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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald PorterGreat Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

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5,610 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,610
Reviews: 1,903
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 515
Gots: 655 | FT: 22
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,610 | Reviews: 1,903 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Luk13
3.23/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jprime. Slightly reddish brown pour with a thin veil of foam. Aroma is quite hoppy, smells like an american barleywine. Hops, molasses and rich malts. Taste is quite sweet, old hops, and more molasses. Palate is thin and sticky almost no carbonation. Somewhat disapointing.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12fl oz bottle poured into my pint glass

Appearance is nearly opaque, but when held to the light it shows vibrant ruby hues. Frothy three inch mocha colored head. Great head retention that last quite a bit and as it subsides leaves plenty of lacing on the sides of my glass.

Aroma was of roasted malts with bakers chocolate, oatmeal, espresso, vanilla, oak, hershey, almonds, tobacco and cocoa nibs.

The taste upfront starts off mildly sweet with the likes of espresso and milk chocolate, leading midways is vanilla with a hint of smoked-malts with tobacco and slightly oatmeal like flavor finishing it off.

Medium bodied with a smooth and milk shake like texture

It is too bad I can not get this beer here locally or else I would buy this pretty constantly. Definitely one of the best porters that I have tried and I would recommend everyone to try this beer.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a nice large fluffy head.

Smels of strong dark chocolate, coffee, cream, and a bit of burnt coffee bitterness.

Taste follows the nose. Sweet chocolate and creamed coffee up front with some nice bitter dark chocolate and black coffee. More depth swirling about, such as plum and sweet cream.

The feel is full-bodied and creamy, though I expected more.

I greatly enjoyed this beer and wish I had another. It went great with breakfast!

Photo of feedsasquatch
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this on tap at a pizza pub.

A - Didn't look too good. No head at all.

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and smokey.

T - Just like it smells. Dark chocolate, coffee, and malts. Surprisingly well-rounded flavor for the smell.

M - Very smooth. Almost creamy.

D - It's can stand on it's own two feet, or be paired with chocolate deserts as well as meats. Personally, I liked it with my salty breadsticks that I had before my pizza showed up.

This is good stuff! I will definitely purchase it again in the future.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on 7-01-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Dark pour, 2 fingers of tan creamy foam, can't see much due to how dark it is

S - Smoke, dark chocolate, hints of coffee and roasted malts. Not much of a hop presence in this one

T /M - Medium bodied and smooth with a nice dark chocolate smoke taste. The hints of coffee lingering about

D - A great blended brew in my book. One of the better porters that I have had so I highly recommend this brew. I am glad that Great Lakes finally came to Minnesota and started out with this as one of their brews. I will purchase this brew again!

Photo of zaq37
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at a local shop in a 6 pack. shared a few with my brother but this is my first review of it.
Poured into a DFH snifter

A- Black with a creamy tan head that stays around for a bit, not fizzing away at all. just for kicks i shined an LED flashlight through one side of the glass and looking directly into the light through the beer it gives the light a RED tint. very interesting.

S- Bitter Chocolate and dark malt. incredible aroma, sweet and very intense.

T- The taste matches the aroma quite a bit. Very sweet with a bitter dark chocolate finish. and not like pure 100% cocoa powder bitter, i mean like a bar of 80% cocoa, very dark tasting but still sweet enough to enjoy.

M- Creamy and smooth, the malt flavors stick around in the back of the throat for a while, so it has a very long finish, which i prefer in a beer.

D- Very nice, a great sipper for any occasion, i would suggest this more as a dessert beer, but it could be paired with some great food as well. not a beer to finish quickly, but something to enjoy and savor. Will DEFINITELY purchase again.

Love this beer, this 6 pack was my first sampling of it and i was greatly impressed with the taste and the aroma. i HIGHLY recommend this beer to anyone looking for a dark porter to enjoy. 2 thumbs up!

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown with ruby accents that play in the light. Has a 2 inch tan head that reduces to a 1/8 inch foam top with sticky lacing down the sides.

Has a nice toasted malt smell to it, hints of chocolate and toffee tickle the nose. Always a tasty smelling brew.

