Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald PorterGreat Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

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1,917 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,917
Hads: 5,939
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 4.45%
Wants: 558
Gots: 873 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,917 | Hads: 5,939
Photo of Afterburner
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, but not completely opaque. Dark reddish-brown in color. Moderate tan head, minimal lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of coffee and hops, with the coffee dominating the profile. The only beer I've ever had that smells more like coffee than this one is a batch of my own homebrew that I make with 1.5 gallons of real, actual coffee. The hops are more floral than piney or citrus.

Taste: Very strong coffee flavor to go with the aroma. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a coffee beer. Malt sweetness comes through mid-palate, giving it a nice balance. Hops and bitter chocolate notes on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, lightly carbonated, small bead. Perfect for this style.

Drinkability: Good, but a little heavy.

Overall: I'd heard many good comments about this beer, and was able to give it a whirl thanks to the largesse of a friend in Cleveland. It has lived up to its reputation. (918 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a nearly opaque ruby tinted dark brown colour with a half inch head. lots of lace. vanilla dominated cookie dough aroma, with a delicious flowery hop nose. fruity esters abound. the chocolate chip cookie dough theme remains throughtout the taste, with an interesting lingering interplay of yeast esters and hop flavour in the finish. this beer lingers long on the tongue; obviously full bodied with a rich creamy mouthfeel...the alcohol aspect (think kahlua) blends nicely with the dark roasted malt to provide a candy bar like taste. this is an extremely smooth very drinkable despite it's full body. an alcohol filled liquid milky way candy bar. really delicious and unlike any other porter i've tried ( the closest i can think of is bell's porter). i hope to have this again someday.

many thanks go out to bighuge and zap for procuring this beer for me getting it to me safe and intact. (919 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was received from cupbeerman and beergeek279.

Upon first inspection, a very good looking beer. Very dark brown, almost black with an light tan that was about an inch thick. It laced nicely down the glass.

Smell is toasty at first, but there is a high amount of hop nose as well. Chocolate peeks in a bit, but not as prevalent as the toastiness.

Taste is pretty complex. Nuttiness dominates the malt profile, with a bit of chocolate in the background. A bit of a burnt malt taste as well. Hops don't come through as much in the flavor as they do in the aroma, but they're is a lot of hop character in this porter.

Mouthfeel is a bit disappointing to me. Maybe too much black malt, but there is a bit of an astringency to the beer. It bites the back of your throat. Body is pretty high, and the bitter/sweet ratio is neer perfect.

I think the astringency I got in the mouthfeel turns me away from having multiple ones, but I would definitely enjoy this beer again, as long as I can find it. (1,010 characters)

Photo of faernt
4.07/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good lace and a slight green tinge to the blonde head. I guess that's just the hops, Yes? Lots of smell/ taste licorice (no, anise), chocolate which turns into cocoa and then into coffee. That's a nice trick. The tastes soon blend and recall another porter I've enjoyed,(Bell's).
The mouthfeel is medium to light compared to beer I've been drinking lately, but I find it very much on style. It's a drinkable session beer (422 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Fitz has a deep brown color...bordering on chestnut. A tan, 1" creamy head tops things off, lasts well and sticks nicely. Has dry, roasty, coffee notes in the aroma. Traverses the tongue smoothly, and has a middle of the road, medium body to boot. Roasty and semi-sweet malt hit the palate first. Some chocolate makes a cameo, and the hopping is mild and subdued at the dry finish, being slightly bitter. Kudos to AKSmokedPorter for the tasty sample.

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

706 (556 characters)

4.43/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer smells toasty and nutty. It poured a nice 3/4" head that looks perfect. Then, suddenly, my glass shattered. WTF? Had to be poured into a different pint. Luckily no glass shards in the beer.
This is the tastiest porter i've ever had. The roasted, toasty flavor is just as addicting as the nutty undertones. And there is a really nice hop finish, which is really nice to see in a port. The mouthfeel was good, and it would have been better if not for the carbonation that was lost in the re-pour. I rated the score accordingly, which I may adjust when i drink this beauty again, without glass disasters hopefully. Do yourself a favor and get a sixer of this beer. (668 characters)

