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.

2,477 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,477
Reviews: 1,001
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.55%
Wants: 129
Gots: 174 | 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: 2,477 | Reviews: 1,001 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pumarocks


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I tried this bad boy at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Cleveland. I drank with brunch that was served before the Browns/Ravens game. This beer was fresh! This is brewed only a few miles from where it was served. It pours a nice copper color: yellowish-partially unfiltered looking. It has a nice zing that dances on the tongue but does not linger for to long. This beer can be enjoyed on any occasion. I think I will pick up a sixer of this for my next bbq.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2007 23:01:54 | More by pumarocks
Photo of Floydster


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle given to me from the super cool owner of Walnut Liquorette

Poured into a pint glass with a golden yellow color and a 1/4 inch head that left small lacing while drinking it

Smell was malty with a little roasted oat

Taste was nice and sweet, with a few hops, and a nice wheat/grain taste

Could drink several of these

Pretty awesome beer, especially because it was free

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 07:50:12 | More by Floydster
Photo of funkengruven

Ontario (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nice transparent gold with some head that subsided to a slight cloud over the glass, smell is grassy and malty, very tasty. Flavors in this brew are sweet and bready, with a slight hop aroma. to does finish quite cleanly and goes down ever so smooth.

All I can say about this, another fine brew from a fine brewery.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 23:35:06 | More by funkengruven
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear light golden amber color with a loose full finger white head that resists fading. Spotty lacing in its wake. The smell is rich and malty. Medium bodied, the mouth feel is adequately carbonated. Full flavored, the biscuity malt taste and balanced crisp character resonates with a fresh light bitterness through the finish. A wonderful drinker.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2007 17:12:06 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of jkrich


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with best by date: 11/22/07. If I can not decide what beer to purchase, I normally purchase this one and I have never be disappointed. This brewery is consistent and you always know you have a fresh product.

Pours a clear deep gold to amber which is darker than most standard Dormunder style beers. There is a short lived white one quarter inch head.

There is a definite spicy hop aroma - I believe the brewery uses a domestic Northwest hop, but Great Lake's website did not mention what hops are used.

The initial hop taste is balanced by a solid background of maltiness sweetness which is the hallmark of the dortmunder style. With the dark gold and hoppiness, this is a solid American interpretation of a German classic.

Medium carbonation and some chewiness in the mouthfeel.

It is very difficult to find imported German versions of dortmunder. Even the "Dab" brewery exports mainly its pilsner style beer in green bottles.

This is a robust, first class lager.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 23:08:29 | More by jkrich
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pale malt scent along with a faint hop aroma. It's dry with just a hint of malt sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a very smooth pale malt flavor that goes down so easy and finishes dry and hoppy. I wish it wasn't as bitter as it is. The malt bill seems just about perfect. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent lager. I love the malt flavor, but I'm not a huge fan of the hop character in this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2007 00:36:35 | More by WesWes
Photo of cichief


3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Inn on the Allegheny in Foxburg, PA.

A- Pours a deep orange-gold with a nice white head.

S- Smells somewhat bready and malty sweet, hint of fruit.

T- Tasted sweet and citrusy, had a nice breadiness with a decent dry finish.

M- Nice and smooth, thin to medium in body.

D- A fresh beer for summertime enjoyment. A good session beer. So many readers dislike lagers, this is a very good one.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 02:29:31 | More by cichief
Photo of Risser09


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

A: golden brown colored beer gives way to a white head that makes it to the top of the glass and fades. No carbonation is evident from the bottom of the glass.
Smell: Cotton candy. Sugary malts and no hop aromas. Tutti frutti and bazooka bubble gum. Awesome.
Taste: Smoothe and creamy all the way through. A pleasure to drink. The tutti frutti flavor shows up in the forefront and falls to a complex malt profile that is well balanced. There is some hoppiness but it isn't incredibly strong.
Mouthfeel: Smoothe and creamy. Some alcohol burn in the finish. Slightly drying.
Drinkability: Awesome. This beer is well balanced and would pair well with many foods.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2007 17:11:21 | More by Risser09
Photo of LeftyBWS


3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Label says "Freshest by 9/17/07"
A: Warm orange color with amber tones. Medium-speed bubbles rise from the middle. One inch of tan head, smooth and foamy.
S: Hoppy for a lager, but they're warm and smooth hops, not that bitter. Some mild citrus scents. A very full and round smell.
T: Floral hops prevail, with a creamy hop bite towards the middle. Smooth maltiness underneath. Very smooth throughout, with a bitter tingle in the finish.
M: Biting but not dry. In fact, a little watery.
D: A good lager with some complexity. I could have a couple of these.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2007 02:19:20 | More by LeftyBWS
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer came a pale brown copper that looked a little dead or washed out. The head was an even, sparse film that left little traces of lace.

