Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,053 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,053
Hads: 3,014
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 178
Gots: 525 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: pezoids on 09-18-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,053 | Hads: 3,014
Photo of allengarvin
3.69/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ah, Dortmunder export, one of the vague styles. This one pours out a reddish-orange colored beer with a nice large head. The heavy malt aroma doesn't really go with the style, but it does smell nice. Flavor has a strong malt presence with only slight hop bitterness. Malt is a touch grainy, though not too much. Good body and mouthfeel, which is appropriate for a strong export.

 378 characters

Photo of pijiuhuaxian
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Maybe the best of the Great Lakes offerings. I had the the Dortmunder Gold recently on tap at a seafood restaurant outside of Cleveland. Was skeptical since it had been a couple years since I had had it, but this beer is still as world class as it was before I knew what good beer was. If you grew up with Great Lakes you grew up spoiled.

 338 characters

Photo of robear
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into 8 oz taster. From a 12-bottle taster pack. 2 months prior to expiration.

Appearance- Golden, on the darker, richer side of Golden. Clearly there is a bit of caramel malt in play here. Finger of foam that dissipate in less than a minute. Sharp, tight carbonation.

Smell- Toast with a touch of sour.

Taste- There we go. Everything balances out there, just a pinch of tartness (middle of the tongue) quickly washed over with a creamy, malty caramel- not as sweet as an amber, the hops still dominate (especially for a lager). Style-wise this is on point. Delicious. Aftertaste of fresh country bread with roasted crust.

Mouthfeel- much larger than the beer would indicate. Keeps your mouth interested.

Overall- Waited too long to try this delicious beer.

 784 characters

Photo of Mojo
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle -> snifter glass

A - This offering pours up a nice medium gold/amber. There is an initial two inch fluffy head that diminishes into a thin retention layer with elaborate spotty lacing.

S - the nose is very subtle. I mostly get a cereal smell.

T - Very malt forward with a well balanced dry hoppy finish. Very pleasing taste!!

M - nice feel, good carbonation, not much of an aftertaste.

O - This is why no one should ever thumb their nose at lagers.

 472 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co. is the first brew I've properly reviewed on here,but certainly not my first by them. Those will get their own reviews in due time. This is the second "plain ol' lager" I've experienced in the craft realm. Here we go: Poured from the bottle into a glass, this baby's got a moderately thick, off-white head that doesn't seem like it plans on leaving anytime soon. And that's fine with me. Great lacing, too.

Smell is mostly malt, not much roasted malt though. Maybe a dash of earthiness, too.

Taste is somewhat comparable to a Budweiser, believe it or not. But richer and more satisfying. Clean finish to the rich malt taste. Which is not to say it's TOO rich. Awesome balance of richness and crispness is more like it.

Mouthfeel matches the taste, earning it a high-ranking 4.5/5

4.5 overall. This would be a great anytime, go-to lager for craft enthusiasts or those crossing over . Pretty much any food would go well with this brew. I will certainly buy this liquid gold again!

 1,048 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co. This brew pours out a dark amber color with a small white head. The color of this brew is nice. There is nothing wrong with the appearance of this brew. The taste is smooth and rich at first. At the end there is a little bit of of bite. The bite is a nice finish to this brew. Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is a good drinking brew ,no bad after tease or anything over powering. This brew is all around a good brew smooth tasting with a bite. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.5 out of 5. I would get this brew again.

 575 characters

Photo of Glanzman
4.67/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is the beer that started my journey down craft brews as it was my first craft beer, given to me by my next door neighbor years ago.

Delightfully tasty as a beer I had never experienced before.

 198 characters

Photo of Pauline_K
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The Dortmunder is a bright coppery orange. It pours a nice fluffy head that dissipates relatively fast.

Aroma: Very malt forward aroma. A slight floral from the hops but more of a cereal smell emits from the beer.

Taste: The beer is well balanced. Malty with a slight spiciness from the hops. The finish is dry and clean. The carbonation cleanses the palate. It has a light-medium body.

Overall: This is a great, refreshing beer. It has wonderful flavor, yet light and easy to drink.

 501 characters

Photo of 57md
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a clear copper color with a finger of white head that took some time to recede and left some nice lace in its wake. The nose is mildly bready and malty. The body is hearty and the flavor profile is quite malt forward. The bitterness on the finish is welcome and at a level that is perfect for this style.

This beer paired very well with my gourmet bacon cheeseburger.

 382 characters

Photo of tmm313
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Crystal clear light amber color. Poured about a finger of head. Nice lacing.

S- Defintely malt forward, but I'm also picking up a light spicy fresh hop aroma.

