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.

2,545 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,545
Reviews: 1,005
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 140
Gots: 204 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,545 | Reviews: 1,005 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rawhydes1


4.78/5  rDev +17.4%

As part of a variety 12 pack, purchased at Sam The Beerman in Binghamton. Boy, am I glad I made the 1 hour drive!!!

A true gem of a lager.

Beautiful golden amber color, with nice head.

Smells biscuity and sweet. Taste is VERY SMOOTH, with bready and raisin notes. Absolutely delicious!!

Smoothe, full, mouthfeel. One of the most drinkable lagers I have ever had.

With adequate marketing, this could easily outsell Yuengling Lager... not even in the same class.

01-06-2010 13:28:53 | More by rawhydes1
Photo of drums4matt

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

This beer was actually a Christmas gift from my uncle! Keep all the hoaky gifts and give me some great beer and i'll have a WONDERFUL Christmas - my family knows me well.

A - This is a nice looking beer. It's crystal clear and alive with tiny, steady bubbles effervescing into the liquid for the duration of the glass. It's as gold as the name would imply with a half-inch thick white, smooth head that is gone before I make it back for my second sip. The beer keeps some dense spots throughout. It's really a nice looking beer.

S - Smell? This beer smells awesome. It is deep, deep character cloaked in simplicity. The first aromas are of biscuit malts. Sounds simple - but smell more deeply and there's a sweetness to the malt aroma profile, as well, almost like fresh cut grass. This blends so perfectly with the spicy alcohol notes and the perfect touch of fresh hops. Haha I'm going on here but it really is sublime...

T - Again - this beer is right on. It's sweet up front with maybe a fleeting brett flavor (?) set off nicely with a bit of accumulating bitterness from a glorious hop flavor. Now, let it be known, I am a hop-head. I can't deny it. This beer is no IPA but there is something about the hops in this beer that grabs my tongue by the taste buds and give it a nasty, French kiss wrapped in buiscty, malty glory. In an awesome way. As this beer sits, the alcohol notes become slightly more pronounced, rounding out the flavor profile (and perhaps the body of the beer changes adding to the perception of 'roundness') adding just the suggestion of spice.

M & D - This is a really drinkable beer - the carbonation is proper to the nitty gritty. It's never too fizzy or flat. The body is not watery or thick but seems just right. This is not an "intense" beer like a lot of American breweries tend to be making these days. But instead this beer comes off like a beer that knows it has nothing to prove and puts forward unpretentious flavors in such a way that delights even the most seasoned palate. Really good beer from the edge a dirty-nasty lake.

01-06-2010 01:35:40 | More by drums4matt
Photo of buschbeer


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

I poured into a pint glass to a fluffy, offwhite head. It is orangish amber in color. It smells of bready malts but also has a stewed vegetable smell. It has a solid malt backbone and some bitterness. It finishes pretty clean. I find it to be better on tap. It is a decent beer. This is not my style of choice.


01-05-2010 18:31:22 | More by buschbeer
Photo of TheFightfan1


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Poured into my new pilsner glass. Crystal clear gold in color with a nice white heading. Some legs and rings are present throughout.

Smell is mostly of a doughy bread. Heavy in malts and there is a decent amount of hoppiness detected.

Taste is funny first thing to hit was the hops. I figured it to be a very malty drink and was surprised. The doughy breadiness kicks in right afterward along with a little bit of grain to finish thing's up.

Mouth is medium bodied. Great retention and foams up very nicely on the palate. Again finishes a little grainy.

This is a superb beer. One of my new favorites. Great tasting beer for any time of year. A new sessionable brew to had to my collection.

01-03-2010 21:50:59 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of uberabr


4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Had this on tap this Christmas at a restaurant in the Cleve. There seems to be really good beer around that area. Some of the supermarkets have illusive Stone ales that I've ironically had a hard time finding here in California.

I was happy to stumble upon this brew. Poured a dark amber with a frothy head that left good lace. Aromas of pine and citrus, and that distinct aromatic lager hop. What struck me about this brew was the hybrid of crisp european lager flavors with the more aggressive, hoppy American micro-brew ones. Accenting the buttery malts with a sharper hop really kicks this one up from just another German-styled American lager to a unique craft brew. The malts are very true to their heritage and the hops are refined enough to not wear out their welcome.

A highly drinkable choice, with tons of flavor at that ABV. It might come on strong for a session beer but it could certainly do as one. It's really fun to find a lager with the flare and craft of some of the better American ales. Definitely worth a try if you find it.

01-02-2010 08:13:16 | More by uberabr
Photo of AnnaEA


4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

Poured a clear amber, with a thin head that faded quickly. Left no lacing. The aroma is clean and citrusy, a light clear scent that reminds me of a small stream in the high Rockies that I drank from once when I was backpacking as a kid.

