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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,741 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,741
Reviews: 1,930
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 524
Gots: 737 | 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: 5,741 | Reviews: 1,930
Photo of toastdog
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is actually my favorite beer, and has been for a decade. So, bias.

A: Dark, gorgeously clear near-black with deep garnet highlights and a finger-thick light tan head which sticks around forever in a well-cleaned glass.

S: Chocolate, a whiff of charcoal, dark caramel, vanilla, and a subtle backbone of spicy hops.

T: OH man. Oh man, oh man oh man. More chocolate and deep dry black-malt roast with a balanced maltiness, some light and sweet and some more bittersweet. A hop tickle comes through right thereafter, and a delicious whisky-barrel finish (like vanilla and caramel). Beautifully balanced between deep roastiness, malt, bitterness and caramel.

M: Full and round, creamy and juicy with maybe just a little more carbonation than might be perfect, but hey. The carbonation actually scrubs the tongue clean, which helps this fairly full and malty beer stay drinkable the whole glass.

D: Soooo good. You don't necessarily want more than two, though or your palate starts to sag.

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, just short of black, with a one-inch, rocky, coffee head that sets an intricate, fine lacing on the tulip glass, leaving patches of foam as it settles.

The aroma opens prominently with café au lait. A touch of dark chocolate and breadiness follows, with molasses and beef broth rounding it all out.

Here we go again with the coffee. As with the aroma, dark chocolate and bitterness follows. This is less sweet than I prefer in a porter, but definitely has the roasted malt character and long finish.

Soft carbonation is there for accentuation of this full-bodied, almost dense porter, with the texture of syrup.

Edmund Fitzgerald has greater depth than Lake Erie and is worthy of a night where good times prevail.

date consumed: 29 Oct 2008

Photo of Clydesdale
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep, dark brown with a garnet tinge. A relatively large, creamy brown head bubbles forth with great retention. Lacing is excellent, leaving thick trails of chunky foam on the side of the glass.

S: Dark roasted notes are most noticeable, with some caramel/toffee character. Definite chocolate and espresso, plus some smoky/earthy aromas.

T: Heavily roasted/slightly burnt caramel malts provide some initial sweetness. An almost lactic milk chocolate/latte-esque flavor lurking throughout - delicious. Some earthy, possibly leafy hops provide balance. I detect slight hints of oak and vanilla.

M: Smooth, creamy and quite robust. It's as dense and chewy on the tongue as any American Porter. A really outstanding mouthfeel here.

D: I love American Porters, and this is definitely my favorite. Great Lakes puts out a lot of wonderful beers, but in my opinion this is their world-class standout.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A tan head that stays awhile. A clear dark brown almost coffelike color.

S: Not overpowering in aroma but you do smell the toasted malts and coffee aroma. Not much in hops aroma which is typical in porters.

T: This is the first "5" I have given. The taste is very good. Everything comes through...the toasted malts with some slight coffee overtones also a hint of chocolate.

M: Nice carbonation with the full bodied beer. A little aftertaste.

O: A superior porter, one of the best I have ever tasted. I can drink a number of these and not get tired of it. It goes down quite easy.

Photo of Tbn2
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours very black with a tan head which quickly settles to a ring around the glass. Not much by the way of lacing.

S-This smells just like a porter should; burnt sugar, coffee, caramel, toasted grains. Makes my mouth start to water.

T/M-Just like it smells. Smooth taste at first with a good light feel in the mouth. As you swallow, the beers flavor really stands out; the coffee and toasted grain flavors take front stage. An earthy hop flavor at the end gives the beer a good finish.

I have never had a beer from Great Lakes and this one didn't let me down. Pick it up, it's worth it.

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

Poures very brown to black with a large creamy light brown head. Aroma starts bitter and changes to sweet, chocolate, roast, and coffee. Good lacing and retains a small head the entire way. Body is a little thin. Oily mouthful. Unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and a great hop finish that leaves a sweet aftertaste. The malts become more prominant as this beer warms making it even more enjoyable.I love this beer, I keep a bottle or two on hand most of the time.THE BOMB!

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

Dark deep color and nice tan head. Smells of rich chocolate and roasted malts. Very smooth on the pallet. Leaves behind a wonderful chocolate taste on the back of the tongue.

If I hadn't known the ABV, I would have guessed less. Excellent value. Purchased this on sale for $6.99 / six. Comparable and inferior porters were being sold for $10.99 / six.

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks Matt for the bottle...

Freshness date 4/22/09, poured into a Sam Adams tulip glass.

