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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald PorterGreat Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,609 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4609
Reviews: 1824
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,609 | Reviews: 1,824 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Nugganooch


4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at World of Beers in New Brunswick, NJ
12/11/13 – Standard pint glass

A: Black coffee colored body with a slight reddish brown as it thins out towards the edge. Thick layer of perfectly still khaki cream rests over the top and leaves some soft streamers of lace behind with a few dots mixed in as well. Looks magnificent really with a nice shiny gloss to it.

S: Smells of light coffee roast with equal parts cocoa nib coming together in unison. Mostly dark grains here with a touch of dark caramelized fruit sweetness and just a whisper of smoky char. Nice subtle and balanced roast character overall.

T: Again just a perfect marriage between some nutty bakers chocolate and a house blend coffee roast. Neither of which compete only compliment. Roasted grains are pronounced with a slight chocolate crème sweetness and a relatively low amount of bitterness to the beer. Hints of stone fruit in there and a dry earthy char at the finish. The alcohol is completely disguised making this entirely sessionable. Not getting any harsh notes at all. Very smooth, well balanced, robust, and delicious.

M: Moderate to lightly filling with a great creamy texture. Very clean overall. A touch watery on the finish but nothing to detract from the enjoyment.

D: This is the ideal porter. Epitomic. I can see why so many tout the flag for this one. It has great balance and perfect harmony of roasty flavors. One of the best Porters I have come across to date.
Well palyed Mr. Fitzgerald.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2013 23:51:27 | More by Nugganooch
Photo of bobhartman

New York

4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

True to style, complex with hints of chocolate and coffee, but no flavors overly dominate.
The malt is more noticeable than the hops, but this is a good thing.
Alcohol also true to style, too much to chug after sliding home with the winning run, but not too much, to thoroughly enjoy drinking by a fireplace, recanting your winning run.
In any case this beer is a home run.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2013 01:29:48 | More by bobhartman
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

one of the classic American porters here, a longtime staple of great lakes brewing. best on tap, it pours nearly black, not as thick as some, but impenetrable to light and sporting a cool inch of khaki head on it that leaves prominent lacing as it sips. massive dark roasted barley flavors, dry and bitter, with generous hops for the style. the ale yeast marries the grain perfectly, and its a really smooth a robustly flavored result, almost smoky, almost cocoay, almost charred. I really like the combination of depth of flavor and drinkability in this beer, which is only medium bodied, quick finishing for a porter, and ultra smooth texturally. well enough carbonated, this coal colored porter is a standby in colder weather for me, creamy and satisfying. definitely the beer by which all other American porters should be judged, it is spot on in every aspect. also great on a hangover!

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2013 21:35:25 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of charlzm


3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Consumed June 11th, 2013 at Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland OH.

Very clear, very dark brown beer with mahogany highlights. Sticky beige head.

Dark, roasted aroma. Black coffee and bitter chocolate in the nose.

Flavor is just this side of charcoal; complex mix of bitter coffee, burned toffee and baking chocolate. Walks the line between bold and overbearing.

Medium bodied, slightly drying on the finish.

This one is worth drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2013 18:18:57 | More by charlzm
Photo of Gnarles

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer on tap last night at a local bar, to be quiet honest i have not explored to much into porters yet. Im mainly and IPA/Lager drinker but I was having a conversation with the bartender and different styles of beers and she pointed me to this beer. I was amazed at how smooth it was with slight after tastes of roasted coffee and chocolate. This beer alone has made me this twice about porters.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2013 20:03:16 | More by Gnarles
Photo of magictacosinus


4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint at the Map Room in Chicago.

Pours a darkish, near opaque color that reveals slight reddish transparency when held against the light. Not much of a head to speak of, although carbonation is still decent and attempts to hold up well here. There's some dripped, slightly cobwebby lacing that goes all around the glass's edges, which adds slight character. Looks like a classic American porter all around.

Whoa! The aroma completely caught me by surprise here. Very robust, full bodied, and juicy unlike any porter I've had to date. Chocolate nibs, cracked roasted barley, vanilla, cream, and berries (blueberries in particular). Not much coffee is present here, to my surprise. As this warms up, the chocolate aspects become far more accentuated and meld with the vanilla notes in almost a dessert-like manner. Luckily, the barley flavor and slight hoppy bitterness keep this from becoming too sweet, and provide a combination of a bready, toasted character combined with all of the chocolate and dark fruitiness.

