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Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Devil's Pale AleGreat Lakes Devil's Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

119 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 119
Hads: 189
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 22
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 08-12-2006

Released in the fall of 2006, this was our first seasonal ale. However, the incredible response prompted us to make it available all year long on draught and in 473 ml cans. Brewed with 6 select malts and 4 premium hops, it has a rich mahogany colour, reminiscent of early English pale ales. The wonderful hoppy aroma is revealed even before your first sip, followed by a hearty malty body, and culminating with a pronounced bitterness. Prepare yourself for a devilishly good time…
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 119 | Hads: 189
Photo of Digimaika2
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a gorgeous clear autumn reddish colour with a creamy two-finger head. Very good retention and exceptional ample lacing.

S: Sticky pine, buttered biscuit-like malts, earth floor muskiness, and toffee. Very enticing with aromas coalescing well.

T: Similar to smell but with a less-intense hoppy pine element than what aromas were indicating. Smooth and buttery malt backbone complimented with that earthy-fungi element and a grapefruit rind taste. An overall satisfying bittersweet taste.

M: Medium body with a medium-low carbonation. Smooth and velvety texture, with a sticky quality.

D: A good English Pale Ale that I'll be picking up again. The high quality of the appearance and aroma really surprised me, and the tall-can packaging is great to see.

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Photo of BBP
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing this as a black India pale ale, as that's what my experience was.

Pours a very dark brown. Light gets through my glass from an angle, yet can't penetrate the body. The head is nice and retention is decent. Lacing is fair as well.

The aroma was pungent hops from the beginning. When I opened my can, it made me think that it must be very fresh, as most of Ontario's beer doesn't have the hoppiness that this does. The only other aroma I pick up is dark malt. It seems a tad simple, yet is quite appealing.

The taste is a very nice blend of malt and hops. The balance is superb and it's almost as if you can't get one without the other. The malt takes a bit of precedence in the beginning. Pine and citrus come out more in the aftertaste, while the ultimate finish is a balance of both.

The mouthfeel is Medium full and medium heavy. The finish is slightly to moderately dry and moderately sticky. Perhaps a bit thinner than I'd like.

Overall, this was a surprisingly good beer from Ontario. Great Lakes has actually been represented well in the LCBO, and all my experiences yet have been very positive. I'll gladly try the rest of their selection.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboy can picked up from the LCBO. Pours a deep, reddish-copper colour topped with a little more than finger's worth of creamy, mostly-white head. Head retention is quite good, lasting well into the drink, and there is a ton of lacing left on the sides. The aroma leans heavily toward grapefruit-citrus and pine west coast hops; very earthy with some biscuit and caramel malts underneath.

Strongly bitter taste, with more of the aforementioned citrusy-pine sap hoppiness. The malt character is a little light, but it provides a bit of a backbone. A little biscuity, some caramel, toffee, and even a touch of chocolate, but the hops take center stage with their fruity, earthy notes. Medium-bodied, leaning toward the light side, and a bit resiny in the mouth with lingering bitterness. Slight buttery feel. Fairly lightly carbonated so it's not especially crisp.

Tasty stuff, but not balanced like one might expect from an EPA... the hops pretty much take over, making this more of an American-style pale ale. Regardless, this is still quite good, and one of the brewery's better year-round offerings. Something I will look for again.

[Updated May 2 2014]

Another can. I haven't had this one in a while, but this glass has reminded me why I rated it so highly last time. This beer reminds me of a brown ale crossed with an IPA - two of my favourite styles, so it's no wonder I am enjoying it so thoroughly. This is probably Great Lakes' best year-round offering, and a solid strong amber ale all around.

Final Grade: 3.83, a B+.

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Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red, 1.5 fingers of off white head, lots of lacing left behind. Smell is full of citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, pine notes, fairly big juicy hop profile, bready malt as well, light caramel sweetness. Hoppy, lots of pine up front, sweet biscuity malt, citrus in finish with a nice complimentary caramel in there as well. Med-high carbonation, lightly syrupy, thick feel, med to full body. This has been a go to choice for me for quite some time this can that I am reviewing was canned yesterday and is in top form right now and is probably the best can of this I can remember having, one of the best when fresh.

