Great Lakes Alberta Clipper | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
139 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by irishmoss on 01-18-2006

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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 583
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Porterhouse Restaurant & Brew Pub, Lahaska, PA

A: The beer is near black in color; when held up to the light the edges of the glass exhibit traces of red uses. It poured with a short off white head that died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of raspberries are present in the nose along with some hints of chocolate.
T: Like the smell, the taste has a good amount of raspberry flavors along with notes of cola and hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The raspberry aromas and flavors would make for this to be a good "light" dessert beer and something that would pair well with a chocolate dish.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The taste that keeps Great Lakes Brewing on the craft beer map is that of porter. But just because the seasons turn to spring, doesn't mean that the darker, toastier and more robust porter flavor is no longer of service. With a kiss of raspberry, the dark beer is now a beacon for summer!

Laced with creamy, nearly moussey froth, the coffee hued beer beneath comes in dark brown and heavily translucent. Waves of aromas wash over the nose, first carrying the character of burnt toast and dark chocolate before a twinge of raspberry makes its mark. Embarking on taste, the flavor of malted milk balls, delicate campfire and chocolate frame the early palate.

But the middle reveals the more earthy components of both the beer and the fruit as coffee, nutty and tangy flavors begin to pang away at the tastebuds. Chocolate intensifies with cocoa and Columbian blend coffee seems to give off a bitter finish that's laden with roasting walnut and baker's chocolate. Raspberry flavor uses its pectin to help balance the malt as the finish hastens with a more drinkable tone.

Medium-full on the mouth, the creamy, milky and somewhat yogurt-like malt structures keeps the beer silky and smooth. The coffee-like bitterness becomes assertive and the tannins from fruit offer a hint of sourness for a complex and surprisingly refreshing finish.

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Photo of brentk56
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark brown color and a tan head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Raspberry syrup dominates the nose

Taste: Raspberry syrup with chocolate underneath; slightly bitter finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Intriguing for the first few sips but ultimately too sweet; I couldn't finish the glass

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, best before 9/13/2015. Pours nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of raspberry, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, brown bread, light coffee, light toffee, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of raspberries, chocolate, and dark/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of raspberry, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, brown bread, light coffee, light toffee, and roasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raspberry, chocolate, cocoa, caramel, toast, brown bread, light coffee, light toffee, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of raspberry, chocolate, and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice fruited porter style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of raspberry, chocolate, and dark/roasted malt flavors; and very smooth to drink for the ABV. The raspberries had a bit more prominence in the aromas, but were very well balanced in the flavors. I was initially expecting the fruit flavors to be a bit bigger initially; but it turned out to be focused on the style with the fruit/chocolate additions accenting the main style. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Great Lakes Brewing in Cleveland, OH

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown in color (almost black) with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation near the surface of the beer and some dark amber highlights. The beer has a finger tall tan head that reduces rather quickly to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts with some very light notes of raspberry. There is also a light amount of chocolate aroma as well.

T: Light to moderate flavors of roasted malts upfront that are quickly overtaken by moderate flavors of dark bittersweet chocolate and some very light raspberry. Moderate amounts of bitterness hide the sweetness of the raspberry.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of dryness throughout.

O: This was not as good of a dessert beer as I had hoped (I had researched some of the beers Great Lakes was pouring in the brewpub and this one sounded very interesting). I did not get the heavy notes of raspberry in the smell and taste, the raspberry was pretty muted in my serving. It was still a very nice porter and I enjoyed it. I found this one very easy to drink.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Gotta give it up to Dave for pulling in some obscure Great Lakes kegs for us. This stuff pours a deep black-brown highlighted in garnet-ruby and topped by a short finger of tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, soft cocoa, light molasses, and a hint of vague fruitiness way in the background. Honestly, I didn't even know this had actual fruit in it until I employed my tongue... The taste continues the traditions set down by the smell, but then adds in a firm bit of black cherry. (It was at this point I asked Dave what I was drinking. Made some sense at that point.) The cherry is on the sweeter side, but not too far over there and never artificial or medicinal. Still, I feel the cherry flavor detracted a bit from the porter base, melding only with the cocoa and jostling for position with everything else. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a somewhat surprisingly tasty brew, a healthy surprise for someone (yup, I mean me) who orders it just by name.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Wow.....I like this reminds me of the Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake form the Cheesecake factory.....or Graeters Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Ice cream.....HELL YEAH. The beer poured an opaque black with thin ecru head that is not lacing. The scent has great raspberry flare. The taste is where the chocolate well as raspberry. The mouthfeel in medium with smooth carbonation. Overall.....YUMMY!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep mahogany red body color, very dark and opaque with a great ruby red hue. Head is vanilla tan colored, four fingers and sits with a creamy and frothy top looking very inviting. Excellent body color and appearance, great looker.

