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Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Co.
City – State- Country: Cleveland, OH USA
Style: Imperial IPA
Alcohol by Volume: 9.1%
Release/Date: Best by 7-17-2012 marked on bottle
Reviewed By: Dave
INFORMATION: Lake Erie Monster is a summer seasonal beer by Great Lakes Brewing Co available May – July. Legend has it that South Bay Bessie still roams the shallow waters of Lake Erie to this very day. This brew is strong, like monster strong, and unfiltered to boot. Enough to live up to the legend? Well, lets set sail and find out.
APPEARANCE: Pours a slightly murky orange. Not too cloudy, but enough to give you a thick appearance. Off-white head that gave off about 1 finger of head. Dissipates at a slow rate to about a millimeter of continuous lace throughout the drinking session.
AROMA: I first get some pine resin, followed up by oranges, pineapples and a very light malty aroma. Overall a very robust aroma. Great first impression.
TASTE: I’m a bit surprised by the blast of boozy alcohol that hits me immediately. The 9.1% ABV is not hidden at all. I then get some piney hops followed by a very mild flowery hop flavor. There is an basement-like earthy taste that is present throughout. However, I have to say that overall the alcohol is overwhelming the hops. I let this one sit for about 15 minutes and gave it another taste. As LEM warms the pine hops seem to become more prominent and the alcohol takes a back seat. This was a relief. Upon first sip I was taken back like a bee stung my tongue, but after a few minutes it simmers down and the hops start to shine.
MOUTHFEEL: Sticky and almost filmy with a moderately full body, and medium carbonation.
DAVE’S BOTTOM LINE: I will say this, Lake Erie Monster is a “monster” of a brew. At 9.1% it really packs a punch and it is not shy about it. The piney flavor slightly reminds me of Sixpoint Resin, but with a little bit more sting from the alcohol. Not to mention they are both 9.1% as well. Overall this is a beer that I look forward to every year. Living along Lake Erie it is a must drink for the summer season. I do feel that it is not as chunky as previous years, but that is not necessarily a bad thing just different. A nice change of pace in the DIPA world. I would pair this up with something spicy like a some charcoal grilled hot Italian sausage with sauteed peppers and onions on a fresh sub roll topped with spicy stone ground mustard.
Score: 3.75 out of 5