The flavor only makes things better, really. The chocolate is ever more present (think semi-dark), and combined with the vanilla and big dark berry flavors, it almost resembles the texture and thickness of a cake or brownie of sorts. There is finally some coffee that creeps in towards the finish, which adds a little bitterness to the otherwise well atoned flavors that range back and forth from dessert sweetness to the cracked barley character. Hops lie beneath all of these flavors, but they are by no means muted – there's a subtle hint of grassiness at the finish here. However, the chocolate and vanilla creaminess are the really the highlights here, and really in ways I haven't had an American porter before.

This is awesome! I should have invested in a 6-pack of this during my stay, but I had too many beers I wanted to try. This is exactly like a hearty stout without being nearly as heavy on body or senses, yet still tenfold in flavor. Not sure how they did it, but I think the well rounded carbonation, as well as the excellent ingredients they're using here, helped it out. While I'm glad I get stuff like, say, Black Butte Porter out West, I want more of these sometime!

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2013 04:21:50 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of lunarbrew


4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pretty pathetic pour by the bartender, which kind of effected the appearance. Besides that...

About .5 fingers of creamy off-white head. Beer is pretty dark brown (I'm guessing about 27 SRM) with red shining through in the light. It's not particularly viscus. The head died pretty quick and left a blanket on the beer.

Smells great. Not a huge nose, but I get roasted notes all over the place. Dark roasted (but not bitter) barley, dark roasted coffee, a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of roasted chestnut, a little bit of smoke. Very delicate.

I taste that roastiness too! A rather dry flavor. Roast malt, coffee, and some nuttiness. A little hoppiness is left on the tongue after each sip. Extremely well balanced and very relaxing to drink.

Medium-full body, creamy, and goes down very smooth. A very good example of a porter.

GL does it right. Probably my favorite in their lineup, as well as my favorite porter to date.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2013 22:37:17 | More by lunarbrew
Photo of 57md


3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance was chocolate brown with a finger of tan head. There was little retention of the head and only a minimal amount of lace remaining on the glass. Not much of a nose to this offering, maybe a touch of roast. The flavor was roasty, but not quite what I would term robust. There was a very interesting combination of dry bitterness and sweet milk on the finish. A solid porter, but not the best around.

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2013 07:01:17 | More by 57md
Photo of Johnnyjoe13

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in my basement, one of the best 1/6 barrels I've had. Coffee, chocolate, solid. Great porter, and under rated in my mind. Smooth yet a good dark finish. Porters are becoming my standby on tap.
I've had others on tap, including Anderson, Firestone, etc., but this one still stands out to me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2012 03:03:44 | More by Johnnyjoe13
Photo of Rifugium


3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this here and there several times over the years, just never reviewed it until now. It's a good one to revisit once in a while.
Dark brown pour, with a typically medium-sized tan head; decent retention and lacing. Caramel malts in the nose, moderately roasty, coffee and semi-sweet chocolate, earthy hops. Similar taste, roasty malts, coffee grounds, semi-sweet chocolate, distant dark fruit essence, earthy and piney hops giving a slight bitter edge. Body is about medium, carbonation is moderate, drinkability is decent. Overall a good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2012 06:43:46 | More by Rifugium
Photo of jaz58

Ontario (Canada)

4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very good brew. Nice dark chocolate brown color.

A thin blonde head very, compact bubbles as it should be.

Very flavourful with cocoa, hints of coffee, roasted barley and carmel.

A great hoppy finish to even out the sweetness of the barley.

Smooth mouthfeel. Not as velvety as a stout yet very pleasing.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2012 13:15:52 | More by jaz58
Photo of Alextricity


4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ordered on-tap at Olives in Roseville, MI.

Appearance: A pretty perfect looking porter. Pitch black color. A beautiful little head on it. Great lacing throughout the glass.

Smell: Not bad, not great. I didn't get much. It sort of is similar to the taste, but more muted.

Taste: Easily the best porter I've had. I haven't had many, but I HAVE had Founders Porter, and this trumps that without question. There's almost a slight earthy flavor upfront, with that great, to-be-expected coffee and chocolate flavor through the rest of the sip. Really great.

Mouthfeel: Probably because I had it on tap, but creamy and delicious, like a good porter should be.

Overall, one of the best beers I've had, period. I drank this with FISH AND CHIPS and loved every last drop of it. There's really nothing bad to be said about Edmund Fitzgerald, but it does have me wondering. Why does "Great Lakes Brewing Company" exist in OHIO when they have ONE Great Lake bordering their state? Also, the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in Lake Superior -- a Great Lake nowhere near Ohio. While I don't get the reasoning for the name of the brewery or the beer, this is still quality.


