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Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale | Great Lakes Brewery

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119 Reviews
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Great Lakes Devil's Pale AleGreat Lakes Devil's Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Released in the fall of 2006, this was our first seasonal ale. However, the incredible response prompted us to make it available all year long on draught and in 473 ml cans. Brewed with 6 select malts and 4 premium hops, it has a rich mahogany colour, reminiscent of early English pale ales. The wonderful hoppy aroma is revealed even before your first sip, followed by a hearty malty body, and culminating with a pronounced bitterness. Prepare yourself for a devilishly good time…

Added by Viggo on 08-12-2006

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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 193
Photo of NForr
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can from the LCBO in Ottawa, I'm from Montreal so I often take a trip to try new beers.

Nice creamy head, good retention. Very dark for a pale ale, could almost pass as a porter. Aromas of floral earthy hops, brown sugar - spicey. Smells like an IPA. Citrusy hop bitterness up front and lingers. It's good. Great full body, creamy and thick. This won't be for everyone, but It's definitely for me. I love English pales, and IPA's - this is a good happy medium. Also a pleasant surprise as I was not expecting much from this one. Wish I bought more then one can.

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Photo of strawalker
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is aged port with a nice foamy off white head that stays at about 1/4 inch till finish. Despite all the assertions that this beer has a malt aroma up front, I get floral hops way up front with a malty, candy base. Taste is a yummy hoppy bite up front with a hint of caramel sweetness in the follow through. Medium body and mouth feel, very drinkable. Good beer, I will be purchasing again.

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - 500ml can poured into a nonic pint glass

Appearance - Pours a dark brown/black colour...a blood red when held up to the light. On top sits an intensely frothy, light brown head, about 2-3 fingers high which seems to last for age. When it does eventually dissipate it leaves behind a very thick trail of lacing.

Smell - Earth and pine and a lot of grain. Nothing spectacular.

Taste - Pine and grains and just a ridiculous amount of malt. Like just wild amounts of malt. not exactly balanced, but no matter. There's quite a bit of hop bitterness here as well.

Mouthfeel - Very grainy texture. Medium body...not too heavy, not too light either. Just right. Low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of PatLarsen
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the can and description on this, and I’m quite impressed they were able to brew the beer with all of those 666 statistics- very cool concept. Pours a clear copper with a foamy off-white head. Aroma of piney hops, caramel malts, citrus, floral notes, and earthy notes. Flavor of pine resin, floral hops, caramel malts, citrus, and wood. Bitter finish. Light-medium bodied, with a resinous mouthfeel and above average carbonation. The devil made me drink it.

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a surprising dark red with oodles of bubbly foam. Loads of sticky lacing, I can still see my first sip.

Aroma is almost all fruity malt, beautiful.

A very malty brew. Dark fruit, fresh brown bread, molasses and burnt caramel. Linerging lightly toasted grain. Slightly disapointing finish, a little wattery going down and nothing where you would expect the hops to provide some sustained bitterness.

Great mouth feel. Low carbonation and chewy in the mouth. Drinkability, I could go for another right now, but I can see getting a little sick of them after more than a couple. A great, surprising beer, will become one of my go-to's.

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Photo of clocktower
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend went on holiday to Ontario and brought this back for me to try.

Poured from 500ml can into a standard pint glass.

Produces about 2 fingers of off dense off-white foam that dissipated somewhat quickly to a thin cap that lasts the duration.

The first thing that comes to the nose is malt. Carmel malt, and lots of it. beyond that is a some sourness and hops and some fruity esters that I couldn't quite identify and some diacetyl.

The first thing I tasted was bitter carmel malt in near perfect balance with the hops, there are some spicy and sour esters lurking within and again diacetyl and a unidentified fruit aroma.

Thick and heavy almost too heavy, but there's a lively fizz to this beer and a nice warming sensation.

Overall this one is slow going, but that's juts fine as it allows you to better enjoy it. It's really a shame that it's not being brewed any more.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent beer, I've had this many times and every time it gets better!

Very dark brown/copper colour nice thick head that slowly dissipates.

Sweet, citrusy smell, almost of pineapples.

Tastes nice and hoppy, various spices hard to distinguis, but tastes alot like pineapples. Very delicious.

Nice smooth mouthfeel, very thirst quenching for an ale, probably the most refreshing IPA I've had. Very drinkable. As long as they keep making this I will buy it, and it's not "retired" they brew it all year round now.

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Photo of Antilochus
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at a Kingston, Ontario LCBO. No freshness statement. 6% abv, 473mL can. Poured into a nosing glass.

