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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.

2,464 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,464
Reviews: 920
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 174
Gots: 185 | 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: 2,464 | Reviews: 920 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of animal69


4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

i looked forward to having this one ; pours a clear brownish-copper color w/ a thin, slightly off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving moderate-little lacing in my pint ; a mild malty aroma w/ lightly toasted caramel notes, very faint dark fruit detected as well ; a rich, grainy, full malt flavor, a profile much better than most vienna's i've had, a bit of a nutty, date-like undertone mid-way ; a med body, but drinks a bit fuller w/ the co2 giving it a creamy effect ; this is an exceptional brew, i regret only getting 6...

02-08-2008 02:39:45 | More by animal69
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.03/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a clear darker brown/amber with a nice off white head that falls and leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is minor leafy and earthy tones. Not much going on. Very minor touch of caramel and apples. Flavor has a tangy sweet tone to it, adding to an earthy profile. Just a slightly lower carbonation sits with a good liquid touch. This is easy to drink. I'd be interested to see this on cask.

02-02-2008 04:18:55 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of baos


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

12 oz into Pearl weizen glass.

A: Nice dark reddish amber with 1 finger ecru head.

S: Caramel; a bit or orange liqueur.

T: Orange-zest-beeswax hop character. Caramel and a bit of thistle bitterness and clover sweetness. Reminds me a lot of the thistle honey my sister Lisa got for me two Christmases ago. that shit is amazing in a strong breakfast tea. Ends ultra dry and ultra good.

M: Very bubbly and so dry its almost mouth numbing.

D: Very nice the first drink almost took me aback but as I gathered my taste buds i was able to ascertain the yumminess of this brew. The first Vienna Lager I've had. Very nice indeed!

01-31-2008 03:40:51 | More by baos
Photo of PittBeerGirl


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

A- Served on-tap in a pint glass. Body is a beautiful transparent medium red hue. Bright white head is about 1 1/2 fingers-and foamy. It eventually subsides completely and some lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Nose is of medium strength and is a perfect balance between bright citrus hops and smooth caramel malt. This is a lager?

T- Initial flavor is quite bright and is full of citrus hop flavor with a great balance of sweet caramel malt in the background. The finish is consistent with the initial flavor with just a slight touch of bitterness and maybe a hint of piny hop flavor. A mild bitterness lingers along with a lot of sweet caramel malt.

M- Low carbonation and very smooth body. Mouthfeel is exceptional for a lager.

D- This is another one that I have had available to me since I started craft beer and didn't try until now. It's wonderful-the perfect balance of citrus hops and caramel malt. Both Eliot Ness and Dortmunder are excellent lagers from Great Lakes.

01-30-2008 19:15:25 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of chiefydawg


3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

Glowing ember amber with a thin but very much alive light cream head. Steady carbo gives it an active look without seeming to fizzy.

Getting a caramel, malt and grain scent with the light acetone of alcohol.

Tastes sweet and caramelly with more hop than the smell led onto. Also more body to it than I thought it would (medium), and the grain makes me want to chew. Quite an enjoyable balance, without real complexity. There is alcohol in the swallow that fades quickly to the soft sweet aftertaste.

I've had quite a few of these before without much note; however, rating it has opened my senses to appreciate it more for what it is. It's a solid, high-quality versatile beer that could cheerfully be sipped, pounded (responsibly of course), or accompanied with most foods.

01-28-2008 01:35:16 | More by chiefydawg
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a transparent auburn color with minimal head.

The aroma is malty and sweet, and otherwise very faint.

It tastes grainy, malty, and yeasty.

The mouthfeel is on the dry side, and nicely carbonated.

Very, very drinkable. I could drink these all night. They go down very easy and arent overpowering by any means. And a bit bigger abv than many.

01-10-2008 06:35:27 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -11.2%

Had this one on tap at Applebees tonight and it was poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass.

A - Poured a very nice deep burnt amber with a nice large white foamy head that rose up above it a good three fingers high before finally setting down and relaxing into a thin film across the top and a nice side glass lacing throughout the session. There was nice carbonation streaming up from the bottom.

S - The aroma was full of grain. Lots of earhty cereal grains were the domunant aroma here. There was a slight hint of grassy flavors underneath, but this was only slight and nothing really notworthy about it. There was a hint of some wheat as well.

