Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale | Great Lakes Brewery

120 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 120 | Ratings: 194
Photo of DrinkSlurm
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into nonic pint at the merchant ale house in st catherines Ontario. Deep dark amber color pour with creamy head. Huge pine hop aromas and a tad of roasted malts. Great piney hop and roasted dark malt flavor...its a borderline black ipa but deff not an english ipa. The only thing that makes this English, is the big malt presence. Super what a drinker. Overall a great brew...although not an English pale for the style it stinks...

 468 characters

Photo of HATS4BATS
4.02/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Packs a punch. Deep, opaque amber body with amble carbonation. Inviting, hopped, malted nose; a sign of things to come. Rich, weighted, balanced body full of hops that refines not defines, malt and coffee; never overwhelming, very slightly watery that never gives up its ABV. Smooth, unintrusive finish thing lingers into buttered burnt toast.

 343 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - bubbly amber brown, two fingers of tan head retained very nicely,
S - mild earthy and grassy notes with some grainy and nutty accents
T - front is surprisingly malty with nutty and toffee flavours, followed by earthy and peppery hops with very faint citrus, definitely balanced
M - medium body, somewhat creamy, just a touch of bitterness
O - a very tasty and drinkable pale that is built on hop-malt balance, could use a little more hop prominence in my opinion but it definitely works as is

 496 characters

Photo of featthebeard79beerhead
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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

 413 characters

Photo of joefinnigan15
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Quite dark, one finger head

Smell: HOPS! (very strong, overwhelming)

Taste/feel: if you like hops, this one's for you. Strong bitter aftertaste, but smooth before that

Overall: I'm not a hops fan, so as far as the style i'd say it works. The pale ale style is actually starting to grow on me though

 313 characters

Photo of NV9
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

Much darker than I expected from a pale ale, almost can't see through it, goood finger and a half head that doesn't go to fast and leaves nice lacing.

Smells spicy, brown sugar, almost molasses, strong hops as well.

Lots of hops in the taste, as you'd expect from the smell and composition of the beer. Definite cocoa taste as well.

Heavy carbonaton, a bit bitter aftertaste, malts afterward as well.

I was expecting a bit more from this beer to be honest, seems to be hyped a lot and it's good but not a standout, in my opinion.

 571 characters

Photo of Yeoman9459
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 550 characters

Photo of EgadBananas
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Does pour pretty dark. Rich dark amber, with a light tan frothy head. Tons on lace and retention. There’s a nice floral hop aroma coming off it, with a strong caramel, nutty malt aroma in the back. Light flowery hop bite, and a rich sweet malt profile. Palates a bit on the rich and syrupy side, full bodied. In the end, it’s definitely an enjoyable beer. I think an amber ale would be more fitting of a style here.

 419 characters

Photo of NForr
4.65/5  rDev +25.3%
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.

 562 characters

Photo of karait95
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber color almost reddish can be seen in this beer, head is big enough and creamy formed by very light brown mixed in size bubbles that dissipates slowly leaving lots of traces behind, carbonation is medium but forms a permanent layer on top all the time

S: Hops are very but maybe is the only ingredient that can be distinguished clearly and easily.

T: Hops and malts are sensed at once, also some herbs can be felt on the mouth flavor is complex of course the main part is hops and malts but in the back there are some other things moving.

M: Sensation is intense, bitterness almost since the beginning and it goes all along until the end and after it. It has a good ending that last long in the thong and on the throat.

 737 characters

Photo of bryehn
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

 1,275 characters

Photo of Digimaika2
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a gorgeous clear autumn reddish colour with a creamy two-finger head. Very good retention and exceptional ample lacing.

S: Sticky pine, buttered biscuit-like malts, earth floor muskiness, and toffee. Very enticing with aromas coalescing well.

T: Similar to smell but with a less-intense hoppy pine element than what aromas were indicating. Smooth and buttery malt backbone complimented with that earthy-fungi element and a grapefruit rind taste. An overall satisfying bittersweet taste.

M: Medium body with a medium-low carbonation. Smooth and velvety texture, with a sticky quality.

