Great Lakes Brewing recently arrived to the Triangle area, so having never had their beers before, I felt compelled to give them a shot over the past week. I picked up a bottle of each of their year-round brews that are now available around here: pale ale, IPA, porter and amber. Needless to say, they’re all good. I could easily drink any of them at any time, although the porter now has a special place in my heart.
Burning River Pale Ale – 90 on Beer Advocate
This is definitely hoppier than a normal American pale ale, which you can easily smell, along with some grapefruit. On the tongue, it’s got a little bitterness at the start, but an overall good balance. It almost feels like a subdued IPA.
Commodore Perry IPA – 88 on Beer Advocate
More or less the pale ale, but just slightly more hop-infused. The taste is much more bitter, but not anything that will kill tastebuds. However, one of these will be good enough, especially if you’re having other beers in one sitting.
Eliot Ness Amber Lager – 91 on Beer Advocate
The smell was really good – a sweet caramel, malty backbone. The taste was much the same. It was smooth and sweet, but in a rich kind of way, not sugary. It actually reminded me a bit of Saranac caramel porter.
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter – 95 on Beer Advocate
Smell was nothing but chocolate malt. So good. It was among the stronger chocolate smells I think I’ve ever had in non-chocolate beers. The taste was so, incredibly smooth with no ill effects on the finish. Usually with a porter you’d find some kind of roasted flavor, but not with this.