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.

5,338 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,338
Reviews: 1,869
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 483
Gots: 501 | 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: 5,338 | Reviews: 1,869 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spartanfan
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep black/brown around the edges. Nice tan head that leaves good lacing behind. The nose of this beer smells mostly of roasted coffee. The taste is at first of bittersweet chocolate, there is also an abundance of roasty coffee flavors, and they flow very well together. The mouthfeel is medium heavy with a nice creaminess to it. This brew is extremely drinkable, I think I'll go have another.

spartanfan, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of atpben
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. It pours black with a nice brown head that left partial lacing as I finsihed the beer. The aroma is mostly notes of coffee, molasses and chocolate. The taste starts off with a somewhat creamy mouth feel. It has a rich roasty and sweet malt flavor. More tastes of coffee and chocolate with some bitterness that starts in the middle as stays till the end with chocolate dominating. A very nice porter. Another good beer by Great Lakes.

atpben, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful black body with a creamy white head with what looks like milk mixed in the head.
Roasted smelling with some smoke character. Creamed coffee with vanilla.
A roasted beer with a luscious mouthfeel. Excellent creamy body with the perfect carbonation and viscosity.
An absolutely fantastic beer, I wish that this was available in boston.

alovesupreme, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of SaintPeter
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with garnet edges, with a light brown head leaving a coating of lace.

Huge smoke and wood aroma. Smokey, dark malt taste, some sherry, black coffee. A tad yeasty in the taste. Bitter chocolate, molasses, caramel. Well balanced but there is some bitterness of black coffee in the back.

Ultra smooth, creamy mouthfeel with a slight tingly carbonation in the end. The bitterness and the yeastiness make it a slow drinker, otherwise a fantastic beer.

SaintPeter, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of yelterdow
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thanks goes out to EPseja for giving me the opportunity to sample this revered Porter. Best by 3/17/09, I will serve this in an imperial pint glass out of the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Appearance- This gorgeous beer pours a deep reddish brown, supporting an enormous four finger light tan crown that gives us a hint of red in there. As the billowy head begins it soapy demise, it remains full and puffy while dragging some of its lace down the inside of the glass. Wonderfully appetizing all around.

Smell- First comes a blast of bittersweet chocolate, followed immediately by a smoky, roasted malt nose. As the beer opens up, the chocolate becomes even more pronounced and takes over the aroma almost completely.

Taste- Rich and smooth, the flavors echo the aroma, concentrating mostly on a smoky, roasty experience with the bittersweet chocolate cutting through the hops.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The texture is smooth, without ever reaching a rolling carbonation that could better exhibit the flavors. It falls almost flat right before the swallow. The rich, prominent character overall makes this a beer a classic, bold Porter.

yelterdow, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of CampusCrew
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not my favorite style but it's a nearly flawless porter

appearance: deep black ebony

smell: roasted choolcates aroma

taste: rich and creamy choclates and roasted barley flavors. very rich

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied

drinkability: overall a great beer and one of the top porters on the market

CampusCrew, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to projectflam86 for the bottle.

A - black as night w/ a pretty 2 finger brown head and some sexy lacing to keep track of my quaff pace.

S - roasted, almost burnt malts, lots of chocolate and a bit of vanilla bean...delicious

T - smokey flavor quickly consumes the taste buds, but is highlighted by chocolate and coffee flavors, very low and mellow bittersweet ending. nice

MF - medium to high carbonation which i find enjoyable. it seems to make this robust brew dance a bit on the tongue.

D - very high. I am generally not to huge on porters, but i dig this one. Maybe i am coming around, or perhaps this is just a really well done beer.

bonsreeb85, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of kegger22
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In another rating, I reported that a different porter beat Eddie Fitz hands down. But after a second sampling of the old lake freighter, I'll concede that the only difference may have been aroma. Otherwise, the Great Lakes entry is an excellent porter. Nuf said. (BTW, Founders porter was the other).

kegger22, Jul 14, 2009
Photo of TheNightbird
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black like a stout with a rocky tan head.

