Today’s beer comes from Great Lakes Brewing out of Cleveland, Ohio. I gotta be honest, Great Lakes is probably the best thing to come out of Cleveland, right after Drew Carey of course. I don’t ever remember having a beer from them that I didn’t enjoy. Lake Erie Monster, an Imperial IPA, might be my new favorite from them.
Lake Erie Monster pours a mesmerizing amber honey color that creates about an inch of fluffy white head when poured into a nonic glass. Unfortunately, that glass was now in the dishwasher, so the picture features a basic mug that did not keep the same kind of head and lacing on the glass. Remember kids, proper glassware is important, although any glass is better than no glass. The beer carries and hefty 9.5% ABV complemented by a boisterous 80 IBU rating. I should mention that I love a high IBU rating in my beers.
My senses are on high alert with this beer. First of all, it just looks like a beer I’m about to really enjoy. Then after pouring the beer, my olfactory organs are letting my gustatory system know, “Hey man, get ready!” And ohhhh boy, were they right. The bitterness hits almost right away but is quickly followed up by a rush of tropical fruits. I also am getting just a hint of the boozy 9.5% vapor coming up through my nose. It has a light, crisp mouthfeel with a clean, lightly caramel sweet finish.
Lake Erie Monster is my kind of beer. It has everything I’m looking for — hoppy bitterness, tropical flavors, sweet finish, and high ABV — all while managing to stay extremely balanced. The balance is always key in these stronger beers. I rate it a 9.2/10.