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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.

2,707 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,707
Reviews: 1,014
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 153
Gots: 273 | 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
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Ratings: 2,707 | Reviews: 1,014 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of heissebier
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

heissebier, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of ledemie
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

ledemie, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of Viggo
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Viggo, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of asabreed
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

asabreed, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of tatoodkelt
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

tatoodkelt, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

nickd717, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of jdflyer06
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

jdflyer06, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of coachdonovan
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

coachdonovan, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of bret27
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

bret27, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

BillyBoysPie, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of matty
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

matty, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Arbitrator, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of plaid75
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good lacing.

The smell featured a lightly sweet round malt and a pleasant herbal hop.

The taste was upfront soft malts and dough with a vibrant herbal hop finish.

The mouthfeel was clean and full with a residual hop spice.

Overall a very nice lager. Delicious in it's simplicity.

plaid75, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to sohio for the trade. 12 oz bottle w best by date of 6/23/09. tasted in late may/early june 2009.

honey amber w orange tones. clear. 2-finger near-white head is foamy and fluffy, fades to thin but constant layer. really great lacing.

aroma: biscuity malt with light caramelization, almost like graham crackers. trace of noble hops. faintest hint of esters?

taste: smooth, lightly sweet malts continue - biscuity w toffee hints, balanced by grassy noble hop bitterness (mild to moderate), though the fragrance and other flavors of the hops are muted (due to age?) touch of fusel in back, but overall crisp and clean while maintaining malty foundation.

light to medium body, very smooth. touch of astringent texture before the finish. prickly carbonation is mild to moderate, helps with body and bringing out flavor.

decent, but might have to try to get a fresher sample, just to be sure...

tai4ji2x, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Off the tap at the Bluewater Grill in Skaneateles, NY this beer was an orange-gold color with a good amount of rising carbonation. The pint was delivered to me perfectly full so there was no head to speak of but the thin collar of beige lacing did retain well and lace appropriately. The aroma was of caramel malt, dry grains and floral hops. The flavors were just plain outstanding for a lager, displaying a perfect balance of grassy hops and sweet malts, both caramel and toasted. The flavor profile started sweet followed by some light lemon notes in the middle before it proceeded to a bitter, but crisp and dry finish. The body was medium, the carbonation perfect and the mouthfeel smooth. One of the best food beers I have ever encountered. Sessionable, balanced, on-point for the style and easily paired with any food. This brewery is famous for a good reason and I would rate this one up there with their Edmund Fitzgerald as an all-time favorite. Simply put, if you see it, don't miss it.

thekevlarkid, Nov 03, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a pint glass

Appears a nearly translucent golden yellow with a creamy two finger off white cap. Some heavy streams of bubbles are heading north fast.

Clean, lightly toasted malt with a noticeable earthy, grassy aroma. It's almost like fresh herbs.

Fresh, clean malt up front and throughout with a toasted, lightly bitter finish. A medicinal, herbal quality along with some lemon peel come out midpalate.

Light and crisp. The flavors are ultra clean and really shine.

This is about as easy drinking as you can get. The flavor profile is good, but not great or this category would probably be a perfect 5.

ColForbinBC, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of lester619
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant crystal clear deep golden color. Thick bubbly head. Not much in the way of lacing. The smell has a funky vinyl or plastic quality to it that was a little off-putting. The taste is dry and grainy. It's nicely balanced up front with bready fresh cut hay flavors and a pleasant bitterness. Theese flavors give way to a little bit of metalic and skunk aftertaste. Tastes like an import is the easiest way to describe it. I'm not as in love with this stuff as alot of people seem to be. It does grow on you. It goes down very nicely and the third or fourth is better than the first. Maybe the style just isn't my thing. I'm sure this tastes exactly like it is supposed to taste. Great lakes knows what they are doing. Personally if we are talking about a good lager, just give me a nice crisp pilsener or even a macro. This just wasn't great for me.

lester619, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to kels for this, my first-ever taste of a Great Lakes beer, and thanks to her generosity, there's a lot more where this came from! Thanks again, Kelley...

Creamy head is about a half-inch and sticks around a good while, leaving tiny dots and dashes (Morse code?) of lace on the glass. Color is a sunny copper with bright rusty orange hues.

Nose is steamed-veggies that get taken over by lightly toasty malt. A little caramel far back. Overall quite bready.

Taste is out of this world, or at least, right out of the Motherland. I've tasted German lagers, in Germany, that weren't near as good as this Cleveland, Ohio beer. Big bready center, reminding of a crispy, freshly-fried doughnut, although sweetness is kept in check thanks to crisp, somewhat fruity hops. Finishes clean with a light fruit tartness and ghosts of caramel. "Bread" keeps coming to mind, of the wheaty, hearty, fresh-baked variety.

Mouthfeel is a spot-on balance between carbonation (in perfect measure for this sort of thing) and buttery, creamy roundness. Not the kind of mouthfeel you think of when you think of the generic "lager"...very nice.