T - The flavor was not really your classic Vienna lager. I would have thought that was what it was gonna be but it really was more indicative of a red or amber ale more then anything else. A very tight flavor there was lots of grain and herby like flavors mixed in with a earthy grass like flavor that gave it a little extra pop towards the end. The finish was somewhat drawn out with the flavor of bready like malts starting to come through more then anything else.

M - A medium bodied ale the carbonation served to lighten it up some, however there was a nice like slicknes to the finish. I would have thought it would have been a little bit thinner then it actually was but it turned out it was not half bad at all, and was definitly a quality ale.

D - I thought this was a fine session ale. Its profile was not too heavy and the flavors went together very well. I could easily see myself drinking several of these without any issue. A very fine ale indeed and something I would drink more of.

Overall this was good I was very happy to see it on tap and it was defintily very nice going with dinner. I would not say this was excellent, however it was still a fine brew non the less. I would say it was a good call in a pinch.

01-08-2008 00:15:08 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of jackorain


4.5/5  rDev +10%

A-Dark amber, clear. Tan, yellow-tinged, rocky head. Very good retention. After quite a while the head falls to a thick collar that connects to attractive lace that goes 1 inch above the collar.

S-Big bready malts, biscuit and toasted bread. Yeasty lager like aroma, faint spicy hops.
Quite a complex mixture of malts.

T-Caramel malts, dough bread and toast. Spicy and herbal hops balance out the malts.

M-Medium body, creamy mouth-coating quality, slightly fizzy carbonation balances out the creaminess nicely.

D-Defintiely up ther, I could drink all night or even woth the 6.2%, which really isn't all that high.

01-03-2008 03:13:57 | More by jackorain
Photo of BeerTruth


4.13/5  rDev +1%

Thanks to pimpp for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours clear rustic amber hue with a one finger off-white head that slowly dies down to a thin layer of bubbles. Stickiness is damn good. Flowing lacing all over the sides. Musty caramel malt aroma up front with a leather like smoke scent. The faintest smell of pine hop in the nose as well. Salty wood flavors with a molasses sweetness up front on the tongue. Honey sweetness with a pepper spice too. Aftertaste is soft roasted oak. Pretty heavy for a lager, but enjoyable. Smooth carbonation on the tongue. The 6.2% was a shock, this is a damn good beer.

01-01-2008 04:28:11 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of jeonseh


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

Bottle from a Great Lakes Sampler Pack and a drink by date of today

A nice soft amber color with golden hues and a nice frothy head that has a slight golden tint to it; stays well throughout the beer and leaves lacing down the glass.

Smell is rather sweet, lots of malt coming off of it and the smell really does match the taste rather well.

Taste is rather mellow, and rather sweet, taste a bit like honey to me and can definitely tell that there is a lot of malt in this. A finish is a bit spicy with a light note of hops in it. The aftertaste to me is mostly a sweeter hops taste with hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel is great as throughout the beer is smooth on the tongue and leaves a light caramely feeling on the tongue. Has jsut the right amount of thickness to it for a vienna lager as well as it is a beer that definitely has some body without being too heavy.

Another great beer from Great Lakes. Could easily drink a good bit of these but the only downfall would be that it is a little heavy and that could get old after more than 2. Yet, still a beer I would go back to.

12-29-2007 23:34:24 | More by jeonseh
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance: Pours a clear, reddish-hued body with a foamy off-white head.

Smell: A well-balanced blend of sweet-smelling caramel maltiness and a spicy, white pepper hop scent. Faint hint of grains.

Taste: Smooth, sweet maltiness with a toasted caramel taste. Light graininess. A tangy jolt midway. Spicy, herbal hop flavors. Mild bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. Finishes crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A very lovely Vienna. I would have had another right this very minute if I had one chilled and ready. I would have been GLAD to!

12-22-2007 05:37:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of rmcnealy


3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Elliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

12 oz bottle, best by 12/29/07

Pours transulent dark copper... like a 5 year old penny. Small head totally dissapears. Smell is good, but better appreciated in the drink. Good taste. Has hints of malt, caramel, and roasts. A good lager. A healthy 6.2 abv! Overall, a good beer. Have access to it if anyone wants to trade some. There's a few I'm looking for.


12-20-2007 07:27:44 | More by rmcnealy
Photo of letsgopens


4.13/5  rDev +1%

This brew pours a pure woody amber with a frothy tan head. The head takes a good while to recede and leaves behind some excellent, thick lace.

