Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie MonsterGreat Lakes Lake Erie Monster

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
"An imperial india pale ale"

Added by BuckeyeNation on 06-29-2004

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Reviews: 712 | Ratings: 2,617
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a word, balance. A full mouthfeel, and a meal in itself. Enjoyed on tap at Pizza Plant Transit, post-extreme beer fest. Orange-Peachy colour, with lace sheets. Fruity aroma.Some pineapple flavours.Complex and thorough melange of hops, a bit much to drain to cup. Very fresh.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.51/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This IIPA poured out as a copper color with a clear looking body to it. The head was very thick looking and white. The lacing was very good also. The smell of the beer had some big citrus aromas coming off of it. There was also some floral and sweet aromas also. The taste of the beer was very good, it had a wonderful hop flavor with some of the lemony orange citrus mixing with the sweetness of the malts . Leaves your mouth tingling and dry. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and had a good amount of lively carbonation to it. Overall I found this brew to be very good and would totally buy it again if it ever shows up at my local store. Good price and a good brew all in one.

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Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer is clear yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high off white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet malts are present in the nose along with hints of citrusy hops.
T: Like the smell, this is very much a malt-forward IPA that has lots of malty sweetness along with slight bits of citrusy hops and a tad of bitterness, the latter of which gets a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't have much bitterness, but you can definitely perceive its strength from the strong dose of hops, which lends a caramel-like sweetness. The beer hides its alcohol very well.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Isn't it about time we see a Great Lakes Imperial IPA widely distributed? Comparisons to Commodore Perry immediately come to mind.

The beer pours a deep golden, light amber color with ample carbonation and protein to build a froathy and formitable white head. Great lacing and a mild haze round out the look of the beer.

Sharp aromas of complex hop compounds (citrus, resin, garlic, grasses, and a subtle catty tone) gives a rustic and earthy twist to the otherwise clean citrusy scent. Sweeter confectionate sugars seem to have a cotton candy impact on the scent.

Flavors of those malts are ample enough to balance the hop attack. Powdered sugar flavored malts set the sweet tone while the earthy/grassy/citrusy hops leap off and garner attention from mid palate towards the finish. Alcoholic flavors of acetone capture the hop flavor but also give a nail polish-like flavor to the beer, seemingly somewhat soapy. Any esters are moderate or light and largely get lost in the hops.

Medium weighted and sweet to the palate early on. But eventually the hops and alcohols rise to the occation and provide a malty-dry feel very late in the finish. Somewhat minty and cool with the alcohols, the beer has a return bitterness in aftertaste.

Could this beer be a scaled up Commodore Perry? Very possibly so. However, the grassy/garlic/catty notes were not found in the former but are all present here.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives with a cloudy honey color and a very nice head that drapes a curtain of lace

Smell: Plenty of pith but not enough citrus

Taste: The malt, which is very significant, hardly has a chance to make its presence known before the bitter hops kick in; this beer gets very bitter and pithy by mid-palate and after the swallow, though there is a considerable malt presence all the way through

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice DIPA, though it lacks a little in the citrus department; plenty of bitterness and not at all sticky

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of SS: Poured a deep copper color ale with a big foamy head with excellent retention and some good lacing. Aroma of yellow grapefruit, floral and bitter hops is quite sublime and well balance for a style that does produce quite a lot of unbalanced beers. Taste is dominated by the yellow grapefruit characteristics of the hops with some floral malt notes and a bitter finish. Body is quite full with some great carbonation and no alcohol could be detected. Very well done for the style and something I wish I could have access to more often.

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Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single from Before You Go Liquors, $2.99

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Frothy speckles of lace around the edges, a finger of offwhite foam initially. The head remains with a few clusters of larger bubbles on the surface. Deep glowing orange, hazy and opaque.

Initial whiff of sweet tropical fruit, mango maybe, but it's not clearly defined. There's something fresh and intoxicating about it.

Bitter and sweet flavors alternate, orange peel and grapefruit juice, the resiny bitterness builds in the finish, leaving a more grassy/herbal/pine impression. Alcohol is perceptible as it warms.

Overall not bad, didn't really blow me away, but i'd drink it again.

