Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Great Lakes Pompous Ass Pale Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Pompous Ass Pale AleGreat Lakes Pompous Ass Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

25 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 25
Hads: 71
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 6.49%
Wants: 7
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 10-02-2009

Formerly known as Bloody 'L Pale Ale
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 25 | Hads: 71
Photo of Tilly
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brown amber with a huge beige head that leaves a great lace.
Mild aroma of hops, some fruity sweetness.
Mild tastes also. Hoppy, mild toffee.
Mild mouth feel! Nice and dry. Some bitterness.
All around, this is a good drinker. (233 characters)

Photo of SillySir
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Hmmmmmmmmph... a brown amber with a head that's as thick as a black man's cock. Lots of lacing, I can tell it will be quite sweet. Mild cloudiness.

Aroma: Yep! Smells very sugary and hoppy. Honey?

Taste: Toasted bread with, sweet orange marmalade. Detecting some grapefruit tang and orange peel aftertaste. Excellent balance with the malt and hops. What a treat.

Palate: sticky, and well carbonated, but soft.

Overall: fantastic. Not sure what the difference is between English Pale Ales and India Pale Ales, but from this sampling I'd guess the latter are more bitter than the sweeter EPAs. Perhaps some research is in order. I'd be curious to know which hops were used for this ale because I found the sticky malt to be quite nicely counteracted by the citrus hop flavour profile. It's got quite the bright profile. (834 characters)

Photo of mtomlins
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reading the can, I see that the brewery made their twist on this classic style by using an American ale yeast and new world hops, resulting in an English Ale in name only. Pours a deep amber color with a nice creamy head and decent lacing. The nose and taste have subtle toasted, caramel malt notes but it's light for the style. The bright citrus and pine hops are still the main event in this beer which is tasty, but overpower the malt character. The body is light and refreshing and lacks the creamy, smooth character I was hoping for. This is a decent American session ale, not an English style aple ale. (613 characters)

Photo of Float_On
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

CHEKC THE DATES! Buy this one fresh. Hop aroma and flavor diminish very rapidly I've noticed. Seems anything older than 2-3weeks tastes like a bitter amber ale.
Fresh review easy 80-85. Great malty flavors balance out the fresh hop notes of pine and north-American citrus-hoppy characters. Maybe a bit of simcoe or citra? All speculation. I'm no expert. I've drank a bunch of this over the past 2 months because of the awesome $2.50/pint price point.
Hops seem a bit too west-coast to call it an English pale ale. In my mind it's more of a sessionIPA. Again. No expert. Tasty nonetheless. If you're a hop head it's something that won't knock you over. 4.2% compared to 6.5% ABV for most IPA's out there. Session IPA for me. (725 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

473 ml can served fairly cold into a pint glass. Picked up from LCBO for good price of $2.50 CDN.

Appearance - hazy dark honey brown coloured ale that poured a soft fluffy two fingers of head. Big frothy finish and lots of sticky lacing left behind. Minimal visible carbonation.

Smell - some hops pickiness mixed in with a very solid malt foundation. Peppery is probably the word I'd use to describe the nose at a point before the malt aromas start to take over.

Taste - mild hop bite to start on the earthy and leafy side of things too before some toff and caramel makes a brief appearance and then finishes leafy. Very yummy and easy to drink.

Mouthfeel - medium light body, well carbonated but it's a soft carbonation and makes this easy to drink and relaxes the mouth. Really good feel here.

Overall - a very good English ale that's eminently drinkable, light and not gassy but full of flavor. Could easily sit in a pub on an afternoon drinking multiple pints of this while enjoying myself with a game of darts and some spirited conversation. Just as an added plus the cost is among the best for a craft beer in all of Ontario. (1,136 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.02/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: Poured a clear light brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light dry cereal notes. Taste is also a mix between dry caramel malt notes with some light citrusy hops. Body is light with OK carbonation. Not bad but fall a bit short in terms of character. (309 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a high white head that lasts for a minute or two before it films out. Dark gold almost brown color. Unfiltered

S- Nice hops here. Good malt.

