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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,080 Reviews
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Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 09-18-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,080 | Ratings: 3,159
Photo of Roser
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- nice big frothy bone white head. Lasted a good bit. Very little/light lacing. Lots of bubbles. Clear honey gold hue. Ultra pleasing to the eye.

S- clean, malty, hoppy. All the pleasant aromas I expect and enjoy when visiting a brewery.

T- lots of malts up front, followed by nice hop bitterness.

M- crisp, medium to full body.

O- an excellent lager. Very well balanced. Loads of character all around. Would definitely have again and recommend.


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Photo of JR88
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Truly Exceptional Balanced Lager....Many Lagers simply are not that good...many are dull/boring, not very clean/ refreshing etc. The Dortmunder styles are underrated imo...

This one is just very Clean/Refreshing and added richer Biscuit/malty character really is tasty, gets into/more like how a Lager should be like xD

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Photo of dryfly24
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice foamy but quickly thinning head. Very creamy for a lager. Beautiful golden honey color. Sweet but faint aroma. Biscuity, malty sweet flavor with a mild hoppy slightly bitter finish. Very well balanced and flavorful. I'm a stout and porter guy but I liked this one very much.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured a clear gold/Amber color with a bubbly half-inch head that quickly receded to a thin film. Some lacing, but not great.
Smell: Has a nice sweet bready, biscuity malt aroma. Some noble hop notes as well.
Taste: The bready malt is very forward in this beer, with some very nice piney and spicy hop flavors.
Mouthfeel: Very crisp, somewhat dry on the finish, but very pleasing on the palate.
Overall: Quite a lot of flavor for a lager, super drinkable. I like it a lot.

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Photo of pinyin
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I've been looking for a traditional, delicious, German malt lager for a while now. Ever since Victory changed the formula and fermentation time on their Lager, I've been assed out, with the exception of Stoudt's Gold.

This Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is amazing. From the color, to the taste, this is my new favorite. So happy I have a case of this left.

Served from the bottle in a curved pint glass.

Color is a bronze orange, slightly cloudy. Just perfect. The color matches the taste to perfection.

The taste is a really carefully fermented and sanitized blend of biscuit and munich malts, and lots of them. The grain bill on this lager has to be be really high and somewhat organic. It's not that hoppy, but has just enough hops to balance the grain load. This is German malts to perfection. The alcohol gravity is also well balanced. Very high quality yeast in this lager. Very robust and malty.

The nose is what you would expect from a high malt we'll lagered beer. Smells as fresh as the day they opened the 55 pound bag of biscuit malt.

Head is sort of minimal at colder temperatures. I served this at around 39-42F. Quality lagers should not have a giant head, but there is enough natural carbonation in this, where if you want more head, just give it a swirl.

For anyone who is a little tired of the overhopped ipa's and high abv% double, triple and quad ales, this is the perfect session lager.

It really is a perfect beer in all aspects.

Kudos to Great Lakes for this one. As I was not a fan of their IPA's, but damn this is such a great product.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice and bubbly white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a deep gold and very clear that you can exactly through it. The beer also has a nice sheen to it as well.

The beer smell is very sweet and bready. There does not seem to be a very strong hop note in the aroma. What little hop note exists is a little bit bitter to offset the malts an yeast. Rather, the malt's sweetness and the yeast's breadyness are the stronger notes and mix very well with each other.

The taste is a bit different than the aroma. The same notes are there but the bitter hop notes are stronger and more pronounced. The malt sweetness and yeast breadiness are still there but the hop does a better job of balancing out the flavors.

The beer is a bit medium bodied with biting carbonation. The beer leaves the mouth feeling a little dry afterwards.

Overall, a very good lager and worth working into a constant rotation.

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Photo of mchegash
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.25/5
An *incredibly* clear light orange. Minimal head. An average amount of carbonation is visible. The clearness of this beer really makes it stand out.

Smell - 3.75/5
Standard lager smell, but very quality. Smell is not super strong though

Taste - 4/5
Sweet light malts, slight floral and pine hops, and a hint of spiciness. This is a very interesting lager taste. There is more going on than in the typical lager. Particularly the spiciness.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Medium bodied, carbonation is light. The beer is very smooth. And ever so slightly crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall, this was a good lager. I've had this beer several times, and don't remember it being as hoppy or having any spiciness to it. But still this was a good lager.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: its a bright mix of straw yellow and amber. very clear. 1.5 finger rocky, solid head

s: a nice dry graininess, a bit of sweet caramel and lemongrass, the faintest hint of toffee, hay, finishes clean with some nice earthiness

t: amazingly crisp. has all the great flavors of a pilsner - some nice graininess, some straw and lemongrass, and some nice mild sweetness from the malt that comes from a light almost salt water toffee-like flavor, BUT it is much smoother than a pilsner. none of that bitterness - it just kind of ends in flavor with a smoothness that is great. really nice flavor in here. also a real nice biscuty presence flavor in here as a backbone

m: light mouthfeel, with medium carbonation

o: not complex, but super enjoyable. clean, crisp, and delicious. definitely recommend

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dortmunder gold

Served in a snifter. Only glassware I currently have.

