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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 Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffeeness dissipated after a few days in fridge. Burnt grounds more pronounced after that. Fruity taste makes it drinkable. Dark color peaks interest.
Great taste, above average mouthfeel is noticeable a good 5.5 years later bottle. Great example of American porter, with good roast and chocolate malt,drying finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 14:02:48 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kelly88 for sending me this one!

Pours a very dark but not opaque dark brown/crimson red with a small 1 inch tan head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Decent rings of lace on the drink down. Smells of roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, roasted malt, and cinnamon. Absolutely amazing smells from this beer. Tastes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, and cinnamon sticks. Very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. Good carbonation with a slightly watery mouthfeel. Overall, a very good porter that I am happy I got to try. I would get this again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 04:25:41 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

"The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril,
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

--Gordon Lightfoot

Deep, dark brown (not quite black) with ruby highlights. The large, pale caramel colored crown has nice retention and gives up lots of sticky lace in the form of concentric rings marching down the pint glass.

The nose is spicy, with plenty of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is dark malty with, again, plenty of coffee and some chocolate. Simply delicious. Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best (if not THE best) porters in the world. There's some hop bitterness present too, making its presence known on the finish.

The body/mouthfeel is what I've come to know as typical Great Lakes. That is, wonderful. Drinkability is sky high; this one goes down so easily that it's scary. In fact, it goes down about as fast as the Edmund Fitzgerald did.

This is my second Great Lakes beer and I am impressed. No wonder these guys finished so high on the "Top 50 American Breweries" list (#3), an honor that is well-deserved. If I was fortunate enough to still live in the GLBC distribution area, I would never be without a few bottles of this world-class porter.

Note: after many more bottles (and most of its serious competition), I still consider Edmund Fitzgerald to be the world's best American porter. 8-5-09.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 15:35:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with a nice reddish ruby tint to it. Nearly opaque but enough light came through to show off the red tones to it. Hige pillow like cream colored head was very slow to recede and when it did left behind a large amount of gooey lace on the glass. The smell was very strong of roasted dark chocolate, which caught me a bit by suprise. As it warmed some more sugary, caramel like tones started to come through. The mouthfeel was a little thin, watery which is my only complaint, I expected a bit more of a robust feel to it. The taste itself was very nice. Suprisingly hoppy on the back and very well balanced with the roasted malts. Main flavors here were more of a roasted coffee and sugar, with a ever so slight hint of chocolate, nothing like the smell which was dominated by it. Overall this was a nice sessionable beer. At 5.8%abv very drinkable and very smooth. I would not turn it down if it were offered, but I still feel there is some room for improvement.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2007 22:57:04 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


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

I've been sitting on this one for awhile and just never got around to drinking it until now.

A: Edmund Fitzgerald pours black with a layer of tan foam.

S: An absolutely amazing chocolate aroma is the first sensation I experience. Excellent roasted malt aroma and some mild coffee come through as well. There is a sweetness that I generally find in milk stouts, but was quite a pleasant surprise.

T: The flavors are pretty much right on target with the nose. A great sweetness and tons of chocolate come through first. The roasted malt and coffee follow those up and provide a somewhat bitter finish.

M: The body is on the fuller side of medium, with moderate carbonation, and nice creamy mouthfeel.

D: I'm glad I was able to pick this one up. A great balance of flavors and a nice mouthfeel help this one out big time. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 06:09:16 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark brown color and a mocha head that provides decent retention and lacing

Smell: Modest chocolate notes; surprisingly yeasty

Taste: Bitter chocolate up front; mid-palate, some sweet malted milk flavors emerge and are balanced by a bitter coffee aspect to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Great complexity to this porter

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2006 02:02:10 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a deep black color porter with a medium off-white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of light coffee and roasted malt is less dominating then expected. Taste is also dominated by light coffee with some medium bitterness form the roasted malt. Body is about average with some creamy aspect. Not sure why this is rate so high, I can think of quite a few porter that are at least equal or better then this.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2006 20:08:55 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good example of what a Porter should be. Has all the dark colors and head retention that you'd expect. Aromas of chocolate and coffe abound. Balanced out with mild hop character and mild yeastiness or breadiness. Flavors of chocolate rise more than other flavors, but not to hide them. Has a nice creamy texture and finishes sweet, lightly bitter (from dark grains), and clean. A proper and simple beer.

