Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

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1,921 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,921
Hads: 5,959
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 7.73%
Wants: 559
Gots: 880 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,921 | Hads: 5,959
Photo of Andrew041180
3.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I suppose this is basically what I think of when I picture the quintessential American Porter. Unfortunately, this type of beer really isn't for me. There is more of the roasted, burnt coffee type of bitterness than the bittersweet chocolaty taste that I was hoping for. Just not for me. (290 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has been a staple in the beer fridge. Malty but not overly sweet. At this ABV it could easily be sessionable, but I can only take a little bit of a porter/stout at one sitting. Very or?well-balanced, easily available - what more could you ask for? (255 characters)

Photo of Anaxagoris
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Thanks to @Brewski. This porter poured a deep midnight oil!. With an almond colored head that dissipated quickly. The Aroma is that of sweet malt and chocolate. the taste is a little bitter sweet with the hops coming through at first and the sweet malts finishing it off. Overall a very complex and delicious beer. Everything I hoped for (337 characters)

Photo of MorgothBauglir
5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

THE quintessential American Porter! Rich, robust, smooth, but not TO sweet. Porter perfection! All other porters, bow down to Eddy Fitz's greatness!!! (151 characters)

Photo of Lordhelmit
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

This is a great beer. As others said.....very dark, almost black with some ruby undertones. Smell is of charred coffee and chocolate. taste is exception, with some caramel thrown in their and finishes like some dark bitter chocolate. So so so so good. Never heard of it before, but "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot has been one of my favorite songs since my dad played it on his stereo years ago when I was just a boy. I can't wait to share one of these with him. (487 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 10/20/14:
Pours a dark brown; looks black, but held up to the light yields it's a tad lighter, and probably fairly clear. Head is light tan, collects at the edges, and returns nice and foamy with some agitation. Lacing in my pour is minimal.

Nose has some toasted notes, and I get some coffee and chocolate, but I actually get a nice does of roasted nut. As the beer warms, I get a little more of the former, but the first sniffs reminded me of a nut spread (not having had a lot of Nutella, I fell back to peanut butter, but I could see it being a deeper or darker "nut butter").

The taste actually seems to border on the stout side. I get oily and bitter flavors up front,. coffee and nut, both perhaps sitting on the fire a tad long. I am presuming its the hops that actually bring in a very light citrus taste as the beer goes to middle and end, almost reversing the normal balancing act (the front is bitter and is reined in by the fruity hops).

I can see why the rating is what it is. There is a lot of interesting things going on here, and overall it's yet another solid beer from Great Lakes. There's just something about it in the end that made me downgrade it against the BA calculated score, and it has to do with the back end of the taste in offering I had. I definitely need to have this again to verify my thoughts on this review. (1,368 characters)

Photo of Pukstopper
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Went to a Bdubs and low and behold Edmond was on draft. Poured in a pint glass cool but not frosted. Nice lacing and just a wonderful flavor of roasted malt and chocolate. It poured a deep dark almost black color. Wife had one as well so u know it's good (256 characters)

Photo of Dawn30
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Like it lots good lacing and a world class taste. Was never much if a porter person but this one is wonderful. Hints of subtle chocolate and coffee go well together. Lacing is very nice and the head last a good time.
I raise a glass to those who went down that fateful day. (278 characters)

Photo of curasowa
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, dark ruby color with two fingers of tan head that fades with a thick curtain of lace.

Aroma: Roasted malt, lots of cocoa, burnt husks, a little earthy.

Taste: Creamy, really coats the mouth, building bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt, faint earthy bitterness towards the finish, which has lingering mild roasted notes.

The Rest: A really nice Porter, here. More chocolate than coffee and a little light on carbonation, but very enjoyable none the less. (482 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.48/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

355 ml bottle purchased in Buffalo, New York for $1.79 USD. Served chilled into a pint glass.

Appearance - cola brown, opaque and impressive. A four plus finger mammoth head was poured after a slightly aggressive pour. Simultaneously rocky and fluffy like a whipped froth on top. The head leaves spotty lacing and possesses impressive retention time.

Smell -wonderful aromatic blend of coffee, dark chocolate and a hint of licorice. Even a bit of an oatmeal like aroma too. Great smelling porter.

Taste - coffee and chocolate dominate, but there's a touch of leather before resorting to a chocolate covered coffee bean flavor. Hints of vanilla throughout and a dabbling of caramel make this a complex porter. Truly excellent.

Mouthfeel - smooth, creamy, velvety like texture. Carbonation is present and not insubstantial, but is also hard to notice. Oily and slick finish. Eminently drinkable.

