Great Lakes Lake Effect
Great Lakes Brewery

Great Lakes Lake EffectGreat Lakes Lake Effect
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American IPA
Ranked #264
ABV:
7%
Score:
91
Ranked #3,646
Avg:
4.14 | pDev: 8.45%
Reviews:
49
Ratings:
141
From:
Great Lakes Brewery
 
Ontario, Canada
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  9
Gots
  27
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Great Lakes Lake EffectGreat Lakes Lake Effect
Notes: 84 IBU
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 49 | Ratings: 141
Reviews by LilSipper:
Photo of LilSipper
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank these IPA from the tall boy, and very much enjoyed it. As opposed to the Karma Citra IPA that preceded it, the Lake Effect is a bit drier. It's very crisp, perfect for a winter evening.

 191 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured an orangey color ale with a super large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of piney hops is quite dominant with bitter citrus notes also noticeable. Taste is a nice mix of piney hops with light citrus notes with medium bitterness and light sweet residual sugars notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation. Wonderful mix of piney and citrus aromas makes this an IPA that should makes it into regular distribution for GLB.

 459 characters

Photo of TerryW
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A very fine brew. Lots of fruity hoppiness happening. Orange and passionfruit, some earthiness and pine. A fascinating mouthful. Nicely gentle bitter finish. Nose is orange and fruit. Quite appetizing across the board. Decent looking, soft hazy gold and a steady curtain of fine lace.

This one is definitely worth a try. Pleasurable drinking.

 344 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Post-IPA challenge. A big IBU, big bitterness, very tasty. Neutral aroma. Backed up by a decent malt backbone. a reddish tinge to this one.Good citrus taste, satisfying finish.Average mouthfeel. Good drinkability.In a word, solid representative of the style.

 258 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at the Victory Cafe in Toronto, this is from notes.

Glowing peach color with some haze and frothy bone colored cap. Swathes of lace coat the glass. Big tropical, mango, apricot flavor in the nose. Grapefruit is in abundance along with the tropical notes in the taste, as is a slight herbal dill, nearly garlic flavor. Its very light and doesn't detract from the taste. I've also tried it in bombers and picked up the same flavor. The mouthfeel is full bodied and highly carbonated. The finish is moderately bitter and fruity, with some malt sweetness.

This is a good IPA, lots of interesting hop flavors going on. It kind of reminds me of Green Flash Imperial IPA with a similar savory flavor from the Summit hops. I'll definitely try it again.

 769 characters

Photo of Derek
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprisingly floral, pleasant bitterness, some alcohol warmth. There are some tropical hop flavours, but I could go for more hops and a bit less booze. Good brew, but not their best IPA.

 188 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lake Effect, befitting to its name, pours with a misty complexion and a tsunami of head that leaves waves of lacing on the glass. Sure enough, this ultra-citric, tropical fruit-laden beer looks like a glass of pineapple or pulpy orange juice. This beer makes describing itself easy.

The aroma has zingy, exotic citrus fruit flavours that include guava and gooseberry as well as the more familiar orange, papaya, and grapefruit. It's also got a brushstroke of pine glossing and remarkably vivid mintiness. Malts provide notes of burnt custard and toffee biscuits.

Lake Effect tastes like a citrus fruit that's been turned inside out; it's like eating the peel of an orange instead of the flesh. It features the acidity, the pith, the skin - all but the juicy flesh of the fruit. Still, it has enough mango, papaya, and pineapple taste to be extremely agreeable.

Drinking the beer is incredibly reminiscent of drinking mango or peach puree; it is pulpy and tropical. There's also a strong acidity, like someone spiked the smoothie with grapefruit juice. Big globs of caramel are tasted too. But it's not all sweet: there's a drying, pithy, leafy bitterness and also occasional shots of a pinesol-like alcohol note.

For years I had to drive from Toronto to Buffalo to find IPAs; I spent many afternoons and evenings on that same Elmwood Avenue stoop that inspired this beer (which really should have just been called "Cole's IPA"). Fond memories aside, it's good to know I no longer *have* to go all that way for a hop fix anymore. This is exactly the kind of IPA this market needs year-round.

 1,597 characters

Photo of cratez
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Lake Effect IPA - 7% ABV American IPA - Consumed December 4, 2014.

A: Clear amber hue with two fingers of white froth and several strands of lacing on the IPA glass. A few bubbles in the body. Head and lace retain for the duration of the beer. A near-flawless look.

S: Huge citric, fruity, and resiny-oily hop aromas with peach, apricot, nectarine and orange rind upfront; lemon zest, caramel, and grapefruit notes follow with a light woodiness in the background. Awesome hop-forward nose, bang on for the style.

T: Woodsy, citric, and peachy hop flavours; caramel, nectarine, sugary malt, and orangey-lemony notes mid-palate; oily-resiny and drying-bitter finish lingers for a while. Beautifully integrated and bold hop flavours without too much bitterness. A stellar US-style IPA.