D: A good English Pale Ale that I'll be picking up again. The high quality of the appearance and aroma really surprised me, and the tall-can packaging is great to see.

 767 characters

Photo of BBP
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing this as a black India pale ale, as that's what my experience was.

Pours a very dark brown. Light gets through my glass from an angle, yet can't penetrate the body. The head is nice and retention is decent. Lacing is fair as well.

The aroma was pungent hops from the beginning. When I opened my can, it made me think that it must be very fresh, as most of Ontario's beer doesn't have the hoppiness that this does. The only other aroma I pick up is dark malt. It seems a tad simple, yet is quite appealing.

The taste is a very nice blend of malt and hops. The balance is superb and it's almost as if you can't get one without the other. The malt takes a bit of precedence in the beginning. Pine and citrus come out more in the aftertaste, while the ultimate finish is a balance of both.

The mouthfeel is Medium full and medium heavy. The finish is slightly to moderately dry and moderately sticky. Perhaps a bit thinner than I'd like.

Overall, this was a surprisingly good beer from Ontario. Great Lakes has actually been represented well in the LCBO, and all my experiences yet have been very positive. I'll gladly try the rest of their selection.

 1,164 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tallboy can picked up from the LCBO. Pours a deep, reddish-copper colour topped with a little more than finger's worth of creamy, mostly-white head. Head retention is quite good, lasting well into the drink, and there is a ton of lacing left on the sides. The aroma leans heavily toward grapefruit-citrus and pine west coast hops; very earthy with some biscuit and caramel malts underneath.

Strongly bitter taste, with more of the aforementioned citrusy-pine sap hoppiness. The malt character is a little light, but it provides a bit of a backbone. A little biscuity, some caramel, toffee, and even a touch of chocolate, but the hops take center stage with their fruity, earthy notes. Medium-bodied, leaning toward the light side, and a bit resiny in the mouth with lingering bitterness. Slight buttery feel. Fairly lightly carbonated so it's not especially crisp.

Tasty stuff, but not balanced like one might expect from an EPA... the hops pretty much take over, making this more of an American-style pale ale. Regardless, this is still quite good, and one of the brewery's better year-round offerings. Something I will look for again.

[Updated May 2 2014]

Another can. I haven't had this one in a while, but this glass has reminded me why I rated it so highly last time. This beer reminds me of a brown ale crossed with an IPA - two of my favourite styles, so it's no wonder I am enjoying it so thoroughly. This is probably Great Lakes' best year-round offering, and a solid strong amber ale all around.

Final Grade: 3.83, a B+.

 1,536 characters

Photo of peensteen
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep ruby red, 1.5 fingers of off white head, lots of lacing left behind. Smell is full of citrus, grapefruit and tangerine, pine notes, fairly big juicy hop profile, bready malt as well, light caramel sweetness. Hoppy, lots of pine up front, sweet biscuity malt, citrus in finish with a nice complimentary caramel in there as well. Med-high carbonation, lightly syrupy, thick feel, med to full body. This has been a go to choice for me for quite some time this can that I am reviewing was canned yesterday and is in top form right now and is probably the best can of this I can remember having, one of the best when fresh.

 623 characters

Photo of SebD
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice copper/amber colour to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down slowly and has very nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of piney and citrusy hops with some bready and caramely malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has caramely malt character to it with some citrusy hops adding a slight bitterness in the back. Maltier than the aroma indicated.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with somewhat of a good balance, just a bit too much malts and not enough hops.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavours and aromas.

 605 characters

Photo of PatLarsen
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

 465 characters

Photo of Stocean1
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nice copper colour, fluffy two finger head, thick sticky lacing

S - lots of resinous pine with some grapefruit and a hefty malt backing.

T - the taste follows the nose although at times it seemed to lack some balance - heavy caramel malt

M - medium body with plenty of carbonation, not overly smooth and dry.

O - This is my second review of this one and I am glad I gave it a second chance. Although my palate has matured I think this was a better brew than the one I sampled earlier this year and I will definitely grab this again from time to time.

 559 characters

Photo of
3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - deep copper with a inch of fluffy off-white head that hangs around and leaves nice Brussels lace.