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Photo of SebD
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice copper/amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down slowly and has very nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of piney and citrusy hops with some bready and caramely malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has caramely malt character to it with some citrusy hops adding a slight bitterness in the back. Maltier than the aroma indicated.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with somewhat of a good balance, just a bit too much malts and not enough hops.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

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Photo of PatLarsen
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the can and description on this, and I’m quite impressed they were able to brew the beer with all of those 666 statistics- very cool concept. Pours a clear copper with a foamy off-white head. Aroma of piney hops, caramel malts, citrus, floral notes, and earthy notes. Flavor of pine resin, floral hops, caramel malts, citrus, and wood. Bitter finish. Light-medium bodied, with a resinous mouthfeel and above average carbonation. The devil made me drink it.

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Photo of Stocean1
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice copper colour, fluffy two finger head, thick sticky lacing

S - lots of resinous pine with some grapefruit and a hefty malt backing.

T - the taste follows the nose although at times it seemed to lack some balance - heavy caramel malt

M - medium body with plenty of carbonation, not overly smooth and dry.

O - This is my second review of this one and I am glad I gave it a second chance. Although my palate has matured I think this was a better brew than the one I sampled earlier this year and I will definitely grab this again from time to time.

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Photo of
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep copper with a inch of fluffy off-white head that hangs around and leaves nice Brussels lace.

Smell - tropical fruit and pine hops aromas over a hint of sweet bready malt

Taste - Fruity and sweet. Initially it hits you with the hops - fruity and pine - then it presents a rich malt sweetness with a subtly bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from the LCBO, stamped on the bottom of the can is C0311, which I believe translates into a March 3, 2011 canning date. Had this one several times, but never formally reviewed it. Doing so now, from a pint glass.

Pours a mahogany, with a couple fingers of sticky and soapy white head. Thick lacing and a mild layer of head remains throughout. Nose has some hops here, lots of pineapple and other tropical notes, mild pine and some malt when sniffing a bit deeper. Taste opens up with the malt, some toffee and bready notes fades again into this tropical hop profile. Loads of malt here with a definite bitterness as it leaves the palate, but not one that's overpowering or potent. Relatively full mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation and a solid offering overall. Great Lakes' best year round, certainly. Definitely not an English Pale however, Lackey has been hopping up alot of stuff as of late and based on some of the other reviews here (and lack of general coherence to what I found in this brew vs. others), I doubt the same product comes out every single time. This certainly works though, and if this beer's flavour profile is maintained, this could see some serious action in my fridge this summer.

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Photo of DoktorZee
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can purchased straight from the brewery. No best before, but is very fresh!

A - deep brown, transparent, clear ale with a tan head and moderately fluffy lacing. No obvious carbonation.

S - grassy hops and not much else on the nose.

T - moderate hoppy bitterness with not much malt backing it. Was expecting more malt, but there wasn't much to be found.

M - light carbonation and a very slightly thick body.

D - nice drinkability, goes down easy if you're down with hoppy beers.

Good Canadian Pale with solid character. Nice cool weather quaffer.

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Photo of Roke87
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can, slightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Poured a dark dark red amber colour with a massive three fingers of off white head, that very slowly resides but a nice amount of head sticks around till the end, maximum lacing throughout the glass.

Smell- Nice pine and grapefruit smells right off the bat, with a nice sweet smell of caramel malts shining through, can somewhat smell hops but the sweetness dominates in the smell department.

Taste- Just like the smell in all aspects, you’re hit with the pine and fruity flavours in the form of grapefruit, a nice sweet taste from roasted caramel malts, and in the end you get some taste of the hops.

Mouthfeel- A light-medium bodied pale ale, decent carbonation, definitely a smooth and easy drinking.

Overall- I was pleasantly surprised by this one, at first I didn’t think much of it but as it made it to the end I found myself wanting another one. I never really knew these quality brews were available in Ontario, It taste’s almost like an APA but has that nice caramel malt flavour that is present in EPA’s. A very quality brew that I would definitely drink again!

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Photo of paxkey
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

666 kilograms of malt
6.66 kilograms of hops
66.6 minutes of boiling
6% abv
6.6.06 date of conception.

i can smell the beer as soon as i crack the can.

poured in a Maredsous chalice. appears a nice reddish hue in the glass with a generous tan head. i see no haze in the glass and the head is hanging around a bit. decent lacing.
gorgeous head with a piney grapefruit aroma wafting off.

some sourness in the nose. a combination of cigar, vinegar and grapejuice. interesting but a little all over the place. a swirl of the glass brings a fresh wave of strong hops. i can sense alot of nice bitterness, but the malt profile underneath is still coming off a bit weird. gonna let it decant a bit.

after 2 minutes the head is reduced to a thin film. the malt aroma subdued but present, and no sign of hops, some more swirling produces more malt and almost no hops. disappointing so far.

hop bitterness is present with a bit of a greasy mouthfeel. the midpalate is all about the uneasy malt and the finish is lingering and mostly just bitter.
this beer tries to balance malt and hops and the two could not contrast more making it less of a balance and more of a fail.

not godawaful, but certainly passable.