Photo of cedricwarner
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Quite black as a porter should be, but with a suprisingly large, creamy, off-white head. Slightly sweet flavors of coffee with cream come through a mild hop bitterness, with only minimal carbonation. A delicious porter, and another reason why Great Lakes is a great brewery. (274 characters)

Photo of soper2000
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While taking a respite from college for the weekend, I was shocked to find this beer in my dad's fridge mainly because his idea of exotic is Newcastle Brown... Maybe he's getting better... I can only hope. Poured (seemingly out of place) into a Dale Earnhart Jr. pint glass, this beauty was a nice dark brown with a decent sized tan head. Lot's of chocolate aroma in this beer and the taste doesn't disappoint. It has a nice woody malty flavor with some small hints of chocolate and the alcohol gets brought out as the beer reaches room tempature. At room temp. this beer is simply sublime. I will surely pick up some more Great Lakes products when I'm home as the only brew of theirs i can find here is Burning River. (718 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque and with a sizable head of mostly loose bubbles. Cookie dough in the aroma with some cocoa notes and roasted malt. Medium bodied and smooth. Great mix of flavors, coffee, roasted malt and a slight hop bitterness. Great Porter and a good session beer at that. (272 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a prodigious light brown head. A very dark beer that has deep red hints to it when held up to the light. Aroma is of roast coffee, and lightly sweet, with a strong chocolate malt presence and a bit of astringent roast character, though this is fairly muted. The light sweetness is here in the taste as well, though the dark malt character tends to mute it out. Roast malt notes with hints of coffee and a good chocolate presence round out the middle of this beer. Definitely a great example of a porter, the burnt malt character is fairly muted. Does not have as much of an acrid burnt malt finish as some, it is fairly smooth and drinkable like a good porter should be. The medium body helps the drinkability, though it has so much flavor packed in it I would not recommend pounding this one, nor would I want too as this beer is just too enjoyable. This one is nice and creamy. It has a bit too much burnt malt flavor, if the burnt character was balanced more towards the chocolate side of the spectrum this porter would be perfect. (1,045 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out brown, sits down black in the glass with nice, dark red on the sides with a light tan head on top.

Smells nice and roasty with some light chocolate tones and good hoppy aromas bringing you in. Roasted flavors shine through with an interesting woody, even earthy flavors coming through. Good hops all around, finishes bitter and leaves you satisfied.

Medium-full body is nicely presented and makes this all the more enjoyable. An excellent porter that I may soon see added to my regular purchases. (512 characters)

Photo of beerluvr
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Embarks from the bottle into the glass with a prodigious and long-lasting lightish brown head, settling out atop deep brown liquid with garnet highlights. The nose is pleasantly chocolatey with an undercurrent of coffee wafting upwards.
The taste is roasty with some grainy dryness, black coffee, bitter chocolate, with a small amount of fruitiness underneath. Some hoppy bitterness appears after that.
Finishes up with a roasty/chocolatey note...extremely drinkable this one is!

Thanks to CRJM for the bottles, another winner! (532 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque, sticky beige head. Roasty aroma, toast, coffee, chocolate, the breakfast of champions to which we add a good touch of hops. The flawless velvety, silky medium body melts the flavours together perfectly. Dark molasses and black chocolate/coffee are balanced by more roastiness than most and a solid bitterness. Remarkably well executed, just as I awaited from past experiences with Great Lakes. An equilibrium in the porters world. (438 characters)

Photo of malty
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12 oz. longneck w/ best before March 16 '04.

Pours a midnight-brown with a tan head that lasts a while with various sized clumps of bubbles sitting atop the virtualy opaque liquid.

Strong scent of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, fresh brownies and a hint of floral fruity hops.

Tastes alot like it smells (see above) with a nice crispness that balances out nicely with the bisquit-like malt. Also a good dose of toast and dark fruity jam flavors as well.

Mouthfeel is airy and silky with a fine carbonation to keep things from getting heavy, being the body is med-full.

For such a robust porter, it never seems to fill me up. High drinkability factor here.

