1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

4,940 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,940
Reviews: 1,838
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 461
Gots: 364 | FT: 19
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,940 | Reviews: 1,838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of svraines


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Liquid roast delivery system....mmmm

Poured into imperial pint glass, got 2-fingers of light tan foam, gets rocky and slowly condenses into a compact head. The foam has a brightness too it that makes it closer to near-white on top of tan.

A quick sniff gives a hint of what to expect, but subtle. Careful you'll want to keep sniffing to see if you can get a bigger whiff, just take a drink.

For me I don't get chocolate or coffee flavors directly, it is pure roasty malt flavors. If you chew on chocolate malt you know the flavors. Some of the components of dark chocolate flavor is there, but I don't get enough to where I think it tastes like chocolate. It was great with some dark chocolate truffles though, an early V-day gift got shared with me. After it goes down the hatch, there is some sweetness, but it doesn't linger as a hop bitterness and then mild astringency clear the tongue of any residual sweetness prepping your mouth for another gulp.

The head portends the exceptional mouthfeel. The thick, epresso-crema-like residual it leaves down the side of the glass translates into very creamy tiny bubbles exploding the roasty flavor all over your tongue.

No flaws in this one, very drinkable, but the slight drying of your tongue after each drink would catch up with you after a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2008 16:43:19 | More by svraines
Photo of sommersb


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving from a 12oz. bottle into a nonic pint.
Best by date: 06-14-11

Color is a dark brown or black with ruby edges on the glass. Luxurious tan head 3 fingers high gave way to very good lacing.

Nice aromas of coffee and chocolate from the dark malts. Also a fair amount of smokiness is present, presumably from the roasted barley.

Taste is of toasted malts and dark, bittersweet chocolate. A smooth, creamy beer. Aftertaste is somewhat bitter, like coffee. Medium-full body with a medium level of carbonation.

Overall, a very well-crafted porter - one of the best I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2011 03:10:33 | More by sommersb
Photo of jwhancher


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber which appears brown with nice fluffy off-white, tan head. Good carbonation persists.

S: Upfront I get a nice mixture of roasted and chocolate malts. Subtle little hop character in the back. Almost a crisp smokey character seems to be evident.

T & M: Chocolaty with great mouthfeel. Feel medium with a nice milkshake-like texture. Even balance of roast, base malt, and hop character which seems to reside in the back but definitely makes itself known at the tail end of things. Could be a little more complex, but everything is well balanced and nicely done.

O: Another nicely done beer by Great Lakes. This is a tops porter in my opinion. It's not anything that will blow you away, but it is definitely solid and nicely brewed. A fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 00:55:18 | More by jwhancher
Photo of evanackerman


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow, this beer is awesome!

Pours very dark. The head on this beer is my favorite of all beers, towering and rocky, it is truly beautiful.

aroma is of sour malt with a hint of coffee.

taste is dark malt with chocolate and coffee followed by a very pronounced hop finish. this is a very robust porter, probably my favorite for the style and indeed one of my favorite beers of any style.

another winner from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2005 22:35:07 | More by evanackerman
Photo of tavernjef


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a lover of the great lake Gitche Gummi ( Lake Superior) and the whole Edmund Fitzgerald legacy, unfortunately this beer comes up short of port in its story as well.
Color is very dark brown with deep dark ruby highlights, dark as the waves that split the Fitz. Pencil width high head of tannish tight creamy foam, steady and calm, leaving port steady as she goes, no ship sinks in this stuff. Spotty stringy lace sticking some and some losing hold and sinking into the darkness from which it came.
Aroma is crispy, roasty, slightly sweet and dark burntness of malts and a faint noteable hop.
Taste sails along in roastyness, smooth at first, then the waves begin to pick up with sweet tinglyness, darkening up, a surge of bitterness through hops and ends into a light lingering smokey feel, woody, coffeeish finish. Moderately dry port to starboard, through and through. Feel is full and heavy, proudly bittering dry right on into the depths of finishing. Much like the ship, this beer sets sail but sadly never ports again. A bit disappointed in this porter being a fan of the great lake and the story of the Fitz. Was hoping for more weight and robustness. Still a very decent porter and won't turn it down for nothing. The bell tolls for thee, Edmund Fitz.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2003 22:32:10 | More by tavernjef
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Wisconsin...

