Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,936 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,936
Reviews: 1,069
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 171
Gots: 459 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Dortmunder / Export Lager |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-18-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,936 | Reviews: 1,069
Photo of Sammy
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beautiful color. One of the best beers we have had that goes with almost any meal because of its overall balance. I have never had a bad beer from this legendary brewpub. Worth a night in Cleveland. Too bad not available in Canada, eh? Very popular and three people over dinner will finish a six-pack.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to whitenads for sending me this one.

Enjoy by: 7/22/14.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, biscuit, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet grain, biscuit, and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Cork City, Hoboken, NJ

A: The beer is clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of bready malts in the nose along with hints of grassy hops.
T: The taste has flavors of bready and grainy malts and a touch of spices in the finish. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a good amount of dryness throughout the taste.
O: This beer has a good balance between malts and hops. It is an excellent representation of the style and the dryness is particularly refreshing.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

G: Pilsener glass emblazened with the Pilsner Urquell logo.

A: Poor a rich dark gold with a single-favor ivory head. A very good amount of carbonation coming up, although it does not appear to be overcarbonated a la many BMC lagers. Other than the colored hue, this is pretty much transparent. Head retention is quite good.

S: Sweet grains, Batman! The grains come through with a mild sweetness. Slightly hoppy, but the hop aromas are only barely present.

T: Very rich and slightly sweet, with a definite grain-malt backbone. Very fresh and clean--especially given that this baby's best buy date is a mere two weeks away.

M: A good amount of carbonation, although the whole beverage is so smooth it's almost as if it's not ever there. Only the slightest hint of the 5.8 ABV.

D: This one is hard to put down, and after taking the first few sips of my first, I already know that I'd like another. Excellent drinkability. This is not to mention the fact that I'm in Chicago, where it's currently a blistery 29 degrees--I can't imagine how much more appropriate this'll be in the middle of the summer while grilling up a few items.

Photo of brentk56
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a foamy head that laces well

Smell: Wet hay and a touch of Germanic noble hops

Taste: Starts out with a grassy flavor that grows increasingly tart, mid-palate; after the swallow, the grainy flavors dominate and lead to a bitter, grassy finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Clearly to style but I'm just not a big fan of Dortmunder Lagers

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, its tough to find a better beer. This stuff is what beer is meant to be. Starts off with a rocky, silky smooth, and withstanding head retention. Follows up with a golden / orange hue with a clean, clear look. Smells and tastes very fruity with oranges, peaches, and appricots. Very ripe and fresh. Quite hoppy with the English variety, showing very stable citrus and pine flavors, but with no real aggression. Very smooth and clean to drink. An ultimate thirst quincher. Plenty of character, but never offensive. Simply a great brew.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a really light beer for great lakes. smells german malty and crisp. taste is awesome for the style, simple and balanced. prilarily malt driven beer but nice hop additions which show up in the crisp bitterish finish. a wonderful beer at 4pm after an 8 hour day of construction work. in australia we called easy drinking beers like this "throwies", because you can throw down a whole mess of them in a hurry. drinkability through the roof, supremely refreshing. when the time is right for this beer its just perfect

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color beer with a nice clean white bubbly head with pretty good retention. Aroma of floral malt and subtle hops. Taste is very refreshing with a good malt presence, a full body (for the style) and medium bitterness at the end. Very good for the style.

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice clear looking golden color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer was much like any other lager out there, it had some grassy notes along with some grainy malts aromas. The taste of the beer had a good amount of hops in there which I liked, the taste was pretty well balanced without having too much of a pilsner like flavor to it. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good too, it had a solid crisp bit at the end too. Overall it's a good lager, very traditional in style but remains to be very good.

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright and clear golden-colored lager with an average cap of foam.

Smell: Bready malts, semi-sweet with a hint of spicy hops.

Taste & mouthfeel: Breakfast roll and honey-like malt flavors are balanced by husky bitterness and earthy hops. Body is about medium, fuller than the average lager by far. Dry in the finish with bold hoppy bitterness coming through pretty strongly, leaving a long aftertaste.

Notes: No complaints about this one, an excellent lager with tons of flavor.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful bright amber: sunshine in a bottle. The light ivory head is good-sized with the typical Great Lakes characteristics; that is, good head retention and a fair bit of lacing. Several thick rings of lace can be seen on the pint glass.

The aroma is somewhat subdued, but becomes bolder with warming. I'm definitely picking up some hops in there. The flavor is supremely well-balanced; malt and hops both making themselves known. I didn't expect a Dortmunder to be this hoppy, but I approve. There's also some citrus zest that is bright and a little lemony.

I haven't had a whole lot of lagers yet, but I didn't expect a mouthfeel this wonderful either. It feels more full and more creamy than most; more like an ale.

Whether Gold is more like a lager or more like an ale doesn't really matter. The bottom line is that it's great beer. Great Lakes Brewing hasn't let me down yet; not even close. This would be a perfect beer to convert macro drinkers to good (make that outstanding) beer. Unobtrusive, yet more than solid across the board. What's not to love about Dortmunder Gold?

