Great Lakes My Bitter Wife IPA | Great Lakes Brewery

very good
29 Reviews
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Great Lakes My Bitter Wife IPAGreat Lakes My Bitter Wife IPA

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 11-30-2009

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 85
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured an orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of bitter hops with nice citrus notes and light piney undertones. Taste is also dominated by bitter hops with some nice citrus notes and some light caramel malt notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Very solid IPA that should be made available more regularly.

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Photo of mick303
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle into stepped glass, colour is light golden, clear and crisp with really solid head retention and lacing. Smell is piney with a strong grapefruit citrus hoppiness, some solid pale malt back, earthy and piney complex hops, interesting, full, complex. Taste is underpinned by a solid bready pale malt body, lots of c hops, oily grapefruit citrus and chai, pine needles, coating bitterness leading to a forward resiny finish. Some complex berry character, huckleberry, dry overall, a bit woody and earthy. Really tasty. Finish is very dry. Mouthfeel is good and full, refreshing style and satisfying resiny character, decent carb. As per style, a well crafted ipa. Overall a quitec impressive 'light' ipa in the aspect of having little caramel malt. Tons of hop complexity and well crafted, worth trying, not the most sessionable ipa, as the finish is a little roughly bitter, but still quite tasty and worth trying. A full on hop fix, with tons of green grassy and piney hops, slightly herbal, well balanced and flavourful throughout.

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

bomber into nonic pint. the bottle reads 7% abv and not 6.5% as listed here. can't find a date code on the bottle

a: an almost fully clear oange or light amber thing going on here. just under a finger of head

s: nice citrusy grapefruit, orange, lemon, mild pine, and malt

t: up front is a sharp and vibrant citrus fruit profile (the aforementioned fruits), but then the bitterness kicks in quickly. oof, this is one bitter wife alright -- she's strongly bitter and stays that way even through the finish. sweet caramel malt comes through mid-palate, but it's not strong enough to ease the harsh bitterness. i'd like a little more balance but this is undeniably tasty

m: medium body and carbonation, slightly creamy

o: has a biting and almost off-putting bitterness, but aside from that, all of the flavours are delicious. definitely not for IPA rookies -- this beer is truly made for the hop heads

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Photo of patre_tim
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Copper hazy, no carbonation, 4 fingers of white head, chunky lacing.

S: Fresh pine, onion, citrus, battery acid, almost an air freshener in freshness.

T: Grape as in white grapes, pine, big bitter quality, white grapefruit, fruitloops. Light breadiness.

M: Medium thick resinous body, medium low carbonation.

O: Really well crafted IPA. Drank June 7, 2014 in Uxbridge where I bought it. Loved going on this brewery’s tour last year with my brother. Great beer, well thought up title in honour of a prohibitionist.

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Photo of SSS
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nice IPA. Reminds me of my own homebrew...

A - hazy golden color, off white head
S - there is a yeast note on the nose, nice sweet hop aroma
T - subtle sweetness at the front with a lingering bitterness aftertaste
M - carbonation is adequate and not overpowering
O - a solid beer that knocks you over the head with its alcohol content

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from LCBO for under $6 CDN. Served cold into a pint glass.

Appearance - orange hued opaque beer with a finger and a bit of frothy white head which settles to a small rocky cap. Some lively bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell - tropical fruits namely citrus based and pineapple and orange peel in particular. Slight earthy smells make and appearance like a forest just after raining.

Taste - tropical fruit namely pineapple and cantaloupe. Mild bitterness throughout counterbalanced by the sweet fruit flavours. A squeeze of lemon zest is in there as well.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and refreshing, medium carbonation, surprisingly light body and moderately dry finish.

Overall - a delicious springtime IPA that I look forward to repeating. Quite honestly one of the best I've had this year.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to hopsolutely for including this in her canbif box.

A: Pours a clear golden orange hue with 1-2 fingers of head that settles to a think layer.

S: Upfront notes of grapefruit followed by fresh pine sap. Slightly floral and lightly sweet pale malts that have hints of orange juice. Mineral notes on the finish. Becomes more floral as it warms.

T: Taste is opposite the taste with front forward acrid pine followed by grapefruit bitters. Middle notes of pale malts that are followed by drying bitterness on the finish.

M: Moderate body with medium level of carbonation.

