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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.

2,522 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,522
Reviews: 923
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 179
Gots: 210 | 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: 2,522 | Reviews: 923 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrfrancis
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear brownish amber with a fluffy, pillowy beige head that laces deep into the glass. Looks far better than many commercial amber lagers.

S: The nose is dominated by nutty malt and grassy hop aromas with a touch of a chalky mineral scent in the background. Honestly, I was expecting rich, buttery malt aromas, but did not detect them.

T: Opens crisp and dry with notes of roasted nuts, brown butter, caramel, minerals, heavy cream, chalk, and a grassy, herbal hop bitterness. The finish displays a flourish of hops, with notes of grass, lemon, and herbs.

M: Medium-to-full bodied, fairly dry, and firm. Carbonation is crisp, but not as intrusive as that found in some other lagers. The higher alcohol content gives this beer a pleasant, warming quality that would make it perfect for autumn and winter evenings.

O: This is a very distinctive Vienna lager, and should be particularly appealing for those who like their lagers on the strong side.

mrfrancis, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of RoamingGnome
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/23/11 Tasting Notes

Poured out of a12 oz bottle into a Hamms pint glass. Who doesn't like that trouble making bear from the land of sky blue waters?

A) A sturdy looking copper color, with a finger of off white head. The head dissipates to a nice dusting around the ring of the pint. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S) Roasted malt sweetness, with a hint of booze and a touch of hops. A pleasing aroma.

T) A nutty maltiness, slightly sweet. A nice hoppy flavor balances this brew out.

M) A medium body, with light carbonation. This is pretty smooth and creamy. Nice aftertaste.

O) Another very solid offering from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

RoamingGnome, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of clint1019
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Has a nice Ruby-Brown color to it with a thin caramel colored head that leaves some lacing.

S - Rich Caramel Malt flavor with strong notes of fruit and biscuits.

T - Has a great caramel flavor with a nice fruityness.

M - light to medium bodied.

O - This beer reminds me so much of a barleywine. It has all the aromas and flavors of a barleywine, but much lighter bodied. Excellent beer.

clint1019, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of langm12
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on a recent trip to Ohio. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A - Gorgeous ruby color pour. Finger of bubbly head recedes quickly. Great lacing all the way down.

S - Sweet. Caramel and biscuits. Touch of toffee

T - Big caramel and biscuity malts. Touch of hops on the back end is a nice touch.

M - Super rich. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

O - A wonderful beer. Great balance. Super tasty.

langm12, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of nataku00
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Dark amber color beer, a little hazy, with two fingers of foamy khaki colored head. The head recedes slowly to a decent collar of bubbles, leaving some sticky lacing that hangs around the inside of the glass. Nicely carbonated, many small bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is dominated by malt, with lots of caramel and biscuit sweetness, but there is still a decent amount of floral and herbal hops.

Taking a sip, a touch of herbal hop bitterness hits the tongue first, then a nice light caramel, toasted bread and grains, with a light floral hopping. Finishes mostly dry with some lingering light floral hop flavors on the tongue.

Light body with a zesty active carbonation that is crisp on the tongue but isn't overly prickly. Easy to drink lager, with a good amount of flavor.

nataku00, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh, floral, toasty. Amber. Clean.

Toasty malts come across but the nearly perfect hopping tames the setup. Perfectly balanced between sweet caramel/grains and the right amount of noble hops. Just an amazing beer.

There is nothing wrong with this beer . . . perfect for the season too. I wish more brewers took the time to construct lagers like this -especially in "Ale America". Great job. I really, really liked this beer and could easily put it in regular rotation.

CheezyBlaster, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of JWU
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a curved pint glass

A- Translucent Amber/Reddish hue, impressive tan head, that sticks around and leaves a little lacing down the glass, more so that most lagers

S- Lagery, Toasty grains, with a bit of caramel and possibly a hint of chocolate.. Really gets you excited about what is to come

T- Flavorful without being brash and over the top. Toasty grain, and caramel malts dominate, a little of a chocolate component peaks through as well. A very nice herbal hop component balances, but not in an over the top fashion (a.k.a. Sam Adams Boston Lager) Toasty grain flavor lasts well into the dry finish.

M- Medium bodied and very rich, with a tight, medium carbonation.

O- Really, really well done. Again, flavorful without being over the top.

JWU, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of pschul4
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into trusty Milwaukee Brewers pint glass

A- Deep lushous brown with nice 1/2" head that sticks around a while to keep me company

S- Some faint malts, all in all not much going on in the smell department

T- a lot of different but very faint flavors. I taste some chocolate, some sweet malts and some hops too but nothing is really prevalent. Everything is rather muted

M- As with the dortmunder gold it's bubbly but not overly so, very nice mouthfeel for a session beer

O- tough to make a call on this one. it looks amazing and feels great but the taste is kind of lame and I detect little to no smell. I probably won't get this again but it's enjoyable in the sampler pack I purchased

pschul4, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of MrOH
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant amber with a finger of off white head. Really good retention.

