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Great Lakes Eliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

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2,725 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,725
Reviews: 952
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 211
Gots: 299 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

An amber lager with rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,725 | Reviews: 952 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of mikereaser
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of cvs241
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.34/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of nickynick
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of penguinjive7
4/5  rDev -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.

Photo of grs8313
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of pasdachuri
4.32/5  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

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -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.

Photo of CrellMoset
4/5  rDev -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.

Photo of sgoodship
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle. Freshness date 01/07/09.

A: Dark coppery amber color. Clear with subtle carbonation present. Nice fluffy one finger head. Immediate fine lacing. Good head retention throughout

S: A roasty, sweet and sour smell. The sweet and sour is almost reminiscent of lactose.

T: Starts with a breadiness and goes into sweeter tangy finish. It has a nice sweet, dry aftertaste - makes it feel crisp and drinkable. There is some hop bite but it is playing second fiddle to the malts. I can detect a nuttiness there too. Really tasty beer.

M: Medium bodied and creamy mouth feel. Carbonation is subtle and perfect.

D: I am new to lagers but if this is indicative of a Vienna Lager, I'm in! I could session this in a heartbeat. Very nicely done. Another cracking Great Lakes beer.

Photo of BrewerB
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to greenvilleguitar for the hookup on this beer!

A - Poured into a Stella Artois glass. Slightly hazy, light copper color with a thin, off-white head. Small amount of lacing left on glass.

S - Herbal and spicy with a hint of caramel. A little nutty and bready.

T - Upfront herbal-like hop flavor is moderate and followed closely by a touch of caramel sweetness and some bready malt notes. The crisp, dry finish leaves hints of lingering sweetness.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Smooth.

D - Refreshing lager with an easy-drinking crispness. I could take a second glass but would look for another beer afterwards.

Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep brownish red, bubbly and a thick white head on top.

S:amber barley, rich with something sweet, maybe brown sugar. Burst of hops.

T: Sweet amber, followed by a good bt of bitter hops.. The hops don't overpower the taste, and fade into a toasty biscuit taste.

M: A little oily at the finish, good carbonation.

D: Good beer. Not the best in the world, but very good. This is a reliable sixer whenever you need something good that will please multiple palettes.

Photo of bowersdm
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass

A - ruby orange color with a stiff white-tan head

S - hops, caramel malt and a slight fruitiness. There was a hint of spicy hops too

T - caramel malt with some hops. Very balanced. Tastes like a beefed up version of Boston Lager

M - I never really know what to put for this. It was good, I guess.

D - this would make a great session beer.

Note: After enjoying this beer, I noticed that it was three months past its freshness date. Eh, it was still pretty damn good.

Photo of HardTarget
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Disclaimer: I've held this bottle longer than I should have. Best by date of 10/14/07, sampled 1/15/09.

A) Dark amber glass with good clarity and a respectable head that dropped to a full cover and laced.

S) Malty, almost a malt extract smell heavy with purple grape and hop leaf.

T) The grape flavor is pretty firm, it's malt driven and pretty clean. There are some leafy hops in the taste as well, it matches the nose.

M) Medium carbonation medium to heavy body, bit oily in the finish.

D) No real problems here. It's held up well past it's best by date, no off flavors. Malty, clean, easy drinking.

Photo of selecter70
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious amber ale from those Ohio guys (must be all them Germans out there!). Having some family out in Columbus definitely creates some anticipation on family visits, to say the least. A soft, dark-honey pour with unexpected bubbly carbonation that led to a minimal head with just slight lace retention. A sweet hoppy malt with mild hints of nuts was apparent both in the aroma as well as in the tasting. A good, decent ale that could lead to many more. I just wish to get it on draught next time.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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 u2carew
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(A) Clear. Reddish is color. Substantial head - doesn't swell quickly or too large, but maintains is appearance around the edges over the course of 25+ minutes.
(S) Malty sweetness, but balanced. Not too sweet.
(T) Average. Smooth. Very, very little hop bitterness. Milder sweetness.
(M) A good mouthfeel. Not too much carbonation, just a the right touch of fizz. Medium body.
(D) A good, drinkable beer.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fills a pilsner glass with clear, shiny copper, lots of carbonation and a thin almond head that quickly drops to a fine lace.

Fresh-cut straw leads with light citrusy hops, followed by cookie dough.

The light sweetness of entry makes way for the malt character to develop with straw and toffee.
Eliot Ness is a dry, medium-bodied episode with soft carbonation.

This is a great thirst quencher for a warm afternoon while enjoying the fresh air. I think I'm supposed to like this more than I do, but, hey, this is how I perceived it.

date consumed: 14 Oct 2008

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

I usually don't care for most lagers, but this is a pretty solid beer.

A- Pours a really interesting reddish amber. Crystal-clear with not much in terms of head or lacing.

S- Bready with a slightly astringent hop kick.

T- Bready flavors with a warming toasty malt backbone. The hop profile is slightly piney and crisp.

M- Moderate carbonation with a clean, nutty finish.

D- This is a nice beer to sip on while relaxing or socializing

Photo of yesyouam
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Eliot Ness is a very clear, very sparkling amber beer with a very dense, creamy, off-white head that shows outstanding retention and lacing. It has a very fresh, malty aroma with maybe a bit of citrus. It has a medium-light body with a dry finish. It's a mellow flavor that's a touch sweet, with a slightly fruity bitterness.
(rated Nov 28, 2008)

Photo of jdoncbus
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freshness date 1/28/09: 4892AM. Another GLBC offering that I have enjoyed many times but have never reviewed.

Poured into pils glass which produces a two-finger, biege head. Color is amber (go figure) & brown, moderate carbonation, and some lacing that lingers.

Aroma is biscuit, caramel malt, grains, with a dash of spice, mainly white pepper. Notes of lemon grass finish off the smell test.

Smooth roasted malt wrapped in creamy caramel leads to a mild crisp that ends with an appearance of some hops. Butterscotch and toffee play well on the palate and balance great with the hops. The mouthfeel is very refined, smooth at the beginning and ending with an ever so slight bitterness.

What a balanced and tasty brew; much like everything that comes from GLBC. If you are looking for a session beer or you want to give your taste buds a hop break, look no further. Smooth.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,725 ratings.