Lake Erie Monster | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster
2,684 Ratings
Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster

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

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,684 |  Reviews: 730
Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

leftmindedrighty gave me this as an extra in a recent trade. thanks aaron!

22oz bottle. sampled june 7/08.

pours hazy dark orange with a small off-white head. the head drops fast and leaves a few spots of lace.

aroma is great. hops dipped in caramel. pine and grapefruit. bit of orange. bread and cracker. slightly powdery hops. bit of tangerine. light alcohol.

taste is good. medium-low bitterness level is a touch lower than i'd expect. caramel. bread and crackers. touch of sweetness. orange and tangerine. hint of alcohol. a bit fruity too, but not too much.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. well integrated and quite smooth. medium body.

drinkability is great. very well balanced and super smooth. not quite as hop-dominated as some, but still great stuff.

 783 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber thanks to Grub!

The absence of head was partially made up for with a brilliantly orange coloured body. With 'Lake Erie' in the name I was half expecting something mucky and polluted, but no, this had a nice glossy shine and vivid colour.

There certainly is a monstrous level of hops. Pineapple, mango, orange, and grapefruit do battle with pine resin and caramel sitting idly by the side. This is essentially a fruit stand covered and dripping with hop resin.

I don't care if this water was actually from the Great Lakes, its profile suits the style perfectly. Bitterness is brisk and snippy. The alcohol, which is itself a considerable 9.2%, is simply not substantial enough to stand up to the huge, sweeping flavours.

If dipping hops into melted caramel and chocolate is a fantasy of yours, I'd recommend you try this beer, because along side the strong notes of citrus, that is what you taste. And if you don't think that sounds tasty, then maybe you have yet to taste real beer...

My notes repeatedly describe this as 'intense awesome'. I'm not sure which was more predominant, the 'intense' or the 'awesome', but I think it had enough of both to please any hophead.

 1,190 characters

Photo of Beertracker
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster Imperial IPA pours up with a moderately fluffy, creamish-white head that tops the bright, deep ochre-auburn body neatly. Very good lacing and head retention. The clean, fruity aroma is quite citrusy (grapefruit, pommelo, tangerine) from the dry hops with a touch of peppery spiciness overlaying a lovely toasted (biscuit) maltiness. Just a hint of alcoholic warmth. The flavor starts off with a quick touch of toasted caramel sweetness that carries to a defined, slightly resiny hop bitterness that delivers a bold, brut dry yet surprisingly balanced finish with some warmth. Medium-full bodied with a solid creaminess and just the perfect amount of carbonation. Surprisingly drinkable for such a monsterous IPA!

CHEERS! Beertracker

*Taster's Note: Special thanks to fiver29 & GrbDg for the bombers!

 832 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It pours a slightly hazy, dark copper/amber color. Sitting atop is a modest, one finger head. It dissipated quickly and left a spotty coat of lace lining the glass. It's a great looking beer, but it lacks a great head and retention was too short for elite status.

Smell: Citrus grapefruit and mango are sweet smelling up front. Hops are bold and piney. It's a little sugary smelling. There's a nice mix of pale and caramel malts going on. It doesn't smell like the hop bomb one might expect. Rather, it presents itself as balanced. At least that's what the nose suggests. Alcohol and yeast and faintly noticeable.

Taste: The nose is a great representation of the taste. Citrus grapefruit, pineapple, and mango are sweet and set the tone nicely. Hops are bitter and rather intense at first, but mellow rather quickly. Pale and caramel malts are certainly in the mix, but the caramel variety are the lighter of the two. It is well balanced. A little too balanced for my taste. Alcohol is slightly noticeable and it is a little yeasty. Finishes sweet and a little dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a very creamy, smooth feel. Great Lakes has really nailed this aspect of their brewing. They continually brew beers with great feels. Carbonation is low, but it works to near perfection. Drinkability is very high. My bottle says 9% abv, but it doesn't smell or taste that big at all. It goes down super smooth and easy.

This is another fine beer from Great Lakes. For a DIPA, it could stand a little refining. From my perspective, it'd easily be improved by adding more hops. It just doesn't have the bitter, hop bomb kick that's common for beers of this style. Lake Erie Monster just comes across as a little too polite. But, it's still a very good and highly drinkable beer. Worth seeking out...if you can find a bottle.

 1,855 characters

Photo of lightindarkness
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Prototypic for this excellent beer! 22oz into a tulip.

Pours a nice rusty orange with amber highlights and a little haze. Creamy smooth head leaves a generous ring on the surface with patches of larger bubbles and a web of lace.

Oh, the nose on this makes me salivate, with big juicy citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple. Hints of pine add spice to the hoppy nose, along with some cotton candy sweetness broadening the overall aroma. Slight resin, but without being overly funky or thick. A little alcohol.

