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Great Lakes Lake Effect | Great Lakes Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
40 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
40
Ratings:
110
Avg:
4.16
pDev:
12.5%
 
 
Wants:
9
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
Great Lakes Lake EffectGreat Lakes Lake Effect
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
84 IBU

Added by liamt07 on 12-03-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 110
Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly floral, pleasant bitterness, some alcohol warmth. There are some tropical hop flavours, but I could go for more hops and a bit less booze. Good brew, but not their best IPA.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy pale golden colour, finger of head, some retention and sporadic lacing. Nose is super sweet, candied citrus, nice toffee and caramel malt backbone. Flavours are much the same on the palette, juicy citrus, hints of mango and pineapple. Medium bodied, smooth and a touch of dryness on the finish. These guys have this style dialed in, super tasty and a fantastic rendition of the style.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Hop Bar in Toronto, served into a nonic. Pours a very slightly hazy apricot orange, with a minimal head and minimal lacing. The nose is full of summery fruitiness -- light pineapple, sweet orange and some melon...maybe a touch of piney resin, too. Once it hits the tongue, it gets even more interesting...there's a nice biscuity backbone that is there throughout, and maybe a little honey too. The melon is there at the end,,,it actually reminds me of 2 hearted, though the feel on this one is a little better (for me)...it is a little cleaner and has a little more of a hoppy kick at the end. This is the best IPA I had while north of the border.

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Photo of Rukeli76
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml can from the 2015 release. No production or bb date but I suspect it's pretty fresh.

A very light pale ale colour. An inch of foamy head. Nice lacing.

Grapefruit and ripe tropical fruit are the dominant aromas at work here. There's a little bit of west coast pine, too.

A whole lot more of the grapefruit and ripe tropical fruit from the hops. It's not especially bitter, but not especially malty or sweet either. The hops are doing most of the work here, which is more than fine by me as long as it's super-fresh.

Fizzy with a remarkably dry finish.

A solid IPA. Drink it fresh. It doesn't age very well.

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Photo of akdo
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark gold body and moderately unfiltered water. It is possible to see through the glass just a little bit. The beer produces a white head that is two-finger high. It recedes to a creamy crown.

Smell: Floral. Not sweet on the nose, has notes of dry hops. There is a noticeable hint of pine woods. Obviously, Cascadian hops were not used for making this beer. Slight notes of peach and kumquats.

Taste: The beer is on the low spectrum of bitterness. The palate tastes like peaches, orange zest and Middle Eastern kumquats. Afterwards, the finale has a taste of pine woods. There is no trace of spices.

Feel: The texture is smooth and medium-bodied. There is no astringent bite. The alcoholic warmth is very subtle even when the beer is lingering in the throat. The finish is dry and clean.

Overall: This is a good example of a light IPA, which must not be confused with session IPAs. Unfortunately, the ABV, which is at 5.2%, falls under the bare minimum for an IPA (5.5%). Despite a few flaws, I would recommend that beer.

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Photo of leaddog
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a warm amber with three fingers of foamy white head.

Smell - Citrus and piney hops, pine resin, grapefruit peel, tropical and citrus fruit, bready malts, caramel.

Taste - Bready caramel malts followed up by great bitterness from the hops, pine resin, and grapefruit peel. Notes of tropical fruit.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant lingering bitterness. Slight stickiness on the palate.

Overall - I wasn't sure what to expect when purchasing this beer, as I'm more of a bottled beer kind of guy instead of aluminum cans. However, Great Lakes has proven me wrong and created something worth being in the top list of IPAs brewed in Canada. Outstanding work.

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Photo of SSS
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Hazy golden yellow with a white head that remains on the surface
S-Dank, pine and herbal aroma with a little cara-'something' malt
M-Light mouthfeel and carbonation does not get in the way of flavour
T-Dry, crisp and peppery upfront with an assertive bitterness that lingers on the palate
O-I quite enjoyed this beer, definitely a grapefruit bitterness and smooth west coast feel, I recommend.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the brewery for $3.25 for a 473ml can. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head that films out in around 3-4mins. Rather weird very light gold colour when it's in front of the computer screen (medium light) and nearly brown outside of it. Almost translucent. Unfiltered.

S- Nice heavy handed hops here. So little malt for an APA.

T- This must have been brewed this week or something. It has a HUGELY juicy taste of hops and malt. This freshness just does it for me. Hops abound. This one is up there with the best of the best APA/IPA's I've had and am so glad I can get there in an hour.

M- Creamy good! Just wonderful

O- Super good. This one is moving up the ranks to a top shelf grab. So good. Will definitely buy on every release as it's that good.

Food Pairing

This wonderfully tasty brew went well with...... Roasted pork! Nice pork shoulder, rub with salt, pepper, all seasoning and some garlic. Bake low and slow at 275deg F for 6hrs. Keep covered so it doesn't dry out. Take the tin foil off, move it up the rack and hit it with the boiler to get the skin crispy. Pull and mix in some of the juice then strip the skin and sprinkle. Don't let the skin get too close to the juices as it will soak it up and turn chewy!

Enjoy

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Photo of Logan12321
3.81/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of OneTuffPony
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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 thehyperduck
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Great Lakes' Lake Effect is absolutely delicious, and easily one of the best IPAs I've had the opportunity to try in 2014. 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.

[Updated Jan 19 2016]

I'm comparing a few of my top-ranked Ontario IPAs - mostly to see if there's any need for me to re-adjust their relative scores. The tallboy can of Lake Effect that I picked up is drinking as beautifully as last year's batch, there's no doubt of that. In fact, I can't think of any other Ontario IPAs that I would select over this one - save for maybe Thrust! A must-try for hopheads.

Final Grade: 4.48, an A.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 pineapple 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.

Update February 13, 2016. Now that Lake Effect is regularly available at the LCBO (at least for a limited time), I find this is by go to beer. Looking at my ratings, I realized how much I've enjoyed IPA's in the last 6-8 months, and this has to be the best one out of the bunch and how I would rather drink this than just about any other beer on the market. Revised score to improve, feel and overall scores to reflect my true feelings about this beer.

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Photo of Mit
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

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Photo of cratez
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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 papat444
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

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 :)

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Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
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 TerryW
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
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 kevinlater
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
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. grapefruit, pineapple, mango, apricot, sweet bready 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 grapefruit, apricot, lemony pineapple, and 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!

-----------------------------------------------

late-2015 canned batch is less fruity and not as vibrant as the earlier version, but still good

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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 biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
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 dreamchaser
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of mick303
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
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 tbeckett
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
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 not overpowering) the hops. The finish is long and dry with a pleasant bittering 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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Great Lakes Lake Effect from Great Lakes Brewery
91 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.