O: A solid IPA with great grapefruit scents but that would benefit from some more hop flavours

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an enticing glowing copper with a bit of haze. Big perfumey orange and grapefruit notes in the nose. The taste is very hoppy and bitter. Huge amounts of orange, citrus, floral and pine hops mingle to make a very complex and powerful hop profile. A grainy, somewhat tanniny malt profile provide solid balance, always noticeable in the fray. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very coating from all the bitterness. The finish is long and, well gosh golly, bitter.

An excellent American IPA, with great balance. Worth seeking out. Great job GLB!

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(4.0) A: Hazy copper with a tall creamy and bubbly head. Very good retention with sheets of lacing evident as this recedes.

(4.0) S: Grapefruit, orange, pineapple, pine, honey, hints of nuts, and buttered bread. Lot of juicy citrus and tropical fruits and bitter pine lead to a fresh and bold aroma.

(3.75) T: Orange rind, grapefruit pith, pine, herbal-weedy bite on the backend, and bready malt backbone. The dominant flavour is a welcoming citrus rind like taste throughout with a solid bitterness and slight dryness.

(3.75) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Oily and sticky with a bit of texture.

(3.75) D: This is an excellent GLB offering and an IPA that I could easily enjoy again (glad I bought a couple of these). Fresh tasting with a serious pithy-citrus focus and nice pine elements – what’s not to like.

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Photo of Derek69
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The extremely hoppy IPA trend seems to still have life, and I couldnt be happier about it. This has an IBU of 88, which is pretty darned bitter. 650mL bottles for $6 are a real value in my opinion. Pours into a glass very nicely, perfect finger and a half of head and then the citrus aromas just hit you. Your mouth waters before you even taste it.

Very nice lacing around the glass, not an overly heavy beer either, you can drink more than one, but not too many more, i'm sure. The carbonation is far from overpowering. To me it seems like a sessionable early patio season type of beer.

Im also a fan of the marketing and packaging. Great Lakes Brewery has put a caricature of Carrie Nation on the bottle, a very nice touch. They have also announced that they will be releasing this beer every spring, something special to look forward to!

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Photo of ludachris
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Its body is a hazy peachy golden hue; the one for whatever reason I associate with IPA's. Just over a finger's worth of sticky white head forms on top after a quick pour. It doesn't take long before fine legs of lace paste themselves to the sides of the glass.

Boat loads of grapefruit burst from the glass. It's both pithy and fleshy. Sticky notes of pine and resin go hand in hand with its unfiltered look. A twist of lemon peel furthers its citrus quality. A sturdy graham cracker sweetness adds some balance to this classic smelling IPA.

Pine needles and pithy grapefruit waste no time pasting themselves to the back of the palate where an intense flash of bitterness asserts itself. It's more raw, leafy, and earthy with plenty of lingering power. On the exhale comes a soft and comforting chewy breadiness. You have to dig through its raw and bitter quality to find it however. Its grapefruit quality plays a role throughout and that's something I enjoy.

I'm left sticky lipped after each sip, and I appreciate it for that. Its body was not nearly as full as I expected and could use some fleshing out to better support its bitterness. There's a soft creaminess in the middle with an assertive dryness in the finish.

Three years ago, I would have been much more impressed with this IPA coming out of Ontario, especially from an LCBO shelf. Judging it by today's standards, it's good through and through but in my opinion, there's better out there. It comes across as an IPA that's bitter for the sake of being bitter. 88 IBU's is incredible but I don't think the body supports it enough.

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Photo of thehyperduck
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; dated March 25 2014 and listed at 7%. This is an OCB IPA that I've been wanting to try for years now, so I'm thrilled that it has finally managed to make its way to Sarnia - aka, Ontario's armpit.

Pours a foggy golden-amber colour, topped with one finger of frothy, white, relatively short-lived head. Looks ok I guess, but the aroma is where things start to get interesting - extremely citrusy, with lots of pink grapefruit, mandarin orange and floral notes. Very fruity and fresh-smelling, with some light caramel malt sweetness underneath the hop notes.

Not bad, but this one isn't really blowing me away. The citrusy elements - grapefruit, orange pith and lemon - are by far the most dominant facet, with additional hints of peaches, pine sap and pineapple. The malt backbone leaves much to be desired, however, as the light notes of caramel are barely even noticeable through the torrent of bitter hops. Bitter finish, with the resiny astringency lasting well into the aftertaste. Medium in body and slightly oily, with relatively mild carbonation and a smooth, satisfying mouthfeel. Not the most drinkable IPA I've ever had, considering the abv and IBUs, but tasty nonetheless.

