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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5,556 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,556
Reviews: 1,892
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 504
Gots: 604 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,556 | Reviews: 1,892 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kryptic for this extra!!

Pours a light black with deep ruby highlights. Nice white/light tan head that retains quite well with great lace. Nose is amazing and smells of roasted malt and some coffee bean. Taste is probably the best american porter I have ever had. Lovely roasted malt with some great coffee bean and slight smoke flavors. mouthfeel is great but could be a touch thicker. Incredibly drinkable and one I will most certainly revisit. Awesome! mad props to mike for including two of these as extras, and that wasnt even all of them! Badass.

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

This one was offered to me as a suggestion. Not a big fan of porters to say the least, but this one is unlike the others.

Shes a beauty in the glass, black has the darkest hour before the sun blinks. Has a great coffee and charcoal flavor with a bit of a hop as well, very pleasant.

This is a session beer if there ever was one. A sitdown with this porter "is living the good life" on a cold winters day.


Photo of rayjay
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I haven't reviewed a beer in quite some time, and I only do it when I'm confident that the beer I'm drinking is very fresh and properly handled. I just received this from the Black Booty BIF 08, dated best by 6/18/08, a full 5 months away.

Deep cherry brown. The carbonation is subtle yet the lacing is world-class, as is the head retention.

Dusty chocolate malt aroma with strong hints of baker's chocolate, fresh baked chocolate bread, and sweet carmel. Very strong aroma, and for a beer that isn't very carbonated too. No detectable hops. The aroma reminds me of cask ale, and no doubt this beer would be a slam dunk cask-conditioned.

Strong notes of creamy, sweet coffee and chocolate. Very deep and complex flavor profile. Robust flavors don't mean that it isn't easily drinkable though. In fact, this may be one of the smoothest porters I've ever had. Low alcohol black beers like this are becoming my favorite session beers. Very smooth and enjoyable bitterness, which is perfectly balanced by the sugary sweetness. Slight tartness. Coffee with cream and sugar. The complex aftertaste lasts for over 10 minutes.

The mouthfeel is perfect as well, with a soft carbonation not unlike a nitro beer. The lingering sweetness and bitterness are offset by the medium-light mouthfeel, making it even more drinkable. Without all those prickly bubbles it feels even more like a cask ale.

Drinkability is...lets just say that this is the perfect session ale, period. It inspired me enough to write my first review in about a year.

Very English-inspired. I still can't get over how big the nose is without huge bubbles to carry it. Seek and consume.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a not quite opaque, dark brown body with a small, fizzy light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of cold coffee and unsweetened chocolate with a faint whiff of acrid smoke and pine.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate flavor with some roasty coffee and a slight caramel sweetness. A teaspoon of cherry cordial comes and goes with a quickness. Hint of roasted nuts. Resinous pine hop presence provides a touch of balancing bitterness. Piney, mocha-ish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A quality, well-balanced porter that's full of flavor and easily drinkable.

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

i picked up a six-pack of this guy, and nothing to do, yesterday and decided to get tight with it.

it pours very dark with a small tan head. the beer smells like toffee, smoke and nuts, but could be stronger. there's a good consistency to it and it is very drinkable. this is a damn straight porter

it looks awesome though, and is decent, especially for the price. ($7 for a 6pack)

Photo of hustlesworth
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- with a hard pour i got mad full-glass cascade action that grinds to a halt mid way with millions of tiny foam spheres stacked on each other creating a creamy dense tan puffball of a head over a dark mahogany brew with amber highs and ebony lows. color variation is very noticeable when held up to the light. retention is awesome as the head turns creamy leaving chunks of sticky viscous lace everywhere.

S- roasted nuts, burnt wood, smoky dark burnt malt, campfire, spicy cigar tobacco, cocoa, coffee grounds, tart dark dried fruit, dark chocolate, earthy soil, herbal hops. large and complex in the aroma, it's got those typical porter smells (coffee, cocoa) but with alot of roasted everything, earth and wood really stand out.

