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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

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2,228 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2228
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
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Ratings: 2,228 | Reviews: 992 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CRJMellor


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear light copper with a wispy head that leaves spots of lace on the glassware.
Aroma of sweet malt liquor with an aromatic hop profile.
Flavor of caramel and slightly nutty flavor with a floral and slight citrus hint in the background.
Mouthfeel is fairly sweet start then takes on a nice chewy, biscuity profile as it progresses and finishes with a sharp bitter and slightly alcoholic hit.
Drinkability is very nice to style and refreshing lager.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2004 03:03:51 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of Skidz


4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pale yellow that sits a bright orange with a big fluffy off-white head that sticks to the glass and keeps its hold.

Smells a little doughy with some hop presence. Slight twists of apple and a salty, cracker like aroma. Tastes start out nicely with some good malts, sweet and bread-like, hops come in and provide a nice, light bitterness that is very pleasant. Not very dry, but very appealing. A bit of grassiness, and some mild herbs make this a tasty drink.

Great in the mouth, smooth, soft and creamy, but adequately bold. Great carbonation, this is an excellent weekend beer incredibly easy and pleasant to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2004 19:04:00 | More by Skidz
Photo of tavernjef


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear color of straw yellow gold, finger high head of beige foam that fizzes away fairly fast. A nice collar continues to hold its edge the whole glass down and the lacing stays close to the collar leaving minimal thin strings as it goes. Aroma is of fresh sweet bread dough, clean and pleasant, soft and well rounded, dryish with a bit of earthy factions of stone ground biscuit dough. Quite nice on the nose.
Ahhh... but the taste is where its really at, tasty biscuit malts, dry and clean, some whole grain and sesame notes, slightly bittered and buttery in the finish with touches of grassy spices. Very nice on the palate, very geniune, gentle, subtle, and another showmanship by Great Lakes of what it means to be well crafted. Feel is quite smooth with a solid medium, firmly built body, kinda fluffy, and an easy drinkablity, could choke down a few of these with ease. Seems sessionable enough, but being close to 6% may be much to ask from a whole sixer. But indeed that could be done without a blink of an eye. Yummy stuff!

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2004 18:28:40 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Redrover


4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown longneck , with nice clear freshness dating.

Beer, as advertised, poured a nice dark gold with a decent initial head and good lacing.

Smell , while decent, does not live up to that impressive appearance. Still, it has a pleasant aroma of some hops and that toasted cracker smell.

Taste is very nice. Freakish balance of hops and malts. Just when you think the sweet malt takes the lead, the hops come back to the forefront. Nice understated pine taste with more than a bit of biscuit flavor.

The mouthfeel is soft and almost creamy. Drinkablity is good, this would be a great bbq, football, or session beer. Very nice beer from a brewery I will be sampling more from!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2004 20:39:26 | More by Redrover
Photo of Ahhdball


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gold in color, nice 1 inch head that stays through out the drink leaving beautiful lace. Smelled hops with a slight malt, nothing fancy. Well balanced in all aspects. Tastes fantastic, first a delicate use of hops and even smaller malts follow. This is a great lager and finishes great leaving a refreshed malty smoothness in my mouth. Another hit for GLBC!

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2004 23:58:41 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of Gusler


4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer as it skedaddles from the bottle into my ever present empty glass a lustrous gold color with a purposeful in size bright white head with the texture frothy and the lace a fine film to cover the glass. Nose is quite earthy, reminiscent of fresh bread dough, sweet and fresh to the senses; the start is also sweet and nicely malted with the top moderate in its feel to the taste buds. Finish is orthodox in its acidity and the hops enduring in their spiciness, quite dry as the style dictates and a fine drinkable beer and I give thanks to Atlagerheads for this bottle plus several others from this great Midwestern brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2004 23:24:18 | More by Gusler
Photo of kwalters


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

If I didn't know Dortmunder Gold was a lager, I might not know it is a lager. Yes, it pours a clear, light coppery-golden lager color with a smallish white head, but...

...it tastes to me like a an American pale ale. Maybe my taste buds were messed up, but there was hop character in the begining and the end. It left a bit of dry, bitter taste. I kept thinking "pale ale". The only other lager I've had that tastes close to Dortmunder Gold is SA's Boston Lager. I suppose these two beers are helping define just what a lager is to me.