Smell - tropical fruit and pine hops aromas over a hint of sweet bready malt

Taste - Fruity and sweet. Initially it hits you with the hops - fruity and pine - then it presents a rich malt sweetness with a subtly bitter aftertaste.

 343 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

 1,209 characters

Photo of DoktorZee
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can purchased straight from the brewery. No best before, but is very fresh!

A - deep brown, transparent, clear ale with a tan head and moderately fluffy lacing. No obvious carbonation.

S - grassy hops and not much else on the nose.

T - moderate hoppy bitterness with not much malt backing it. Was expecting more malt, but there wasn't much to be found.

M - light carbonation and a very slightly thick body.

D - nice drinkability, goes down easy if you're down with hoppy beers.

Good Canadian Pale with solid character. Nice cool weather quaffer.

 565 characters

Photo of Roke87
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

473 mL can, slightly chilled and poured into a Duvel tulip

Appearance- Poured a dark dark red amber colour with a massive three fingers of off white head, that very slowly resides but a nice amount of head sticks around till the end, maximum lacing throughout the glass.

Smell- Nice pine and grapefruit smells right off the bat, with a nice sweet smell of caramel malts shining through, can somewhat smell hops but the sweetness dominates in the smell department.

Taste- Just like the smell in all aspects, you’re hit with the pine and fruity flavours in the form of grapefruit, a nice sweet taste from roasted caramel malts, and in the end you get some taste of the hops.

Mouthfeel- A light-medium bodied pale ale, decent carbonation, definitely a smooth and easy drinking.

Overall- I was pleasantly surprised by this one, at first I didn’t think much of it but as it made it to the end I found myself wanting another one. I never really knew these quality brews were available in Ontario, It taste’s almost like an APA but has that nice caramel malt flavour that is present in EPA’s. A very quality brew that I would definitely drink again!

 1,155 characters

Photo of paxkey
2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

666 kilograms of malt
6.66 kilograms of hops
66.6 minutes of boiling
6% abv
6.6.06 date of conception.

i can smell the beer as soon as i crack the can.

poured in a Maredsous chalice. appears a nice reddish hue in the glass with a generous tan head. i see no haze in the glass and the head is hanging around a bit. decent lacing.
gorgeous head with a piney grapefruit aroma wafting off.

some sourness in the nose. a combination of cigar, vinegar and grapejuice. interesting but a little all over the place. a swirl of the glass brings a fresh wave of strong hops. i can sense alot of nice bitterness, but the malt profile underneath is still coming off a bit weird. gonna let it decant a bit.

after 2 minutes the head is reduced to a thin film. the malt aroma subdued but present, and no sign of hops, some more swirling produces more malt and almost no hops. disappointing so far.

hop bitterness is present with a bit of a greasy mouthfeel. the midpalate is all about the uneasy malt and the finish is lingering and mostly just bitter.
this beer tries to balance malt and hops and the two could not contrast more making it less of a balance and more of a fail.

not godawaful, but certainly passable.

 1,205 characters

Photo of marty21
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark brown/red with a 2 finger frothy off white head. Settles to a thin cap and leaves lot's of lacing covering the glass.

S: Caramel malt upfront that finishes strong with citrus and piney hops.

T: Caramel malt with citrus and a hoppy finish.

M: Light carbonation with a medium body. Bit of a bitter finish.

D: It has a really cool looking can and the taste backs it up. It's a really good pale ale that I could continue drinking all night.

 465 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A beer that has been kept in constant supply in my fridge for the last year, as this new hoppier recipe makes this one of the best Pale Ale's readily available in Ontario... noted because this review is of the ale in general, rather than this specific can which offers more lacing than typical!

Beautiful amber colour; hoppy & malty aroma; complex taste profile with a delightful balance between bitter and sweet, as well as a hop kick and very pleasant finish.

Wouldn't choose the devil-themed can and often pour the beer into a glass so as not to upset the neighbours (except around Halloween?), but all in all, an absolutely delightful Ontario beer!

 656 characters

Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
3.71 out of 5 based on 194 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.