1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

5,462 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,462
Reviews: 1,882
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 495
Gots: 547 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,462 | Reviews: 1,882 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, very little head with little retention. Not a lot of carbonation.

s - Smells of chocolate, coffe, and sweet and roasted malts.

t - Great taste of roasted malts and coffee. Also get hints of chocolate and some sweet cream flavor.

m - Smooth and creamy medium body, with little carbonation.

d - I really enjoyed this porter. It had a great creamy coffee/chocolate taste that seemed to get better as I drank it and it warmed up. At 5.8% ABV this is a wonderful beer that doesn't have a high ABV and I will definitely be trying to land more of this.

mdfb79, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of rye726
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brwn with a silky head. Nice lace and retention. Nose has roasty malts, chocolate, coffee, molasses, toffee and dark pitted fruits. Taste is a nice balance between sweet cocoa, cherries and plums over bitter hops, roasted malts and molasses. Medium body is nicely carbonated.

rye726, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of ATGHomebrewer
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

M: Deep, dark brown. a little light around the edges. medium brown head.

S: smoky, roasty, chocolate

T: mostly roasted dark malts, with some hints of chocolate and coffee.

M: medium-full body. low carbonation.

D: very solid beer. exactly what i would expect from an outstanding porter. not extreme, but textbook of what I think a porter should be.

ATGHomebrewer, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of Ottertude
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a very dark brown into my pint glass with a tan head that quickly disappeared. The smell was of dark chocolate, a touch of roasted coffee and a hint of alcohol.

It tasted of coffee, a touch of cream, some dark chocolate and a touch of hops in the background. As this warms the dark chocolate flavor tends to dominate, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned.

The mouthfeel was not too thick or too thin in my book. This glass went down pretty easy and I can see a good session of this fine porter on a cold winter's night. Great Lakes is one of my favorite breweries and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is one of the best offerings. Good stuff.

Ottertude, Jan 30, 2010
Photo of MrDanno96
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been overlooking this brew for quite some time now and finally decided it was time to give it a try. I'm glad I did!

A: Pours just about pitch black, letting no light in even when held up to it. About a finger of tan head sits on top of the brew and tons of sticky lacing covers the glass.

S: An awesome mix of coffee, cream, vanilla, dark chocolate, and sweet malt. Very appealing.

T: Tastes like a nice dark roast coffee with sweetener in it. Dark chocolate and roasted malts are also apparent. I wish I could give a 4.25 here - it's quite tasty, but not quite a 4.5.

M: A nice robust porter the boarders on full body. It's impressively smooth for the style and finishes with just a slight bite of carbonation.

D: Honestly, this is one of the best porters I've ever had. A smooth brew with a good mix of coffee and malt flavors and a great nose. Also, at 5.8% abv it's fairly sessionable and could easily serve as a replacement for a RIS on a night you can't afford to be light-headed after one beer. I highly recommend trying this one.

MrDanno96, Jan 29, 2010
Photo of mklinger
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass. A 1 finger head that was a nice mocha tan color and dissipated fairly quickly. Color is a dark brown that is really deep garnet red when held to the light. A very nice looking beer though head retention could be a bit better.

Aroma is chiefly chocolaty with just a smidge of alcohol in the nose. Maybe also a bit of coffee. The coffee/chocolate sweetness is very nice & appetizing.

Flavor is a bit more balanced than the aroma -- some chocolate/coffee/sweet flavor but they are all quite mild compared to the aroma. There's also a bit of hop bitterness in the flavor and a bit of carbonic bite. The chocolate caramel sweetness comes through better & better as more is drunk.

Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expect from a highly rated porter. Also, I found it a bit overcarbonated. Decent drinkability. Goes down smoothly & easily. This is a really flavorful session strength porter.

mklinger, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of BabyBastard
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Freshness date of 4/24/10. Poured into snifter semi-aggressively, yielding a small, tan head. Head is gone rather quickly, brew looks black at first, but then appears a very deep reddish black when gazed at near the light.
Smell is of nice, dark and roasted malts. Coffee also pervades the nose.
Taste is also heavy on the malt, dark chocolate and iced coffee smack the palate as well. Feels very smooth and creamy on the tongue. Not too heavy, just about the perfect body. A moderate alcohol content makes this a great brew to have a few of.

BabyBastard, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouirs a dark black with some tint at the edges of a dark amber. large head from a less than agressive pour.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, some light sweetness. Tasted very similar to aroma with first opinion of it being a well made robust porter. There is a little more sweetness than say a Smuttynose Robust Porter, but very similar in style, less black patent malt flavor, a miniscule amount of smoke, more chocolate malt flavors. Decent hop presence in this one, a slightly chalky / well attenuated finish.
Overall a very good American Porter - especially so at a 5.8% abv. No abv is put to waste in making this beer taste great -
Highly recommended to anyone who likes porters or stouts.

alpinebryant, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of capra12
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed solo served out of a pint glass.

Appearance: The lacing on this brew is really weblike and full. Poured a 1 1/2 finger creamy and frothy head, Dark and deep mohagundy.

Smell: Smoked coffee beans, slightly milky.

