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Green Lakes Organic Ale - Deschutes Brewery

Not Rated.
Green Lakes Organic AleGreen Lakes Organic Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

191 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 348
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 7
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 12-30-2007

Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 45
View: Beers (158) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 191 | Hads: 348
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at Boulders on Broadway. A drinkable pleasant beer, although served a bit too cold.Better as it warms. Body is amber and mahogoney, with off-white head, leaving lace. Above average mouthfeel, some unfortunately from above average carbonation. Fruity taste, tastes somewhat like a British strong.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at the Whole Foods in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. I picked this one up because I have never seen it in California.

Best by 1/24/12.

Pours a clear amber color with a 1 inch puffy bone colored head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots and streaks of lace drip back down into the beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruits, and some citrus zest and herbal hop aromas. Taste is of sweet malt, fruits, and herbal/citrus zest hops. A mild bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good amber ale that is very easy to drink. Being organic just adds a cherry on top.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

way more of a pale than an ember for me, pours lighter and clear as can be. good 2 inch white lace head. smell is that of an amber, malty and sweet, but with a complex depth. tobacco in the nose as well, but not in the burned form, just fresh and pungent. wet. flavor is less intense, a good balance of the amber malts and the fresh tasting hops. just a good solid ale in my mind here. mouthfeel is nice, bright and a little filling, but drinkable as a first couple beers. everything deschutes is gold, and this is no exception, props for organic too!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice, slightly muddied amber color with a nice head. The aroma is pretty plain with some light toffee and caramel plus some mild citrus and herbal notes. Taste is along the same lines, not straying too far in any direction. Good bitterness and body. Nothing exceptional here, just a well made beer that drinks really well.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a massive, rocky head that leaves a lot of clumpage on the pint glass

Smell: Packed with caramel aromatics and and underpinning of candied citrus

Taste: Opens with a lot of caramel flavor but balances out, by mid-palate, with plenty of candied citrus hops; plenty of residual sweetness lingers into the aftertaste but the hops do a fine job of balancing the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Normally, I shy away from Ambers but the folks at Deschutes could make this beer a regular in my lineup, if I had such a thing; there are only a few Ambers that have impressed me and this is one of them

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Photo of largadeer
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark but clear amber with an off-white head. Head retention could be stronger, but it doesn't disappear entirely.

Smell - Toasty and semi-sweet. A touch of citrus and pine from the hops. Pretty mild.

Taste/mouthfeel - Toast and caramel malt flavors are evenly balanced with zesty, herbal hops. The finish leaves a light hoppy bitterness on the back of the tongue, mild but pleasant. This is a bit bolder than the average amber. Crisp and medium-bodied. Easy to drink and well made, but nothing outstanding. This style of beer often seems very middle of the road to me, and this one is no exception.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, from a Safeway in Bozeman, Montana.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of decently foamy beige head, which leaves some nice undergrowth lace around the glass as it slips away. It smells of caramel malt, some sweet sultana raisin, mild pine-sol, and some fruit-loops hops - quite nice for an amber ale. The taste is earthy, leafy, surprisingly bitter hops, bready caramel malt, and some once-again, late-arriving fruity hops. The carbonation is pretty even-handed, the body medium weight, and soothing in its edgy smoothness. It finishes with a push to the dry side of things, the sweetness trailing off, yet losing nothing in the way of flavour.

Wow. 'Organic' has left me wanting more often than not in the beer appreciation sense lately. Not here - this a nice West Coast amber ale - just hoppy enough, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunset orange with just enough coral red to make it even more interesting. The unfiltered yeastiness looks great, as does the fantastic looking head. It's orangish ivory in color and is amazingly sticky. The glass is chock full of bubbly lace that easily qualifies as eye candy.

The aroma is full-to-bursting with both malt and hops. GLOA smells lightly toasted bready and earthy-herbal hoppy. The hops are Crystal and Salmon-Safe Sterling. Can't hurt the little fishies... especially since salmon is my favorite seafood. Wait just a second. Killing them and eating them is hurting them, isn't it? Damn.

