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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,219 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2219
Reviews: 992
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%

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 Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,219 | Reviews: 992 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of philo-hoppus


3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a very good beer, and I would say it lived up to the Dortmunder name. It seemed worthy to stand up to beers in a pub in Germany. The taste had a bitter edge without the grapefruit, citrus tone prominent in many American IPAs. It did not have as much depth or profundity as some Craft beers have. My call is 88 out of 100.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2013 00:19:49 | More by philo-hoppus
Photo of dillon_1005


4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great lager, the perfect lager. A nice rich golden color, good tall head, but it did dissipate rather quickly. good flavor, a sweetness but not actually sweet, tasted the malt, smooth with a crispness to finish, had an almost hay flavor mixed in there. wonderful lager very impressed.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 22:25:31 | More by dillon_1005
Photo of BEEER


4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bright transparent gold color with small white head and a little messy lacing. Aroma has crisp bready malts with very light citrus hops. Flavor is mostly malts with a bit of hops. light and refreshing with no bitterness. Very smooth and balanced with light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 01:12:10 | More by BEEER
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A - Pours a very deep gold as advertised with light swirls of yeast in the upper parts of the glass. A trickle of tiny bubbles rises to the creamy, three-finger, off-white head. Head stays intact all the way down the glass. Leaves behind several splotches of lacing.

S - Candied sugar, clean malt and a little bit of alcohol upon opening the bottle.

T - Sweet malt upfront. The body is dominated by more clean malt and candied sugar with just enough earthy hops and a subtle pepper taste to keep things from getting too sweet. A bit more candied sugar as the beer passes over he back of the tongue leads to a dry cider and grass finish.

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied with ample carbonation to provide a firm, yet slightly refreshing mouthfeel. Very Nice.

I think even six or so years after first trying this, Dortmunder Gold remains my only experience with the style. Based on how good this beer is a and the awards its won, I'm not too upset that this is the lone representative of the style for me. As advertised, it is a gorgeous gold beer that falls between a pilsner and a vienna lagger in terms of flavor profile. The taste and mouthfeel work excellently together to create a beer that is both highly drinkable, yet complex. I will undoubtedly get this again next time I am in Ohio.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 03:40:22 | More by Bockrules
Photo of delta490


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep, clear gold, with a creamy white head and visible carbonation. The head lasts and leaves lacing.

S-deep, sweet, bready malt.

T- big malt flavor with just a small hint of hops bitterness on the finish.

M-slightly carbonated, but with a thicker mouthfeel.

O- a really good interpretation of a German-style beer. Absolutely great. Not complicated but easy drinking and flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 21:40:53 | More by delta490
Photo of RonaldTheriot


3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold has a thick, soapy, slightly off-white head, a clear, bubbly, old-gold appearance, and pretty substantial lacing left behind. The aroma is of pungent, hearty, medium-roasted malt with possibly a little hop zing. Taste is of light malt, some mild sweetness, and subdued hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and easy going. Overall, this is a very good beer, even though it’s a little bit on the dull side.


Serving type: bottle

09-14-2013 14:11:21 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of Offa


4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply an incredible beer, just about perfect for what I would want from a Dortmunder - light and easy to drink, yet full-bodied, complex, and engaging with firm malt and hop character.

Very dark gold, it has a big off-white head steadily shrinking at first, then slowly, leaving a rich, frothy ring and some lace.

Aroma is wonderful full herb, grain, hay, light bread crust, faintly toasty and caramelly.

Taste is full, toasty bread, hay (esp. in finish), strong herbal hop character, complex, zesty, engaging. Full-bodied and firm of character, it has a creamy, yet lively, full feel that retains lightness.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2013 04:07:53 | More by Offa
Photo of WunderLlama


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Golden yellow, faint carbonation, two finger foam settles to a thin white layer with nice lacings.

Faint aroma of pine

Mild sharp bitterness in the beginning . Clean finish. Pilsner with a small hop

Light mouthfeel

Very good, nice taste, definitely worth repeating.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2013 02:21:54 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of LCB_Hostage


4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draught in a shaker pint glass

A: Like the name says, rich, glittery gold. A modest head and persistent lacing.
S: Sharper and hoppier than I anticipated for a lager. Some citrus in the background. All layered over a big, malty background.
T: Fantastic! Richer and more complex than any lager I've had before. The sweetness of the malt is held in perfect balance with enough hoppy goodness to cut through the sweetness without overpowering it. The crisp, dry finish with just a touch of citrus makes this remarkably refreshing.
M: Clean and nicely carbonated. Again, very refreshing.
O: This has vaulted to the top of my lager listings. I'm not well-enough versed in the style to say whether or not this is a great example, but it hits every note perfectly for me. I honestly don't get the comments I've seen in some reviews comparing this to an AAL. It is SO much more flavorful and sophisticated than anything being put out by the big three. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to get around to trying this one, given the great experience I've had with every other Great Lakes beer, but this will now become a regular fixture in my fridge. My Great Lakes winning streak continues. I've yet to have one of their beers I haven't loved.