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I plan to do a re-review in the future, but thought I'd update the scores today. After many more bottles of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, I've come to the conclusion that this is one of the most delicious, most drinkable lagers on the planet. Actually, that isn't so different from my original impression back in 2004. Edited: 7/5/2009.

old scores: 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.0, 5.0... ... 4.3
new scores: 4.0, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 5.0... ... 4.45

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into an 8oz hotel glass, cause its all I had and it was better then paper or plastic!

A – This one poured a very clear and very light golden amber with no head, and I don’t mean virtually no head, I mean no head at all on this one. Only the slightest amount of lace was present and it was rather unremarkable and did not hang around long after it formed. There was some carbonation present, but to be honest not much and it was not helping the foam layer on top that was for sure.

S – The aroma was full of grain and bread like smells, which completely dominated the entire profile from the first moment you took a whiff of it. This was not a bad thing in fact it was kinda what I would be looking for in the style and it really came off with the aroma of a classic German lager. Very to the point, clean, simple, done nothing hidden or complicated. No warming to bring out the subtleties, it was just there take it or leave it; you kinda have to like that.

T- This followed along very nicely with the rest of it. Really putting the emphasis here on just clean good classic German styled lager. A big-time bready and malt heavy lager this just did not mess around and came right at you. Nice light profile that was just full of bready grains and a bit of an earthy sort of twang to it that was hard to place, but was a little different. The finish was great; a nice big kick of hops to finish it off did it nice drying it all out and getting you ready for your next sip.

M – Very light bodied, but that is what you would expect of the style. This one was pretty much exactly on point to what it should feel like. Decent carbonation kept it from getting dull and the light feel was never slick or watered down, always just about right. Again another nice dry finish to it just set it as smooth sailing.

D – Just an awesome session lager. You could have this one all night long and never really get sick of it. It just had a nice light feel with a great amount of carbonation and light flavorful profile. A winner from the first sip and really nothing at all bad you could say about this.

Overall I liked this one; it was a nice classic German lager with a good hop kick in the back. A nice little different one for me in the midst of everything being so complex with different things added and different temperatures. Sometimes you just want to grab something and not have to think about it. Here you go; this is the one for that.

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Oak Cafe in suburban Detroit.

This beer pours a clear burnished golden hue, with one finger of foamy off-white head, which leaves some scattered specked lace around the glass. It smells of crisp biscuit malt, and floral earthy hops. The taste is bready, crackery malt, and leafy hops. The carbonation is average, the body medium smooth, but slightly zingy. It finishes off-dry with an even maltiness, and light lingering hopinesss.

A very drinkable German-style lager. Overseas deployment and hockey stories go well with it.

Photo of oberon
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

great color full bodied.Lemony undertones,can hold up to almost any food.Glad I finally tried it.All the GLB beers I have had have bben great,still need to try the Eliot Ness,being its my fav type,the vienna style.

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Matt. Thanks!

A: Poured into a nonic pint, this is a fairly clear beer, amber in color with a finger of soapy off-white head.

S: Lager yeast is obvious on the nose, and there's a nice bread character to it. Earthy and slightly citrusy hops (orange peel, for the most part), and a subtle toasted character. A touch of pepper is there and maybe a hint of grass.

T: Flavor is surprisingly heavy on the citrus peel and grass. A slight hop bitterness with a decent earthy quality. Bread, toast, and hints of toffee provide the malt character. The lager yeast is also prominent.

M: Light to medium in body with a moderate carbonation.

D: Easy to drink, clean, and crisp--just like a good lager should be. I wish this was a more prevalent style.

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, amber color with hints of ruby. It had a small, off-white head that left some minimal trails of lace.

S - It smelled slightly funky and somwhat earthy. A light caramel malt aroma was present.

T - It tasted of light caramel roasted malt. Nice spicy hop presence,too. A nice blend of sweet and spicy.

M - It was very crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is an excellent lager. One you don't want to put down.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let's get one thing straight, folks, I am a Dortmunder Export Snob. Its a bold statement, I know, but I just want everyone to know I won't be pulling any punches on this review.

Appearance: Pours a light copper body with a full, lathery white head.

Smell: Bready pilsner malt aroma with a bit of orange zest and spicy, floral hop scents.

