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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

2,448 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,448
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 171
Gots: 182 | 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: 2,448 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

Reviewed from Notes. Tasted 3/26/09

This beer poured an amber body with a small white head.

Nose is muted but rather fruity with a strong honey smell. Very sweet malt smell. Pretty nice.

Taste is light to medium bodied. A very nice bready, cracker, caramel, fresh malt flavor. There's a big bitterness but it only sits slightly up there with the malt. Not over the top, but big enough to show it's authority. Hop taste gives some mild earth to balance.

This is an outstanding amber lager. Tons of body, tons of flavor, not overly bitter and far from bland. Yum.

04-08-2009 19:56:14 | More by taez555
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -10%

G: Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Good, solid amber color that is quite transparent and has a strong off-white head with plenty of carbonation.

S: Strong malt sensation--the grains really come through with a tiny bit of hop bitterness at the end.

T: Quite omplex for a lager. Grassy notes in addition to the traditional malt one would expect from a Vienna. The amber notes are definitely there and enhance the flavor.

M: Fairly smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. Sort of heavy mouthfeel for a lager. No noticeable alcohol.

D: Definitely drinkable. A little heavy for a lager though. maybe I just wasn't feeling this one last night, I'll have to try it again soon.

04-03-2009 03:28:13 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

Thanks George.
I poured this bottle into my Pilsener glass and it produced a finger worth of white head that turned to a thick lace. The body of the brew was amber to brown.

Aromas of caramel malts and bread filled my head. The flavor was malt forward and with a light bitter finish. It had a nice light and crisp feel in my mouth with great carbonation.

I really like drinking these great lagers; it is a great change of pace

03-28-2009 21:02:26 | More by joepais
Photo of sarahspat
sarahspat

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

After I pored this bottle (into a stein glass) about 3/4 an inch of a thick off-white head appeared, which mostly departs within a couple of minutes. This beer leaves decent amounts of lacing in its wake. The color is deep, dark rudy reddish orange; not cloudy.

Wow! Prior to taking my first whiff of this brew, I never would have expected a lager to have a scent this rich. I'm definitely not an expert in this style (yet), but compared with Sam Adam's Boston Lager, the smell here is much more pronounced and enjoyable. It smells of flowers, caramel and biscuit. Very pleasant nose here.

To me, it tastes more hoppy and bitter than I would have expected of a lager (a least it's easily the hoppiest of the few Vienna Lagers I have had)... it could maybe pass for a pale ale. The flavors I detect are predominantly floral, with a mellow, but assertive caramel/toffee/biscuity malt backbone. Well-balanced, but still much more hoppy than I expected. One thing is certain: this is a tasty brew.

The smoothness of this brew and its medium mouthfeel lends to the drinkability.

This is a nicey, for sure. But doesn't seem to stand out to me too much. I don't know if this will become a fave.

03-28-2009 04:03:13 | More by sarahspat
Photo of storksonm
storksonm

Wisconsin

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

Poured in a clear glass mug.

A: Nice head retention. Kept it for what seemed forever (Not that it took me long to drink this one down) Very nice amber lager.

S: great smell with a nice touch of hops to it.

T: Great rich taste of roasted barley and the bit of hops in it just a great tasting amber really, one of the best ambers i've tasted.

M: Very nice rich and smooth with slight coffee overtone.

D: I could drink this all day everyday, but either the brewery would run out of beer or my liver would give out. Either way things don't look very good on that front. Its a great beer and very drinkable.

03-28-2009 01:54:12 | More by storksonm
Photo of brianlg
brianlg

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%

Have had this beer in bottles and on tap at the brewery. It pours a reddish amber color with a nice white head. It smells very breadlike and grainy. It taste very smooth and malty. You can taste caramel, bread, hops, and malts. It is extremely well balanced. I can drink this beer all day every day. This is my favorite Great Lakes beer, and quite possibly my favorite all around beer. I can't say enough about this. I wish I could give this a perfect 5, but I that's something I can't see myself ever giving. Please try this beer if you haven't. I will keep this in my fridge until the day I die!