Overall - a truly fantastic porter, probably the best I've ever had, and I'm impressed with the accessibility. Delicious and inviting, robust enough to hit the spot, yet light enough to have more than a couple, Edmund Fitzgerald strikes a great balance and is a beer all beer lovers should try. (1,193 characters)

Photo of acostuhhh
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Very smooth porter. I get a slight smores flavor. Sweet, chocolatey and roasted. Probably one of thw few dark beers I like ice cold. For some reason it brings out the milky sweetness. (183 characters)

Photo of Neorebel
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Edmund Fitzgerald pours a wonderful deep cola brown with a thick fluff crown of light tan . The aroma is that of bittersweet chocolate and dates, and a touch of something like black cherry. The flavor is phenomenal, especially for a low ABV porter! An initial burst of dark cocoa and dash of chocolate gives way to a grainy base. There is a mouth feel that is soft, much like chocolate mousse. The entire effect actually is a creamy, dairly like one. The mouth feel is rather light, it's not very strong or syrupy at all, but as I mentioned it has a great taste, leaving nothing to be desired. A great anytime beer for dark brew lovers. (636 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass
Best before: 1/24/15

A: Pours a very dark brown, slightly darker then cola colored, with 1.5 fingers width of light tan head. Head has decent retention before dissipating down, and leaves some small patches of lacing. 4

S: Aroma is roasted malts, black coffee, and semi-sweet chocolate. I also get some lactose like heavy cream notes, and a smoky char character. Great nose. 4.5

T: Like the nose it is roasty, but unlike the nose there is a big herbaceous, oak like character as well. Smokey char, hints of cocoa, and bitter coffee on the finish. 4.25

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation a bit high for my preference and thus not terribly smooth, but drinkability is great. 3.75

O: Pretty much everything I look for in a porter. One of the best ‘standard’ porters out there in my opinion. Always a pleasure to drink. Glad I finally got around to reviewing it. Highly recommend. 4.5 (928 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.64/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 50 degrees F.

A: Pours a deep, dark brown, but clear enough to see through. What little head forms is thin and quickly dissipates, though the beer leaves nice lacing on the glass for a moment ere it slides back into the liquid.

S: Slightly smoky dark roasted coffee and 90%+ dark chocolate riding a charred grain malt aroma, with some hints of sweetness around the edges.

T: Oh, that's malty. Dark, charred roasted grain, deliciously bitter, with the black roasted coffee and extra-dark chocolate notes clearly present. There are some hints of campfire smoke and cherry wood, or at least the flavor I get off of meat smoked over cherry wood. The finish is a deeply satisfying bitter roasted grain.

M: While rich, the mouthfeel is surprisingly light, given the nose and flavor profile. It manages to feel light and drinkable, without being too watery.

O: This is just a good, solid porter. Whenever I meet someone who doesn't yet know what a porter is, I introduce them to the style with this beer. It generally changes expectations as to what a porter should be. (1,110 characters)

Photo of BrewThru_29
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

I dont review many beers, but this one was worthy.

Appearance: Gorgeous crystal clear fall amber with a nice head.

Smell: Sweet malt. Really not a ton going on here.

Taste: This is where the beer stands out. Hands down the best balance and flavor I've experienced in an Oktoberfest. Phenomenal. Sweet malts are near perfectly balanced against the hop profile. So drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Easy to take down a few without feeling full.

Overall: Best O'fest I've tried. Get you some! (495 characters)

Photo of Fransais
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Poured a dark brown-reddish color with a nice tan head. Smells how a porter should with some chocolate and coffee notes. I always enjoy the beers Great Lakes comes out with. I definitely recommend this beer to anyone that enjoys porters. If you don't have Great Lakes in your area your missing out! (298 characters)

Photo of woemad
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

12oz bottle received via a trade with the outstanding ShroudOfDoom. Consumed while listening to the pre-game show for the UW-Illinois game. In that vein:
Pre-Game Show
This is a beer I’ve wanted for a long time, for its reputed excellence, for its rarity (at least where I live) and because I’m a history nerd and the Edmund Fitzgerald is a fascinating story. Interestingly, there’s boilerplate re: the Bavarian Purity Law, despite the fact that 1) it’s not Bavarian, but Clevelandian, 2) it’s a porter and 3) even in Bavaria, the Bavarian Purity Law is no longer a law, but an advertising gimmick. According to the label, this is best by September 14th, 2014 (i.e., tommorow!). I’m not sure I’ve ever had a beer so close to the day it expires. Sadly, I’ve had a number recently that were past such a date (Thanks again, Total Wine!). I don’t think a porter would be affected the same way an IPA would be, so I’m not too worried.
The Look
Poured into a Boundary Bay pint glass (The one received from BeerTunes - thanks, Terry!), this was a dark brown that took on a rubyish tint when held up to light. There was a thick, bubbly tan head that left sheets of foam on the sides of the glass when it receded. Most of the foam disappeared, leaving “beer neglige” type lace.
The Nose
Initially, I got a mild chocolate-type aroma. As it warmed, there was a coffeeish bitterness, but the sweetness seemed to stay in charge.
The Taste
Much more bitter in the taste than in the nose. Roasty malts upfront with notes of coffee and chocolate, in that order. The finish is dry, and there is a kind of lactic sourness thing happening, but not to a jarring degree. The lingering aftertaste is more chocolatey than anything else.
The Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot-on.
Post-Game Show
An outstanding porter. Is it the best I’ve ever had? I’m not sure. I’d have to go back through lots of reviews at this point, and I lack the motivation to do that right now! Right now, I can’t think of many others to put in its company. Big shout out to ShroudOf Doom for the opportunity to try this! (2,142 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a pint glass.

