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Great Lakes Lake Effect - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Lake EffectGreat Lakes Lake Effect

Educational use only; do not reuse.

32 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 81
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 8
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
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 81
Photo of randallpink
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
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! :)

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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!

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Photo of liamt07
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Volo, 400ml pour into a tulip.

Pours a fairly clear gold with some orange highlights. A nice white head with some modest retention and good lace. Nose is quite nicely hopped, lots of citrus and fruit notes. Some peaches, nectarine, mango. A light malt character and really juicy on the whole. A touch of herbal pine. Taste has some bitter pine, juicy mango, peach and peach pit notes. Light caramel/butterscotch sweetness and pale malt, that takes a big backseat to the hops. Solid flavour and great profile. Lighter medium feel and medium carbonation. Good bitterness in the finish - quite nice all 'round.

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Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +7%
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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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
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!!

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Photo of biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of ludachris
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

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Photo of cyrenaica
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550ml draught
6.8% ABV

I tried this beer on draught on June 8, 2012 at "C'est What" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a slightly hazed medium gold with a thin creamy cap that laced well. The aroma was grainy malt, grapefruity hops, and some mango/pineapple notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavour is very citrusy with the grapefruit hops up front, and the tropical fruit tones less pronounced, but still there.

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Photo of cratez
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of OneTuffPony
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

Taste: Pine, grapefruit, mango, grassy hops, apricots, and some peach.

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Overall: A fantastic IPA and one of the best I've tasted out of Canada. Give it a whirl.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickoff in Waterloo.

Poured into a nonic. A hazy orange-copper brew, with a thin head that quickly recedes into a thick ring of foam.

Nose is pure tropical delight. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, leafy hops, candied orange.

A great-tasting tropical flavored IPA, with big pineapple and grapefruit, and a bit of coconut, pine and caramel. Very flavorful.
Medium bodied, slick. Mild carbonation.

I first had this on tap about three days ago and have been drinking almost nothing else since. Great summer offering, highly recommended.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 28/6/12 cheers liamt07 for shipping me the bottle

A murky dark orange with just enough clarity too see some bubbles feeding a solid three finger cream colored foam that quickly falls to a thick film and stays as such, a few partial rings of lace

S mango, pineapple, canned peaches and a little pink grapefruit, slight pine and caramel malt but its mostly a tropical hop bomb and I love it
some sweet orange comes out as it warms

T heavy on the grapefruit rind but not everything else I smell is there, pine resin comes out a little stronger and there's some very faint booze still very solid but lacking a little the nose had going for it

M fairly full for the color with creamy carbonation, has a nice bitter bite too it and leaves a fair bit behind in your mouth, as a result there's a lingering finish and no heat shes smooth

O great example of the style that's going down a little too fast, its a bit of a enamel stripping hop bomb but I'm more then OK with that

I'm pretty stoked I have several more Project X beers to drink through thanks too liamt07, it would seem this brewery is underrated or perhaps just unknown to us Westerners

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Photo of TerryW
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of peensteen
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange colour, one finger of white head, decent retention, good lace. Smell is a full on attack of tropical fruit, pineapple and citrus at the front, some light malt tucked behind all the hops with some points of alcohol. Taste is hoppy and fruity, grapefruit, pineapple, some pine and some tangerine/ornage, light toasted malt witha bitter aftertaste. Light-Med carb, oily and fairly slick, medium body. Solid IPA here but thats no surprise considering who brewed this, different than the current Ontario lineup but in a good way, hope this sticks around.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Project X bottle courtesy of Soods. Thanks a lot for this one!
6.5% ABV and 84 IBU. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured orange/yellow with a big golden glow and a small amount of bubbly white head that quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Big tropical fruit aroma up front that is fresh and juicy. Pineapple, mango and peach. Some grapefruit notes as well with almost no discernible malt sweetness.

T - Grapefruit, orange rind and pine are the dominant flavours. That amazing tropical fruit aroma is almost non-existent in the palate with the exception of some very light pineapple notes. A nice sharp bitterness is present that lingers considerably in the finish. The malt profile is non-existent. This is a pure hop bomb.

M - Light to medium body with light carbonation. Some nice tongue-coating hop oils. A little bit thinner than I would have liked.

O - A very good beer. With a little more body and just a touch of malt sweetness, this could be excellent.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of jrenihan
4/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
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

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Post-IPA challenge. A big IBU, big bitterness, very tasty. Neutral aroma. Backed up by a decent malt backbone. a reddish tinge to this one.Good citrus taste, satisfying finish.Average mouthfeel. Good drinkability.In a word, solid representative of the style.

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Great Lakes Lake Effect from Great Lakes Brewery
90 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.