Lake Erie Monster
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster
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IPA - Imperial
Ranked #2,227
Ranked #5,925
4.04 | pDev: 11.39%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
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
Reviews: 744 | Ratings: 2,717 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

4.2/5  rDev +4%
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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UndertheRadar from Illinois

3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
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
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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

3.96/5  rDev -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
Photo of DDiFran
DDiFran from Ohio

4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
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
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cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
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
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Gr8tefuldawg from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
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
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izraelc from New York

4/5  rDev -1%
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
gopens44 from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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
Photo of Explorer_Bill
Explorer_Bill from Kentucky

4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
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
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jkblr from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
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
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev -1%
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
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Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
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
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good, but average to me.

Edit. 9/27/20. On tap at Out of the Fire Cafe, near Donegal, pa. Dave's 50th trip.

On first approach to this bad boy, all i can smell is malt and lager, not impressed. However, once it reached my lips, full on sweet, bitter, lemon and even cinnamon! Not expecting that! Really enjoyed this, this time around.

Sep 05, 2018
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Eamonn-Cummings3 from New York

4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

Look is a deep clear orange amber with little to no head.

Aroma is very herbal. Not at all what I was expecting but not bad.

Taste is very full lots of bitter herbs with maybe a hint of lemongrass.

Aug 07, 2018
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ordybill from Georgia

4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a cloudy gold color with a thick medium-sized white head. The aroma is bread, malt and fruit. The taste follows the nose.

Aug 07, 2018
Photo of SaltofOH
SaltofOH from Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle best by 9/5/18. CBF Tulip pint.

A: pours an ever-so-slightly hazed dark orange-copper with 1/2 finger off-white head and streams of lazy, slow carbonation. Lacing is out of this world.

S: maltier and less pronounced hop aroma than I expected, but what is here is pleasant. Smells like a very traditional hop blend, cascade, centennial. I know it’s got willamette in there, and not those other two, but it doesn’t smell like willamette.

T: this is awesome. Packs a hearty, classic IPA punch with loads of balancing malt. Sweet honey citrus peel arrival. Bready, malty, citrusy mid palate. Bitterness builds at the end, to a citrus peel, herbaceous, piney finish. Pine and orange peel linger. Alcohol is well hidden behind a curtain of malt. This is like a summer-weight barleywine.

O: I’ve had this beer on a couple of occasions, and seem to remember it being hoppier. Maybe I got an older bottle. More likely, with the passage of time, my sense of what is hoppy has changed. I love Great Lakes for making drinkable beers that are true to style. This is just that. I’d love to compare this with Resin, which strikes me as similar in my memory, though it has been years. Great beer, worth picking up a bottle or two each year.

Jul 21, 2018
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice light amber color with a nice head and lacing. Aroma had hoppy hints, the taste follows the nose with a nice hoppy flavor. A medium bodied well carbonated beer with a strong kick.

Jun 09, 2018
Photo of Dr_Gonzo
Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

4.31/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Has a clear orange color, slimy finger-thick foam head, moderate carbonation, decent lacing.

Lot of floral and citrus notes going on here. Apple, grapefruit, other candied citrus. White pepper. Slight smell of alcohol.

Fruity notes upfront. Cherry, orange, bitter grapefruit, and tangerine. Caramel. Syrup. Piney, resiny taste. Altogether, fruity and floral. Feels creamy smooth.

Jun 03, 2018
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(12 oz bottle, enjoy by 09/15/17 - purchased late Oct, whoops!.... poured into a faceted wine glass, same one as last review)

L: clear, pale amber liquid; some slimy white foam, mostly clumping in isolated islands of craggy fisheyes... a few hanger-on splotches of lace

S: mostly floral, with delicate apple and vinous notes... soft hints of mellow-toasted malt, perfumy booze, dry autumn grass, and finely-ground white pepper... green hop and alcohol is all that's left by the end

T: quite fruity up front - seems via alcohol esters as much as hops - backed by a mild caramel-kissed cereal grain... aftertaste is rather dry with some of the floral and grassy notes lingering, as well as a hint of graham cracker and firm yet restrained bitterness which builds... kind of a hoppy Belgian strong pale nuance to the overall taste