It takes quite a bit for an amber ale to impress this hophead. After one mouthful of Green Lakes Organic Ale, color me impressed. The beer is beautifully hoppy, but doesn't neglect its malt side in the least. 'Both sides of the scale weighted down' balanced beer is best. And only 5.2%. These guys can brew their asses off.

The malt tastes mostly pale, with a side order of toasted brown bread (probably Munich) and caramel/toffee. Herbal, fruity, green tea-like hops dominate, while still allowing the malt to be easily appreciated. This is a classic amber that deserves to be released on a regular basis. It looks like Deschutes agrees, because six-packs are now available. Lucky Oregonians.

The body/mouthfeel, like everything else, is spot-on. It's both light-medium and creamily expansive... not an easy combination to pull off. Why can't all craft brewers be this talented?

Deschutes deserves major respect. Never mind the mindblowing excellence of The Abyss, they churn out righteous brew after righteous brew right up and down the style ladder. Green Lakes Organic Ale is one of the best ambers in recent memory. It's also an easy recommendation to anyone who loves expertly-crafted beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass a clear amber with a thin but pretty well sustained white head,aromas are subtle but there is a noticeable herbal hop note along with some toastiness.Flavors of herbal and citric hop although not overpowering,is a main component of the beer,toasty with some toffee notes as well.A quaffing slightly hopped up amber,its something to drink on all CHRISTmas eve.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-amber body with a small, bubbly white head.

Smell: Mild toasted toffee aroma with some herbal hop scents with a slice or two of lemon.

Taste: Toffee-tasting maltiness with a mild sweetness. Herbal, grassy hop flavor with a cup of fresh-brewed green tea. Medium bitterness. Light acidity. Finishes dry with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Sadly, it's kinda watery.

Drinkability: A decent, mild organic amber.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

I think VDubb's getting a touch mean in his directives, especially after the last organic amber he had me crack. This one pours a clear russet amber topped by a large, thick, off-white froth. The nose is laden with floral hops, with some greens (mostly spinach) and a touch of toffee to accomp'ny them. Rock on, Bobby. The greens and flowers remain in power on the tongue, with the toffee once again playing the Submissive in this S & M tableau. Unfortunately, the florals are rather one-dimensional and border on the chalky after a while. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Y'know, I went into these organic ambers with an open mind, but they have both been disappointments, generally speaking. I may have to seek out the tasty organics, much like Woody is seeking out the tasty CANs. Time will tell, baby.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2 fingers of thick off-white colored head. Rich and frothy look to both the retention and lacing. The aroma is lightly floral and leafy, with a touch of citric hops and some gentle smokey malt tang. I'm getting flavors out of this but it's a bit of a chore. Just not a whole lot of strength to the nose.

The taste is green citrus mixed with some lightly toasted grainy caramel sweetness. A moderate tingle of spicy bitterness gives the profile a bit of a pop on the palate. VERY dry finish on this. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a certain amount of sharpness to the carbonation but this smoothes out into a much creamier feel as it warms. Pretty easy drinking overall for a 5% beer.

Beyond the lack of a robust nose, this was pretty smooth, unoffensive, and drinkable. Another tasty and easily sessionable pick here from Deschutes.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.71/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A small light tan head quickly dies into a decent lacing above a clear reddish copper colored beer.

Not much to the aroma on this beer, getting maybe some light sweet caramel malts, and that's about it.

Light roasted caramel malts dominate the taste with just a bit of hops sneaking in to give this some balance.

A dryish aftertaste with just a touch of caramel malts hanging around on this medium bodied beer.

An easy drinking beer with a light caramel malt taste, not bad, I'll have another.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Orval goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. I'm a bit wary of the whole "organic" beer movement, but I do trust Deschutes. My bottle (2011) is labelled 5.3%.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and decent thickness, but merely okay retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark amber.

Sm: Amber hops, light caramelized malt, and light grassy floral notes. Also unexpected light nuts. A moderate strength aroma.