Final Grade: 3.93, a solid B+. My Bitter Wife is an excellent IPA, with more citrus-hop goodness and piney bitterness than you can shake a stick at. That being said, it's relatively hefty for the style, and it's definitely not something I'd be interested in drinking all night. The limp malt bill is also a bit of a let-down, but it's one I can live with. All hopheads should absolutely consider this one worth a look, although I'd hesitate to place this one near the top of its class.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear amber. Solid head of sticky, fine bubbles.

S - Nose is pungent orange and grapefruit hops.

T - Bitter, yep. Big grapefruit flavour. Good balancing sweetness and a long, lingering aftertaste of grapefruit rind.

M - Smooth body has some heft. Not too fizzy.

O - I like this but it's far too bitter to drink a lot of. Good flavour and balance.

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Photo of TerryW
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A quite decent IPA. Good balance of bitter fruit and sweetness.

Good looking beer, big head that never gives up, good lacing, slightly hazy golden brew.

Delicious hop aroma, excellent grapefruit nose. Very appetizing, worth the price of admission all on its own.

Really nice balance between bitter hops and sweet malt. Nice and fruity. Big bitter lingering finish will throw some folks off.

A good drinking brew, worth a try. A model IPA.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

From notes.

A - Poured hazy golden. Fantastic thick and pillowy two finger white head. Nice half finger retention and spotty lace rings.

S - Nice 'c' hop aroma. Juicy, grapefruit, sweet fruits, sugar. Lovely. Not really boozy or aggressive. Really nice.

T - Much of the same. Strange towards the end. Not pleasant in the finish. Bitter in the middle as well. Prickly pineapple core.

M - Scratchy, rough finish. Good carbonation, medium body.

O/D - Bitterness was rough. Needed to be tamed and molded a bit better. Aroma was great, just needed some adjusting. Flavour started OK, but went harsh.

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Photo of ssmack
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle into a pint tumbler.

A golden wheat colour that blends to a toffee brown. Medium cloudiness with fine carbonation. Inch and half fine foamy head that last to the beer is gone. Nice fine lacing.

Shapr citrus hops aroma with slight bit of toffeeness. Tells you what is to come next.

A very earthy hops taste. Lives up to the 88 IBUs on the label. Grapefruit is the dominate taste along with oregano and pine. The bitterness is not sharp but nicely rounded.

A medium feel with a bit of creaminess.

There is enough hops here for the most diehard hophead but it is not overwhelming. Great variety in the hops flavours.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from the Ottawa LCBO for $6

Appearance - Slightly hazy golden/amber with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, grapefruit, apricots, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some grapefruit and apricots and lots of bitter resiny hops. It ends with a dry bitter citrus pith hoppy aftertaste.

Overall – Definitely better after it warms up a bit. The scent is fantastic but the flavour was a little bit disappointing. It's not bad by any means, it just doesn't taste as good as it smells. It needs just a touch more sweetness and fruitiness to make it compete with the big boys from the states.

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Photo of biegaman
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great Lakes My Bitter Wife is a looker: all sorts of shades of amber are enveloped in a shimmering golden outline that is buried beneath a mound of froth. The second half of the bomber made things significantly cloudier but also nearly doubled the amount of head and reinforced the glass' already stalwart, intricate buttress of lacing.

If you love hops, be prepared to be tethered to this beer all night. The earthy, herbal notes of this bouquet are far-reaching (not that it stops them from keeping your nose glued to the inside of the glass). Scents of white peach, passionfruit, lemon and mint entice a quick, big first gulp.

The flavour is taken straight from an arboriculture textbook: the leaves, bark, roots and resin of the pine tree are all mapped out, samples of each provided. It is earthy and bitter (and forest-y). Trace elements of grapefruit, pineapple and lemon are also noted alongside chunkier, more substantial tastes of toasted, lightly nutty grain and caramel malt.

The name of the beer might make one chuckle, but the refreshment and gratification felt on the swallow is sure to make any hophead full-on smile - just make sure there's no grass clippings stuck between your teeth! This IPA primes the palate with a minty 'greenness' but ultimately paints it with brushstrokes of a tropical-bright acidity.

Great Lakes My Bitter Wife isn't the IPA I'd commit to until death do us part, but I am sweet on it. It provides all the bitterness and character one could ask from a Double IPA at only a fraction of the alcohol, leaving sufficient room for multiple servings (even in the bomber). Bottom line: nothing to be bitter about here; it gives one all he could ask for.

