MilkmanDan (1943) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - DEC 11, 2003
I'd long wanted to try Great Lakes, and I now understand all the hype. Amazing ale. Nice peach color. Nose is sour, tart, and cidery. Very fruity flavor, peach, apricot, and lots of apple with some spice at the end. Lovely palate, sticky and very vinous, wonderfully thick. Absolutely stellar. aobecksy (700) - Middle of no where, Ohio, USA - NOV 18, 2003
Yowza: beautifully colored with light head, but little lace; honey overtones in smell and taste with added banana and melon in flavor; strong crisp finish. Dorothy I do not think we are in Ohio anymore!! wilkie (1208) - Raleigh, North Carolina, USA - DEC 6, 2003
Very yeasty, spicey nose. Light golden color. Very smooth flavor and light palate. Delicious aftertaste of apple. Very crisp finish. Flipbrewer (33) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 17, 2004
Poured an average sized white colored head that diminished to a thin layer after a few minutes; some lacing. Beautiful clear golden color. Aroma was very "Belgian": spicy with fruity acidity; a whiff of alcohol; a leathery mustiness. Flavor started and finished sweet balanced by a distinct hop bitterness. Spicy fruitiness emerged soon after the start layered with a subtle leatheriness and accompanied by a good hit of alcohol warmth that endured into the aftertaste. Pleasant citrusy and grassy flavors appeared near the finish and lingered long into the aftertaste. I enjoyed this very much. It had the hallmarks that I like in a trippel. At 9.5% ABV this is a beer to savor at a gentle pace. Though the label recommends that it’s best served at 45F I feel it’s a much more pleasant and flavorful experience when quaffed at 55F. Very nice. Thanks Drew! TheBeerOrg (2145) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - MAY 11, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 7, 2006 Pours a deep golden with an ample white head. Aroma with notes of citrus, banana, alcohol, honey, and cloves; a well balanced array of flavors. The fruity yeasty aromas are delightful. Drink this fresh or not at all.
krisbierjaeger (844) - dolores, Colorado, USA - FEB 19, 2004
yeah, bummer. i have a problem with this beer. damn it. it's so tasty that i tend to guzzle my samples before i've rated them. i think that's happened two or three times now (not just tonight mind you-- i've sampled this a few times this winter). but tonight i have a plan. in cases like this i find it useful to open a "dummy" beer alongside a great beer like this one. the enormous pangs to guzzle that the 15th anniversary excites can be temporarily confused and managed by swigging on the dummy-- in this case a non-conflicting and relatively dull widmer hefewiezen. it seems to be working, i finally have a rating: on the color continuum, this goldfinch-bright ale dwells halfway between yellow and orange. head is adequate and the lace is in spangles of big dots like a page of large print braille. aroma is rich with sour dough and tropical fruits, cotton candy, wet plywood, frosted flakes and clove. the feel is at once milk and champagne, substansial and brisk, a sharp attack of honied papaya, tangerine peel, baker's yeast and a chaser of cote du rhone white wine. i'm a sucker for a sweet tripple, and this one is apple cider sweet with a smart crack of alcohol that will stun any brain cells that don't have the sense to get out of the way. yes, hic, at ten per cent, it's a good buzz: and (somewhat) like being trampled by a stampede of dallas cowboy cheerleaders, it's both discombobulating and yet somehow entirely delightful. cewldre (268) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAY 4, 2007
Bottle shared with me from Matt at Riversbend: Thanks Matt. Bottle said it was best by about 3/04, but I think it was still great even now. Poured a nice gold color with a small white head. Smell and taste were both very similar with raisin and plum feel with a bit of banana bite the more I drank. This was not hot, but definitely kept me feeling warm. Very smooth. This was wonderful.
Libeerian (209) - Garner, North Carolina, USA - NOV 28, 2003
I'd just tasted a New Belgium Trippel and thought it decent until I poured a glass of GL. The complexity and depth of flavor and aroma knocked me over. This is one of the best tripels outside of Belgium! muzzlehatch (4969) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 1, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 8, 2004 2003: Bottled. Cloudy, bright orange, ginger-spice in the rather weak nose. Rather sour and tart, heavier than most and low on the sugar; major improvements when close to room temp. Good, but not for me a classic.
jcanj (23) - Michigan, USA - OCT 14, 2004
October 2004, on tap at Great Lakes: gorgeous aroma of sweet brown sugar, sweet apples and bananas...warming calvados on the tongue, mingled with a hint of fresh sour apple, banana, and white pepper, wondrously balanced. Vastly better this time around.
I really like this beer. So very smooth and enjoyable. Lots of enjoyable flavor with fruits and spice. I really hope they brew this beer for a long time because I will keep drinking it.