I have a perception that this stuff is exactly what it should be and totally to style. I'm just not all that familiar with the style. Try it, you'll be hard pressed to not find it extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 14:17:47 | More by kwalters
Photo of bditty187


4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear shinny gold hue with a trace of amber, the color is lovely, the white head was massive and fluffy, I am impressed with its size, it reached a robust two fingers plus in height. The retention was very good; it slowly melted to a loose cap. The subsequent lacing was unorganized and spotty. This is an attractive beer for sure. The bouquet is sweet and bready with a trace of flowery hops. The potency is absolutely perfect for this beer, the smells are easily strong enough to detect with the shallowest of whiffs. Inviting. Amazingly tasty palate, so this is a Dortmunder? Wow. I have been missing out. The palate has sweet biscuity-bready malts upfront that loiters to the middle where flowery hops and herbal-citrus notes join the fray. Every few sips a toasty caramel hint was detectable. The finish is crisp and largely clean aside from the pleasant bite of hops and cirtusy glee. Long aftertaste. Needless to say this is amazingly tasty. It is sophisticated but broad enough in flavor to reach a macro crowd, in other words, this is a crossover beer like very few I’d had. Maybe Fat Tire. Maybe SA Boston Lager. The difference is simple; GL Dortmunder Gold is a much, much better beer than those two. Medium, medium-full in body with ideal carbonation, it is just firm enough, the mouthfeel is great, period. I can’t believe how good this is! This is tremendously drinkable. Low enough abv to session with. This is an amazing beer. World Class. Highly Recommended.

Thank you PhantomVodoo!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 22:30:35 | More by bditty187
Photo of stewart124


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a darker golden color with a sllight head that lingers. Hints of hops in the aroma and a floral matly smell. The taste is a very good flavor of german malts and a perfect balance of hops. A solid beer and one that everyone should appreciate. There are subtle hints of citrus. This is a mellow medium bodied brew with a nice crisp taste. Very impressive!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2004 16:12:46 | More by stewart124
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a shining clear yellow with a small white head that turns into a film and medium carbonation. Aroma is herbal, like I imagine is a typical Maine hay field by the end of the spring when it's still humid enough and not completely burnt by the summer sun. Restrained mild german hops in the aroma. Taste is all made of subtlety, never too sweet nor too bitter, perfect balance in that sense. I don't find much to be said really, excellent balance, medium body shows a perfect carbonation to my liking, quite creamy lager, pretty crisp dry herbal hops finish. Cheers Ciderguy!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2004 06:28:51 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of JackTheRipper


4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can this Brewery do any wrong? So far I've been seriously impressed by all of their offerings I've tried.

Pours a coppery golden color, started with a nice fluffy white head which dissipated fairly quickly, what is left sticks to the glass nicely.

Smell: Toasted malty smell. Faintly floral smell in the background

Taste: A very nice balance of malty and hoppy. I'm not the most experienced reviewer, but this just has, IMHO, a good "beer" taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, finishes with a mild bitter aftertaste, which I like; carbonation is spot-on. The alcohol feel blends in with the tastes and is there, but matched nicely.

Drinkability: This is a very nicely done offering, I can see myself having a few of these in my fridge, and as Jason said, this does match nicely with a sandwich. Good job, GLBC, you make a heckova beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 22:13:47 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of silks636

New Jersey

4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Freshness date clearly stamped.

Awesome clear bright golden color with an enormous fluffy white head. Lots of sticky lacing. Very light aroma of grain and sweet malt. Flavor is much of the same, bready malt with a pleasant citric hop sting to finish it off. Light aftertaste of grain and hops. Nicely balanced and exceptionally drinkable. Mouthfeel is light to medium with nice carbonation.

Highly lauded and most worthy of every bit of it. This is an awesome lager. A first rate representation of the style that any beer drinker should enjoy. A good thirst quencher or one to enjoy with a light salad or sandwich. Another reason why Great Lakes is rapidly becoming one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2004 01:40:27 | More by silks636
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Beautiful bright amber: sunshine in a bottle. The light ivory head is good-sized with the typical Great Lakes characteristics; that is, good head retention and a fair bit of lacing. Several thick rings of lace can be seen on the pint glass.

The aroma is somewhat subdued, but becomes bolder with warming. I'm definitely picking up some hops in there. The flavor is supremely well-balanced; malt and hops both making themselves known. I didn't expect a Dortmunder to be this hoppy, but I approve. There's also some citrus zest that is bright and a little lemony.

