Great Lakes Lake Effect - Great Lakes Brewery

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Great Lakes Lake EffectGreat Lakes Lake Effect

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

79 Ratings
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Ratings: 79
Reviews: 32
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 7.8%
Wants: 5
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: liamt07 on 12-03-2011

84 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 | Reviews: 32
Photo of Logan12321
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light golden, 1 1/2 head with moderate retention. Smells very tropical, mango seems to be the dominant smell , little bit of citrus there as well. Flavorful taste, the citrus and mango really comes out. Bitterness is not overwhelming and there is a slight soothing from the alcohol on the finish. Not overly carbonated, definitely can see myself buying this beer for another occasion.

Photo of OneTuffPony
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy, kind of cloudy amber orange. Soapy white head.

Smell: Citrusy. Pine and grapefruit standing out the most.

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, mango, fresh cut grass, apricots, and some peach.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and lighter than I thought it would be.

Overall: A fantastic Canadian IPA. Give it a whirl folks, the $6.50 is worth it.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. Having enjoyed pretty much all of the other Tank Ten Series beers that I've tried, this one was pretty much an automatic buy.

Pours a hazy orange-amber colour, capped off with one finger of dense, resilient eggshell-white froth. It gradually seeps away, leaving behind a bubbly film on the surface and a thick, foamy collar crowned by a thin circle of lace. The aroma has a strong tropical fruit theme going on, exemplified by notes of pineapple, mandarin orange, grapefruit and apricot, overlying malty notes of brown sugar and honey. A little piney, with maybe a hint of lemon oil.

After drinking a glass of pale lager, this bold-tasting beer really woke my tastes buds up. The malt backbone is a touch sturdier than some brews of this ilk - a little biscuity, with toffee, honey and a pastry crust-like sweetness that provides a base capable of standing up to the mighty hop flavours that follow. There is a lot of apricot, but as was the case on the nose, tropical fruits rule the day here with plenty of juicy pineapple, passionfruit and citrusy pink grapefruit and orange. Toward the finish, it becomes increasingly pithy, resiny, piney, and just plain bitter, leading into a dry aftertaste that retains a touch of alcoholic warmth. Medium-bodied, with gentle carbonation that barely prickles the tongue, and an exceptionally smooth, luxurious feel on the palate. This beer is just a pleasure to sip, and dangerously drinkable because of that.

Final Grade: 4.53, an excellent A grade. Great Lakes' Lake Effect is absolutely delicious, and easily one of the best IPAs I've had the opportunity to try in 2014. Winter is the time of year where fresh IPAs seem to start to become a little scarcer, so I'm quite thankful that it is available locally for the time being - I'll definitely be picking up a few more to stuff into the fridge for the long winter ahead. I've heard good things about this brewery and its hopped beers for a couple of years now, and I think I'm finally starting to understand why.

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle served fairly cold into a Sam Smith's pint glass. Purchased for $5.95 CDN.

Appearance - Cloudy golden color, hints of orange. Even a gentle pour yielded a giant two and half finger white head. Crazy amount of explosive and lively bubbles. As the head receded a swath of glorious white lacing left behind.

Smell - Yum! Lots and lots of pineapple, some caramel. A little bit of pine, and grapefruit the the pineapple and caramel are the stars. Passionfruit comes out to play as the beer warms.

Taste - Wow. Big pineapple flavor, some sticky caramel and toffee malt to balance everything. A touch pine and a burst of other citrus flavors including a bunch of nectarine and some orange. Almost even a mint flavor blended in. Very intense and very satisfying. This is phenomenal. Fruit comes through a little less as the beer warms and the carbonation subsides to some extent, but the flavors transition towards a delectable passionfruit.

Mouthfeel - Smooth feeling, with good carbonation. A heftier than average body, but it works here with the intensity of the flavors.

Overall - Really impressive stuff, simply had high expectations, and within two sips this vaulted to the top of my American IPA rankings, even better than Red Racer from Central City. The nectarine pineppple blend is incredible and the bitterness is present but not too intense. 80 IBU's are well hidden as well as the alcohol. Great beer.