Update: 11/16/13... I had three of these tonight after picking up a six pack, and I have to say that this doesn't taste like I remembered, but more like I figured it should, given the fact that it's a porter. First of all, the flavor is lighter than I remember. There's also more carbonation, and there's a smokey character to it that I don't recall getting. It's still a really tasty beer, but really not nearly as awesome as I initially thought. Maybe it's because I got it on tap the first time, but yeah. For a porter, it's on-point. With a name like Edmund Fitzgerald though, I'd expect it to be a stout... really heavy, thick, and high ABV. Definitely one of the best porters I've had, but it's not what I remember. I will repeat again saying that this is a great sessionable porter with a nice smokey twist. P.S., I've found out why this beer is called Edmund Fitzgerald. I'm an idiot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2012 02:41:44 | More by Alextricity
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep brown color with a small off white head. The head fades rather fast to give only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a wonderful mix of roasted malt and chocolate as well as a light caramel sweetness. With these aromas is a very light dark fruit aroma of plum and raisin as well. Overall the aroma is nice and sweet.

Taste – The taste begins with nice roasted malt and some slightly bitter coffee notes. As the taste advances a sweeter chocolate flavor greets the tongue. The chocolate is soon complemented with some dark fruit as well as caramel flavors. These sweeter caramel and dark fruit flavors last to the end, but there they end up fading, resulting, in the end, a nice semi-sweet cocoa flavor that is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the brew was on the average to slightly above average side with a carbonation level that was on the slightly lower side. While the body was lighter then would have been nice for the roasty and cocoa flavors, the carbonation was right on par. While the body was lighter, when complemented with the carbonation and smooth flavors, it did make for a very easy drinking porter.

Overall - A tasty brew with some nice roasty and chocolate flavors. Easy drinking and good.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2012 00:40:01 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of spark3148857


4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edmund being the beer that introduced me to craft brewing, I figure I should review it:

Ap: Pours a deep brown verging on black with ruby edges. Thin tan to mocha head.

Ar: Roasted malts, faint chocolate and coffee. Some fuggles hops are perceptible.

Ts: Perhaps the best robust porter I've ever had. Dark chocolate, bitter coffee are balanced with roasted malts and a nice hop bitterness.

Mf: Fits the profile of a robust porter well. Best if on tap or fresh bottle. May be a little thin.

Ov: Truly the best example of an American robust porter. I haven't come across a porter that rivals this one. Closest challenger is Founder's Porter.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2012 22:13:51 | More by spark3148857
Photo of socon67

New York

4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Map Room, Chicago Illinois

A - Black pour, thin foam that leaves quickly. No lacing of note and no visible carbonation.

S - Blast of mocha hits the nose. Some notes of licorice and coffee is there as well. Extremely complex for a porter.

T - Simple awesome porter. The mocha flavor is present throughout, and combines with a smooth malty flavor. Chocolate and coffee round this guy out. I've had imp stouts that came nowhere near the complexity of this one.

M - Easy drinking porter that makes for a rich drinking experience with a relatively modest ABV. Feels just heavy enough. A sessionable porter is what we have here.

O - I could drink this all winter. I may like some of the smoked porters more, but after that this is the best porter I've had in a long time.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 16:28:49 | More by socon67
Photo of mltobin


4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at The Nomad in Milwaukee , WI.

Appearance is a black color with a short tan head. The nose is chocolate, roasted malts, coffee and vanilla. Taking a sip of this and I taste coffee, roasted malts and black licorice. Mouthfeel is medium, finishes with a smooth texture. All in all, a very fine porter to be sure. One of the best "off the shelf" porters from recent memory.

Serving type: on-tap

06-03-2012 03:12:00 | More by mltobin
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Cork City in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a semi opaque extremely dark amber bordering on dark brown in color with some garnet highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall creamy dark beige head that reduces but has good retention qualities leaving more than 70% of the original head intact. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Overall the aroma of this beer was quite mild, not as intense as I would have liked. There is pleasant roasted malt body with some nice chocolate hints. Subtle coffee hints are present as well.

T: A wonderfully robust, complex, and well balanced to the flavor of this beer. Strong roasted malt flavors with notes of bittersweet chocolate and subtle coffee hints.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy with just a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very enjoyable and very sessionable, I could and would have more than one of these in a session. I really enjoyed the flavor and it just looked delicious, though I was hoping for a slightly stronger aroma.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 22:26:17 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of bobhall78

4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Dark in appearance as you would expect with a little bit of foam.