The flavor is strong up front, bitter with citrus and resinous tones, settling nicely into a gentle toasty aftertaste that fades quickly. A hint of spice appears as the beer warms. The mouth feel hits as very rich, but by the end of the swallow it's cleanly over.

Very drinkable beer -- every swallow invites you back for the next one, and wouldn't just a bit more be nice? I could definitely session this.

01-02-2010 01:27:19 | More by AnnaEA
Photo of thecarster1


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

bottle received from the review this! bif.. thanks markwise!!

a- bottle poured into a pilsner, one finger head that fades pretty quickly to a spotty layer of lace and a ring around the glass, light amber coloring, very attractive.

s- mild nose, some grass, slight pepper, floral sweetness, mild lemon.

t- crisp, dry, refreshing, grassy, great amount of bitterness, nice toasted caramel malts, not what i was expecting at all - best lager i've had in a long time.

m- light to medium and slightly prickly.

d- wow, this was a great surprise. i wasn't expecting the dortmunder to be like this at all, it's a very lightly flavored crisp, bitter lager - i'm loving it! i'm glad these beers are finally available in pa and i can pick them up now, this may be my go to lager.

12-31-2009 16:37:46 | More by thecarster1
Photo of drumrboy22


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Trumer Pils glass. Beer was a light orange color, with a thick, two-finger head. Moderate carbonation and lacing around the glass.

Aroma was grains, citrus hops, sweet malt, biscuit and a touch of wheat.

Taste was sweet and malty up front, followed by a lightly bitter finish. Very well balanced and highly drinkable.

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It's not a style I'm a big fan of, but this is a very tasty beer.

12-30-2009 02:56:50 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of alleykatking


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- This pours out a clear deep golden hue. One and a half finger crisp white head stays around for a short bit before dying to nothing. The lacing on this beer comes off as skirted as I drink the entire beer little by little.

S- Nice big sweet bready malts in the front of this beer. There is almost like a wheaty presence here that I can't point out but I like. Citrus and light bitter hops also come through. Maybe some citrus peel or something of that nature as well.

T- This beer is knocked out of the water in taste. I was very happy to revisit this beer and almost forgot how great the taste was. Nice crisp citrus hops in the front. The middle is mostly malt based up there is a light citrus note to it the entire way. A light bitter hop bite at the end makes this beer balanced.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light hops and malt share the flavors left in both the palate and aftertaste. Flavors come off as crisp and clean.

D- This is a stupid drinkable beer. I forgot how good this beer was and to be honest I think this is one of Great Lakes best year around beer. I do think this beer needs to be revisited by everyone who had it at some point in their beer drinking life because it will make you remember how good something can be without being over the top!

12-21-2009 03:18:07 | More by alleykatking
Photo of alkemy


3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

Pour is a clear deep golden hue. Head doesn't stick around long. Sweet bread scent along with a hint of citrus and floral hops. When trying to pinpoint a taste, you realize how well balanced this beer is. There's a floral herbal vibe intermingled with a sweet doughy bread. Very crisp finish. It's been years since I've had this and I never much cared for it before, but I quite like it now. Must be a maturing palette. I know I'm in the minority, but Eliot Ness is my favorite GL lager.

12-10-2009 00:07:35 | More by alkemy
Photo of smibroncos

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

A. Poured a clear amber with a short disapating creamy white head. Excellent lacing on the glass.

S. Citrus, pine, bread dough, cracked pepper

T. Light sweet malt, with a nice bitter finish. Citrus, esters, carmel, cereal, with some pepper spictness, and some citrus peel tartness.

M. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, decent duration

D. A good brew, nice balance, with plenty of hops. Refreshing and I liked the lasting bitterness, and the citrus peel tartness.

12-08-2009 01:56:01 | More by smibroncos
Photo of bob3701

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +17.9%

I thought putting their gold medal right on the lable like they had was a bit much, but damn this is good stuff. Nice clear gold color. Nice head to start with but disapates quickly. That German aroma associated with the finest they produce is very strong here. Nice crisp taste and if there ever was a balanced beer I think this is it. This is the beer I will now compare to all others when I think of balance. This is very pleasant to drink and that gold medal should be the prodominant feature on the label.
This ain't no yellow fizzy stuff!

12-06-2009 23:20:11 | More by bob3701
Photo of Whiteweasel


4.15/5  rDev +2%

Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass. About 2 weeks after the best by date. Should still be okay though

Appearance: Weak head but still shows up with a little more aggressive of pouring. Nice creamy white head which leaves thick lacing on the sides. Beer itself is a clear brownish orange colour and very clear. Decent amount of carbonation still coming up.