Photo of Mit
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Pours a golden clear colour with a creamy head.

The bouquet is dominated by the grapefruit hoppiness....did not get much else.....my nose is pretty stuffed up in winter.

Upon first sip i noticed the the hops are kinda muted. Its a little watery with the hops bringing a spicey flavour in tje back of the throat.

Seems a little thin for the abv.

Overall i found this a little weaker than other offerings. I would buy it again as i expect it to improve.

Photo of cratez
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Lake Effect IPA - 7% ABV American IPA - Consumed December 4, 2014.

A: Clear amber hue with two fingers of white froth and several strands of lacing on the IPA glass. A few bubbles in the body. Head and lace retain for the duration of the beer. A near-flawless look.

S: Huge citric, fruity, and resiny-oily hop aromas with peach, apricot, nectarine and orange rind upfront; lemon zest, caramel, and grapefruit notes follow with a light woodiness in the background. Awesome hop-forward nose, bang on for the style.

T: Woodsy, citric, and peachy hop flavours; caramel, nectarine, sugary malt, and orangey-lemony notes mid-palate; oily-resiny and drying-bitter finish lingers for a while. Beautifully integrated and bold hop flavours without too much bitterness. A stellar US-style IPA.

M: Light side of medium bodied, slick and oily middle, resinous and drying-bitter finish lingers long with more peach, citrus, and woody notes on the cough. Good palate, but it's a bit thin for the weight.

O: Definitely one of the top IPAs brewed in Ontario with its massive hop flavours and complex, layered aromas. Quite the impressive brew.

Photo of papat444
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

Thanks to jrenihan for this. Poured from a bomber.

Super fresh citrus aroma mixed with papaya, sweet peaches and lemon zest. Flavor has an initial sweet hop kick then relents to malt. Bit of a clean and conservative IPA. Could stand to color outside of the lines a bit :)

Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Bloor/Runnymede LCBO. Served in Cantillon tulip.

A - Big, creamy, foam settles to a chunky cap, leaving behind copious lace. Hazed peach body.

S - Loads of tropical fruit, with melon, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit over top of a sugary malt backdrop. Perhaps a touch of grapefruit rind to keep things from getting overly sweet.

T - The taste has a bit more earthy and bitter hopping, with less fruit juiciness and a bit more citrus zest to it. Malt is a bit more bready and peripheral here as well; perhaps a tad crackery.

M - Medium body that seems a tad light for the listed 7%. Pleasant, moderate carbonation, with a bit of grit to the texture. No perceptible alcohol, and some mild residual oiliness on the palate.

D - Nice IPA. Hope they make it regularly, as it's a step up from other Ontario offerings in this category. I'm a bit perplexed by the 750ml format though; seems like it would be better in pint-sized cans.

Photo of TerryW
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very fine brew. Lots of fruity hoppiness happening. Orange and passionfruit, some earthiness and pine. A fascinating mouthful. Nicely gentle bitter finish. Nose is orange and fruit. Quite appetizing across the board. Decent looking, soft hazy gold and a steady curtain of fine lace.

This one is definitely worth a try. Pleasurable drinking.

Photo of kevinlater
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle into nonic pint. no date code on the bottle, but i'd like to think it's rather fresh as it hit the shelves recently. 7% abv and not 6.5%

a: a hazy tangerine-y mango-y hue coming with two and a half fingers of very frothy and fluffy off-white head. fantastic lacing, looks like the head is trying to draw me some sort of map on the inside of the glass, or spell something out to me. such penmanship

s: whoa. lemon, pineapple, mango, sweet malt. some pine scents, and a shy note of passionfruit. reminiscent of their canuck pale ale -- an excellent fruity and sweet aroma

t: follows the nose in terms of the fruits. a huge pop of lemony pineapple, mango in the front, but then the middle exhibits this kind of strong dank, resinous, piney, 84 IBU hop bitterness that battles with sweet malty caramel flavours. the bitterness comes out victorious on the finish, drying the palate with its medium-plus strength for the next sip, but with subdued tropical fruit flavours hanging around too

m: medium body and sub-moderate carbonation gives the beer a creamy mouthfeel. slightly sticky on the finish

o: a phenomenal, delicious, big but balanced IPA that teases you with a big fruit presence, then sabotages your palate with an ample and appropriate amount of bitterness. try it!