Rich, roasted malt fills the mouth. Coffee bitters, dark chococalte, and caramel notes hit you, followed by a nice hop bitter finish that leaves the tongue tingling. Complex and well balanced, this battles with Founder's Porter as my favorite porters.

Smooth mouthfeel given the complexity of the beer. All the taste of a stout without the heaviness.

One of my favorites out there, and among my top two or three favorites in this style. Highly drinkable, you'll almost always find one in my fridge. And its from my hometown- what more can you ask for!

Photo of Fezfreak
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of the best Porters made in America. I was lucky enough to find a brewery-fresh batch with an Expiration date of November 2010.

Pours black as coffee with a generous head and good lacing right to the finish.

The smell has strong hints of roasted coffee beans with a subtle chocolate background.

The taste is dominated by smoky chocolate-coffee malt in the front and middle and finishes smooth and milky.

This would pair nicely with beef and pork dishes, but would also make a nice accompaniment to certain sweet desserts like ice cream (use your imagination).


Photo of IronLover
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured deep brown to black. Foamy tan head that dissipated quickly. Thin lacings that don't last. Sweet chocoalty aroma with hints of toasted malt and coffee. Smooth, velvety mouth feel. Sweet dark malty taste in the beginning followed by chocolate flavors and finishing with a hint of coffee. Very drinkable.

Photo of jsapunor
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark opaque beer with some mahogany highlights. The head is caramel colored with nice retention and the rings will tell you where your last sip started and finished.

Coffee and chocolate in the aroma which is very smooth and builds expectations for the first taste.

The flavor is what you would expect from a great porter. There is coffee and bittersweet chocolate with a little sweetness, probably caramel in the back end.

This is a very mellow porter. The mouthfeel is soft and civilized; an extremely drinkable brew.

While I am a big fan of imperial porters, regular porter has never been my favorite style but if Edmund Fitzgerald could be found nearby that would change. It's worth the extra effort (read shipping charges) to obtain.

Photo of biglite351
3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - reddish light through the middle of the glass. Rootbeer float like head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S - extremely light. Mild roasted malts with a little bitter chocolate. Would be nice if it were stronger.

T - malts, mild dark chocolate and even milder coffee. Like the scent, it would be nicer if it was stronger.

M - mild coating a tingle on front of tongue.

D - easily drinkable, but the lightness of the flavor would probably make me grab something else.

Photo of thetomG
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with just a slight deep reddish tint - about 95% opaque, with a beautiful thick foamy white head.

Aroma is a delicious bouquet of roasty malt, chocolate, and coffee. Flavor is remarkably similar with just a slightly hoppy element added in to give it a slight twinge of bitterness in the finish.

Incredibly easy to drink with excellent balance between being smooth and syrupy this is an amazing medium-bodied beer. Really really tasty! Will DEFINITELY be drinking more of this!

Photo of demcorhip
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice looking porter. Black, although not completely opaque, nice ruby toned highlights near the edges when backlit. A finger of tan head formed on the pour, and settled into a decent collar of lace.

Caramel nougat and pleasant espresso roasted notes. A touch of lactic sourness as well. A touch of leafy and earthy hops also present. Very nice aroma.

Nice stuff. Whole grains, and the caramel nougat and roasted notes present. The malt profile is bang on and the malt components work great together. Been after this one for years, and was glad to finally score it. Was worth the wait, and when it rains it pours, a beer buddy managed to score some too. A slight sourness leads into a more acrid and roasted flavour with a whiff of smoke.

Nice mouthfeel. Slightly creamy, quite smooth, almost medium bodied. Roasted malts and a touch of sourness play off the richer malts quite nicely. Hops take the backseat and let the other ingredients shine.

Quite drinkable, although not something i would attempt sessioning. Then again i might feel differently come fall or winter. Paired nicely with the aged gouda and crackers. Will enjoy revisiting this tasty porter. Worthy of its reputaiton.