03-22-2009 19:56:46 | More by brianlg
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

Served in a pilsener glass. Thanks to my buddy Robert for buying a sixer of this so I could try one. Best before May 13th, 2009.

A - Two fingers of orange-tinged foam that dissipates slowly and leaves a ton of beautiful rings of lacing. Orange-red colored brew that gets darker and more intense near the top of the glass. A few bubbles lazily rise to the top. Not sure what else you'd want from a Vienna lager.

S - It's got that lager twanginess, Saaz (or noble) hop bite, and plenty of bread, brown sugar, and toffee malts. It's nice but not super unusual.

T - Significantly more of the hop bitterness and spice come out in the taste, but these are well-balanced by the bready maltiness. The 6.2% ABV is pretty much imperceptible. The aftertaste is a touch of bitterness, but not overwhelming. For the style it's great, just not overly complicated.

M - Nice carbonation tingle on the upper lip and top palate - very refreshing (although this may be more because I just got back from the gym). Surprisingly medium-bodied, and very creamy.

D - The carbonation gets a little heavy by the end of one bottle, which would limit the session possibilities, and for me it's just not a style that I'd keep wanted to revisit. But hey, if you like Vienna lagers, this might be as good as it gets.

03-19-2009 20:31:56 | More by MasterSki
Photo of tpd975
tpd975

Florida

4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

A: Pours a nice amber hue with a nice creamy head. Okay retention and very light lace.

S: Very malty. Lots of caramel, with hints of brown sugar. A touch of bittering hops as well.

T: Wonderful balanced brew. Lots of wonderful sweet malt with tones of toffee and caramel. Wonderful breadiness as well. Light pine hops finish it off. Nice and tasty brew.

M: Medium to light in body, smooth great carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, damn tasty.

03-15-2009 19:54:35 | More by tpd975
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

Oh MAN is this a great beer.
Pours a copper color with a decent size sheen of foam.
Smells malty and sweet, but the noble hops are also there.
Dare I say this is a perfectly balanced beer. Just the right amount of caramel malty sweetness and the bitter noble hops to keep it in control. A little bit of roasted flavor, but only a hint lingers in the finish. More please!
This is a 6% beer? I'd have never known it. This has session written all over it.
I really wish I could get Great Lakes in Colorado. This beer and their Dortmunder would be permanent staples in my fridge.

This is about as good as an American session lager gets, seriously.

03-10-2009 15:32:15 | More by Domingo
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -7.6%

Enjoyed in a pint
Drink by 12/04/08, That is the date I drank it!

A: Aggressive pour yields 3/4 finger of white pillowy head with good retention. The best retention I've seen from a lager! Crystal clear dark red liquid. Very pretty.
S: Buttery caramel and bread. Slight hop tang. Some cooked veggie smell.
T: Starts strong with good malt character and finishes with an off, "bad breath" taste - bummer. Much better with airing out and time. Enjoyable, but not stellar.
M: Funky from the bad breath-iness part. Smooth overall
D: Decent. A good beer that I could have a couple of. I wonder if it was better fresher?

03-10-2009 01:43:01 | More by dfillius
Photo of PerroGrande
PerroGrande

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearance is a delightful amber shade with hints of red. Absolutely beautiful color offset with a tan-colored foam. The foam forms aggressively, and tapers to a moderate lace with decent adhesion to the glass.

The smell of this beer is light, with a hint of hops -- a very appropriate aroma for a beer of this variety.

The taste is fabulous. Some sweet caramel is noticeable, but not obnoxious. Malty overtones are also obvious. A nice touch of hops endures in the finish, which tends ever so slightly on the bitter side.

A fine beer, no doubt about it.