Serving type: on-tap

09-09-2013 15:22:12 | More by LCB_Hostage
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank directly from the bottle at a friend's party.

Can't tell much about the appearance, so I will give a standard 3.5.

The aroma is wonderfully toasty and grainy, with some grassy hop aromas in the background

The flavor is so smooth and wonderful, a great lager. Earthy hop flavors, some grass, a little bit of citrus. Malt sweetness on the back end.

One of the most drinkable lagers I've ever had. Goes down easy and begs for more. Crisp mouthfeel, light body, thirst quenching carbonation.

One of the lagers made in the US. Just all around tasty and well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2013 03:40:42 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of joshstillskates


4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My first dive into the craft world was surprisingly exceptional. This beer hits the palate smoothly and finishes with a mildly bitter aftertaste. It's quite crisp. It has the most desirable level of carbonation, per my tastebuds. Now, this bottle is a staple brew at my place.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 03:26:36 | More by joshstillskates
Photo of guityler83


4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brilliantly clear orange color so you can watch every tiny bubble rise to the bright white head. When poured it formed a modest 1 finger tall but sustained for a minute or two before dropping to a dusting on the top leaving a coat on the edge of the glass.

S: Slightly fruity yeast esters mixed with a grainy yet sweet malt aroma. Very low noble hop aroma.

T: Crisp and clean malty flavors from beginning to end. Bread crust, pizza crust and dough. There is enough bitterness to keep the beer balanced and not overly sweet and a distinct fruity yeast character to finish of the beer.

M: Crisp with a light body and moderate carbonation. A slight grainyness on the tounge after a few sips.

O: A clean, flavorful, balanced, extremely drinkable lager. No doubt this is something I would buy again for any occation. This would even be a great gateway beer for someone looking to get away from BMC

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 02:15:42 | More by guityler83
Photo of bradb717


3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Forgive me because I am doing this review off of memory.
It does pour that nice golden color we expect from a top shelf lager.
The taste had a good balance of hops and malts, not overall complex.
Finishes nicely.
I think if you want a good representative of the American Lager, Dort Gold
is at the top of its class.
Would definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 18:40:44 | More by bradb717
Photo of EBeckett3

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear golden color. A small white head. Good lacing.
Smell: like a pilsner or lighter ale.
Taste: Clean, hop/malt balance. Slightly bitter, dry. Crisp.
Mouthfeel: Medium, crisp, dry finish. Quite good, outstanding actually.
Overall: Very drinkable, refreshing & balanced. An outstanding lager.

Serving type: on tap at The Landing in New Hope, PA. Pint glass.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2013 02:53:56 | More by EBeckett3
Photo of Beric


4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint glass
Served: 13 August 2013
Best by: 22 September 2013

Appearance: Crystal clear golden color with a little carbonation visible at various points due to the glass. A nice one finger frothy white head. Good lacing.

Smell: Smells clean and bready, kind of like a pilsner. You can smell the lighter malts used, but also some hop spiciness.

Taste: Wow, is this beer bitter! You can tell there are plenty of hops in this one, but they are not flavor hops- they're bittering hops. The bitterness really makes this beer- it really adds a great depth of complexity to the lighter roasted malts and appropriately counteracts the sweetness thereof. The bitterness creates a freshness that is separate of the carbonation- it really cleans the palate. This beer finishes very dry.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation to really accentuate the bitter hops. The bubbles just make it feel like the bitterness sticks in your mouth. Feels full bodied despite its deceptively light color.

Overall: An incredible beer, and one well worthy of the high rating on this site. That being said, if you don't like "bitter beer", shy away from this one, since it's a bitter bomb in an entirely different way than bitter APAs or IPAs. This one almost tastes like a more bitter version of a Czech pilsner, in my opinion. Would certainly buy again.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2013 18:46:27 | More by Beric
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured first into a chalice named Leffe. Not much lacing.

Came back in a taste off with Victory Festbier. Better lacing and both beers are outstanding examples of German styles. Like this better 2nd and 3rd time around.

I am just not wild about reviewing lagers as they are, well, light weights, uh, blonds.

Appearance: In this case, a most unusual coppery blond, bravo!, with initially a large white head, but it fades fast. It dots the glass in lacey dots, and it keeps a swirl of foam galaxy like across its face.

Smell: The weakest link in this taste chain, it's a bready, pilsner malt with a bit of hay, citrus zest and spicy hop. But too subtle, better as it warms.
Much better as it warms, a sweet originality emerges.

Taste: Starts grassy and malty, progresses to tart, clean. There's some flowery, spiced hop with mild bitterness. Dough and yeast. Drying finish. Well done.

