Apr 3, 2012

Great Lakes Commodore Perry

Great Lakes Commodore Perry photo

Though the arrival of Great Lakes Brewing into the Virginia market may not have had the hype that New Belgium’s foray into The Commonwealth arrived with, it was certainly most welcome. So much so that many of it’s award-winning brews have been in constant rotation in my fridge.

When word arrived that the company’s products would be readily available, my mouth started watering at the prospect of finally getting my hands on their well known porter (Edmund Fitzgerald Porter), but it was this English-style IPA that I sampled first. Commodore Perry is spot on for the style, with a more traditional balance between bready malts and citrus hops. The beer’s 7.5% ABV may not have been all that traditional, but it is well masked, making for a deceptively drinkable brew.


Clear and amber in color the beer rests in the glass with a decent sized, frothy head.


Toasted bread, grapefruit, citrusy zest, spicy hops and a touch of pine resin sit comfortably next to one another within the aroma.


Bready, biscuity malts start things off as the beer transitions smoothly to a solid helping of grapefruit and pine resin. Hints of lemon accompany the moderate level of hop bitterness that fades tortuously slowly in the semi-dry and lasting finish. As stated, the higher level of alcohol is hidden quite well. The medium body and crisp carbonation make for a wholly refreshing and drinkable beer.


Whether you want to call this an English IPA leaning more towards tradition or an East Coast IPA is irrelevant. The brew is outstanding, plain and simple. It’s not overly citrusy/fruity in the hop area, but has more than enough to let you know that it’s ready to tantalize those tastebuds. Easy drinking for the ABV and superbly balanced, the beer will continue to see shelf time in my fridge.


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