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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,754 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,754
Reviews: 1,023
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 152
Gots: 288 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,754 | Reviews: 1,023 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TCHopCraver
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden straw into a standard pint glass. I see through you, beer. Has a tiny, half-finger head that is pure white. Leaves an attractive, thin, curvy lacing pattern.

S: I detect sweet malts, a nice biscuit aroma, some apricot, and a bit of a fresh hop profile.

T: Bready and yummy. A pretty sweet malt taste with a slightly dry, peppery flavor on the finish. There are some crisp apple hints in there, as well. This is a good tasting lager, for sure.

M: Maybe the best mouthfeel from a lager that I have had. It has a medium to full bodied character on the palate that really hits all of the right happy spots.

D: Well, this would be a great candidate for a session beer. The only thing holding me back from giving it a slightly higher rating is that it's a little on the sweet side for me.

Photo of ujsplace
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an over sized pub glass.

Golden orange in appearance with a thick white head that leaves nice plenty of nice lacing.

Smells of buttery biscuits and mildly sweet malts...

Tastes of sweet malts and faint hop bitterness in the end. Very crisp and clean tasting...

Light mouthfeel, good carbonation...

This is an easy drinking golden lager. Would make a great brew for gatherings and for me anyway, would be a nice change of pace. Good stuff...

Photo of wordhog61
2.2/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It must be me. I went again, off of the ratings on this site for this beer. A local 6 pack store sells all kinds of beer, and it had this one. I made my own 6 pack and had one of these last night. I couldn't drink it all. Again, I can't describe the taste, but it did not agree with me. I love Yuengling, so I thought I might like this brew, and I didn't. It looks very good, not much carbonation which I like, but I just didn't like the taste.

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

A: Poured into my Yuengling Black and Tan shaker pint glass, the beer is an orangey copper color with some brownish hues. A thick frothy head leaves thick rings of lace that start very close together and end irregularly. The body is crisp clean and clear, with nary an imperfection in its glass-like majesty.

S: Never imagined that a lager would be this hoppy. I like. Grassy hops are surprisingly potent in the nose, but they are nicely balanced by a strong malt backbone.

T: Again, in the flavor, I must remark at the solid balance that GLBC has struck between hops and malts. A grassy front is quickly balanced by a biscuit malt backbone. Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite lagers.

M/D: This beer is so enjoyable and well balanced, that I would have no problem drinking these all night. Great Lakes, at this point, seems to be unable to do any wrong when it comes to brewing world class beers. This beer is no exception.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a pale yellow slighty orange with an inch and a half white head
S-a nice bready malt with a slight straw aroma and a nice spicy hops in the background
T-a very refreshing beer, a smooth malt taste of breadiness and a slight toastyness with a nice amount of spicy and floral hops very smooth and full yet still dry and refreshing
M-a full body with a good carbonation has a big fuller feel that is still very crisp and refreshing
D-highly drinkable this beer has a great taste and could easily be enjoyed all night

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

Poured into a chalice.

Pours a light copper/amber color with a near white creamy head. Brew has some lace and a lace head island.

Brew smells of bisquit bready malts, grains, sweet citrus/floral/spicey hops.

Brew is crisp and refreshing, a nice solid balance of hops and malts. Has a slight dry bitter finish. Sweet citrus and or floral hops, biquity malt, spicy. Nice tasting and driking brew. Wow a truly great tasting brew.

Yet again another fine brew from Great Lakes. And yet another case worthy brew from this brewery.

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

Color between a bronze and gold, darker than most examples I've seen, indicative of the beefy malt profile. This bottle didn't retain well. Could have been the glass.

Herbal and spicy hops, lemon. Floral too. Lightly toasty malt, sweetness. Very fragrant and enticing.

Bready and sweet, with some of the same lightly toasty aroma found in the aroma. Lemongrass flavor in the hops, a little spicy bitterness. Delicious hop profile that trumps most pale ales.

Creamy feel and soft body, very fine carbonation.

This is one of the best lagers on the market. Very fairly priced. Goes down so easy. Easy to get swept up in fancy limited release beers and forget how good a classic like this is. The 5.8% is a nice number for those of us who like our beers a bit beefier. A great beer to spend a night with.

Photo of JMC_TM
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this great beer on tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC

This German style Dortmunder pours a bright clear gold with a nice frothy white head that leaves nice lacing down the sides of your glass. The aroma gives off plenty of sweet malt, with some light breadiness on the end. Dortmunder has a nice medium body with a light amount of carbonation that works perfectly with the heavy amount of malty sweetness. Great Lakes did a great job of balancing this Lager with a near perfect amount of herbal and citrus hops. The brew dries up fairly quickly, although there is a little remaining sweetness. This is an excellent, light sessionable Lager weighing in at a drinkable 5.80% abv.

Photo of steve8robin
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Extra in a trade...

A: Good color for a lager. No head and a deep gold color with a slight pink hue. Looks almost like a wine.

S: Eh, not too much special going on for the style. Has a decent malty backend, but that's it.

T: Not too bad. Very refreshing with an almost buttery Ritz cracker taste on the backend. Too much water and hope are slightly hidden. Citrus bitterness. Not bad.