Taste: Opens with subdued coffee and dark grains as a pleasant coffee sour emerges briefly as dark malts come in the end to finish the sip leaving a coffee and mildly malty aftertaste. The malts at the finish become more prominent as this warms up.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slightly carbonated and medium bodied.

Drinkability: I would def have this again and recommend this to those who seek a solid porter who is nicely balanced with coffee as well as malts.

capra12, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip. Best by date of 4/3/10. Beige, sizable head sticks around for a while atop an almost black body. Some soapy lacing slides down the glass and some oily resin sticks on the glass telling me this one has a nice hop bill. Aroma is of coffee, some chocolate malt and some toasted malt. Taste is mildly sweet with obvious coffee and chocolate notes. Very, very smooth to drink, nothing off-putting whatsoever. Even better as it warms...Amazingly easy to drink and I can see why this beer has the reputation that it has...

KickbacksSteve, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to kirok1999 for this one. 12oz bottle best by 04/24/10.

A: Nice deep brown with excellent garnet accents when held to the light, light tan head not quite a finger thick, but has decent retention. Very clear beer, the accents really pop on this one. Nice looking beer.

S: Roasted malts right up front followed behind by a note of coffee, brown sugar. Notes of dark fruits underneath, plums come to mind.

T: Definitely roasted, wow, this sucker has some strong coffee notes, a little caramel, and some brown sugar. A note of chocolate a little further back, and a nice bitterness from the roast and an earthy hop profile. Really focuses on the roast though. Decent, but not quite what I had in mind. Still very flavorful.

M: Medium body, pretty strong carbonation, slightly acidic in the mouth as well from the roasted malts/coffee profile.

D: Very easy to drink, this is one flavorful beer, and would make a great winter session. Maybe a little strong on the roast for a porter, a little more chocolate flavor would help to even things out. Regardless, this is a great beer and is not one to pass over.

Thanks Mark!

pokesbeerdude, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of natelocc787
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First thought is here is a Porter that combines all the characteristics a Porter could possibly contain. Roasted, bitter and burnt. Chocolate, cocoa nibs and coffee grounds. Vanilla, brown sugar and roasted graham. All these flavors hit you each time you raise the glass and play ping pong with your palate. Taste score may have achieved perfection with a better mouthfeel to complement it, as is the feel is good but doesn't achieve the silky, creamy smoothness of some other great Porters. Would buy again.

natelocc787, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of thain709
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A very deep brown body bordering on being black...ruby highlights are present...a thin light brown head forms and shows some wispy retention...nice lacing

S - The aroma is filled with chocolate and coffee notes...some roasted malts and a subtle smokiness

T - This beer betters as it warms...the first sip provides a strong malt forefront with a slight roasted flavor...it finishes with a strong bite powered by cocoa and coffee beans...it warmed up and the chocolate flavors really came out...the bitterness subsided and the beer finished creamy and sweet

M - Full bodied...smooth, creamy, and soft on the palate

D - I can see why this porter is on the top 100...a great example...I love the change it goes through as it warms...it shows its complexity...solid offering from Great Lakes

thain709, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of slasher007
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for Sharing this bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with small amount of light brown head. Smell is slightly smoky, roasted malt,and bit of coffee. The flavor is roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. It finish off with nice hop and dark roasted malt bitterness. Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

slasher007, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Mora2000, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours black, not super black with a lot of brown in the light. There is a light mocha head that only rises about 1 finger and is gone quickly not leaving behind even a trace. There is poor lacing.

The aroma is super light. What does come through is a bitter chocolate with a smidge of alcohol.

The taste keeps in line with aroma as it is very light, but smooth and mostly in the flavor of light bitter chocolate.

The feel is on the lighter side but has nice sustaining taste.

With the low abv this is drinkable, but why not move on to something a litte more high powered.

Overall, this porter is ok, but doesn't live up to the hype, let alone me a top 100 beer. There are too many better, fuller more flavorful porters to keep drinking this. Having said that, getting a fixer at Whole Foods for $7.99 makes it a bargain, only if we rated that.

jrallen34, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

drabmuh, Jan 13, 2010
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz....

A: Black body with a one finger creamy mocha head that falls to a thin foam and leaves excellent lacing.

S: Roasted malt, faint coffee, bittersweet chocolate, dark fruit...figs, and faint burnt caramel. Nice and complex.

T: Huge roasted malt and chocolate, coffee also comes through in a big way. Dark fruit is a little more subdued. Overall it is a nice flavor profile for porter, well balanced and smooth.

M: Very smooth, faint carbonation but it is present and does just enough to wake up your tastebuds. Medium to light body.

D: At 5.8% this is exactly where I would want a porter to be. Huge flavor, yet very drinkable and the abv is never noticed. Perfect!

RedBrewer83, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of thistle3189
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good Porter, It is a solid example of the style.

A: Nice and dark, good head and lacing.
S: Lots of Malt and a little smoke.
T: Reasonably big, again a little smoke lots of malt and coffey to chocalate.
M: Big enough with a little carbination.
D: Very good I would drink this again.

thistle3189, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of PaulW
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (dated 5/3/2010) into a pint glass.

