1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Orange Peel AleGreat Lakes Orange Peel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

79 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 79
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.46
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
In our quest to bring you the most flavourful and unique beers possible, we are proud to release this tasty spring and summer beer. Handcrafted with five specialty malts and five varieties of hops, along with just a touch of honey, we added heaps of fresh oranges and peels into the boil. A little different, you say? We sure hope so. Orange Peel Ale balances the unique flavour of oranges with generous amounts of hops to achieve a slightly fruity and refreshing taste.

(Beer added by: pootz on 04-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ralphus:
Photo of Ralphus
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must say, Great Lakes is starting to rachet things up a little. Their winter ale and pumpkin have been good, the Canuck Pale Ale was really solid and this is a very nice and refreshing summer beer as well.

It pours a clear golden colour with a hint of orange. The head was well presented, slow to descend and left a clump of lacing behind.

The smell is nicely done. A light fragrance of oranges, caramel malts and some earthiness. It's not going to knock your socks off but it's well tuned. The taste is similar. A light lager with a bit of hop bitterness followed through with a touch of orange, metallic like aftertaste. It's remarkably well done for a fruit beer. The balance is perfect.

Mouthfeel is good and the light carbonation combined with the simple but well balanced taste makes this one an easy drinker. I could easily demolish these on a patio all day long.

Nice work GLB.

Ralphus, May 11, 2010
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Head happily drapes some lace on the glass, clear and golden. Orange aroma of a creamsicle and sweet zest. Very smooth with a crisp pop in the moderate sized body. Orange flavor from start to finish, grainy with a dry and light malt tone. Light on the hopping as well to let the orange flavor shine, bitter peel and sweet zest. Finishes a little bitty and very dry.

Refreshing, a good change up beer as well.

Jason, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer appears a hazy medium orangish-amber colour, with one finger of creamy off-white head, which leaves a solid wall of thin lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of orange peel - natch, barley grain, and a bit of orange liqueur. The taste is sweet and bitter orange, and soft white grain. The carbonation is mild, the body on the light side of medium weight, and it finishes off-dry and fruity (guess which variety) - acidic and sweet.

Nothing complicated, to be sure, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

biboergosum, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of Sammy
2.95/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Lagerish bland ale, with some orange flavoring that seemed natural enough in this 08 release at Volo. Hops have an effet but do not add to taste. Sweetness is OK. Overall not so drinkable. The dominant characteristic is orange, and its better than orange soda. Understated carbonation.

Sammy, May 01, 2008
Photo of CanuckRover
3.7/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an appropriate orange, completely clear. Not much head at all, bubbly rings lacings.

Aroma is very nice. Honey really stands out, especially after being left to sit for a few minutes. A wonderful sweetness that compliments the bitterness of the orange rind and hops. Fruity malt rounds it all out.

Surprisingly hoppy. I was expecting a Fullers' type beer (marmalade like malt) with the orange, but there is a surprising English bitterness that just magnifies the bitterness of the orange zest. I think I would have liked it just a little bit sweeter, more pronounced honey would have been wonderful.

Fairly thin mouthfeel, but no real complaints.

A very nice, easy drinking summer ale. I just wish they ratcheted up the flavour a notch, the orange peel plays second fiddle to the hops.

CanuckRover, Jun 13, 2008
Photo of traumaqueen
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of jsnoek
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

jsnoek, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a good size foamy head with medium retention and no lacing. Aroma of light caramel malt with not as much spices as was advertised on the label. Taste is also dominated by caramel malt with light bitter hops. I still can't believe five varieties of hops were used and that the taste is not more pronounced. Would have enjoyed this one a lot more of it had more character.

Phyl21ca, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.3/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pored in to a pint glass

A - Poured yellow with a slight amber tinge to it. A lot of visible carbonation and half a finger of white head.

S - Slight hoppy bitterness and bready malts. A very slgiht citrus scent exists that is hardly noticeable.

T - Bitter hops with some citrus, which is predominantly orange rind. Some bready malts balance it out. The orange rind flavour is enough to be noticeable without being overwhelming. A nice balance of all the flavours.

