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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.

2,714 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,714
Reviews: 1,014
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 153
Gots: 277 | 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: 2,714 | Reviews: 1,014 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of almychristopher
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

this beer pours a nice clear golden color with red highlights and an off white head that recedes to thin lacing. the aroma presents a nice pilsner nose with a bit of hop at the back. the taste follows with a bready malt taste and a dry bitter hop finish. the light mouthfeel with adequate mouthfeel make this a really easy drink.

almychristopher, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of TheViolator666
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Great Lakes pint glass.

This beer makes me proud to be from Cleveland.

A: Body is a transparent gold, amazing clarity. Very nice frothy two-finger head that has great retention and leaves trails of lacing behind.

S: Smells of lightly toasted sweet malts, bready with a faint note of hops.

T: Bready/biscuity malts balanced very well by a clean, slightly citrusy hop profile. Malt is prevalent up front, while the aftertaste is more hoppy. Also, maybe a slight bit of yeast in the aftertaste, leaving the tongue and mouth a bit dry.

M/D: Great amount of carbonation, this beer is highly drinkable and refreshing... and one of my favorite session beers hands down. Light to medium body.

TheViolator666, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear golden body with about two fingers of off-white head. Pretty good retention and lacing is left behind.

A great mix of pale, sweet, cracker like malts mixes with a spicy and leafy smelling noble hop profile. Very balanced; a nice smelling beer.

The taste follows the aroma both in characteristics and pleasantness. Extremely balanced beer that starts off with pale, sweet malts that are lightly cracker like and maybe very lightly toasted. The finish is just a tiny bit bitter, but very spicy and earthy. Both the hop and malt profile are allowed to shine in Dortmunder Gold, and they compliment each other very nicely.

A light to medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Just a touch oily.

Screw a six pack; this is something I can drink by the case. Crisp, balanced, refreshing and just damn tasty.

Hojaminbag, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of Brad007
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a thick and frothy head that fades down to leave a decent amount of lacing in my fluted glass.

Aroma is full of sweet, grainy malt with a mild hint of grassy hops in the nose.

Taste is full of grainy, sweet malt that dominates the palate upfront. Just a kiss of hops but otherwise, this is mainly malt.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweet/grainy malt and the kiss of hops. Feels just a bit thin but otherwise, is quite drinkable.

Decent beer to drink. I think it'd do better on tap but otherwise, it's nice to try beer from other states.

Brad007, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of beeragent
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Poured a medium gold with a good three fingers of white head. Medium lacing clings to the glass.

S - Light aroma of malt along with a grainy aroma. Very sweet aroma.

T - Light malty bready flavor dominates the taste with a hint of straw in the finish. Slight sweet taste throughout.

M - Light bodied and very smooth finish. Lots of carbonation with this beer.

D - Light taste and very refreshing, but still flavorful. Definitely an easy drinker. Considering I'm not a big lager beer style drinker, this beer was very nice and flavorful IMO. I would definitely drink this again.

beeragent, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of bristol2120
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale copper in color. Seems a bit dark for a Dortmunder style. A decent head, but it does dissipate. Only moderate lacing. Smell and taste demonstrate significant hops presence, again, more thsn usual forn the style. Intense hoppiness in tatse, with a spicy finish. Good, strong mouthfeel. Overall, a good beer, but I don't know how representative of the style this beer is. It actually drinks more like an IPA or pale ale to me.

bristol2120, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of dmfrench
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A respectable crisp, hoppy Dortmunder.

A: Clear golden hue with a one finger fleeting off-white head.

S: Some sweet, buttery malt, and a hint of hops.. not particulary aromatic, but pleasant.

T: Quite hoppy for a Dortmunder... a bit citrusy. A firm bed of honeybread malt sits underneath, though the overall effect is hops.

M: Nice carbonation, perfect weight, texture a bit grainy.

D: Easy peasy.

dmfrench, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of vishneda
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

This beer pours to a golden apple juice color and a frothy one finger head. There is a lot of action in the glass, but the head settles away. No lacing to write home about.

