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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.

5,017 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,017
Reviews: 1,843
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 470
Gots: 389 | FT: 20
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: 5,017 | Reviews: 1,843 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PartyHatjo


4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 12:53:42 | More by PartyHatjo
Photo of faernt


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2004 23:01:42 | More by faernt
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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


Serving type: bottle

04-17-2004 21:18:06 | More by Bierman9


4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2004 16:31:05 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of cedricwarner


4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2004 22:22:18 | More by cedricwarner
Photo of soper2000


4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2004 02:57:32 | More by soper2000
Photo of BierReise


4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 12:48:06 | More by BierReise
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2004 23:21:48 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Skidz


4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2004 01:37:54 | More by Skidz
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2004 01:25:41 | More by beerluvr
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2004 21:21:59 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of malty


4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 03:06:34 | More by malty
Photo of bditty187


4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2004 20:51:54 | More by bditty187
Photo of abents


4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2004 16:08:18 | More by abents
Photo of CRJMellor


4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 15:29:51 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of masterbruewer


3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 03:32:54 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of jahred


4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 04:32:08 | More by jahred
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2004 07:05:16 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of stewart124


4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2004 14:52:41 | More by stewart124
Photo of kwalters


4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2004 14:57:26 | More by kwalters
Photo of CortexBomb


4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 18:13:28 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of beergeek279


4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 06:23:12 | More by beergeek279
Photo of hustlemuscle


3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 05:39:23 | More by hustlemuscle
Photo of Stubbie1


4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of this porter is almost jet black. A off whit head did stay for some time and gave way to a very nice ring around the glass. The aroma is of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate present. The taste is nothing but enjoyable. A wave of roasted flavor starts off this porter then followed by hints of a dry hop-"e" finish. A smooth and creamy feeling in the mouth is noticed. A very nice porter.

Again, thanks to MotoRacer36 for this brew!

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2004 02:10:17 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril,
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

--Gordon Lightfoot

Deep, dark brown (not quite black) with ruby highlights. The large, pale caramel colored crown has nice retention and gives up lots of sticky lace in the form of concentric rings marching down the pint glass.

The nose is spicy, with plenty of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is dark malty with, again, plenty of coffee and some chocolate. Simply delicious. Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best (if not THE best) porters in the world. There's some hop bitterness present too, making its presence known on the finish.

The body/mouthfeel is what I've come to know as typical Great Lakes. That is, wonderful. Drinkability is sky high; this one goes down so easily that it's scary. In fact, it goes down about as fast as the Edmund Fitzgerald did.

This is my second Great Lakes beer and I am impressed. No wonder these guys finished so high on the "Top 50 American Breweries" list (#3), an honor that is well-deserved. If I was fortunate enough to still live in the GLBC distribution area, I would never be without a few bottles of this world-class porter.

Note: after many more bottles (and most of its serious competition), I still consider Edmund Fitzgerald to be the world's best American porter. 8-5-09.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2004 15:35:49 | More by BuckeyeNation
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,017 ratings.