T- Beautiful balance. No flavor larger than the others. Caramel, bready malts, orange, apple, floral notes, earthy hop, toast, and a touch of char.

M- Medium body. Only slightly drying with a toasty aftertaste.

O- This was a really good beer. It was super refreshing, light (but with strong flavors), and had wonderful balance. I would have no problem making this a regular if it were easier for me to get. One of my favorite beers.

 601 characters

Photo of LuvLagunitas
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: As the name suggests, it pours a bright gold hue with a small amount of carbonation. Thin head that doesn't much lacing if at all on the glass.

S: A little to be desired. A faint bready-grain wiff. Maybe some cereal. It's a pilsner, can't expect too much.

T: Extremely well balanced. The cereal is more assertive at first and then comes the sweetness from the malts. In the end, one can get a slight taste of booze, but it pairs well with the cereal.

M: Full-medium bodied. A little creamy from the carbonation. Leaves behind a small film in the mouth.

O: A simple but awesome pilsner by an always reliable brewery. There's nothing super extravagant about this beer, but it's pegged down the basics and it's done it well. Personally, I could drink this all day it's so smooth and good. If you're wanting to get into the pilsner style, start here.

 854 characters

Photo of redearth329
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - clear gold, as the name suggests. I poured this at around 45 degrees (F) into a weissen glass. A thin white head quickly dissipated into a bit of lace; doesn't stick to the glass at all. Don't see much if any carbonation.

S - Cereal notes, a bit like a bowl of cheerios. Overall, not a lot coming forward on the nose.

T - Definitely malt forward, and the cheerios thing is coming through on the palate big time. Honey nut cheerios, to be precise. Not too sweet, though.

M - I'd say light to medium bodied; 2% milk range. It does coat the tongue for a while. A bit of tingle on the tip of the tongue, must be the missing carbonation.

O - The sweetness of this beer seems like it would pair well against something bitter, like some brussels sprouts or similar. My socks aren't exactly knocked off, but it's a solid beer that is very pleasant to drink.

 857 characters

Photo of mugzybrown
4.61/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites.

A very clean taste with a some hop on the finish. Smells clean. looks clean, tastes clean.

And then what sets it apart is a nice, bready mouthfeel to give it substance.

One of my favorite beers in the style. Great lakes is probably one of the best breweries in the US

 291 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-03-26 in Columbia, PA. Revised on 2014-07-16 from additional tastings.

A - Very clear golden-orange with a 1-finger white head that leaves mild-moderate lacing.

S - Bready, sweet citrus flesh, light caramel and hop floral. Very pleasant in a balanced way on most days for me; but as you'll see below; it can swing towards the vegetal (perhaps because of how I am feeling/smelling from one day to the next.

T - Sometimes this beer tastes really good to me and other times it is a little less satisfying. For some reason, this beer swings on my palate more than almost any other beers from one day to another. When it is really good, it tastes like lightly toasted French bread with orange marmalade and brown sugar yielding to some mild-moderate orange rind bitterness and finishes with some sour dough bread and orange tart as it dries. When it isn't quite as appealing, I get a smell and flavor that is more vegetal; like well-cooked leeks and less of the sweet, malty citrus. I don't know of another beer that has this taste for me. In any case, there is very little residual bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation with a touch of resin. Smooth and refreshing.

O - I really like this brew (when it's a non-leek day for me - see above). Not an always on-hand, go-to brew for me but I will rotate it into the fridge now and again for variety.

 1,385 characters

Photo of Ohiolager
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dortmunder Gold 6pk bottles $8.99(OH)

12 oz brown bottle poured into a pint glass. freshest taste date clearly marked.

pours a beautiful golden color. a two finger peach white head that clings to the glass as it slowly recedes leaving good sticky lacing. excellent carbonation not to much not too little.

it smells like a well balanced malt with great notes of yeast at the end. there is a hint of a sweet fruity smell, most likely the hops.

the taste is amazing, a beautifully balanced lager. crisp and refreshing. the taste is much like the smell but much more robust. finishing with floral notes and a great aftertaste. not as dry as a pilsner but has a dryness to it.

the mouth feel is perfect. not too heavy for a lager, yet not too light and watery. carbonated perfectly and goes down so damn smooth!

overall i can understand why this is GLBC flagship beer. an amazing golden lager from start to finish. balanced and so super smooth. i have had this so many times and will continue to. however as amazing as it is i do like other GLBC brews more. this brew is simple, yet complex, if that makes any sense. so it appeals to more people. after all this is the very first craft brew i ever drank!

 1,207 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stein.

