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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
91
outstanding

2,389 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,389
Reviews: 918
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11%
Wants: 166
Gots: 158 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Eliot Ness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,389 | Reviews: 918 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a large off-white head that had excellant retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass. This is one good looking lager. Faint hop aroma to compliment the unbaked bread malt profile. Aroma overall is relatively weak. The flavor likewise is weak, even for the style. Slightly sweet malt with just a hint of spicy hops in the finish. Finishes clean and semi-dry. A good lager body. Feels substantial and smooth. A good drinker and high quality lager.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 19:16:52 | More by morimech
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear amber, big head, good lacing.

Smell: Bready.

Taste: Has some bready flavors but mostly tea-like bitterness, which I don't particularly like.

Drinkability: Too much tea/metal bitterness for my tastes.

Great Lakes just came to Minnesota, I started with the one I figured I might not like. Unfortunately my guess was true. This is a decent vienna lager, it just focuses on the tea-like hops a little too much. Not my favorite beer flavor. Decent beer, just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 18:26:25 | More by Mdog
Photo of Parrotbeak
Parrotbeak

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Copper-orange with a thin white head that quickly fades.
Smell is bready, crackery malts with some faint toffee notes. Trace of hops presence in there as well.
Taste is bready, slightly toasted malts, with some bitterness following. Malts carry to the finish, as well as some residual bitterness. Faint notes of hops, as well as some dry, nutty notes.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a slightly dry finish. Good level of carbonation. Light body.
Excellent drinkability. Though the ABV apparently is or is not above the cut-off level for what constitutes a "session" beer, this seems like a perfect "session" beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 03:09:46 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Amber color a little darker than expected. Great head retention. Crisp aroma.

Caramel and spice on the palate, good hop zest, wish it was more, but this is a more traditional interpretation of the style I guess. Very grainy and carbonated. Heavier on palate than anything in the style I can think of. Then again, I don't think I've ever had anything in this style this strong ABV.

Drinkable, but a little pricey.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 22:59:01 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of MrStark
MrStark

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appearance is a crystal clear amber with a foamy two finger off white head with decent retention and lacing.

Smell appears to have a good balance of caramel like malts and some mild hops. A mildly sweet aroma.

Taste is upfront a somewhat sweet malt flavor that finishes with a nice hop bitterness. There is also a faint spiciness near the finish but overall quite a nicely balanced flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly smooth and has a moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is great. It goes down easy and smooth and is pretty refreshing. Great choice for a session beer and I plan to have it again. Nice example of the style. I do like Sam Adams lager, but I'd say I'd take this over that if I had the choice.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 22:35:05 | More by MrStark
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - bright clear amber color. 1/2" off-white head, nice lacing
S - hops, citrus
T - crisp hops balanced by nice malt body underneath. very clean finish
M - medium carbonation, slick body
D - very refreshing, extremely easy to drink

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 02:43:25 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Buebie
Buebie

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another addition to MN beer...Happy to have Great Lakes in MN!

Poured from the bottle into the glass producing a frothy off white 2'' head. Long staying power, receding to leave a whipped egg white consistency cap.
Sticky lace coating the glass in thick drapes.
Color is a deeper red with amber hues. A great color on this brew, transparent filtered look aiding to brilliant color.

Aroma is very malty, octoberfest like malt. Faint hops trailing the malt with a good amount of sweetness.

Taste is full of flavor, a good sweetness involved in creating great malt flavor. A bit of toffee and mild fermented fruit with a cereal grain flavor. A rich mildly roasty malt, and hops on the back end.
This is full of really good flavor, but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is slick and chewy with afull feel. carbonation is moderate.

Great brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 18:40:37 | More by Buebie
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - Brown / Amber-orange color with a small white head

S - Sweet bready smell with a hint of the typical lager nose

T - Sweet flavors over power the hop flavor slightly. Bready caramel flavors are there with a crisp bite. Has that lager aftertaste that I can't really explain.

M - Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation

D - Pretty easy to drink but in general I don't care much for lagers. This beer is OK but nothing fantastic. It beats BMC easily but I don't really see much reason to seek this one out again.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2010 22:03:10 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of DoppleJock
DoppleJock

Illinois

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

04/30/2010
12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Poured a clean reddish-amber with quickly dissipating head, even with an aggressive pour. Some lacing. Hope the beer isn't flat...

S: Semi-sweet, with hints of caramel and crystallized sugars up front. Some hops detected as well. Very pleasant.

T: Starts off sweet with malts and finishes with a hint of hoppy bitterness. Nicely balanced. This beer is in control.

M: Super smooth with a small amount of bitter finish. Just the right consistency.

D: Refreshing for a Vienna Lager. One of my favorites of the style. Would be a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 03:13:28 | More by DoppleJock
Photo of kiddynamite920
kiddynamite920

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pretty dark for a lager, deep red. Thin head, as expected.

S: Smell is of fruits? What's going on here? Picking up apples and some coriander. Sweet fruits are full on the nose. Some savory, malty notes. Some celery and cooked onion.

T: Get flavors of apple juice, a rich malt profile and some crisp hops. Very sweet and malty. Sweetness is overwhelming though.

M: Good, light body for a vienna lager. Very crisp and dry towards the end. Great Lakes continues to impress.

D: This is a six pack beer, great for sessions, very crisp and flavorful. Not too heavy to put you on your ass.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 06:43:00 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of goblue3509
goblue3509

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear dark amber color with a nice one finger head that gives way to some lacing. The aroma is of caramel malt and a little toastiness. The taste is of a caramel malt backbone with some bread notes present, and a slight hop bite that is undistiquishable. The mouthfeel is very carbonated. Overall it is a good solid beer terribly complex, but an easy drink.

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2010 16:18:54 | More by goblue3509
Photo of professorninja
professorninja

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a tasty lager. It is a little more carbonation than I like in a beer, but the flavor is full and has a good, floral note to it.

The appearance isn't much to speak of, but the beer smells nice and I'm not a big fan of looking at lagers, anyway.

The taste is dirty enough to satisfy. The first sip tastes kind of watery, but after getting a few swallows, a good garden flavor builds.

Like I said, a little more carbonation than I like. So the mouthfeel is not perfect. Even with the plethora of bubbles, I could drink a lot of these easy; very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 17:41:19 | More by professorninja
Photo of OnThenIn
OnThenIn

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Two fingers of light brown head that is thick and beautiful. The head stays around for quite some time. The beer is an incredibly dark ruby color. I mean this is wow beautiful.

Smell: A lot of sweetness with maybe a tiny bit of fruits. The aroma is rather faint, but pleasant.

Taste: The flavor is a lot more balanced than I expected from the aroma. There is a caramel sweetness with bready qualities that opens up into hop bitterness. The taste is surprisingly complex with spicy characters from the hops. The beer even has very slight fruity characteristics.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium mouthfeel with a silkyness and a bit too much carbonation for my taste.

Drinkability: The beer is not as easy of a drinker as I would expect, but it is a solid beer that I really enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 00:17:18 | More by OnThenIn
Photo of JamesS
JamesS

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very nice clear amber color with some nice head and nice lacing. Good scent, crisp and clean, with a nice sweet maltiness; a little more robust than most lagers. Excellent taste; nice and clean; good malt crispness; slight chocolate tones and a bit of earthiness that were very nice. Goes down very clean, crisp, and smooth.

EDIT -- for BeerSpy only.
EDIT -- did not fill out BeerSpy... location I got it in isn't listed, as it's not all that great (Ledo's pizza, Morgantown, WV)

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 14:58:34 | More by JamesS
Photo of punkindrublic50
punkindrublic50

New York

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 14:55:52 | More by punkindrublic50
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to get a good appearance from a beer on tap; typically it loses some of the head retention and the lacing tends to be lighter and thinner. This one loses just a little in the head and the lacing is consistent down the glass.