I haven't had a whole lot of lagers yet, but I didn't expect a mouthfeel this wonderful either. It feels more full and more creamy than most; more like an ale.

Whether Gold is more like a lager or more like an ale doesn't really matter. The bottom line is that it's great beer. Great Lakes Brewing hasn't let me down yet; not even close. This would be a perfect beer to convert macro drinkers to good (make that outstanding) beer. Unobtrusive, yet more than solid across the board. What's not to love about Dortmunder Gold?

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

I plan to do a re-review in the future, but thought I'd update the scores today. After many more bottles of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, I've come to the conclusion that this is one of the most delicious, most drinkable lagers on the planet. Actually, that isn't so different from my original impression back in 2004. Edited: 7/5/2009.

old scores: 4.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.0, 5.0... ... 4.3
new scores: 4.0, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 5.0... ... 4.45

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2004 20:22:54 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Stubbie1


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

This has to be one of the best Lagers to date that I have had. It pours a nice deep yellow with a thick white head. The heads leaves a decent lace, then that too fades. The aroma is of malt and hints of caramel. Then a slight wave of hops joins in. There is a nice balance between the two. The flavor is a dead match of the aroma. Sweet malt with a slight hint of caramel and then a ever so slight hops bitterness at the end. This beer has nice mouthfeel and is very drinkable. A very nice brew that I would look for again. Thanks to Motorracer36 for the offer!

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2004 23:58:42 | More by Stubbie1
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

A beautiful color. One of the best beers we have had that goes with almost any meal because of its overall balance. I have never had a bad beer from this legendary brewpub. Worth a night in Cleveland. Too bad not available in Canada, eh? Very popular and three people over dinner will finish a six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2003 23:23:23 | More by Sammy
Photo of xgrigorix


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

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by date printed on label.

Burnished gold coulour, topped by a dense white head. Scents of pears, fresh sourdough bread, and floral hops fill the nose. Fresh bread flavour, with pleasant malt sweetness. Crisp finish of noble hops leaves a pleasant lingering dryness. Medium bodied, brisk carbonation. I'm impressed.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2003 16:56:33 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of Mitchster


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

Brewed with American 2-row, Carapils, and Belgian Caravienne malts. Hopped with Cascade and Hallertau. The new profile sheet says it's brewed with just Harrington 2-row and C-60. Hrmmm.

5.8% ABV, 30 IBU, OG=14P.

Pours out to an sparkingly clear honey-colored brew with orange accents, forming a sticky, poofy light beige head atop medium-small bubbles with excellent retention and very solid lacing. Aroma has notes of fresh green hops, wet hay, sugar cookies, a touch of alcohol, and faint sulfur. Mouthfeel is bubbly and bright with a medium body. Taste begins with nicely floral hops, a very crisp mouthfeel, and followed by a nice sugar cookie residual sweetness. There's a touch of wet grains that persists throughout the finish, some grassiness, and a medium herbal bitterness in the finish. The finish has a firm alcohol astringency with mild alcohol taste and residual musty grain husk.

This is a quality beer, but it would be even better if it were slightly less hoppy, allowing the complexeties of the malt to show through. The alcohol can be somewhat distracting depite it's subtlety. Still, this is a high-quality brew from GLBC.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2003 00:19:36 | More by Mitchster
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an attractive orange-amber, has me thinking of Octoberfest already. Thick foamy head bubbles down but holds onto a solid cap. Lots of bubble traces inside. Sparse lacing.

Bready, slightly toasty aroma, hints of yeast and peppery spice. After the initial vapors dissipate, a light aroma of bread and spice persist, but are rather hard to detect. A little light in the aroma department.

Everything seems to happen at once on the taste. A toasty malt base, reasonably good carbonation, then this hop presence. At first you might think you're about to get hit by the bitter hop train, but that bitter intensity never develops. They get there quick but instead of muscling the malt aside, a more orangey, dry floral taste occurs, blending with the malt very distinctively. As the taste buds adapt, that initial hop surge lessens and the beer's taste progresses to a non-bitter grapefruit and distant orange on the finish and some grassy or grainy notes.

Mouthfeel is clean, but with some coating due to the hops. Not substantial enough to get in the way of the flavor, nicely complementary.