Smells of a murky candy fruitiness with an orange, pineapple banana. This came with a slight dry cocoa nut and marshmallow.

Tastes of a solid back of cardboard and cream that released little bits of tasty bread and a dry, subtle, but tongue numbing hop. In the finish comes a little of the fruit from the smell and a welcome, dry orange juice sweetness.

Feels a little dense but clean with a hidden carbonation that stings the palate when its released.

A little dry, but nice on a summer day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2007 18:49:14 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of JoEBoBpr


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

Pours a nice string gold color. Smells of malts and hops very nice malted scent. Very tasty beer with refreshing malt and hops and not too citrus. Hints of pepper and spices very refreshing. Great mouth feel balance between great flavors and refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2007 01:55:07 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of ttu94


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

Nice big white head. Clear gold color. Nice lacing all down the glass. Exactly what one thinks of when thinking of lager beer. Very nice malty smell with a slight hop aroma. Great full flavored taste. Nothing is too much, a very good balanced beer. Leaves no sour aftertaste and is not overly drying either. This is a very easy drinking beer that could be had all day long.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2007 05:16:10 | More by ttu94
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A average brew, hence the straight threes. A clear golden brew with a fair head that recedes to a light covering and leaves little lacing. The smell is corn. There is also some medicinal aftertaste but it is not too harsh and doesn;t affect the drinkability of the brew. Overall a fair beer that is light and easy to drink. A sessionable brew for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 03:05:01 | More by Enola
Photo of akorsak


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle poured into my new Samuel Adams beer glass, thanks BA and AAB Mags and BBC!

A: The lager is a brilliant golden yellow color. It is crystal clear with no signs of imperfect and a sizeable head that quickly wittled away.

S: The aroma is biscuity, breadlike with a sweet undercurrent. I have a hard time finding any hops.

T: Grains immediately jump off of the tongue, crisp and clean with an incredibly dry finish that ends with a hoppy flourish. The malts are biscuity with a caramel note, dry with an evident sweetness. The hops add a bigger bite than the nose suggests but not so big that it overwhelms the malts.

M: The mouthfeel is solid, full of strong malts and a surprising hop undercurrent. I can see this winning a gold medal.

D: Excellent beer from the crew at Great Lakes. The malty flavors and crisp hop finish are excellent for a muggy summer day.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2007 00:30:27 | More by akorsak
Photo of objectivemonkey


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

Into a pint glass, pours a clear light copper gold, a nice but small off-white head forming and holding at a solid film, not much lacing. The aroma is spicy hops first, toasty grainy malts second. Pretty decent, but not assertive. The taste is crisp and refreshing, drying toward the end, a nice balance of bittering hops with noble spices and slightly toasted but definitely grainy malts. Very refreshing indeed, a good beer to have a number of in the fridge, particularly this time of year.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 01:08:15 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of Damian


3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, OH

Poured a clear, brassy gold with a touch of orange. The white, foamy and bubbly, one-finger head left a blanket of drippy lacing along the glass.

The aroma was fairly mild, even as the beer warmed. German malts were noticeable along with a slight hoppiness reminiscent of freshly mowed grass.

The taste was definitely more intense than the aroma. Some malty creaminess (German malts once again) came through up front with the hops soon trailing. The beer was fairly hoppy from start to finish with smooth, buttery undertones. Hay-like notes appeared mid-palate with the hops following strongly in the clean, crisp and snappy finish. A touch of alcohol also came out on the back end as the beer warmed.

The body was medium with a creamy, smooth, lush mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer was a rather light, refreshing, palate cleansing and easy-drinking offering. At the same time, it was flavorful enough to keep my interest. It also paired perfectly with my pizza and would go well with a variety of pub fare.

Serving type: on-tap

07-13-2007 22:03:27 | More by Damian
Photo of Halcyondays


4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark gold, almost amber, with thick white 2-finger head, great retention and lager look.

S: Bready malts, earthy noble hops, and perhaps a hint of honey.

T: This is definitely an American take on the Dortmunder. The 35 IBUs definitely show their stuff, with a delicious caramel malt note in the background.

