass. good lace here too. Roasted, malt coffee, and chocolate aromas with hints of fruit such as raspberry and or plum are present. Has a roasted, malty sweet flavor upfront withe the aforementioned coffee and chocolate flavors followed by a bit of raspberry. Taste is rounded out by some modest noble hop bitterness. Excellent balance of flavors here! Has a crisp, very smooth, and creamy full bodied mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Drinkability is superb! A real winner here. I may like this porter even better than the Edmund Fitzgerald. I really wish this stuff would be bottled, even if just as a seasonal/rotating release.


Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown in color (almost black) with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some dark amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall tan head that reduces rather quickly to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with some very light notes of raspberry. There is also a light amount of chocolate aroma as well.

T: Light to moderate flavors of roasted malts upfront that are quickly overtaken by moderate flavors of dark bittersweet chocolate and some very light raspberry. Moderate amounts of bitterness hide the sweetness of the raspberry.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of dryness throughout.

O: This was not as good of a dessert beer as I had hoped (I had researched some of the beers Great Lakes was pouring in the brewpub and this one sounded very interesting). I did not get the heavy notes of raspberry in the smell and taste, the raspberry was pretty muted in my serving. It was still a very nice porter and I enjoyed it. I found this one very easy to drink.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Gotta give it up to Dave for pulling in some obscure Great Lakes kegs for us. This stuff pours a deep black-brown highlighted in garnet-ruby and topped by a short finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, soft cocoa, light molasses, and a hint of vague fruitiness way in the background. Honestly, I didn't even know this had actual fruit in it until I employed my tongue... The taste continues the traditions set down by the smell, but then adds in a firm bit of black cherry. (It was at this point I asked Dave what I was drinking. Made some sense at that point.) The cherry is on the sweeter side, but not too far over there and never artificial or medicinal. Still, I feel the cherry flavor detracted a bit from the porter base, melding only with the cocoa and jostling for position with everything else. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a somewhat surprisingly tasty brew, a healthy surprise for someone (yup, I mean me) who orders it just by name.

Photo of justintcoons
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Deep chestnut brown with red highlights. 1+ fingers of tan head. Good clarity with moderate carbonation.

Raspberry, caramel, and hints of semi-sweet chocolate.

Tart raspberries upfront with some roasty earthiness. Caramel, Cola, and light notes of cocoa nib that leave behind some bitterness.

Medium-light bodied, crisp, and semi-silky with moderate carbonation.

A quality Porter with the taste of authentic raspberry. Easy drinking and hides the abv well.

Photo of Spider889
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery after the BA Blackout Stout release.

Arrived in a pint glass. Black with a sudsy head. Decent retention but leaves amazing lace.

Smells muted. Very faint raspberry greens and mild roasted malt.

The flavor is great though. The first sip is like a dry Edmund Fitzgerald at first. Char and roast with some slight coffee undertones come through. The comes a cool smooth fresh raspberry flavor. Sweet and a nice addition to the beer with the chocolate - reminded me of fruit pie with whipped cream.

Chalky mouthfeel, but it drinks soft and easy.

Overall this was much better than I was expecting. For what it is I really like it and would happily drink it again.

Photo of fscottkey
3.74/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.50] (Growler pour) Pours a dark black color with a 1/2 finger of an head. I don't see much light at the edges. The beer leaves nice lacing after each sip.

S: [3.75] The nose has a nice raspberry note to it. There are also hues of chocolate and roasted malts.

T: [3.75] The taste follows the nose. There is a nice balance of raspberry and hints of chocolate. There is also a buttery feel that also comes across in the taste.

M: [3.75] There is a medium body and a smoothness to the beer that is nice.

O: [3.75] Got this on a growler fill last night. Should have rated it last night (it lost some carbonation). I am not a fan of raspberry - but this one is still good because it doesn't overdo it. It is a solid stout/porter with raspberry and chocolate notes to accent it.