T- Rather nice and light. Good sessionable ale. Crisp grapefruit.

M- Dry and tart. Good English pale ale. Touch bitter at the very end

O- Very good beer. Nice one for a mid summer day.

Food Pairing

This nice little beer would go very well with...... BBQ'd hot dogs! Love them just plain in a bun

Enjoy (572 characters)

Photo of FRANKIE65
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had one at the Royal York in Toronto on the weekend. Went and bought two more cans the next day.
I would term this a "session" ale, low alcohol, full flavor.
Could become a regular in the fridge. (196 characters)

Photo of ludachris
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The body is a deep and rich amber red. There's a bit of haze to it. An inch of light but tightly knit off white head gradually lessons to a ring.

Pithy grapefruit and grapefruit skin mesh with a piney and leafy edge. Wholesome bread and toffee lie just beneath. Pleasant, balanced, and very inviting.

It starts dry with a blend of grapefruit skin and prickly pine. Earthy and leafy hops quickly take over. A subtle bready sweetness peaks out in the middle. Biscuity in the finish with a soft, lingering grassy, leafy bitterness.

Its dryness is quick and cutting. Combined with its prickly level of carbonation, it almost has a feel of being oxidized. Light bodied and quite quaffable.

Overall, a decent offering from GLB but not my favorite. For me, although its dryness added to its drinkability, it took away from the flavours in the taste and made it more one dimensional. (883 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

473 mL can picked up at the LCBO; packaged on December 2 2014 (at least, I think - it's hard to read). Listed at 4.2%, and served slightly chilled.

Pours a foggy copper-amber colour, producing just under an inch of soapy, off-white froth that gradually recedes over the next few minutes. A foamy cap survives, along with some scattered, messy strands of lace. The aroma is comprised of toffee and nutty malts, with marmalade, pineapple and pine giving it a distinctly fruity, North American vibe - though hints of floral, leafy hops suggest that at least one traditional English strain was also used.

The flavours in this one are extremely well-balanced - perfect for a light, sessionable pale ale. Citrusy orange and grapefruit mingle surprisingly effectively with the malt backbone, which consists largely of toffee, slightly biscuity malts and some toasted, nutty notes. A hint of pine and a grassy, mildly floral hop bitterness wind things down nicely, with a citrusy flavour left briefly clinging to the palate. Light-bodied, with a soft, smooth feel in the mouth, aided by the relatively delicate carbonation. This ale is absurdly easy to knock back, but its tastiness does not suffer for it.

Final Grade: 4.14, a solid A-. Pompous Ass is an impressively well-made pale ale - its English roots are noticeable in the sturdy malt bill and slightly floral, bitter finish, but the North American influence is undeniable. While I would not consider this much of a 'traditional' EPA, it's still a fabulous session ale that does not skimp out on the flavour at all. Superb stuff - I like this a little more than their Canuck Pale Ale, and will continue buying cans as long as it remains in stock. (1,698 characters)

Photo of Mit
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep browny red colour with a decent head.

Smells like an english pale....spicey hoppy smell. Very pleasant.......slight malt flavour.

Slightly hoppier than i would have expected.....spiceiness still prominent.

Mouthfeel is good for abv

Overall its very good. Will get this again. (295 characters)

Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had from the can into a nonic pint. Medium dark brown with a nice cap of head. Aroma is pleasing with roasty caramel, toffee notes, earthy notes, some mild florals. Taste is smooth to start with some robust malt notes, some citrus, I'm grassy and pine hop notes, butterscotch, and a nutty character, long dry finish. Nicely drinkable and has some robust malt character and overall is quite an enjoyable ale. (408 characters)