Pours black with a small pale head, lots of fine carbonation. Smell is nice and rosary, some coffee and chocolate.

Taste is lots of coffee and a little chocolate, maybe a slight hint of vanilla which is quite nice. Nice bittersweet finish, really tasty.

Mouth feel is surprisingly light. Overall, very nice. (363 characters)

Photo of silverblaze540
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

A - Tan and creamy 2 inch head that holds well. Good lacing. Deep dark brown color. Minimal amounts of light seep through. Medium carbonation.

S - Sweet and malty. Dark fruits (e.g. plums). A slight chocolate smell and a nice smokiness.

T - Sweet and chocolaty at the front. Then it changes to a semi bitter smokey nuttiness.

M - Fairly thick in body. Alcohol burn is minimal as is carbonation.

O - I really like this beer. The smell is delicious. The sweetness is very pleasant and the bitterness is not overpowering. (538 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (best by 9/14/14)

A: A nice deep dark brown from the top, but looks black and opaque from the side, unless you look up at the bubbles or around the edges of the glass. Slight lacing and minimal head.

S: Nice slight roasted malt that is a bit sweet with a touch of spice.

T: Solid, easy drinking. Even spice throughout with a light roast that go well together. Definitely a phenomenal porter.

M: Smooth with just the lightest wisp of swirling carbonation bubbles.

O: Thanks to ShroudofDoom for giving me two bottles of this, since I hadn't had it (along with a few other beers). This is some tasty stuff, super easy to drink and fairly sessionable. Makes me wish we got Great Lakes. The best porter I've had that isn't retired or a one-off. (802 characters)

Photo of schatzs
4/5  rDev -6.3%

A: Clear dark color, not much head
S: Smokey, caramel scent - pretty mild
T: Pleasant taste, not over powering, rich flavor, dry
M: Creamy, not much carbination
O: Good porter (175 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle conveyed to me from a non BA-member. Sampled on August 15, 2014.

A deep dark brown-reddish pour greets my eyes with a lingering tan head up top.

That aroma is what a Porter should be all about with its milk chocolate and smoky malt quality and more subtle and mellow earthy hop note.

Medium body, which is better than many in its class.

Like the aroma the milk chocolate takes center stage in the flavor and a nice smoky goodness to enhance it further. Mildly dry finish. A highly recommended Porter. (533 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Tasty Beverage in Raleigh, NC. Best by 11/23/14.

A - A deep brown with a tinge of red some light coming through. Seem quite clear. A small tan head.

S - Coffee, smoke, roasted malt and a hint of brown sugar.

T - Wow, I'm not a big porter drinker but this beer has lots of flavor and complexity. Chocolate, coffee, nuts and more with hints of sweetness and bitterness. Good depth and so smooth.

M - Moderate consistency and carbonation.

O - My new favorite porter! (508 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- A very deep tone of dark brown, almost black. Light brown two finger head that dissipates fast.

Smell- Roasted chocolate with a bold aroma of coffee. Sweet malts can also be smelled.

Taste- Big hints of fresh chocolate come first followed by a roasted coffee flavor that is also just as highly pronounced. This beer finishes with a mild but noticeable bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with lively carbonation. Incredibly smooth.

Overall- A world class porter. The variety of flavors come in as fresh and vibrant on the palate. One of the top beers of the porter style. Must try. (642 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This quite dark beer features a slow to develop but quite lasting head of light-tan foam.
S: Nice cocoa scents, though a little faint.
T: Delicious taste, with a smooth milky chocolate flavor, bolstered by cocoa and very light roast notes. Bitterness flavor comes mainly from the malt, with little hop flavor. The sweetness is well-balanced against that.
M: Silky smooth.

Good porter! (390 characters)

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 1,921 ratings.