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a shaker glass at the brewpub

A- Poured black with a nice frothy mocha head that left tons of chunky lace

S- Sweet raspberries and chocolate, good but not very strong

T- Sweet raspberry, bittersweet chocolate, light roasted notes. Tastes like a raspberry truffle. Great balance among the raspberry and chocolate

M- Smooth, medium body, finishes dry

O- A really tasty porter with a nice twist by adding raspberries. Another great porter from Great Lakes.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the brewpub.

A: Poured black with about a finger of light tan head. Lots of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted malt and subtle notes. Maybe just a hint of raspberry, but I could just be fooling myself.

T/M: Fairly complex and very smooth with a medium body. Bitter sweet chocolate up front gives way to bitter roasted malt in the finish. The raspberry adds slight sweetness throguhout and a subtle acidic sourness in the finish. The 7% is hidden very well.

O: a solid, tasty beer. Not as good as some of GL's other pub only offerings, but very good nonetheless.

Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark brown color and a tan head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Raspberry syrup dominates the nose

Taste: Raspberry syrup with chocolate underneath; slightly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Intriguing for the first few sips but ultimately too sweet; I couldn't finish the glass

Photo of XavierMuskies
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- dark, black/brown, light mocha head that sticks around throughout

S- chocolate, slight fruit smell, very sweet

T- Raspberry taste is very obvious. The chocolate/raspberry combo fits very well together. This porter has a sweeter chocolaty taste than most.

M- this porter is very smooth and drinkable

O- Great Lakes Brewery is probably my go-to beer most of the time. I picked up a growler of this right when I saw it. Ed Fitz is hard to top, but I am very impressed with this brew. I have never had a bad beer from them. Overall, I would definitely seek out this brew again. 2 thumbs up Great Lakes!

Photo of nrbw23
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark brown color if not black with a fairly small tan colored head.

S- A lot like Ed Fitz but a light on the lighter side along with quite a bit of raspberries.

T- Follows the nose really well. Quite a bit of raspberries here and a good amount of sweetness to it.

M- Fairly light in body and pretty low in carbonation.

D- Going to go with average at best. I'm just not really digging the fruit in this beer or maybe I just expected something on par with Ed Fitz.

Photo of sliverX
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pub only on tap
Muddy water black nice light tan head that fades somewhat rocky. Ok lacing.
Smell is faint roast and raspberry but in the pub there's a lot of other distracting smells.
Taste is raspberry, bitter chocolate backed with a less hoppy version of ed fitz. Delicious.
Good body and easy drinking dangerous at 7%
Overall a really good beer and would love to see this bottled on occasion.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the brewery notes: "Winter porter with Belgian chocolate and raspberries. 7.0% ABV, 40 IBU."

This porter is dark reddish crown and opaque in the center, more a translucent red at the edges. A thin tan film of bubbles that laces onto the glass. The aroma is really good, roasted malts and maybe some coffee, only hints of the chocolate and raspberries. The latter two components show up in a big way when I tasted the beer, very sweet and close to a chocolate raspberry candy with a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Peppery carbonation and full body, at least as full as 7% gets.

This might come across as a gimick beer, maybe it even is one. But it seems to be even better than their standard porter to me.

Photo of jampics2
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the pub, late January 2010.

Looks like Ed Fitz gone wild! Not really, looks just like Ed Fitz. Black with a cappuccino head.

Smells of chocolate, raspberry, perhaps some light esters from Belgian yeast, but dominated by sweetness.

The chocolate in this beer makes it very reminiscent of Ed Fitz, but the sweet raspberry adds a unique twist. I liked how this wasn't overboard like the Thirsty Dog's Raspberry Leghumper. This has a nice amount of sweet malt, roasted malt, deep chocolate, and raspberry without being cloyingly sweet.

Nice carb, body is just a tad light but very close.

Good beer, nothing extreme, just a nice change of pace at GL.

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap at the Great Lakes Brew Pub (Cleveland, OH).