The aroma consists of some sweet, dim malt and just a bit of buttery toast. A hint of honey sweetness is detectable as well. Not terribly pronounced but solid for the style.

Lots of mild and slightly sweet, toasted malt. Again buttery with some cereal graininess and molasses. Mild caramel notes as well. Not terribly complex in the flavor department but what it does, it does very well. Extremely well balanced.

Buttery and smooth texture. Light carbonation and very velvety. Smooth and decadent finish. Really well constructed. Creamy and appetizing. Another awesome selection from Great Lakes.

12-12-2007 07:06:28 | More by letsgopens
Photo of SMark


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

I poured this beer from a 12 ounce brown bottle at 41º into an Imperial pint glass. Slightly over one finger of white head resulted with very little lacing as the head dissipated. The beer was a clear copper color and the bottle had a freshest taste by date on the label.

Sweet malt aromas were detected with a faint hint of hops in the background.

There was a clean, crisp, slightly bitter taste with sweetness from the malt. The taste was very satisfying and invited additional sips.

The beer traveled around the mouth well with a slight carbonation. It pretty well seemed to affect the entire mouth the same indicating balance for that aspect.

This appears to be a multi dimensional beer as it is not only a good thirst quencher but one you could also allow to be consumed at a slightly warmer temperature to bring out the nuances of the malt. Well crafted lager.

12-12-2007 02:58:16 | More by SMark
Photo of cabsandking


4/5  rDev -2.2%

Clear dark amber with a frothy beige cap with good retention and eventual nice lacing. Roasted barley, lightly fruity, and a very soft floral, faint pine hop character in the aroma. Very balanced flavors of roasted malts thats semi-dry and nutty with a slight dark chocolate bitterness and matched by fruity, bitter, faint peppery hop notes, and a very slight smoky, woodsy flavor at times. Nicely consistent from beginning to end. Smooth mouthfeel with a frothy to creamy carbonation.

12-04-2007 17:01:10 | More by cabsandking
Photo of ffejherb


3.53/5  rDev -13.7%

Served in pint glass at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh, PA on 11/23/07.

A - Clear amber body with virtually no head or lacing. Average density with minimal carbonation.

S - Light breadiness with some toasted and sweet caramel maltiness. Light hop aroma with subtle English noble hops. Some doughy yeast was in the back.

T - Lightly sweet initial flavor followed by sweet breadiness and a very light hop bite with an average finish.

M - Medium body with a pretty creamy texture and soft carbonation that's semi-prickly on the tongue.

D - This is definitely a drinkable lager that has a nice balance of malts and noble hops. Decent, solid session beer with some nice flavors.

11-26-2007 21:17:22 | More by ffejherb
Photo of CDBeerDisappear


3.48/5  rDev -14.9%

Can’t say that I am familiar with Vienna Lager as a style but I like this beer. It has a pleasant bready malted barley aroma balanced by a subtle European hoppiness. It has a clean dry taste with a rich full mouthfeel. I could drink these one after another and in fact have had three of them today.

11-21-2007 21:05:35 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of iceball585

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

A- Dark reddish copper color, semi-clear, very thin lacy cover that faded to a thin ring around the glass

S- Dark malts, caramel, sweet, hint of hops spicyness

T- Toasted malts, caramel, cocoa, toffee, hint of hops, slight bitter finish

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, clean, smooth, crisp

D- Very good session beer

This is a very interesting beer. Good flavors but slightly different from most other beers of this style. The label states it as an amber but it's actually a vienna lager. Over all good beer in my opinion.

11-19-2007 23:48:09 | More by iceball585
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.35/5  rDev -18.1%

Pours a clean copper color, with an off-white/ tan head. Aromas of a dry earthiness, and just a hint of sweetness. In the taste, malty with a dry end, kind of sticky-sweet too. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Kind of Oktoberfest like, easy to drink and nice earthy malt.