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Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a two-finger, off-white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of patchy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus and pine. Some caramel aromas, too.

T - It tasted of light bitter spiciness with pine and citrus notes. A burnt toast malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This wasn't as good as I hoped. It is still a tasty Imperial IPA but didn't live up to my expectations.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Big Hunt in Washington, DC

A: Pours a fairly-bright gold with a nice white head and some lacing as it makes its way down the glass.

S: Nice fruit in the nose with a decent amount of accompanying hop aroma. Tropical and citrus.

T: Quite a bit too sweet, IMO. There's a good amount of tropical fruit and citrus coming from the hops, but the malt in the background is a bit much.

M: A bit too sweet and heavy for a double IPA.

D: Again, a little over the top in terms of sweetness to be something I'd really want to go after for a while, but not bad in any regard.

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Photo of mothman
2.84/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1 finger of creamy beige head. Decent retention with some lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: Smells salty with odd grassy hops. Some orange and pinapple flavors.

Taste: Odd malts with an odd flavor. Has a lot of orange flavors and vodka like flavors. Floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Very slight bitterness, mainly creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. End sticky and weedy.

Overall, this is not a very well done dipa. Ihad high expectations from this one since it is coming from Great Lakes but I was let down. Not very drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best breweries in American alot of the stuff I cut my teeth on back in the day was from this great brewery.Poured into a standard pint glass a slight hazed burnt orange with a clingy 1/2 finger white head that had great lasting power.Aromas were of sweet alcohol and resiny hop,neither one stood out more than the other really.Big and sweet on the palate, the alcohol dipped fruit and caramel malt flavors really was more prevailing than the resiny hop.Like alot of DIPA's this is more sweet than hop driven,its a good beer but not what Iam lookin for,bummer.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 7/26/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big mango, pineapple, grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, pine, floral, grass, honey, and floral earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great hop complexity and moderate malt balance. Taste of big mango, pineapple, pine, grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, grass, honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Moderate pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of tropical fruit, citrus, pine resin, floral, grass, honey, bread, and hop earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of hop flavors; with a moderate malt balance that doesn’t overshadow the hops, and zero cloying flavors lingering after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent DIPA! Big hop flavor complexity with moderate malt balance; and dangerously smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dvelcich for this one.

Pours a light fizzy head, fades quickly over semi clear golden orange colored beer.

Nose has some malts, a bit toasty, nice aromatic malts and aromatic hops, light fruity hops, light grassy floral hops as well, and a hint of a juicy malt aroma.

Taste has sweet malts, big malty, pale malts, hint of crystal and aromatic malts, borderline barleywine like with so many malts and almost syrupy except all light pale malts, then some light hops light fruity floral hops, a bit juicy, fairly bitter and hint of orange peel. Semi sweet finish with lingering sweet malts, grainy.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, hint of booze.

Overall not bad, very malty and lacking a bit on the hops, but they are there.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber purchased at the GLBC.

Pours a clear amber with a 1/2 finger of off-white head. Nice thin layer of creamy retention that leave plenty of sticky hop lacing behind. The aroma is a delicious mix of fresh piny hops, grapefruit and some other citrus notes, and a beefy malt presence that includes some every so slight heat.

The taste is a great balance of resinous hops, zesty citrus notes, and a thick tasting caramel malt sweetness. It all melds together very well and is extremely well balanced. The finish is a blend of bitterness and sticky sweetness on the lips. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some alcohol beefiness in it but for the most part, that nearly 10% ABV is undetectable.

Wow! It's great to see another fantastic DIPA that's this tasty and drinkable coming out of the Midwest. I'd love to see them maybe one day get this in seasonal 4-packs for a better distribution and availability beyond the brewpub.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, floral hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out sweet with a strong citrus sweetness followed by a strong but not over-powering hops presence. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in along with a mild alcohol sting. There’s a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good 2IPA to drink for a long time.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very slightly hazy medium golden apricot to honey in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some hints of orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a couple of medium sized medium thick patches along with a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith hops with lighter aromas of caramel malts with honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong caramel malts with some light honey sweetness. After that the hops really kick in with strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith with light to moderate flavors of pine/resin hops. Moderate amounts of bitterness which fades slowly and lingers for a long time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth upfront and slightly sticky in the finish.

