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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

106 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 106
Hads: 432
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 19.08%
Wants: 19
Gots: 81 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 106 | Hads: 432
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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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed form the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass. This FINE porter pours a deep mahogany edging towards the darker side of the spectrum with a fine light tan head of foam that dissipates to a thin layer, a thick ring, and excellent lacing. Nose of subtle dark bakers chocolate, moderate amounts of raspberries, slight char, and dark malts. Flavors surpass the nose with dark bakers chocolate and raspberries on all sides. A hint of coffee and a touch of light hop note comes through on the back making this an exceptional porter. Balanced. That word means a lot and this one is just that without blowing the raspberry note out of the water. Smooth mouth feel, lightly creamy and moderately tart from the raspberries makes for an ideal brew with moderate carbonation finishing on the dry and tart side. Very nice for a porter; like the Edmund Fitzgerald with a nice dose of fresh raspberries that does not make me think of a simple flavoring syrup.


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

Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, this brew's head is two fingers thick and eggshell brown , with secular lacing, and a rather dark brown/deep red body.

Smells like nicely roasted malts being nicely complimented by the added chocolate of this brew. Just a lighter hint of the raspberries. Not much with the hops going on here, but one should not except too much of that going on with an American porter. Enough of my yappin', let's see how it tastes.....

I taste, again, rich roasted malts combined with semisweet chocolate. Not AS pronounced as I'd thought it would be going into this beer headfirst (no pun intended, albeit a good one). The raspberry is more of a backbone to this taste as it turns out. These elements all blend and balance out quite nicely.

The mouthfeel of this beer is cleaner than expected, but you do get just a bit of chewiness to it. Besides that, a clear finish without lingering notes.

Overall, I'll choose a 4.5 for Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co. For those randomly chilly nights of summer, this was a good choice.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 9/13. Poured 6/24 into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Had this at World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth last month, but I only had a tiny sip, so I didn't bother reviewing it. I remember it having very little raspberry presence, at least on tap. Let's see if I find it any different this time around.

Appearance: True to the style -- crystal clear ruby black/dark brown in color. Head is a quarter inch thick, creamy, and beige colored. Minimal lacing. Looks quite nice.

Smell: Pleasant roast, some chocolate, and subtle coffee. There's also a creamy sweet aroma in there that I, personally, don't really care for all that much... it just comes on a bit too strong. It's not quite a vanilla aroma, just sweetened milk or something like that. I'd prefer if that aroma weren't there, but oh well. There's also a very pleasant raspberry presence, thankfully. This simply smelling like a raspberry porter would be ideal, but by no means does that "creaminess" taint this beer.

Taste/feel: More raspberry than I remember, but still not at all over the top. Very nice balance of roasted malt and raspberry. No bitterness to sweet of, and a slight sweetness and tartness coming through thanks to the raspberry. That slightly unusual milkiness that I get in the aroma doesn't come through in the flavor, which I like -- it tastes like I wish it smelled. Though this beer says it is brewed with chocolate, I don't get any more chocolate flavor than I'd feel I'd get from a beer that just has a particular blend of roasted malts. Something unusual about this beer though is that for a split second when it hits the tongue, it gives me a little "dusty basement" or "wet trunk" vibe, but it goes away almost as quickly as it comes on. After that, it's just a nice blend of roasted malt (with an extremely slight smoke character), raspberry, and as it warms up, a bit of alcohol. The feel is slightly more creamy than I'd expect from a porter, but works nicely with the raspberry. Carbonation is moderate.

My biggest fault with Alberta Clipper is that, while the raspberry seems very well balanced at the start, as I drink on, the raspberry becomes a little faint. There's still a nice tartness brought on by the raspberry all the way through, but I wouldn't at all be mad to have just a little more of a raspberry flavor in Alberta Clipper. At the same time, I can appreciate a brewer who makes beers with accents of fruit, rather than making a beer taste like half fruit, half beer. For that reason, I'm giving Alberta Clipper a 4 overall.

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Photo of delta490
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown with a thin cap of creamy tan head. Nice small sticky lacing. The aroma is predominantly deep roasted malts with just a hint of cocoa and a wisp of fruit that doesn't really come across as raspberry. The taste is equally malty, with a big porter blast of malts, with a swirling of cocoa and fruit in the background. I'm torn, because it's a really good porter, but it's not really what was advertised. Very much reminiscent of Edmund Fitzgerald. The body has a nice lighter body with a smooth drink throughout.

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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.