A: pours a deep malty black with a small amount of creamy tan head. There is some decent lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is mainly raspberries, roasted malt, and maybe a touch of chocolate. It's very pleasant.

T: This beer starts off with some big raspberry flavor. As the beer settles on the palate, the roasted maltlyness of the beer comes through. There are also some smooth chocolate notes in there as well. The finish is a mix of chocolate and raspberries.

M: Medium bodied beer. There is good carbonation throughout and the flavors coat the palate and linger for a bit. The finish is smooth and even a bit creamy.

O: This is a pretty good beer. It's nothing amazing (like some of the other pub only beers I've had from them), but I enjoyed it. It's nice to see that the raspberry is really pronounced in such a dark beer.

Photo of DuqTroops
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that they just created in the past few weeks. It is only on tap at the brewery and is less than a week old tapped. It is a chocolate and rasberry porter.

Aroma: chocolaty and roasted grains.

Appearance: not much head atop the beer, just a rich looking dark beer.

Flavor: chocolate flavor and a rasberry aftertaste. Great body, very smooth.

Mouthfeel: little finish, not much carbonation and very smooth.

Great beer!

Photo of mattcrill
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listed at the brewery @ 7% ABV. A winter porter brewed with Belgian chocolate and raspberries.

Aroma: Cocoa powder, carmel coffee, and roasty grains.

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown pour with shoe leather edging. A sudsy white head persists well.

Flavor: Bittersweet chocolate, roasted grains, rich coffee, and a light raspberry finish. A wonderful balance of sweetness and roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with medium carbonation and a creamy, lingering finish.

Overall impression: One of the best "fruit beers" I've ever had. Just enough fruit impression to let you know it's there but not overwhelming. Great balance and another great porter from a world class brewery.

Photo of VncentLIFE
4.79/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Oh Alberta Clipper. I love you with all the depths of my heart.

I hate that the carbonation level was too high. Full inch head on all 3 pours from the keg at Sams in Durham. God bless Amanda!

Smell has hints of porter, a good helping of dark chocolate, and loads of raspberries.

The taste is about as balanced as a dessert beer can be. Raspberries dominate, but the dark chocolate bitterness keeps all of that in balance. The porter comes in only to make its presence known. Doesnt want to take over. Ive always said this thing is scary good. Perfect dessert beer.

The sweetness from all of the raspberries and chocolate fade, leaving a clean finish that begs you to buy another. Holy hell I love this beer.

Photo of rhinos00
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad I made it up to GLBC to try another pub exclusive beer. Alberta Clipper is a porter made with Belgian dark chocolate and raspberries. Poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark fudge color, almost black. Produced two fingers width of mocha colored head. Throughout consumption it reduced to a thin layer. Random lacing patterns stain the glass.

S- Reminded me of Edmund Fitzgerald, but with a raspberry sweetness. Initially you pick up moderate amount of raspberries. This quickly is washed away with a subtle amount of chocolate and big roasted aroma.

T- Much like the aroma, but more pronounced. The moment the beer touches the palate, a raspberry sweetness comes forth. I loved the fact that it actually tasted like the fruit, instead of a puree. This quickly transitions into a bitter, chocolate malt flavor. Joining to the end is the familiar roasted malt flavor found in Edmund Fitzgerald.

M- Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Could have been a little thicker.

D- I drank two pints of this pretty quickly. Went down very smoothly.

Overall, I'm not one for fruit flavors in my porters or stouts, but this was pretty damn good. Not overdone in anyway, but just a nice twist on what is already a fantastic base beer. The flavors meshed together perfectly. Give me more!

Photo of CaptCleveland
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz poured into GLBC pint glass at the venerable brewery.

Thin, off-white head, quickly dissipates. Not much lacing.

Powerful aroma of fruit, red berries, malt.

Thin, medium carbonated, cloying fruit, not much else.

Maybe it's the style, but I expected some chocolate and coffee tones mixed with the raspberries. But not much to write home about.

Now I'm not saying it's a bad brew, but for what it portends to be it is rather average.

to view more.
Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.