Great Lakes Silver & Gold IPL | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

very good
76 Reviews
Great Lakes Silver & Gold IPLGreat Lakes Silver & Gold IPL

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 06-18-2013

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 368
Photo of Ri0
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottle says enjoy by 8/31/13.

A - Transparent copper orange with a nice 1.5 white finger head, Fades into a thin ring and leaves spotty lacing.

S - Bready malts with caramel and toffee. Earthy hops with a but of rye and spice.

T - Sweet bread, malt, caramel, toffee, and yeast. This is followed quickly by a big hop kick. Hops are mostly floral and earthy with some pine bitter and a touch of citrus. Then the rye and spice back it up. Really awesome flavor in this. This is a very nice tasting IPL.

M - Medium body with light carbonation. Dry and spiced, but smooth to drink.

O - This is a very well done IPL, my first in fact. It is really bursting with many layers of flavor. I like the choice for a 25th anv. beer from GLB.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall Summit glass. Bottle says enjoy by 8/31/13.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of off white head that slowly fade into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A zesty and bready aroma with a solid balance of malt and hops. Bready malts with hints of biscuit, caramel, toffee, toasted bread, rye, cracker, and lager yeast. Strong hop presence with citrus fruit esters of orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, and mango. Earthy hop hints of grass and pine resin spice. Fairly floral and oily as well. A pretty good balance of bready malt, hops, and spice.

Taste: Like the aroma, a bready and spicy lager malt profile with a big presence of earthy and citrus hops. Bready malts with a taste of biscuit, sweet caramel, toffee, toast, rye spice, crackers, and lager yeast. Big mix of hops with citrus fruit notes of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon zest, and mangos. Very earthy with a big grassy hop presence and some herbal pine resin and floral notes. A well balanced and pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp, oily, smooth, and pretty drying on the finish.

Overall: A pretty good twist on a lager. Good biscuity rye spiced malts with a big helping of hops.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A- Clear amber orange. A inch and half.

S- sharp pilsner malts. A crisp citrus. An oniony hop and an oily smell.

T- A hint of bittersweetness at first. A stinging oily hop presence. A herbal hop flavor. A bit of a spicy and sweeter hop. A pilsner type of malt and a clean finish. Not your typical IPA flavors or lager flavors.

M- A silky feel. Not overly bitter. Drinks fairly easy. A bit bitter for a lager.

O- A solid beer but doesnt really raise the style to the next level.

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Photo of brewski09
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter

A - Orange. Deep, brilliant orange. clear as you would expect a lager to be. about 1.5cm of light, fluffy off white head. This is a beautiful beer to look at. The head disappears rather quickly, but leaves a tracing of lace down the side of the glass. This really reminds me of looking at DFH 90 Minute, so they scored on the appearance in my book.

S - sharp pepper undertones from Rye malt and an affronting harshness from high alpha American hops. The hops smell beautifully of pine resin and citrus fruits. There is a mild sweet undertone from caramel malts in there too, almost a little like a meyer lemon with all that citrus (it could be a well dosed Sorachi Ace?).

T - bitterness, booze, pine resins, rye malt, sweetness. A great American IPA, except its a lager. The flavor is almost a little too clean because I am used to more yeast profile. My preference is towards a fuller, British yeast profile too. Still, a nice flavor and very well balanced. I may try making an IPL soon.

M - Full, resiny, but balanced with sweetness. GL did a good job making everything stay in harmony here. Either they were a genius or they did lots of batches to make this one work the way they wanted it to.

O - Like the few other IPLs out there, this was very well done. I commend GL for their work and for helping define a new category of beer with the few others out there doing IPLs. I would recommend IPA lovers try this one for sure.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/brown, 1/2 creamy head with lots of sticky lacing.

Smell - Malts, caramel, bready , sweet hops, some pine, grapefruit. Added sugars, grassy, almost a farmhouse aroma.

Taste - Yep, def has the dortmunder malty flavor. Added hops give it a piney flavor but the malts are not buried at all, there very present. Very balanced, added sugars break up some of the sour notes of the malts. Some spices add a little more flavor. Finish is bready and caramel influenced.