Nice fluffy head, pale white and a tad chewy. Persists well. Plenty of lace. Beautiful golden liquid with excellent clarity. 5

Floral aroma with sweet bready malt. Clean and straightforward. 4

Very bready in flavor with light sweetness. Hop flavors are floral and slightly tangy. A touch earthy with faint honey notes. 4

Medium carbonation and light bitterness are notable. Creamy and alternately bubbly. Nice to drink. 4

I'm no expert on this style, but this is good and enjoyable.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.54/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is wonderful. I don't know of too many other Dortmunders, but I don't need to, because this is the one I'd recommend to others without even thinking about it. It's rich and it's smooth and it looks pretty.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- Pours a semi clear light orange color with a 1 finger head.

Smell- Freshly baked bread from the malt character along with hints of some fruit like orange poking through.

Taste- The grainy nature mixes well with the toasted malt flavor. Biscuit like. Some bitterness on the back end. Has a grassy type of finish towards the end with a bit of sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Thick for a lager, but still in the medium range overall in terms of body.

Overall- A well balanced and very interesting lager. Nice complexity. Quite smooth as well. A must try! Well done by Great Lakes.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
3.14/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a shaker pint at approximately 45 degrees F.

A: Pours a crystal clear pale orange, leaning towards gold but definitely more on the orange side of that line, with a fair amount of bubbles visible. The head is fairly thin, and rather short-lived before dying first to a ring of white and, eventually, to nothing at all.

S: Bread is the main takeaway from the aroma. Whole grain bread, with extra whole grains and some cracked grains along for the ride. There's some very faint toffee essence in there, and a little dry mustiness, like a long-sealed library being cracked open for the first time in decades.

T: The scent did not lie - whole grain bread flavor is present, and in spades. This has significant bread and grain malt character, for most of the tasting process. There's a leathery soil note, however, that cuts through any possible sweetness, and is especially strong on the finish, leaving a bitter, clay-earth aftertaste. There are some other, very faint notes present, grassy and fruity, but the bitter soil conceals them enough that I am unable to pick them out.

M: Light and slick in the mouth, and rather sharply carbonated.

O: Not my favorite lager, to be honest, but this is also not my favorite lager style. The earthen noble hops are present enough to obscure some of the other flavors for me, and the malt tones are less biscuit, more bread and grain, to me. I usually avoid this one, and the occasional revisit reinforces to me why I do.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

November 28, 2014

12 oz bottle, Kolsch glass

A – Medium copper, extremely clear, with a very minimal foam, white head. Looks juicy and caramely.

S – Some dark biscuit and fresh brown bread. Light toffee, and light fruity esters, perhaps red apples.

T – Again the brown bread, freshly baked, and some fruitiness in very low amounts. Hop bitterness and some noble hop flavor.

M – Smooth with a brilliant hop bite. Very lagery, slightly creamy.

O – Very reminiscent of a Kolsch with a bit more depth. Bitterness compliments the malts used very well. A fine, easy drinking lager, with good complexity.

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Photo of scotorum
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can't get GL in my state. Picked this up on a recent tripo through Pennsylvania.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Unibroue stemmed flute.

a: Clear dark gold with a finger thick white head which receded to traces of surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Biscuit malt.

t: Bready malt. Dry finish. Actually improves as it warms, with pleasant cedar notes and a stronger malt presence.

m; Light to medium, good body, some carbonation tingle.

o: A darker and tastier than average lager, which more than holds up as it warms, eventually becoming a nice sipper.

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Photo of Chinaskifan1
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic beer. Beautiful deep gold in color, rich tasting. This is a quality beer and you know it by looking at it, smelling it, tasting it. Top notch.

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Photo of LoganRyanMurphy
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

I don't always drink a lager, but when I do... I drink Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold. This is a truly incredible beer. Though I try to avoid using the word "drinkability" I can't dodge it here. Thankfully, however, drinkability with this beer does not mean tastelessness or watered down flavor. I highly recommend this beer.