Mild sense of fruit raspberries with hinting porter character. Light vanilla sweetness, and toned down char, soft sensing milk chocolate, but very quiet. A real nice contrast, makes me wonder if the palate though will deliver.

Luckily palate does deliver. Light bodied milk chocolate and raspberry that flows up and builds gradually. Aftertaste brings more of the char, slightly husky grain quality, but lighter texture and a mild fruit sweetness and balanced tartness that slowly builds after the swallow. Very good balance between fruit and dark chocolate qualities, with a lighter milky sweet body without any lactose character.

Pretty nice take on a fruited porter.

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Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours very dark brown to black with some garnet hues when held to the light. A thin, creamy head lasts, leaving lacing.

The smell is of cocoa powder/dark chocolate with some raspberry juice. Slight roast.

The taste is of dark chocolate/cocoa with raspberry that comes across in a medicinal/chemical way.

On the lighter end of the porter spectrum. Alcohol is well-covered.

It's something of a novelty brew. One is enough. Not a bad porter - chocolaty - the fruit aspect needs some improvement.

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Photo of Tone
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/2 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, slight alcohol, slight dark chocolate, spruce, and slight raspberries. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, slight alcohol, slight dark chocolate, spruce, and slight raspberries. Overall, good appearance, great aroma, body, blend, and complexity; the raspberry makes it exceptional.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, chocolate. Taste is chocolate, raspberries, some roasted malts, alcohol is well hidden. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

LOOK: Very dark brown, off white, khaki colored head. Great retention and lacing left down the glass. Pours free of sediment. A very good looking brew.

SMELL: Stout and raspberries. Some roast, alcohol and sweet berry. Has a beery smell to go with berries.

TASTE: Roasted flavor upfront, giving away to ripe raspberries in the middle, apparent but quickly fading berry note, which goes into roast and residual berry flavor and sweetness in the finish. Hop bitterness is there and flavor can best be described as earthy of woody. Tasty.

FEEL: Full bodied with ample carbonation. Drinks very smoothly and the finish has ripe, seeded berries and bitterness working with roast.

OVERALL: This was a nice little beer to find. Stout and raspberry flavors always work well in my opinion and this is no different.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alberta Clipper is named after the severe winter storms of the same name that plague the Great Lakes region every year. So it's no wonder the beer is black and capped with a tall bank of muddy snow-like head. But there are glimmers of colour - clear, sharp shoots of raspberry red as it so happens.

This aroma is a delight for those who love berries. Those that believe fruit has no business in beer - astonishingly such ignoramuses do exist - will likely complain that it smells artificial and overly sweet. But to my nose there's nothing unnatural about it; it's reminiscent of my local bakery's chocolate raspberry mousse cake and that works for me.

The fact that Alberta Clipper tastes like a chocolate raspberry mousse cake, however, doesn't necessarily make it rich enough to serve as dessert - I say 'mousse' because it's a light and airy flavour not something dense, the kind of thing that stretches the belly and leaves you wanting for a nap. In part, it's the inherent tartness of the fruit that lightens it.

The other component is the mat bill which evokes a chocolate flavour in the 50-60% range - not light enough to be milk chocolate but not heavy enough to be dark chocolate. It's right in that Goldilocks zone: not too sweet, not too bitter, but just right. And combined with a hint of jam it's enough to mask the (hard to believe) 7.8% alcohol.

Claimed to be brewed with Belgian chocolate, Alberta Clipper has the decadent taste and apparent high quality to accord with that fact. I enjoyed it increasingly with every sip - it's a porter that makes one want more and more even while it slowly satiates. Like everything produced by Great Lakes this is a beer reasonably priced, pleasurable to drink, easy to recommend, and tempting to stockpile.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

-sampled 52F.