Appearance is rich dark brown but clear, coppery notes. Nearly opaque at the thickest part of the glass! Off white foam head that dissipates. Enough carbonation to rejeuvenate it. Super dark for a pale ale! Yes, it isn't a stout... but it sure isn't pale. Oh well. Lacemaker.

Nose has nice citrus hop notes, some floral too. Lots of grapefruit here. Some graininess and alcohol astringency. Sourdough. Maltiness is diverse, as expected from the colour. Caramel candies, brown sugar, maple syrup, diacetyl. Moderate toasted malt. As it sits in the glass hoppiness transitions into these malt notes. Nicely complex and rich for a APA.

Malty palate but not too sweet. Held in check by some clear hop bitterness on the tongue and starchy graininess. Toasted whole wheat bread, some rye too. Yum. A little woody. Carbonated feel for sure, moderate body. Malty finish but not too sweet, like dark chocolate. Some herbiness too. Very organic, some diacetyl. Alcohol is noted but by no means overpowering.

Packaging describes the flavour very well 'hoppy aroma, hearty malty body, pronounced bitterness'. Someone sold their soul to the devil for this one - 4s all around. This is a very tasty APA, very distinctive. I hope this retiree comes back in the future.

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Photo of jaz58
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer should be taken out of retirement for Great Lakes Brewery is brewing it year round now.

WOW what a brew.As dark as a cola in the glass. Frothy blonde head which dissipated quickly. Sweet honey and molasses nose. Well rounded mouthfeel. A hint of butterscotch when drunk and then a ton of long lasting bitters. Really hoppy. A heck of a brew. According to the details on the can 666 kg's of malt, 6.66 kg's of hops were used to make the batch and it was boiled for 66.6 minutes.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up as part of an OCB 4-pack tall can summer mixer pack.

A - Pours a very appealing dark copper brown with a finger of beige off-white head, with solid retention and noticeable lacing.

S - Scent is rather mild, but more noticeable as the pint clears. The caramel malts dominate the scent, though the citrus hops nicely balanced the flavour.

T - Again, rather suprised by this offerng, with the caramel and toffee notes dominating the flavour. These were very nicely complemented by the bitter lemon hops and spices of cinnamon and brown sugar, making a delicious offering.

M - Light, bubbly and smooth. Nothing to complain about here. I was expecting something a little on the dry side, but the flavours and offerings balanced it nicely, making for a delicious balance.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently had this out of the cask at Volo's Cask Days, final session; this is the Devil's Pale Ale 666 out of a can. Dark brown, mahogany in colour with a tan head. Nicely carbonated and with good lacing. The smell on opening is malt, toast, vanilla. Smooth mouthfeel, tasty hint of bitter dark chocolate, almonds. The can messaging tells of 6 select malts and 4 premium hops having gone into this recipe and I can tell you, it shows. The hoppy presence is really entertaining. Very nicely balanced bitterness and malt, like it was on cask, but here with a lingering chicory finish and the odd flash of sweetness, like a fleeting coffee liqueur. As it was in the cask, it's exceptionally well balanced and a pleasure to drink, I score the appearance and smell higher today giving it a higher overall score. As the brewery says, I found this 'devilishly good' on both occasions.

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Photo of bendythumb
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark as sin. Pours with a small thick head. Similar consistency to a stout. A muted smell of hops is present, nothing too unorthodox or particularly distinct for a pale ale. The taste of hops is present at once as the devil's brew enters my mouth. A heavy, heavy taste of malts sets in immediately afterwards, providing balance to the hops. Slightly alcoholic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is sublime - more carbonated than I would have expected for a brew this dark, but quite smooth none the less.

A great local Ontario brew for those that enjoy the more traditional pale ales but aren't afraid to try something different.

At first, I didn't understand why this brew was named the Devil's Pale Ale. After all, it's magnificently balanced and doesn't have an extreme kick, nor does it throw any curveballs. But after kicking back a couple, I noticed that I was rockin' quite the buzz. Perhaps it's smooth feel and balanced taste was more insidious than I had thought; perhaps the Dark Lord was truly behind this splendid ale.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single 473 ml can of this from a beverage store in Niagra On The Lake, Canada when my wife and I went there a few months ago. This can has been sitting in my fridge ever since because I knew when I first picked this up that because it has 666 in its title, I wanted to save this beer to drink and review for my 666th beer review for Beeradvocate.com and now that time has arrived! Poured into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a clear, medium to dark amber color with a slightly tan/off white head that is about 1/2 inch thick or so when first poured. It eventually settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass along with some nice big cluster swirls of foam on the beer's surface. The color is certainly darker than just about any other pale ale I have had before. Aromas of some toasty toasty caramel malt sweetness along with hints of brown sugar and molasses and some piney hops. The flavors pretty much follow suit, with nice roasted caramel malt, brown sugar and molasses sweetness upfront that gives way to a good piney hop bitterness along with some grapefruit citrus. A very nice mix and balance of flavors. The bitterness really lingers after each sip. Has a crisp, yet smooth and frothy, slightly chewy, slightly oily, medium bodied mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. This one really coats the inside of my mouth and hangs around for awhile after each sip. Easy to drink, and you really just want to sip the hell out of this one and feel a bit regretful upon realizing the glass is almost empty. The devil made these guys brew a damn good, solid beer here!