A: Light brown head of medium density on top of a beautiful dark ruby body. Crystal clear as far as I can tell. Head stays for awhile; just nice to look at.

S: Slight roastyness, other than that I just pick up a general beeryness.

T: Tastes big; well balanced roast/malt.

M: Very good, nice and light.

D: I don't believe I've ever had such a drinkable, flavorful porter.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle marked "fresh by 2-09-09." Poured from bottle into pint glass. About a finger of head that dissipates quickly into a small cocoa layer with an interesting but minimal lace. The beer is not quite "none more black" but it's damn close.

Smell is a good strong toffee scent, a light hint of chocolate, and a roasty coffee smell. Excactly what I want from this style.

Taste/Mouth - The beer is carbonated just right and meduim bodied, with the beer seemingly going through distinct phases of taste as it coats the palate. Opens up robust and roasty and then finishes with a creamy/coffee/chocolatey aftertaste.

Drinkability is very good. I don't see why this wouldn't be a perfect session beer. Great Lakes is a name which I greet with high expectations and thankfully this Edmund Fitzgerald was able to live up and perhaps exceed the standards that I have come to leave GL with.

Photo of Weissenheimer
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not much head, what's there disippates immediately. Almost no lacing. Fluid is a not-quite-opaque oily amber.

S: WHOA! Roasted coffee, slightly burned around the edges. Complex and inviting.

T: Very interesting. The coffee is not overpowering at all. There's a bit of toffee, a satisfying malty/sweet undertone, and then a snap of... burnt biscuit?... in the finish.

M: Several distinct phases, each of them interesting and satisfying. Each sip reminds me of someone diving onto a water slide, sliding down, doing a little flip and finally splashing into the water. Do it again! Do it again!

D: I despise coffee, yet I feel like I could drink most of a sixer of this stuff. That's saying something.

Photo of gpcollen1
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark and robust black with a bit of a cocoa head in my Sam Adams glass. Aroma is loaded with chocolate roastiness with almost a chocolate milk smell to it.

Taste follows right along with the nose in in the deep roasty/smokey and chocolate presence buoyed by a lively carbonation and a pleasant light bitterness on the finish. A very smooth beer to drink and enjoy yet feels a hair thin - maybe it is just me. I would love it if this was a local brew.

Photo of Bounty628
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Edmund Fitzgerald has an ABV of 5.8% and has an amazing drinkability factor to it. Though some porters might be better off as being a single offering, the smooth yet flavorful complexity of this offering make the Edmund Fitzgerald an ideal session beer.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle, Edmund Fitzgerald pours a very deep and dark brown to almost black color. There is a very nice amount of a creamy tan head that stays with the pour for a while and then lends way to a similar tan to off-white lacing that holds true throughout the tasting.

There is a perfectly balanced amount of carbonation to this beer which for a porter sort of impressed me. Some porters strike me as being too flat in nature, but this offering had the right amount of carbonation to really work the beer across the palate.

The smell is a bit faint for this offering but there is certainly enough to be taken away from the smell. Immediately what you notice is a roasted malt barley characteristic with a hint of coffee mixed in, as well. Malts seem to be the predominant theme in the smell, and the taste can quickly be imagined.

The taste is certainly what makes the Edmund Fitzgerald a true winner. There is simply put an Ideal roasted malt flavor with nice additions of coffee and chocolate present. This beer has a very rich and dark complex flavor to it but stays away from being too burnt or overdone when it comes to the roasted coffee highlights. There is a symbiosis to the flavor that truly works and the malted characteristics present in the nose certainly are all that you were hoping for in the taste.

The taste then leads into a balanced mouthfeel that is interesting to say the least. There are times when you almost forget that you are drinking a porter and note a stout because the complex pairing of the malt and the coffee notes often bring to mind a nice coffee stout. However, there is a bit less creaminess to this porter than might be present in a stout and there is a smoothness that will keep you coming back.

Photo of MasterSki
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle from a stein. Best before 2/24/2009.

A - Dark, dark brown - almost black. One finger of creamy tan head that dissipates very slowly and coats the sides of the glass. I had to wait a long time before it reached a complex lace. Lots of visible carbonation. This is one great looking porter.

S - Roasted malt barley, coffee with a healthy amount of cream, bittersweet chocolate. I can't believe that this brew adheres to the Purity Law - they really get a lot out of barley, hops, yeast, and water. The smell isn't that strong - you really have to get your nose up close.

