Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,988 Reviews
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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald PorterGreat Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

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

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Robust and complex, our Porter is a bittersweet tribute to the legendary freighter's fallen crew--taken too soon when the gales of November came early.

37 IBUs

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,988 | Ratings: 6,271
Photo of twelvsies
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Great Lakes. This porter pours a real nice dark brown color with little dark red highlights around the sides. Nice thick tan head floating on top. Smell is a bit hoppier than most porters I'd say, but there's also a strong roasted malt smell and a hint of sweet chocolaty scent. Taste is again a bit hoppier than most porters, kind of hits you up front and then comes the malt. There is a nice sweetness to this beer but it's really subtle and you have to pay attention to notice. Mouthfeel is smooth but maybe a little watery? I don't know what to think of this beer. On St. Patty's day I drank one of these for the first time, out of a bottle too, and thought it was fantastic. Maybe that was just because I had a Guinness right before that. So I went out and bought a couple bottles and brought them back to Mass with me and these ones don't seem to have the complexities that I initially noticed. I wish I could get some out here but it doesn't come here unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, it's a good porter. But I originally thought it was living up to all the hype as one of the best but the next two bottles haven't quite been as good as the first. Weird. I'll try some more sometime.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very dark ruby color, almost black, with a nice dark tan head. Smell is charred, charcoal like, very burnt, but yet very chocolatey at the same time. Taste is sweet caramel malts, backed up by an abundance of chocolate, and a slight biterness and earthy hop flavor. smooth in the mouth and very drinkable, a top notch porter, one that should be admired by all.

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Photo of shapudding
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dated August 26, 2004. Dark and clear chestnut, but held to the light you can catch a bit of ruby. Khaki dusting in a ring. Wonderful aroma, thick chocolate and coffee with a bit of hops shooting through. Nice and dark! Smooth and silky, barely feel the carbonation, but not flat at all. Chocolate and hoppy flavors, bit with a snap in there... but yet smooth. Very nice and highly enjoyable! Thanks to Brandon/Pissky for this gifted brew!

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Photo of asabreed
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hyped up beer for sure, as many know by now. And this lives up to the hype ten fold. Picked up a case for around $28.

Of the many porters I've had, it seems -- though I may be wrong -- that an average porter seems to be pretty standard, meaning I guess there are many average ones out there versus many that I wouldn't even want to try. However, I've yet to come across one as delicious and balanced as Edmund Fitzgerald.

Appearance: Beautifully black and opaque, with a mocha-colored lace that keeps pretty sticky to the glass. Red / Amber tint to it in the light that's also quite gorgeous.

Smell: Wow. Chocolate. Honey. Mocha / Coffee. Dark berries. The faintest hop nose to complement the sweeter accompaniments.

Taste: Again, wow. Balance all the way through, and a finish that may rival the best beers I've ever tasted. Nothing ever seems overpowering, as if everything is working together all the time. Yet it remains complex even after you swallow and the flavors are still on your tongue. All the smells above seem discernible, in addition to a lingering fruitiness that I can't pin down. Amazing.

Mouthfeel: Once again, it's dark, so the body is chewy, but also deceptively light, which makes it very interesting to swish around a bit.

Drinkability: For a Porter, I could certainly make this a session, as mainly because the hops and malt never seem to overpower each other, and though the body may be a bit chewy, it's also light, which makes Winter not necessarily the only season to drink this I feel. Can't wait to have many more of these.

Great Lakes continues to impress me, and this is not only no different, but I don't know if they make a better beer. I want to try the Blackout Stout, as seemingly that may be the only one that can rival Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its been a while since I had this one. It pours a deep brown color with a slight ruby hues. There is a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of roasted coffee tones, with a slight chocolate in there as well. The flavor is very full, starting with a blast of coffee, fading really quickly to sweet chocolate, finishing slightly bitter. The feel is nice moderate to slightly thick. Overall, I really like the flavor and feel of this one. Everyting works very well together. I dig it.