T- dense roasted malt flavor, powdery chocolate like easting a spoonful of cocoa, espresso, tart & juicy half way through with earthy hops and dried dark wood, old port wine barrel, and a strangely pleasant old barn with a horse, an old car with old leather seats, and old motor oil spilled under it. black or kalamata olive, raisin, fig, and a bitter cocoa-mocha-coffee aftertaste.

MF- thick, dense, with some powdery cocoa. slightly chewy and very hearty. medium-low carbonation is coating and syrupy as it warms like a thick juicy mocha-chino or something.

D- u know what it iz.

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

Pours an opaque black with a 2 finger tan head with good retention. Moderate lace left down the glass.

Smells of roasted malts, coffee, maybe some unsweetened chocolate. Taste is similar. I didn't really detect any hops.

Smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation combined with low ABV make it drinkable.

Not a big fan of the style. Porters always remind me of watered down stouts. But this is one of the better ones I've tried. It has enough flavour and robust malt to satisfy.

Photo of deepsouth
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer poured a deepest black with a nice one inch thick head.

the smell was big on coffee and malty sweet. i also pick up some toffee smell. there is a bit of alcohol smell in there as well.

the taste is chocolate and toffee and a bit bitter, but superbly balanced. this beer got MUCH better as it warmed. very roasty.

the mouthfeel is pretty full and is what i expect from a great porter.

wow, what a drinkable beer. a superb porter that i could drink quite a few of.

thanks to barefootbrewer for sharing this top 100 beer with me.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured a thick oily black with a ½” tan colored head – unfortunately it didn’t last long. The aroma is sweet and malty with caramel and molasses notes quite apparent. The taste is bold with roasted flavors and coffee flavors noticeable. The mouthfeel is quite full, but not chewy. It supports the flavors quite well. I think this is a very enjoyable porter that is one of those brews that is very compelling.

Photo of Overlord
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a truly remarkable porter (not my favorite style of beer, by the way).

Pours a dark brown. Some carbonation, but not a lot. Maybe an inch of light tan head. Halfway through the glass, there's basically no bubbling whatsoever.

Tastes of smoky malt, some caramel, and espresso. Maybe a hint of chocolate. A few folks have pointed out prunes and/or dark fruits, but they're not particularly strong or noteworthy.

It's not the most complex blending, but it's flavorful, well integrated, and robust. If you're a porter fan, not to be missed. I do wish it had a bit much more of an aroma to it; mainly malt and some coffee notes.

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

Appearance – Dark brown with ruby, almost black, thick off white lasting head

Smell – roasty, chocolate, coffee, slight alcohol, lightly fruity (cherry/prune), light hop

Taste – chocolate, coffee, bitter finish, clean yeast character, little hops.

Mouthfeel – medium-low carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability – very drinkable, I could have a few of these.

Photo of Tilley4
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the better porters out there. Nice and dark and smoky.

Almost opaque black with a small tan head.

Smells nice and rich. Smoky and dark with some chocolate and coffee.

Tastes pretty much like it smells. It's a little thinner than some of the true elite porters but this is absolutely the best one that I have access to.

I will be keeping this around my beer fridge constantly now. Very nice.

Photo of jackorain
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours thickish very dark brown. Once in the glass it is opaque. Loose 1-inch head falls slowly showing good retention. As it soes fall it leaves a nice sheeting lace.

S-Smells of roasted barely, charcoal, choclate, cocao, mollases and prunes. Quite complex.

T-Raosted barley, charcoal, coffee, smoke and dried fruit. Like the nose, very complex.

M-Full bodied to say the least. carbonation is a little fizzy.

D- I wavered on the drinkability of this one. At first I thought it was great, as I workled my way through I kinda thought I was done with this one, but when I reached the end I thought that was good I could go for another. Having said that I decided to go with the 4.0 becasue int he end I guess it is good.

Photo of uwmgdman
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this one. I guess I always assumed I have before.