T: More hoppy than expected, lending it an unexpected and largely unwelcome bitterness that persists until the third act. The malts are its best feature, and are well handled and perchance slightly toasted. The caramel is slight if present, which may actually be a good thing. I wouldn't call it balanced, but it's decently built. Not refreshing or particularly pleasant, but nonetheless enjoyable. No alcohol comes through (predictably).

Mf: Alternating smoothness and coarseness, ending on coarseness - which isn't particularly suitable for the flavours (or style!). It's wet, but falls short of refreshing. Some of the notes feel stale as a result of the texture.

Dr: On account of the hops, this would age poorly. Its balance is its weak point. It isn't real drinkable on account of the coarseness, but the flavour is alright. This may be one of the worst Deschutes beers I've had, but that isn't saying a whole lot. I'd try it on draught if I came across it, but otherwise it's largely unremarkable. Would pair well with spicy food.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Deschutes, Portland, OR

Poured a darker amber color with a thin whitish head; decent lacing, moderately carbonated. Thin aroma of toasted malts, light notes of herbal hops and citrus. Taste of toasted bread and light caramel or honey, herbal, grassy, some tea-like essence, but not too heavy on that, mild but slightly bitter in the finish. Light-medium body, and decently drinkable overall.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel with 2 fingers of rocky sand colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Breadyness & caramel

T: Caramel, biscuitty malt & dryness up front. Slight citric hops, more prominent herbal hops more caramel & slight grainyness as this warms. Finishes dry with some caramel & grainyess. plus a bit of citric hop, & bit of wateryness at very end

MF: Light/Medium bodied with minimal carbonation, & good balance

Drinks pretty easy, not the best red I've ever had, but pretty good. Deschutes has produced another solid beer, but I'd rather have cindercone red. Maybe if this was more malty, I'd take it over Cindercone.

Quite frankly I'm not as excited by the organic movement, it sounds great in theory, but not sure it always measures up in the real world.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks out to SurlyDuff aka Geof for this fine organic amber ale from the PacNW. A light copper slight amber hue nice sized off white light khaki head forms and sticks around for a few. Most Organic brews have been underimpressive for me, this one so far has a very lively earthy complex hop nose to it. Usually the organic hops tend to fall flat, not in this brew. A bit of citrus adds to the hops with some grassy dirtiness about it. Flavor is clean with a nice rolling herbal earthy hop flavor brings about tea leaf tannin bitterness and subtle caramel malts. Finishes on the hoppier end of the spectrum much like an American ESB or west coast amber ale. Mouthfeel carries itself nicely with lively carbonation, light to medium bodied with slick hop oils found in trace amounts. Drinkability overall is nice I would like to get ahold of some of their other session strength offerings like their pale, Inversion IPA, or Buzzsaw brown solid starter for my Deschutes care package thanks much for the brews Geof!

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber/red with a white head. The aroma is very malty with some earthy qualities. The flavor is very malt heavy with some toffee and caramel malt flavors as well as the same earthiness that came through in the aroma. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

03/10/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Couldn't find any freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-copper colored pour with a 1/2 inch head which fades fairly quickly. Leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Very odd nose of malted chocolate, pungent hop resin and burnt malt. Didn't love it, but boosted it up because it was very intresting.

Taste- Rally not what I was expecting or looking for. Strong hop prescence, actually quite bitter, but the malt was overly burnt with a wet cardboard taste. Kind of the familiar organic flavor that I am used to. Really came close to a drain pour.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation was on the right track, but the malt aftertaste ruined any goodness from the hops.

Drinkability- Pass once again on another organic. Thought that Deschutes could nail one...oh well, I'll stick to all their other great brews.

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Photo of billab914
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Cigar City pint glass. It poured an amber red color with a frothy, off-white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head settled to a thin lacing, and left some nice lacing as it did.

The aroma shows a bit of a resiny, grapefruit and pine type hoppiness. Some sweeter, grainy, toasted malts are there too and mix nicely with the hops. Nice mix of flavors, and feels balanced and smooth.

