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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.

2,562 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,562
Reviews: 929
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 187
Gots: 220 | 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: 2,562 | Reviews: 929 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Imsothirsty
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Imsothirsty, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of KTCamm
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

KTCamm, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of EatsTacos
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

EatsTacos, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of kels
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

kels, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of williamherbert
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

williamherbert, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of soupermirl
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

soupermirl, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of Rhynes2
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Rhynes2, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

51mmz0rz, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of erosier
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

erosier, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of tburkhart
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

tburkhart, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of saradad
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

saradad, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

paco1029384756, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BuffaloTapHugger, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mikereaser, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of cvs241
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle that was good until 2/23/09

Beer poured a amber/dark copper color with about a 1 1/2 cm of white head that lasted through most of the drinking. It had a faint, fruity smell. Which was pleasant. The taste had characteristics of caramel and a sweet maltiness. In the finish there was a nice herbal hop flavor which cut through the sweet without overpowering it. There was a subtle spicyness to the flavor which I couldn't put my finger on but added a lot to the complexity. The mouth fell had good body and was about the right thickness for a lager. This, in addition to, the perfect carbonation made it easily drinkable. The 6.2% wasn't at all noticeable in the drinking, and the beer would make a great session offering.

Overall it was one of the best vienna lagers I've had.

cvs241, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

wow, 430 reviews as of this writing. amazing how many well known beers there are across the US that I don't get up here in NH. This one is a solid ambered color beer with a nice white head, bready malts and good light piney hops. Drinks quite well and when paired with a mild turkey chilli it went perfectly! Yes, I'd have another.

barleywinebrewer, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My local stop started carrying Great Lakes beers and this is one I've been after for a long time. I was not dissapointed and the wait was worth it.

Poured a beautiful amber-brown with a finger of tan frothy head. Head is very balanced and the retention is decent. Served at suggested temperature of 45 degrees into a tumbler.

Smells of sweet toasted malt and light hops.

Taste is very smooth, starts with toasty malts, a hint of very light butter, and finishes with a very light earthy hop.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very balanced. Carbonation is just about perfect, good feel, smooth but not flat.

Drinkability is great. This is a fantastic beer and very top notch. Easy drinkability combined with great flavor makes this a keeper. I'll be buying a few six packs to store up, and hopefully my store will continue to carry this.

LumpyGuitar, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice rich amber color, but the head is somewhat disappointing. Only about 3/4 of a finger that doesn't hang out long. Some spotty lacing, but that's about it.
Smells nice. Toasted malt and some mild floral hops come through.
Flavor starts with bready malt and a touch of caramel/vanilla. Hops show up in the middle and provide a decent balance and complexity. What was weird was an off-flavor in the finish that reminded me of water from a garden hose. Not cool.
Mouthfeel is thin and somewhat flat.
This would be a nice beer if it wasn't for the feel and that strange chemical/plastic/rubber flavor. As it is I'll still drink it, but I won't buy it again. This is the third beer I've had from this brewery and I'm still waiting to be impressed. They're not bad, but nothing to rave about in my opinon.

Hoagie1973, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of nickynick
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Eliot Ness poured a nice deep full amber with a small tan head. The smell was of caramel and citrusy hops. Taste was full of sweet malt and caramel. Followed by a slight hop finish. Mouthfeeel was nice. Drinkability was pretty good, almost goes down to easy for 6.2ABV. Overall this was a very nice beer and spot on for the style. Will look for this beer again.

nickynick, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of penguinjive7
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a very clear amber with about a fingers worth of white head which leaves some decent lacing throughout.

The smell is of toasty maltiness with hints of caramel.

Taste is of bready malt with a slight hop presence that fades into a fairly dry, yet sweet finish.

This is a rather full bodied beer and really goes down smoothly. This is definitely a pleasant brew to drink. While nothing truly stands out, it is solid in all categories. Well worth a go.

penguinjive7, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of grs8313
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 12oz borrle with a best by date of 3/11/09. Pours a ruby red color, with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Malts, hops, alcohol, dried fruit (prunes), and astringent scents.

Taste: Malts, plums, and a slight hops note. Cannot taste the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Watery with a decent amount of carbonation. The mouth is left feeling normal.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, the best lager I have ever had. That being said I would rather have a Burning River Pale Ale. At 6.1% ABV it was higher that I expected, but you cannot tell when drinking it, another great beer from Great Lakes.

grs8313, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnTravolta21 for this bottle.

Poured from the bottle a bright, clear red amber with a rich and creamy beige head.

Malty aroma with some nuttiness, light citrus, soap, and fruit.

Tastes of sweet malts, grapes, citrus hops, soap, and caramel.

Light-to-medium bodied, oily, and lightly carbonated.

A pretty good Vienna lager from Great Lakes. Not great, but very easy to drink and enjoy.

Monkeyknife, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of pasdachuri
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper color with a thin, opaque head.

Smell is very nice lots of sweet malts and some floral malts.

The taste is nutty, delicious bitter from the hops very well balanced with burnt chocolate in the finish sweet, but not too sweet.

Mouthfeel is on the dry side, probably thanks to the malty nature of the beer.

An excellent beer, nice flavor that still manages a good balance.

Another solid offering from the brewmasters at Great Lakes

pasdachuri, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat murky dark red/brown with a lace ring down the glass. A mix of roasted and sweet malts dominate the nose. Medium-to-full body with a thick syrupiness making up its texture. A fruity taste along with sweet malts dominates the mouthfeel for a balanced beer that passes sweet and then has a minor drying backbite. Not a complex beer but a very enjoyable one.

clayrock81, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Greak Lakes Eliot Ness, courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Shared at a tasting.

Appearance: Pours a copper-colored body, almost entirely transparent, with a relatively fast-fading half-finger of slightly off-white head. Carbonation is medium paced, medium sized ... just a very pleasant looking, average lager.

Aroma: Medium roasted, toasty malts with plenty of caramelized sugars though plenty of residual sweetness as well - this one pretty much screams Vienna malts, appropriately enough. Quite the balance, too, coupled by a few distinct grassy, noble hop characteristics.

Taste: Slightly soapy in the hop profile, which seems to be mild in its bitterness and grassy, hay-like on the whole, though with faint, tender leafyness, too. The malt profile is similar to what was detectable in the nose - faint crystal malt, perhaps, but mostly just a pleasant medium roast, very traditional, very straightforward. The yeast also imparts a few fruity esters, cherries or apple skins, perhaps.

Mouthfeel: Of a medium thickness, with an average amoutn of crisp, fine carbonation. Very crisp, in fact - glassy, almost sharp. Pleasantly refreshing.

Drinkability: A fine Vienna lager, and one of the better American interpretations I've had. If you like the style, you'll love this beer - it's balanced, highly quaffable, of a reasonable alcohol level, and authentic. A definite session brew.

CrellMoset, Jan 19, 2009
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,562 ratings.