11-17-2007 22:23:21 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

First things first I don't drink this beer nearly enough anymore, it used to be available throughout my area of WV brought in by Wine and Beverage Merchants of Weirton. Sadly someone down state decided to turn him in for selling beer above the 6% alcohol law that are fucked laws here in the DUB VEE endorse. Yes a beer at 6.2% alcohol by volume has been off the shelves for a couple years now, due to some asshole in my state. Now that I got to vent, here goes Eliot Ness ruby caramel vibrant bright crystal clear body with a large beige head forming thick in my 1/2 liter mug lacing is even and simply clings to the sides of my glass. Aroma here has it all with roasted nuts toffee/caramel slightly burnt brown sugar flow going on with spicy German hops a flowing in the background. Also a mild air of citrus peel floats around what a great spicy hop profile, thank god I'm living in Ohio at least alcohol laws are in check. Now I have to start convincing stores to carry a selection and get Cavalier Distributing involved in this region of the state. Flavor has a pronounced funky hop flow with spicy herbal edges and tangy citrus peels flowing with mildly bitter darker roasted malts bringing out a touch of dark chocolate melted over one of your favorite toffee or caramel filled candy bar think Heath sans as much chocolate. Mouthfeel is so nice carbonation is perfect creamy layers divide on the palate with slick hop oils also gracing my palate overall beautifully crafted medium bodied micro brewed beer at it's best. Drinkability is butter, it caresses you. The best Vienna style lager I've come into contact with thank god I understand this style due to a single beer because there's not many great representations out there.

11-09-2007 17:33:35 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of brdc


4/5  rDev -2.2%

Small capped bottle, expiration date 12/07/07.
Orange with red highlights, it is topped by a nice tan head with above average retention.
Aroma, like the taste, is not overly complex or powerful, but well balanced, with a caramelized, toasted malt, with some hoppy notes.
Clean, lightly sweet with a somewhat dry finish, medium bodied.
Simple and pleasant, a good Vienna lager, perhaps a tad more hopped than the average.

11-08-2007 01:17:02 | More by brdc
Photo of riversider76

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1%

Pours a nice copper color with a thin white head. Not much retention,but good lacing. Aroma is of sweet bready malts. Medium bodied, this beer has little carbonation. Taste is of sweet,breads,and fruit, but there is a touch of hops.Full flavored,yet light,and refreshing. Excellent.

10-28-2007 01:32:46 | More by riversider76
Photo of kwakwhore

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +8.8%

Reddish amber pour with a small white head. Perfect clarity in the beer.
Big malt hit in the smell. Caramel/toffee accents with a lot of sweet malt, reminds me of a doppelbock.
Good balance in the flavor between malt and hops. Sweet malt is immediately followed by some hop bitterness then some biscuit malt and some more bitter hop in the finish.
Mouthfeel is not bad, but not exceptional either.
This is a very tasty, easy to drink example of an amber lager. extremely drinkable. I found some of this in Ohio and brought it back to NC. I'm already scheming to find a reason to go back.

10-21-2007 03:45:07 | More by kwakwhore
Photo of mashedpotatoes


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

A. Looks the type as a typical Amber Lager. S. Has a bit of a subdued smell, not very powerful or round like most Amber. T. Just an average taste, kind of let down as all Great Lakes beers are generally superior, has a true microbrew taste but not overwhelming, a bit acidic, lingering aftertaste. M. Solid mouthfeel, a nothing remarkable. D. goes down nice, decent beer, would prefer draft to bottle on this one in particular.

10-18-2007 01:18:10 | More by mashedpotatoes
Photo of LeftyBWS


4.05/5  rDev -1%

My toast to Michael Jackson, enjoyed on 9/30/07. Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass. The label declares: "enjoy by 10/22/07."
A: Coppery-red in color, with one inch of foamy, off-white head that settles slowly and leaves some sparse, lacy fingers on the glass. Medium amount of carbonation visible.
S: Overall, the nose is of the subdued hoppy variety. Notes of freshly mown grass, floral hops, and mild sugars. Stronger sniffs reveal some fruity scents, possibly apples, and a subtle toastiness.
T: The crisp, floral hops lead the way, and yield a slightly more citrusy flavor heading into the midtaste, but it doesn't quite crest into a full-fledged citrus flavor. Rather, it falls down to a pleasant sweetness that rounds out the taste rather well.
M: Mostly fine, but a tad watery overall, and drying in the finish. It leaves me wanting another sip, but the next one doesn't quite quench my thirst either.
D: Not bad. The taste leaves me wanting more, but the drying afterfeel is a bit of a deterrent.
Overall, a really solid amber lager. Worth investigating if you haven't tried it.

10-01-2007 04:29:28 | More by LeftyBWS
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,464 ratings.