It has a real sweet and malty aroma -- not very complicated. The flavor starts out similarly sweet, but it has a darkness due to the biscuit and roasted character. There is a notable hop presence in it that leaves the palate dry. This being the only Dort I've tried, it's hard to say where the flavor fits in the style, but it is very good.

I liked that this beer was not very strongly carbonated but still had enough air to hold the body. It tastes full but feels light. A strong quaffer.

(from tasting notes dated 05 Aug 2009)

vishneda, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of qchic
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow gold with a finger of frothy off-white head. Aroma is a balance of biscuity malts and mildly grassy hops. The flavor is where one really gets to enjoy this beer. Wonderfully balanced, and full of the aforementioned biscuit malts, and grassy, earthy hops that linger on the tongue. A touch of grape fruitiness and a little more alcohol than I would like. Mouthfeel of this medium-bodied beer is minerally, and I'm sure that one could put away several of these. Another solid example from Great Lakes and a fine way to take a break from more extreme styles. Very enjoyable without getting whacked upside the head.

qchic, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of Celt44
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a light transparent amber. decent head. Small lacing throughout....

Aroma - Grassy malts up front. Hints of spices and fresh bread.

Taste - Slightly smokey up front. Malts and slight hop bite for a finish balanced with a suprising sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth up front....and it stays that way!

Drinkability - Excellent Lager. This is definitely a keeper and another great selection from Great Lakes.

Celt44, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Let me just preface that I fell in love with this beer long before I had come to understand and appreciate beer in all its complexity. Despite how much I've learned and how far I've come, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is my staple session beer - not only for nostalgic reasons, but because the more I learn about beer I realize more and more just what a solid brew this really is. That being said, the objectivity of my review may be disputed but I will strive to accurately asses this beer's merits.

Poured from the all too familiar 12 oz. bottle into a plain pint glass, the first thing that catches the attention is the beer's clarity and color. The hue is a rich golden brown that displays a crystal clear clarity, several shades darker than a normal pilsener beer. The head is nice and frothy and tops off the remainder of the glass leaving a moderate lacing on the way down.

The smell clean and balanced with biscuty and sweet malts blending with a hint of a hop character. The most pronounced elements of the aroma are earthy, caramel and grainy notes - however, a slight hint of citrus hops come through if you think about it.

The taste is very good and very well balanced between the malty and grainy sweetness and just the right amount of hops. The mouth feel is moderate with a decent amount of carbonation. Lots of malt character up front, with a bread-like malt flavor that is immediately complimented with a touch of hop bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste giving it a bit of a dry finish.

What can I say, this is the Great Lakes Brewery flagship beer and possibly my favorite session beer of all time - its a fantastic, well balanced, flavorful and enjoyable brew!

ClevoPiwo, Aug 28, 2009
Photo of stegmakk
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark golden color. Thick head that stayed a looong time off-white in color.

S - Sweet malt bread

T - Was more roasty and fuller in flavor than the aroma. Balanced with a hint of some citrusy hops (barely noticed it).
Very tasty

M - Just about right as far. Clean.

D - Well balanced, tasty, nothing overpowering. This is a very good beer I could drink a number of in an afternoon especially with football season around the corner.

stegmakk, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of jnezda
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the first beer I have imbibed from the Great Lakes Brewing Co. After having run City Chase Chicago today with a group of friends, a buddy from Ohio and I decided we deserved a beer so we wandered into a beer store in down town. After browsing he mentioned Great Lakes was a good Ohio beer, so we asked the shop keeper to make a recommendation and he immediately led us to Dortmunder Gold. Not having a proper glass I enjoyed this beer from a long glass.

Appearance: Sort of dark for a golden with nice pale head

Smell: Nothing of any significance to note. Slight hint of malt and nice sweet smell inherent to many golden lagers.

Taste: The flavour was good, full bodied for a golden with pleasant amount of carbonation. The beer lacks some of the crisp notes I usually associate with a with a golden but the beer was very enjoyable.