Drinkability - a fine, fine session beer. A little above average abv at 5.8%, but this beer does everything possible (outside of a rather average smell) to maximize its potential.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2003 15:45:00 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark gold with a bit of brownish amber. Poured slightly hazy with a medium head. Excellent lace. Smell is great,hops are everywhere. Taste is good for the style, perhaps even a bit too bold for the style. Similar to the smell, lots and lots of hops here. perhaps a bit of fruit and vanilla also. Its mouthfeel is more ale like, that is to say a bit thick, not crisp and refreshing like a typical lager. Its drinkability is a bit better than average because I do not like my lagers quite this hoppy. This reminds me very much of a good pale ale. Don't get me wrong it is good for the stlye and a very good brew, its just a bit much for me, I drink a lager for the refreshment, Its very enjoyable, just not refreshing to me.
As I said above its a great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2003 01:07:54 | More by sabrills70
Photo of tar


4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice transparent, yet hazy, golden with a thick, rocky, white head which begins to lace the glass as it slowly diminishes. An inviting appearance. Pleasant smelling of freshly mown grass and a hint of lemon. The remainder of the fluffy to creamy head greets the lips along with a mild but very good taste of malt and citrusy hops. Very smooth and full feeling, this is a highly drinkable and very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2003 20:49:55 | More by tar
Photo of hotstuff


3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dayton, OH AleFest:The head was small sized, white and it quickly diiminished.The body was clear with carbonation observed.This beer's hue was yellow and the nose was lightly malty.The flavor was bitter from start to finish and it left a lingering aftertaste.The beer's mouthfeel was smooth, tingly and light-medium bodied.This beer's lacing was fair.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2003 16:32:40 | More by hotstuff
Photo of MJR


4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a bright gold with perfect clarity. An impressive two-finger head slowly fades to a good cap, leaving lots of lace on my glass. A simple swirl or two of said glass brings it back to a full finger thickness that's very slow to shrink.

Smell: The aroma is very fresh smelling, with a huge whiff of malt and freshly mown hay. There's a bit of spice, which almost seems like rye, that I'd bet comes from their yeast strain. A bit of herbal hops bring everything into superb balance.

Taste: Oh what perfect balance! There's a strong graininess that has touches of toasted bread, caramel, freshly mown hay, and honey. A good, firm bitterness and hop flavor that's both herbal and citric keep the malt in check.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and extremely clean, with a firm body that's on the lighter side of medium. Hint of dryness on the finish.

Drinkability: This is simply an outstanding domestically brewed Dortmunder, and an amazing pale lager that knocks the socks off a lot of ales. The drinkability of this brew is off the charts, as I could drink this by the gallon.

Many thanks to 'Realale' for lugging this brew back from Michigan for me!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2003 06:21:36 | More by MJR
Photo of marburg


4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gorgeous! Prime example of the style. Vibrant yellow-gold with generous bright white head for a lager. A fairly potent grainy nose and an even grainier flavor -- thick, mouthy white bread. Genuine malt flavor. Sweet with a small hop clean-up at the finish. Light -- but not light-bodied. This is a prime lager beer. And anyone -- I mean *anyone* -- should be able to drink and love this brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2003 23:58:55 | More by marburg
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe this is my first Great Lakes bier.... Color was bright gold, with perhaps a slight tinge of orange. A hard-pour resulted in a billowy, fluffy white head, which slowly shrivelled down to a still-healthy 1/4" layer of fine bubbles. Lacing looks to be on the good side as well. It really does look quite appetizing! Nose, though not overpowering by any means, delivers a decent dose of crackery, bready malt with a subtle hop twang. Pleasing, medium body joins together with a welcoming smoothness on the tongue. Goes down quite easily. Flavor, as with the aroma, lays a strong base of bready, toasty malt. That lasting sweetness lingers long and hard, and sticks around even while a late (yet small) kick of hops passes through. A very pleasing brew, quite tasteful all around. It is a bier I could see filling a Mass (litre) Stein with on occaision... Kudos must go to AKSmokedPorter and BIF 2.5 for the top-shelf sample!! Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


Serving type: bottle

08-10-2003 17:25:20 | More by Bierman9
Photo of zerk


4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold/ light copper with a thick white head that leaves touches of lace. Aroma is full of toasted maltiness and spicy noble hops. Flavor is quite good... mixing the bread-like maltiness and spiciness of the hops with a nice balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, with light to medium body and medium carbonation. A nicely done Dortmunder Lager.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2003 17:12:43 | More by zerk
Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,228 ratings.