Mouthfeel - The malts are bready and a little sour, and they coat the tongue nicely. Palate gets hops and sugars. The aftertaste is a mix of hops and dortmunder malts.

Overall - Really nice beer. A nice mix of a ipa and lager, with one of the best balances you could ask for. Its not the smoothest beer out there, so the drinkability is hinder after a couple bottles, but none the less, is enjoyable and worth a drink.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I pour a finger of off white head. The body is a nice light orangey-amber. Good head retention and a nice go about the lacing.

Smells bready, malty and grassy.

This beer starts off sweet and malty. Thick bread comes in and transitions it over to a surprisingly bitter hoppiness with undertones of sweetness. Hops are very earthy/gardeny with light pine noted.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Drink by 8/31/13 and poured into a "Perfect Pint" on 8/2/13.

Appearance: Looking like a beer-beer. Amber with a very, very slight haze -- nearly crystal clear. A couple fingers of a soapy, mild tan head. Decent lacing.

Smell: More than likely only because I'm being told it uses the same yeast as Dortmunder Gold, it smells a lot like that, but with a significant addition of hops. Also hay-like characteristics that make it pilsner-esque.

Taste/feel: Hm. Well, first off, the front of the tongue is a few flavors that took me awhile to put a finger on. I came to the conclusion that it's a sort of Play-Doh with alcohol. The back of the mouth is where the hops are, with a mild pine note, and sweetness plus bitterness. The taste of alcohol is there throughout the whole sip, and there's even a touch of warmth. Being only 7.5%, I wasn't expecting to feel anything, let alone this much of it. S&G IPL has a nice body to it, with a mild carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

Well, I don't know all of my scores off the top of my head, but this is probably my second least favorite GLB beer (Just behind -- or ahead? -- Lake Erie Monster). It's far from a bad beer, but I'm not sure what to make of it. It smells like an IPA (and a pilsner. And Dortmunder Gold.), but it tastes of dough and alcohol. I'm strangely compelled by this one. Pretty solid, and worth trying, but I won't exactly miss it once it's gone.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a label that shows a couple of the GLBC tanks(you'll find this logo a lot when searching their website under pub exclusives) with the Dortmunder gold gold medal In the background. A very simple yet an 'it's about what's inside' style. Short summary states, "our silver anniversary isn't about gold medals". But if this follows the line of lagers I've had from GLBC it is indeed about the medals. I poured this into a port style stemmed glass like the one Dortmunder Gold is sits in on their webpage.

A - dark golden bronze color. Brass colored may be the ideal discription of this color. White colored head poured with some size and sat around quite a while. Good stick to the glass.

S - Dortmunder with a load of hops in the nose would be how I describe it. Bitter pine like hops paired with a good portion of floral hop aromas. Some citric notes are also all over the hoppy aroma. Ripe peach. The bready Dortmunder wafts were all present and while the aroma is a bit more hoppy than expected its nice to see the biscuit and sweet bread malts both throwing punches as well.

T - a lot more of the sweeter bready and biscuit malts than in the nose with some big floral hops creeping through and a touch of pine on the back end with a soft touch lf hop spice in a fairly dry lingering finish. Everything works very well together and this reminds me more of the Imperial Dortmunder than a hopped up lager in terms of taste. Very nice balance and tasty.

M - lager texture and lager smooth with the hops providing the crisp feel to the coating lager style. It's medium bodied and not close to being thin. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Everything fits perfectly and works surprisingly well.

O - I was looking forward to this offering and though the entire time I was saying, "just give us the Imperial Dortmunder and ill be happy". I am glad they released this IPL as it was extremely well crafted and really the staple of what the brewery is about. They make some excellent ales but also some of the best lagers.. It was appropriate to do Silver and Gold and its something to get ahold of now. Very creative brew and one ill always remember as GLBC's way of celebrating 25 years of fine brewing. Not only was this a tribute to their past but like the bottle says a nod to the future. Glasses up to GLbG again and a congrats on 25 years!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a white head. The brew leaves lots of lacing on the glass and overall looks note like what one would expect from a pale ale rather than lager.