M: Light side of medium bodied, slick and oily middle, resinous and drying-bitter finish lingers long with more peach, citrus, and woody notes on the cough. Good palate, but it's a bit thin for the weight.

O: Definitely one of the top IPAs brewed in Ontario with its massive hop flavours and complex, layered aromas. Quite the impressive brew.

 1,145 characters

Photo of Mit
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Pours a golden clear colour with a creamy head.

The bouquet is dominated by the grapefruit hoppiness....did not get much else.....my nose is pretty stuffed up in winter.

Upon first sip i noticed the the hops are kinda muted. Its a little watery with the hops bringing a spicey flavour in tje back of the throat.

Seems a little thin for the abv.

Overall i found this a little weaker than other offerings. I would buy it again as i expect it to improve.

 457 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. Having enjoyed pretty much all of the other Tank Ten Series beers that I've tried, this one was pretty much an automatic buy.

Pours a hazy orange-amber colour, capped off with one finger of dense, resilient eggshell-white froth. It gradually seeps away, leaving behind a bubbly film on the surface and a thick, foamy collar crowned by a thin circle of lace. The aroma has a strong tropical fruit theme going on, exemplified by notes of pineapple, mandarin orange, grapefruit and apricot, overlying malty notes of brown sugar and honey. A little piney, with maybe a hint of lemon oil.

After drinking a glass of pale lager, this bold-tasting beer really woke my tastes buds up. The malt backbone is a touch sturdier than some brews of this ilk - a little biscuity, with toffee, honey and a pastry crust-like sweetness that provides a base capable of standing up to the mighty hop flavours that follow. There is a lot of apricot, but as was the case on the nose, tropical fruits rule the day here with plenty of juicy pineapple, passionfruit and citrusy pink grapefruit and orange. Toward the finish, it becomes increasingly pithy, resiny, piney, and just plain bitter, leading into a dry aftertaste that retains a touch of alcoholic warmth. Medium-bodied, with gentle carbonation that barely prickles the tongue, and an exceptionally smooth, luxurious feel on the palate. This beer is just a pleasure to sip, and dangerously drinkable because of that.

Great Lakes' Lake Effect is absolutely delicious, and easily one of the best IPAs I've had the opportunity to try in 2014. I've heard good things about this brewery and its hopped beers for a couple of years now, and I think I'm finally starting to understand why.

[Updated Jan 19 2016]

I'm comparing a few of my top-ranked Ontario IPAs - mostly to see if there's any need for me to re-adjust their relative scores. The tallboy can of Lake Effect that I picked up is drinking as beautifully as last year's batch, there's no doubt of that. In fact, I can't think of any other Ontario IPAs that I would select over this one - save for maybe Thrust! A must-try for hopheads.

Final Grade: 4.48, an A.

 2,210 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the Bloor/Runnymede LCBO. Served in Cantillon tulip.

A - Big, creamy, foam settles to a chunky cap, leaving behind copious lace. Hazed peach body.

S - Loads of tropical fruit, with melon, papaya, pineapple and passion fruit over top of a sugary malt backdrop. Perhaps a touch of grapefruit rind to keep things from getting overly sweet.

T - The taste has a bit more earthy and bitter hopping, with less fruit juiciness and a bit more citrus zest to it. Malt is a bit more bready and peripheral here as well; perhaps a tad crackery.

M - Medium body that seems a tad light for the listed 7%. Pleasant, moderate carbonation, with a bit of grit to the texture. No perceptible alcohol, and some mild residual oiliness on the palate.

D - Nice IPA. Hope they make it regularly, as it's a step up from other Ontario offerings in this category. I'm a bit perplexed by the 750ml format though; seems like it would be better in pint-sized cans.

 950 characters

Photo of papat444
3.85/5  rDev -7%

Thanks to jrenihan for this. Poured from a bomber.

Super fresh citrus aroma mixed with papaya, sweet peaches and lemon zest. Flavor has an initial sweet hop kick then relents to malt. Bit of a clean and conservative IPA. Could stand to color outside of the lines a bit :)

 272 characters

Photo of Electros
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of irishkyle21
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cyrenaica
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

550ml draught
6.8% ABV

I tried this beer on draught on June 8, 2012 at "C'est What" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a slightly hazed medium gold with a thin creamy cap that laced well. The aroma was grainy malt, grapefruity hops, and some mango/pineapple notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Flavour is very citrusy with the grapefruit hops up front, and the tropical fruit tones less pronounced, but still there.

 449 characters

Photo of CanuckRover
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an attractive orange. Loose bubbly head.

Rather light zesty aroma.

Laid back aroma doesn't hint at the rather strong flavours in this one. Big zesty citrus fruit, grapefruit but with a decent amount of fruity orange. Some honey malt sweetness in there, but hops carry the day.

A straightforward IPA with juicy tropical fruits if you get it fresh enough.

 362 characters

Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint. Special thanks as always to TheSevenDuffs for the awesome Project X releases.