F: a sip carrying foam lends a lovely fleecy head to its lithe, silky malt yolk tail... surrounding this loose dollop of malt syrup is a potent jacket of champagne-like ethanol/bubbles... so, in essence, it has a stealth warmth and a quiet dryness, but with a decadent, oily slick ripple - one serving may satisfy, but I can see another turning cloying

O: not bad for apparently being nearly 6 weeks past due... maybe the 'tropical' element of the flavors are more apparent when fresh... I'd definitely grab a fresher bottle next time I see 'un - certainly worth another try

Oct 29, 2017
Photo of Gavage
Gavage from Nevada

3.72/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: orange in color with a 1/2" head.

Smell: bread and some pine is detectable.

Taste: bready malt base with some grapefruit, pine, and a dank bitterness. Alcohol is very noticeable and warming.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp from start to finish. Dry late.

Overall: this was a bit too boozy but it packs a bitter punch.

Sep 09, 2017
Photo of jwilcox767
jwilcox767 from Ohio

4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Clear orange/brown body, medium head.
S - Excellent hop notes along with candied citrus come through.
T - Lots of juiciness, rich and slightly malty. Taste lingers for a bit.
M - Resinous open, medium amount of carbonation, lingering resin close.
O - Great DIPA. I don't recall the hops used, but excellent selection. Big nose and a very tasty DIPA.

Aug 27, 2017
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BergBeer from Hawaii

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Translucent dark orange with a thin white head. No activity. Head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Candied grapefruit and pine Greer the nose. Sweet and chewy. Notes of tangerine, pine, sweet honey like malt, boozy, a little out of stanky armpit from the mosaic hops but not in a bad way. Like boozy grapefruit candy.

Taste: Much like the nose. A huge wallop of candied grapefruit peel with notes of bitter and sweet. The a huge wallop of bitter pine, tangerine, green apple candies, dandelion greens, and green grassy mango. The finish is dry with a big booze note that smothers everything except for a bitter finish.

Feel: Thick and chewy. A beer you could cut with a knife. The malt sweetness really ramps the body up here. Quenching body to a off dry finish. Big alcohol. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Once again a big bold imperial IPA. In this hazy IPA climate this is a throw back to a beer from five to ten years ago. I can see why this one made it out though. While it is big in every way there is subtly to the way it moves across the palate. There is a nice dynamic at play with the sweet and bitter here. Another great beer to Great Lakes fantastic line up.

Aug 09, 2017
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Semi-cloudy golden orange pour. 1 finger of white head leaves a rim of lacing.

S: Tropical fruits... caramel malts... a bit of resin.

T/F: Rich and malty... caramel and bread provide some background sweetness which is well balanced by some tropical hop bitterness. Fruity... mango and slight peach. Orange rind.... resinous and sticky. Medium in body. Well carbonated. Finish is bittersweet.

O: A big rich DIPA.... flavorful and dangerously easy to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

Jul 27, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange. Foamy, tall, off white head lasts a while then fading toa Rocky head that lasts.

Smells citrus, bready malt, tropical and melon.

Tastes Caramel malt, candied tropical fruit, light citrus peel and light hop pepper. Finish is Semi dry with light banana peel. Medium body and fizzy medium carbonation.

Jul 27, 2017
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Rufus1 from Kentucky

2.81/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a hazy orange/amber into a fifteen ounce glass mug the same temperature as the beer. One and a half fingers of off white head that settles quickly to a steady rime. Nice lacing.

The nose somehow comes across as sour. Somewhat reminiscent of sauerkraut. Dank wet hops. No malts.

Quite boozy up front. Not much in the way of hop bitterness neither citrus or floral. Tastes as dank as it smells. Unbalanced. Flavor is hard to describe but I will settle on not good.

Thin and watery on the palate. Carbonation really doesn't matter due to the poor taste. Bitter dry finish.

Not even close to the better IPA's available.

Jul 26, 2017
Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2717 ratings