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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,259 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,259
Reviews: 1,860
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 482
Gots: 476 | FT: 21
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: 5,259 | Reviews: 1,860 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of armock
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt chocolate coffee scents

T - Very good taste like the smell chocolate and coffee

M - This beer has a thinner body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a very good beer that I really enjoyed and could drink a number of thes in one sitting worth finding to try

armock, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of dfillius
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint
This was the first beer I had from Great Lakes, now I'm reviewing it a year and a half later after an absence from their area of distribution.
A: Moderate pour yields 1.5 fingers of tan head with great retention. Clear, dark brown liquid that is almost black and opaque. A shade of red around the bottom edge shows.
S: Cocoa and coffee, modest hopping.
T: Rich cocoa, earthy, coffee grounds, peat, creamy sweetness.
M: Dry and bitter, smooth and silky.
D: High. This is a great porter and my favorite from Great Lakes so far.

dfillius, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of tosshin
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a : A touch of light passes through showing a clear dark red. About .5 inch of head that dissipated quickly leaving very little lacing.
s : Chocolate and coffee are the dominating aromas. A hint of cherry is also present.
t : Mmm, that's really good. Coffee and a bitter hoppiness come through most dominate. The chocolate characteristic comes there with a bit of swirling. Also, there is a bit of a warm alcohol that makes this beer finish really nicely.
m : Nicely balanced. Carbonation and density are spot on. The beer leaves a coating in your mouth, but it tastes good so I don't mind.
d : Not a huge porter fan, but I could definately spend my night drinking this beer.

I have grown to really enjoy this brewery out of Cleveland. I have yet to find a poor beer from them. Here I was thinking that I would have a hard time finding quality beer in Erie, PA. Not so, not so.

tosshin, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Lepley
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a variety twelve pack from Giant Eagle. I think they accidentally put six of these in the case and I can't complain.

A: Pours blackish-brown with two fingers of brown head, nice lacing but little retention.
S: Sweet, roastiness, coffee, smokey.
T: Coffee, roasty, smokey, sweet, fruity, bitter, chocolate.
M: Smoot, creamy.
D: This is one of my favorite beers, ever. Porters don't get much better than this.

Lepley, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of EatsTacos
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown with amber hues, good head and some decent lacing on a pint glass

Aroma has a good amount of coffee and chocolate notes with a background hoppiness

Taste is not overly smokey or sweet, but is rather quite bitter and coffee-like. There are hints of fruitiness as well, cherries and raspberries. This is so far the best American porter I've had and among the best porters I've had.

Again mouthfeel is spot on for a porter, medium to light bodied with a pretty pronounced, sharp carbonation. This adds to the drinkability for me a lot.

EatsTacos, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of raoulduke37
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, just after the freshness date. Black with reddish hues near the bottom and sides, with a cream colored head that retains well, but not too much lacing. Smell is great - chocolate, toffee, caramel, with mild phenolic background. Taste is hoppy up front, but then warms up to a bitter/coffee background, and definitely some cream on the way down. Someone before described this as being very "balanced." Indeed it is. This is a great brew all around, especially if one needs a break from RIS's, as someone mentioned before also. With the low ABV, this is most definitely sessionable.

raoulduke37, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of DrewOSU
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown to a chestnut color, ½ khaki head with a medium amount of fluffy sponge on the top. Decent amount of soapy like lacing on pour. A white spider web lacing down the glass upon completion.

S: Hints of chocolate, coffee and molasses. I do not get a lot from the nose. I tried warming it up a little, but again, the smells didn't overwhelm me.

M/T: Light to a watery, medium body. A good hit of hop bitterness on the tongue on a clean pallet, only to be calmed by smooth roasted malts and a good amount of carbonation. Small amount of coffee and chocolate in the back of my mouth after swallow. The beer finishes light and pretty clean. Not a huge beer, none of the flavors will come overwhelm you in anyway, however the flavors are well blended. I think "blended" is a good word to describe this beer.