Has an aroma of sweet malt, bread, and ripe citrus. The taste follows through with pine, grapefruit, earth and caramel sweetness. The typical bready lager flavors are there in a lesser role, cut by the hops. There is an even level of bitterness, but the flavor ends hoppy.

Overall, this is a great example of a new American style. Known as an India Pale Lager, very few examples of the style if any have ever been drank there.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at paradise by the slice
Pint glass has a amber color body with a small head.
The aroma has floral hops and lager aroma.
Taste has a great strong hop bite, with nice malt finish. It leaves a nice hop after taste on the tongue.
Mouthfeel is very nice not to heavy with a great mouthfeel.

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Photo of beagle75
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of turmeric-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Floral hops are balanced by crisp spiciness that seem equally derived from malts and characterful yeast. Spiciness is slowly supplanted by estery fruit as the beer begins to warm.

T: Begins off-dry, with pale malt and hops aromatics of mixed citrus fruit and the floral notes from the smell. Flavors develop further sweetness into the middle, with yeast esters also emerging. Grainy spice develops in the finish, with astringent bitterness that is slightly above average compared to most modern IPAs.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly acidic on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This anniversary lager is of the typical high quality of Great Lakes, full of great intentions and careful consideration of different aspects of balance. If there is a continuum of qualities with Commodore Perry at one end and Rye of the Tiger at the other, this IPL would comfortably be placed near the midway point between them. What this beer bears little resemblance to is traditional pilsner--rather, it is another iteration of this brewery's approach to IPAs, that happened to be brewed with lager yeast. The single greatest complaint that can be leveled upon it is the strength of this beer--excessive, considering the qualities present.

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Photo of gatornation
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

from 12 oz bottle BB 083113

A- pours a slight hazed golden copper color with a nice off-white head that recedes quickly but reveals a nice cap and lacing

S-spice and citrus with with yeast and malt smells like a GL brew

T- its a spicy lager with citrus hops in the mix sweet malts back this one up

M- crisp and dry well carbonated

O- leaned more towards their lager then a PA it was more spicy and malty than hoppy but it was refreshing and worth a try

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Photo of BEEER
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vibrant copper color with quickly diminishing white head and nice lacing. Aroma is malty with a light hop presence, but pretty weak. Flavor is huge compared to the aroma. It's got a powerful mix of bitter, piney hops, roasty malts, and herbal earthy notes. Mouthfeel is light with high carbonation that tingles. Overall it's a very good, unique beer.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared by yourefragile. Thanks Michael.

The beer is golden hued and clear with a small white head. Huge lager yeast aroma, with grain, sourdough bread. Nice flavor, though a bit unbalanced by the over-abundance of lager yeast character. Hop character throughout with a gentle bitter finish. Overall, this was decent, but I wouldn't want to drink a 12 oz. bottle by myself.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy yellow-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, orange citrus hops. In the taste, big citrus hops, and a touch of alcohol, but a nice balance. A small bite of citrus hops and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a nice earthy citrus hop in the aftertaste. I am truly impressed by this beer, I have not really enjoyed and IPL until this one.

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Photo of ZAP
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love Great Lakes beers and this is no different.

Reminds me of a hopped up Dortmunder Gold. The trademark Great Lakes yeast strain is there as is the malt backbone of the Dort...but then there is a pleasant floral/spicey/almost piney hop presence...not overwhelming but just strong enough to add a nice touch...the more I drink this the more the piney notes emerge....

Nicely balanced with a ton of flavor from both the hops and and malt...

Well done....not an all-time great but very enjoyable...if anything slightly overcarbonated as GL beers can be from time to time...just slightly...

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased and drank at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Pours a bright golden yellow, with a billowy 2 inch head and lots of good lacing down the glass.

Smells quite grassy and floral, with some light juicy citrus.

The taste is similar. Midly bitter, with some mild lager yeast flavors, there's a bunch of orange and pineapple hop flavors, plus some grassy bitterness and leafy hop flavors.