The beer pours a jet black with a very faint garnet glow when held to a bright light. The head is moderate, tan colored and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is highly malty with a hint of earthy hop and rather complex; chocolate, roast coffee, and caramel sweetness. The flavor is intensely malty, initially chocolate malt and roast coffee, then bittersweet with an earthy hop flavor and the roasty flavor returns after the swallow. The body is medium-full and carbonation moderate. The beer is rather smooth aside from a slight hop/acidic prick at the swallow. Overall all around a great porter, definitely recommend if you enjoy porters, one of, if not the best porter I’ve had.

Photo of Monsone
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with almost no head or lace

S - Sweet malt. Carmel Toffee Choco

T - Choco and other roasty malts. A little hop note in the back. Balanced and smooth.

M - A litle lighter than expected. Decent carbo more than expected.

D - Very drinkable for a porter. Not overwhelming or big to have a few.

Overall really great porter. I am a fan

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

This pours a deep black with a slight crimson hue at the bottom of the glass. The head was a decent sized one with a tan color that disappears quite quickly with absolutely no lacing to speak of.

The only thing that I could detect was grand milk chocolate and the malt. Is it also possible to smell the graininess of a drink?

Sweet sweet chocolate and roasted malt. A very well balanced porter. Best I have ever had. I pick up on the hops with is perfectly placed and the aftertaste is all chocolate.

Smooth yet grainy. The thickness is just perfect. Definitely a sipper on a cold snowy night.

Excellent porter, like I previously I have ever had in my short time in the craft beer world. I loved the lore that is the Edmund Fitzgerald, "The lake it is said, never gives up her dead...", and I love this porter.

Photo of n0315
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful head that sustains for quite some time. Nearly pitch black in color.

Smell is of chocolate. nearly a perfect smell for what I think a porter should smell like. maybe some sugar hints, can't tell.

taste is amazing. I gave it a 5 becuase in my opinion I don't see anything that could improve this. The best porter I think I have ever tasted.

Mouthfeel is a nice think but easy to drink down.

The best porter I have ever had, period.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The guy who lives across the street from me brought me back an assortment of Great Lakes after visiting his family in Cleveland for the holidays. So thanks to my neighbor, Bill, for the opportunity to try this beer that I have been wanting to try for so long.
It poured a bit lighter than I was expecting; a very dark reddish brown colour which easily allowed light to pass through. It is, however, a porter, so I don't know why I expected this to be inky black. The head was a khaki coloured foam approximately a finger and a half thick. It subsided to about a quater of an inch in about 60 seconds, but was easily agitated to resume its fullness with a simple "swish" of the glass.
Smell asserted itself nicely with plenty of unsweented cocoa. Very little, if any coffee or caramel, or any of the other nuances that typically accompany one another in a beer of this sort. This one seemed to me to be nearly exclusively unsweetened cocoa powder with a bit of roasted grain hiding in there some place. I didn't find the smell of this particularly complex, but it was pleasant nevertheless. Taste was mildly sweet with the cocoa from the smell asserting itself in the taste, as well. The sweetness quickly waned and turned pleasantly bitter, then a lovely dry, roasted cereal grain flavour. This is a nice porter. Mouthfeel is neither too heavy nor too thin. Quite drinkable. If you enjoy porters you should certainly have a go this.

Photo of jeonseh
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this out of a Great Lakes Sampler Pack.

Color is a deep brown, with a golden and amber hue mixed in. A nice thick head pours down through it and remains throught the drink leaving solid lacing throughout.

The smell is rather malty and mostly hints of caramel is what appears to me.

The taste is great. At first, I get hit with a burst of malt that taste like caramel and even a hint of vanilla and a light roasted coffee, taste mixed in as well that balances greatly.

Not too much carbonation on the mouthfeel but leaves a sticky feeling in the mouth in a good way; has a nice body too it as well as I like having a porter that have some ummphh behind it.

The drinkabilty on this is great as I have to say this is one porter that is balanced very well and one that I could drink repeatedly. This is something rare as most porters leave me only wanting 1, maybe 2, but this is one that I could easily see myself drinking again and again.