Taste has a nice base of light and caramelly malt. No lack of rolling hop flavors flood over the grainy base, with more juicy grapefruit and citrus rind. Pine cone taste builds as hop resins coat the palate, climbing to a full bitterness at the finish. Bitterness finally settles to light grains after the swallow, leaving a bread-yeast flavor.

Feel is coating and very near thick. Sticky and a little chewy, then cut with resin at the finish. Carbonation is present enough to feel and not interfere.

For hop lovers, this one is an indulgence, with a great balance of hop nose and full-hopped well constructed taste. Great bitterness and overall character. Drinkability is lowered by the abv and clinging fullness of the body, but I don't like it any less.

 1,275 characters

Photo of HopDerek
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, clear amber with some floating sediment. Bubbly off-white head fades quickly, leaving an oily layer and a thin ring, but nice sticky lacing. Smells of lemon rind, grapefruit, orange, pine, and caramel; great hop character. Tastes of grapefruit, orange and lemon rind up front with a good caramel, brown sugar, and biscuit backbone helping balance out the beer before a nice dry pine presence finishes out the beer with a little bit of alcohol warmth mixed in. Medium in body and low in carbonation, this is one great balanced DIPA that has substantial sweetness and bitter characteristics and hides its 9% alcohol very well, just giving you a little hint that it's there. Another great brew from Great Lakes, and another excellent IPA from the Midwest.

 766 characters

Photo of ianranderson
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had the fortune to try this beer recently. Very good for the style The one thing that I was amazed with was just how fresh the beer tasted. Very crisp with an easy finish. The citrusy aroma of the hops was excellent as well. I did not find the aroma overwhelming which I think allowed for some pleasant surprises upon tasting.

 326 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

 939 characters

Photo of genog
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle

poured a coppery and cloudy color. Nice thick off white head with a lot of lacing. Smell was really sweet with lots of citrusy hops. Some floral aroma as well with a strong malt presence. Taste is really sweet with a lot of bittering in the back. Mouth feel is very carbonated with a sticky feeling on the tongue that lingers.

 341 characters

Photo of abankovich
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Standard hazy burnt orange color with a thin off-white head that quickly dissipated. Lacing quickly fades away down the side of my snifter.

Smells nice and fresh. Not really any overpowering hop aromas present, but they are still there. Sweet and bitter smelling.

Grapes and other sweet citrus coming through almost as if I'm drinking juice. This is a very delicious, fruity tasting DIPA. Not much bitterness coming through on the palate, at least not as much as I would have expected. The malt isn't too overpowering though. I'd say it is a well-balanced DIPA, however DIPAs should usually be a little unbalanced in terms of favoring hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium to heavy. Very easy drinking DIPA and I'm enjoying it immensely, am glad I drank this one as soon as I got it, very fresh.

 797 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to prototypic for getting me this bottle. I've been looking for this monster for quite a while now. I had no idea how limited these bottles are.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. 2516 Series.

Pours a pretty dark foggy copper hue with a one finger off-white head that leaves a creamy layer of lacing on the sides. You can smell the sweetness from across the room, I love it. Big pink grapefruit and fresh tangerines up front on the nose. A light caramel malt aroma with a hint of evergreen as well. A very enjoyable beer to stick your nose into. Taste isn't as hoppy as the smell leads you to believe. Smokey caramel malt up front with subdued piney hops. Gritty earth flavors all the way through with this one. A zesty citrus hop sting towards the end that leaves a slick oily hop aftertaste. Fluffy light to medium body with a creamy texture. Carbonation is subtle, but fits this beer well. Alcohol is noticiable, but not too over the top. Very solid DIPA and another one from GLBC that doesn't disappoint. If you live in the Cleveland area, defintely give this one a shot.

 1,088 characters

Photo of pwoods
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Reed415 for picking this growler up for me.

Poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a darker amber color than expected... looks kinda like an amber ale. 2 fingers of pearly white forms and holds nicely. Plenty of hoppy lacing.

S: Just what I needed. Huge hop explosion. Sweet, juicy grapefruit, pineapple, mango, lemon. Malts are controlled... as I like 'em >:)

T/M: Bitterness is actually controlled but starts to rev up toward the end. More of the citrus that was found in the nose. A nice peppery bite snuck in the drink within the nose being the wiser. Malts are sweet and only offer balance.. just as I like in my DIPA. Body is moderate with a juicy feel to start and a nice smoothness to end. Finishes dry with plenty of lasting bitterness. Would have liked to see a stronger bitterness... at least in the beginning.