I've had the honor and pleasure of having this from the source back in Oct. '03, and I honestly have not had a finer porter, and I've had my share. And I will say without a doubt this is one of the best bottled porters on the market - a stellar ale indeed! (952 characters)

Photo of bditty187
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Basically blackish-brown in hue with ruby highlights where the light penetrated the sides of the glass, a finger of beige head tops off the beer in a lovely fashion. The head does fade to about half a finger quickly but the remainder holds excellently. Consequent lacing was webby but very prevalent. As a whole this is a great looking Porter. The potency of the nose is fantastic for a Porter, toasted malts, caramelized sugar, and a hint of roasted almonds, chocolate, and coffee. The individual aromas rarely stand-alone, it is an orgy of smells all focused on a common mission, create an inviting aroma indicative of a Porter. Mission accomplished. The palate is marvelously well rounded; upfront is a bite of citrusy hops that briefly charges ahead of the other flavors, the rest catches-up quickly. Roasted malts impart flavors of coffee and chocolate, toasted wood at the finish. I love the charred taste; it would be a great match with tangy BBQ or hickory-smoked steak, maybe even a gamey seared hen. Medium-full in body, it is rich and filling, a touch creamy, the carbonation is moderate and very soothing. The mouthfeel is good but just above ordinary. Obviously this is one drinkable beer. The aftertaste is big and charred. Awesome! Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is great; I can’t say it is “that” better that Fuller's London Porter! They are both dandies but this bad boy is nearly flawless! Thank you PhantomVodoo! (1,428 characters)

Photo of abents
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is what porters are meant to be.
It pours a dark bown color with a small tan head. The beer smells of carmel and roasted malt. It's got that sweet smell to it and you know it's got the malts. The taste at first is the roasted malt a sweet coating of the mouth warms you up. Then a distinct hoppy taste finishes the drink. Overall a very well made porter one of the best for sure. (391 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red color with dark brown or black highlights. Two fingered head fades away rather quickly but leaves moderate billowy lace on teh Great Lakes pint glass.
Aroma of full roasted malt with chocolate and a hint of coffee. Some earth, wood and a nutty note also detected.
Flavor of coffee and chocolate and carmelized sugar. Roasted flavoris very dominant and leads to a hint of charcoal in the middle. Faint taste of nut somewhere along the way also. Medium bitterness towards the finish.
Mouthfeel is full and thick on the tongue with a nice sweet aftertaste of chocolate cake or brownie.
Drinkability is extremely high, hard to save a few for beerluvr from this six-pack.
Classic porter that would stad up to anyhting that the UK would brew. Would sell very well with true porter lovers in the UK. (814 characters)

Photo of masterbruewer
3.91/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black/dark amber color with a thin light brown head that faded quickly leaving nice lacing.

The small was like burnt oak. A little hint of a plastic-like smell.

Aahh, a nice flavor a little burnt oak taste, a little coffee taste, a bit of a chocolate flavor, a nice blend of tastes with a solid hop background.

The mouthfeel is solid and smooth. Not syrupy or stringy.

A very smooth but flavorful brew. A fine example of a porter. (453 characters)

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

I'm a bit puzzled. My bottle says the beer complies with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 - but this is brewed in Ohio. And porters, as far as I know, had/have nothing to do with Bavaria. Alas - maybe my beer history/knowledge is lacking.

Anyway, pours an almost-black brown with a thin-to-medium head that quickly disappears. The scent is of roasted malts and esters.

The rich taste is malty and roasty. Not quite sure why, but the thing that comes to mind is that puffed wheat cereal I used to eat as a kid. I don't think there's any wheat in here at all, so maybe my taste buds are deceiving me. Then again, it's a good taste.

The beer tingles a bit on the tongue, and has a very slight, pleasant bitter hoppy finish. As it warms I also taste light chocolate and toffee, but nothing too overwhelming.

Most importantly, this is very easy to drink. It's fairly complex and very tasty. (896 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Dark label that has a black background with white lettering. The picture on the label is of storm battered boat called the Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in Lake Superior in 1975. Described on the right hand side of the label as a Porter that combines a complex, roasty aroma with a bittersweet, chocolate-coffee taste and a bold hop presence. Recommended Serving Temperature of 45°F, as well as a listed Strength of 5.8%. Enjoy By Date is Feb. 09 04.