M - Light body, medium carbonation.

D - A good ale. I am happy that I tried it but I would not seek it out again.

TheSevenDuffs, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of irishkyle21
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has a good sturdy head, decent retention and lacing. A mix of orange and copper colors.

The smell is a little on the bland side. The oranges are noticeable, malts and citrus.

Mostly orange and hop for my taste buds, the malt does have some sweetness. Not a bad beer by all means but just nothing that really grabs my tongue.

irishkyle21, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of civicm87
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

civicm87, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of mrnobody
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear bright orange with a little bit of foam.

S: Faint orange smell is predominant (orange pop?).

T: Tastes of orange on the front-end followed by a little hop bitterness; pretty tasty.

M: Light-medium body with fairly lively carbonation.

D: Drinkability is good but having this once per year is sufficient.

mrnobody, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of Antilochus
3.9/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at a London, ON LCBO. 5.30% abv, 650mL. No freshness date. Fridge temp into a wine tumbler.

Orange body under a sizeable sudsy white head. Decent lace. Looks appropriate.

I really don't get much 'orange' in the nose. Definite hop presence, which is rather citric and rindy I suppose, but not the pure orange notes I was expecting. As it warmed I noticed it a lot more. Good malt backbone on this one.

The orange comes out in the palate, remarkably balanced between candy-orange and rind-orange flavours. Lots of malt, touch of grassy hop in the finish. Warming. Highly drinkable, and by that I mean quaffable.

Antilochus, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of ritzkiss
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle pours a slightly orange tinged golden wheat color - a shade darker than your average pale ale. A couple fingers of light head that makes an appearance, bows, and then dissipates. Some lacing.

Nose has a slight hint of orange rind (note: slight), a bit of breadiness, a hint of caramel?

Nothing too earth-shattering about this brew: slight breadiness, hints of citric hops with a faint bittering, I guess you could guess at some orange peel if you had to, perhaps a hint of lemon. This is a light, refreshing brew (no Amber, that's for sure) and I can see on hot days such as these how it is drinkable. Also, with the lack of options in the LCBO it just might make a nice steady summer drinker and I could see it pairing well with a lemony fish dish on the grill in the backyard as the heat wanes. On the other hand, as the bottle progresses the bitterness takes on an "off" note and is rather unpleasant - I think the honey is playing a role in this as well - just bad.

ritzkiss, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of MTNboy
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has deep a red/orange amber body. It has a nice foamy head but not much for lace.

Smell: The aroma has a slight orange scent but for the most part it is very basic.

Taste: The flavor is different but good. The orange flavoring was not overwhelming at all. Great hop and malt tones that do take away from this being a fruit beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but thin not very carbonated.

Drinkability: It is a nice beer overall.

MTNboy, Aug 31, 2008
Photo of patre_tim
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

patre_tim, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

RedAleMan, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of batmanbach
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

batmanbach, May 07, 2012
Photo of mooseisloose
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 670 ml bomber. Nice, foil top, let's give it a whirl. Popping t he top yields a delicious biscuity dry malt smell with hints of banana. Pours to a ever so slightly cloudy orange yellow with a nice almost tan head. Head recedes quickly but clings nicely. Taste hits right away with a nice hop bite that is quickly mellowed by a fresh squeezed orange juice flavor followed by a noble hoppy bitterness. Aftertaste is balanced with a bitter maltiness and still hinting. I was a little wary of this brew expecting too much orange boldness but it is truly an ale more bitter than orange. This is a very drinkable brew. Something new for breakfast?

mooseisloose, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of uno99
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the brewery, served at 55 degrees.

A: Straw body with egg shell white head. decent retention and laces well in my Stella Artois glass.

S: Really nice balance here. All the players can be heard equally here. Orange is present on the "fringes" of the nose. Quite well hopped but not a bomb, malt is clean and bready.

T: Orange is a little more apparent in the taste, and becomes more so as you work your way through the (650ML?) bottle. Things stay fairly balanced however and the brewer has thankfully resisted the urge to over spice this brew.

