Review: Great Lakes Brewery - Lake Effect IPA

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7%

IBU: 70

Available at: LCBO

Canadian Brewery of the Year for the last two years.  How?  By making awesome beer, that's how!  Great Lakes has been known for making some pretty spectacular beer, with a strong focus on brewing some stellar IPAs.  Some of my favorite Canadian-brewed IPAs come from these guys: their beautifully named Belgian IPA Audrey Hopburn, their wonderfully balanced tropical fruit-forward Karma Citra IPA, and of course their big and bold Robohop Imperial IPA.  And those are just a few of the long list of IPAs these fine folks put out every year.  While some will say "an IPA is an IPA, why bother with so many?" I have to humbly disagree.  Each one of their IPAs has a distinct flavor profile, and today's blog entry is no different.

Lake Effect pours a deep gold with an orange tinge, forming a huge frothy white head with strong retention and leaves a fine lacing at the end.

The aroma has strong floral notes backed by some citrus and pine resin.  Beneath that, there are also hints of caramel and lightly toasted bread.

As we dive into the taste, there's some light fruitiness akin to orange and grapefruit, lending to a robust citrus bitterness.  Alongside that there are notes of pine and resin, blending in quite well with the citrus.  There is also a light alcohol warmth at the end that brings out a slight caramel sweetness.  This all goes together quite well, with no flavor notes overpowering the rest and everything just blending together beautifully.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with fine carbonation, and there's a massive drying sensation that leaves you coming back for more.

Overall, this is a great American IPA with great balance between resin and citrus notes.  While I'm not one for drinking IPAs in the winter months (I love my stouts and barley wines, we all know that!) this is my fourth can in as many days.  It just keeps me coming back for more.  This is definitely one of the better IPAs available in the LCBO right now, so grab one (or four) and give it a try!

-James