Bottled 6/15/2012
Drank and reviewed 6/20/2012

A- Slightly hazy golden pour with orange highlights. Two finger, super soapy, egg shell head. Lacing is incredible.

S- Massive hit of tropical fruits; Mango, pineapple and strawberries. There is a pine bitterness than is quickly followed by a mandarin and grapefruit citrus blast. Sweet malt backing.

T- Huge bitter kick in the teeth. Citrus and pine with a sweet malt finish and a dry bitter finish.

M- Light bodied, good carbonation.

O- These Project X beers are impressing me more and more with every new bottle. Thanks to Marcus for being my Great Lakes hookup!

 715 characters

Photo of timeo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of ludachris
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Its unfiltered honey amber body is topped with just over a finger's worth of fluffy off-white head. It doesn't stick around for long but it does leave thick legs of lace as it recedes. A standard looking IPA.

Oh wow, the smell took me by surprise. This is bursting with fruitiness. Fresh and juicy mandarin orange, fleshy grapefruit, and a smell that I can best describe as fruity pebbles, and there's heaps of that. Odell's Myrcenary came to mind right away, and that sits right next to Heady Topper for me in the DIPA category. There's a light breadiness backing the extremely fruity hop forward body. This is an incredibly smelling IPA.

The more bitter, pithy sides of the fruitiness come forward in the taste. Grapefruit and orange are equally prominent. Resinous pine notes come into the picture as well, pasting themselves at the back of the palate. That "fruity pebble" character situates itself at the center of everything, helping to maintain the sweet fruity character without imparting any further bitterness. There's a flash of biscuity malt midway through. It does well at being a counter balance and at no point does it take away from the hoppy goodness.

What I first notice about the mouthfeel is how clean it is. Its void of any sticky, resinous, or sappy feeling that can come with IPA's, especially as the creep up the ABV ladder. Its fruit forward hoppiness is wrapped up in a crisp package that goes out almost as fast as it comes in. Its dryness is clear but not biting, making it quite refreshing.

This is the best LCBO bought Ontario crafted IPA I've had to date. I've always heard that the small batch beers Lackey and the rest of the team produce at Great Lakes are much better than their more mainstream offerings. This beer for me attests to that. I'm so happy to see Ontario crafted beers such as these making it onto the shelves. Huge thumbs up!

 1,879 characters

Photo of yasky
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wordemupg
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

650ml bomber poured into tulip 28/6/12 cheers liamt07 for shipping me the bottle

A murky dark orange with just enough clarity too see some bubbles feeding a solid three finger cream colored foam that quickly falls to a thick film and stays as such, a few partial rings of lace

S mango, pineapple, canned peaches and a little pink grapefruit, slight pine and caramel malt but its mostly a tropical hop bomb and I love it
some sweet orange comes out as it warms

T heavy on the grapefruit rind but not everything else I smell is there, pine resin comes out a little stronger and there's some very faint booze still very solid but lacking a little the nose had going for it

M fairly full for the color with creamy carbonation, has a nice bitter bite too it and leaves a fair bit behind in your mouth, as a result there's a lingering finish and no heat shes smooth

O great example of the style that's going down a little too fast, its a bit of a enamel stripping hop bomb but I'm more then OK with that

I'm pretty stoked I have several more Project X beers to drink through thanks too liamt07, it would seem this brewery is underrated or perhaps just unknown to us Westerners

 1,180 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of bylerteck
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours cloudy golden with floaty bits. One finger of fluffy off white head. Good carbonation coming up. Good spotty lace, half finger retention.

S - Nice fruitiness, mango, pine, pineapple.

T - Quite piney. Lot's of citrus and pinesol. Sweet malt but a good bashing of hops. Orange present.

M - Good carbonaiton at the lighter end of medium. Medium to full bodied. A farily gripping bitterness.

O/D - This was a pleasant surprise from Great Lakes and another step in the right direction for hoppy Ontario beers. Not the craziest IPA, but it hits the spot.

 564 characters

Photo of WeedKing4
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle pours a semi dark, hazy golden orange with good carbonation. Tastes of slightly tropical fruits with some pine and a slight citrus hoppy finish. A nice mouthfeel overall and it would be a very sessionable beer. Definately a quality beer from Ontario. Glad to see the times are changing, just with availability would improve.

 338 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Volo, 400ml pour into a tulip.

Pours a fairly clear gold with some orange highlights. A nice white head with some modest retention and good lace. Nose is quite nicely hopped, lots of citrus and fruit notes. Some peaches, nectarine, mango. A light malt character and really juicy on the whole. A touch of herbal pine. Taste has some bitter pine, juicy mango, peach and peach pit notes. Light caramel/butterscotch sweetness and pale malt, that takes a big backseat to the hops. Solid flavour and great profile. Lighter medium feel and medium carbonation. Good bitterness in the finish - quite nice all 'round.

 618 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Great Lakes Lake Effect from Great Lakes Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 141 ratings