Photo of BDIMike
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great look to this beer. Very dark color with a tan head with very nice retention.

Smells malty, however a little sweetness and even a bit of fruit smell. Unusual for a porter.

Quick taste of hops and chocolate in the beginning. Followed by a very burnt, roasted malt taste.

Great mouthfeel. Very thick, which is great for a porter. Nice smoothness.

Great beer in the winter. Could drink a few of these, which is all one would really want out of a porter.

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

Pours a fairly dark brown with minimal tan head.

Smell is excellent. Coffee and roasted malt aromas. Very deep and rich but perhaps a bit too sweet.

Taste is also quite good. Definitely not too sweet as I had feared. The coffee/roasted malt flavor presents itself immediately. The hop finish on this beer is quite unique for a porter. It's fairly strong and persistent but not overwhelming or unbalancing.

Overall: A fine example of a style that is difficult to do well.

Photo of younger35
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bad boy as an extra in a trade with BeerTruth (god love em). This is my first brew from Great Lakes and I’m pumped to try this one. Drank from a POM pomegranate glass (I’m at work).

Appearance- Pours a medium brownish with hints of amber on the parts where light penetrates. This brew looks a lot like cola. Forms a nice two finger light brown head that fizzes wildly and recedes fairly quickly leaving a good cap and collar. Zero lacing is left although I’m contributing that to the fact that this glass is rather dirty.
Smell- Start very fruity with an almost chocolate covered raisins start. Plenty of sweet milk chocolate and bitter espresso. Hints of hazelnut and vanilla start to show a bit more as it warms. Very interesting nose that is much fruitier than any Porter I’ve recently tried.
Taste- Oh so much roasted malt envelopes my entire mouth leaving an almost burnt coffee taste. I definitely get way more coffee than chocolate in this one at first but as it warms the chocolate becomes a bit more evident. Something is very rustic about this brew. Almost a root beer like flavor that hides underneath. Finishes with a semi bitter citrus kick before the coffee boots it out of the way and takes charge.
Mouthfeel- Medium crisp body with a nice zesty carbonation.
Drinkability- This is a great beer and I can’t imagine not being able to sit down and guzzle a six pack. It’s got everything a Porter should have. Solid beer that I can’t wait to have constant access to when I move back home to Chicago. Deschutes Black Butte does now indeed have a replacement! Thanks again to BeerTruth!

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

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours deep brown with clear visibility when held to the light. 1 1/2 fingers of light tan fluffy head. Good retention and some lacing.

S: Red grapes and milk chocolate body. Light cola with clean malts.

T/M: Nice chocolate body and undertones of French roast coffee. More of the cola flavor with a hint of vanilla. Body is medium and very creamy.

D: Just a damn good porter. Very tasty, sessionable, and a staple in my fridge.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a pint glass at 69 taps in Akron OH.

A - Dark brown color with no head. The bartender poured all of the beers to the rim and didn't allow room for head. It's ashame they didn't know anything about beer but at least they were cute.

S - Chocolate and coffee

T - Smooth chocolate flavor.

M - Good carbonation all the way through. Full bodied.

D - Great beer, you can never go wrong with this one.

Photo of meechum
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a trade with Almalkin. This may very well be the best porter I've had yet

A - Poured a dark black almost motor oil consistancy into a pint mug with a large frothy tan head that fell extremely slowly into a thick lacing down the glass while maintaing a halo of froth on top of the brew the entire way down

S - Big coffee smell with a hint of biscuit and a little fruitiness in there also and then just a whiff of grassy hops in the nose also

T - The taste was spot on for a porter in my opinion. Nice bittersweet of the coffee and caramel/tofee with a hint of spicy fruit and then a nice hoppy finish at the end to give it a dry crisp ending on the palate...excellent

M - The mouthfeel was also on point with a nice thick feeling without it being to thick and it coming off as a stout. Good carbonation but not overdone delivers all the flavors to the back of the palate

D - I really regret that I only got two in the trade and will be working out future trades for much larger quantities..this is a beer that would make me consider relocating

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,556 ratings.