Amber/orange in color and clear with a large, creamy, persistent white head. Grainy pils malts make up most of the aroma with light grassy hops to round it out. Sweet, bitter, and balanced flavor. Medium bodied with a slick texture.

This beer is a winner for me. It has a flavor profile that I wasn't used to the first time I tried it but grew to really like. Perfect for relaxing with after a long day of work.

 455 characters

Photo of 10baset
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fortunately I live in Lakewood Ohio which borders Cleveland's west side. The Great Lakes brewery is about 15 minutes from my house. This beer is available on tap at almost all restaurants in the area, and thank God for that. I've been honing my beer pallete for a few years now, tried many types of lagers, and this is hands down the best. There is no rival.

 358 characters

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Clear golden orange with a two inch, soft, off-white head. Quite a bit of carbonation on this one. Thick lacing accompanies the inner edges of the glass.

Aroma - Toasted, bready malts with slight touch floral hoppy notes in the back.

Taste - Caramel sweetness, toasted bready malts along with some floral hop undertones.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation on the tongue up front; goes down smooth across the tongue; a little stickiness on the lips; very clean and refreshing.

Overall - Big fan of this one. Wish I had access to this in my area. Great example of this style.

 579 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Perfect clarity, beautiful golden amber color with a good resilient, soapy head. A few bubbles rise lazily. So appealing.

S: A mild wheaty aroma, some faint kind of sweet fruit.

T: Very faint, mostly clean wheat. In other beers the mildness might be annoying, but with this one it makes it extremely quaffable.

M: Amazingly smooth, only mild carbonation. Some might consider it flat, but I love it.

O: Amazingly sessionable, the mild but the clear flavors are immediately accessible without any offensive notes and smooth mouthfeel is simply remarkable- perfectly sippable. Perfect beer to share a few rounds with friends.

 637 characters

Photo of dar482
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a clear reddish amber color with fluffy white head with tons of lacing.

The aroma has a beautiful toasted bready malt with some lager yeast notes. There’s some grassy green hops in there.

The flavor follows with that toasted bready malt, some spicy hops, a bit of a sticky syrupy sweetness. A wonderful malt body on this. A clean and dry finish. Some graininess on the finish.

A good lager and extremely traditional as it holds to the style.

 466 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dortmunder Gold pours a hazy dark golden color with a small lacing head. There is a cheap grain like aroma. The taste has a nice strong biscuit flavor. Nice full flavors, enjoyable great body, nice feel. Overall its very good, enjoyable and has a spring like flavor.

 266 characters

Photo of edwado
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Was not expecting this much. This is a great beer and may be my favorite lager on the market for me.This is the perfect beer for a macro to micro changeover for anybody with a friend who drinks crap BMC stuff. It is great with almost any food type and just delicious on its own. Anyone who does not like this just does not like beer, period. Perfection it a bottle.

 365 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Date on label of 10/22/13. Here's hoping that's a bottled-on date.

Appearance: Thick pale caramel that has decent clarity with lots of effervescence making its way towards a thin cap of white foam that has left lacing behind as it has shrunk.

Aroma: Lager yeast with dry esters. Some biscuit and almost sweet but basically neutral.

Taste: While there isn't an explosion of flavor, this is definitely no watery beer. Dortmunder Gold starts with a perfect balance of present malt and slightly spicy, lightly bitter hops. The malt adds a small bready tone but not much else. The hops and yeast seem to be doing the heavy lifting, adding a dryness and some prickly earth. Finish is crisp with a long-lingering dryness in the aftertaste. Like a pilsener with a more rigorous malt bill.

Mouthfeel: A hair above medium in body with is quite generous given the 5.8% ABV. Pretty smooth with average carbonation. Good drinkability and probably sessionable.

Final Thoughts: I went into this one with little to no expectations and am impressed. Maybe not a beer that would ever be in high demand, but a good example of how satisfying a lager can be. Would I drink it again? Sure.

 1,172 characters

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a nice hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some sweet malty aroma, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and herbs in the flavor, that make for an interesting and complex lager. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex lager.

 578 characters

Photo of xabyss
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Bright, clear gold with two fingers' worth of fluffy white head that sticks around for a short while.

S: Light, biscuity malts, faint floral hops and a touch of alcohol heat. Kind of thin overall.

T: Light, clean malts up front with light hops and peppery notes entering mid-sip. Great bready finish that lingers with a delicate touch of hop bitterness.

M: Creamy, on the lighter end of medium bodied.

O: This beer and I go way back; it was my first serious foray into the world beyond yellow pisswater. I think I've actually grown a bit colder to it over time. Still, a great lager.

 590 characters

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,053 ratings.