The smell is complex, most notably sweet malts and a grainy hops aroma.

The taste is the an excellent balance of sweet malt and citrus hops. It is a little earthy but mostly you get that mild, slightly spicy fruit taste and, again, the hops. Bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue and is nicely balanced out in the end as well.

Mouthfeel is smoother on tap with some thickness and no real grit. Carbonation is light but ever-present.

This is still a very nice brew from Great Lakes and one that remains consistent on tap or out of the bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2010 14:18:32 | More by Brenden
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a beautiful reddish amber (with the red coming through when you hold it up to light). Good amount of bubbles rushing up towards a light tan head that has now settled to a thin lace, but seems to have a good amount of head retention.

Smell is smooth and bready. A good smelling lager to be sure.

This beer has the perfect balance between hops and malts, and the result is a bold yet highly drinkable beer. Almost reminds you of a red ale until the lager taste washes over the palate on the finish.

Medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbontion to support the hops and not too much as to get in the way of the drinkability and smoothness of this brew.

Highly drinkable and/or sessionable.

Morey's Bottom Line: I'm an Ipa (ale) guy, but every so often I'll try a new lager, and this one is without a doubt the best one that I have ever had. Great Lakes Dortmunder is the second. I really enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 21:31:21 | More by Morey
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another one of my favorites from GLBC, and glad to have it on tap to give it another review. Review is from the tap and poured to a pint glass, notes taken on 4/3/2010.

Appearance: Pours a caramel brown/dark coppery/toffee color and starts with a 1/2 finger, slightly off-white head that fades relatively quickly to a thin and uneven skim that meets a much thicker ring around the surface; body is a little dark, but the clarity is still strong and it shows light carbonation; loose washes and oily spots of lacing manage to cling here and there.

Smell: Nice, toasty and even a little burnt graininess and a slightly sweet maltiness that provides a little support; not especially robust, but still solid enough.

Taste: Nice, toasty/burnt graininess (a little reminiscent of burnt toast, even) and a slightly sweet malt backing that combines with a VERY slight bittering hop presence; another straightforward and simple offering that's super-solid; more burnt grains and bitterness lingering in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: The body is of medium weight and it does sit just a little heavy; carbonation is soft, but still very present and the body is just lively enough; finish is just a little dry on the roof of the mouth and the cheeks; comes across as a little cottony in the end.

Drinkability: Another offering from GLBC I'd be more than happy to drink all day; I love warm flavors and I think this is a great spring and autumn beer as it's a little heavy, but the ABV is pretty moderate at 6.2% and none of the flavors are harsh or overwhelming to the palate. Cheers to Great Lakes!

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 05:41:27 | More by bamadog
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one thanks to one of the large trades with Noslenwerd. Gotten quite a bit of Great Lakes thanks to Drew.

A: Nice 1 finger semi fluffy and thick head fades somewhat slowly. It's very a clear dark reddish almost maroon/cherry-wood-red color.

N: Some nice slightly sweet malty aromas with that clear lager hint. A slight toasty quality. This one even has some caramel and a hint if some fruit.

T: Starts with quite a bit of dark malt, with some toasty, a little roasty, and lots of caramel malts. A lager flavor, but not as much as others I've had. A slight sweet caramelized sugar flavor with the slightly sweet malts. A hint of a spicy hop character and slight grassy notes. I get a slight hint of booze despite only being 6%, but even that is a little high for a typical Veinna Lager I think. A slight spice and nutty taste too, perhaps a hint of nutmeg. Some juicy fruits on the back of the tongue too.

M: Light to medium body with a hint of syrupy feel, and lower carbonation.

