1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

2,645 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,645
Reviews: 1,011
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 146
Gots: 239 | 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: 2,645 | Reviews: 1,011 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crayphish
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Dortmunder Gold pours into my pint glass a brilliant clean gold liquid, the thin sparse head left some lacing. Smell is sweet bready malt with a hint of hops. Taste is malty and sweet, but to a perfect degree. The hops make their presence known by helping the brew stay dry and clean on the palate.One of the lightest beers I've had that still held a TON of character. Very drinkable,

crayphish, May 13, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Pours a beautifully clear copper color with a nice white head that leaves very good lacing.

The only thing I didn't like about this beer was the smell. Very earthy and spicey. The combination smelled just a bit off to me, don't really know what it was.

Tastes is good. Slightly spicey with some bready malt and only a hint of fruitiness.

Very crisp beer as per the lager profile. Looked good, tasted good and was enjoyed all except for that smell. Who knows, maybe that's just my upper lip. Oh snap.

bluegrassbrew, May 11, 2007
Photo of steveh
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2 years later, almost to the day, I thought I'd re-review the Gold because I grabbed a fresh sixer yesterday.

Just a little different impression from the past, but here goes:

A -- Clear, deep gold with reddish highlights, but not bringing it to amber. Thick and tight off-white head that holds up well.

S -- Bready and yeasty, followed by some mild vegetal character -- not quite DMS, but I wonder if it's from a certain brand of domestic Pils malt as I've noticed a similar character in some of the German-style beers brewed by US micros. Just not as clean as the German beers.

T -- Bready malt up front followed by an earthy hop character finishing with hop bitterness.

M -- Medium body with a soft to crisp mouth-feel.

D -- There's a lingering, heavier malt character in the aftertaste that keeps the flavor from being clean and refreshing and thus more drinkable. It's not a bad beer at all, just not as drinkable as I remember.

steveh, May 04, 2007
Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- crystal clear pale amber body with bubbles floating to the top. A nice creamy color head remains at the top with great retention.

S- smell is of light hops and sweet malt.

T- a good light hop/malt mix. The initial taste is somewhat dull with a sweet caramel malt then the hops kick in. Its a refreshing kick in the mouth. The slightest bit of hop bitterness is at the finish. Sweet carmel remains beckoning you to take the next sip.

M- medium carbonation with a light body.

D- I will have this again. It was quite tasty and goes down easy. Its a great refreshing brew that goes with any meal and is great at any time of the year. espicially summer.

PittBeerGirl, May 02, 2007
Photo of dherling
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a straw gold color with a thin white head. The nose was mostly fresh grain, not much else. The taste was very well balanced, some light malt and light hop notes. Had a light but bitter finish. Light bodied, medium carbonation. Overall, this was a solid beer.

dherling, May 01, 2007
Photo of bozebus17
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a clear caramel color into my pilsner glass. There was a small white head at first that didn't last very long.

Dortmunder Gold smells a bit sweet with toasted aromas coming through as well.

The most prominent flavor is bittersweet roasted malts. It is well balanced with little bitterness to speak of. Grassy flavors also pull through.

This brew is light, crisp, and clean in the mouth. There is no aftertaste to speak of. I could see quaffing many of these without a problem.

This is a very tasty and refreshing lager. I used to drink it often when I was first crossing over from lesser brews. Another very solid offering from an often ignored brewer.

bozebus17, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brilliant golden-orange with a strong couple of fingers of head mounted above. Steady streams of bubbles rise to greet a head still going strong minutes post-pour.

Warm grain aromas blend well with a surprisingly floral hop-nose. Malt sweetness shines through on subsequent sniffs. Even-keel all the way.

As lagers go, this is awfully tasty; great natural sweetness from the malt (notes of brown sugar and sweet corn) held completely in check by the mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and doesn't get bogged down by any resin-like sensation from the hops. This is the very epitome of a session brew; I can't believe it's been since before I was a BA that I've had this last. I'll be sure not to wait so long next time.

malcontent, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of Fugazme
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks RedHaze!

Near-amber, gold in color... very "bright" with a 1/2" white head... settles nicely into an awesome cap... great swirl.

Aroma is malty and grassy... a touch of wheat and a whole lot of toasty goodness.

Quite crisp on the palate. Touch of hop... very clean.

Flavor is great... lots of malt, touch biscuity... great hop finish to balance... tiny bit of citrus.

One of the best lagers I've tried... If this were available in Nebraska, it would be a regular visitor to my house... especially on my deck on a hot summer night. Quite good.