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Photo of marty21
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark brown/red with a 2 finger frothy off white head. Settles to a thin cap and leaves lot's of lacing covering the glass.

S: Caramel malt upfront that finishes strong with citrus and piney hops.

T: Caramel malt with citrus and a hoppy finish.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body. Bit of a bitter finish.

D: It has a really cool looking can and the taste backs it up. It's a really good pale ale that I could continue drinking all night.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer that has been kept in constant supply in my fridge for the last year, as this new hoppier recipe makes this one of the best Pale Ale's readily available in Ontario... noted because this review is of the ale in general, rather than this specific can which offers more lacing than typical!

Beautiful amber colour; hoppy & malty aroma; complex taste profile with a delightful balance between bitter and sweet, as well as a hop kick and very pleasant finish.

Wouldn't choose the devil-themed can and often pour the beer into a glass so as not to upset the neighbours (except around Halloween?), but all in all, an absolutely delightful Ontario beer!

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Photo of Swedes21
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473 ml poured in a chilled pint glass...

Appearance - Very nice pouring beer! Beer pours with a decent amount of cascading of the head then slows down to about a solid 3 inch light brown head. Beer is a nice deep auburn colour with a decent amount of carbonation. Solid amount of lacing does occur.

Smell - I can smell a slight amount of caramel and a nut based brew. There is a decent hope smell as well to this beer.

Taste - Nice tasting beer with a decent amount of character. the beer offers a nice hint of nuts to the tasting as well as a lasting taste. Slight hint of caramel in the tasting.

Mouthfeel - Decent amount of carbonation on the mouthfeel. The beer is very light on the palette, however, offers a nice light creamy feeling. The aftertaste tends to linger more after the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - A solid beer that i would look for again. This is a nice beer that brings a decent amount of nuts to the tasting. Very good choice on a cool night like tonight!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for korguy123 for this one. Poured from a 473ml can into a pint glass

A: Pours a cloudy brownish/tan color. Very little head which dissipated quickly.

S: A slight hop aroma to start which transitions into a much maltier overtone.

T: Much maltier on the palate than on the nose, some caramel as well. The hops are there, but a bit more subdued. Has a slightly bitter finish.

M/D: Fuller bodied than most Pales I have had. Has good drinkability. Overall I am very happy with this beer. Love the fact that it is in a can and the cans design as well.

High level of smoothness with a creamy, slick full body.

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Photo of grac1970
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A = a nice dark amber when poured into a pint glass with a dark ivory head; nice lacing
S = I noticed hops and malts coming through; a bit of grassy floral and citrus mixed in
T = reminded me of sweet and sour - orange or lemon citrus with a hint of something else that I couldn't quite put a name to - something like a burnt sugar taste
M = a nice dry taste with a touch of bitterness lingering
D = a very decent pale ale

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Photo of mrnobody
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had some of this earlier in the summer and found it to be like pretty much every GLB beer I've tried: good but not great. However, they have now substantially revised the recipe here and made it much hoppier. This is now easily the best GLB beer I've tried and also one of the best beer deals at the lcbo.

473ml can poured into an oversized tulip. Colour is a deep amber/red. Head subsides but some remains the whole way down and leaves some nice lacing. I could tell as soon as I opened the can this was not the same beer. I immediately smelled a blast of juicy hops. Definitely some tropical fruit going on here: pineapple/mango/passion fruit. Beautiful. While the previous iteration of this beer was unbalanced in favour of the malt, the substantially different hopping now balances things out. The predominant flavour I'm noticing is fresh grapefruit juice and the aftertaste supports that also. This is really tasty and I would now argue this beer has moved from English Pale Ale territory into IPA land. It's sort of like a cross between an English and an American IPA. The hops really say west coast to me but the heavy malts are still there. Mouthfeel is just right, not too heavy or light, medium carbonation. And yes, I could have another!

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Photo of Ralphus
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has got significantly better due to new hopping. GLB continues to step up their game.

The color hasn't changed much.. a dark brown reddish ale. But now the head improved with sheets of lacing. The color could be improved a little because it's not terribly interesting but otherwise, no complaints on the head or retention.

The smell is all new.. piney, citrus floral hops are front and centre. Much better.