O: Slightly sweeter than I generally prefer my DIPA but still enjoyable. There is a pleasant amount of not too aggressive bitterness. Not quite the balance I prefer for my DIPAs - too sweet and not enough hop flavors.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

"Ignorance breeds monsters to fill up the vacancies of the soul that are unoccupied by the verities of knowledge."

--Horace Mann

Shimmering apricot with Kruggerand gold accents and numerous strands of miniscule, slow moving bubbles. Their destination is a creamy crown of pastel orange-beige hue that filled one third of the glass on the pour. Foam persistence is remarkable and the quality and amount of lace is... good enough.

The aroma features a modest amount of the mid-range malts, but they let hops have the run of the place. Tropical fruity Simcoe was a great choice and earthy-herbal Fuggles was an odd choice. Hopefully, the Americans dominate the English on the palate.

Sorry, but Lake Erie Monster is still not my kind of DIPA. And here I thought the bottled version would be better than the tap version, which is often the case with this brewery. There's too much flavor contribution from the malt and there's too much malt in general. Looks like the masters at Great Lakes need some lessons from the masters at Surly, 3F, Bell's, etc.

If the malts were either more pale or more caramel-like (as opposed to toasted-earthy-nutty), this would be better beer. That's strictly personal preference, of course. 72 IBUs seems like a lot, but not when there are this many malt sugars to balance them out.

Specific flavors include sugar-crusted toasted grains, steely caramel, cedar chips, orange peel and pink grapefruit zest. What the hell, this big beast is improving a little as it warms and is better than my memory of the brewpub version back in '04. Therefore, the next highest taste score has been granted.

There is little question that beer from GL has a better mouthfeel when bottled. And there is *no question* in my mind that these guys are the single best mouthfeel brewery in all the land (top-3 at least). This offering is lush and plush and velvety smooth and big in all the right places. Carbonation is, as always, dead... solid... perfect.

In the end, bottled Lake Erie Monster is a little bit better than on-tap Lake Erie Monster. However, it still isn't the hop-soaked beer that I'd hoped it would be. Oh well, there's still the awesomeness of Edmund Fitzgerald and Burning River and Dortmunder Gold and Eliot Ness and Holy Moses and Blackout Stout... and on and on and on.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade a while back and just finally got around to trying it tonight. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/08/2009.

The pour was nice, Rich amber in color with a light haziness to it. A nice head of white, perhaps two inches in height rose up from the bottom of the glass and settled down with some decent lacing along the sides. Nice aroma of orange, thick, pungent and sweet with a nice malted backbone that really gave it some nice balance. Smooth, easy flavor here with all the abv non existent and really well done. Rich orange and pineapple flavors, buttery, biscuit like malt notes mid palate and a nice thick, medium feel that was accented nicely by some of the richest carbonation.

Overall very solid big IPA. Lots of well placed flavors and really smooth and very well done profile. I could drink this one again with ease.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

I had this on a couple occasions - the first was slightly fresher than the last so I am reviewing based on that experience.

Enjoyed chilled in a standard pint.

The color is deep golden with light amber hue and 3 fingers of head with small bead -great clarity and the retention is very good. The smell has lots of dank herbal hop odors that smell like weed with slight sweet malt underscoring that with floral and woody fragrance and light caramel accent with mild alcohol ester. The feel is very good with moderately full hop bitterness level yet a little sweetness to balance with light alcohol and mild toasted malt with herbal resinous textures and medium carbonation adds a mild lightening quality wth very low astrgingency level.

The taste is impressive yet very herbal with mild citrus and slight grapefruit flavor with a mild caramel in the malt with a mango and apricot type flavor with slight alcohol in the taste as it warms gradually with low grassiness and mild spice notes with a sweetness that also increases a little too noticeable actually for me without any alcohol warming in the finish which is alos good. I enjoy this - definitely a good amount of hop aroma, flavor and bitterness to satisfy, however could use more flavor from hops and less bitterness...also the feel lacks a dry and drinkable quality which means I really only want 1 at any time.