...of course that's what is expected from a Porter that meet all of the criteria for the style. But does meeting the style mean that a perfect 5 is deserved? No. The beer needs that 'something extra' that it lacks; making it a very, very good beer. But, not a great.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 22:55:51 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


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

A: Very dark with some pretty good lacing as it goes down.

S: Caramel malt; slightly sweet with some chocolate.

T: Caramel and coffee tastes with some chocolate in there.

M: Fairly full and chewy.

D: Nothing really stands out about it, except that it all tends to meld together quite well creating a very drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 15:08:33 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) in color with a thin layer of tan bubbles covering the surface.
S: There is a very rich aroma of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of chocolate and coffee.
T: The flavors are robust and well balanced--roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate and really stand out along with some notes of coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with just a little bit of dryness in the finish.
D: This beer has an excellent level of drinkability; I could easily have more than one of these in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 00:29:48 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a not quite opaque, dark brown body with a small, fizzy light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of cold coffee and unsweetened chocolate with a faint whiff of acrid smoke and pine.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate flavor with some roasty coffee and a slight caramel sweetness. A teaspoon of cherry cordial comes and goes with a quickness. Hint of roasted nuts. Resinous pine hop presence provides a touch of balancing bitterness. Piney, mocha-ish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A quality, well-balanced porter that's full of flavor and easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 02:28:08 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

Along with Kalamazoo my favorite midwestern micro beers,this beer is one of the reasons why.Pours a deep creamy brown with a very creamy off white head.The aroma is very coffee-like with some bitter chocolate notes.The taste is also very coffeeish with some slight earthiness, very creamy tasting.A smoky backbone to this makes this a great complex example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 22:47:57 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass at ChurchKey.

My choice: try the Gordon Lightfoot story song-inspired brew (trust me, it was inspired more by that Canadian siren's sonorous elegy (yes, men can be sirens too...equal rights and all...) than the namesake ship and its misfortune) from a bottle or from the tap. Well, I'm enjoying the CK today, so draught it is. It pours a clear dark garnet-brown with about a finger-and-a-half of foamy ecru head, which takes a while to completely die out, leaving decent alcing behind as it does so. The nose is coffee, molasses, bitter dark chocolate, dark malts, and a light breeze of hops. The taste sees a return of the coffee, bitter chocolate (this time in powder form), and the hops, heavy on the floral notes. What's new is a small appearance from a light maple syrup. The body is medium, tending toward the lighter end but not committing, with a lightly moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slight mouth coating. Not a bad porter in any respect, but nothing really that special, either.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2010 22:19:06 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A rough pour will bring up a full inch and a half head of densely creamy tan head. The body is a very dark brown - not quite opaque as mahogany highlights can be seen at the base and rim of the glass - but basically "black". The head eventually drops to just a collar but leaves some nice lace. The aroma is nicely fruity, chocolatey and coffee-ish - almost candyish (chocolate covered cherry?). Very welcoming! The body is firm with a very fine and gentle carbonation that's creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts with sweet and fruity notes amongst a deep roastiness, becomes more chocolatey as it crosses the palate and into the swallow, and then unleashes an intense coffee character that includes flavor as well as roastiness and bitterness. Amazingly, some citrusy hop flavor appears out of nowhere and lingers along with a mocha character and some bitterness in a long finish. Really well balanced, very drinkable, and complex. I was quite impressed with this beer. Well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2002 18:39:47 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at an Irish-ish theme bar in Interstate-adjacent Southgate, Michigan.