M: Citrus bitterness overpowers the smoothness a little.

D: Goes down very easy. Fairly typical for the style.

All in all, this might be a decent brew to convert from mainstream to craft. Only if the transition will be slow though. This doesn't fall too far out of mainstream. If you are already into craft, this is not worth hunting down.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed this a while ago, but the review was erased in one of October's server crashes. So here goes again!

A: Pours a nice orange-amber color with about a finger of creamy off-white head. Lots of lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of sweet malt mixed with some feint floral hops. Touches of freshly baked bread as well.

T: Lots of pleasant sweet malt, biscuits, and some tropical hops that add a touch of bitterness on the back end. Hints of orange and lemon result in a fairly sweet and refreshing finish. This is really well put together.

M: A light to medium body that's clean, crisp, and refreshing.

D: A highly drinkable session brew. For me, this ranks right up there with SN Pale Ale as an elite session beer. I'm amazed again and again by the quality of Great Lakes' flagship beers. All 5 of them are truly great brews and Dortmunder Gold is no exception. Germany should be proud.

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

Kudos to MA for bringing this Great Lakes brew to California. Next up their Burning River Pale and Christmas Ale.

This beer looks good as gilded, the head is a little lacking but this could be the pour. Nice hearty and malty aromas dominate the nose - nothing complex, but very pleasant. The Gold has bite...hops lurk quietly in the background of this barley patch. Great carbonation, no aftertaste. An eminently, quaffable session beer. In other words, a quality Dortmunder.

This is not my style of beer nowadays, but this is an excellent brew nonetheless. I dream of downing a few of these on draft in a Cleveland beer garden...

Photo of zoso1967
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful golden (go figure) color with a wispy light head, good carbonation and very nice lacing. Aroma of sweet bready malts, a touch of caramel, and some nuttiness as well. The taste is wonderful. Nice and clean, yet complex. Lots of white bread malt notes, caramel, soft herbal hops, honey and a touch of toastyness. Also, I am detecting some toffee in the finish. Delicious. Very well balanced with just enough bitterness to balance out the malt character. Medium bodied with a very nice clean finish that is not too sweet or dry. This beer would go great with a sports game or BBQ. Very well executed. It is no wonder that it has been a gold medal winner. I realize that hoppy American ales are not for everyone, but with amazing lagers like this around, it's amazing that people still drink BMC beers.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-nice golden amber color, thick and robust off white head that lingers for a little bit and sticks to the side of the glass

S-the aroma is nice and brings some biscuity malts up front, hints of spice, with a light hop profile coming in last bringing some lemon and citrussy hops.

T-the taste is extremely clean, light biscuit starts off with the hops setting the backbone of this beer. A nice blend of honey, citrus, and lemon with just a touch of spice

M-great body, lighter end of medium body, extremely smooth and clean, somewhat dry finish with a great carbonation backing to give it a light crisp bite

D-easy drinking, so smooth, incredibly tasty (little hoppier than I would have expected but I loved it) fantastic offering, another top notch session beer from Great Lakes!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. 5.8% ABV, Best Served at 45 Degrees F (served at 48), Best By 03/06/10.

A - Brilliantly clear golden color with almost no carbonation bubbles rising up. The head jumps to nearly four fingers tall on the pour. The dense cream bubbles are packed tight and stay long but finally leave patches of lace all over.

S - Right away I'm getting this straw and creamed corn nose that I'm not fond of at all. A bit of grass and pale malts behind but the nose really isn't appealing to me.

T - Smooth maltiness that seems almost pilsner-like with a bit of caramel added. Very well balanced with a mild dry finish and low noble hop flavor. So much better than the aroma.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth like a great lager is, it's got a fairly dry and hoppy finish but not bitter or too strong.

D - The balance is fantastic. I don't get the aroma being the way it is but the rest of the beer is very good. An extremely drinkable lager that's flavorful but not overpowering.

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

Pours a golden yellow with a nice cream colored head that lasts. Nice lacing.

Smells of sweet biscuity light malt and nice mild hops. Taste is a nice blend of malt and bright hops. The hops add a citrus angle to the brew. It is crisp and refreshing. Very nicely balanced.
Light/Med in body crisp prickly carbonation yet it remains smooth.
Overall a very drinkable lager and an interesting one as well.

Photo of potownbill
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I now have a new favorite beer!!! Got it at Halftime in the town of Po.
Appearance: Gold, beauty of a white head
Smell: Biscuit, sweet malt
Taste: Sweet malt, biscuit, some Citrus nops.
Mouthfeel: Smooth!
Drinkability: I have not had too many beers more than once in the past three years. I bought two sixes of this stuff because it was soooo good!

Photo of Durge
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful light copper amber color, crystal clear and full of bubbles with a big off-white head and great lacing. The aroma says pleasant malty grass hop blend, almost nutty with a sour milk edge. The flavor comes on with the same blend of bready malt and leafy hops. Well carbonated, refreshing but a very solid mouthful of woodsy flavors and a delight to discover in the lager family. Medium bodied for the style. A true quality brew that goes down like you want a lager to go down.