Fugazme, Apr 23, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I didn't expect this from a lager. It looks more like an amber ale, and the fullness reminded me of an ale also, but it's got the clarity and carbonation level you'd expect from a lager.
Smell, taste, and mouthfeel are very good, medium to light bodied, sweet and malty.
I usually tire of the taste after drinking a few lagers, but this is exceptional.

JoeyBeerBelly, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of brentk56
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a foamy head that laces well

Smell: Wet hay and a touch of Germanic noble hops

Taste: Starts out with a grassy flavor that grows increasingly tart, mid-palate; after the swallow, the grainy flavors dominate and lead to a bitter, grassy finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Clearly to style but I'm just not a big fan of Dortmunder Lagers

brentk56, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of riversider76
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden. Nice white head,with excellent retention,and lacing. Lots of bubbles! Smell is bread,and roasted malt,with some floral hops. Body is medium,and carbionated. Taste is crisp with a nice mix of malt and hops. Smooth,and refreshing. You will want to have more than one!

riversider76, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before 7/02/2007. Poured into a pilsner glass, this lager is a pumpkin-gold hue with steady, active carbonation and a thin but resilient light-ecru head. Soft grain aromas, like cold whole wheat flour mixed with floral hop notes. A bready sweetness greets the palate up front before being washed over by a spicy and citric hop melange with a bit of sulfuric metal twang near the back. A smooth and full biscuity malt flavor rounds out the finish. Clean and dry mouthfeel with a subtle pepperiness on the palate. Refreshing but not too light -- satisfying, to be sure. A highly flavorful and more than reliable session lager. Nicely done.

orfeu, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a sixer for a St. Patty's day party I was attending. It poured out into a pint glass. Nice copper color with an offwhite creamy head of about 1" initially. The head dissipated to a thin cap as time progressed. Thick lacing left on the glass

The nose had a hoppy/pine bite to it.

The taste was not bad... not as hoppy as the scent would suggest... but a nice balace. It had some pine and and finished with an interesting bitter taste that left me searching for words.

The mouthfeel was quite good.... refreshing, but at the same time, a bit of a kick in the ass to let you know that this was a serious brew from the experts at Great Lakes!

Overall, the drinkability is better than average... It left a pronounced film in my mouth. I wasn't so keen on the after taste.... but this one is worth another try.

TheBierBand, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of BillyB
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear burnt orange to copper color. Thin off-white head that gradually dissipates.

Sweet malty aromas followed by a nice piney but subtle hop aroma. Great balance but gently leaning toward malt.

Taste is bready, biscuity, sweet malt, caramel and a hint of toffee with a nice hop balance.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and so smooth and creamy I could drink about 100 of these.
Michael Jackson once wrote that this was one of his top 10 favorite american beers. I can see why.

BillyB, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JAYW for including this as a throw in. Appreciate the opportunity.

A: Pours a darker golden color with a white foamy head. Thin retention with a decent amount of lacing down the glass.
S: Hefty malt profile. A bit of toasted grain. Subtle sweetness. Grassy and leafy.
T/M: Medium bodied with a decent smack of malt right up front. Sweet malt rides into the finish with caramel and toasted grain flavors. Leafy hop presence slightly balances out the the malt profile, but the malt rules here. Smooth and very nice on the palate. Dryer finish.
D: Very smooth and easy drinking session lager. Thicker than I thought it was going to be, but that doesn't take away from it's session qualities. I like this one.

bjohnson, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of IceAce
2.93/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours darker that its German cousins with a rapidly collapsing foam collar. Clarity is good and lacing clocks in around 35%.

Nose is dominated by cooked corn backed by a moderate dose of herbal hops. Entry is respectful and transitions into a midtaste of caramel malt stopping just short of rich. The sweetness continues into the finish with a distinct lack of hoppy balance promised in the aroma.

This is a style I generally love and I tried Great Lakes with expectations of greatness...

IceAce, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of cabsandking
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear light copper color and a firm one finger off white head that retains nicely. The nose exhibits floral hops, grains, tart and biscuity yeasts, and a mild sweetness. Hop characters very smoothed out with fresh florals and fruit, like mango, and a delicate spice. Pale malts balance well allowing the mellow hop notes to come through clearly. Slightly twangy yeast tones and faint citrus give way to a dryness towards the end quaff. Thin body and medium carbonation yields a semi-smooth mouthfeel with minimal fizzing. The finish has a lasting sweetness with dry roasted grains biscuit notes hanging in for a bit.

cabsandking, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of jpkoch1962
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dortminder Gold poured a very clean bright light amber -almost dark golden with an impressive two finger head. The appearance was clear and bright. The aroma was dominated by a thick bready, sweet smell. Perhaps a few noble hops trying to break through. The taste matched the aroma. A thick sour dough, bready sweet taste dominated this lager. While very sweet, this beer remained smooth. Bittering hops attempted to dry the finish out, but the malts had the last say. The finish while sweet, was crisp with little aftertaste.