Very dark brown with a very fluffy khaki head that doesn't seem at all intent on disappearing. Smells of roasted barley and hops. Starts off smooth and very slightly sweet on then goes very roasty with some slight dark chocolate then is very earthy espresso beans and some grassy hops in the finish. Taste of deep dark roasty espresso lingers on my tongue. The roasted character is lovely, not at all aggressive or overpowering but present and superbly dry. Low carbonation creates a viscous mouthfeel out of the medium low body. This would be a great session brew if i could get it regularly.

Hands down best porter i've had to date...which isn't exactly saying a whole lot, but nonetheless it's damn good.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2005 23:03:30 | More by numenor1
Photo of ckeegan04


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep dark brown verging on black. Brown bubbly one finger head.

S - Chocolaty sweetness in the smell.

T - Strong chocolate/coffee taste, more of the coffee. Has a little bitter bite to it at the end which provides a nice balance to the sweetness.

M/D - Medium bodied creaminess. Lightly carbonated. Very drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 02:51:54 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Knapp85


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a dark brown color, not too much light getting through it either. The head was good looking, it was pretty thick with a tan color it it. The smell of the beer was roasted and musty. It's got a little fresh wood sweetness to it also. The taste of the beer was probably one of the better porters I've ever had. I was very impressed with the flavor for sure. The mouthfeel was smooth and had a medium body to it. Overall this was a very nice porter all around.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 18:15:31 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Macky20

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Porter is not my choice beer in the summer, but this one was surprisingly tasty.

a- poured from 12 oz bottle into dogfish pint glass. good looking pour with two finger caramel colored head, leaving a splotchy lacing behind.

s- not overpowering, hints of sweet malt and coffee.

t- the prominent taste is a smokey coffee taste, and maybe a dark chocolate finish that hits the back of your tongue before you expect it.

m- could have been a bit "heavier" in the mouth, but it wasn't bad. it almost doesn't cling to your mouth like most premium porters i've had in the past.

d- not sure that i could drink more than one of these in a sitting, but it's not this beer, i think it's porters in general.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 00:25:56 | More by Macky20
Photo of budsboy


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's darker than I expected. Pours nearly opaque with a short-lived carmel-color frothy head. Slight lacing.

Smell is date, malt hints of woodsmoke.

Mmmm. Man, that's good. Great mix of fruit, coffee and pleasant side of chocolate with a nice dry finish. If those Cleveland boys can do better than this, God love 'em.

I went lower on drinkability because, sadly, this beer didn't agree with my system. Two of these and I felt queezy, one and I'm OK. Too damn bad for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2003 14:21:29 | More by budsboy
Photo of vw73182


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer hits on on points.

Smell is exceptional. Hints of roasted coffee, vanilla and chocolate.

The taste is exactly what you would expect from the smell a very similar bitterness to drinking coffee with the nice sweet flavours to mellow it out. Also get a nice bit from the hops and there is good carbonation to go along with it.

Overall very nice and drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 03:15:27 | More by vw73182
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured black with a frothy tan colored head. The nose is very malty with some nice hints of chocolate, coffee and roastiness. Taste is sweet and roasty. The dry bitter chocolate flavor is excellent. Towards the end of the sip a nice hop presence appears. Very complex and rich flavor. This is a medium bodied beer that does down the gullet smooth and silky. Porters don't have to be mediocre as they often are to me. This one stands out!

Like a fine bitter chcolate I wouldn't want too much of this as it is kind of a tastebud overload. But a few would be fine.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 01:26:00 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as a gift from Solomon420. Thanks Damian!

"Enjoy by 12/09/09" bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Normal pour yielded a few millimeters of tan foam that dissipated to a thin halo fairly quickly. Not much lacing. Body is a matte brown color in the shade, but turns bright crimson when held to light. Very purdy colors.

Smell: Roasted malt and a handful of whole grains greet the nostrils. Light coffee and dark chocolate aromas are also in there, but this nose is all about those whole grains. Leafy hops peak through the back. Smells very well-crafted and balanced.

Taste: The taste started out pretty harsh with big roasted malt upfront and a combination of lemon, salt, and hop bitterness in the finish. It was very disjointed. With time, however, this all smoothed out. Roasted malt still played the lead role, but coffee and milk chocolate appeared in the middle and the lemony flavor slowly fell out all together. A lot of salt and roastiness in the aftertaste, along with some very assertive hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Actively carbonated and prickly with a fairly light (but overall closer to medium) body. A tad creamy when swished. Feels like I like a porter to feel.

