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 Dortmunder Gold - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,415 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,415
Reviews: 1,000
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 122
Gots: 154 | FT: 3
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 09-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,415 | Reviews: 1,000 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of webmanspidey


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into pint glass. Pale to amber gold color, fizzy with head that dissipates quickly. Smell is lots of sweet honey with a small amount of hops. Taste is loaded with the honey as well: very sweet and malty with a small bitter hops bite in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 03:13:49 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of WakeandBake


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright clear golden color pour with a small white head,heavy carbonation but not too much in any way. Aroma is mildly floral,fruity,and just a bit hoppy. Flavor is much the same,a sweet malty backbone,peaches,floral hops,and a bit of some kind of spice. Lively mouthfeel,crisp and clean finish. Very good

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 00:25:18 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of BacklitAvenger


4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a copper colored brew. Held to the light it glows with a golden inner radiance. Pure white foam crowns the beer and patchy foam remains throughout, leaving spotty lacing on the walls of my glass.

Smell - Grainy smell, with a little touch of hops as well. Hard to place the exact hop or malt flavors in the aroma, it's just generally 'malty' and with a bit of hops. Deficient in this quality unfortunately.

Taste - Here's where the beer shines. This is a real dortmunder. Biscuit and toasty flavors dominate, with a nutty undertone. The malt here is truly enormous, yet incredibly delicate. A real treat it is. Hop bitterness finishes the beer well. A grainy and malty aftertaste remains, alternating the biscuit on some sips with the toast on other sips, and sometimes the hops take over for a small period of time. Well balanced for sure. The lager roundness is detected as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied. Lovely chewy feeling complimented by ample but not overwhelming carbonation.

Drinkability - Very high. This is one of my go-to lunch beers. At 5.8% it's great because it's packed with flavor without being too alcoholic. Try this stuff, you won't regret it.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 18:31:19 | More by BacklitAvenger
Photo of BierFan


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Two inch light tan head starts dropping kind of fast. The clear orange body shows a lack of carbonation. Definitely a hoppy aroma. Hops seem to be a mixture of grapefruity hops and floral hops. The taste is a perfect blend of caramel malts, floral hops, and a sizeable bitterness to round out the experience. Supremely drinkable, it was only in my glass for a couple minutes. If only I had another bottle of this great beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 04:54:35 | More by BierFan
Photo of ILikeGoodCider


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on 04.22.09 - 12 oz bottle from a sixer.

A: Clear, peachy-gold. Very promising, w/ a soft almost-white head.

S: Neutral. A little grainy but spot on for an average lager, airy and inoffensive.

T: Smoooth & mild. Sizeable & malty. A little hops on the palate, but everything slides very easily down. Grain is met by light fruit, medium body, real long finish (this brews biggest highlight).

M: It dares you to swish it around or at least savor it a little before the swallow.

D: A session beer for sure. At 5.8%, even Alabamans can enjoy it...

Pick this one up. This was my first Great Lakes brew & I'm intrigued...

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 01:15:04 | More by ILikeGoodCider
Photo of roadhouse


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into pils glass

Pours a clear golden copper color, if that is such a thing, with a one inch off-white head. A centimeter thick cap is retained throughout. Very nice lacing is left down the side of the glass as well.

Aroma is very clean consisting mainly of some general malt character, slightly caramelly with a hint of toasty malt. A light noble hop character kind of spicy with some herbal notes. It's very light though.

Taste is has some sweet caramel up front with a bit of toasty Munich type malt character to it. Hops begin rather quickly with a hefty amount of spicy, herbal flavor coming in towards the end of the swallow then lingering into the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, clean, crisp, but surprisingly it's really quite creamy. Drinkability is very high, an all night session beer no doubt.

This one is so much better than the other Dortmunder I've had, Dab. Lots of character and flavor bursting from this one combined with high drinkability make it a keeper. Oh Great Lakes, please stop skipping over Indiana on your way to Illinois.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2009 00:35:35 | More by roadhouse
Photo of damndirtyape


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Trying this again with a fresh bottle (dated 12/02/09) vs. the last one I got which was a few weeks past its date.

Appearance the same as before but now a better smell - nice an malty. Taste much better as well - a bit of a bitter start followed by malts and then a nice slightly toasted malt finish. Otherwise things as before.

Had the beer this time with balsamic glazed chicken and rice pilaf. A great beer for a meal and for several over an evening in my opinion. Glad I tried it again.