03-09-2009 03:00:00 | More by PerroGrande
Photo of Imsothirsty
Imsothirsty

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +13.2%

First off, this is not as good as the Edmund Fitzgerald, so lower your expectations.
Poured into a tulip glass, its a dark amber orange, I would call it rusty in color. Head is slightly frothy and creamy. Aroma was bitter and roasty, good but not phenomenal.
At first taste a refreshing bitter, then comes the amalgamation of flavors. Bitter piney hops, very brief fruit, coffee, smoky roasted, and a hint of dark chocolate. Excellent complexity overall.
The carbonation is just right for me. One glass was fairly filling though. An IPA will always be my session beer of choice so I am quite biased.
Overall a distinguished brew that I will absolutely drink when given the opportunity.

03-07-2009 02:36:57 | More by Imsothirsty
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Poured from a bottle with a clearly marked "drink by"date. Color is deep red amber with 1 finger foam. Lacing down the side.

Smell is sweet malt with a faint hop note.

The taste is absolutely fantastic. Sweet caramel malt with a very light hop finish. Bready, buttery, everything you'd want in a beer of this style. There's a medium buzz in the mouthfeel from the carbonation.

Supremely drinkable. This is one I'd keep going back to.

03-05-2009 11:42:29 | More by KTCamm
Photo of EatsTacos
EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours a dark amber/copper with an egg-shell beige head. Decent lacing.

A lot classic German hop aromas come though in the smell. Bready, buttery.

Biscuits, croissants, buttery malt taste matched with a spicy German hop flavour. Some definate cherries and raspberry flavours. Caramel malt. Good amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Clean mouthfeel, medium bodied to light with a sharp carbonation.

03-05-2009 02:42:22 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

4.7/5  rDev +14.9%

I'm on a kick reviewing beers I've drank hundreds of times without taking the time to stop and review them. That would be more or less the entire Great Lakes lineup, for starters. I poured this from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful, simply beautiful. Great coppery red color, clear, with tons of carbonation bubbles running throughout. Delicious 2 finger thick, frothy tan head forms and retains very well at about 1 finger. Tremendous sticky lacing swathes the glass the entire way down.

Smell: Light, toasty grains with a very slight sweetness and subtle floral hops. Hard to really detect, as with many GLBC beers I try.

Taste/Mouthfeel: So great, so dependable - this beer tastes good every time I drink it. I'm never disappointed. Really great toasted malt presence is complemented by a slightly piney/citrusy hop bitterness. There's a distinct lemon character to the hops. The feel is creamy and juicy, well-carbonated.

Drinkability: So high, as good as it gets. It's good alone, it's good with food, it's good when it's hot outside, it's good when it's cold outside, it's good when...well it's always good.

03-05-2009 02:18:04 | More by kels
Photo of williamherbert
williamherbert

New York

3.78/5  rDev -7.6%

Clear, glassy reddish orange. Big creamy head. Tiny, slow carbonation bubbles. Head is proud and sturdy.

The smell is earthy amber malt. A mild flowery hop. Rich and bready. Estery to balance the gritty malt. Darn good.

The malt is still earthy like soil, but also German bitter. A little flowery in the hop with a bitter citrus spice. Not bad. Caramel and butterscotch at the tail end. Hops poke through with more warmth.

The feel is smooth but with a gritty, rougher texture at the swallow. A solid amber. Balanced, earthy, bitter and flavorful.

03-01-2009 04:18:24 | More by williamherbert
Photo of soupermirl
soupermirl

Mississippi

3.83/5  rDev -6.4%

Very nice amber color. A bit darker than expected. Very nice malty smell, not very complex in smell but nice. Reminded me of the Lazy Mag Amberjack a bit. Very good flavor with malty goodness and just a touch of hops for a smooth bittering. It didn't feel overly impressive in the mouth, pretty standard. But the taste was good and this beer was very nice to drink. I could've had a couple of more if the time was right and the beer was available.