S- Coffee and chocolate.

T- Medium chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee, mild bitterness nothing to overwhelming. Leaves a nice chocolaty after taste if you into that kind of thing.

Goes down easy, overall probably one of my favorite dark beers.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2012 17:21:37 | More by bobhall78
Photo of rings


4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fitz is one of Great Lakes’ year-round flagship offerings, and is among their most awarded brews. Originally developed by Dennis Holland in the early 90’s, it’s taken home hardware that would make a Vivid girl blush, all of it well-deserved, including multiple gold medals from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Championships.
It pours thick, dark and silky, with an off-white creamy head that clings to the glass like a drowning man to a life raft. Opening malty-coffee sweet and full bodied, it’s balanced with a firm hoppy bite that compliments, rather than fights with the roasted malts. In short, it’s one of the defining American porters and should not be overlooked on any beer list.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2012 17:09:17 | More by rings
Photo of drtth


4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a dark, dark brown, almost black color with a ½ inch head that recedes slowly leaving a sheet of foam clinging to the sides of the glass. Sipping leaves lots of foam on the sides of the glass early on that eventually turns into lacing clinging to the sides. Eventually the foam recedes to a ring and an island, but even to the end of the glass there is a ring of foam and speckles of lacing.

Smell: The aroma is soft chocolate with a touch of chocolate malt, coffee and alcohol.

Taste: The flavor is rich and a wonderful mix of both bitter and sweet that is quite complex and dances around on the tongue. There is some chocolate here and some coffee flavors riding on what seems to be a caramel malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the full side medium bodied, soft and smooth with gentle carbonation throughout the beer. The finish begins with a bit of sweetness and chocolate and then gradually moves to the back of the mouth as it turns slightly bitter. Not a lot of bitterness, just enough to invite another sip. At the very end and in the throat there is a definite touch of dryness.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a wonderfully drinkable porter that exceeded my expectations. I’ll be having this one again and again in the future. My over all impression is that this is an extremely well made example of a porter and I find it hard to think of one I’ve had that I liked more.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2012 02:43:09 | More by drtth
Photo of rms61moparman


5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Almost black body yields a reddish tint in strong light. Very light tan head that produces beautiful lacing.
Strong coffee with a hint of chocolate and the faintest allusion of mild smoke at the onset, building to a mildly robust but never overpowering smoke overtone.

My favorite all time after dinner beer and always on tap in my kegerator.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2012 02:14:26 | More by rms61moparman
Photo of coldriver


4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Owen and Engine in Chicago. Pours a dark cola color with tightly bubbled head and good lacing. Aromas are rather subdued with notes of chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, and a hint of bacon. Taste is cocoa, espresso, mild hop bitterness, with some smokeyness. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with dry finish. A very nice subtle but complex American Porter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2012 03:25:50 | More by coldriver
Photo of markmiller

New York

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is delicious, but even better on tap.

A: Dark black/brown with dirty white/tan head.

S: Sweeter fruity, but also bitter chocolate. Mellow burnt coffee.

T: Incredible. Roasted malt and burnt coffee sweetened with heavy cream. Hops poke their heads in to say "Hi" before the finish comes on with toasty sweetness. Never too bitter or too sweet, this porter is truly a great beer.

M: Smooth, medium carbonation. Finishes rather dry and crisp. Invites you to take more sips.

D: Very drinkable. Good with food, even as a session beer for the evening.

O: A damn good beer, one of my favorite beers, and possibly my favorite porters. Can't go wrong having this beer on hand.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2012 06:54:50 | More by markmiller
Photo of thecheapies


4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Molasses in color with a diminutive head that's beige-toned. Receding with some lace.

Roasted coffee aroma with some chocolate fudge, caramel, walnut, and earthiness.

Gulpy black coffee and char flavors immediately. Nice bitter undertones from the black malts. A little spicy hop sensation, but this is a standup malty porter with lots of character. Nice semi-dry finish to balance all of the dessert-like notes in the beginning.

Medium body feels coating. Nice carbonation level. Right there with you all the way.

Quite a marvel for such a craft standard. I guess that's what makes it so great.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2012 00:07:06 | More by thecheapies
Photo of BierSmith


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Map Room. Lacy, amber head with good nose, smoky and pungent. Smooth, yet viscous mouthfeel. Smoky/ peaty taste with refined flavor statement...nutty character. Color is a deep russet almost ruby; looks alot like Coca Cola! Overall would rate 4.2.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2011 20:16:47 | More by BierSmith
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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,609 ratings.