Photo of kevinlater
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

473ml can into nonic pint. 4.2% abv. nearly-illegible code on the bottom rim of the can -- the first and last numbers look like "10" and "14" so i'm going to guess that this was canned some time in october of 2014. enjoyed on january 2, 2015

a: opaque burnt orange body capped with three fingers of tan head. minimal lacing. very nice

s: caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, ripe orange, pineapple. slightly floral

t: follows the nose. biscuit, bread, and grapefruit up front. mid-palate exhibits subdued caramel flavours, some pineapple, and a floral quality. a piney, slightly spicy bitterness arises on the back-end

m: light-bodied, medium carbonation. a bit watery

o: good stuff. quite flavourful with a good balance of malt and hop (743 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had a pint of this at Brothers Beer Bistro on New Year's Eve. From notes.

A - Poured reddish copper and cloudy. Half finger of creamy dense head of an off white persuasion. Good lace rings and a half finger of retention.

S - Piney, minty, some caramel, pineapple.

T - Nice and piney. Some toffee, citrus, candy. Good hop character.

M - Good carbonation, light body, nice bitterness. Not too aggressive, but enjoyable.

O/D - A very sessionable pale ale. Malt character provided proper balance for the otherwise aggressive hop profile. Nice stuff. (551 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Far from pompous, I find this beer to have a quiet, unpretentious beauty. Its deep amber colour preserves the clarity of a golden ale but sheds the flashy highlighting; its toastiness imparts a dusky tone without making it tenebrous like a stout. Even its head is ethereal, the lacing dainty.

The bouquet resembles those plastic-wrapped creamy caramel squares and something like I imagine citrus bubblegum would smell like. Its fruitiness is breezy and its sweetness moderate, one seemingly tempered (but entirely untroubled) by the presence of the other.

The beer's maltiness is relatively gooey, with a faintly treacly, dark, plummy fruitiness and firm notes of hard toffee and chocolate-coated nuts. The taste also features tangier, citrus-driven flavours that includes orange and grapefruit as well as distinctly earthy notes that include peppermint and pine serum. It's at once like something out the oven as well as the forest.

The mouthfeel exemplifies a pacifist's mentality: it has a non-aggressive texture that encourages hops and malt to live in perfect peace and harmony. Both citrus peel and toast, pine resins and caramel, all elements both bitter and sweet are equally sanctioned, no favoritism given.

Contrary to what its name suggests, Pompous Ass is actually a well balanced and mild mannered beer, one not at all suited to snobbish quaffing but rather simple everyday drinking. In fact, I can't think of a recipe more complaisant than this - it generously provides both malt and hops, happily obliging simple, easy to please palates as well as more discerning, difficult ones. (1,602 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Looks like it was canned March 6, 2013.

Beer is orangey-brown in colour, with a smallish off-white head.. Head fades quickly but not entirely.

Nose consists of English hops (grass, floral notes) and caramel and biscuit malt.

Taste is like the nose. Well-balanced, with the grassy hop flavours mixing with caramel and biscuit. Goes down very smoothly, but quite flavourful.

Light bodied, strongly carbonated. Too much. I have had this on cask previously, and prefer it that way.

Overall, quite good. Needs to have the carbonation toned down, but otherwise a great session beer. (584 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to a buddy for picking up a can. Was fairly suprised by this one, considering the lower alchohol %. Pours a reddish clear orange colour. A good amount of hops, slightly citrus, floral. A earth pine taste in there with a slight caramal mouthfeel as well. I was quite suprised and excepted this to not be so good when I started pouring. But it suprised the hell out of me and I would gladly drink quite a few of these in a session. (436 characters)

Photo of ssmack
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

473 ml can bought at the brewery store.

A bright orange brown colour. Slightly cloud. Two inches of thick beige head. Well retained lacing from top to bottom.

A sweet molasses aroma which slightly steely. The malt comes through strongly in the smell.

Cascade hops dominate the taste. Citrus, grapefruit, piney favours. The hop taste is solid but not overwhelming. A toffee malt taste is there in the taste but only shows up at the end.

A medium mouthfeel that could use more weight.