Photo of sitarist
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light clear copper with an inch of white head that fades to a ring. Lots of lacing.

S- Sour-dough, malty, with some flowery hops. Light and pleasant.

T- Sour-dough/malt up front, nutty, flowery hop flavors at the end. Great balance between malt, yeast, a hops.

M- Carbonation dances on my tongue, medium body(heavy for a lager).

D- Drinkable like a good lager should be. Each sip leaves me wanting another.

F.T.- One of the top 5 lagers in the world; in my opinion.

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

L: Pours a nice golden orange color with a short and light bodied white colored head that laves some lacing on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet toasted malts, hints of earthy, slightly citrus-y, floral hops that blend well together.
T: Tastes of sweet toasted malts, deeper roasted ones, some nutty flavors with hints of toffee and a nice floral hop at the end.
M: Very crisp, refreshing, light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, these flavors blended well for a really nice beer.

Photo of philbe311
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A figure of tightly compact bone white head... Modest retention gives way to a swirling lace pattern... A warm golden amber color with a distinctive orange hue that seems to glow... Loaded with carbonation that starts at a moderate pace towards the bottom of the glass and that quickly picks up speed and races towards the top... Lacing clings to the glass...

S - Loaded with bready malts... Crystal malts... A touch of honey... Slightly fruity notes of very subtle cherry and orange...

T - The bready malts are paramount on the palette which is no surprise... Also present are hints of caramel and toffee... A light toasted nuttiness... A very mild smooth piney hoppiness rises towards the end and lingers slightly as part of the after taste...

M - Medium bodied... Clean... Smooth... Moderately creamy... Very easy drinking... Just a touch of carbonation... A slight hoppy bitterness sits on the tongue at finish...

D - An extremely drinkable lager... Quite quaffable... Goes down easy sip after sip... A terrific session brew... This is an exceedingly simple, but uber effective offerings from at Great Lakes...

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

Great Lakes is consistently one of my favorite breweries. The sampler of their main 4 beers was one of my main gateways into the world of craft. I drink them so often I am just now getting around to reviewing them.

A- Brilliant toasted gold color with a bone white head. The head sticks around for a very short while but fades to just a small bit of lacing. The beer its self has wonderful clarity and some active bubbles.

S- I have always described this beer to someone who has not had it as really bready and doughy. This is true both in the smell and the taste. The nose is full of wonderful toasted bread crust, biscuits with honey and butter.

T- Smooth doughy malts, toast, crackers, butter, some hops twang but mostly a very sweet lager.

M- Light, crisp, round, smooth and semi dry.

D- Pretty clean finish, low ABV, very pleasant to drink. Anyone will like this beer from the seasoned beer snob to the noob who only drinks Miller.

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

This poured a wonderful golden amber color into my pint glass with a white head that left quickly but also left nice lacing on my glass.

The smell was sweet with bready malts. The taste delivered the sweet malts up front with some bitter hops in the back to balance and provide a clean finish. Man, this is soooo good.

The mouthfeel is good, not too thin. Of course I can enjoy plenty of these and be a happy camper.

Dortmunder Gold was one of my gateways to better beer and I am very happy to re-visit this. One of my all time favorites.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It is clear gold in color with a sticky little white head. The aroma is grainy, sweet and bready. The flavor is sweet, bready and it has a lingering malty finish. There are enough hops to keep it balanced. The beer is medium bodied and a easy drinking. A good all around brew.

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

Pour - dark golden, almost peach in color. Very clean looking pour...even if it did erupt over the glass. Remarkable clear with nice bubble action and a snow white head.

Aroma - smell is that of honey and sweet malted grains. This has very subtle aromas, perhaps a bit of the noble hops and some sulfury mineral-ness.

Taste - crisp, clean and very thirst quenching. Nice clean flavors, nothing out of whack. Plenty of maltiness with some a noticeable bite. I like the flavors that this lager has, there is some apple and pear fruitiness to it and it has a dry finish but doesn't leave a flavor in my mouth that most other lagers leave. Its hard to explain. This is a very solid lager and one that I am really enjoying.

Overall - Its hard to make a standout lager these days. They are very rare as most craft brewers tend to stick with ales and if they do brew a lager its nothing to get excited about. Not this one, this is a great beer and a wonderful example of a style not being brewed by too many American brewers. Cheers!

Would I buy more of it? - maybe as part of another mixed pack. I just can't see myself buying a whole six-pack (after driving to upstate New York just to get it). There are too many other beers I'd be more likely to buy in bulk.

Photo of fastsrt
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle to a pilsner glass
A: bronze, good head, lace
S: lots of sweet bready malts, a bit of hops.
T:hops hit first then a big juicy malt, as the hops make a return.
M: the carbonation lifts the malt so there not overly sweet and the hops come in to round out the flavor and leave a bitter sweet taste in the mouth. driving me to take another swig.
D: balanced perfectly this is a well crafted beer, nice balance between hops and malts they work together to make one amazing brew. this is the only dourtmunder i have ever had and it was great. so I have nothing to compare it to, reminds me of a amber ale. this is highly drinkable .

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,754 ratings.