March 28, 2013 by kylelecl
Hey guys, last Friday my friend and fellow beer enthusiast Jason Kress, Invited me to a free tasting at Premier Gourmet for the Great Lakes Brewery, providing me the opportunity to sample 5 excellent beers, as well as learn a little about the Great Lakes brewery in Cleveland OH. Having only tried the Irish red before, I wasn’t too familiar with the brewery, however after this tasting I can say that every beer I tried was delicious! Each style they offered, Lager, red ale, porter, and IPA seemed to be brewed with love and attention, each beer had separate unique qualities, making this tasting a truly awesome experience. Since there were 5 beers, Ill try to give short and sweet descriptions, well lets get to it!
Poured from the bottle, the color in the cup showed a nice deep amber with a toasted white head. The smell was sweet and malty, slight fruit notes as well as a little hops, but mostly fresh bread smells. The taste was a strong sweet and toasted malts up front, noticeable dark dried fruitiness, balanced with light hopiness and a lingering sweetness. The body is strong carbonation, crisp and clean, slightly dry finish, 6.2% alcohol can be tasted. This beer is very refreshing, a good lager and a nice start to the tasting!
Overall 3.5 Vienna fingers out of 5
and this one was a treat! The color of this brew is true to the name, a nice bright gold with a good sized white head. The aromas I got from the cup were a nice mix of really fresh malts, on the lighter side, floral hops and a bit of pine and earthy notes. The taste was a perfectly achieved balance between light roast malts and a pungent hops, sharp,bitter and slightly sweet with a really clean feel and lingering fresh taste in the mouth. The blend here does well to mask the alcohol at 5.8% ABV, as the beer goes down super smooth. This Lager stays true to the style, however I feel Great lakes has taken it to the next step with super fresh ingredients and expert brewing techniques.
Overall Rating 4.2 Dortmunders out of 5
a nice flavorful full-bodied beer. Poured out into my tasting cup this porter was a deep black, with a nice off white head. The smell was subtle but nice, coffee, oatmeal, chocolate and bit of earthiness. The taste was very complex, a mix of rich coffee beans, dark chocolate bitterness, toasted grains, as well as a tiny bit of raisin in there, these flavors were contrasted with a strong hop presence, not too bitter but very pungent and active in the mouth. This porter was a nice change of pace from others I’ve tried, because its not dominated by just dark malts or coffee as many porters and stouts are, it has a rich and complex mix of flavors going that hide the alcohol content well at 5.8% ABV, goes down well with a medium carbonation.
Overall rating 4.3 great lake shipwrecks out of 5
which i had already tried previously, but surprisingly this time it was tastier off the tap! It poured a nice dark red into my cup, with a thin toasted white head. This beer smelled slightly malty, but not to strong, with strong toasted nuts and caramel notes. The taste followed suit with a strong toasted malts, bit of toffee, caramel, and slight hints of citrus peel along with the bit of hops and slight bitterness as well. The body was medium with a smooth and clean finish, something I noticed of all the beers I tasted at this event. This is a solid ale that I could definitely drink at a tailgating party or BBQ with no alcohol taste noticed even with a 6.5% ABV content.
Overall rating 3.8 Sunburned Irish men out of 5
which was by far the best beer out of the bunch. This beer pours a nice deep orange with red that shines in the light. The smell here was nice, it was fruity, citrus with a big hop presence in the nose. The taste was a bit more complex than any other IPA I’ve tried this far, there was a sweet almost honey like maltiness up front, which was a toasty characteristic that balanced the citrus peel and hop blend going on as well. This IPA was a bit on the darker side with fruity highlights, and a great amount of bitterness on the back-end which does a great job to help mask the high 9.4% ABV content. The body is very carbonated with a lingering warm feeling in the mouth, really nice sipping beer here. This beer stood out from the others in this line up as the most mature and flavorful, definitely the most bitter beer.
Overall 4.5 drunken alchemists out of 5
Heres a quick video on the Porter and the IPA! Watch!
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also check out Great lakes brewery here and read all about there sustainability efforts in keeping a green and healthy environment – http://www.greatlakesbrewing.com