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Photo of iceball585
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, one finger thick fluffy head that lowered to a thin ring around the glass

S- Dark malts, bready, caramel, grains, hint of butterscotch

T- Creamy, caramel malts, sweet, buttery, light fruits, biscuits, herbal bite

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, slight alcohol feel, oily finish

D- Definitely worth getting again

This was a very different pale ale that was packed w/ an interesting combination of flavors. But all those flavors somehow worked very well together.

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Photo of beerbuddah
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this brew from the liquor store, in a can, poured into a pint glass. Simple can, good design, liked the 666 devil stuff.

A - deep, dark brown, some hints of red. Looks delicious. Nice head that recedes to a respectable layer after a bit. After a few sips, I notice that the lacing is quite good.

S - hoppy. some caramel smells coming through.

T - malty at first.Sweet hints of the caramel, and a bit of molasses throughout. The finish is hoppy, but not overpowering. It's a well balanced ale. A full flavor, the bitterness stays on the back of the tongue for a bit.

M - The beer feels good. Good amount of carbonation. As I said, a good well balanced ale is going to feel good, and the taste stays on the tongue - but not forever.

D - good. It's sessionable, the alcohol isn't particularly present.

Recently had a can of Fuller's London Pride, and I think this beer is far and away more superior. Will be picking this beer up again, love that it's a Canadian brew. Give it a try if you can pick it up.

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Photo of Yeoman9459
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a pint glass out of a 500mL can.

Appearance - nice looking, great head, quite dark but you can see the light through it.

Smell - smells good, lots of hops, brown sugar.

Taste - brown sugar comes through, less hop taste than smell but its definitely there. Although i dont think this can was super fresh because i remember more hops the first time i had it.

Mouthfeel - think mouthfeel, medium to full bodied. Not too much carbonation which i find suits this beer well.

Overall - great beer, love the stuff coming out of the brewery.

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Photo of bryehn
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the first Ontario-brewed craft beers I reviewed when I started blogging in the spring of 2010. Let's see how it holds up. I bought it because my local store was out of Crazy Canuck.

Pours a deep and hazy ruby-copper colour with a monstrous and frothy beige head that settles as a rocky collar while leaving some heavy lace behind.

Fresh, piny and citrus hop aromas can be smelled from the second you pop the can and are backed by a toasted caramel base. Floral and soapy notes, along with a hint of raisin in the aroma as well.

Well-balanced taste that's hop forward with a solid toasted malt backing. A cracker or biscuit-like tone and a slight chocolate note can also be detected. Solid bitterness to the finish.

This ale is a bit thin in the mouthfeel with a moderate to heavy carbonation level. A nice oily sensation rolls over the tongue after a pop at the front. The aftertaste is dominated by a bitter citrus flavour, but is also crisp.

It seems like they changed the recipe a bit from when I first tried this beer. It's slightly lower in ABV (6.0%) and has more hop to the aroma. Ironically, after going back to it, I think I like it more than the beer I bought it in place of. People that think Ontario has no good pale ales really ought to try this one.

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Photo of ZorPrime
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received from Bobsy in a recent trade.

A: Dark caramel color, almost brown. Creamy heads.
S: Malts, Caramel. Malt could be slightly roasted.
T: Caramel with a dry, bitter finish.
M: Medium body. Warm in the mouth which suggest the presence of alcohol.
D: Awesome session beer, this is what we should all have in our fridge for day to day!

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Photo of kwjd
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an dark amber-copper colour with thick head that takes a minute to dissipate. Some lacing on the glass. Smells of pine and citrus hops, wow. Nice bitterness in this pale ale. This used to be a below average APA, maybe even an English pale ale. I've heard they either upped the hops or switched to a more aggressive American variety and it completely shows. Make sure you try a fresh can of this, even if you had a can from only a couple months ago it was probably the older recipe. This should almost be a a new entry.

