Lake Erie Monster
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster
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Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Imperial IPA
Ranked #1,770
Ranked #10,378
4.01 | pDev: 11.47%
Sep 29, 2023
Jun 29, 2004
Named for South Bay Bessie, the legendary Lake Erie cryptid, Lake Erie Monster has a legend of its own. A longtime pub exclusive beer, our Imperial IPA quickly earned a cult following for its unprecedented hoppiness. Today we feed the beast whole leaf Simcoe hops in the whirlpool and hopback for a monstrous load of bitterness and aroma.

MALTS: Harrington 2-Row, Caramel 30
HOPS: Simcoe, Willamette
80 IBU
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.01 by TP2MSU from Michigan

Sep 29, 2023
Rated: 3.5 by Shenk87 from Pennsylvania

Aug 29, 2023
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Reviewed by JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Well, initially, it's monster foam, anyway. There's difficulty getting the contents of a pint can to empty entirely into a clear glass liter mug. Thus, the modern IPA, but this is notably excessively foamy. Whatever happened to a decent ale head? This starchy white mess recedes unevenly, with irregular glass lacing. Beneath the foam lays a pretty bright colored copper-amber, that is moderately translucent. The aroma is almost all earthy hops, earthy starches and alcohol. Maybe alcohol most of all. The taste begins with a malty sweetness that's better than expected. The body is relatively rich and smooth, both to a degree that's better than expected. Either expectations were ridiculously low, or this performs way above the reasonable ones. The taste begins with a sweet malt backing that is rich and smooth enough to carry its foundation throughout the drinking experience. Just as the great ones do, this IIPA has the transition from earthy and nearly sweet to hoppy bitter, in a resinous, yet dry way. No doubt, the ABV contributes to the dry bite at the finish. An interesting category, highly potent craft beers and this is one of the good ones.
Aug 23, 2023
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Reviewed by kdoodah from North Carolina

4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I think it is difficult for a 9.5%abv beer to completely taste like an IPA and this has done it handily. It’s really smooth on mouthfeel, almost nitro like. My experience was with a 16oz can poured into a pint glass and purchased from Sentelle’s Seafood in Clyde, NC. My gold standard for DIPA beers that still retain an IPA hop profile is Buffalo Bayou More Cowbell. Lake Erie Monster is pretty close.
Aug 05, 2023
Rated: 4.18 by TODDRESSEL1 from Indiana

Jun 29, 2023
Rated: 4 by parkwood from Pennsylvania

May 28, 2023
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Reviewed by daliandragon from Maryland

4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Copper body and bog rocky, tight bubbled head with sticky lace. Flavor, like the aroma flashes more bread and malt flavors than usual before tropical fruit notes, citrus, resin, spice and earth kind of bury it under. I feel the alcohol is relatively muted considering the 9.5%. Been hunting this monster for a while. Worth the wait.
May 20, 2023
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Reviewed by thin_mint from Ohio

4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
From a 4 pack, 16oz can into a pint glass.. and another right from the can.