Light to medium bodied, crisp mouthfeel, low carbonation. Very drinkable.

This is a new style du jour, and I love it. This is a worthy entrant into the arena.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schizophrenic to its core, is it an IPA? is it a Lager? Maybe its both. And to kick off their 25th year of existence the fine brewers of Great Lakes isn't helping with the confusion- they are exacerbating it!

Like any well made lager, the ale... er- lager pours with a bright straw color and racing carbonation. All that highlights its fluffy white foam cap that builds upon the beer. The only hint of unusualness happens with a modest haze that we'll find point to late addition hops.

Bursts of citrus and grass spring to the nose. With no real caramel scent to ground the hops, the dry cracker-like barley offers up the thinnest of balances to pithy grapefruit, lemon peels, orange zest, leaf and stemmy notes.

Similarly, the short-lived grainy-sweet upstart is soon overridden by sharp and acidic hop notes. White grapefruit, under-ripened oranges, lemons and tart juniper flavor tackle the middle palate and without the carmelly buffer that is normally provided by common IPA. Finishing bitter with the taste of fresh-cut grass, leaf and stem; the beer is a little rough around the edges even if its clean and crisp.

Light in body, the hops make the mouth read the taste of IPA but the beer could be considered more medium if held to more of a lager standard. Early carbonation pulls the beer from the tongue in near champagne-like texture. Then fading quickly into a bone-dry closure of hop-derived astringency and herbal warmth- the beer sure does finish like Lager.

If the beer is a hoppy lager, then it's a fine beer. If its a light bodied IPA, then it's a fine beer. There's nothing about the fusion found here that suggests that it is anything more or less that simply a fine beer. But it is one that makes me think with every sip.

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Photo of Brenden
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A brew with both brightness and clarity, this one is a pure copper color. It grows a creamy off-white head to about one finger and never subsides past half a finger, particularly compact and creamy. Lacing clings to the glass in patches after an impressive ring at the top.
The smell has an extremely interesting component that I can't quite place, somewhat herbal with some earth and grains, beneath a piney and grassy bitterness.
The bitterness is stronger, pithier and more resinous in the flavor. It leans a little herbal into the finish as well with a spiciness. It may be the yeast adding that interesting component, which is also present in the taste. The malts add some breadiness alongside the bitterness. The overall flavor softens a little leading into the finish, but does offer a lingering herb and flowery combination.
The body is light, almost medium, and deep. There's a good smoothness to the consistent crisp bite as each sip rolls on the tongue off a steady carbonation. It's clean overall and goes slightly dry into the herbal finish without getting too chalky.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best before 8/31/13. Pint glass.

Wonderfully clear light bronze-colored beer with a thick collar of dense off-white foam.

Sweet maltiness with a toastiness pecked by blatant citrusy hops. Wallops of orange-y rind, aspirin powder, and some tropical tang. Light floral notes and outreaches of pine. Mostly, a citrus bomb, which is interesting with that toasty grain base.

A hop smack-attack. Lots of citric hop with floral notes; a melange of tangelo, grapefruit, melon, and tropical notes. Has a powdery medicinal note, too. Hot breathy booze remains in the finish, which quells almost all of a rough bitterness in the middle. Sweet malts are still balancing. The toast note has its own bitterness to counter the malt sugars.

Lighter carbonation. Slick and semi-oily body, thanks to the hop oils. Feels smooth, that way. But, it carries a little too much noticeable gravity for my taste.

A hoppy lager with a little bit of a booziness problem. Still a damn fine effort from a stand-up brewery. A bang-up brew. A four-pack is an optimal quantity. Good job, Great Lakes!

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Photo of MilkMan126
4.83/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I was excited to try this beer since it's a milestone beer made by my favorite brewing co. with the ingredients that make up some of my favorite regular beer choices.

Appearance - Pored in a small pilsner glass. Dark amber with a small head that dissipates but decent lacing. The bottle is fun to read and interesting (typical of GLBC).

Smell - Floral hops. You know it's been well hopped but I can sense a malty sweetness. The alcohol comes through too. Love the smell.