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured an orangey color ale with a super large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of piney hops is quite dominant with bitter citrus notes also noticeable. Taste is a nice mix of piney hops with light citrus notes with medium bitterness and light sweet residual sugars notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Wonderful mix of piney and citrus aromas makes this an IPA that should makes it into regular distribution for GLB.

Photo of biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lake Effect, befitting to its name, pours with a misty complexion and a tsunami of head that leaves waves of lacing on the glass. Sure enough, this ultra-citric, tropical fruit-laden beer looks like a glass of pineapple or pulpy orange juice. This beer makes describing itself easy.

The aroma has zingy, exotic citrus fruit flavours that include guava and gooseberry as well as the more familiar orange, papaya, and grapefruit. It's also got a brushstroke of pine glossing and remarkably vivid mintiness. Malts provide notes of burnt custard and toffee biscuits.

Lake Effect tastes like a citrus fruit that's been turned inside out; it's like eating the peel of an orange instead of the flesh. It features the acidity, the pith, the skin - all but the juicy flesh of the fruit. Still, it has enough mango, papaya, and pineapple taste to be extremely agreeable.

Drinking the beer is incredibly reminiscent of drinking mango or peach puree; it is pulpy and tropical. There's also a strong acidity, like someone spiked the smoothie with grapefruit juice. Big globs of caramel are tasted too. But it's not all sweet: there's a drying, pithy, leafy bitterness and also occasional shots of a pinesol-like alcohol note.

For years I had to drive from Toronto to Buffalo to find IPAs; I spent many afternoons and evenings on that same Elmwood Avenue stoop that inspired this beer (which really should have just been called "Cole's IPA"). Fond memories aside, it's good to know I no longer *have* to go all that way for a hop fix anymore. This is exactly the kind of IPA this market needs year-round.

Photo of dreamchaser
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I really like this beer. Gives very strong aroma of piney, citrusy hops, with flavour to match. A touch of resinous bubble gum mingles with the a softer, mellower piney hop flavour. Mouthfeel is surprisingly full and lightly creamy in the finish, and less prickly and carbonated like most other IPAs. I paired it with a Morrocan style sweet potato, raisin and tomato stew and it cut the cumin spice flavours nicely with its strong flavours and gentle mouthfeel.

Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bomber into tulip, gave off a large effervescent head, with lots of curtain lacing. Colour is a bright orange with some suspended sediment, quite cloudy. 3.75
S – dank wool, funky grapefruit aromas, weird smokiness, very herbal, literally wet wool blankets and weed mostly. A bit of wet dog. Not at all expected. Very intense but a bit out there. 3.75
T – pleasant citrus and raspberry, grapefruit, melon, apple fruitiness, tends toward a pear dry crisp finish. A light fresh fruity minerally (mild) flavor, honeydew crispness, and a bit of almond nuttiness, not much bitterness until a little hoppy bite on the finish. Good balance. A bit of a fruity funky bitterness. 4
M – quite effervescent, with a moderate balanced body then a lively and bitter finish, finishes crisp and quite dry. Good. Light and dry presence and it is crisp on the end. 4
A pretty sessionable and serviceable IPA but a bit of weird fruit flavours and lack of depth leave it short of great. A typical IPA, fresh fruit and citrus notes, balance is quite good and it drinks nicely, lack a definite hop punch to it and the finish could be cleaner. More of the citrusy side than anything with some lemon notes, mild biscuit malt body. Good complexity though as it develops, some of the tartness and dark wool meld to the fruit in interesting ways and a sharp bitter finish. 4

Photo of tbeckett
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours cloudy golden with floaty bits. One finger of fluffy off white head. Good carbonation coming up. Good spotty lace, half finger retention.