While living in Germany 2 decades ago, I drank many examples of the famous Export style - including the famous DAB. While the malt profile was big, thier exports were balanced by plenty of noble hops.

Dortmunder Export is too sweet for my liking, and it doesn't fit the classic DAB style. The lager, while showing plenty of good features (smoothness, appearance, body and carbonation) , the taste profile is out of balance. Way too sweet.

jpkoch1962, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of sauron681
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium bronze color into my glass. A good head that is gone very quickly. No lacing to speak of. Carbonation is good, lasted the entire glass, but not overpowering.

Has a grainy, tart, sour aroma. This is my first dortmunder ever, so I assume it is consistent with the style.

Tastes of a rich, dark, toasted malt, lightly biscuity, and a slight hint of caramel. Very smooth. Finishes off sweet and inviting for the next sip.

sauron681, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bright golden color with inmpressive white puffy head that lasted throughout the glass and left very attractive lacing.
Smell is summer fruity malty with some mild honey accents.
Taste has a strong fruity malt character that slowly dissolves and leaves a firm hop finish.
Great taste retention with a pleasant aftertaste.
The galss emptied very quickly showing great drinakability. A nice change of pace beer that is very refreshing with going over-the-edge.

tgbljb, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of david131
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very clean yellow/amber liquid. Not very dark at all, just how you would picture a Dortmunder. The head does not stay very long and soon dissipates into a very little bit that floats around on top and some that remains around the edges.

S- Sweet malts at first then a little bit of vegetable-y hops come around to back up the malt. There is a slight bit of earth tones to it as well.

T- Sweet malts again show up first. Very bready. The hops show up again. For some reason the hops seemed to make this beer pretty dry. Interesting.

M- Just like the appearance, this is a very clean beer on the palate. Very good malt presence. Why is this so dry to me?

D- Before I knew it, this beer was almost gone. Very easy going beer. I was surprised to see that this was 5.8%.

david131, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of alexgash
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glowing deep golden, clean, clear, with a small, gauze-y, off-white head. Toffee, sweetbread, cooked/caramelized vegetables, alongside spicy, floral hops. Very nice! Honey toast and spicy hop bitterness interplay up front. Cooked veggie tang picks up. Sweetish fruit cake before herbal, spicy hop finish takes over. Echoes of honey malt down the hatch. Moderate body, with an oily feel. Very full-flavored lager that has excellent balance. Should be a goto quaffer at your local Midwestern tavern...that'll be the day! (some day, I hope).

alexgash, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It seems that a brewers' "flagship beer" is usually a bit of a crowd pleaser and as a consequence a bit boring compared to its other beers (Unibroue's Blanche de Chambly comes to mind as I say this), but this is definitely an exception. This is a great craft lager.

Color is a light copper color with wonderful head that laces better than any other lager I've ever had.

Aroma is malty and biscuity, but exceptionally well-balanced with a notable (but in accordance with the style) hop presence.

Taste is refreshing and mild. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing, making this beer highly sessionable.

BeerBelcher, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of JollyRodger
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow really great lager and I'm not the biggest lager drinker. From the bottle pours out golden in color with a good carbanation level. Aroma of sweet maltness. Taste sweet malt, mild bitterness and hop undernotes. Medium/light body, more than light but not medium. Crisp,refreshing this is a good session beer. Or the first beer of the day. I like start out with a less aggressive beer first, but not all the time. Dont start with an Stone AB then switch to a Dortmunder, not a good idea.

JollyRodger, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, its tough to find a better beer. This stuff is what beer is meant to be. Starts off with a rocky, silky smooth, and withstanding head retention. Follows up with a golden / orange hue with a clean, clear look. Smells and tastes very fruity with oranges, peaches, and appricots. Very ripe and fresh. Quite hoppy with the English variety, showing very stable citrus and pine flavors, but with no real aggression. Very smooth and clean to drink. An ultimate thirst quincher. Plenty of character, but never offensive. Simply a great brew.

BEERchitect, Dec 03, 2006
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,645 ratings.