Drinkability: This beer didn't start out too hot, but it got smoother and tastier throughout the session. There are better porters out there, but this is a solid representative for the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2009 03:27:00 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of ThirstyBird


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep rich brown with some reddish highlights. One inch light brown head falls slowly. Minor lacing. Smells toasty, Chocolate, some coffee. Taste is Similar to nose. Chocolate, coffee, toasty a bit of caramel sweetness. A bit of bitterness on back end. mouthfeel is nice. Medium body, medium carbonation with nice level of activity and smoothness. Overall a real nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 01:24:30 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of RuckusDu


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A finger of light tan and mocha head. Body is black but shows light at about 1.5cm to reveal some brown. Just light lacing.

S - A slight sourness to it, but then some vanilla and cocoa. Tons of licorice.

T - Very nice flavors of licorice, chocolate, and vanilla. The licorice gives the impression of sour, but not quite there.

M - Good carbonation and solid body make this thicker than most porters. Very good.

O - Pleasant beer all around. Fairly simple, yet a little different from most and good.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 21:41:34 | More by RuckusDu
Photo of Scotchboy


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My second experience with this grand Porter, going to give a proper review this go-around. This bottle courtesy of Aaron, gracias! Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Pours thin but dark with lots of ruby red showing through the edges of this glass...a large somewhat soapy khaki colored head with small and medium bubbles leaves decent lace.

S: Smells chocolatey right off the bat; roasted and caramel malts, bakers chocolate, earthy sweetness, followed by some coffee notes. Light earthy hops...woody as well?

T & MF: Dark and roasty but there is a good amount of caramel as well; peanut butter, chocolate, light coffee flavors and bitterness, earthy hops...refreshing wet body, light-to-medium mouthfeel, finishes with bitter chocolate & coffee and dries out your palette.

O: This is a really good Porter, glad I've still got another couple bottles from another trade. This is right up there with Black Butte in my opinion, just a roasty, chocolatey, drinkable porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 20:30:36 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of ChadQuest


4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with a tight thick tan head with great lacing.

Both the aroma and taste has loads of roasted malt flavors, sometimes in the disguise of coffee, and with caramel covered vanilla ice cream note backing them up melding them all together.

Has a good medium viscosity for a porter, thick enough to be great, but its not as thick as other porters such as Founders.
along with the medium oily viscosity it has a somewhat dryer finish, adding to the drinkability.

A very Solid Porter for the 6 pack format. This one along with, Founders,Deschutes, and Anchor are the 4 best buys there are in the land of porters. well done Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 01:44:20 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of tectactoe


4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a very faint hit of dark brown along the edges. Tan colored head that mellows out to a thin span across the top of the beer leaving very little lacing on the way down. Initial smell is heavy chocolate and roasted malts, kind of had to coax it out. After the beer warmed up a bit and the glass was swirled, I started to get heavier notes of sweetness from the malts as well as some rich and milky smells. Incredible.

The taste is wonderful. First sip gives a huge roasted malt flavor up front, with a bit of a carbonation snap to it. After a little bit, more flavors start to develop: burnt campfire wood, nuttiness, sweet coffee beans, roasted grains. At the end of the sip, out comes an ever-so-slight yet still very noticeable bite from the hops, to finish the beer off with a nice floral touch. Honestly, the bitterness from the hops at the end, along with the malts and the sweetness of the chocolate is incredible - very nearly perfect in balance. Slightly creamy, but a little thin for what I was expecting.

Lovely porter, here. Great balance, great drinkability, and overall just a great beer. Anyone looking for a top-of-the-line porter should look no further (unless they haven't already had Founders Porter). Great price, easy to find, and more than enough to fulfill your dark and roasted malty needs. Give this one a shot and thank me later.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 11:48:47 | More by tectactoe
Photo of hagbergl


4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought a six-pack of this venerable, much-hailed Porter at the liquor store in Kimbark Plaza, Hyde Park, Chicago a while back and am finally getting to the review. Twelve oz. brown bottle with "Enjoy By 3/27/13" printed on the label served in my Chimay chalice.

Appearance (4/5): Edmund Fitzgerald is dark brown, almost black, and you can see red-brown highlights when holding the beer up to the light. It is topped by a one-finger khaki head of creamy foam that recedes quickly. A good looking Porter, but I would have liked to see a more generous, longer-lived head.

