The Enthusiast and I had met my sibling and family at the Cleveland Zoo and headed to the Great Lakes brewpub for dinner (bratwurst and pirogies). And, of course, to finally sample Lake Erie Monster from the tap.
This unfiltered Imperial IPA has vibrant tinges of grapefruit. The hop bitterness tantalizes the taste buds beneath the citrusy sweetness. It is a smooth, yet full-bodied ale that gives no hint of its 9.1 percent ABV until its too late. I downed my first round and was halfway through my second when I realized, "Hey, maybe I should slow down so I can drive home."
I had actually snared the Monster in bottle form at the local fancypants grocer on Saturday as we watched Team USA not lose to England in their first game of the World Cup.
My first taste of the Monster was quite enjoyable. However, I pulled a Pepsi Challenge and drank a bottle at home after sampling it on draught at the brewery. It tasted like a totally different beer. The IBU profile seems to jump up from tap to bottle. The hops really punch through, nearing my too-hoppy boundary. Perhaps the Monster would be another good candidate for my first attempt at cellaring a beer.
At a Glance
- Who: Lake Erie Monster (Great Lakes Brewing Co.)
- What: 9.1 percent ABV, Imperial IPA, 12-ounce bottle, draught
- When: June 12-14, 2010
- Where: Home, Great Lakes Brewpub
- Why: I am Ahab, only better
[Drunkard's note: The Booze Hounds Beer Rating scale (0-5 Hiccups) is based on a complex mathematical formula that would be impossible to explain to such a dunderheaded audience. Let's just say the higher the score, the more likely I am to drink it again. Natty Light would get a zero.]