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Photo of billab914
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Matt for sending me this one, was really hoping to get to try one of these this year. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a nice bright orange amber color with a fluffy pillow like white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head settled down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some spotty covering on the surface after a few minutes. Lacing was very good though however.

The aroma has a nice citrus, floral and tropical hoppiness to it. There are some notes of mango, pineapple, grapefruit and pine to it. The malt makes itself known as well with a caramel and bready sweetness to it. Very nice aroma and I usually really like DIPA's that have that citrus, almost tropical hoppiness to them.

The taste had a little bit more of a pine bitterness to it then the nose did. The finish is where some of those great citrus and tropical flavors really started to come through though. Overall it was moderately bitter for a DIPA, but still had big hoppy flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it had some very nice flavors to it for sure. Although it hid the high alcohol content very well it did feel like a pretty big beer. I would say it was very drinkable in a moderate serving size, but I probably wouldn't open another one tonight.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.27/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: The pour is a dark amber color, maybe copper, with a finger's worth of moderately dense white head.

S: Um, this is a DIPA? Sweet and cracker-forward malts with some hints of oranges. Hints of pine, if you're feeling generous.

T: More of the same on the palate. A mild-to-moderate level of bitterness with plenty of biscuit and cracker malt flavor. Fairly bready with a bit of sweetness too.

M: The mouthfeel is good, at least. Medium in body with moderate carbonation.

D: This was really disappointing, I must say. Neither the nose nor the flavor were like anything you would expect from a DIPA.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I'm glad I took my time and scoured the shelves of Chevy Chase before I left, for lo, and behold: singles of Lake Erie Monster (among others, of course). Yay, I didn't have to buy a whole 4-pack. By the by, I'm cheap and tentative. My prize pours a clear apricot Jolly Rancher with a bit less than a finger of white foam on top. The nose comprises a deeply resin-y pine, heavy on the sap, a sort of mentholyptus effect, and violets. I suspect some caramel or something is hiding somewhere in there, but the 'lyptus is just too powerful, as though someone who's just devoured several cough drops is breathing heavily into my snifter. Luckily, the rest of the hoppy aromas mingle nicely with this semi-unexpected guest. The formally shy caramel shows up in the taste, though the conversation is still dominated by the pine resins. You can feel the stickiness in the taste, even before a true mouthfeel can be determined. Some citrus notes occasionally bring up new topics, but the pines and 'lypti (sure, that's the plural form...) take the ideas and run marathons. I'd rate this higher, but it all just seems overtly one-sided and overloaded with pine and fake-mint. The body is medium, with a lightly moderate carbonation and a somewhat chewy, definitely sticky feel. This one is almost there, but I think needs a tad more malt for proper balance (or something like that).

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.16/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a clouded orange bright bodied hue with a large foaming off white cream colored head layers huge with a nice biscuit clouded appearance. Leaves behind chunky sporadic lacing on the sides of my 4.95 pint glass. I like Vintage Estates in Boardman, OH. I couldn't even get a bottle of this down my way and they already had it on tap, nose consists of floral citrus candy coated hops, this stuff is excellent especially for Midwest, Great Lakes region DIPA. Flavor again sugar coated blast of hops I will definitely grab a bottle when I'm able to in order to compare the 2 versions. A touch of clean alcohol and hars bitterness from grapefruit like components but no other off flavors become unbearable throughout the whole drinking experience. Full bodied easy going carbonation body builds with layers of proteins from the malts and hops used here, nothing is offensive in a good way. Drinkability overall when of the best east coast/midwest DIPAs I've come across awesome experience I will find more of this beloved elixir.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Light apricot gold with a touch of haze. Par white head with ok ret and lace.

S - Ginger, orange zest, pine, booze, broccoli, and a strange savory note.

T - Orange marmalade, resiny pine, wax, and a spicy booze.

M - Relatively smooth, medium body. Touch of syrup. Twang of booze.

O - Resiny hop character with a lot of alpha bitterness. Balance is just ok.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pint at the Winking Lizard Cleveland
Slightly hazy deep golden with a decent sized bubbly white head. Old school bready caramel maltiness with plenty of citrus and pine and maybe just a hint of tropical. Nice beer.

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Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.99 out of 5 based on 2,617 ratings.
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