Mouthfeel: Medium (doesn't feel light) body. A lager tho, with spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy going, true to the style, original and well made, but not differentiated enough from mass lagers to really get me excited about the beer, or about repeating often. (*liked this much better when tasted next to another german beer and in the fall.)

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 23:17:00 | More by Act25
Photo of RedlinerScott


4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a sophisticated beer drinker and won't pretend to be, but I know what I like. I had this Dortmunder for the first time on its home turf this past week. It was smooth, balanced and refreshing. Looking forward to trying Great Lakes' other offerings.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2013 02:30:56 | More by RedlinerScott
Photo of mtomlins

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Pilsner glass

A: A beautiful, light copper color with a big, white, bubbly head.

S: Nice malty nose with a wack of fresh noble hops, maybe a touch of Saaz in there.

T: Very clean and balanced; malty but not overly with a nice, clean hop profile, bitter while still be subtle.

M: Very light on the palate considering its 5.8% ABV; medium-high carbonation. Clean. Sharp.

O: Awesome brew! Super clean and refreshing and most importantly, great balance.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 18:52:38 | More by mtomlins
Photo of IPAdams


3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours a dark orange with a small head and light lacing.

Smell- At first I get some dank hops but it quickly turns to rye bread and malt.

Tatse- Lots of spice character takes control over the hops and malts. Light bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel and good carbonation.

Overall- Not a big fan of this beer but good example of the style, very spicy with malt background.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 05:17:01 | More by IPAdams
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

As I was reviewing this I thought about why it's so hard to describe a classic german lager because of it's simplicity.

This was a terrific German style lager that is everything a beer ought to be. Simple yet makes a positive statement. It's classic, it's crisp, clean, hearty and dry. You cannot properly describe it without being overly effusive. Brilliantly clear, superb head, perfect amber color. Light lager bubbles coming up to the top of the glass. Looks like yeast on top when the head falls. Soapy lace. Smells like bread. Smells like good bread. Herbal, husky and grainy. Faint citrus zest is more on the palate than on the nose. When you drink it you are sated, satisfied. Lightly sweet and earthy. Finishes grassy and with a slight hop bitter. It fills up your mouth and your belly. Citrus keeps the mouth watering while the earthiness lays in dry and palate cleansing. Mouthfeel is substantial but remains light overall and the carbonation adds to the refreshment.

Terrific classic taste that does not wander all over the place , stepping outside the lines and blurring itself to a bunch of different styles. It's a lager that tastes like a lager. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2013 17:52:16 | More by utopiajane
Photo of IronLover


4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden orange in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a thick white foam that slowly reduced to a healthy white cap that left sticky lacing down the glass. Sweet biscuit malt aromas with a touch of earthy grass and light lemony hops in the background. Medium bodied with subdued carbonation, a delicate feel and crisp finish. Bready and biscuity malt flavors with a touch of herbal maltiness toward the end. Finishes crisply with touch of hop bitterness at the end. A wonderful, delicate German lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 01:23:05 | More by IronLover
Photo of patpbr


4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - deep gold color with an off white head.
S - has a nice malty scent
T - Malts and hops are nicely balanced. Malts are the most present but the hops blend in nicely with a bit of citrus. Not much bitterness
M - body is medium and very crisp and easy to drink
O - this is pleasant and refreshing. This is top notch.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 23:05:21 | More by patpbr
Photo of general_staal


4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites. I live in the general area of the brewery and the Cleveland area has quite a few good breweries popping up in the area. Great Lakes is probably currently the best of the bunch.

Dortmunder pours a gorgeous golden color with a very nice thick head ~1in with a lot of lacing on the glass.

It smells of herbs and grain with a little bit of a lemony kick.

Dortmunder tastes like angel tears and unicorn hearts. It is a well balanced hoppy and grainy lager style beer.

It has a nice carbonation on the tongue with a smooth finish.

Overall I would give it a 5 but there is only one beer that will get that score and it would be the Christmas Ale. I love Dortmunder and most all of the Great Lakes line. I would highly recommend that any beer fan give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 02:09:19 | More by general_staal
Photo of Uniobrew31


4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great beer. Nice color and great carbonation when poured into a pilsner glass. Wonderful aroma. The best part however is the taste and mouthfeel. A very malty pilsner with a lingering bite on the back end, very dry. A perfectly balanced beer. My favorite beer from my favorite style. Really hit the nail on the head, the best Great Lakes has to offer!

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2013 02:05:45 | More by Uniobrew31
Photo of RaulMondesi


4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Did someone just let Raul out of Bellvue? Because he feels done insane! A Lager, or a "Dortmunder..."

Why is this beer fresher and cleaner than Beyonce after shooting her last single? Like Harriet Anderson in her prime, Raul wants this lil bad thang every single day.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 05:48:06 | More by RaulMondesi
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,219 ratings.