Toasty malt. Slight hint of tropical fruit (pineapple?). The malt runs deep.

Bready, toasty malt. Slightly sweet, but not caramelly. Somewhat bock-like, but much cleaner in finish. A bit of cinnamon-spice from noble hops, I'd imagine, to compliment the sweetness. An especially great beer for fall.

Surprisingly light-bodied when contrasted with the flavor.

Quite a nice beer for colder weather and activity. It somewhat reminds me of a british winter warmer, but with the lightness and drinkablity of a lager.

MrOH, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of tjacobs610
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark caramel color, with a reddish hue. Minimal head, but what is there is a whitish creamy color

Smell: Has a grainy odor, with a very sweet aroma that is also very pungent

Taste: Very rich taste. Perfect mix of hops and malts. Also has herbal hints toward the end of the taste, which ends very dry

Mouthfeel: Very good feel, has a very frothy and chewy feel. Has a great ending, perfect mix of dryness and flavor

Overall: Very good brew overall; this is one of my favorite beers around. Not many things to pick at, it has a great mixture of flavor, color and aroma

tjacobs610, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of AgentMunky
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Ommegang glass. Best before 26 July 2011. From notes. Reviewed 23 June 2011.

A: White head; less than decent retention. Brilliantly, beautiuflly red. Damn. Clear and amber in the light. Come lacing.

S: Fruit. CRANBERRY. Tart and pleasant.

T: Strangeish. It tastes like a cranberry spritzer. Sweet malts with tart fruit and only trace hops. By the end, the maltiness gets caramelly.

M: It's fine. But nothing great.

O: Interesting -- a nice beer. I might not drink another, but I suppose I'd tentatively recommend it.

AgentMunky, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of cosmo4u
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased at the brewery 7/16/11

Pours cloudy copper to an ambered brown with a small light brown rocky head. Sweet malted barley with sugary notes and a hoppy nose with vanilla hints. Warm and sweet creamy caramel flavor greets your tonue with the first draw and leaves you with a creamy hoppiness. Medium-bodied and creamy/fizzy palate.

cosmo4u, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, dark amber in color, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: sweet caramel malt and small hops

Taste: big sweet caramel malt with some earthy hops in the back that also jump

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation and bodied, sweet with small bitterness in the back

Overall: One of the best Vienna Lagers I have had. This one starts like a malt bomb, then surprise the hops rush in. I wish this was around here. I could have several of these.

tigg924, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the same color as a good pumpkin beer. Solid orange. Thick white inch head that really holds.

Smells malty, yet somewhat balanced. sweet, grainy malt.

Adjunct malts come to mind quickly, but that notion is set aside by strong sense of caramel/toffee I get. Hops arent really there. The Great Lakes grain is there, and it fights whole-heartedly with caramel malt to be in the front. Slightly metallic taste kind of comes in between the initial and aftertaste. The sweetness stays with you the whole time.

Very sweet and malty brew.

Feels lights, but the grain lingers.

VncentLIFE, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Duckworth's Grill & Taphouse, Charlotte, NC:

The beer appeared a nice, deep amber color, with a nice thick slightly off-white head that was well retained, about a half finger throughout that left some nice lacing. Noticeable carbonation rising to the top of the glass.

The beer gave off a nice malty aroma with hints of hops and spices. Very full and well done.

The taste is very good. A smooth malty flavor that is sweet and very well balanced.

The beer has a medium body and very good carbonation. This has to be one of the smoothest and easiest to drink beers that I have ever had. Overall, defiantly one of the best Vienna Lagers that I have ever had.

PhillyStyle, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of ckollias
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: This brew pours a dark amber with a 1-1/2 finger white head which lingers for awhile and leaves a nice trail all the way down my glass before ending in a solid lace.

S: Spicy sweet malty aroma fills the nose. Enough hoppiness to make it a very pleasant aroma.

T: Smooth malty flavor with caramel and toffee running throughout. Slightly sweet and well balanced. Lot of flavors!

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Another great beer by Great Lakes Brewing Company. You can just tell by tasting this beer that it is made with quality ingredients

ckollias, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Thorpe for this one.

A: The beer pours a somewhat cloudy copper color with about two fingers of khaki colored head.

S: Nice sweet caramel and toffee malt aromas to this. Plenty of toasted bread/malts are also there. There is a touch of yeast and some floral and spicy hop notes. Very nice nose.

T: Fairly sweet, but not overly so. Caramel and toffee malt flavors are there with some toasted bread. Light floral and spicy hop flavor and very faint bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very crisp.

O: An extremely well done lager. I very much enjoyed this.

womencantsail, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Flux
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass after letting it set for 10 minutes out of the fridge.