Old review (04/22/09):
Color was a very nice orange-yellow (not gold to my eyes, but hey, everyone sees color differently). Beer was poured into a nondescript pint glass. The foam quickly dissipated and you got a little bit of the lace/foam on the side of the glass and a bit right in the middle of the beer. I thought the hops were a little bit stronger in this at first, but as the beer warmed up it smoothed out and was balanced by the malt. Definitely carbonated and spicy on the tongue like a pilsner. One thing that puzzled me a bit was that I didn't really notice much of a smell to the beer at all. Maybe it was the meal?

I had the beer with a pork BBQ sandwich (mustard base) and I think it went very well, but, after finishing everything I saw the date on the bottle was 04/04/09 so now I wonder if my opinion (especially the smell) is more a reflection of the age of the beer or the meal I had with it. Either way it was quite good and I'll try it again (checking the date first) with something else and see how it goes.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 23:24:30 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of Actualimeer


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my basic daily beer. It isn't especially bitter and it has a rich clean taste. When it gets older it starts turning sour. This isn't to be saved for special occasions, just dunk and enjoyed for those like me who hate yeast water.

I've been drinking it nearly daily so long now that it is hard for me to describe its taste. I enjoy it from the bottle with most rich food. It goes particularly well with unseasoned steak.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 16:33:00 | More by Actualimeer
Photo of RickKrumenacker


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear, copper in color...one-finger of fluffy off-white head...leaves a nice thin cap...lacing stays for the entire beer

S- The first scent that I get is of light grapefruit...some sweet, grainy smells...some roasty malts finish out the aroma

T- Sweeter than I remembered, but not overly so...just enough grapfruit hop flavors to balance out the biscut flavors

M- Crisp and balanced...nice bitterness at the end of the profile offsets the upfront sweetness

D- Outstanding drinkability...very easy to go through a few of these...it seems to be just the right mix of flavors and ABV

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 01:40:30 | More by RickKrumenacker
Photo of taez555


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/25/09

This beer poured a crystal clear orange/tan gold body with a thick pillowy head.

Nose is very clean and crisp with a fresh grain smell.

Taste is light to just slightly medium bodied with an immediate crisp bread, dough, grain, flavor and a surprisingly big hop taste and bitterness. The hops really take a front seat in this beer. Mostly just a delicious classic lager with a nice hop taste and kick. It is so well divided through the flavors that they each sit on their own level. Very nice.

Gotta say, not a crazy lager head, but this is pretty damn good. Almost, just barely borders on too much hops, but it doesn't. Clean, crisp, refreshing with some malt and hops. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 19:25:19 | More by taez555
Photo of russpowell


4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 02:46:12 | More by russpowell
Photo of theghost3


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep amber with a 2-finger head that has good retention. Decent lacing.

Smells of bready malts, yeast, and caramel. The taste is grainy malts with bitter hops and a little soapiness. Reminds me of a Pilsener but more malty. Mouthfeel is crisp at first but leaves dry.

This is a very drinkable beer. Much more quaffable than a lot of American lagers out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2009 03:19:04 | More by theghost3
Photo of UA8


4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a perfectly clear amber with an finger thick off-white head.

S- Scents of lightly roasted barley and just barely there hops to green things up a just a tad. The smell of this beer brings up thoughts of the Great Lakes tour.

T- Tastes of golden grains lead the way with the ever slightest touch of sweetness. There's a touch of hops on the back end but just to keep things fresh and balanced. I can't find word for the finish but I can tell you this it's great.

M- Clean crisp and refreshing near perfect for the style

D- This would be a great session beer or something to sit back on a summer porch with. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2009 01:55:56 | More by UA8
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle from Sarava in Cleveland. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A--Bright tawny gold with plenty of bubblestream left after the white fizzy one finger head. There's a density in the head that I haven't yet seen in an American lager, and the lacing is all the way down the glass.

S--So much, especially for what I expect from a lager! Plenty of grainy malt that mellows out into a crusty sweet roll kind of aroma--kind of like eggy breads like challah or brioche. Light hoppiness is faint but noticeable amid the fresh clean malt notes. Super inviting.

T--Doesn't disappoint and mostly follows the nose, with crackery grain and a rougher husk flavor that keeps it interesting. Where the flavor really wakes up and beats the nose is the hops at the end, that makes the last half of the flavor profile so mellowly interesting. Just an absolutely masterful use of the ingredient, with the grapefruit slowly spreading out and parching the palate in preparation for the next sip. Like a refined SA Boston lager with malt that's more grainy than caramel sweetish.

M&D--Excellent, excellent, excellent. Spritzy and alive and soft with the carbonation, not thin or watery in the least. No sulfur or off notes at all. Drinkability is insane--the level of flavor in this beer for the ABV is mightily impressive.