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

A: looks like coffee or dark cola with a nice, tan two finger head that slowly went down. mild lacing left on the glass

S: smells almost earthy with great fresh coffee beans and some chocolate and roasted malts. not too sweet, just right

T: yes, this is how a porter should taste. fantastic blend of coffee and roasted chocolate malts with a crisp hop backbone

M: feels excellent in the mouth, light and bubbly. perfect carbonation with a slight dryness on the back end

D: amazing drinkability! goes down smooth and easy with a nice roasted, malty, dry finish.

Overall, I wish like hell I had access to this all the time. Would be a perfect fall/winter time session porter.

Photo of dpasotti
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Edmund Fitzgerald is damn near opaque, dark brown in color. The enduring beige crown consists of a nice-looking blend of large and tiny bubbles, and delivers a critical mass of lacing all the way to the last sip. Perfectly-melded aromas of roasted malt, chocolate and a slight woody note really pull me in.

Similar flavor profile: semi-sweet chocolate, excellent roasty notes, medium caramel malt, some vanilla, and just enough hop bitterness (and flavor) to keep things in check. This beer is textbook balance, "like a squirrel on a telephone line," as Ray Hudson would say.

Intermediate carbonation combined with a slightly too-thin body doesn't quite reach optimal fullness, which is literally my only complaint with this excellent beer. A light coffee aftertaste lingers for a bit and makes me keep coming back. My first beer from Great Lakes has set the bar high. This outstanding offering almost tops Founders Porter as best of the style in my book.

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Two-full-fingers, thick, brown-colored head. Head receded somewhat slowly down to a consistent layer. This beer appeared almost black in the glass, but definitely showed its true deep-brown color off the pour.

S-Chocolate, dark berry esters. Bittersweetness.

T-Bitter chocolate character with just a hint of choco semi-sweetness., along with some bitter coffee coming through in the aftertaste. Smokey-roasty character is prevelent, with just a hint of roasty bite. Light esters provide a hint of perceived sweetness. FInishes dry.

M-Moderate body proves to be very easy drinking. Carbonation is medium-level, in line with expectations.

D-So very drinkable. This porter is very densely-packed with choco-roasty malt flavors, while stil being easy and enjoyable to drink.

Thanks to Dennis for bringing one down for me to try during our Mexican dinner with Tengwall.

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- coffee and coca-cola with a head that is almost exactly the same as cola, except it lingers for much longer

S- Toasted malts fill the nose with a touch of chocolaty malt

T- Great mix of different toasted and chocolate malts, slight bitterness from hops, the flavor is probably the best of a porter I have ever had.

M- carbonation is lower medium with a nice body and a good smooth finish

D- Really enjoy this beer, is what i will most likely compare all porters to for now on, not my favorite style but definitely my favorite of the style that i have had so far

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic pint glass at ChurchKey.

My choice: try the Gordon Lightfoot story song-inspired brew (trust me, it was inspired more by that Canadian siren's sonorous elegy (yes, men can be sirens too...equal rights and all...) than the namesake ship and its misfortune) from a bottle or from the tap. Well, I'm enjoying the CK today, so draught it is. It pours a clear dark garnet-brown with about a finger-and-a-half of foamy ecru head, which takes a while to completely die out, leaving decent alcing behind as it does so. The nose is coffee, molasses, bitter dark chocolate, dark malts, and a light breeze of hops. The taste sees a return of the coffee, bitter chocolate (this time in powder form), and the hops, heavy on the floral notes. What's new is a small appearance from a light maple syrup. The body is medium, tending toward the lighter end but not committing, with a lightly moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slight mouth coating. Not a bad porter in any respect, but nothing really that special, either.

Photo of pmccallum86
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brown coffee color with a huge two finger tan head that dissipates very slowly leaving a huge bubbly head.

Smell is of big roasty malts, dark bitter chocolate, and some cocoa.

Taste is awesome, tons of bitter chocolate and roasted malts. Lots is going on here, very good porter deserving of it sterling reputation. Some bitter hops in the finish but mostly chocolate flavors here.

Mouthfeel is great, medium body, medium to high carbonation, and a great finish.

So drinkable, now I understand why the liquor stores are always sold out.