D: This beer is lighter than I expected it to be. Not a huge beer, but big enough to be a good sipper. Pretty good for someone who is looking from a break from a big RIS, but doesn't want a lager.

DrewOSU, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of Brew33
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this numerous times on draft and in bottles. It is wonderful both ways.

Great beer all the way around. Wonderful taste and body. Amazing drinkability considering the body and huge flavors. A staple at my house, good anytime. Don't hesitate. Best American Porter I've ever had. Outstanding.

Brew33, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of williamherbert
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a deep, rich reddish brown. Light needs to push hard to get through. Two fingers of large puffy light brown/tan head.

The smell is sweet and bitter. Cherry and cocoa/mocha. Bitter coffee beans. Dark chcolate, some raisin and prunes. Lots of strong, dry cocoa.

The taste is sweeter on the palate, but with a bitter swallow. First sip is sweet stone fruits like raisin, grape and dates. A hint of plum. Sweeter than the average porter. Some dark cherry.

The feel is thick and creamy, almost like chocolate milk. It is hella good, even if a tad sweeter than normal.

williamherbert, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of saradad
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, this is the last review of Great Lakes mixed case brews, and I saved my favorite for last, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Also happens to be a nostalgic little song from my youth as the 8-track tape containing this song was the first "album" I ever purchased, but I digress. The beer pours a nice deep, not quite opaque brown color with a nice light tan head that sticks around the sides of my glass quite nicely. There is no visible carbonation. The smell is of bittersweet chocolate covered cherries and toasty burnt toffee with hints of dark toast thrown in. There's almost no hops aroma evident. The taste mimics the scent with a very slight balance of lightly citrusy hops in the dry finish along with a touch of fading burnt chocolate with a slight alcohol presence. The feel is somewhat thinner than expected perhaps solidly in the medium range? This is a nicely drinkable beer, however, nothing overwhelming, nicely balanced and very tasty.

saradad, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of gotweid
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle into a pint glass. Very dark, but still brownish. Big, chinky, thick head and thick lacing. Very attractive. Aroma of roasted malts, slightly smokey with a trace of hops. Very well balanced taste between the slightly bitter hops, roasted malt and almost chocolate sensation. Only slightly bitter so as to offset the cooked grains/malt. Medium bodied but very rich in flavor. Medium carbonation at best. Easy to drink and actually somewhat smooth. Enjoyable.

gotweid, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of jkrich
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a stamped drink by date on label. It has an image of the ill-fated ship Edmund Fitzgerald and a blurb about the ship on the side.

Poured a nearly black, opaque color with a fleeting tan head; very little lacing. When held up to the light, there are hints of deep ruby red slivers.

The aroma was of tangy sweetness with a molasses like quality. I could almost smell hints of dark chocolate.

A very refreshing taste of sweet malt and chocolate flavors initially attacks the tongue with a lingering semi-sweet, coffee flavor on the tongue. The hops keep this from becoming overpowering or cloying. Overall, a very refreshing, somewhat light bodied interpretation of the style. Just the right amount of carbonation and medium bodied, keep this one interesting.

It has been several years since I have tried a porter (the last time was Sierra Nevada's interpretation which I also found highly drinkable). It is still winter, and this quaffable porter is the perfect ale.

jkrich, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of BacklitAvenger
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a six pack and brought it to a BYOB Thai restaurant. Ate spicy ba me jan ron and drank a bottle. I love porters, and this is right up there with the best.

Appearance - Darkest brown to black with mahogany highlights along the rim of the glass and at the bottom via refraction when held up to the light. A light tan head that rapidly vanishes. I tend to pour in a fashion that purposely reduces head, so this may not be representative. And no hating on me for pouring less head: it's how I like it and I dont give a shit how you drink beer, so you should in turn respect my tastes even if you think they are stupid and idiotic and sinful and blasphemous and so forth. Head lacing leaves residual traces on the walls of the glass.