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Photo of Ralphus
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has got significantly better due to new hopping. GLB continues to step up their game.

The color hasn't changed much.. a dark brown reddish ale. But now the head improved with sheets of lacing. The color could be improved a little because it's not terribly interesting but otherwise, no complaints on the head or retention.

The smell is all new.. piney, citrus floral hops are front and centre. Much better.

The taste has been improved by the new hopping as well. Sweet biscuit malts which used to take front stage are now balanced by strong wallup of bitterness. As the beer warms the flavours meld together in a good mixture.

Mouthfeel is great.. seriously smooth and carbonation is bang on. The beer goes down quicky and another is inevitable given the wide availability and excellent canned format.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.04/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Purchased from LCBO for $2.60 CDN.

Appearance - dark mahogany color capped by a nice fluffy two finger tan head. Too dark to see much inside the beer in term bubbles or clarity. Good retention and some sticky lacing left behind.

Smell - mild caramel malts balanced by a leafy hop aroma dominate. It's pretty straightforward, but well executed.

Taste - leafy hop flavours that turn into a grapefruit citrus flavor with some lemon. Some caramel mealtimes in between but this is fairly hop forward for an English ale.

Mouthfeel - smooth and creamy with a dry finish. Reasonable well carbonated and great feel overall.

Overall - this is a beer that isn't outstanding in any area but is just really solid across the board, highly drinkable, with enough hop forward presence for hopheads but a nice balance that will appeal to newer craft beers drinkers. Really solid and should be a staple in my fridge going forward.

Update - Re-reviewed December 6, 2014. Comments are largely the same, but overall, this was even more delicious than the last time I had it. Most of the time when revisiting beers they can only meet (or sometimes fail to live up to) whatever rating I had previously given them. This is one that has a great big flavor bomb especially as far as English ales go. Nothing subtle about it, but really great for my taste buds.

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Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can from the LCBO, stamped on the bottom of the can is C0311, which I believe translates into a March 3, 2011 canning date. Had this one several times, but never formally reviewed it. Doing so now, from a pint glass.

Pours a mahogany, with a couple fingers of sticky and soapy white head. Thick lacing and a mild layer of head remains throughout. Nose has some hops here, lots of pineapple and other tropical notes, mild pine and some malt when sniffing a bit deeper. Taste opens up with the malt, some toffee and bready notes fades again into this tropical hop profile. Loads of malt here with a definite bitterness as it leaves the palate, but not one that's overpowering or potent. Relatively full mouthfeel, medium-low carbonation and a solid offering overall. Great Lakes' best year round, certainly. Definitely not an English Pale however, Lackey has been hopping up alot of stuff as of late and based on some of the other reviews here (and lack of general coherence to what I found in this brew vs. others), I doubt the same product comes out every single time. This certainly works though, and if this beer's flavour profile is maintained, this could see some serious action in my fridge this summer.

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Photo of nighthawk
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear dark orange/red with absolutely no head. Only the barest bubbles clump on the surface. Disappointing.
Smells like dark fruit, hints of alcohol, grains, and toffee. Something vaguely roasted or coffee-like ties the odours together. Tastes like toffee, roasted grains, only the faintest of hop notes adding bitter on the finish. Creamy smooth mouthfeel, nice body to it, low carbonation. Quite drinkable, the alcohol doesn't come through in the taste, so watch out if you're quaffing.
I like this beer, though I'm not 100% certain about its Pale Ale categorization. Based on the description, maybe it's coming in on the Brit end of the equation? I'll have to research (and drink) more deeply.

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Photo of featthebeard79beerhead
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours faomy with a thick off white head lots of lacing very soapy.

Appears very dark red almost brown very appealing.

Odour hoppy and sharp.

Taste of hops and earthy smooth going down with a hint of malt strong finish but fairly balanced.

Decent carbonation and smooth mouth feel. Easily sessionable.

Overall a pretty nice IPA not to hoppy but nice citrus taste and easy finish would definitely drink again

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Photo of wordemupg
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

473ml can poured into pint glass jan7 2010

A clear reddish bronze with a thick thumbs worth of head that fell quickly leaving only a few patches of lace

S quite nutty with some mellow hops and a fair bit of toffee

T again very nutty but I get lots of bread to go along with the hops and sweet caramels

M quite creamy even with low carbonation, a very smooth beer indeed

D went down pretty quick so that has to say something, I would drink this again if I could find it

I love the can this comes in, I don't worship the devil or anything like that but I'd drink his beer if given the chance. I gotta thank adil for shipping this one my way

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Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
3.7 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
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