This beer pours a clear dark cola hue, with two fingers of puffy pale beige head, which renders a solid tight pattern of webbed lace around the glass in its (heh) wake. It smells of roasted malt, nicely bitter coffee, sour black friit, mild dark chocolate, and earthy hops. The taste is caramel malt, light roasted peat, tart fruit, sweetened chocolate, milder coffee, leafy hops, and, um, well, the kitchen sink. The carbonation is average, the body medium weight and smooth, full stop. It finishes sweet, and offset somewhat by a vegetal sourness.

Lots and lots goin' on, old school, new school, all of it good. Brain just hurts a bit trying to catalogue it...

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 05:34:08 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Appearance: solid brown body, with a lush, flowing head of tannish foam atop, though in a hurry to settle down.
Aroma: mild at first, creamy, with hints of nuts, vanilla, caramel, with slowly the better earmarks of a good porter emerging, and we're getting the roasted coffee, getting roastier and bitterer as we go, and as it unfurls we can detect things weightier, headier, more thick and viscous: molasses, syrup, motor oil.
On first sip and gulp, I was magically lifted up and removed from the mundane and the everyday. Mouth-filling, rich, powerful, flavorful, and just plain FULL!
Nothing loose or limpid here! Bitterness is just so, and soon turns to the sweet. I don't know what exactly to liken it to, but it seems to tread a middle ground: no too bitter, not to smooth, juuust right!
One caveat: the carbonation feels a bit too cola-like, and that ain't good, in my book.
Finish is fine and long-lasting, settles in to occupy the mouth and endear itself to all the senses.
However, a certain heft is lacking in overall body and character, that I would expect, nay demand, out of any true Baltic porter. Needs more Oooom-pa-pa-mow,mow!, if you follow.
Still an excellent porter, and one which I'd greatly appreciate more, if it were available in my environs.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2003 02:19:53 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of MasterSki


4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from a stein. Best before 2/24/2009.

A - Dark, dark brown - almost black. One finger of creamy tan head that dissipates very slowly and coats the sides of the glass. I had to wait a long time before it reached a complex lace. Lots of visible carbonation. This is one great looking porter.

S - Roasted malt barley, coffee with a healthy amount of cream, bittersweet chocolate. I can't believe that this brew adheres to the Purity Law - they really get a lot out of barley, hops, yeast, and water. The smell isn't that strong - you really have to get your nose up close.

T - Starts bitter like burnt coffee, then gets very sweet with the tiniest bit of citrus hops. It's a simple combination but incredibly effective, and each taste brings out something slightly different (cream, burnt malt, chocolate, etc.).

M - A little on the watery side - I know it's a porter and not a stout, but it could use some more body. The carbonation has a nice tingle. Leaves a sticky aftertaste.

D - THE session porter. Superb at 5.8%, and goes down incredibly easy. This is a great brew for cold winter nights.

I'm so glad this beer is almost always available - it almost makes me take it for granted.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 01:37:09 | More by MasterSki
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from mcallister, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: Rich coffee and toasted malt aroma, with hints of chocolate and hops.

T: Creamy, roasted coffee flavor is the most prevalent taste. There’s a mild background of chocolate, caramel, dark fruit & hops. The after-taste is that of a strong cup of coffee.

M: Crisp & smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, very easy to drink, only slightly filling, excellent representation of style and an all-round excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 03:29:51 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of emerge077


4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the finest porters available stateside...

Pours an opaque black with transparent mahogany edges. Foam sticks around, leaves tan lacing.

Smell is rich and roasty, smoky grain husk, and earthy bitter chocolate.

Taste follows the notes of the aroma, very roasty and fairly dense, but not to the level of a stout. This is a big porter, on par with Smuttynose and Three Floyds. Caramelly in the mouthfeel, aftertaste is a little heavy.

A superior porter...

