Great Lakes Alberta Clipper - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Alberta ClipperGreat Lakes Alberta Clipper

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

94 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 94
Hads: 375
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 10.18%
Wants: 18
Gots: 72 | 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: 94 | Hads: 375
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 (767 characters)

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. (1,773 characters)

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. (1,037 characters)

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. (796 characters)

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. (196 characters)

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. (757 characters)

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. (276 characters)

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. (912 characters)

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. (502 characters)

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.

Cheers (963 characters)

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. (1,149 characters)

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. (2,531 characters)

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. (546 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours very dark brown to black with some garnet hues when held to the light. A thin, creamy head lasts, leaving lacing.

The smell is of cocoa powder/dark chocolate with some raspberry juice. Slight roast.

The taste is of dark chocolate/cocoa with raspberry that comes across in a medicinal/chemical way.

On the lighter end of the porter spectrum. Alcohol is well-covered.

It's something of a novelty brew. One is enough. Not a bad porter - chocolaty - the fruit aspect needs some improvement. (496 characters)

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

A - Pours a very dark brown with a two-finger tan head. Very light amount of lacing.

S - Aromas are raspberry and dark chocolate.

T - The flavor follows the aroma. Raspberries are right upfront followed by dark chocolate and coffee. There is a nice roastiness from the malts in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a crisp finish.

O - Decent porter. I was hoping for more raspberry flavor, but good nonetheless. (455 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really good. I think I could have given all fours in the arbitrary number game, but it didn't feel right to do at the moment. Looks excellent and inviting. The smell is raspberry for sure, but there's a fine line of chemical or medicine character. Still great with some coffee tones. The taste is creamy chocolate and coffee, but very light. The drink is super smooth and creamy. And the aftertaste is as if you've eaten a raspberry and you've just bit into a raspberry seed that got stuck in your tooth two minutes later. (522 characters)

Photo of LCB_Hostage
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I went into this with really high hopes. I love raspberries, love chocolate, love beer and love Great lakes. They are one of those rare breweries that pretty much never turns out a loser. Until now. This one just doesn't work for me. Lots of raspberry on the nose and the palate. Some chocolate. And virtually no beer. It's thin and chemically and just totally unappealing. It pains me to say it, but this is one that should never have escaped the lab. (452 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade, with an additional frothiness that gives it good appeal. Retention is good, also. Combined with the rings of lacing that stick to the glass (thick ones, at that), this is quite the looker - I don't even care that it looks more like a brown ale. (4.25)

Smell: Raspberry notes hit me like a punch to the nose. At first, it doesn't seem like there's much else to the nose - and then out of nowhere, a healthy chocolate fudge quality appears. There isn't much coffee or roast, though. I pick up some brown sugar, caramel, and nutty fringes in its stead. Leave it to Great Lakes to make a chocolate raspberry ale work. (4)

Taste: Everything the nose advertises, I also manage to taste. An initial wave of raspberry gives it a nice 'bite' to help counteract the finishing flavors of chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar. Touches of hazelnut give it more depth. I can't really complain about how it tastes - I could say it's a lot like a brown ale, but I'm enjoying this too much to care. (4)

Mouthfeel: This doesn't seem to have a very full body. I don't think a thin body and a sweet, sticky finish are a great combination, personally. However, looking past the slickness, drinkability is actually quite good. It's also aided by somewhat lively carbonation. (3.5)

Overall: It's good to see a porter that isn't trying to be a stout. It's even better to see it blend chocolate and raspberry rather skillfully. Another great beer from this brewery, enough said. (4)

3.97/5: I could use an Alberta clipper coming through in June... (1,644 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - dark as night with a tan head and slippery lacing
Smell - sweet raspberries with a little dark chocolate
Taste - slight raspberry and chocolate with a little toast
Feel - medium lite body, needs more
Overall - it's alright but nothing special (249 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark chocolatey, nearly black, in color. Looks fizzy, loud carbonation noticed that quickly settles into nothing. No head retention. Smells of sweet, tart fruits, mainly raspberries. Maybe some slight malt aromas picked up as well, but I'm not sure if I only convinced myself of that knowing the style.

Taste is flush of raspberries. Some sips I like it, others I do not. Definitely would not enjoy several of these in a row. Its thinner feeling than it looks, and thinner than it probably should be. It seems to taste more of a black raspberry ale than a porter brewed with raspberries. It doesnt taste bad, but there is not much about this beverage that remind me of a porter. (694 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer is very dark in color. When held to the light I see some amber highlights on the edges. It is topped with two inches of mocha head.

The smell of chocolate and raspberries hit me right off the bat, but the roasted malts are still in the smell, so it still smells like a beer and not candy.

The chocolate seems to be the prominent flavor at first. The raspberry flavor is enough to compliment the beer without overwhelming it. The roasted malt flavors come into play more as it warms and at the end of this beer.

I wouldn't say it has a full mouthfeel, but it is quite substantial.

I have wanted to try this beer for years. My first bottle was not that impressive. This one is better now that I have proper expectations. I think this beer would be better in the winter than on a hot, humid night in June, but this is when I am trying it. Great Lakes, make this a January release and move Conway's to February. (961 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, enjoy by 10/03/15
A - frothy tan head tops a dark brown colored ale
S - roasted barley, cocoa nibs, coffee, grain, faint raspberry
T - robust porter flavors: coffee-like roasted barley, cocoa, tart raspberry in the mix but very subtle
M - full bodied, very creamy & smooth, roast lingers
O - great porter, but I was hoping for some better raspberry flavors. Somewhat disappointing. (394 characters)

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date 09/13/2015. Another new one to me from Great Lakes. Acquired a single bottle from the local beer store.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a creamy chocolate brown body. Medium-thickness. Not opaque with some cola color showing near the surface. One finger of light chocolate head that doesn't stick around long.

S - A very interesting aroma for the style. Not so much chocolate or roast forward. The fresh fruity authentic raspberries steal the show. very fresh, fruity, floral, herbal, dirty, and earthy smelling.

T - Taste is a lovely winning combination of delicate milk chocolate and fresh fruity raspberries. Not so much tart, more juicy and fruity. Earthy & floral, milky & creamy.

M - The feel is smooth, milky, & creamy. Lingering raspberry fruitiness. Medium-bodied with excellent carbonation. Very easy-drinking stuff, especially for the moderate 7.80% abv. No alcohol detectable whatsoever. Very nice stuff.

Overall, a very nice marriage of raspberry and chocolate. Very delicious and easy-drinking stuff, though I don't know how many I could handle in a session. Recommended.

Great Lakes Alberta Clipper Porter -----4/5. (1,189 characters)

Photo of hoagzzz
2.86/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Not a huge fan of this one. Smell was borderline gross. Raspberries really come through but after taste was generally unpleasant. Something out of synch. (153 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle poured into snifter

A: dark blackness small tight light head dissipated quickly

S: lots of raspberries soaked in chocolate and maybe some roasted malts but raspberries dominate

T: very raspberry upfront but its gone in a flash left with a muddled muted malt roast taste that is very faint being so overwhelmed by the raspberry

M: very carbonated but otherwise fairly watery

O: its just an ok beer. The raspberries are all over this but you really can't taste anything else the raspberries are so strong they mute out everything else (553 characters)

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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.