Great Lakes / St. John's Wort Imperial Element | Great Lakes Brewery

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4 Ratings

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 02-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 4 |  Reviews: 4
Photo of bendale
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a Project X bomber with a neck label (no freshness date, but I have the freedom to just ask Jordan...), the beer pours this crazy beautiful deep coppery red. If I were a lingerie maker, all the sexy underware I sold would be this colour, or the colour of Christoffel Nobel. It's that sexy. 2" foamy head settles to a dense layer of foam, like a little duvet to keep the beer comfortable while it waits for me to sip it. And speaking of lingerie, the lace it leaves (while not the right colour, it's slightly off-white), is pretty gorgeous. Aroma is wet sticky piney hops, a bit of lemon peel, and a big dose of sweet malts. A little touch of booze too. Woah, the hops slap you in the mouth like Rick James in a Dave Chappell sketch. Very American, the hops are thick with pine and herbs, and a bit less citrus than in the aroma. Still kind of green and wet, but less sticky than I expected. Hops move from pretty juicy to a nice dry mineral finish that I think I'll still have going when I wake up tomorrow (yeah, it's only 2:30pm....). After the initial hop explosion, you're free to notice a lovely sweet foundation of bready caramelly malts. Actually much sweeter than you would notice, if you didn't specifically look for it. The sweetness doesn't quite keep the hops in check, much like rodeo clowns don't keep the bull in check, but serves to prevent them from doing serious damage. Much like a rodeo clown. This beer is certainly not highly drinkable, to the average beer consumer, but if you like your beers big and aggressive, this would suit you well, and maybe push your limits a little. I won't have trouble finishing the bomber, but I won't be glugging it. A great beer, and hopefully more than a one-off!

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volom and brewed here. A good fruity imperial IPA, very Great Lakes who discovered hops and are now manipulating it in interesting ways. Smooth mouthfeel, lacey. Some hops in nose. Tangy and bitter throughout.Imperial red ale, yes you can make that claim, several cross styles.

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Photo of liamt07
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo, in a tulip.

Poured a reddish-orange with some shades of ruby in there. Good lacing is left, and a collar of retention prevails. Nose is all hops, predominantly citrus; some tangerine and grapefruit come through. Really juicy and mouthwatering, good nose from something made in Ontario! Taste follows, real bitter up front with more citrus hops playing around on my palate. A bit of candy sugar, but this is really hop forward. Dry and bitter, lingering finish. High-medium carbonation, and the alcohol is relatively subdued. Bad decision having this one to start the night off, it's a palate wrecker. Good stuff guys, I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Volo. Described as an Imperial Red Ale. Served in a tulip.

A - Served with a finger of off-white foam that settles to a thick collar and thin haze, leaving behind sheets of lace. Lightly hazed dark ruby body.

S - Plenty of candied citrus, crystalline sugar, cotton candy, and a hint of cat pee. It's hoppy, but not in Nugget Nectar territory. Not sure of the alcohol, but I'd guess 8% or so.

T - Taste is similar. Sugar cookie, toffee, candied citrus, and slightly weird and unpleasant herbaceous note in the finish. Mild bitterness that is style-appropriate. Probably a 3.75 but I want to be supportive of the fledgling craft brew scene in Ontario.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, pleasant texture with only mild grain to it. A bit of light warmth after a half-glass. Not particularly memorable in this area.

D - This went down really easy. Best Ontario beer of the evening and one I wold order again. Glad to see growing proof that Ontario brewers actually know how to hop beers properly (for evidence to the contrary, see Duggan's #99 DIPA). Worth trying if you see it on-tap.

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Great Lakes / St. John's Wort Imperial Element from Great Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 4 ratings