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 Eliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,628 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,628
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 198
Gots: 235 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
An amber lager with rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,628 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by speter:
Photo of speter
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a ruddy copper with a one-finger fluffy white head that fades to a wispy layer of bubbles, leaving good lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, and bready notes with a hint of noble hops. Very fruity for a lager. (Based on the nose alone, I'd peg this as a English ale.)

T: Rich toffee-like malt and grain. Think honey-covered biscuits in liquid form. It's on the sweet side right through the finish, where the hops finally make their presence known.

M: Rather fuller in body than you might expect, and with just the right amount of carbonation. Their is a definite coating from the hop oils, which maintains a nice long finish.

O: This is one impressive Vienna Lager. I really wish GL distributed to New Jersey so I didn't have to drive to Pennsylvania.

speter, Dec 09, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint served in a shaker pint at Pigs in a Fur Coat, Madison Wisconsin, 9/27/2014.

A- Clear amber body with a one finger tan head, good retention, leaves a fuzzy film on top, lots of lacing all around. [4]

S- Sweet toffee malt, earthy noble hops, some caramel, crisp banana bread, yeast. Sweet but not cloyingly so and in a refreshing way. [4.25]

F- Toffee, caramel, hint of raisin, a little banana (hence banana bread in the nose), earthiness, and the signature GLBC yeast flavour. This is excellent, not quite perfect but just about as outstanding as any brewer can make a Vienna lager. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, refreshing and crisp yet smooth and silky at the same time. They did a great job on this one. Very drinkable, no real effects of the ABV on the flavour at all. [4.25]

O- Excellent take on the style, as I would expect from GLBC and their tradition of brewing excellent lagers. Why I never reviewed this before, I'm not sure, but I ought to get around to reviewing their other offerings as well! [4.25]

Stevedore, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good malty-spicy beer,smelled like bread rising,went great with pizza nice high alcohol content went well with the spiciness of the pizza.I honestly havent had a bad beer from Great Lakes yet.Best brewery in the midwest,with Kalamazoo(my beloved Bells)not far behind.

oberon, Feb 01, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just a wonderful beer and supremely drinkable beer.

Crystal ruby-amber with a nice but thin off white lace.

Smells of sweet toffee, toasted grain, hex nuts.

Tastes of tremendously malty toffees and caramels. Nutty.

Mouthfeel is sweet and chewy. Oh so rich and creamy. Mmmm…

Drinkability couldn’t be any better.

DaPeculierDane, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

DanGeo, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of Turbo
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Turbo, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a solid amber color with mild clarity, a touch of haze in the middle of the glass. Light beige head that doesn't last too long and doesn't leave much lacing either. Crisp aroma, almost with some fruit tartness initially; light berries and apple skins. Lightly toasted caramel grains abound in this one, with a slightly floral underbody. The first sip follows through with the crispiness of the aroma, headed by an array of toasted grains and malts, light caramel and toffee flavors. Some mild apples and raisin fruitiness comes through and sweetens things up just a bit. Slight hoppy taste in the background, a tiny floral essence, but they never get very bitter, maybe only a touch to balance the malt sweetness. Tasty biscuit-like yeast in the finish; thin body, medium-high carbonation, with a crispy, clean, refreshing finish.

Wow, this beer really surprised me, although I shouldn't be surprised - I've been very happy with most of GL's brews. Nice mix of hops and malts, not too overpowering on either. Great, crisp finish all around, and certainly one of the best lagers to cross my palate in some time.

tectactoe, Dec 21, 2012
Photo of punkindrublic50
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Vienna style lagers are a great style of beer - a little sweeter than your average ale, but still completely drinkable and full of flavor. Elliot Ness is the best that I've had in the style: sweeter malts are used, but absolutely no sugar rush and still a solid bite of hops. Smell, carbonation and appearance are attractive and spot on. What really sets this beer apart though is its balance and drinkability. There are too many good craft beers that are good, but become unattractive or even undrinkable after 2 or 3. However with Elliot Ness you could happily drink it all night long.

Price is very reasonable as well. If you haven't tried the style and happen across a sixer or even a case I highly recommend giving it a try.

punkindrublic50, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -26.5%

t2grogan, Oct 08, 2014
Photo of cjn40277
4/5  rDev -2%

cjn40277, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of Greenmosheen
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Greenmosheen, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of woodchipper
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

woodchipper, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of CBOLAND17
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good full bodied Amber lager

Very distinct amber maltinessin both taste and smell

Good alcohol content but not too much which makes it a good session brew

Not my favorite but it is a good beer to drink

Best served closer to room temperature due to the alcohol content

CBOLAND17, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of sgoodship
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle. Freshness date 01/07/09.

A: Dark coppery amber color. Clear with subtle carbonation present. Nice fluffy one finger head. Immediate fine lacing. Good head retention throughout

S: A roasty, sweet and sour smell. The sweet and sour is almost reminiscent of lactose.

T: Starts with a breadiness and goes into sweeter tangy finish. It has a nice sweet, dry aftertaste - makes it feel crisp and drinkable. There is some hop bite but it is playing second fiddle to the malts. I can detect a nuttiness there too. Really tasty beer.

M: Medium bodied and creamy mouth feel. Carbonation is subtle and perfect.

D: I am new to lagers but if this is indicative of a Vienna Lager, I'm in! I could session this in a heartbeat. Very nicely done. Another cracking Great Lakes beer.

sgoodship, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev -2%

SkiBum22, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear coppery amber color with an abundant foamy white head. Good retention and excellent lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Light caramel malt and sweet brown sugar. Perhaps a complex but light hint of hops if you look for them.

T: The first thing on the palate is a complex but even malty sweetness that stays together well as it washes over the tongue. The sweetness is predominant but not overpowering and very even in flavor. There are some bittering hops that bring everything close to balance - but still allowing for the sweetness to be primary. The finish is the best place to catch the hops - just a bit citrus in the linger.

M&D: Mouthfeel is moderate with and creamy. The carbonation is moderate and persistent. The finish has a bit of levity to it that makes you want to take another pull. I think I could drink these all day! Very nice.

SIRIUS2, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of skybluewater
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmm, I thought I bought a sixer of Edmund Fitzgerald. How'd this one get in there? Anyway....

Bottle says "Jul 9, 04"-Oops! Pours an orangish-amber color. Nice foamy head that leaves a little lace. I'm not crazy about the smell, but it's not obtrusive. Taste is all caramelly malt-very nice and warming on a cold rainy night-with a bit of hops that provides some balance. (This one actually tastes a little like Rogue's Dead Guy, although I like that one better.)

Even though I'm not an amber lager (or ale) type of guy, this one is pretty darn good (glad I have another bottle), and the fact that it's past due doesn't seem to have affected the taste (but maybe the smell). If only it was available locally...

skybluewater, Sep 17, 2004
Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

sabitu, Nov 01, 2012
Photo of bulldogg915
3/5  rDev -26.5%

bulldogg915, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of markmo
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

markmo, Jul 18, 2014
Photo of EDuncan
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

EDuncan, Jul 05, 2014
Photo of beaversfan12
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

beaversfan12, Nov 26, 2013
Photo of DWolf
4/5  rDev -2%

DWolf, Mar 05, 2012
Photo of SunDevilBeer
4/5  rDev -2%

SunDevilBeer, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of TTripp725
3/5  rDev -26.5%

TTripp725, May 03, 2014
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,628 ratings.