A: Bready textured dark tan head of one inch has a raspy-burgundy colored pour appearing dark black in the vessel. Micro-gold beads of effervesce creeps up the glass. Lacing is spongy, thick, and of very good coverage rate.

S: Aroma of fresh raspberries makes their presence known upon the pour. Tart, almost wine like aroma, with a small background of vanilla creamer, yogurt and sweet cocoa.

T: The flavor followed the nose, bit tartness of raspberries, bread and dry cocoa. Raspberry yogurt has a big presence here. Dry chocolate covered raspberries, with a light dry milkiness.

M: Bubbly mouthful, tart, dry, creamy and edgy.

O: The raspberries have a big presence while still maintaining a good balance in proportion of the porter quality. Tart, slightly acidic, dry.

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Photo of barczar
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big ripe raspberry dominates the initial aroma. Notes of roast malt and dark cocoa pale, in comparison.

Flavor reveals raspberry character throughout, but the roast malt character counters early. The finish is a tad charred and lightly bitter. Bittersweet chocolate is present, but I had to search for it. Wish there were more, and a hint of sweetness would be pleasant.

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Photo of pat61
2.82/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

L: Pours dark brown with a thin, tinely bubbled tan foam collar.
S: Grain, not a lot of roast, some chocolate notes, and a laundry kind of aroma that turns out to be raspberries.
T: Grain, raspberry and chocolate have a medicinal, solventy, chemical taste to me.
F: Medium body and carbonation.
O: This is my least favorite beer from Great Lakes. The raspberry and chocolate don’t quite work for me. They do not work well together and initially had me thinking that the beer lines were infected.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle, label says enjoy by 10/17/15. Served in a Great Lakes nonic pint glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like raspberry syrup, roasted malt and some chocolate. I think the taste pretty much follows the aroma, but there's also the addition of some char and grainy malt. The raspberry flavor and aroma seems artificial to me, and not like fresh raspberries at all. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's coating and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this brew, although I think I'd like it even more if the raspberry flavor wasn't so artificial/syrupy. With that being said, I think it's definitely worth picking up. $9.99 a 4-pack.

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Photo of tigg924
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque, black in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is dark and baker's chocolate and roasted malt with raspberry syrup that gets stronger towards the aftertaste. Medium-light bodied and moderately sweet. Interesting combination of flavors that compliment each other while never overwhelming each other. Glad I picked up a four pack.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Paid the price on this one $3.75 for the single. Into a pint glass.
A - Some ruby color on the edges but a very black porter. Good head on this one a 1/2 inch of deep mocha goodness. Lacing is nice.
S - Good bits of chocolate and roasty malts. Smells not too sweet with a touch of cherry...?
T - Ah I see the fruit aspect is more raspberry forward and it shows in the beer. Semi sweet chocolates, touch of hops, and a slight roasty twang. Good porter shows no dry finish which I enjoy.
M - Creamy medium bodied yet easy to drink.

Overall a great porter I will have to get my hands on more. Love when fruit is used right in a beer,

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Photo of barnzy78
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, enjoy by 10/03/15
A - frothy tan head tops a dark brown colored ale
S - roasted barley, cocoa nibs, coffee, grain, faint raspberry
T - robust porter flavors: coffee-like roasted barley, cocoa, tart raspberry in the mix but very subtle
M - full bodied, very creamy & smooth, roast lingers
O - great porter, but I was hoping for some better raspberry flavors. Somewhat disappointing.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the brewery notes: "Winter porter with Belgian chocolate and raspberries. 7.0% ABV, 40 IBU."

This porter is dark reddish crown and opaque in the center, more a translucent red at the edges. A thin tan film of bubbles that laces onto the glass. The aroma is really good, roasted malts and maybe some coffee, only hints of the chocolate and raspberries. The latter two components show up in a big way when I tasted the beer, very sweet and close to a chocolate raspberry candy with a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Peppery carbonation and full body, at least as full as 7% gets.

This might come across as a gimick beer, maybe it even is one. But it seems to be even better than their standard porter to me.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap at the Great Lakes Brew Pub (Cleveland, OH).

A: pours a deep malty black with a small amount of creamy tan head. There is some decent lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is mainly raspberries, roasted malt, and maybe a touch of chocolate. It's very pleasant.

T: This beer starts off with some big raspberry flavor. As the beer settles on the palate, the roasted maltlyness of the beer comes through. There are also some smooth chocolate notes in there as well. The finish is a mix of chocolate and raspberries.