Appearance: 3 inches of tan, creamy froth that lace the glass as it dissipates in about 5 minutes. The beer is black with crimson around the sides.

Smell: Not much here other than a roasted coffee smell. Not much for the olfactory.

Taste: Classic porter: its rich toasted malts, hints of chocolate or coffee may come to mind. Consistent taste from first sip to last. Roasted dark chocolate taste hangs on for quite a while particularly at the soft palate.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is there to the bitter end. 30 minutes into my first glass and it still has consistent carbonation and a little foam on top.

Drinkability: Not bad for the style. I will have another one shortly.

Overall a great drink. Compare with Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter, invite the friends, tell them to bring cheese and crackers. Or better yet, serve fish and chips.

PaulW, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown color with hues of red as the light shines through. a thiner 1 1/2 fingers of a tan colored head is created from a relatively aggressive pour that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing

S-big roasted malt hits the nose first with a nice chocolate aroma and some coffee coming in next with a touch of sweet dark fig and plum.

T-the taste is very good, it brings an extremely nice flavor of some roasted chocolate malt, touch of coffee beans with a sweet taste of the figs and plums at the finish

M-the mouthfeel is absolutely wonderful, extremely smooth and creamy, light carbonation but still present, a nice lighter end of full body

D-this beer is extremely drinkable and tasty, a great mouthfeel, one of the top porters out there imo.

cpetrone84, Jan 09, 2010
Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is quite simply one of the best porters that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. I am reviewing it now, almost a year after I had it originally to make sure that I was not over-rating this beer based on my previously limited knowledge of porters. Anyway, enough banter...here goes.

A: Dark brown in color. Almost completely opaque, and in the middle of the glass, this beer is almost black. Held up to light, the edges lighten to a lighter brown, but there are no amber or ruby hues. The lacing is quite literally a solid wall of foam caked on the far side of my glass.

S: I let this one sit on the counter for about 10-15 minutes after removing it from the fridge before drinking. The initial aromas are of roasted malts and a nice bittersweet chocolate. Smoke is also present in limited quantities. I can also make out some licorice notes. Very deep and complex nose.

T: In the flavor, the smokiness of this beer is allowed to develop more fully. Smokey notes combine with roasted malts to give a nice rich character to the bittersweet chocolate that is still contributing nicely to the flavors. Coffee comes through fairly heavily in the finish and the aftertaste is that of a dark roasty coffee.

M/D: The feel of this beer is incredible. Smooth and silky, and yet, the carbonation content does not appear low. The texture of the beer is still fairly light. The mouthfeel follows the trend that this beer lays out from the beginning. Complex, well balanced, and not overpowering. Everything about this beer is enjoyable while staying subtle. This beer is a reminder that phenomenal beers do not have to be barrel aged, brewed with brettanomyces, or over 10% ABV. Very nicely done, Great Lakes.

NittanyBeerFan, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of steadydose
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks skybluwaters for this extra

Poured into a tulip. This beer presented with a rocky three finger frothy head. Body of the beer is jet black w/ mocha cap. As head deflates there is sticky lacing left on the glass.

The moment I popped the bottle, the aroma of chocolate hit me in the face. Getting my nose in the glass and taking a deep whiff, it's like i'm smelling chocolate milk. I'm letting this beer warm up a little and roasted malts and a touch of smoke is now present.

Initial sip, I can taste some roasted malts, accompanying the finish is a little bitterness, almost like drinking black coffee. As this beer opens up I can taste more smoke in the finish.

The body on this beer feels light/ medium. This one has a good amount of carbonation. Goes down pretty smooth and clean.

This is my first beer from Great Lakes and I'm glad to have been able to try this one. This is a porter I could drink a few bottles of in a sitting. It's a nice change of pace from all the Imperial porters and stouts I usually drink. Very good beer, and one that I will use to compare all other american porters too. Nice beer!

steadydose, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of PrinceDarren
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Billowing aromas of musty chocolate, cherry and a touch of coffee.

Tastes like chocolate covered strawberries. A little on the dry side with a bitter slight coffee burnt popcorn aftertaste.

Pleasant mouthfeel, balanced and very drinkable.

This is an excellent porter that represents the style very well. Could almost stand as a benchmark beer against which many other porters should be judged.

PrinceDarren, Jan 06, 2010
Photo of heissebier
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought this beer as part of a great lakes variety pack. Poured into a sidel.

Appearance- Very dark- as close to black as it can get with out being completely opaque. A rich creamy head leaves excellent lacing. What a pour!

Smell- Sweet coffee chocolate and caramel notes dominate. Malty and delicious, very stout like.

Taste- Blew me away. Bitter/dark chocolate mixed with coffee flavors. Its fairly sweet and creamy but not at all unbalanced. The hops are present, but don't do anything to take attention away from the malt.

Mouthfeel- Very very smooth with a medium-thick body. Just enough carbonation.

Drinkability- I've only tried a handful of beers that rival this in terms of drinkability, especially on a cold winter day. This beer achieves a rich, complex, well balanced flavor without being overwhelming. Just what the doctor ordered.

heissebier, Jan 04, 2010
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,462 ratings.