Smell: Very floral and hoppy but still sweet. I almost want to say something like pumpkin can be detected but it might just be the yeast. Maltiness is present but not extremely prominant. Its a nice blend of the two elements.

Taste: Very malty like an Oktoberfest, and with some savory elements of a doppelbock. Dry, but the hops are not nearly as prominant as I thought they would be. Sweet and almost a little tangy. Reminds me a little of vegetables

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is pleasant and not too strong. Finishes clean. Alcohol taste is hidden by the other characteristics. Goes well with the style

Drinkability: Very easy to quaff, and I could without a doubt session with this beer. Low-ish abv, crisp taste, refreshing quality, and not too overpowering. Very solid

12-06-2009 04:00:43 | More by Whiteweasel
Photo of heissebier


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Came as part of a Great Lakes variety pack. A little past the freshness date.

Appearance- Definitely gold. Not a lot of head at all, but what I got left good lacing.

Smell- Well balanced and a little hoppy but doesn't overwhelm the malt. Clean smelling but not simple.

Taste- Malty with good hop support. Definately more malty than expected but good! Maybe a little like an oktoberfestbier. Also, a unique taste in the malt that I can't quite place.

Mouthfeel- Goes down smooth with decent carbonation. Finishes clean with a little residiual hoppiness.

Drinkability- Excellent! Packs plenty of flavor but goes down smooth. No wonder why it used to require armed escorts.

12-06-2009 03:59:04 | More by heissebier
Photo of ledemie

New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

Look: nice golden orange , good head nice lacingsamll bubbles.

Smell: nice and bready, hint of hops

Tastes: medium to full body, malt hops balance

Drinkability: I am going to make this my every day drink , really nice beer, I do not like hoppy beer that much, this is more malty beer , and I love it.

12-02-2009 14:07:04 | More by ledemie
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

12 oz bottle picked up in Buffalo. I've had this about a million times, no idea why I've never reviewed it.

Pours a clear amber, some orange highlights, thick and rocky white head forms, slowly settles down to a thin ring, good lace chunks still all over, great retention.

Smell is nice, very malty, some caramel sweetness, lots of toast and biscuit, bread, honey, some light grapefruit, floral and grassy hops, all perfectly balanced, a bit of wheat comes through, touch of graininess, just nice and malty.

Taste is similar, malt sweetness at first, honey/caramel, big toasty middle, biscuits, crackers, some floral, grassiness near the finish, a light bit of mineral character, solid bitterness but perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. This is what lagers are all about, one of the easiest drinking beers ever.

12-02-2009 00:03:09 | More by Viggo
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Love their labels. Clean designs. Best-by date clearly notched. And interesting notes about every beer around the neck.

Appearance: Lighter peach-colored with some copper and brown coming in, depending on the light. Scant larger bubbles floating to the top of the glass

Smell: Clean, bready, caramel notes. Hugely inviting and sweet, and yet balanced. Maybe a bit of herbal hops in there too, along with some citrus. Quality all around.

Taste: Balanced bready sweetness, caramel, a bit of herbal spiciness. There aren't a million things coming through here, but I always use the term "quality" for Great Lakes, since most of their beers aren't insanely gimmicky or complex. They just know how to make extremely tasty and balanced beers, and this is one of them. The sliding herbal hop lingering finish is great too, especially as it curbs the sweetness is a bit from the initial sip.

Mouthfeel: More meaty and medium-bodied, but good carbonation from the middle to the back end, lots of smaller bubbles that work to help the flavors do their thing.

Drinkability: This is one of those desert island beers. A brew I could drink every day, in very high quantities. One of the best Great Lakes beers, and one that you need to track down if you haven't.

11-26-2009 01:20:43 | More by asabreed
Photo of tatoodkelt


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Another one courtesy of a trade with Auslander, thanks again man!

Consumed 11/14/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.
Bottled dated 11/23/2009.

A- Very bright golden yellow with some pretty good carbination feeding a fluffy one finger head. Decent retention and better lacing than I expected.

S- Grassy and floral, pretty sweet over all. Something else in there I cant nail down.

T- Light bread, again with the grassy/floral notes, a little hop presence in there as well.

M- Medium bodied, smooth and creamier than I thought it would be.

D- Pretty easy to drink, I'm normally not a huge fan of this style but once again GL delivers a mighty fine brew.

11-24-2009 20:28:51 | More by tatoodkelt
Photo of nickd717


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

12oz bottle via trade, poured into pint glass. This beer is great for the style, an amazing light-colored lager.

Pours a bright clear golden color with a small white head that leaves a foamy ring around the glass.

Aroma is grassy and floral hops, pale malt, and grain.