Appearance: Dark brown, deep ruby chestnut body impregnated with inlaid aged mahogany. The body is dark, but held to the light it is possible to see that it is clear, when it even winks with a ruby red hint as it catches the light. Thick smattered cocoa brown lacing sticks to the glass walls as the head that was formed from the initial expanding tan mass settles down to a thick steady looking pillowy 1/2". A Super Model of the Porter world.

Nose: Smells marvelous, like cracking the foil top open on a fresh jar of roasted coffee mixed with hints of powdered Cocoa and a whiff of Chocolate covered Sponge Cake bring up the rear.

Taste: Strong dark flavors from a Box of Terry’s All Gold chocolates and kick-licks like those from a long-standing percolated coffee introduce the beer. The chocolate strata in the beer quickly develops a bitter aspect, akin to a bar of Cadburys Bourneville. Then suddenly, I get a strong floral hoppy twist right in the finish, its almost remarkable how this can break through at such a late stage, like an armor piercing shell somehow it wriggles away from the dark roasted malts and coffee aspects. The hops linger in the finish, and contribute to the bitter astringent ending.

Mouthfeel: Smoky at times, deeply rich and bitter, this is a not a Porter of the vinous Old School, but a welcome addition to the Impressionist era of dark coffee-bitter Porters. High carbonation ensures that the velvety head is experienced with every sip, smooth, rich, expansive and creamy it balances and introduces the bitter coffee body perfectly.

Drinkability: Yet again – a great beer, that only depresses when it gets to the Drinkability marking, for the third time tonight I get to this part of my Review with no beer left!!! Nuff Said!

Overall: A highly enjoyable Porter and a well put together quality beverage.

Well that’s 3 Great Lake beers tonight, a real ménage-a-trois of crackers that I would not mind having again. Cheers to BigHuge for delivering another winner from Great Lakes to Long Beach. (2,556 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown with a nice thick foamy head and lacing. The head fades after a minute but the lacing is still there. Smells of raosted malts. Sweet smelling and strong presence of a chocolate/nutty aroma. The taste is that of a delicious blend of chocolate and coffee. Smooth body and a nice blend of all the flavors including a hint of hops to add to the overall make-up of this brew. Great aftertaste and a very drinkable porter. Another salute goes out to the Great Lakes Brewers! (486 characters)

Photo of kwalters
4.2/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very memorable porter. I happen to have a GL Edmund Fitzgerald pint glass and made full use of it when sampling this porter. Everything about this beer was above average compared to all the other porters I've had in the past. The best part? It's still distinguishable as a porter instead of a wannabe stout. I'll be back for more! (332 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a hint of ruby red (just hold it up to the light) with a medium head which lingers atop the brew until it's gone. Smell is delightful as well with lots of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is a good combination with roasty malt, a tad of hops, and chocolate with a nice bitter twang on the after. Beer is also lovely and thick in the mouth with some carbonation to go with. Drinks quite smooth as well.

A quality porter well-deserving of it's reputation! (471 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is dark brown, with a foamy beige head that doesn't want to dissipate. The smell is a nice chocolate/coffee. The taste is a very strong coffee/chocolate hit, with a very nice mild hoppiness in it, and a nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Drinkability-wise, I'd be happy with just a case of this in my fridge!!

Finally!! I get this review down after several bottles of this wonderful beer. Despite its dubious origins (Cleveland) and the fact that it gets Gordon Lightfoot stuck in my head, Edmund Fitzgerald may well be the best porter out there, and this is absolutely one I'll have again! (680 characters)

Photo of hustlemuscle
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I came home from work yesterday not feeling very well at all. I poured a deep, dark glass of the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, and gosh darn it, I felt better shortly after.

This is not that review. I feel fine. The beer still pours a very dark, almost black brownish color. The head stuck around for a little while, and left a ragged lace as it dissipated. Giving it a swirl brings a complex, somewhat unfriendly bouquet to bear. It smells good, but it ain't a happy smell. Smokey, burnt, and a little coffee.

Stuff tastes good though. A smooth transition from malts at first gulp to a slightly tangy hops touch as it goes down. It sits in the mouth pretty nicely, the tang from the mellow hops giving it a little pop to the tastebuds. A nice beer all around, one I will definatly drink again. (796 characters)

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,917 ratings.