Lake Erie Monster | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Lake Erie MonsterLake Erie Monster
2,672 Ratings
Lake Erie MonsterLake 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 2,672 |  Reviews: 727
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Photo of cabsandking
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden in color and completely clouded. Fine bubbled head and a very fruity nose. Lacing was exceptional, nearly coating my glass. Spicy and fruity from the first sip. Lemon and citrus notes are abound. Great hop strength without overpowering its other characteristics. Honey like sweetness, nicely balanced. Medium to thick body and very nice mouth coating all around. Spiciness lingers in the finish. Very consistent to the end. This beer isn't trying to be the fancy pants, but for what is has been done well.

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

drank it through a growler from the brewery. is on tap for short time periods throughout the year. great color - light amber in color and is extremely hoppy. lots of flavor.

growler is about 40 dollars from the great lakes brewery; but worth every penny. is about 70 ounces of IPA. lots of hops and great flavor. definitely worth a try. either at the brewery or through a growler. talked with bartender, they said they weren't able to bottle it yet.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy amber, like apple cider. Very little lacing.

S - Wonderful aromas of strong sweet citrusy hops.

T - Strong hop presence, spicy. Malts are completely hidden.

M - Sharp cardination hits the tounge.

D - Not a session beer due to the high ABV. But i'm a hop head so I love it.

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Photo of bigbubba
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was so happy to see that the Monster was back on tap at the brewery that I drove down for lunch today. And it was worth it. This is a beautiful hazy copper beer with a bubbly head right to the top of the glass. It was served in 12oz glasses instead of their usual pint, and for good reason. It doesn't taste strong but it will get to you. Two 12oz glasses and a lamb, caramelized onion, and sun-dried tomato pizza and I was in a heavenly daze as I shopped at the Westside Market.

The smell is a sweet floral and citrus mixture that is exteremly enticing. The taste is great, well balanced to the hoppy side. The hops are very aromatic without being overly bitter. The malty sweetness is just enough to make this level of hopping a possibility, and is not overly sweet. A combination that few DIPAs get right.

Except for the buzz this beer is very drinkable. I wish it was sold in bottles because I really don't need to be 40 minutes from home while drinking it.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cask version at Barley’s 3rd Annual Mini RAF (04/16/05): Pours a murky orange color with a thin off-white head. Thin lacing too. Nice hoppy and citrusy aroma. Medium-bodied and very smooth with a subtle but persistent hops flavor. This reminded me very much of the DFH 90 Minute on tap, which is definitely a good thing. There are also some citrus and pine flavors. The finish is slick and rather bitter. All in all this was a great way to kick off the event, an Imperial IPA as good as I knew GLBC could do it.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Of all the beers at the Mini-RAF at Barley's, this is the one I was looking forward to sampling the most. For me, this beer was worth the price of admission. Everyone else must have thought so too b/c it was the first keg to get kicked.

Appearance: Cloudy orange amber with yellow edges. A minimal sudsy white head caps this beauty.

Smell: Strong carmel malt presence with a slight citrus twang that invites you to try this little monster.

Taste: Starts out carmelly sweet for a brief moment and then the hops kick in full force. Pine bitterness with a slight citrus edge that reminds me of orange juice ("hey kids, it's whats for breakfast!"). A full on hop assault profile with enough malt base to balance the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium, slightly creamy and coats the palate nicely.

Drinkability: This is the real deal for me. I could make this a regular occurence if it were available. One of the better balanced IPA's out there. More than enough hops for any hop-head and a good malt backbone so you can enjoy what you are drinking.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Gatzby
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found myself at the brewpub(which is never a bad thing), and was pleasantly suprised to find some pub exclusives which I hadn't had before. Normally shying away from IPAs in favor of a darker brew, I found this one enjoyable.

Served in a 12 oz glass, the brew was delivered with a small, white head which disappated within a few minutes leaving little to no trace. Beer color was a cloudy, bronzed honey. Damn, it looked good.

There was no exceptionally strong aroma, but hops were a definite trait. Also, there was a background hint of citrus detectable.

Mouthfeel was smooth, a more hardy version of an IPA. Both a pleasure and easy to drink, providing flavor all over the mouth.

Taste offered mild sweetness, fruit/citrus, with pine lurking in the background. I felt it there was less dryness than many IPAs. Alcohol was masked sufficiently -- you're more likely to notice the buzz than the taste.

It's certainly a drinkable brew, and I was disappointed to read it was only available in the pub. I'd love to be able to pick up a six pack at the beer store. It may be time to invest in a growler.

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Photo of garthwaite
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 10 oz glass at the brewery. Being a lover of the hop - I was, of course, elated to hear that the special tap brew the evening I rolled into town was a Double IPA. At 9.5% abv, it was served in a smaller glass than the other brews, but was filled to the brim & had a very small perfectly white creamy head. It was a deep copper & the head had completely disappeared within about a minute. After about 15 minutes it had warmed to a perfect temperature for enjoyment. Loads of oily, piney hops with way more than a hint of caramel malt in the background. This brew coats the mouth beautifully with a relatively thick syrup-like fullness. Undertones of caramel & molasses are overshadowed quickly & permanently by generous doses of complex hopping. Hop profile has a little bit of everything - they are floral, earthy, citrusy, & piney. Wonderful balance between hop bitterness & sweet malt make this a delightfully easy to drink, well-crafted treat.

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

Appearance – This one is deep, bright orange in color tinted with a bit of brown. The beer just looks gorgeous. There wasn’t much of a head coming out of the growler, though.

Smell – The hops are classic East Coast (whatever the predominant hops are over there) and very pleasing. There’s also some good spicing and a solid, sweet malty base.

Taste – The malt base is large and full of brown sugars. The sweet fuggle-type of hops are huge and very smooth.

I can see how one could think that this is a “lightweight” because it doesn’t have that gigantic, PacNW-stomping pine sap to it, but this is just as intense with the ingredients that they chose to use. This is a Double IPA by any standard of measure.

Mouthfeel – This one is smooth as silk and incredibly well-balanced. The life was long gone from the growler it came in otherwise I would have probably 5-ed the mouthfeel.

Drinkability – Big and smooth with a nice, satisfying dry finish. What’s not to like?

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Lake Erie Monster from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 2,672 ratings