A-crystal clear amber color with off-white head.

S- fairly balanced between hops and malts. Not detecting much roast.

T- pick up more on the hops after tasting along with some bittering. Definitely drier than what I was expecting.

M- crisp and smooth. Carbonation is enough so that it works well with the malts and not coming out too sweet.

Overall- First time trying this style so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'ts a pretty well rounded and smooth beer.

Flux, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with a fantastic classic logo of 'Eliot Ness'. Poured into a standard somewhat tall mug.

A - a clear reddish amber. A slightly richer and darker reddish amber. Poured a good off white head that lasted what I thought much longer than other reviews I read prior. Good lacing as well.

S - sweet caramel and maybe some toffee along with a bread like aroma. Toasty grain with some semi grainy hops. Overall a sweet aroma that has a pleasant scent.

T - very tasty malt notes. Caramel notes really make this brew a real good one. Somewhat of a spicy hop taste that fits in very nicely. I picked up a few different citrus hints that were just there. Nothing that stood out. Just something that balances this brew very well. Wonderful toasted grain throughout and comes full force in this finish.

M - medium bodied and very smooth. Nice carbonation and very smooth mouthfeel. Easy to drink and Refreshing.

O - An outstanding Vienna lager. One of the best lagers I've ever had and definitely the best Vienna style I've had. Very smooth and refreshing and combines a nice portion of solid flavors. To me this brew was like a meal in a bottle. Great Lakes Brewing Co claim that, "their flagship beer is more like a fleet", stands true. This is another great year round brew from GLBC.

BradtheGreat7, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at irish pol in philly

Pours a clear deep amber and copper color, with basically no head, retention, or lacing to speak of.

Nose with leafy hops, bread crust and caramel, bit of sweetness too, but fairly soft overall.

Solid malt bill right up front with caramel, toffee, and bready notes. Some citrusy hop tones join in, adding a nice juicy character. Hints of apple and orange with a light touch of cherry. Finishes a little bitter and juicy.

Medium body, decent carbonation, a bit prickly on the tongue. A solid drinker, the fruit tones add a nice edge, and I enjoyed the balance of flavor.

xnicknj, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of jamescain
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to StoneBrewFanatic for sharing this one.

Appearance: Clear, amber in color with a finger thick off white head that lingers for a while and fades into a thin lacing.

Aroma: Toffee, caramel, malty and bready, with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Bready, caramel and toffee with a bit of spiciness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation, easy to drink.

Overall: Easily the best Vienna lager I've had to date.

jamescain, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice amber hue with just a tiny touch of haze. Head is a thick finger of amber-tinted ivory foam which leaves a good lace as it dissipates.

Smell: rich, sweet caramel malt aroma with little notes of brown sugar. There's also a little bit of earthy hop in there; I like it a lot.

Taste: sweet caramel malt with a nicely balanced bitterness that comes through well at the end. Flavorful yet drinkable.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a good level of carbonation and resulting creaminess. I like it.

Overall: this is a smooth, creamy, tasty and eminently drinkable beer. I just wish Great Lakes were available here in Washington.

flagmantho, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of ahq514
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.

Pours a fairly transparent amber color. Lots of bubbles indicating a fair amount of carbonation. Head dissipates to almost nothing quickly. Almost no lacing.

Very simple aroma. Toasted caramel malts. Very faint hops. Malt is showcased here. Smells fairly sweet.

Definitely one of the best vienna lagers I've tasted. Just like the aroma. Simple and perfected. Caramel malts and light floral hops lead the way in, and it nicely transitions into the sweet, toasty malts I detected in the aroma. Clean and crisp.

Mouthfeel was right on for the style. On the lighter bodied side. A little higher carbonation. Very drinkable.

This was a pretty good beer overall. The appearance was pretty unimpressive, but everything else was great. Could see drinking this anytime of year for any occasion.

ahq514, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of bushbeer75
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle

Great Lakes Brewing Eliot Ness Amber Lager poured a “dirty” amber color producing a nice off-white 2-finger bubbly head that held well and produced rings of lacing while I consumed the lager. The aroma was light, sweet toasted malt with a faint hop nose in the background. The taste was full flavored [for a lager], of sweet toasted malts and balanced by a light bitterness from the hops. Mouth feel is medium with fine bubbles of carbonation and finishes crisp.

Eliot Ness Amber Lager is a very flavorful easy drinking Vienna Lager – well done Great Lakes.

bushbeer75, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of kashmoney
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall glass

A: Amber with a 2 finger head.

S: Sweet with slight maltiness/hops

T: Initially sweet and malty with a deep hoppy finish

M: Thin, lingers slightly but not off putting

O: Solid brew however not my favorite. Good to sip on and try but wouldn't go out of my way to find it

kashmoney, Aug 21, 2011
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,522 ratings.