S - Nice fruitiness, mango, pine, pineapple.

T - Quite piney. Lot's of citrus and pinesol. Sweet malt but a good bashing of hops. Orange present.

M - Good carbonaiton at the lighter end of medium. Medium to full bodied. A farily gripping bitterness.

O/D - This was a pleasant surprise from Great Lakes and another step in the right direction for hoppy Ontario beers. Not the craziest IPA, but it hits the spot.

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the Victory Cafe in Toronto, this is from notes.

Glowing peach color with some haze and frothy bone colored cap. Swathes of lace coat the glass. Big tropical, mango, apricot flavor in the nose. Grapefruit is in abundance along with the tropical notes in the taste, as is a slight herbal dill, nearly garlic flavor. Its very light and doesn't detract from the taste. I've also tried it in bombers and picked up the same flavor. The mouthfeel is full bodied and highly carbonated. The finish is moderately bitter and fruity, with some malt sweetness.

This is a good IPA, lots of interesting hop flavors going on. It kind of reminds me of Green Flash Imperial IPA with a similar savory flavor from the Summit hops. I'll definitely try it again.

Photo of mtomlins
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: A deep straw color with an orange hue and clear as a bell; Big cloudy head, very persistent settling slowly to a creamy collar leaving massive lacing.

S: Big fruity nose with lots of citrus (grapefruit, oranges, tangerines) and notes from classic American bittering hops (spicy and piney).

T: First are the big sweet, juicy citrus hops that burst with sweet oranges, tangerines and some tropical fruits as well as some sharper grapefruit. There is a nice malty profile balancing out (but overpowering) the hops. The finish is long and dry with a pleasentbittering hop punch at the end.

M: Medium body and carbonation; smooth and still light considering the 7% ABV.

O: Wow, great balance and highly drinkable. Well done GLB!!

Photo of randallpink
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

served in an IPA glass

A - pours a slightly hazy golden copper with a 2 inch off white (tan) head, great retention, and the glass laces beautifully. the frothy head dissipates into a slightly rocky covering on the beer.

S - strong hoppyness, citrus, mango, grapefruit, strawberry & pineapple esters, tropical fruits, light malty breadiness, biscuity sweetness, maybe even some red cherries. this has got to be one of, if not the best IPA i've ever smelled. i was smelling the bottle still two hours after i'd finished the beer. WOW!

T - bitter hoppyness off the start with a slight sweetness from the malts that melts perfectly together. citrus, piney and grapefruit definitely present. a light caramel mixed with fresh biscuits becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. tropical fruit and passionfruit tastes all lead to the bitter, hoppy finish that leaves a nice citrusy, piney, fruity taste lingering.

M - smooth, slightly creamy feel, mostly bitter but a nice fruity sweetness makes things interesting. medium body, dry & bitter finish, low alcohol present

O - I love Great Lakes! I'm always blown away by their beers and this one was no different. One of the best IPA's I've had and definitely takes a run at Canada's best. This was my last of six bottles and there doesn't seem to be too many left floating around out there so i'll probably have to wait a while to have it again, but ill be licking my lips the whole time. Bring it back soon! :)

Photo of CanuckRover
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an attractive orange. Loose bubbly head.

Rather light zesty aroma.

Laid back aroma doesn't hint at the rather strong flavours in this one. Big zesty citrus fruit, grapefruit but with a decent amount of fruity orange. Some honey malt sweetness in there, but hops carry the day.

A straightforward IPA with juicy tropical fruits if you get it fresh enough.

Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Slightly hazy gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, apricot, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and resiny hops. There is also some grapefruit and a touch of apricot.

Overall - Needs a touch more of a fruity flavour to be truly great. Still a very solid and very hoppy beer worth trying if you're an American IPA fan.