T - Starts bitter like burnt coffee, then gets very sweet with the tiniest bit of citrus hops. It's a simple combination but incredibly effective, and each taste brings out something slightly different (cream, burnt malt, chocolate, etc.).

M - A little on the watery side - I know it's a porter and not a stout, but it could use some more body. The carbonation has a nice tingle. Leaves a sticky aftertaste.

D - THE session porter. Superb at 5.8%, and goes down incredibly easy. This is a great brew for cold winter nights.

I'm so glad this beer is almost always available - it almost makes me take it for granted.

Photo of yesyouam
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is a dark brown ale with a red-orange hue and a beige head that has some oily bubbles on it. It fades to a leathery film and leaves nice lacing on the glass. It has a roasty chocolate armoa that's sweetened with malt. It is full bodied with a light finish. It leaves the mouth a bit chalky. It has a roasty flavor with good balance. The hops seems almost minty. There is a note of coffee and the whole flavor is quite dry, unlike the aroma. Nice!
(rated Sep 17, 2008)

Photo of bamadog
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'd just like to say that this bottle of beer was actually given to me, and it was quite possibly one of the best free beers I've ever had! I was blown away by this beer and was saddened that all I had was the one bottle. This will definitely be making it's way to my fridge again soon.

Appearance: An awesome color -- a deep dark brown with a little bit of a deep red in it too. A head of 1 and 1/2 fingers that faded quickly to a firm thin lacing on top.

Smell: Chocolatey and malty, a little bit of roast in the back. I double checked the bottle when I smelled it to make sure it said "porter" and not "stout" -- because it was very reminiscent of a couple of chocolate stouts that I've had.

Taste: Just like the smell, the chocolate and malts hit you quick and then there's a slight burnt roasty taste in the back of it. At this point, I think I triple-checked the bottle to make sure it said "porter."

Mouthfeel: Coats nicely and it's a little chewy, but not like the stouts that I've been kind of comparing this to in my mind -- so it's actually a little lighter which adds to the...

Drinkability: High. This beer tastes great and goes down wonderfully. While it's still a little on the heavy side, it's easier to drink than some stouts because it doesn't sit very heavy in the stomach. I love this beer and can't wait to get some more.

Photo of strangebrew52
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Small bit of head, maybe 1 finger that disappeared rather quick except around the edge of the glass. Smells smokey with roasted malts and a hint of chocolate. Taste roasted malts and a bit of sweetness at the end. Mouthfeel is great, slight carbonation and medium bodied. Drinkability is high, very easy to drink porter. Leave you wanting more.

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

A twelve-ounce bottle with label art featuring the namesake ore carrier ship slashing her way through a raging Great Lakes storm, uncapped at UPS box-arrival temperature and poured into my DFH shaped pint glass yields a clear ruddy garnet body topped with two fingers of grainy, sponge cake holey-style light tan foam. The cap of fine bubbles recedes to a chunky sheet and leaves quite a few fat rings and a bit of webby lacing on the glass.

The aroma is darkly roasted and chocolatey with a mellow note of pumpernickel bread and caramel sweetness. Dark, woody charcoal kicks around an aroma reminiscent of livestock sweet feed--a medium-toasted grain-and-molasses note--that struggles to emerge from the darkness.

The taste is richly dark-malty with a touch of spice and powdered cocoa. A mildly fruity, semisweet chocolate note is dried and balanced by earthy hops and a dusty burnt bitter mocha note that lingers in the aftertaste.

The drink is perfectly-carbonated, medium in body, and highly quaffable. Edmund Fitzgerald is an outstanding porter that I'd certainly buy regularly if 'twas available in my marketplace. Many, many thanks to Dr. Brad for giving me the opportunity to give 'er a whirl!

Photo of whoneeds8
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass a dark black with a little less than a finger head that settled quickly.

Smell was almost non-existant (I do suffer from allergies this time of year)

But taste was also missing. I kind of hope that I got a bad bottle. But this is really dissapointing from what I expected. There's a light roasted chocolate flavor, but that's about it.

mouthfeel, average for a porter.

Drinkability . . . like I said, I don't think I got a good representation of this beer from what I've read. I will have to try this again in the future from a different trade.


I received my second bottle of this. The first bottle I got was obviously "off". This one is much better.

Best before date: 4/9/09

Pours out black with a two finger tan head. Great lacing.

Smell is of a roasted oak smell. Tastes a quick hop bite with a nice malty finish. Leaves a sweet layer on your lips.

Mouthfeel is great, this has just the right amount of carbination. The previous bottle I tried had none.