M: Smooth, dry, very much like a Czech pilsner in that respect.

D: Easy, quaffable, on par with the best German lagers, would be a great crossover beer for novice beer drinkers, it's bitter, shows the hops but inviting.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 22:10:18 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Slar211


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

12 oz. bottle from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Pours rich, gold and clear into a pint glass with a creamy white head that won't quit.

Smell: Toasty malts, caramel and piny hops.

Taste: Follows the smell with great balance. Picked up a little lemon-apple zest as well.

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth body, finishes crisp and dry.

Drinkability: An everyday beer, to be sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 17:46:35 | More by Slar211
Photo of Keitherduder


3.2/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As the flagship beer for Great Lakes Berwing Co. I must say that I've judged this beer harshly. Being born and raised in Cleveland I must make sure that my hometowns flagship beer is top notch! And i'm glad to say that it is indeed, a top notch beer. For a dortmunder made here in America it's amazing! Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water... The way it should be!

The color lets me know right away that it's going to be a tasteful adventure!!! The smell was the best part. clean light hoppy aroma. The taste is so refreshing on this hot humid summer day. I will however say as i go along to my 3rd or 4th bottle the taste gets less and less pleasing. I may just be getting used to it though.

all around (and trying not to be biased) I have to say it's a great beer. a great dortmunder.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 18:48:50 | More by Keitherduder
Photo of giblet


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another gem from Great Lakes. nice smell and body, excellent taste - wonderful taste for a lighter beer. i can have 3-4 of these in a row! nice carbonation, head and lace.

i honestly do not think you can go wrong with this company. if you look at BA top 100 they have a nice entry. it also has a very nice review from the Grand Pooh Bah of BA.

suckem up and movem out!


Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 14:56:32 | More by giblet
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

2.15/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Great Lakes- Dortmunder Gold

Appearance- Light faint yellow with a small soapy white head.
Smell- Faint malt with a huge coren, rice, adjunct aroma.
Taste- Sweet corn husk, hint of lemon, and dry malt.
Mouthfeel- Watery and weak with a slight dry metallic finish.

Overall- Disappointed with this one! Cheap, watery, and weak. I won't try this again.

***purchased the bottle at "On Stage" (I think that was the name) a restaurant in Concourse C at the Cleveland Airport and smuggled the bottle through security.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2007 18:47:31 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

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

Got this one in a GL Taster. Pours a nice copper gold color with a head that disappears disappointingly fast. Nose is strong on hops and some grain, along with some light banana. Taste is fairly similar; lots of grain, some light citrus, and some drying hops again at the back. Body is a touch thin, but overall solid on carbonation. This one is a tasty one that I'd drink again, although in my opinion it didn't top the Elliot Ness or Edmund Fitzgerald that were also in the taster.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2007 18:46:58 | More by soupyman10
Photo of kellyst


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden color. No head, but I think the bartender didn’t know any better and poured it this way.

S: Malty, grainy. Hay smell readily apparent.

T: Malty. Doesn’t have that slight nuttiness that most German lagers have. But that’s ok, because there is awonderful grainy taste with crisp hay flavors. Very full flavored.

M: Crisp mouthfeel. Medium bodied.

D: Very high. Especially on a hot, humid Ohio evening.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2007 14:08:30 | More by kellyst
Photo of robocrouch


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

A: Poured into my pint glass from the bottle. The beer is as gold as the gold medal illustration on the bottle.

S: Crisp hops and malts. Smells refreshing.

T: So crisp and refreshing. Very light but still retains its malty hop goodness. It is very light bodied and perfect for a hot day.

D: One of the best lagers I have had. It is so light and refreshing but still has loads of flavor. This is yet again another outstanding beer from GLBC, well done.

Two Thumbs Up.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2007 15:26:29 | More by robocrouch
Photo of iron78


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a variety pack of Great Lakes Brews. I have always liked their porter so thought would give others a try.

Nice vibrant golden color. A dense white head quickly thins to nice small lacing.

Malty smell behind a wet hay/ grain odor. Mild earthy hop nose.

Fresh grain flavor. Earthy hops balanced by a biscuit like malt.

Light bodied, but crisp. Doesn't feel watery.

Very easy drinking, a great brew for a hot day. Smooth, crisp, well balanced. Will have to pick up more for the up comming summer

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2007 21:56:25 | More by iron78
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,477 ratings.