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

Deep mahogany color with medium mocha colored head. Wonderful chocolate/roasted malt aroma-not coffee scented, which it shouldn’t have, but is still nice to not bee there, and worth a mention. So many porters swing to the stout way, and leave their roots behind. Back to the beer… Blend of chocolate malt and roasted flavor. Chocolate flavor rests below the heavy roasted taste, which dominates the drink. Very light on the plate overall. Almost 1 dimensional where the roasted flavor is all you get for the most part. Although, there are different levels of the roasted malt in the taste, there should be something else there that isn’t which would help with the body and feel.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've finally got around to try this one. Pours a deep dark black with a nice finger of tan head on top. Brown comes through when held to the light. A nice vibrant mix of aromas...big roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, hints of coffee and a nice hop nose. Very nice.

First sip brings a wonderful roasty, burnt maltiness along with a nice mix of bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee and a nice piney, floral hop bitterness that plays along with the sweetness. This is a wonderfully well balanced porter and just so damn tasty. Yum.

Mouthfeel is damn near perfect for the style...a nice medium body with small bubbly carbonation. I'd have to say this brew is incredibly drinkable...easily sessionable. Yet another super tasty, enjoyable brew from Great of my favorite midwest brewers!

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Photo of elricorico
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, I'd say almost a mix of dark purple and dark brown. Has a fizzy tan head that fades into a ring. Looks tasty.

The smell is nice and strong, coffee, chocolate and a fresh smell hiding behind that, that makes me think of cold milk. Very appetizing.

Taste is good, strong coffee flavour with a dry bitter finish that hangs on for some time. Nice balance throughout.

This beer has some creaminess, and is very comfortable to roll on your tongue. Feels like it moves a little slowly across the tongue.

Drinkability? Well, I am crushed that this is my last bottle, and I may not see this beer again for some time, cause I'd love to sit down with this beer on a quiet evening and enjoy several bottles.

Huge thanks to my friend Praneel for bringing me a mixed six pack of Great Lakes beers which included two of these world class porters.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a beige head. Aroma is dark malts, some cocoa and red grapes.

Taste is patent malt with a slight vinous element. Ashy, espresso and Dutch cocoa flavors, bittersweet but not quite cloying. Hints of wine around the edges like a pinot noir. Reminds me of a very light milk stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and grainy. A good stout, I've tried it before on tap. Quite drinkable but not a Top 50-caliber beer, in my opinion. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the chance to try this one in the bottle.

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

Appeareance: Pours a tempting dark brown with a nice thick beige head that clings like crazy.

Smell: The smell is a very appetizing blend of coffee and cocoa with a hint of bitterness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is like liquid velvet the whole way, with wonderful coffee, roasted, and bittersweet notes everywhere. The combination of these with a wonderfully seductive hop presence combines into a porter that's flavor is truly one of the best in the world. Smooth, creamy, full of power and still balanced enough to bring one to their knees, this beer tastes like heaven on earth.

Drinkability and Overall: I absolutly love this porter. One of the best I've had to date. The wonderul flavors and seductive aromas make this beer dangerously drinkable. This is a phenomenal porter that just doesn't quit. I love it.

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

Pours dark black with a nice creamy light brown head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass, roasty chocolate and coffee aromas. Roasted burnt chocolate, brown sugar and coffee flavors, good roasted bitterness in the finish. Medium body with soft and creamy mouthfeel, this is one of my all time favorite porters.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, what's that word, chestnut? Nice sized head, leaves some nice lacing as it's consumed.

Fine aroma, rich chocolate, some caramel and some roasted coffee.

Medium-full body, soft carbonation. Big roasted coffee flavors start out and are smoothly blended with a bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Out of nowhere a light floral hoppiness comes in and blends with the roasted coffee flavor in the aftertaste, surprising, but welcome.

A fine porter indeed. I haven't had a porter in months and this was a fine choice to rekindle my interest in the style.

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

Yep...this one lives up to the hype!

Dark and stout looking with a cream colored head of over 1" that leaves gobs of foamy lace as it goes down. I noticed some falling after pouring.

Smells of roasted malts and coffee, with some toffee or caramel thrown in. A slight hoppiness can be detected as it finishes.