Overall, I'm glad I gave this a second try. This is much better, as expected.

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

Ordered a couple bottles from Archer Liquors.

A: Very nice looking porter - super dark brown with nearly an inch of foam upon pouring, which subsides to aberrant patches of bubbles with a ring of suds around the glass.

S: Mainly milk chocolate but for some reason I'm also smelling melted plastic, which is a little off-putting. I've had EFP on many previous occasions and never noticed this, so I'll give the beer the benefit of the doubt and blame my nose tonight.

T: More milk chocolate and roasted malts, a little coffee. Start and middle of a sip are a little sweet, but the finish is definitely dry with a little hop bitterness kicking in.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

D: Super drinkable porter. Despite low ABV, this doesn't feel weak at all. EFP used to be my "go to" porter back when I lived in Michigan. Brings back fond memories of drinking at Ashleys in Ann Arbor.

Photo of Onenote81
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one in a recent trade with Auslander. Thanks man!

Pours a deep dark cola color with about an inch and a half tan head. Pretty good retention and excellent lacing rings. This beer looks good. Smells like a usual porter. Some roasted chocolate, some espresso, slight burnt scent.

Porters are one of my favorite styles, but this one is one of the best I've had. Great roasted flavors pull through, but don't leave the burnt bite at the end. Some nice cocoa flavor, but not sweet. Very smooth and creamy, but with a crisp mouthfeel. This beer is plenty drinkable. Highly recommend.

Photo of GRPunk
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 2/24/09 poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It poured with a 1 finger, brown head that fell to a foamy lace that left nice sticky spots about the glass. The body was near black with red highlights at the edges.

S- The aroma was a solid dose of roasty chocolate and strong, roasted coffee.

T- It had a pretty complex flavor. The strongest component was of robust coffee with milk chocolate and lighter hints of nuts,smoke, and rich grains. A slight citrus flavor cleans and dries up the finish.

M- It had a medium carbonation, a slight hoppy bite, and chewy/grainy feel.

D- It's a really good drinker. It had a great flavor without being overwhelming. I could put back a couple in a single sitting and come back to this when I'm in the mood for a regular American porter.

Photo of GodOfBeer
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black/brown with a nice tan head that doesn't stay.

Smells very sweet, chocolatey, roasted coffee, soem caramel, some citrus hops too?

Very roasted upfront, chocolatey and suprisingly hoppy, a good porter.

A good beer for a rainy day, but not the best porter i've ever had.(out of a total of 3, ya thats it!)

Photo of Rhynes2
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I absolutely love the flavor. Very rich and aromatic. A unique beer while still falling under the name of Great Lakes Brewery. Maintained a nice and frothy head even though it was just in the bottle. I'm still more of a fan of the Dortmunder Gold but this one is a great choice as well if you're going with great lakes.

Photo of TylerAddisonJ13
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Looks black, but holding up to the light shows a wonderful dark red, mahogany shade. 3-finger light brown to off white head that dissipates slowly. Lacing left evenly around glass.

S - dark chocolate/cocoa at first with lingering hints of roasted coffee. I would compare it to a dark mocha with an extra shot of espresso. Might have been a little much for my personal tastes, but still good.

T - Unexpectedly "hoppy." The very first taste to hit my tongue is reminiscent to a slightly "smoothed out" version of an IPA. As the bitterness melts away, slight tastes of chocolate and malt seem to come into play, however they're not very prominent.

M - Smooth and creamy, but doesn't linger. Once it's gone, it's gone. Almost watery when all is said and done.

D - Drinkable. It would be easy to knock back a few of these at once, as it doesn't feel too "heavy."

Overall, not my favorite beer ever, but I'd choose it over a lot of other options. In my opinion, pretty good, but nothing I'd rave about. Perhaps I got a bad batch or something, because - reading other people's reviews have showed some very different impressions than I've gotten. I'll try this again some time, and see if it's different.

Photo of corey0212
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've gotten a few of these in trades/BIFs over the last year, so I can't rightfully say where this one came from....either way, thanks!

Pours a deep dark brown color, lots of ruby highlights when held to the light, foamy one-finger tan head fades into a thin ring around the beer, spots of lacing down the sides of the glass. Lots of milk chocolate and coffee on the nose, slightly charred aroma. Some bitter black coffee flavors, some chocolatey sweetness, all nicely burnt around the edges. Medium-bodied, somewhat creamy with pretty active little bubbles. This is a great American Porter, something I'd want to have in the house often.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 5,741 ratings.