M: Medium bodied beer. There is good carbonation throughout and the flavors coat the palate and linger for a bit. The finish is smooth and even a bit creamy.

O: This is a pretty good beer. It's nothing amazing (like some of the other pub only beers I've had from them), but I enjoyed it. It's nice to see that the raspberry is really pronounced in such a dark beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color. The head is two fingers high and off-white in shade, with an additional frothiness that gives it good appeal. Retention is good, also. Combined with the rings of lacing that stick to the glass (thick ones, at that), this is quite the looker - I don't even care that it looks more like a brown ale. (4.25)

Smell: Raspberry notes hit me like a punch to the nose. At first, it doesn't seem like there's much else to the nose - and then out of nowhere, a healthy chocolate fudge quality appears. There isn't much coffee or roast, though. I pick up some brown sugar, caramel, and nutty fringes in its stead. Leave it to Great Lakes to make a chocolate raspberry ale work. (4)

Taste: Everything the nose advertises, I also manage to taste. An initial wave of raspberry gives it a nice 'bite' to help counteract the finishing flavors of chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar. Touches of hazelnut give it more depth. I can't really complain about how it tastes - I could say it's a lot like a brown ale, but I'm enjoying this too much to care. (4)

Mouthfeel: This doesn't seem to have a very full body. I don't think a thin body and a sweet, sticky finish are a great combination, personally. However, looking past the slickness, drinkability is actually quite good. It's also aided by somewhat lively carbonation. (3.5)

Overall: It's good to see a porter that isn't trying to be a stout. It's even better to see it blend chocolate and raspberry rather skillfully. Another great beer from this brewery, enough said. (4)

3.97/5: I could use an Alberta clipper coming through in June...

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Great Lakes Brewing's Alberta Clipper for $2.89 at The Lager Mill. This one caught my eye and I'm interested in seeing what it's all about, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a teku.

A- The label looks good, it's eye catching and it goes good with the name. IT poured a nice black color that took on more of a dark brown color when held to the light with a little over half a fingers worth of bubbly tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty nice looking beer, but I wish it had better head and retention.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with a noticeable raspberry aroma being the first to show up and it imparts some nice and natural raspberry like aroma that's followed by the porter base which imparts some nice roasted malts, chocolate, grainy and a slight brown bread like aroma. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, but I wish the chocolate showed up more.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma, but a little lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with a slight bit of that raspberry being the first to show up and it and it goes into the porter base which imparts the same aspects that it did in the aroma and it's followed by the chocolate which is also a little lighter than it was in the aroma. On the finish there's a little bit of a watery flavor with pretty much not bitterness and it had a chocolate and roasted malt like aftertaste. This is a nice tasting beer, but I wish the chocolate and raspberry showed up more.

M- Smooth. crisp. medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was nice beer and solid example of the beer, it wasn't as good as I was hoping, but it still delivered the key flavors in the description. This beer had ok drinkability, one would be my limit, anymore than that and it might start to ware one me. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and aroma, they were the highlight of this beer. What I like the leas about this beer is the taste and drinkability, those two aspects could use some work. I might buy this beer on it's own and I wouldn't turn one down. It's worth a trying, but I can't say I highly recommend it. All in all it was nice, but not great, and with a little more work on the chocolate and raspberry and this could be a pretty good beer. It's not a favorite Great Lakes beer and it's a little above average for the style. Nice job guys, this is a solid beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours jet black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of beige head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A roasty and sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate and raspberries. Dark roasted barley malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, toast, slight smoke, caramel, and yeast. Big scent of sweet raspberries. Also some sweet hints of cream and sugar. Hops are pretty light. A pretty nice rich aroma.

Taste: Like the smell previews, a nicely roasty and sweet dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate and raspberries. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of dark chocolate, coffee, char smoke, toast, caramel, biscuit, and yeast. Fruity and sweet notes of raspberries. Sweet notes of sugar and cream. Light background earthy hop notes. A really solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Very creamy and silky with a smooth finish.

Overall: A pretty good twist on an American Porter. Nice mix of charred dark malt notes with raspberry sweetness. A nice fruity companion for the great Edmund Fitz.

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Great Lakes Alberta Clipper from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.93 out of 5 based on 583 ratings.
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