D: 9.2% is pretty deceiving. Drinks very easily for a DIPA, especially because of the tongue friendly bitterness level. I'll easily finish this growler tonight. I'm sure it'll go great with the cajun rubbed smoked tenderloin that's for dinner :)

 1,089 characters

Photo of Oxymoron
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What kind of fishing is this? Poured a mostly cloudy lighter orange with hints of coppery yellow hues. A light but nice soft head that had good staying power and decent lacing.

The nose is balanced with a nice sweeter malt presence. Not much depth overall but some sugar notes and a lighter bready backing. Hops are more floral with some citrus backing. Some lighter spice, peppery, and some yeasty notes as well.

The taste is also balanced if not more present with a malty flavor than hops. There is a sweeter almost candy sugar taste. Some wheat and biscuit like flavors. Almost like a Belgian wit profile. The hops are limited in bitterness but a more resin like finish with pine and citrus. Some bubblegum and floral on the backend as well.

The body is big for style. There is a nice malt presence for body but I wonder if this would have been better if it was toned down a bit to let the hops come out. Overall good but is more east code hop for me.

 958 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Edits on 28-Aug-10: Gone are the funky stink flavors (clearly there were skunking issues). They are replaced by lots of hop bitterness. The flavors aren't over the top, just good. The bitterness sharp but not all-consuming. Smell goes up from 3.0 to 3.5; Taste up to 4 from 2,5l mouthfeel from 2.0 to 4.0; drinkability from 2.0 to 3.5


A 650 mL bottle courtesy of mcallister.

A: The DIPA is a muddied orange color, fairly hazy with a deep sunset color (red and orange) when held to light. The head was large and has laced all around the glass.

S: The nose is fairly nondescript, showing off a bit of resiny hops but generally remaining restrained. Over time, a pungent and ill-defined aroma emerges that is not very appealing.

T: The taste begins with a dry graininess, with some caramel to prop things up. As the malts fade, the hops emerge as bitter and pungent flavors. They lack definition and instead overwhelm the tastebuds in a negative manner. All flavors fade quickly, leaving little trace of the beer within a few seconds.

M: The mouthfeel is unappealing, presenting a burst of flavors that are not well-defined and never come together.

D: I'll stick with the Commodore Perry, thanks.

 1,204 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, 9% ABV. Cloudy copper color, with some shades of orange. Nice thick, rocky off-white head. Very good retention. A few patches of lace left at the end.

Candy sweet, citrusy hops are the main factor in the nose. Some tropical fruit aroma, floral and resiny notes fall in next. Malt character is evident in the nose as well.

Sweet up front, with some fruity flavors. Again, this seems to lean toward tropical fruits, not just the average citrusy bomb. Sweetness continues to linger, as more citrusy and floral flavors come in. A bit resiny. Good amount of bitterness, but the sweetness is a bit too much for me.

Good body, and carbonation. One of the only beers I have had from GLBC where the alcohol is noticable. Pretty nice, but the sweetness lingers too long for me.

 785 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 557 characters

Photo of Tizzod
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to mcalister for the trade

Appearance: Poured a hazy yellow/ orange with a thin head. Somehow I was expecting a little more intensity.

Smell: malty, with a slight hop aroma. not very hoppy for a DIPA

Taste: Pretty sweet and malty. Nice element of hop bitterness in the finish but far less hop action than I was expecting.

Mouthful was nice and smooth and it's very drinkable for a fairly high alcohol beer, but it didn't quite live up to my expectations. This is one of my first Great Lakes beers and while it is obviously well-made and tasty, it isn't quite what I look for in a DIPA.

 609 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nephilium for this bomber acquired via trade.

Pours a cloudy orangish-copper-brown color. A sample of Lake Erie water, perhaps? Thin white head leaves some spotty lacing.

The smell is pretty weak, imo. Sweet malt dominates the aroma with very little hop presence. Doesn't smell bad, but doesn't fit the style extremely well.

The flavor is a touch better than the smell. Still way too sweet and not enough hops. Big DIPAs need a strong malt backbone to balance them out, but this one seems to have went overboard with the malts. Sweet caramel and toffee. Some citric hop bitterness is there, but the flavor of those hops is lacking. However, the further I get into the glass the hops are a bit more noticeable.

Creamy, medium body. Dry, bitter aftertaste. Could use some more carbonation. Not difficult to drink and the abv isn't noticed in the flavor or mouthfeel. I am glad to have tried it, but I think I would pass this one up if I was looking for a hop fix.

 983 characters

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy, dark orange in color with copper hues. Micro bubble white head pours one finger thick. Very little retention. Thin and spotty lacing.

S: Floral. Citrus and tropical fruits. Caramel and toffee. Candy. Fresh bread. Soap.

T: Flavors of grapefruit, mango and peach dominate the front end of this brew and are gradually overtaken by cirtus and floral hops that produce a soft bitter tickle on the tongue. A huge wave of sweet caramel malts and tastes of candy are followed by a bread like flavor. Slight taste of wet grass. Higher level of alcohol is barely noticeble. Finishes sweet and dry.