This is excellent. It's pretty clear why this has won a gold medal at the GABF. Can't think of a more authentically German-brewed American lager that has this much flavor. Buy it when/if you see it.

Metalmonk, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I can see why Great Lakes struck gold with this wonderfully balanced lager.

Pours a rich gold (the colour of the medal on the label), with just under two fingers of creamy white head, which showed good retention and lace as it slowly dropped to a collar. The aroma is dominated by malts, as you would expect with this style, but there's also a smattering of lemon overlaying all the biscuit. Malts continue to dominate the flavour, providing some delicious light bready tones mixed in with grain. The hops are far bigger on the palate than in the nose, and their light citric and floral tones help to elevate this dortmunder to another level. A rich, bready aftertaste, lingers seemingly forever... The body is medium-light with a steady, but soft carbonation, which helps to produce a very satisfying mouthfeel.

Its ABV may not technically qualify it as a session beer, but this is a ridiculously drinkable brew, and I'd be happy to spend an evening in a bar ordering glass after glass. Another winner form one of America's most consistent breweries!

bobsy, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: golden yellow in color with a 1" head that lingers around a while. Some mild lacing shows up on the glass.

Smell: little malt sweetness and some grass are detectable by the nose.

Taste: nice malt profile with some lemon zest, grass, slight breadiness, and a nice bitterness level. Well balanced and very flavorful.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Mildly refreshing.

Drinkability: this beer is superbly easy to drink and is a clear session ale during any season, whether sitting alone watching TV, or out on the town. Great beer.

Gavage, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to guntherhophead for this one.

A-Clear golden color w/dense white head that has a tint of yellow in it, and great retention. Bits of tracing.

S-Sweet light malts...clean, pure aroma w/bits of herbs.

T-Slightly sweet and clean malt flavor that emboldens midpalate. The finish is graced by a well-balanced dose of hops that impart a bit of herbs and what tastes almost like a touch of lemon.

M-Light-to-medium bodied...a little heavier than I expected, and very good. This brew has terrific balance, excellent carbonation, and a crisp cleanness that is unreal.

D-Extremely tasty and refreshing. I am rapidly becoming a bigger fan of this style, due in no small part to this particular brew.

BoitSansSoif, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of AgentZero
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Served on-tap into a pintglass at Hopleaf in Chicago. Yellow/amber with pretty much zero head on it. Not sure if it's the beer or the bartender did a bad poor, which would be surprising for a "beer bar." Clear all the way through.

S - Was expecting more on the nose. Definately get the malts, some straw/grassy smell. Pretty clean.

T - Tastes like it smells. The malts come through strong in the middle and give it a full taste that leaves a little sour at the end.

M - Medium bodied, nice carbonation. Seems the tiniest bit sticky.

D - Definately easy to drink, could be a nice session beer.

AgentZero, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of Petrislav
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden amber laced with cream colored head.

S: Bright lemon hop presence, sweet malt.

T: Pilsner like, take miller lite and make it really good.

M: Sooo light, almost don't notice it 'cause its so pleasant!

D: Impressive.

Petrislav, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of corby112
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden amber/copper color with light golden orange hues when held to a light source and a half finger white foam head that quickly fades into a lasting ring.

Pilsner malt aroma with some earthy hops, biscuit, straw and grass.

Flavor is very similar to the aroma. Medium bodied yet slightly watered down with some nice earthy hops up front and a sweet pilsner malt backbone that provides excellent balance. There is a nice biscuit graham cracker presence in the malt profile and I'm also picking up some subtle faint light crisp fruit, mostly apple and pear. The hops provide a nice bitterness that is prominent up front and lingers above the complex maltiness into a nice dry finish. Very well balanced and very drinkable.

corby112, Sep 22, 2009
Photo of dpodratsky3
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Golden orange/amber color with a small but dense, foamy, creamy off-white head. Doesn't leave much lace but some head sticks to the sides of the glass just above the liquid as you drink it.

S: Some citrusy aroma combined with good hop smell works well. There is also some sweetness coming through.

T: Taste is surprisingly ale like. There is a nice mellow sweetness followed by a pretty strong hop presence especially for a lager. Definitely an awesome german "light" beer.

M: Light and crisp with good carbonation to bring the flavors through.

D: Crisp, refreshing, and light while still bringing all the flavor you expect from Great Lakes.

Notes: I haven't had a Dortmunder Lager before, but from what I've gathered it fits in between a Czech Pilsner and a Munich Helles Lager. Based on that it works very well. The right combination of hops and malt, while still being both crisp and smooth. The perfect craft alternative to people who want an American macro. Bring some to the next party and watch people convert instantly from their BMC. It has all that "drinkability", but still tastes like a good flavorful German lager.

dpodratsky3, Sep 22, 2009
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,707 ratings.