Flavor is grainy yet very pleasant with pale bready malt, great grassy and fruity hops, and a little butter. Taste really jumps out.

Excellent mouthfeel, medium-light in body with a hoppy kick lasting on the palate. Crisp and dry.

Drinkability is high. This is a great Dortmunder-style lager overall.

11-23-2009 17:51:38 | More by nickd717
Photo of jdflyer06


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden with some nice carbonation and decent one finger head. Much more rich than a pilsner or your typical golden lager.

S: Floral hops with a bit of honey and some overripe citrus dominate. Nice bready malt notes and a bit of alcohol.

M: Nice carbonation on this one, smooth and not aggressive, goes down well. You can barely tell this stuff has alcohol in it. Some creaminess but a good clean finish that leaves a nice taste in your mouth.

T: Malty, bready but with a nice bitterness that cuts through it all. Some light citrus notes such as lemon and grapefruit come to mind. Very well balanced.

O: An EXTREMELY sessionable beer. Not filling in the slightest and finishes clean, leaving you wanting more. Goes well with the pad thai I made the other night and would be perfect for barbecue or spicy food. An excellent beer. I always wonder why the big boys don't just do something like this. It's so very simple but so very good. A great transition beer for someone looking to leave macro lagers behind and set foot into craft beer.

11-21-2009 01:11:59 | More by jdflyer06
Photo of coachdonovan

Rhode Island

4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

i'm interested to see how this varies from a pilsner or german lager. pours a color true to the name, pure gold and perfectly clear. hmm, have you ever had a beer that doesn't smell or taste like anything, but yet it's very good? it looks like beer you see on a BMC commercial when they talk about "clean, crisp, clear lager" except it actually delivers that smoothness that the macros don't. i'll leave it to others to note more distinct and subtle flavors/notes, but i'll just say this is the most drinkable beer i've ever had. it tastes great, leaves the palate in order and makes you want another. and another. i need to remember to have a case of this on hand for my next backyard bbq.

11-21-2009 00:21:29 | More by coachdonovan
Photo of bret27


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Thanks to MrDanno96 for this one. His first trade and an A+ performance.

A: Dark yellow, clear, thin white fizzy head that fades quickly.

S: sweet, hay, grass

T: Grassy, grainy, malt sweetness, lightly bitter w/a dry finish.

M: Pretty full, especially robust for style.

D: Gooood

Overall: Good overall but definitely not my favorite style. For style though a nice robust yet drinkable job.

11-17-2009 00:11:14 | More by bret27
Photo of BillyBoysPie


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark golden color with a dense half-inch white head. Head dissipates, but not completely, leaving a film across the top with clouds. Nice lacing in rings, very dense.

Caramel and barley comes right through. Some other grainy fragrances are present also. A touch of noble hops, but not sweet.

Well balanced beer. High notes are a touch of wheat and barley. Very pleasant and light. A tiny touch of Golden Delicious Apple. A very light caramel flavor well balanced with the clean noble hop finish.

A delightful medium-light bodied beer. Carbonation is incredibly refreshing and doesn't make the beer feel "light" or "watered-down." Almost a velvety texture.

Great beer - reminded me of many of the high-quality lagers you can get in Germany and the Czech Republic. Although satisfying with a homemade pizza, it could go with any traditional German dish, or with most casual dining fare. I'd recommend with grilled pork chops or chicken, salad, and haricort verts.

11-16-2009 00:16:27 | More by BillyBoysPie
Photo of matty


3.55/5  rDev -12.8%

Gold colored beer with a rapidly fading head.Aroma is citrus and hoppy,Taste is lemons,florals and a hint of caramel malts.Goes down very easily like a cold glass of water on a hot summer day.I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised.I would recommend and purchase again!

11-13-2009 18:57:12 | More by matty
Photo of Arbitrator


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of a trade with boatshoes. Thanks Fletcher!

A: Pours a bright, straw-gold color in the glass that is perfectly clear to the light, save for a steady stream of bubbles up the glass. It is nicely capped with off-white foam that retains well and leaves nice register marks down the sides of the glass.

S: Lemon zest and floral hop, bready malt. Admittedly simple, but very pleasant to sniff.

T: Admittedly simple here as well. Surprisingly hoppy for a dortmunder (not that I'm a huge expert or anything -- only had a few before this). The lemon and floral flavors are quite tasty, and they are balanced perfectly with bread / pilsner malt.

M: Light-medium bodied with refreshing carbonation. Clean, crisp finish.

D: It feels weird to say this on a site where the Top 100 is populated almost exclusively by imperial this-and-thats, but this is a clean, simple beer and I'd love to drink this on a regular basis.

11-11-2009 08:42:02 | More by Arbitrator
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,545 ratings.