F: Some bitterness starts to hint, with a little spicy and grassy hop presence. It dries quite a bit but leaves a strange syrupy sticky sweet caramel flavor. More lager lingering flavors. A slight toffee and roasted flavor lingering too. A strange amber lager, but tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 00:12:58 | More by jlindros
Photo of farrago
farrago

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

You get a little less than finger's worth of head, dark tan, loosely knit foam, not a great deal of lacing. Reddish orange hue like a fire's embers, some brown in there, more transparent than translucent but not crystal clear. Maple syrup, caramel and molasses endow the nose with some sweetness, this helps as there's definitely a metallic, iron fleck aspect to it, minimally processed whole grain bread, caraway seeds trump the slighter peach, pear fruit, while not a lot of scent diversity, penetrates like a mortar shell. Medium-bodied with a fine, if active, carbonation which gently prickles the tongue. Has much more of a mineral water, spritzy feel to it and the metallic flavors fit in better with the fizz to back it up. Sourdough and grains, pepper, orange citrus, emphasis on hoppiness until near the end where caramel, brown sugar, honey calm the nerve endings. Touch more presence in the apricot, peach, pear fruit too. A beer that is much more enjoyable taken as a whole than dissected, good distinct personality but not hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 00:27:08 | More by farrago
Photo of beergod1
beergod1

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep translucent burnished copper color, Very Sweet/malty aroma when cracking the bottle, Nice head at first, then subsides quickly making me think maybe it will be flat, boy was I wrong. Big malt up front, riding on just enough hops to carry it through. Well carbonated, Final kick of mild hops really makes this drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2010 12:26:58 | More by beergod1
Photo of deereless
deereless

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Solid half inch of thick creamy head off an easy pour, amber to copper in color, significant lacing - 4.00, S: Lots of grain on the nose, some dry herbal hops - 3.50, T: Slightly sweet, medium hop bite, some mild grapefruit zest and earthiness, significant caramel - 4.50, M: Nice mouth feel, quite creamy - 4.00, D: An exceptional lager, nicely crafted, extremely drinkable - 4.50

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 23:51:33 | More by deereless
Photo of dungledauf
dungledauf

Pennsylvania

4.93/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12 ounce brown bottle with a drink by date of April 29, 2010

Appearance: Clear, reddish, amber color with plenty carbonation. Nice lacing.

Smell: Very sweet smelling beer which means there are many styles of malt used.

Taste: Full-bodied lager with finishes smooth. Nicely balanced.

Notes: One of the most full-bodied lagers I have ever had. Perhaps decoction mashing is used. My favorite Vienna lager when compared to Penn Pilsner and Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2010 16:13:29 | More by dungledauf
Photo of tai4ji2x
tai4ji2x

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. best by date of 06/14/09. tasted in early june 2009. got this in a trade, but the trader was unaware of the dating due to getting it from a variety pack.

very deep, almost dark, coppery amber. gemstone clear quality. 1-finger of light tan head, fading to wisps and ring. splotches of lace here and there.

aroma: caramelized, toasty, biscuity maltiness, plus slight hint of apple. balanced by mild noble hops. more caramelized malts in back.

taste: still lots of "juicy" caramelized maltiness again, but hops are peeking through more, with crisp, leafy bitterness that matches the toasted, caramelized edge. both linger into the finish, with a trace acidity underneath.

medium body, almost lightly syrupy. light astringency towards the finish. medium carbonation, though almost fizzy, but still helps with lifting up the flavors and with fluffiness that complements the overall smoothness.

not bad, especially considering how old the bottle is.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 11:10:18 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear amber/red with a good inch of off-white foam.

S - Nose is caramel, toast and light citrus.

T - Big caramel flavour and light hints of toasted grain. Some fruitiness, fairly pronounced bitterness.

M - Generally moderate mouthfeel in all respects. Nothing special here.

D - Not bad drinking, but doesn't stand out as particularly special.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 23:54:21 | More by allergictomacros
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,389 ratings.