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 #1,882
Ranked #10,403
4.01 | pDev: 11.47%
Apr 20, 2022
Jun 29, 2004
Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster
Notes: 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
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Photo of NeroFiddled
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
Photo of KT3418
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
Photo of ZebulonXZogg
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
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
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
Photo of Peach63
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
Photo of UndertheRadar
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
Photo of DavetotheB
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
Rated: 4.44 by soarinsteven from Illinois

May 31, 2021
Photo of DDiFran
Reviewed by DDiFran from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
L: Pour from a 16 oz can into a pint glass. Deep golden with a frothy head and lots of lace
S: Some pine and citrus aroma but not overpowering
T: Bam. Bitter hops with heavy resin and pepper on the front end. Some sweetness on the finish
F: smooth with some alcohol but it’s dangerously easy drinking for 9.5%
O: another well done beer by the flagship of Cleveland’s craft beer scene
These guys rarely miss and are often masterful.
May 30, 2021
Photo of cjeep
Reviewed by cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
you know, i like this brewery, and i like this beer. it's a bit all over the map but at the end of the day it's darn tasty. best by 7/24/21, consumed 5/22/21 so good job getting it to philly on time.
L: drinking from the can, and it's a fine looking can.
S: definitely inviting. bit of lime and sweet citrus.
T: big, bad, hoppy monster. got the sweetness from the nose but finishes big, hard, and bitter. lots of hop character from all over the map. it's intense so buckle up.
F: smooth and rich. if you can notice it over the flavor profile
O: if you like balance, fuhgeddaboudit. if you like some big strong hop flavors, citrus, pine, resin, this is the place
May 23, 2021
Rated: 3.99 by Danzifer from Ohio

Apr 22, 2021
Photo of Gr8tefuldawg
Reviewed by Gr8tefuldawg from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
This beer looks great, it smells great, but the taste is a little malty, sweeter than I expected and not as tropical as I thought. It’s good, but not something I would drink regularly.
Oct 17, 2020
Rated: 4.16 by _Adam_ from Maryland

Aug 28, 2020
Photo of izraelc
Reviewed by izraelc from New York

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a clear amber. Not much foam. Mild hoppy aroma. The taste however is far from mild. Very strong. Almost like whiskey. Bitter syrupy finish. Tastes like the lake monster pissed it out, but in a good way.
Aug 22, 2020
Photo of gopens44
Reviewed by gopens44 from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Not to bad a looker, nice beige foamy head, lacing is there but not too cocky. Solid amber/orange body. Nose is confusing for a moment until sour, sweet malty and maybe a hint or sugary orange. Taste is s little less all over but not acres better. Little berry tart up front but an avalanche of sweet syrupy follows with solid bitterness on the finish. Almost no evidence of alcohol, so that is impressive given the high AVB. Just ok I reckon.
Aug 16, 2020
Rated: 4.1 by MEEK6382 from Ohio

Jan 06, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by rare_bird from Michigan

Dec 02, 2019
Rated: 4.35 by themayorkoch from Ohio

Oct 16, 2019
Rated: 4.03 by Eychung from New York

Sep 27, 2019
Rated: 3.88 by ThatSweetJazz from Kentucky

Jun 28, 2019
Photo of Explorer_Bill
Reviewed by Explorer_Bill from Kentucky

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from 12 oz bottle (best by date 07/13/19)into a pint glass. Copper/orange color with a1/4 inch off white head and impressive lacing. I was a bit surprised by the aroma, less hop forward than expected. Not to say it’s not noticeable, it is, but I also pick up caramel and biscuit. Citrusy flavor and a bit of malt, then the hop bitterness. Very clean finish. As I write I’m maybe half way through and the 9.5 ABV is being noticed; not in the taste but the feel. This is a well crafted Imperial IPA and I now understand why it’s held in high regard.
Jun 20, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by freewill35 from Indiana

Jun 19, 2019
Rated: 3.99 by Hurl4bru from Massachusetts

Jun 18, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by Stengelfoot from California

Jun 02, 2019
Rated: 3.98 by MeIquiades from Illinois

Jun 01, 2019
Photo of jkblr
Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
12oz bottle enjoy by 7/13/19 poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass at fridge temp 9.5% ABV 80 IBU. The beer pours bright light honey in color with sticky light khaki head. The head recedes slowly to a cap and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is faint but fruity with a little caramel thrown in. The taste is semisweet caramel up front with a dank, resinous & melony middle and a firmly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. It's a little sticky, but not distracting. Overall, very good "Midwestern" style DIPA. Not elite in complexity of flavor or smell, but not something to pass up fresh.
May 11, 2019
Rated: 4.03 by heerboth from Pennsylvania

May 07, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
Reviewed by GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Clear yellow-orange hue.

White head; nice lace.

Cream & fresh citrus? Sounds odd but that's what I smell.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Creamy hops here; nice mild orange flavor that melts in your mouth.

Odd but pretty good.
Apr 29, 2019
Rated: 4.1 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Apr 04, 2019
Rated: 3.94 by O-Meg from New York

Mar 04, 2019
Rated: 4.27 by Arg914 from New York

Mar 04, 2019
Rated: 3.83 by RickyBfromCT from Connecticut

Feb 12, 2019
Rated: 4.02 by Blogjackets from Ohio

Jan 23, 2019
Rated: 4 by BEER88 from North Carolina

Dec 28, 2018
Rated: 4.19 by MizzouBrew from Missouri

Dec 08, 2018
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Reviewed by Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Amazing DIPA. Served on tap in a shaker pint. Nice aromas of caramel and biscuit malt, floral and pine hops. Flavor, however, is intensely tropical and blooms over the palate. Nice balance agaisnt sweet malt, with just enough of a bitter finish.
Nov 04, 2018
Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2723 ratings