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2007 05:12:51 | More by emerge077
Photo of russpowell


4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Insomnia, so might as well have some tasty beer & some Craig Ferguson comedy. The tasty beer comes courtesy of joe1510. Cheers Joe! It's always great to try a beer I've heard a lot about, so this should be a treat: BBD date of 11/27/07

Pours a ruby tinged chestnut with 2+ fingers of mocha colored head. Super head retention & good lacing

S: Cocoa, a bit of coffee, not much else

T: Chocolate, roasted grain, a touch of licorice & some burnt caramel up up front. A whisper of coffee & dryness as this warms, with some dark fruit on the edge of the tongue (figs & cherry). Finishes with milk chcolate, carob, a touch of molasses & chicory & a touch of creme brule at the end

MF: Slick, with medium carbonation, creamy smoothness comes through as this warms

Drinks too easy, there would be no problem sessioning on this. A very well put together & tasty porter! Supposed lack of freshness didn't hurt this beer at all

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 06:28:22 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a smooth roasted malt scent along with a creamy chocolate aroma. The taste is great as well. It has a wonderful roasted malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with a slight hint of chocolate. It's extremely smooth and easy drinking. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine porter, but I was expecting more. It's a fine session beer and probably in my top five porters of all time.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 00:20:38 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh


4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a pint glass. Beer is dark brown, can see through it at the corners and there is no haze. Carbonation is moderate and forms a thin brown head of tiny bubbles. The bubbles break and gravitate toward the edges where they leave an illogical amount of lacing on the glass. Beer looks awesome.

Aroma is simple, mixture of mild sweetness and roast. Its not unpleasant at all, just not a lot of it. Smells good enough to drink.

I'm usually not a fan of the porter style. I wouldn't list it in my top 10 styles, maybe not even the top 20, but this beer is amazing. Maybe I just haven't been drinking the right porters. Its sweet and completely smooth. Finishes without an aftertaste. Medium body and there is a roast character in the back of the palate that lingers (not as an aftertaste, just lingers). This is really an amazing beer and the best porter (by far) I've ever had. Great connectivity and mouthfeel, drinkability high.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2010 18:22:46 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours dark brown with an off-white head. The aroma is basic porter, roasted malt with a little bit of coffee. The flavor is more of the same with roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. There are also some hops to stop the beer from being too sweet. Creamy mouthfeel. A very good porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 21:47:19 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80


4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a foamy/soapy, tan, two-finger head. It left nice rings of lace.

S - It smelled of chocolate and some sweet caramel.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate and roasted malts. The caramel aroma comes through in a faint caramel taste. The overall taste is like a mocha.

M - It was very sharp and crisp. A medium bodied beer.

D - This is an outstanding porter. Great chocolate taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2007 00:49:54 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is brought to me in part by BEERchitect and Tyson and this review is sponsored by readers like you. Without you the reader and beer sponsors, this review would not be possible nor would it exist. Now on with the regularly schedule review.

A: Pours with a nice head with lacing that has a slightly brown tinge and large bubbles throughout. It provides a nice covering over the beer that slowly dissipates. This thing is pitch black, no light coming through there, it won't even thin at the bottom of the glass no matter how much I beg it.

N: Great nose, loaded with roasted malts and chocolate, as well as some coffee and slight dark fruit. A creamy stout effervescence and touch of oats add a nice touch to it but is it really a porter, or a stout, or are those one in the same? I don't want to start that debate again, so I'll just start tasting.

T: Mmmhhmm, just as I suspected, a great porter/stout taste. Some light oatmeal and creamy stout taste make way for a strong bakers chocolate blended with some milk chocolate and coffee. Lots of roasted malts and some earthy char. It's got a nice spicey quality as well, not from the alcohol since that's really low and no alcohol taste. Some light taste of dark dried fruits and stout bitterness round it off. It is a little on the sweet side though and that seems to shave a few points off as it starts to get more and more sweet as I sip it that almost becomes overbearing towards the end.

M: Pretty thick and creamy with low carbonation and slightly spicey. The spice just pokes its head and tickles the tongue then disappears.

F: A dry Irish stout taste finishes up the taste as well as more roasted and chocolate tastes. The sweet start it had really dried off on the finish. The earthy charred roasted malt taste really comes out on the tongue and helps the finish. As I swallow its got a nice chocolate milk taste with touch of coffee. More bakers chocolate finishes it up with a nice touch and then it clears off the palate leaving it beat up but wanting more. The low alcohol content really turns up the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 02:28:08 | More by jlindros
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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,609 ratings.