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Photo of SSS
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

A-clear golden color, slight off white head that disappears quickly, no significant lacing
M-full body, carbonation is nice and light
T-malt is mellow, bitterness is a nice balance and not over powering
S-fruity aroma

O- very drinkable and true to the style, I would down a couple after cutting the grass on a hot summer day.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

Business trip to Central Ohio...trying out local brews and enjoying the Great Lakes line so far.
Everyone has beer styles that they like more or less than others. To me, Dortmunder was an in-between kind of style that never impressed. This beer impressed. Great balance with smooth malty undertones, slight biscuit, subtle hop nose, light/balanced bitterness...just a delicious beer. Plain and simple, this beer just defined this style for me.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

A: [4.00] Crystal clear amber color. Forms a thin 1/4 finger white head. The head leaves pretty lace rings after each sip. The bottle lists drink by date (11/18/14) and ABV - 5.8%.

S: [3.50] The nose is sweet with the smell of corn and grains.

T: [3.75] Nice malt backbone gives sweetness across the palate. Nice flavor - but not any really distinct elements.

M: [2.50] Nice buttery mouthfeel but the carbonation is a bit too high for my liking.

O: [3.75] This would be an excellent transition beer for BMC drinkers. It is also an excellent lawn mower beer. It is really easy drinking and there is no sense of the alcohol at all. Great Lakes makes really good beers and this is no exception. It doesn't really shine like a top 10 but it is very approachable and is an easy "Go to" for price, quality and taste.

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Photo of KornWallace
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Date: 9/29/14
Location: Halftime Mamaroneck
Draught/Bottle: Bottle
Glassware: Snifter

Appearance: An Orange/Gold in color both on the lighter side. Clean and not difficult to see through. The beer is well carbonated but the white head did not persist for very long. Some carbonation cling as the beer is sipped and swirled.
Aroma: A strong aroma of malts, bready to biscuity, gives way to a very pungent hop aroma of dried apple. The hops are moderately bitter and seem to contain a sulfur aroma as well. A touch of yeast flavoring can be found in the finish.
Taste: Both hops and aroma continue to play large roles in the taste. Again there is a sulfurous flavor that really plays with the hops. The hop bitterness is stronger then the aroma indicates.
Mouthfeel: Medium body. Medium Carbonation. The beer drinks smoothly and is very well balanced. What's strikes me most is how the sulfur plays so well with the hops.
Notes: Best by 9/20/14. 9 days after the best by date.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to whitenads for sending me this one.

Enjoy by: 7/22/14.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, biscuit, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with sweet grain, biscuit, and grass flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Re-reviewed 9-6-15, bottle dated BB 11-22-15, Threshold beer glass].

Appearance: Tons of smoke on the pop. Pours a very dark [and perfectly clear] gold with 4 fingers of sandy/beige head; rocky. [Tons of] Visible carbonation; outstanding [epic, outrageous, fantastic] lacing.

Aroma: Bready with a tart zing. Little hops to speak of. [What??? For a lager, this had a huge earthy and slightly citric hoppy nose. Definite breadiness. Not the noble hop aroma of a pilsner, and not the pilsner malt aroma I really enjoy in golden lagers]

Taste: Soft arrival, dry. Malty, bready across mid-palate. A touch of sweetness at the end, with gentle bitterness. [On revisiting, the earthy, woodsy hoppiness is way more pronounced; malty, bready presence is there, but it is not as complex as some others of the style.]

Mouthfeel: little carbonation on the palate; soft. [Second time around, the carbonation was firm, but not excessive] Body is solidly midweight. Clean finishing, but not as clean as say, a pilsner.

Overall: Really reminds me of CBC Summer Teeth, but slightly heavier and filtered. Remarkably low carbonation [I think that was just an old bottle I had the first time] and lower bitterness [Really, an old bottle - this is actually hoppier than I prefer to have my lagers] leave me wanting more oomph. But outstanding retention and lacing, and a very balanced flavor make this an instant classic. [Interesting that last year I had an old bottle, and thought it too subdued; now it appears I have a fresh one, and find it too hoppy. Definitely a regular buy, but on the hoppier end of the pale lager spectrum. Really well crafted, no off flavors, perfectly clear.]

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Photo of Oberson58
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

It is the best tasting beer I have ever come across. It's like they created a brita filter for beer and it pissed out the most reliable, un-offensive beer of all time. It's one of the greats, I just hope someone else sees it for how great it really is.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

pours a light brownish/orange. dull gold i agree. thin solid white head.

smells like a regular lager/pilsner but without the skunky smell.

taste is fantastic, slight hop bite but a nice full bready malt.

goes down smooth with a dry finish.

the first craft beer i ever had, always one of my favorites. my favorite lager for sure. always solid, more full than (most) pilsners and helles or pale lagers. such a great beer, would always recommend this.

best lager out there. way more flavor than a Pils yet lighter and easier to drink than an IPA.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Appearance- Golden.

Smell- fresh bread.

Taste- crisp lightly hopped finish. Refreshing, extremely easy to drink. Great middle of the road beer

Overall- A great session beer choice and possibly the best lager I have tried.

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.