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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.

2,672 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,672
Reviews: 936
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 201
Gots: 252 | 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
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Ratings: 2,672 | Reviews: 936 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of kojevergas
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given current ratings, and to a lesser extent the brewery. 6.2% ABV confirmed. "Best served at 45 degrees F." Enjoy by 03/28/13. Oops. Didn't catch that at the bottle shop. Reviewing as an Amber even though it's currently classified as a Vienna lager; I trust the brewery over beeradvocate's often clunky ratings system.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger light khaki colour head. Nice soft creamy complexion. Flocculent. Good frothiness. Good thickness. Good (~5 minute) retention. No bubble show.

Body colour is a clear translucent vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible.

Great appearance all around. Spot-on for the style. Very inviting and appealing.

Sm: Hot damn those malty notes are fresh. Smells like the malt room of a brewery. Lovely German style amber malts. Light toasty malt character. Caramalts. Pleasant graininess. Lightly bready. Live yeast. Extremely inviting; I can't remember ever experiencing an aroma this fresh - and it's two months past its recommended enjoy by date. A fantastic aroma of moderate strength. I can't wait to try it. Near perfect for the style. Wow.

T: A well balanced seamless blend of the primary malts used; German amber malts, caramalts, toasty character. Hop character is light and floral, complementing the other flavours nicely. Full-bodied and tasty, with a refreshing finish. Lots of flavour for an amber. Damn, that's tasty. Excellent balance and good complexity. Fair subtlety to boot. Good creaminess.

Mf: Nicely creamy. Perfect coarseness and wetness, adequately coaxing out maximal depth of flavour whilst remaining refreshing. Good presence on the palate. Decent thickness; if I have any one criticism of this beer it's that it feels a bit too thin - a feature that becomes more noticeable as it warms. Nice full body. Clean and crisp. Very soft and welcoming. Complements the flavour profile excellently - even coming off feeling like it was custom-tailored to do so. Great execution.

Dr: Extremely drinkable and sessionable stuff. I'd definitely get this again and would buy it by the six-pack happily. Every beeradvocate needs to try this; they do so much with so little. Elegant simplicity is admirable here. An impressive gem from Great Lakes, and one I'm told has a good price point where it's distributed. Definitely amongst the best in the style. Wow.


Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours with a brilliantly clear amber color that shows a rich brownish tinged ruby color when held up to the light. It is topped by frothy, almost creamy, light tan colored head. Wow the aroma is quite rich with a malty sweetness that I was not expecting from a Vienna. The aroma is so sweet it almost takes on a fruity note that is a bit like raisins, or even perhaps a hint of cherry. There is also a light spicy hop note here that accentuates the fruit character found in the nose. Underneath the sweetness is a bit of dry toasted malt aromatics that are just noticeable.

The taste is definitely sweet, though thankfully not nearly as much as the aroma might expect. There are fruity notes of raisins and again a hint of cherry. The hops have a nice, though subtle, contribution here that is lightly spicy, every so slightly herbal and a nice balancing bitterness in the finish. As the beer warms up the sweetness picks up a bit, at times it becomes a bit too much. Most of the time it is held in check by the hopping levels and the under-current of dry maltiness; like notes of biscuits and lightly toasted malt. This beer certainly blows most examples of the style out of the water, but I can't help but think that this would be that much better if it had not finished a little bit drier; it would be a bit more in balance and all that much more quaffable.

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of GClarkage
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/10/05- Received from Biglove as part of a wedding gift.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a best by date imprinted on the label. Poured into my Moylan's pint glass.

Appearance- Dark copper in color with some light mahoganey highlights. 1/2 inch head which fades fast and light lace.

Smell- This one smells very sweet and kinda like burnt toast and nuts. Odd smell together, but I like it.

Taste- Pretty damn sweet and pretty damn malty. Maybe even a bit of roasted coffee flavor to it as well. Hops come through right at the end in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, fairly bitter on the tongue.

Drinkability- Truthfully, I'm not sure what a Vienna Lager is supposed to taste like, but it's a pretty tasty brew. The sweetness works good with the malt flavor. Not really a session beer for me, but a nice chance of pace beer for sure. Thanks for the sample Biglove!

Photo of Gavage
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark amber in color with a 2" head that slowly falls to some surface bubbles. Nice lace paints the glass during the session.

Smell: light malt sweetness is mellow but pleasant.

Taste: big malt flavors dominate here with some lighter fruit sweetness and a mellow floral bitterness. Fantastic flavors make up a superb beer.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, a bit smoother towards the finish. Meidum bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is a superb session beer that can be quaffed all night long. Absolutely a must if on tap.

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Served in a bottle at Cork City Pub in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a clear deep amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel malts with some sweetness as well as spices.

T: Moderate flavors of caramel malts with a light amount of sweetness. There is a light spiciness with some light to moderate amounts of bitterness which linger.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Very easy to drink and enjoyable, I could certainly put a couple of these down in a session. Very good flavor complexity.

Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +22.5%

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

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 3/4/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense cream colored head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, floral, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance of malt and fruity notes with good complexity; good strength as well. Taste of caramel, pear, apple, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, floral, light pepper, and herbal earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruit, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, floral, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a bit. Great balance of malt, hops, and fruity ester flavors; with a nice amount of robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Vienna lager! Great balance of malt and fruity ester flavors with good robustness; and very easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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

Thanks to Brian for sharing this at the Brick Store Pub. What a well crafted, very nice beer! Pours a beautiful reddish amber with a great head that's off-white and that hangs around. Smells grainy and even crackery with a nice dry, malty snap. The taste is beautifully balanced, being both malty and rich up front, but dry and with a crackery finish. Great for the style. Rich in the mouth but finishes crisp. I haven't enjoyed a beer of this style so much in a long time, if ever. Excellent.

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Cleveland-Hopkins airport

Appears dark amber with a thin white head. Very smooth lager. There a hint of vegetl DMS in the aroma with bready and light caramel malts. The flavor has a dry bread crust note and finishes with a mixture of balancing hops and juicy candy sweetness. This is so nice and sweet, it's almost like a sugar cookie with a touch of caramel.

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Review from notes.

A: Poured a copper/brown color with a small, off-white head that dissipated slowly and left behind some nice lacing.

S: Lots of rich malt - some caramel, very sweet with some spices and fruit. Cloves and coriander and the fruit seemed to be dates and maybe some plums. Overall, a pretty earthy aroma.

T: Upfront there is a really nice caramel flavor with some of the spices from the aroma. This sweetness is balanced slightly by a slight hop kick that shows up as a little bit of orange actually. The finish has some nice bready malt and a little bit of dark fruit. Slightly sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Sweet finish, but not sticky sweet.

O: A very tasty beer, I was surprised at how much I liked it, but not really sure why (I was surprised that is). Another solid beer from Great Lakes. Extremely easy drinking.

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +22.5%

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

The beer is transparenty and amber colored with over an inch of dense, soapy, tan head. The aroma offers malt, lager yeast, fruity notes. The flavor is sweet, with a pronounced lager taste and lingering fruity malts. Biscuits and perhaps some crackers. Light to medium bodied. A bit heavier than your session type lagers. Well done and flavorful, though the sweetness, while not overbearing or cloying, per se, does limit my consumption. A solid beer.

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

A 12 oz bottle from a recently purchased six pack.

A: The lager is a dark copper color, clear as day with a steady stream of carbonation that is around 1 finger on pour before dissapating.

S: The nose is a grainy, toasted cereal aroma that has a clear sweetness underlying it.

T: The lager is all malts, caramel sweet with a strong body that finishes long. The malts have an added sweetness that goes deeper than the caramel, affecting the entire mouthfeel with a dry honey flavor.

M: The mouthfeel is strong and malty with a clear sweet presence that makes for a satisfying drink.

D: The beer's malty sweetness fits nicely in the style. Frankly, regardless of the style, this beer is a good drink.

Photo of Zorro
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz Bottle sampled through the efforts of justcas and BIF across America.

Pours a good clear red colored lager with a thick tan head.

Smell is clean and a bit lemony with a solid citrus zing from the hops. Toasted bread aroma and toffee and caramel smells add to the mix.

Taste is clean and slightly bready at the beginning. Lemony hop flavor is the next thing that kicks in to the taste. Slight sweetness and the flavor of Nobel hops kick in about sip number three and this starts tasting like a lager. A pleasant and mellow toasted bread flavor forms the major flavor of this beer and it is quite pleasant and similar to a less intense version of Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner.

Mouthfeel is quite good.

A very easy to drink beer which is pretty much what lagers are all about in the first place. Tasty yet easy to drink this is a great choice for a session beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep reddish-golden brown body with a good carbonation of big bubbles. The head is a light creamy off-white that last for a good bit.

S- The smell of dry Munich malt with some notes of biscuit come through with a finish of light green hops.

T- The faint bite of green hops and carbonation great the taste buds. Some good complexity of lightly toasted and pale malt with a slight dryness is next to follow. The finish is a light hop bitterness with a dry sulfur note. After each sip there is a slight sweet light malt taste with a faint hint of corn when it warms, that hands on the tongue for a bit.

M- There is a medium mouthfeel but the fizz is really noticed in the texture. The fizz finishes in a slight water texture.

D- This is a smooth soft lager but it has nice depth and good qualities that give in more dimension.

Photo of jdhilt
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a two-fingered white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Hoppy nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Starts with a mix of hops and malt with the hops dominating, some sweetness, finish is clean and hoppy with some bitter after taste. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from Liquor Barn Lexington, KY.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Elliot Ness

LOOK: Copper colored brew, perfectly clear. White soapy froth leaves plenty of bubbly lacing.

SMELL: Bready malts with minty, herbal hops. Light caramel, toffee and toasted malts.

TASTE: Caramel, rich bready malt profile, and solid earthy hop presence. Richly malty, as well as clean and refreshing.

FEEL: Mediun bodied, well carbonated, very smooth.

OVERALL: Another very solid offering from Great Lakes. A perfect lager for any occasion. I can picture this going just fine with baby back ribs and a loaded baked potato.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,672 ratings.