S- Loads of coffee, carmel and dark roasted malt. Little to no hops.

T- Coffee, chocolate, fruitiness with a slight toffee taste. Very complex, I was left trying to figure out this beer after each sip. Eddy Fitz has a has a dry finish.

M- Strong body that is supported by good carbonation.

D- My favorite Porter on the market. Have had over 100 of these in the lifetime.

TheNightbird, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

4.5 A: Dark brown, almost black color. Two fingers of light brown head with good retention and tons of lacing.

5.0 S: Lots of roasted barley and oakiness with vanilla, nuttiness and espresso. Has an almost bourbon type aspect to it.

4.5 T: Taste is really good, but not as good as the smell. It's basically a less intense version of the aroma. Roasted barley, oak, vanilla, espresso all come back again.

5.0 M: Medium body. Good carbonation. Really creamy. Perfect really

5.0 D: This is a very fine dark beer. I must say I love it.

DavoleBomb, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass, courtesy of CoalCellar - thanks, Dan!

Pours black, trailing into translucent dark brown at the narrowest point in the glass, with a super dense one-finger light-khaki head that sticks around beautifully, and clings to the side of the glass tenaciously.

Nose is beautiful - roasty, wafts of coffee, with a chocolaty caramel sweetness underneath. Everything you'd expect it to be.

Taste is excellent as well. Bittersweet dark chocolate up front, with a big, smoky roastiness (and a bit of licorice) following that leads into a lightly bitter, roasty finish, with the roasty acidity really poking its head out around this time as well.

Mouthfeel is nice - rather creamy, medium-full bodied, though it's cut a bit by the acidity as it warms.

Drinkability - Superb. Everything a nice porter should be - flavorful without being overbearing, nice mouthfeel, all around top notch beer.

JohnQVegas, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of ajr24
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ohhhh damn. This porter has been praised numerous times and I can see why. I am in love with this beer instantaneously.

12 oz poured into a mug. Served at the bottle recommended 55F.

A- Deep, deep brown, almost black with amber and ruby highlights. Clearly an awesome grain bill here. Fluffy white-tan head shrinks into a generous white-tan layering. Splashes of lacing here and there.

S- Smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted barley. Some nice hints of nuttiness, too.

T- Gahhhh here it is. Here's the complexity. The flavors take their time running across your tongue. Rich chocolate comes through first with a strong coffee following. The nuttiness is an excellent accompaniment.

M- Smooth. Rich. Silky. Most excellent.

D- Great beer makes for great drinking.

ajr24, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had @ the Hopleaf while the draft coolers were down

Pours a dark brown, with a nice tan head that kind of falls back to a dense ring. Leaves only a little bit of lacing. This one looks pretty normal for the style. The smell comes up with coffee, chocolate, with a moderate sweetness. There's a bit of dry fruitiness in there, too. Again, kind of normal as I would've expected for the style. The taste comes on strong immediately with coffee - roasted barley flavors. There's a note of bitter chocolate - heavy on the roasty bitterness. The sweetness is kind of minimal, but present, barely able to cut into the coffee flavors. The taste all seems to be contained in the first sip, and very little seems to change as I get further into this beer. Mind you, what's here is good, nice and interesting, nothing is really off about it. Towards the end I started to notice a kind of bready, yeasty flavor - maybe some light esters, which don't do too much for me, but again, this one seems right on track, but not quite outstanding. This one is full, but the carbonation provides quite a sting - which actually leads to it feeling a bit thinner. But kind of nice I'd say. This one is good, but not great. It's nice and enjoyable, a beer you could probably enjoy quite a bit. I could really see myself drinking it again, if the price were right, but I wouldn't expect to be wowed by it.

taylorhamrick, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to vwcraig for this particular extra.