Look: amber with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly to about half a finger. Some good carbonation.
Smell: dank, grassy hops with some fruity notes
Taste: mild tropical fruit and big hop flavor up front with a nice lingering bitterness and a touch of sweet malt on the finish
Feel: Refreshing medium body. Very smooth.
Overall: IPAs aren't usually my thing, but wow did this blow me away. Great flavor - not overwhelmingly citrusy, and the hops are fantastic. Dangerously easy to drink, and at 9.5% abv it sure packs a punch. Wow.
May 14, 2023
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Rated by flgimp from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
A great imperial IPA. Great hops but sweet malt takes over…
May 02, 2023
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Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Great Lakes Brewing Co. "Lake Erie Monster"
16 fl. oz. can coded "30686BM 03/21/22"
$3.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: How strong is this monster? 9.5% - that's respectable. 80 IBUs! The label also lists "torrid tropical fruit flavors". I've had this beer before but it was years ago. Somehow I don't think it was very tropical back then. It's poured a hazy amber colored body beneath a full head of rocky off-white foam. The aroma is malty, bready, lightly caramelish, piney, spicy, resinous, and delicately citrusy. On to the taste... well the "torrid tropical fruit flavors" aren't exactly there but there is some character to it. The sweetish malt remains, and it's both a bit caramelish and a touch honeyish. The pine, spice, resin, and delicate citrus remain as well. I'm going to call it mainly orange. Other flavor notes include non-specific melon and dull papaya. The alcohol is clear but as I've said before I expect a bit of it in such a large beer. I wonder if it's creating that spiciness or just adding to it. Regardless, the spiciness and the alcohol help the bitterness to tame the sweet malt and eventually dry it in the finish leaving a dollop of honeyish papaya and orange to gently fade. In the mouth it's medium-full in body and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled carbonation. The head held up fairly well and I still have an almost complete surface covering more than halfway through the glass. The lacing was decent as well but not great. It's hard to say because I haven't had one of these in so long BUT I'm pretty sure that it's improved. It's quite enjoyable, and at a good price.
Review #7,905
Apr 20, 2022
Rated: 3.77 by DrewTheBrew from Ohio

Mar 16, 2022
Rated: 3.89 by StrangerTides from New York

Feb 11, 2022
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Reviewed by KT3418 from Colorado

3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
I do really like this as far as old school doubles go but it's just not as flavorful to me as I'd hope. Feel is awesome from the can, in a glass, and on tap but I find myself wishing I got a smidge more hops. Still will get some again next release time
Feb 06, 2022
Rated: 3.96 by tankg from Pennsylvania

Feb 05, 2022
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Reviewed by ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
L: Pours a not quite clear amber color with an eggshell colored head that fades to a small cap, excellent lacing.
S: Tropical fruit anyone? Gobs of it, some pine and sweet malts.
T: The malt backbone is too much, crowding out the fruit. Bitter finish.
F: Medium bodied, nicely carbonated.
O: Another in the fine IIPA series from Great Lakes!
Jan 27, 2022
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Clear amber body with a small white head and good lacing. Piney, citrusy aroma with notes of sweet malts. No attempt to hide the abv in the taste as the sweetness starts to take hold but those strong, complex hops just will not yield, especially in the aftertaste. Full bodied, well carbonated mouthfeel. Good example of an old-school DIPA that I have always enjoyed.
Jan 14, 2022
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Reviewed by Peach63 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours golden yellow with a 1" white head, which lasts. Moderate lacing.

Aroma is floral, pine, pineapple, grapefruit.

Taste is pine, grapefruit zest, malty, earthy, resinous.

Medium bodied, light carbonation. Dry, bitter finish.

Must be the Loch Ness monsters cousin. This is a very tasty Imp IPA. Good across the board.
Sep 09, 2021
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Reviewed by UndertheRadar from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
The color is golden to amber, the smell is slightly spicy, and I can see why another reviewer mentioned a whiskey aroma as well in the review. I am not sure I had a very fresh can, as I can’t tell if the date on the bottom is the canning date or the best by date. (7/22/21) I would guess my can was old because the taste was mostly bitter, and not very fruity or complex at all. I probably would not buy again, judging from this can, but I would like to find a fresher version so I will keep looking. I agree with others that the alcohol is fairly well disguised.
Aug 20, 2021
Rated: 4.51 by golf4collet from West Virginia

Jul 17, 2021
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Reviewed by DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From a 16oz can dated best by 7/24/21 into a weizen glass. Great retention and lacing.

Pours a translucent amber color with about three fingers of off-white head.

Smells of resin, pine and a bit of alcohol.

Tastes of strong bitter pine and resin. Alcohol taste is noticeable. A touch of sweetness in there as well.

Sticky, full-bodied mouthfeel. Low to medium carbonation. Strong bitter aftertaste. Beer is much smoother to drink as it warms.

Overall...nice. Big and bitter. Alcohol taste is a little more than I'd like. Didn't pick up the tropical fruits mentioned in the description.
Jun 09, 2021
Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2732 ratings