Photo of kwjd
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with thin tan head with little lacing. Smells is huge of roasted malt, cocoa and coffee. Lots of bitterness in the flavour. Some burnt coffee and chocolate taste. Really nice carbonation level and an awesome porter.

I know my description could be applied to many beers of this style, but this is better than almost any porter I've had. All the flavours blend together perfectly. I find some porters just have less flavour than stouts for whatever reason, but this one seems to have all the flavour without as thick of a body.

Photo of DerekP
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is as black as a stout, and smells of rich, rich coffee, brewed with dark cocoa. On top sits a delicious looking, fluffy beige head. I haven't even tasted it yet (not my first, but it's been a while).

The taste is dark & burnt, like pile driving your face into a fire pit flooded by last night's rain. The lacing is clinging.

The feel of this brew is silky and creamy, but in the manner that melted dark chocolate is silky and creamy.

This delicious specimen of brew master passion & effort has besieged my brain with thoughts of a heavy breakfast, filled to the brim with eggs, potatoes, bacon & sausage, and followed by a delicious chocolate pastry for an after-breakfast dessert.

Great Lakes is certainly one of my most adored breweries, period.

Photo of zhooker
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I feel like porters are the most authentic, that is to say original, ales. At least in the modern beer-drinking era (I.e., not including meads, braggots, etc). Of course I have no historical data to back this up; just a feeling.

Anyways -- back in Ohio to visit the fam, another Great Lakes to review. Poured from a 12oz bottle to a DFH pint glass. Dark -- almost opaque -- but enough light glimmering through to give it a DEEP amber glint here and there. Huge, rocky head peaks over the glass, slowly bubbling and dissipating, leaving a bevy of pretty lace en route.

Diving in for the first sip, it's all bittersweet chocolate on the nose. Insanely robust maltiness. A few sips later, I'm feeling coffee more than the chocolate. Big aroma, and all the parts are working together.

Through the first quarter of the glass, I'm really surprised by the hop presence, given how big the malts were in the scent. They're subtle, and the malts still definitely reign, but the bitter finish is there. There is a sweetness here, but not one I would tire of after two or three pints. It's a pleasant, balanced sweetness. Choco-coffee remains the predominant flavor. Mocha latte anyone? Jokes, folk. This brew's got a lot more meat on it than a fancy cuppa.

The mouthfeel is smooth, but I do feel a little thickening building at the back of my throat due to the sweetness. It would take three to four pints for this to become annoying though.

This is a model porter. It is distinguished by its robust malts and its chocolate/coffee flavors, but nothing is so big that its out of balance. I could drink this all night. I have had this beer at least a dozen times, and this is the first time I've sat down to reflect a little and write about it. Glad to finally confirm that one of my hometown craft brews is indeed a winner. Very glad.

Photo of aubuc1
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated best before 8/21/10 poured in to a tulip guinness pint glass.

Pours a clear dark brown with a little red and a thick tan head.

Smell is spot on for a porter. Slightly sweet, roasty, and a little coffee.

Taste is a great tasting light, smooth roast with a slightly coffee finish.

Mouthfeel is right on, and this is a very drinkable beer. The best american porter I have had.

thanks to my cousin Ryan for smuggling this back from KY.

Photo of metter98
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) in color with a thin layer of tan bubbles covering the surface.
S: There is a very rich aroma of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of chocolate and coffee.
T: The flavors are robust and well balanced--roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate and really stand out along with some notes of coffee.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with just a little bit of dryness in the finish.
D: This beer has an excellent level of drinkability; I could easily have more than one of these in a sitting.

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle tried 23 May 2010. Received this in trade as an extra from someone... sorry don't have who it was...

Served in the infamous Liquor Mart shaker pint. Small tight light brown head. Sweet rich chocolate aroma, roasty. Tastes of coffee, deep dark roasted malts. Cocoa and espresso but not very sweet. Good burnt bitterness in the finish and a light smokiness throughout, lingering in to the finish and aftertaste. Touch of vanilla and oak. Medium milky body.

Well done.

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,610 ratings.