Taste - This beer didn't disappoint. It tastes great starting with the sweet malt and quickly after, the Cascade hop bitter comes in. The alcohol provides a twinge and it definitely reminds you that it's 7.5%. It's a very complex flavor. I definitely taste the Dortmunder Gold commonalities from the yeast and grains. It's really a well hopped Dortmunder Gold on steroids. It also reminds me of some APA's I've had but definitely a GLBC beer.

Moutfeel - I would say medium to full body. The hops linger more than anything - and with intensity. It makes me miss the sweet, bready malt flavors from the grain that came through respectably. It's easy to drink though (especially for 7.5%) so I am very quickly returning to the glass for another sip.

This is an outstanding beer. It's late in it's distribution now but if you come across this milestone beer by a world-class no-nonsense brewer from the hard working town of Cleveland, pick it up! I would pay the extra couple bucks if it came in a 6-pack instead.

This was my first beer review.

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Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into standard pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber with decent off-white head.

Smell: Sweet citrus,with orange and grapefruit. Some spiciness. Toast and biscuit that is reminiscent of a Vienna Lager.

Taste: Very citrusy with orange and grapefruit. Like the aroma, the malt backbone reminds me a Vienna Lager, with toast, biscuit and caramel. Fairly bitter finish that is citrusy and spicy and about halfway between an IPA and a Vienna Lager.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body with a dry, crisp finish.

Overall: Interesting hybrid, but this isn't really a Pale Lager. I would describe this as an Imperialized version of Eliot Ness with a boatload of citrusy hops. Which really makes sense as an anniversary beer.

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Photo of ChrisB
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Smooth, bright, citrusy grapefruit. Nice full-bodied mouthfeel and crisp aftertaste without being syrupy. Very drinkable. One of the better beers I've had this year. A 6 of these could go down very enjoyably which is not something that you can say about all 7.5% beers.

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Photo of Omnium
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours an excellent gold color, two finger of sudsy white head, ok lacing.
S - A lot goin on here, lots of citrus and juicy pineapple, even some mango, then some dry pine and earthy hop dankness, along with the lighter lager yeast, and some crackery malt.
T - Those fruit flavors are definitely in here, and to me its like Alchemy Hour had a lager child, big and bold, but there's also a lot of aggressive hop bite that goes long with that, and its almost too strong. But the lager yeast is a little subdued, which is a little disappointing, cause it could have mellowed outed the bite more.
M - Bitter, sticky sweet, and lasting, lot of body to this, but not really smooth.
O - I hope to see more breweries taking on an IPL, but this is really lacking in the lager area, its very reminiscent to Alchemy Hour, but just a little less awesome. It really needs toned down, but if you told someone it was an IPA, they'd believe you.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best by date of 09/02/2013. Excited to try this newest offering from Great Lakes Brewing Co., a brewery that has quickly become one of my favorites.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a light bright coppery orange colored body. Almost an IPA-like appearance. Some fine sediment floating around the glass. About two fingers of doughy off-white head on top. Thick, scattered lacing.

S - Smell is a little different than anticipated: faint earthy hops, some bready malt presence, a bit fruity & floral and a bit of a spicy peppery smell are the most prominent scents here. Bit of soapiness and smells a bit like stale perfume, as strange as that sounds.

T - Taste is of spicy bitter peppery hops, some earth, fresh squeezed peach / mango, clean toasted bready malts, and maybe a hint of rye on the finish. A bit more full-bodied than expected, and exceptionally well-balanced flavors. A bit of alcohol warmth on the finish, with some coppery / metallic aftertaste.

M - Feel is of bitter hop resins, and some alcohol heat. The bottle describes it well: with a dry finish, yet leaves you feeling refreshed. An exceptionally smooth and drinkable beer.

Overall, a highly palatable and interesting beer. Very unique and well-balanced flavors going on here; this is not at all what I was expecting. Bitter and sweet, dry and juicy, fruity and malty, with a modest 7.50% abv, this is definitely another job well-done from Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Silver & Gold IPL ---4/5.

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Great Lakes Silver & Gold IPL from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 368 ratings.
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