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Photo of korguy123
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into tulip

Slightly hazy, peach colored pour. Two and a half finger off white head. Lacing is spectacular.

Grapefruit, mango, oranges, cut grass and some light pine bitterness. A little sweetness in the aroma as well.

Bitter pine, grapefruit, tangerine, grape skins and some sweet candied sugar. Good and bitter.

Light body, high carbonation.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle from the Conestoga LCBO. Great to have a bomber IPA in the LCBO, and a damned good'un at that. Angry old crone graces the bottle, with a hatchet, a bible and a scowl that could peel the paint from the walls. Looks like a character out of a Maurice Sendak illustration.

Poured into my Duvel tulip. Lovely amber-ruby in colour, with a generous half inch of head that was both creamy and sturdy. As the temperature rose, this became even more pronounced. Dandy of a beer.

Nose is earthy and quite bitter, with notes of tropical fruit, pine and resin.

Very bitter beer, with a long resin hop finish. Some tropical notes as well - guava and mango, perhaps. A study in citra as well it seems. A highly enjoyable IPA that was tasty throughout the whole bottle. Creamy mouthfeel, very nice carbonation.

GLB is the Harvey Dent of craft breweries - pale and inoffensive (and frankly, terrible) entries that regularly graced the LCBO shelves for years, and a massive underground closet industry of intriguing and tasty brews that get limited release. No more of this, I say! Lead with the strong foot forward, and keep more of these brews on the shelves please. I've aboutfaced on this brewery by now, and so I'm jazzed to see brews like this without having to hit up Toronto.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo.

Orange/amber in colour. Small white head dissipates to a film fairly quickly. Good lacing.

Pine, citrus and damp malt in the nose. Clearly a hop focused beer. Nice but not particularly pungent or remarkable.

Taste, like the nose, is hop focused. Pine, fairly spicy, some grapefruit. Fairly bitter.

Moderate to high carbonation level, medium bodied. A bit oily.

Overall, pretty good. A tasty IPA but not something I would run back to.

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Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

80 ibu cita hopped beer for project X at The Rhino, on tap, called Burt Reynolds IPA. Retooled by the team of brewers from their basic IPA recpe. Hops in the face, in the nose. Good drinkability and bitterness,only a little palate shredding. good taming of the citra hop. Cloudy grapefuit coloured body, only a little head.

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Photo of liamt07
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Project X bottle from the BRewery, 650ml into a tulip.

Pours an orange with some lighter amber highlights. Hazy body and sticky, foamy and solid white head. Great retention and sticky lace. Nose has sweet citrus, juicy orange, tangerine, a hint of grapefruit and a touch of pine. Milder tropical fruit notes as well. Sweet malt component. Taste has bitter orange and pine notes initially, more orange and some tropical fruits meld with a lighter sweet toffee component in the midmouth. Thins to a mildly bitter finish, not overpowering but effective. Decent mouthfeel that feels more malt dominated on the back end.A nice solid, everyday kind of IPA.

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Photo of peensteen
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Volo for the IPA cahllenge

Pours a cloudy deep orange colour, pale orange comes through in the light, very light head, not much lace. Smell is of pine and citrus, tangerine sticks out as well as grapefruit, nice malt presence as well. Taste is hoppy, citrusy with good grapefruit, malt keeps this in check, fairly well balanced, pine comes out in the finish and aftertaste. Nice mouthfeel, fairly oily, slick, medium weight and good carbonation. This was quite good, enjoyed this alot actually.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasting notes from 5/20/11.
Project X bottle obtained from the brewery. Very fresh.
Poured in to Founders Tulip glass.

A - Translucent light to medium yellow colour with a small amount of white head.

S - Robust bitter hop nose up front with grapefruit, orange rind and pine. Some sweet caramel malts in the background but definitely a hop forward IPA nose.

T - A sharp bitterness up front that dominates the palate. Some light citrus and pine notes come through but not nearly to the degree that was expected from the nose. Seems like the hops were used predominantly for bittering and I wish there were more hop flavours coming through the nose. Some light caramel sweetness but overall a very bitter IPA.

M - Medium body. A little light at times. Light carbonation.

O - A decent IPA but I would have liked to see more flavour contribution form the hops.

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Great Lakes My Bitter Wife IPA from Great Lakes Brewery
3.93 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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