A real paradox. An all malt aroma coupled with an almost all hops taste. More hoppiness than most English Pale Ales. (604 characters)

Photo of SebD
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Hardrock 42 in Sudbury

Appearance: It has a nice murky orange/brown color to it. It has a nice frothy beige head that dies down moderately and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of sweet caramel, bready/biscuity malts, floral hops and some citrus.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet caramel upfront with bready and biscuity mats, floral hops with a grassy bitterness and a touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas. (612 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An excellent light but hoppy British styled pale ale. Preferred on draught, but can is still excellent, with a low enough ABV to enjoy a couple...

Pours a beautiful amber, slightly hazy, with a small whitish head that disappears fairly quickly. Impressive citrus and "west-coast" hops in the aroma, with a caramelized malt backbone. The flavour is well balanced with an initial sweetness and more typical British malted ale transitioning into an American hopped finish. Citrus, resin and tropical fruits with a base bitterness that remain British (Fuggles?).

An absolutely excellent session ale. Well done, Great Lakes! (622 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can dated A1513 (January 15, 2013) poured in to snifter.

A - Medium orange with some darker amber colors towards the middle. A thin layer of off-white head.

S - Floral hop aroma up front with a sweet caramel malt backbone. Typical English pale ale nose.

T - Light to moderate bitterness with floral and grassy flavours. A big sweet caramel malt backbone provides excellent balance. The finish is dry and bitter.

M - Light body, creamy. Some stickiness. (456 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at C'est What, listed as the Pompous Ass ESB at 4.6%, but I'm not sure it's a different beer - rather a revamping of an older beer.

Poured ruby red, with hints of chestnut in the body. Offwhite head and moderate retention, excellent lacing. Nose has bright citrus zest, and some cracker-y bready malts. Quite floral. Taste this to the next level, brilliant hopping right off the bat - tangerine is the most prominent flavour, with some flesh and some 'spritziness' that you get when you peel one of those things. Orange, and some general "Five-Alive" type citrus notes. A bit of mango, some dankness and a touch of grapefruit. Malt sits well in the background and still resembles some cracker/breads. A touch of sweetness. If this is an ESB, it lacks the malt complexity of some world-class brews in the style, but as a pale ale (more American than anything...), this is pretty awesome. Medium feel, carbonation is a tad high. Lots of residual citrus lingers on the palate. ONly a bit of bitterness. A solid drinkable beer, jam-packed with hop flavour. Real tasty pint and I could certainly hit this up several times over. (1,130 characters)

Photo of bobsy
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Volo during the cask crawl weekend. At 4.2% this was a nice pint to start with.

Poured a hazy orange-brown with a creamy off-white head. Nice lacing and decent retention complete a great appearance. Aroma has some caramel and biscuit malts with floral hopping overlaying it. Taste is good, with a nice hop bite. Bit bready, and biscuity with some cookie dough. Lemon, floral and herbal notes have English hopping written all over them. A hint of diacetyl grows as the pint goes down, but isn't too much of a detraction. Moderate body withvery restrained carbonation.

Pretty decent cask. After all the whacky ones they've been putting out, its nice to see Great Lakes put out some in more 'normal' style like EPAs and APAs. This one worked - well done! (764 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on cask at The Rhino. Grapefruit colour, absolutely no head. Served at the correct room temperature. Medium mouthfeel, no carbonation which is fine. Some hops,though understated, and just a tad astringent. Decent taste and drinkability. No hop aromas. (259 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Volo.

Pours a lightly hazy copper brown, big thick off white head forms, slowly drops down to a medium ring and layer around the glass, few lace spots. Smell is nice, very malty, some bread and caramel, toast, biscuit, floral, light bit of yeasty fruitiness, touch of tangerine like citrus. Taste is similar, big malty character up front, some caramel sweetness, biscuit, corn syrup, toast, floral hops, bit of fruit, solid bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, pretty smooth and drinkable. Real nice English pale. (564 characters)

Great Lakes Pompous Ass Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.