Mouth feel: More full bodied than many golden lagers with filling taste that does not weigh you down too much.

Drinkablity: Good beer that could be a great session beer. I do not know if this is available in Dallas but I would enjoy this beer again and again.

jnezda, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of hossua34
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich, slightly darkened gold color. A small head, with good retention, and leaving a respectable amount of lacing.

S - A light smell of fresh hops, with a touch of a cooked vegetable smell that is alarming to me because I noticed in GL Grassroots Ale recently, but I had never noticed in any GL beer until a few weeks ago (???).

T - Clean, tart, fresh hop flavor. Subdued, with fruity undertones. Excellent flavor. This brew would go perfect with a sharp cheddar cheese IMO, or with buffalo wings and onion rings.

M - Full-bodied, well carbonated mouthfeel.

D - Flavorful and smooth, this has always been one of my favorite Great Lakes beers. This was one of my favorite "expensive" beers in college, and probably the one beer most responsible for getting me into craft beers. This bottle and six-pack, I am convinced, were not "on their game", so to speak. Something was up with the smell and the flavor that wasn't like Dortmunder Gold I have sampled in the past. The freshness date was perfectly fine, so I dunno... Regardless, this is still a great beer.

hossua34, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a glowing clear, purely golden color with a nice topping of bleached head.
Smell has got strong notes of bready grains, a small amount of earthy hops, and a smidgen of something citrusy, like lemon.
Taste is like fresh bread blended with a nifty hop/citrus twinge.
Finish is very clean and our after-taste leaves zesty bread on my palate.
Drinks super fresh. The grains and hops mix to be very smooth.

ThaBobfather, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of jdg204
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well I've found my new beer Mecca with Abe's Cold Beer Shop in Bethlehem. The selection was great and the price for mixed 6'ers was very reasonable. I was excited to find a Great Lakes selection in this area as I'm a pretty big fan from past travels.

A: Deep golden with a thin white head that descends to a bubbly cover.

S: Grainy malt with a nice fresh hay smell, very autumnal.

T: Malty, but with a serious hoppy bite and a nice supporting fresh grain taste. Finishes crisp and clean.

M: Medium-bodied while remaining appropriately clean and crisp. Very refreshing.

D: Very well done brew, crisp and clean is the perfect way to describe this brew (don't underesimate the bite, ha). I'd never tried the style before (and Great Lakes seems to be the biggest producer in the US) but I was extremely impressed with GL's take. Another feather in GL's cap, the more of their brews I try, the more I continue to believe that they're one of the best. If you're looking for a nice easy drinking lager to relax with, give this brew a try!

jdg204, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of BatsforBeer
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz poured into english pint

The beer pours clear with a nice pale gold color and is moderately lively. Head is egg shell color with pour head retention and lacing is less than expected for the style

You really have to search hard for the smell of malt sweetness. The nose is surprisingly lacking.

The taste is mostly malt sweetness, balanced superbly by a slight hoppy bitterness bringing up the rear, no other noticeable flavor notes are present.

Mouth feel:
Adequate carbonation, if not a little to much, leaves mouth a little dry and sticky, but it is to be expected.

Enjoyable, the bottom of the glass leaves you wanting another. Not the best Golden lager I have had but still, another solid brew from Great Lakes.

BatsforBeer, Aug 05, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass within the freshness date, glad to se GL come to Philly.

Dortmunder Gold has a amber color with some lighter spots here and there. Alot of rising bubbles create a nice looking tan but unsturdy head that fades into some small patches. No lacing from this.The smell consists of grain, barley hops and some earthy hops. The hops come out in taste a bit more with a nice sweet malt backdrop and light floral arrangements. Some bisquits in the middle with yeast taste finishing it out. The feel is light crisp and refreshing on this hot day, carb is spot on. I will pick up a sixer of this next time around cause it was good.

BARFLYB, Aug 01, 2009
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,714 ratings.