02-27-2009 21:22:45 | More by soupermirl
Photo of Rhynes2
Rhynes2

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -3.9%

Wow another spectacular brew from Great Lakes. Nothing too overpowering here. Nice balanced, dark taste with hints of caramel and citrus. Decent head retention, about two fingers. The smell is my favorite characteristic of this beer. Very complex and just plain good. Good mouthfeel as well. Just a well rounded beer. Also great with food, I like it with steak.

02-25-2009 01:50:15 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of 51mmz0rz
51mmz0rz

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

Thanks to Matt for the bottle. 12 oz poured into a Sam Adams tulip style glass.

A: Great looking body. Slightly cloudy red orange color, head is lacking, might have poured a little gently.

S: Slightly sweet light caramel. Slight fruit from the hops. Overall pleasant mild smelling lager.

T: Nice slightly caramel malt up front. Long lingering bitterness, some slightly fruity hops on the finish as well. Damn tasty.

M: Lower than average carbonation, which I like.

D: Hard to find much to complain about here.

02-24-2009 02:28:24 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of erosier
erosier

Connecticut

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%

L: Pours a nicer darker amber color with a medium sized and medium bodied off-white colored head that laces the glass very nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts, caramel, and light hops.
T: Really nice base of caramelized malts, other sweet malts, then a nice finish of floral/earthy hops.
M: Very smooth, light, perfect carbonation, very refreshing.
D: Very drinkable, if I had a 6pack of this and if I could get this around here, it would be one of my go-to beers for sure.

02-19-2009 12:00:06 | More by erosier
Photo of tburkhart
tburkhart

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a very crystal clear ruby with thin lacing that holds on through the entire glass.

Smells of toasted malts, other than that there is not a whole lot there.

Tastes of toasted malts. No hops coming through.

A very basic style that Great Lakes has brewed quite well.

02-17-2009 23:33:03 | More by tburkhart
Photo of saradad
saradad

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%

Poured this into glass and formed a a shortlived 2 finger head over a coppery gold body with lots of carbonation apparent. Very nice appearance. The smell is sweet with caramel and fruit and a bit of flowery hops. The taste is light caramel, bread with a touch of orchard fruit and an assertive bitterness from the hops that I'd call just slightly citrus. The mouthfeel is very nice and yet not overly full with a finish of light citrus preceded by a quick slug of the sweet malt. Nicely balanced with a nod towards the hops more than the malt. Very drinkable and this ain't even my favorite out of the sampler pack.

02-16-2009 17:54:40 | More by saradad
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a clear amber red color with a short off white head.

Scent of caramel malts, fruits, hops, grain, honey and a faint spiciness. Light sweetness with a pronounced maltiness, one damn good smelling lager.

Taste of light caramel, gain, honey, tea, and hops. No harshness, nothing offensive, there is a good amount of flavor as well, and excellent lager.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, though slightly heavier than I would like with a good amount of carbonation.

02-14-2009 23:01:54 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
BuffaloTapHugger

New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%

A: Pours a deep red amber color with a tinted head a noticeable lacing on the pint glass.

S. Barely and hops, grape nuts cereal come to mind. Hint of cherry on the nostrils.

T: Little sweet in nature, grainy flavor with a smooth entry and a sticky lingering withdraw.

M: Some thickness involved, the ABV is noticed. The beer stays on your tongue like cement, killer legs.

D: Top notch lager all the way. Recommended to the fans of the style for a must try.

02-09-2009 06:00:23 | More by BuffaloTapHugger
Photo of mikereaser
mikereaser

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%

A - pours a nut brown with red tints and no foam to speak of

S - light toasted malt, a bit of hops, but overall not a lot of aroma here

T - toasted malts, some caramel, and a bit of floral hops

M/D - nice and smooth, easy drinking with nice carbonation and flavor. I'd definitely recommend this one.

02-04-2009 19:58:01 | More by mikereaser
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,448 ratings.