Smell (3.75/5): EF features aromatic notes of dark fruit, mainly raisins, dark chocolate, burnt malt, roasty, nutty. Not especially pungent, but nicely balanced and inviting enough. No booze (not that you thought there'd be any in a beer clocking in at 5.8% ABV) and none of that off-putting metallic smell that spells spoilage. Good enough.

Taste (4.25/5): EF really scores well in the category of true consequence: taste! It's roasty, features a light hop bitterness, and plenty of black coffee, chocolate, dark bread, and fruity raisin-like flavors. A tad of caramel sweetness lurks in there. Light burnt malt, a touch of smoke, and also tad nutty. This is a nicely complex, yet balanced American Porter. Very tasty and, I have to say, the flavor is more interesting than the smell. I really am enjoying how well the beer warms and how easy-drinking it is.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Medium carbonation, medium body, appropriate to a porter. Light bitterness works the palate only moderately. The beautiful thing about this beer is that it goes down easy–it's just so slick and smooth on the tongue. Drinkability is exceptional.

Overall (4.25/5): Edmund Fitzgerald is a very good American Porter. It is nicely complex yet beautifully balanced and features a great array of flavors. Very drinkable and tasty. Though perhaps not as incredible, in my opinion, as the BA score indicates, it is an outstanding value and one of those perfect beers for the cold weather.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 06:14:27 | More by hagbergl
Photo of papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle, best before 04/03/14.

Pours a dark body, light tan head. Retention and lacing is good but expected a little bit more. Aroma of wood & bitter-sweet chocolate. Flavor has a nice smoky, roasted taste with some burnt malt. Finish is strong on the mix of bitter-sweet and dark chocolate. Well balanced and well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 18:50:34 | More by papat444
Photo of WanderingFool


4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Edmund Fitzgerald pours black into the glass with a small, light tan head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving behind a few spots of lace and a thin sheet on the beer.

The aroma has nice notes of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, bread and an earthy nuttiness.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft and watery with moderate carbonation. The flavor is similar to the nose, chocolate, roast malt, coffee, and nuts. It finishes mildly bitter with a touch of grassy hops. Once gone the chocolate, roast malt and hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

This is a very tasty porter that's easy to drink. Well balanced. Just wish it was available in New England. Got this bottle on a recent trip to PA.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 23:14:50 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of Tucquan


4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-11-07 in Danville, KY and again on 2014-01-02 in Columbia, PA

A - Opaque very dark brown with a 2-finger tan head and very good lacing.

S - Pretty rich semi-sweet chocolate, toasted sour dough bread, some coffee and roasted grain.

T - Chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, toffee, a bit of char and a touch of sweetness. Finishes with a fairly-full flavor and lingering roasted and hop bitterness. Good job.

M - Medium body and medium high carbonation. Not as thick as a Founders Breakfast Stout but about as firm as you can expect from the ABV.

O - I'd say this is my favorite from this brewery and almost equals Founders Porter.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 01:36:34 | More by Tucquan
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep brown, basically black, with one full finger of tan head. The foam settles pretty quickly, and there is a ton of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is caramel, cracked wheat, milk chocolate, and mild raisin.

T: It starts out with soaked bread, raisin, and milk chocolate. It thickens up in the middle with caramel and more milk chocolate. The finish is caramel and bread.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sweet and jam packed with flavor up front. It gets heftier in the middle as I get more oatmeal. It's think, creamy, and smooth in the finish.

O: Great beer. I have underestimated this beer for many years... but no longer. This will be my go to porter from here on out. Super good/10.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2013 01:54:29 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of RoyalT


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark, muddy, almost black in color with a gorgeous head that came up with ease and down with much protest. It left some cool pits on top of the liquid and some nice lacing as well.

Smell – The chocolate came across the room at the pour. Like LBB said, it’s more of a cakey kind of chocolate than anything else. The coffee grounds are very sharp and forward as well. I can pick up some darkish malt but it is mostly trumped by the coffee and chocolate notes.

Taste – There’s an interesting bitterness that comes out at the taste, but otherwise the tongue follows the nose.

Mouthfeel – Close to medium-bodied with some very slight carbonation. The flavor profile here really sets off the taste buds in the front part of your tongue.

Drinkability – This is a terrific, easy-drinking session porter, if there is such a thing.

Comments – Thanks to garthwaite for sending me not one, but two of these babies.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2004 02:25:00 | More by RoyalT
Photo of strangebrew52


4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 18:36:07 | More by strangebrew52
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
95 out of 100 based on 4,940 ratings.