12oz bottle, best by 08/18/09. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

dark reddish brown, almost black. no haze, dark ruby under the light. large tan head w vigorous pour, slowly fades to thin layer. some lace at first, then lots more later.

aroma: sweet dark caramel maltiness with very light hints of roast and coffee. touch of dried cherry esters, trace of grassy hop mixing with roasted notes. very faint fusel in back, with possible touch of vanilla.

taste: caramelized and roasted malts give coffee and cocoa tones, while the roast and light hops also give mild to moderate bitterness. touch of acidity, then the esters come out towards the finish, along with vanilla, but there are some slightly distracting fusel or phenol in back too.

light to medium body, smooth overall, punctuated w astringent and acidic flashes, along with phenols. mild to moderate carbonation is otherwise creamy.

tai4ji2x, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of MeisterBurger
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a blackened ruby, with two fingers of tan head that dies down to a nice, even sheet. Great head retention and elegant lacing. This beer looks as good as it tastes.

The nose is really nice, with elements of chocolate and citrus hops, with some coffee and an overall inviting caramel fruitiness, it complements the taste and it's just as enjoyable down to the last sip.

Taste is dark chocolate and black coffee, with some prunes, and roasted malt backed up by a biting, almost oaken hop bitterness in the finish It's so good I want to chug it and I have to force myself to rest between sips.

It's medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation which adds a nice crispness to it.

It's a joy to drink and it's a pity I only have one. It's a virtually flawless American porter.

MeisterBurger, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of buschbeer
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I poured into a Detroit Beer Company pint glass to very little tan head. It is very dark but not quite black. If I hold it to the light I see a burgundy glow. I smell roasted malt and maybe a hint of coffee. Sweet malts up front with bitter coffee on the back end. Yummy. There is very little carbonation as expected. I like this stuff. This is my go to beer at the local sports bar that has little selction.

buschbeer, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Did the center of the glass pour, gave me a huge head, which has never happened before, but it's going away fast and even did some of the falling bubbles Guinness Style. Still settled on a 4 finger creamy tan head. There is some active carb, very little but some. The beer itself shoes some red hues amongst the black/brown that dominates. Lacing is very nice.

S: Nose is roast and dark fruits, prunes I'd say. Some malty-molassassy sweetness as well. No hops though, but still good. In different bottles that roast has been more or less powerful.

T: Bittersweet, with the roast again present, but lighter. The dark fruity sweet is more so what's going on. This tastes a little more burnt that usual though.

M: Smooth, light. I'm actually going to give points for the texture of the head here, it's very nice when it touches the lips.

D: Easy, good. Could put down a few of these, I think it has some great options for food pairing as well.

mdwalsh, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle that I now see is 3 months past its best before date - sucks when you buy old stock. Pours a dark dark brown but not black, a couple of fingers of light tan foam forms in the tulip, light lacing.

Nose is chocolaty, some medium/dark roasting with hints of smokiness, really smooth.

Taste is equally smooth. Roasting without the astringency that sometimes accompanies it, light bitterness, faint hop drying in the finish, swirls of light chocolate, I want to say just the faintest brewed coffee notes. Doesn't seem to have suffered with the few extra months. Smooth, if not slightly light, body that gives a creamy feel. Feels richer than 5.8%.

A solid porter. Easy drinking and with a lower end ABV you could easily have a couple with no regrets. Not overly smoky or bitter, just smooth.

ritzkiss, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 8/4/09 on the bottle

Thanks to Draught2012 for providing this in one of our trades.

Wow, quite a good looking beer. Thick/substantial light tan head with excellent retention. Root beer colored beer (perhaps even darker) Can't see any carbonation, but very dark.
Clumps of lacing stick everywhere.

Aroma is wonderful. Thick caramel notes, molasses. Fresh actually. Some cocoa perhaps. Didn't get the cocoa at first. But later it seemed to make sense.