Tastes of blended and roasted malts that start off in the direction of an Imperial Stout but quickly mellow with a slight sweetness that turns into a hop inspired dry finish. This one hits all the notes of the style perfectly.

The generous use of malts combined with just the right amount of hops and carbonation make for a perfectly full mouthfeel, and a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of karst
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bittersweet chocolate coffe aroma from a perfect apearing Stout from its dense 2-3 fing tan head to its clear dark(ruby red- against strong light) liquid. I filled a pint glass with Corral liquors and Schlafly advertized on its outside (This year's Schlafly Coffee Stout is great this year!) Thanks to Joe B. @ Corral in Granite City, Ill. for keeping his Great Lakes brews in Frig. and reminding me of the need to do the same due to its lack of pastuerization and preservatives!)

Inside the glass a persistant head (for stouts) settles leasurly, its remants clinging as sticky lace. Meanwhile I'm huffing the aroma from Pale English Crystal and Chocolate malts with roasted Barley mingled with Northern Brewer, Kent Golding and Cascade botanicals- all providing a bold hop presence to play pranks on my tongue and palate.

A tast that matches the aroma is very pleasing to the palate. Its well balance "fat" medium body (excellent for style) A subtile aftertaste that gives you a long loving bite with its low bitterness and roasted malts. At 45°F I drink it slowly anticipating its evolving tastes as it warms. With each warming tilt of my glass it shows off its excellent complexity and fine balance of hops and sweet roasted malts.

THE best Porter that I have tasted to date - Leaves me wondering if the smooth, well balanced dry coffeish taste can be improved

note: ABV had dropped 0.5% since Michael Jackson gave it an excellent review in his Great Beer Guide 2000 ed.

A last swirl - it easily awakens and sends up a dying coating of fine bubbles (great C02 level). A great Ship to go down on. We will cross again!

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can I say about this fine porter that hasn't already been said? This is the sort of porter that other porters aspire to be like, this is the Michael Jordan of porters as far as I'm concerned, all kneel before the altar and say a prayer, because it's over folks.

This is a perfect mid-winter in front the fireplace sort of beer. It's hearty and filling and highly drinkable. It pours a dark black with a respectable copper brown head. The nose is a bit sweet with an organic grain overtone to it, you smell how hoppy it is too, makes my brain scream "Pavlovian response!!". The initial taste isn't explosive, more understated and subtle than that, but lives up to it's nose perfectly. A slight dark chocolate creaminess surrounded by an almost black tea like organic overtone but there is also a strong, strong hop character here with roasted coffeebean and a dry aftertaste that stays with the palate long after swallowed. The mouthfeel is gorgeous, silky and balanced.

Great Lakes did a wonderful job in the design and execution of a truly great porter. There may be better in the style out there, but I sure haven't had it.


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

Pours the darkest brown with a healthy two finger head, the remnants of which endure to the end. Aroma is roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate. Taste is what you would expect of a good porter ( chocolate, coffee, a bit smoky at the end) but with more hop balance, creating a wonderful aftertaste that begs for another gulp. Good thick mouthfeel, this is a beer I can (and on occasion have) drink all night.

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Photo of Maestro
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly black with a thin head that sticks around for the entire beer. The nose is quite amazing. Lots of roasty, chocolatey, coffee-like notes right off the bat. Some hints of grape and caramel are noticeable as well. Taste is incredible. There is a certain smoothness to the beer. The malts are quite varied. There seems to be some roasted malts, along with some caramel malts to balance out the black patent. Very good ratios for this American Porter. Mouthfeel is quite bubbly and has just the right feel for a porter. It's not too dry and it's not too sweet. This is truly a great beer that can be enjoyed in many circumstances!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a black colored creation, with red/brown light hues. Small brown head leaves sheets of lace in its wake. Excellent chocolate malt scent. Taste features delicious chocolate malts, tone of roaste also come through, followed by excellently blended bitter hops. Full creamy mouth. Im not the biggest porter fan but this one was amazing.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was from a 12oz bottle sampled on 12/17/04. This can out of the bottle looking a deep brown that was almost void of light passing through. A top the body rose about an inch worth of tan foamy head that disappears fairly quickly leaving some rings of lace. A strong roasty malt aroma was first noticed before the chocolate malt set in. Very rich in the nose. Coffee was also present. The taste was a mix of bittersweet chocolate over a roasted malt and coffee. There was a good amount of earthy bitterness present as well. This ends on a slightly bitter roasted coffee note. Mouthfeel was about medium but fell a little short but was still creamy and rich. Good drinkability here as the mix of flavors keep this interesting and well balanced. This is definitely up there on my porter list. Thanks to clvand0 for the chance to try this great beer.