Taste: Clean pils malt flavor with a light sweetness, a bit of breadiness, and a slight, subtle hint of juicy orange peel. Flowery, spiced hop flavors with a mild bitterness. Touch of yeast. Drying, crispy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Light, spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: A very nice, easy drinking Dortmunder. I'd say I would have it around regulary, but Great Lakes beers are regrettably unavailable in my state.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a clear golden straw with about a finger of white foamy head that stays around for a while, leaving a small amount of lacing as it goes. The smell is of vague grains (mostly wheat), sweet corn, and a light breeze of floral hops. The taste follows pretty closely, though the floral hoppy bitterness is higher than in the nose. The sweetness of the corn is also toned down a peg. The body is rather light, with moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a refreshing, if not all that exciting, gold lager. Not bad.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy with a very nice golden color. The foamy bright-white head holds fairly well before dropping to a decent collar. The aroma offers a clean and mildly grainy maltiness but no noticeable hops (which is OK for the style).The body is medium/light with a fine, moderate carbonation that leaves it crisp and smooth in the mouth. The flavor offers a grainy, lightly bready and softly honeyish malt that's well entwined with grassy and mildly floral hops. It finishes dry with a mild lingering maltiness. Very well balanced. I recently spent a week in Cleveland and enjoyed this quite regularly on draft. It's widely available and makes a refreshing change of pace. It's easy to drink and quite enjoyable pint after pint. I appreciate that they've kept it restrained and well balanced. Well made. Very nicely done.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from FtownThrowDown, so a big "thank you" goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a thin white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass. There’s also a seemingly endless cascade of bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass.

S: The smell is of wheat, grainy malt, some hops and a little honey.

T: It has a mildly bready flavor containing wheat, pale hops, honey and a hearty malt backbone. The wheat & malt linger in a faint after-taste.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, high carbonation, very clean finish.

D: This beer has a simplistic taste, isn’t filling at all, and is extremely easy to drink. It’s a very poundable beer.

Photo of jlindros
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this also from the big trade with Noslenwerd.

A: Frothy 1 finger head that keeps its worth with all the bubbles rising from the bottom of my etched SA pint glass. Brilliantly crystal clear toasty amber brown color with a golden hue. It even leaves a slight lacing on the glass.

N: Lots of bready malts really dominate. Some light lager aromas with yeasty smells. A slight toasty malt, and some syrupy sweet malts and hints of lighter fruits.

T: Very crisp and lager like. Toasty malts, slight sweet malt flavors too. Some bready malt flavors. Crisp lager flavors, slight roasty. Hints of a little fruit too. Very clean tasting but with great flavor.

M: Medium to light body with good carbonation.

F: Dries off slightly on the finish and even bitters a bit. Adds almost a spicy feel to the crisp lager finish, with some spicy bitter hop hints. It finishes smooth and lingers a bit with the bitter hop flavors and more toasty malts. It sticks around lightly for a while, and nicely. This has quickly become one of my favorite lagers!

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a nice whitish head. Nose is sweet in nature, but doesn't seem overly complex. Flavor is sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Also seems to fade over time so that it doesn't kill the experience. Noticeable grain tones that grow as it warms. Feel is smooth on both ends. This is easily drinkable, though not very complex. The higher sweet tone might be a bit much for some people.

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up in the discounts at Liquor Barn -pretty much a steal at a buck a bottle. Poured chilled into a tumbler

A - Light amber w/ frothy snow white cappuccino foam for a head that measures about 1.25 inches w/ a tight bead and whipped surface appearance.

S - The smell is a mix of pine accented hop and nutty malt w/a gentle sweet odor that is fairly bready.

M - Crisp, dry and nicely spiced a fair amount of graininess w/ a pils quality, yet more acidity and more husky malt kernel in the feel.

T - The flavor of German Malt and yeast is romping all over this great lager, crisp yet creamy w/ touches of sweetness that is balanced by the noble hop spice. Bready malt w/ noticable yeast in the flavor w/out a heavy bitterness, yet it is still there. This has it all in subtle quantities and well crafted - very tasty.

D- I like Dorts a lot and this one hit the spot. Very deserving of its gold. I would certainly not hesitate to pick this up and consider this highly quaffable. Kudos Great Lakes - Great ale and Lager maker - This is what I call a refreshing beer.

Photo of Jason
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz brown with a drink before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Bright gold with a exquisite white two fingered lace that stays for a long time.

Smell: Sweet and very clean malty aroma ... reminiscent of Portuguese sweet bread.

Taste: Medium bodied with a smooth and crisp mouth feel. Very very malty with sweetness and grain ... a big kiss of hops perfectly balances this lager, touch of herbal and citrus hop flavour linger. The finish dries up a little though there is a decent amount of residual sweetness and malt flavour (grain/husk) left.

Notes: This is the stuff! A top notch US brewed lager with several awards to back it up ... comparable if not better than some of its German counterparts. If you see buy it ... any macro to micro drinker with thoroughly enjoy this brew. Goes great with a roast beef on rye at lunch time! Fact: Its their flagship brew.

Photo of russpowell
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to pwoods for this one, thanks Patrick!

Pours an effervescent honey with 1+ finger of cream colored head. Good lacing & average head retention

S: Flowery & perfumy hops, pears & peach

T: Honey malt, grassy hops, & a touch grainy bread up front. More fruittyness, breadyness/crackery notes & a touch of dryness along with more grassy hops. Finishes with grassy & soapy hops & more grainyness

MF: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation & great balance

Great drinkability, spot on for the style, damn near flawless

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,936 ratings.