M: Light-Medium bodied. A little oily. Carbonation is spot on and doesn't feel too artificial.

O: Very refreshing, but lacking character. This beer would do well at a BBQ or as a reward for pulling the lawnmower out.

uno99, May 18, 2011
Photo of SebD
3.45/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy colour to it. It has a nice white head that dies down fast and has minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas give out hints of orange with some bready malts and light hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a dominant orange taste with some bready malts and a bit of hops adding a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with an ok balance and feel.

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

SebD, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of mrmanning
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A silk screened bottle wrapped in an orange foil cap. This beer pours deep amber, leading to a decelt frothy white cap, The lacing is steady, and nice looking. The aroma is subtle orange peel, caramel, lemon zest, wheat, some burnt malts. Pretty sweet, yet enjoyable while sitting on my patio in summer heat. Very citric and acidic, some wheat, bread crust, rye bread, suragy koolaid. Pretty refreshing. The hops are here and so are the malts. Finishes bitterly with hops, citrus, and semi sweet from sugary malts.Very good. This is a good effort from this brewer, but from thier scores, it seems Ontario raters are not behind. Shame on you.

mrmanning, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of BigBry
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle from Pootz in our last trade.
Gold foil cap and a silk screened label (as pictured).
Pours a clear amber orange color with a thin head. Foam shrinks to a thin floating cap. Smell has some citrus and grass, but nothing overly orange. Clean malty flavor balanced with more grassy hops. There is a bit of orange and citrus, but I probably wouldn't pick it out if I didn't know better. The aftertaste might have a bit more of the extra orange flavor. I guess I was expecting more orange peel / citrus kick.
Light body with medium carbonation make it refreshing and an easy drinker.
Another unique beer that I would not have been able to try with out this trade.

BigBry, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of thehyperduck
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle from the LCBO; no production date. I usually get a craving for witbiers around this time of year, but I wasn't able to find any new ones, so this seemed like a decent compromise.

Pours a light amber-orange, completely translucent, topped with slightly more than a finger of sparkling, off-white coloured head. It lasts a few minutes before dissipating into a thin, creamy, even cap on the surface. Attractive, but nothing to write home about. Rather bland aroma, which is a shame because as far as fruit beers go, the smell is one of the few aspects I will usually really enjoy. It is comprised of hints of orange citrus, with an underlying backbone of light, malty honey sweetness.

The taste is ok, but I am not encouraged to give it any more praise than that. I'm seriously having trouble coming up with adjectives to describe the taste because there just isn't anything of substance to talk about. Even the orange notes are surprisingly subdued, which makes me wonder if this is just an expired bottle or something. What little flavour there is can be placed into one of the following three categories: diluted orange citrus; lightly honeyed biscuity malt sweetness; and gentle hop bitterness (which becomes more pronounced at the end of the sip). Medium-bodied, without the heavy soda-pop carbonation I find in most fruit beers. Easy to drink.

Final Grade: 2.78, hovering between C and C-. I honestly feel bad about giving it such a low score - I like Great Lakes and I've never had a bad beer from them before, but their Orange Peel Ale is just profoundly unimpressive in every sense of the word. Stale bottle? Given the weak aroma and taste (and lack of any sort of date or code anywhere on the bottle), this seems like a significant possibility. Given that, I may consider retrying this in the future, but it would have to be on-tap or directly from the brewery. I would recommend serving this relatively well-chilled (i.e. similar to the temperature you'd drink a macro lager at).

The bottom line is simple: if this really IS expired, GLB putting a date on the bottle would have easily prevented me from buying this and posting a bad review of what may very well be an adequate beer... because to be fair, it doesn't taste *bad*... it just tastes bland. If it ISN'T expired... well, then I don't really understand why anyone would want to drink it at any price, let alone 5 bucks a bottle. As it stands, there is no way I would recommend this to anyone for anything, because in my opinion, it is neither a good fruit beer, nor a good amber. Passing this over would be no big loss.

thehyperduck, May 20, 2012
Photo of kinguy
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

kinguy, Sep 08, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.