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

Pours a deepest brown color with a light tan head. Good roasty malt profile with all the coffee and chocolate notes one tends to expect from a porter. Fairly hopped, which is a nice addition to any porter. Aggresively roasty, slightly fruity and mildly hoppy; makes for a beautiful balance. Wickedly drinkable. Probably Great Lakes best offering, in my opinion.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think it is fair to say that this beer has become legendary in its own right. When I think of some the classic (readily-available) American microbrewed porters, I think of Deschuttes Black Butte Porter, the Alaskan Smoked Porter, and yep, this one.

It's pretty amazing this beer has become so popular in the Midwest, where the majority of beer drinkers - and even craft beer drinkers - don't lean towards the darker beers. I can see how this beer has converted many -

For me, the most amazing thing about this beer was the balance. There was such a perfect amount of flavor hops in the finish, it perfectly balanced the toffee/roastedness of the grain bill.

Remarkably, you could smell these hops in the nose of the beer, and it was enticing everytime I took another sip.

I'm glad this beer is becoming more and more readily available. And I just heard the rumour it's going to hit the NYC market soon too.

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

This is one exceptional porter. The best I've had. Pours a very dark, almost black with a garnet tinge when held up tp the light. Head is tan, thick rocky and holds up well. Leaves a nice lace on the glass. The smell is roasted coffee and maybe molasses. The taste is very rich coffee and dark cocoa with a perfect balance of hops. Carbonation was perfect. Mouthfeel thick and creamy. drinkability is dangerously good. You gotta try this one.

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

The bottle said best by 0704 but I don't think the style was worse for wear in November.

Excellent looking beverage- nearly black, opaque body covered by a chunky, truly brown head. The aroma was that of a good bakery with coffee pouring. Malt and sweetness abound.

A full taste without being cloying. Not as alkaline as some Porters strike me. Leaves with a nice clean finish.

This is a Prince among Porters. Since it isn't available in my area, I forgot about it, despite having lived in Ohio for nearly ten years.

My wife picked this up for me in Wisconsin when I asked for Lakefront! Well, it worked out good.

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Photo of mkopera24
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is now one of my favorite porters that I've ever had. I actually brought out one of my many beer books to look up the definition of a porter and it fit perfectly. The appearance was a dark brown/black not totally opaque. The perfect ammount of carbonation. A few trails up the glass after pouring. The smell of it is a combination of a chocolate/coffee/sweetness. The aftertaste is mostly chocolate and long lasting. Mouthfeel, is smooth and thick. You know you have a good porter when you want to savor and drink this beer slowly to enjoy every second of consumption. I'm quickly becoming a very big fan of the Great Lakes Brewery.

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Photo of karengarys
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I usually hide the ratings so I can rate beers unbiased. Unfortunately I knew ahead of time this was a top hitter - I hope that hasn't biased my review.

This pours transparent black, or deep deep brown. It poured up with a nice head, which remained to some extent throughout the drink. Towards the end there was a filming and ring around the edge. Some lacing was stuck to the glass. Quite nice.

Smells good, nice and unsweetened choclatey with a hop hint.

Tastes is very smooth chocolate with a nice hoppy balance. I don't know how they get a floral scent in the taste, but it is wonderful.

Mouthfeel is quite nice and creamy.

The finish (oops, I just finished it) - the finish is also creamy, with bitter almost coffee like notes at the back of the throat. It really is more chocolate like.

It does leave a slight bitter aftertaste.

This is a really good brew. Try it, even if you don't like porters.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,988 ratings.