Not since Troegs Hopback Amber has a flagship beer impressed me this much. Good stuff!

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 22:23:03 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of Rainne


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah my first Dortmunder. Definitely a winner.

A- Nice clear golden amber with a fat white head. Great retention and lacing!

S- Malt bread and sweetness. Faint hops?

T- Lots of malt, bread grain and sweetness. Great balance with citrus grapefruit hops bitterness.

M- Medium to full body crisp and clean. Pretty smooth.

D- Drink it. Now.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 13:24:36 | More by Rainne
Photo of beerman207


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into glass. This brew almost smelled like fine aged cheese. Not sure how that smell came through in this but was definatley the smell I picked up.

The appearance was yellow-copper.

Taste had some bitterness to it but muted

Mouthfeel was smooth

Drinkability would be rated high. Another fantastic beer from Great Lakes

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2009 03:11:15 | More by beerman207
Photo of Chugmonkey


3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden with a perfect looking white head, nice lacing.

Light noble hop aroma and taste. Very well balanced. Finishes very clean, w/o any lingering off tastes

Solid heavier feel for a lager, reduced drinkability for me.

Pretty solid beer, not very dynamic to me. A little too heavy feeling to want to drink more than one. Well balanced, but nothing to get too excited about.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2009 17:09:13 | More by Chugmonkey
Photo of Domingo


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man...why can't more US brewers do lagers like Great Lakes?
Pours a deep golden color with a bit of head on top, but not too much. Still, it manages to have a pretty fair amount of lacing.
Smells crisp and malty with a little noble hop hint.
The taste is surprisingly bold. Sweet and malty with a lot of bready grains, and still a pilsner-like hop presence, too. The lager yeast doesn't really show itself in this one as much as some others. Just a little bit of alcohol and huskiness rounds this one out. Maybe a tiny hint of DMS, that's likely a lager yeast bi-product.
Goes down like a macro lager, but with 2x the flavor. Tough to argue with that.
I bet the Germans would be proud of this beer, too.
Just like their other beers, if GL was in my area I think I'd have them in my fridge at all times.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 14:34:59 | More by Domingo
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Pours a golden color with a white head. Slight copper hue adds some extra color and a little bit of haze makes it unique as well. Aroma is biscuity and sweet similar to a pilsner. Slight metallic bitterness up front opens up to a more pilsner-like hop flavor. Dry at the end. Not overly bold, but great for sessioning.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2009 13:20:06 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of dfillius


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass
A: Moderate pour yields one finger of white head recedes to just a ring quickly. Clear, dark gold liquid.
S: Rich and hearty bready smell, that alas is one dimensional.
T: Bready, stronger malt than hops. Well balanced
M: A little coppery and bitter.
D: Very high. One tasty and smooth and easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 01:51:22 | More by dfillius
Photo of Thorpe429


4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 23:37:08 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle w/ notched "best by" date. Poured golden yellow with medium foam. Lacing down the sides.

Nice lager smell - slightly floral, little hops poking through. Pleasant.

Taste is clean - light malt, sweet through the middle, with a mild hop finish. All works together very nicely. Feels like a pilsener to ale progression almost.

Supremely drinkable. solid, solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2009 00:10:57 | More by KTCamm
Photo of srandycarter


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear Copper with nice solid head, reduces to disk with lots of sticky webbed lacing.

S - Up front malt. It's fine but nothing out of the ordinary.

T - Nice malt, almost a cocoa flavor, and some honey towards the finish. Finishes clean.

M - Medium body, nice balance, coating and carb.

D- Easy to drink and lower ABV.

Good stuff

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 05:24:32 | More by srandycarter
Photo of soupermirl


3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dortmunder Gold... Very tasty beer. Poured in nicely with a good head and a continuous ringer.Very nice color for a lager, a bit darker than I thought it would be. Smelled almost like a dubbel. Pretty complex aroma with carmel hints and hops. Hops were smooth, smooth... Malt was balanced right. Good beer. Mouthfeel was above average, didn't leave much to be desired, but it wasn't unbelieveable. Very easy to drink. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 21:32:43 | More by soupermirl
Photo of LyonsHead


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep yellowish orange, 1 finger off white/ivory head with great lacing

S: you can really smell the sweet malt

T: Malty sweetness met with a good balance from the hops. Fruity aftertaste of banana and fig

M: Medium body with a lingering taste

D: Good beer, I don't know if it gets the gold metal on the bottle but it definitely gets a spot in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 14:48:46 | More by LyonsHead
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,415 ratings.