M: Smooth and slightly slick. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: At first taste, I really din't know what to think about his brew. The second sip won me over! It's a winner. It is puckeringly sweet and easy to consume for a DIPA that weighs in at 9.00%. I will be aging my remaining bottles in the hopes that this brew mellows with time. Recommended.!

 1,006 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very nice looking DIPA. Thick copper, orange scarlet hues. Somewhat cloudy. Pours with a large white fluffy head that fades quickly into some lacing and bubbles.

Tried just a tine sample of this while at the brewpub draught. This out of bottle seems to be much more balanced. The sample I had seemed cloyingly sweet in both mouth and aroma. We shall see how the mouth ends up. Sweet toffee and caramel, very fruity citrusy hops with both pine and floral colorings. Peach, grapefruit, lemon, and mango.

It's good but it is slightly too sweet. However it does have a very generous amount of hops. Very fruity and resiny on the finish. Fruits are tropical and stone. Led by peach, papaya, and grapefruit. Somewhat cloying in sweetness. Just too much caramel. Mouth is somewhat thin also. Oddly enough drinkability is high as this still is a damn good beer. It just seems overly discombobulated.

 901 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.42/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled at the Cleveland brewpub.

A cloudy amber colored ale with a slightly puffy white colored head.

Smell is extremely sweet and not so hoppy or complex as hoped. This seems to not have enough hops to balance out the amount of malt present.

The taste is decidedly sweet. Sweet tasting and nowhere as hoppy as
I had expected for the beer type. Very much sweet and the malt over power the hops here. A disappointment this needs less malt or more hops.

Mouthfeel is OK.

I have to say
I was disappointed in this beer and it is nowhere near the same class as Dreadnaught or Pliny The Elder. Sample at the pub but do NOT buy a growler of this before you taste it. 12 Oz glass due to the alcohol level.

 717 characters

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dull brownish orange with a hazy clarity. Creamy two and a half finger head showing excellent retention and plenty of sticky patches of lace. Magnificent cascade citrus nose, a mild chinook grapefruit rind aroma, and some faint crystal. Sweet pale malt and crystal upfront, with loads of fresh grassy/fruity american hop flavor that carries over into the aftertaste. Moderate carbonation imparts a mellow crispness that pairs nicely with the fuller body and resinous hop bitterness. The alcohol is hidden enough to score a high drinkability. Finishes oily but not at all slick, and very well balanced for a DIPA.

 620 characters

Photo of geographie
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A :: Opaque burnt orange hues with a solid ivory head showing full signs of lacing. Head is creamy with very fine bubbles.

S :: Hops, hops, hops - I'm smelling Cascade and maybe Amarillo. Quite citrusy but by no means is this beer a light one - there is a strong malt backing behind these hops and rightly so for this 9% Imperial IPA.

T :: Candy-sweet front, I reckon honey was used. Taste is not as big as the smell, however it finishes with an incredibly smooth bitterness that beckons to be consumed again. Alcoholic none and finish become more and more pronounced.

M :: Not as creamy as the head suggests, but being an IPA, this beer shouldn't be so. Medium to full-bodied and washes down a tad too fast.

D :: Superb for 9 percent, this beer hides it better than most. The lighter, yet rich body is perfect for many occaisions. Cheers! This is one dang good beer.

 879 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a GL stemmed glass at Oktoberfest. Nice appearance at a cloudy light peach with a thin but lasting white head. Hues lean toward orange. Very citric aroma and flavor but definitely under wraps a bit. Caramel shown through the hops. Not for hardcore hop heads. Sweetish, sugary flavor on top of the orangey hops. Juicy and sweet mouthfeel with a relatively bitter finish. Drinkability is really too high for this style. Basically, I liked this beer a ton but it certainly wasn’t what I expected. The hops were one dimensional (huge citrus fruit) and the sugars were so high as to make the beer almost fruity as opposed to IPA like. Bitterness was present to be sure but it wasn’t at the level of an average IPA let alone a DIPA. Conclusion, great beer but don’t expect your typical “Extreme” DIPA. Perhaps these brewers should be commended for showing restraint in a time of giant beers.

 903 characters

Photo of Bones54
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally had a chance to have this beer and it lived up to the hype. Though I was a bit suprised in the color that it poured. I found it to be a little lighter in color than most of the DIPAs I have had. The hop smell is definately coming through and prepared me for a huge rush of hop taste. The beer is well balanced though- the Hops are not to overpowering. My gf, who normally would pass on even an IPA, thought the beer was OK. It's definately a sipper though with the 9% ABV. Try some with the Brad Pudding- they go great together!

 536 characters

Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 2,684 ratings