Photo of ludachris
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Its unfiltered honey amber body is topped with just over a finger's worth of fluffy off-white head. It doesn't stick around for long but it does leave thick legs of lace as it recedes. A standard looking IPA.

Oh wow, the smell took me by surprise. This is bursting with fruitiness. Fresh and juicy mandarin orange, fleshy grapefruit, and a smell that I can best describe as fruity pebbles, and there's heaps of that. Odell's Myrcenary came to mind right away, and that sits right next to Heady Topper for me in the DIPA category. There's a light breadiness backing the extremely fruity hop forward body. This is an incredibly smelling IPA.

The more bitter, pithy sides of the fruitiness come forward in the taste. Grapefruit and orange are equally prominent. Resinous pine notes come into the picture as well, pasting themselves at the back of the palate. That "fruity pebble" character situates itself at the center of everything, helping to maintain the sweet fruity character without imparting any further bitterness. There's a flash of biscuity malt midway through. It does well at being a counter balance and at no point does it take away from the hoppy goodness.

What I first notice about the mouthfeel is how clean it is. Its void of any sticky, resinous, or sappy feeling that can come with IPA's, especially as the creep up the ABV ladder. Its fruit forward hoppiness is wrapped up in a crisp package that goes out almost as fast as it comes in. Its dryness is clear but not biting, making it quite refreshing.

This is the best LCBO bought Ontario crafted IPA I've had to date. I've always heard that the small batch beers Lackey and the rest of the team produce at Great Lakes are much better than their more mainstream offerings. This beer for me attests to that. I'm so happy to see Ontario crafted beers such as these making it onto the shelves. Huge thumbs up!

Photo of Digimaika2
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(4.25) A: Hazy amber with a tall, creamy, and dense white head. Long lasting retention with ample lacing.

(4.5) S: Tangerines, pineapple, dry pine, butterscotch/toffee, quite a mix of spices, and buttered bread. Very fresh and vibrant.

(4.25) T: Pine, juicy grapefruit, slight tangerine, richly buttered bread, and finishes with a peanut brittle taste (like nuts & toffee). Mellow and smooth. Fairly bitter with a slight dryness but there’s enough bready malt to provide nice balance.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy with a slight resiny bite.

(4.25) D: This is outstanding across the board and very happy to see these Tank Ten releases in the LCBO (this being my favourite to-date). Would love to see this in a year-round small can format – it would definitely cut into my weekly Red Racer quota.

Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sessions 99 festival.

Beer is dark amber with a big white head. Excellent retention. Good lacing.

Smell is full of citrus. I get orange, grapefruit and mango. Nice smell, quite strong.

Taste is bitter. Grapefruit and mango both noticeable. Some light caramel malt.

Medium bodied, low carbonation, some oily feel from the hops.

Overall, quite good. Not up to par with GLB's Karma Citra, but a good one for sure.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle pours a semi dark, hazy golden orange with good carbonation. Tastes of slightly tropical fruits with some pine and a slight citrus hoppy finish. A nice mouthfeel overall and it would be a very sessionable beer. Definately a quality beer from Ontario. Glad to see the times are changing, just with availability would improve.

Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint. Special thanks as always to TheSevenDuffs for the awesome Project X releases.

Bottled 6/15/2012
Drank and reviewed 6/20/2012

A- Slightly hazy golden pour with orange highlights. Two finger, super soapy, egg shell head. Lacing is incredible.

S- Massive hit of tropical fruits; Mango, pineapple and strawberries. There is a pine bitterness than is quickly followed by a mandarin and grapefruit citrus blast. Sweet malt backing.

T- Huge bitter kick in the teeth. Citrus and pine with a sweet malt finish and a dry bitter finish.

M- Light bodied, good carbonation.

O- These Project X beers are impressing me more and more with every new bottle. Thanks to Marcus for being my Great Lakes hookup!

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Great Lakes Lake Effect from Great Lakes Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.