The taste has a nice mix of hoppy an malty throughout the beer. I get a modest grapefruit and pine hoppiness to it, with some lingering bitterness in the finish. The malts come through with some sweet, toasted malt, slight caramel flavors. Very nice balance to it overall, both hops and malts shine at one time or another.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it was a pretty solid and enjoyable beer. Very easy drinking and balanced beer for the style.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 2" head that lingers around a while. Nice lace paints the glass.

Smell: caramel, oranges, fruit, and a bit of earthy tones come through to the nose.

Taste: follow the nose as caramel, oranges, pears, and a decent bitterness is wrapped in a hearty earthiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp from start to finish.

Overall: a great sessionable beer with a nice flavor profile. This one will not disappoint and a few could be quaffed in a session.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a frothy, three-finger thick, tan colored head that sits on top of a brilliantly clear, ruby-hued, red colored beer. When held up to the light some copper notes are mixed in with this red beer. This has a nice hop aromatic note to it that is noticeable as I pour this beer, it leans towards light spice, some berry-citrus aromas and a touch of herbal notes. A closer inspection of the nose reveals aromas of candied citrus, toasty grain, sweet berry aromas and a backdrop of herbal pine and green hemp oil that is subtly noticed only at times. I like the vibrant fruit character that the mix of sweet malt and hop character brings to this brew.

Dry up front, but it picks up a soft sweetness that becomes fairly fruity in focus as one moves to the finish where it actually lingers on the tongue for quite some time. Toasty, bread-like and browned cracker flavors are found from beginning to end providing a counterpoint to the sweetness. The hop character is quite present as well; it mixes in with the grain sweetness providing fruit flavors of currants, wild berries, and sweet citrus, but it also tempers the sweetness with sharp herbal notes that have grassy, pine-like with some astringent hemp oil notes as well as providing a light, persistent bitterness towards the late middle and finish of this brew. This beer has a nice heft to it, light enough to be quite drinkable, yet with enough body to carry the hop and malt character quite well. As the beer warms a bit it becomes a bit minty in its hop character and the overall effect of the malt is softened, with the toasty, darker grain notes becoming less noticeable and the sweet, caramelized notes coming a bit more to the fore.

This is a really tasty brew. I really like the mix of hop and malt character here; the hops provide both sharp herbal notes and accenting fruit flavors as well as the typical bitterness, while the malt plays a slightly secondary role, but provides lots of interest and flavor to this quaffable brew. There is nothing over the top or loud about this beer, the characterful malt and hop character just play well here; the flavors and aroma both meld as well as contrast and compete with each other all at about the right time, such that they create a really tasty brew, that is most definitely enjoyed while this is nice and fresh.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Antill Pub, on to the beer:

A darker amber color, leaning towards brown. Lots of thin lacing stick to the glass, and the head retention is good. Some fruity esters and caramely bread in the aroma. The taste is a good one. It consists of minerals, dark bread, caramel malt, and some pine from the hops, and those flavors are in balance in this beer. Goes down easy too. As expected, Deschutes delievers again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a solid little white head, good retention, spots of lace are left as the beer is drunk.

S: Earthy hops, grass, and hay with a smattering of caramel.

T: Mix of a light treacle and toasted biscuit bittersweet character from the malts and a raw, earthy hop bite. Good flavour overall.

M: Medium-bodied, though I found it thin in the finish. Resiny for sure, long aftertaste.

D: Another good one from Deschutes. In its style I think I'd choose Cinder Cone Red from the same brewery, it's a little sweeter and more balanced, but I like this new one as well.

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Photo of tempest
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at the Cannery Row Brewing Co. in Monterey, CA. It appeared clear red with little to no head. It was a fine beer, but I'd hoped for more from a Deschutes beer. It was a little too thick and dry. I think it'd have worked better if the body were a touch lighter. There was a mild fruity. berry malt taste before the dry toffee kicked in. The beer was finished off with a dry, earthy bitter citrus edge from hops. Good beer, but maybe just not for me.

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Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.