The taste has been improved by the new hopping as well. Sweet biscuit malts which used to take front stage are now balanced by strong wallup of bitterness. As the beer warms the flavours meld together in a good mixture.

Mouthfeel is great.. seriously smooth and carbonation is bang on. The beer goes down quicky and another is inevitable given the wide availability and excellent canned format.

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Photo of MattyV
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep reddish-brown colour with a creamy beige head.
Herbal, spicy hops and caramel malt in the nose.
The taste is much more malty than expected with a nice toasted/lightly roasted character with a slight caramel sweetness and earthiness from the hops that eases into a spicy bitter finish.
Medium body and carbonation, feels slightly creamy going down.

Not a bad beer, but not a flavour profile that I'd regularly seek out. It just seems overly malty at first and then finishes with a raw, harsh bitterness that hurts its drinkability.

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Photo of heebes
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with lots of head. Dissipates at a normal rate without much lacing.
I could smell the pale ale upon opening. Nice strong scent of fruits; oranges and either malts or hops.
Tastes much the same, bitter beginning which lasts awhile.
Very smooth to drink, kind of feels watery though. The hop flavour lingers tastes bitter the whole way through.
Overall I have to say I'm fairly impressed by this Canadian brewery. Its certainly a good start/offering for a bland Can. market, but I can't see myself returning to it often.
I believe the recipie for this brew has been altered recently, not sure if this is the new style or olde. Marked with an E on the bottom of the can.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

473ml can pours a dark, see through kind of brown with hints of amber, oddest pale ale coloring but still interesting. Light, airy head that quickly takes off and leaves spots of lacing on top.

Nose is pale malts, caramel, hints of British hop varieties, slight almost metallic hint (Munich malts?).

Clean entry followed by a pale malt/almost roasty but fading to a slight acridity, off note - almost ethanol/solventy. A sweet caramel throughout. Slight Euro hop bitterness in the finish with a slight cheek drying. Certainly not up to the promise of a devilishly delicious ale, just doesn't come together.

Can't say I really enjoyed it that much though it's not a horrible effort. An odd combination of malts and hops that doesn't really remind of a pale ale and doesn't seem to work together all that effectively. Aftertaste/finish stops me from wanting another.

Edit: 09/15/10 - New hop profile greatly improves this beer. More citrus and pine, especially in the nose. Still heavy on the malts with a dry, almost English finish but there is some nice depth, making a nice sessionable ale. New score to reflect this version.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apparently they changed the recipe for this. It's from the OCB Summer Sampler so I can't tell if I'm getting the new or the old.

A - Murky, reddish brown colour with a head between tan and white of about one finger that has serious staying power and is nice and creamy. Head leaves crazy nice lacing all the way down. Carbonation is medium to heavy but hard to see b/c of the colour.

S - Really fragrant hops. Nice and fruity aroma with a some really great malt backing it up. Lot's of balance in the aroma. Spot on for the style.

T - Nice hops for the most part. Bitterness is really present with a little sweet malt there too. Less balance than the aroma.

M - Appropriate for the style. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - High if you want bitterness all night. A little bit too high in the abv area for a sessionable EPA but I could give 'er with this one.

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Photo of kwjd
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an dark amber-copper colour with thick head that takes a minute to dissipate. Some lacing on the glass. Smells of pine and citrus hops, wow. Nice bitterness in this pale ale. This used to be a below average APA, maybe even an English pale ale. I've heard they either upped the hops or switched to a more aggressive American variety and it completely shows. Make sure you try a fresh can of this, even if you had a can from only a couple months ago it was probably the older recipe. This should almost be a a new entry.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

A canned craft beer with a Satanic theme, references to the number of the beast (666). Should we be playing some Iron Maiden before we open this can?

A tan big, bubbly head forms, good enough retention to get by. Dark tawny color, but not so dark that the clarity is hard to see. Smells of caramel and a bit of butterscotch, a little grainy with a slight woody herbal hop as well. High level of smoothness with a creamy, slick full body. Maltiness is thick on the palate with lots of toasted grain throughout, malt sweetness kicks in with tones of caramel and cake batter. Hint of buttery and pear-like fruitiness from the yeast and alcohol. Hops show some balance with a mild bitterness and thick leafy herbal taste which does not last long as the toasted grain finishes with a semisweet toasted, almost roasted flavor.

Two words, "Malt Bomb." Malty and sweet but still somewhat balanced, it sort of reminds us of what Bass Ale used to taste like ... sort of. A decent English Pale Ale with or without a nod from The Devil.

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Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.