This is a good beer. Well balanced between the roasted goodness and the sweetness. Light cocoa flavors, a touch or roasted bitterness. A touch of charcoal and smoke. There is just a hint of sweetness then it almost finishes dry. More smoke in the lingering aftertaste,

Smooth as silk. The slightest carbonation.. Medium bodied.

Wonderfully drinkable. I am sad to report that this is my only bottle. One of my favorite Porters.. Glad to have had the opportunity to try this.

Reagan1984, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of mkabull
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice dark color light light tan head good lacing
S- nice roasted malt aromas coffee chocolate light burnt nose
T- good porter flavors roasted/toasted malts rush up front but not overwhelming bitterness is present compliments other flavors nicely
M- good body but not too heavy satisfying beer
D- nice drinkable beer for a porter the taste helps the overall drinkability

mkabull, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of bulletrain76
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Dark brown with a medium beige head. Dark chocolate and caramel aroma. The flavor has a definite roasted coffee edge, but is balanced by sweeter chocolate and malt flavors. Medium bitterness and fuller malty character. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Solid stuff with a good mocha flavor going on. Very drinkable, but not a true session porter really. One of the better porters out there that I have come across, but not really distinctive except that it nails the style without flaws.

bulletrain76, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of photomike
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bulletrain76 for sharing!

Pours a dark brown with a somewhat quickly receding head. A respectable amount of wet lacing slowly follows the level of beer left in your glass.

Smell is very nice; milk chocolate and coffee notes play off each other with a carmelly sweet malt background for it all.

The taste is slightly boozy, but chocolate is the star. Very bitter espresso is present at the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick with a puckering bitter finish and sparkly carbonation. Not bad, but a tad overcarbonated for my liking in a porter.

Highly drinkable, the only thing holding this beer back is the bitter finish; otherwise this would be infinitely drinkable.

I liked this beer quite a bit, but don't understand what the fuss is about. A very good porter? Yes. A great one? Only maybe.

photomike, Jun 18, 2009
Photo of tatoodkelt
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Auslander for the trade!

Bottle to a pint glass.

A- Poured a super dark brown, almost black with little red hints when held up to the light. Nice one finger tan head with great retention.

S- Deep earthy roasted aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate.

T- Lightly smokey, burnt/bitter chocolate

M- Hardly noticed any carbination, medium body.

D- Definitely one of my favorite porters. Hopefully I can find some more on my upcoming trip to MI.

tatoodkelt, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep charred brown with a thin beige head that left good lacing.

S- Roasted coffee nose with hints of bittersweet chocolate, hazelnuts, brown sugar and malt. Not much in the hops department but full of coffee and cocoa.

T- Packed full of roasted coffee and chocolate flavor. A very roasty/smokey/burnt taste with highlights of caramel and brown sugar. A slight bitterness from the cocoa helps to balance the crystal malt and brown sugar flavor.

M- Medium/full body with a nice amount of carbonation. Very smooth feel.

D- Easily the best porter that I have had. Very drinkable with a big robust flavor that is surprisingly refreshing. The alcohol is nowhere to be found which makes this something I could definitely drink plenty of.

projectflam86, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I did a little cross-porter tasting on Friday night, and the highlight was definitely the Fitz.

Very dark brown, bordering on black, but with red highlights when held up to the candle. A large tan head forms and lasts for the entire drink (which isn't long... this stuff is too delicious to sit), and lays down concentric rings of lace. Sweet chocolate aroma, mixed in with coffee, caramel and roasted nuts.

The flavour has bittersweet chocolate in droves, but as further sips are taken it recedes a touch to reveal a complex mix of the aforementioned chocolate, coffee, dates and caramel. There's also a pleasing hop bite in the tail. Its a beer that demands to be lifted to your lips as soon as you put the glass down. What's more, the excellence extends to the mouthfeel, which is heavy yet smooth, which suits the luxurious richness of the beer very well indeed.

Yet another epic winner from Great Lakes.

bobsy, Jun 15, 2009
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,338 ratings.