Smell - I smell toffee or caramel and malts. It smells toasty. Can't smell the alcohol. There's definitely for me a raisen aroma, strange as it may sound. I don't really taste it that strongly in the beer itself, but aromatically it is present and accounted for.

Taste - Not much fruit here unlike say Flying Dog's Gonzo Porter. Or chocolate like Great Lakes Blackout Stout. Or the vicious hop profile of Three Floyds Black Sun. Rather there's a semi-sweet malt flavor accentuated by toasty notes, roasted coffee, and hints of smoke. Certainly less sweet than the above mentioned Gonzo porter. There's toastyness in the malts, with a caramel sort of flavor and a strong bitterness. It's more bittersweet from the roasted malt and resinously bitter from the hops, which offer a distinct snappy crisp finish. Mid drink there kicks in a strong roasted coffee/toasted chocolate sort of flavor, a real roasty toasty lovelyness that brings it to a clean finish along with the crisp finish of the aforementioned hops. Aftertaste present, but pleasant, so no resentment. The alcohol provides just a touch of warmth. The aftertaste itself consists of burnt flavors, in a pleasant way. The same flavor winds its way throughout the drinking process but only comes to the fore after the stronger flavors of hops and more substantial malts, likely chocolate, black, brown or crystal malts.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and yet recognizably a porter. Certainly there are thicker beers, but while this is crisp it is also full bodied and substantial in its own way. It is lower alcohol than some porters I have drank and that shows in the mouthfeel. There's less of a kick too it, more smooth. Perfect carbonation for this beer, not too much and not too little. The viscosity is highly detected, but it is pleasantly thick rather than sticky, sweet, or cloying.

Drinkability - I have on previous occasions finished off twelve of these babies in a row. They're that good, that drinkable. The alcohol is blended into the flavors so well that you can't really tell it's there in any unpleasant way. It's ABV is low enough that you can drink several without getting too far off your ass and it is neither too filling nor so watery that you don't notice it going down.

All in all I highly recommend this stuff. It's cheaper than comparable porters like the aforementioned Flying Dog Gonzo Porter, which is about the same price but comes in a four pack rather than a six. And while it usually matches Bell's price, Bell's porters can't really compete here.

BacklitAvenger, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Bung
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty dark brown with an off white head. Roast, coffee and chocolate aroma. Chocolate, coffee, slight blackberry flavors. More carbonation than some for a porter. Still almost creamy though. Also a little more of a hop bite, and finishes crisp and clean. Could drink a ton of this no problem. All in all a real good porter, would recommend.

Bung, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of erosier
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

L: Pours a deep black color with a medium sized and full bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, some roasted barley, and some chocolate malt is mainly what I pick up.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted barley, some coffee and chocolate flavors, then a nice slight hop finish.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect carbonation.
D: Extremely drinkable beer, this is certainly a winner and one of my new favorite porters. The flavors are all mixed to perfection.

erosier, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of damienblack
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JohnTravolta21 for this bottle!

Pours dark chocolatey brown with little fanfare. Quickly dissipating cocoa colored head, leaves decent lacing around the glass. Smells nice and roasty, sweet yet dark malt and some chocolate on the nose.

Little bit of coffee up front, some toffee/butterscotch, but the main flavor carried is a grizzled cocoa flavor that just sits pleasantly on the palate. Hooray for chocolate burps! The dark roasted malts are just sweet enough to make for a very pleasant experience, but not so sweet as to be cloying and in the way. Slight hop kick at the end, but not much to that department. This is all about the chocolate. Overall pretty simple, a little thin without anything amazing happens. But it is a very easy drink, and the simplicity works in this case. Were this available to me, it would probably be a regular go-to beer. I wish we could get this here.

damienblack, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of mwa423
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Jet black, but not syrupy texture with a very thin head

S - Strong chocolate and malt smell, very pleasing

T - Very rich, with chocolate and spice. Very pleasing to the tongue.

M - Excellent, pleasant tingle and also a great aftertaste that makes the tongue want more!

D - Excellent for style, could go for a few more!

mwa423, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of jgap
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Big thanks to sholland for this one. Cracking the bottle i get a strong wiff of chocolate. It pours deep brown with receeding head that leaves lots of spotchy lacing. Smells of bitter chocolate, light coffee, and toasty almonds. Taste is coffee and bitter dark chocolate with a light hop presence that strengthens into the aftertaste. Could use some better blending of the taste and needs some thickness but overall a solid brew.

jgap, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of sabalon
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured black with a nice dark head that was as dark, and held good.

smelled of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate, and gathered just as much when tasting. it went down smooth and quick.

definately something one could sit back and while the night away with a few or more. easy to drink.

a winner!

sabalon, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of MrMonkey
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and a one-finger tan head that fades slowly and leaves some decent, scattered lacing.

Smell is lightly roasted coffee, a hint of vanilla, some roasted malts, and cocoa.

Taste is vanilla up front, before some coffee and dark chocolate with roasted undertones. Finishes with a mild bitterness.

Medium-bodied, slick mouthfeel with a moderate level of carbonation.

Definitely wish this was available here. One of the best American Porters I've had in a while.

MrMonkey, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of Sleepisforthewik
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured dark with a thumb's width head. Head thins out to a layer of bubbles on top.

S- Smells of roasted malts with what I detect as some hops; the hops smell I feel is subtle.

T- Roasted Barley, with a slight coffee flavor. There is a slight hint of hops on the back of the tongue for a fleeting second.

M- I would call it thin, but it compliments the taste so that it doesn't feel like I am chewing on chocolate syrup.

D- I would pick up a growler of this whenever possible.

Sleepisforthewik, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a complete ptich black with a 1/4 inch of foam that slowly disappeared and left a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - roasted malts, cocoa and coffee

T - roasted malt flavor, cocoa and some coffee, sort of a cola taste in my mouth

M/D - easy drinking smooth beer, very nice example of a porter that i'll look for again

mikereaser, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of dukedevil0
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12oz from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours dark brown or barely see through black with a khaki head and good lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of slight chocolate and slight coffee, roasted malts

T: Similar to smell, with some bitterness in there

M: pretty thick, what i would expect from a porter

D: Pretty high, hard to detect any alcohol, easy to drink

dukedevil0, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Lancaster Brewing pint glass. Purchased a 4 pack and this is my last one.

A- GLEFP pours out a dark brown bordering on black with a nice one inch dark tan head. This one has a nice shine to it. Nice lines of foam are seen as the liquid goes down.

S- Edmund has a deep robust roast musk to it. Some toffee/caramel is present while a heap of chocolate is there with slight espresso tones. Not much in terms of hops but that's common in the porters i've had thus far.

T- Is an extension of the nose with all the flavors coming through more. Edmund's dark roasty flavor is evident in the beginning but melds into more of a smooth creamy coffee/ chocolate mix. Sweet malts present throughout.

M- Edmund is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. Coats the palette just enough to get the full spectrum of flavors without being overbearing. No trace of alcohol.

D- At 5.8% this one is quite sessionable and the great balance of flavors make this one a winner. While some porters come flat this one delivers and is worthy of all the praise. I just wish I could buy cases of this in my area.

BARFLYB, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of MuchoCerveza
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very tasty porter. As soon as you smell the beer you can already tell what it is going to taste like. A strong coffee and chocolate smell hit you very hard. It sets up your taste-buds very nicely to what they are about to be swimming in.

Once the beer hits your mouth you instantly get that taste of barley and chocolate. Upon exhaling you can feel the strong aroma hit the back of your throat. It goes down very smoothly with the rich flavor making you look forward to the next swig. Seconds after you swallow the beer you get that harsh aftertaste in your throat that hits you like a cup of coffee and just leaves you wanting more.

I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a nice strong beer with distinct chocolate and coffee flavors.

MuchoCerveza, Feb 04, 2009
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,259 ratings.