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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.

2,672 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,672
Reviews: 936
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 201
Gots: 252 | 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: 2,672 | Reviews: 936 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of raephun
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Obtained a sixpack locally. Beer pours a brilliant amber with fair head visible, frothy and wonderful. Appearance is beautiful.
Aroma is earthy and hits the nose with no particular overtones. Quite enjoyable.
Taste is exquisite, wonderful mouthfeel. I had considered getting the Burning River as from previous experience it was spectacular, but wanted to try something less hoppy.
I could drink this all night long. I am thankful for a great amber ale. Great Lakes has a lot going on, I need to visit their facility.

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

A-Poured an amber-honey colored copper w/thin head that persisted about 1-2 min. Nice bubble formation at bottom of glass.

S-Toasted grain and brown sugar my fellow drinker described perfectly as reminiscent of grape nuts, and hint hops.

T-Toasty malt, sweet on attack w/toasty palate and a bitter aftertaste that lingers w/tones of instant coffee and fresh grain. Hint of chalk

M-Very smooth w/good balance and body.

D-Very easy to drink. Not a favorite of mine, but a worthy beer that merits a try.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear coppery amber color with an abundant foamy white head. Good retention and excellent lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Light caramel malt and sweet brown sugar. Perhaps a complex but light hint of hops if you look for them.

T: The first thing on the palate is a complex but even malty sweetness that stays together well as it washes over the tongue. The sweetness is predominant but not overpowering and very even in flavor. There are some bittering hops that bring everything close to balance - but still allowing for the sweetness to be primary. The finish is the best place to catch the hops - just a bit citrus in the linger.

M&D: Mouthfeel is moderate with and creamy. The carbonation is moderate and persistent. The finish has a bit of levity to it that makes you want to take another pull. I think I could drink these all day! Very nice.

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

12oz bottle in Sam Adams glass

A: Dark copper color with a hint of reddishness. Thin white head with very little lace.
S: Grainy, bready, slightly sweet, no hint of hops
T&M: Very grainy on the tongue,with a hint of hops bitterness in the background, slightly drying, nicely carbed, comes across as "round" on the palate but not filling.
D: This is very drinkable, I like this a lot, it is a nice change from an APA and would be a great session beer if the alcohol was a little lower. Likely to be a great "gateway" beer to introduce a friend to the wonders of good beer. Highly recommended. I love Great Lakes.

Photo of JDV
2.68/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Have to say I'm surprised at the scores for this one. I wasn't impressed at all. Pours a maroon transluscent color with a medium head. Smell is a bit sour, slightly skunky, and metallic tart maltiness. Not terrible, but not inviting...Taste is not crisp at all, but rather sour smooth caramel. While drinkable, I wouldn't recommend it. If this as as good as the style gets, maybe I just don't like Viennas as much as I though I did..

Photo of donteatpoop
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks acsolutely stunning in a glass. It's hard not to want to put the glass on the windowsill as a permanent fixture to your home; but doing so would be denying yourself the pleasure of tasting this brilliant brew. The aroma is intoxicating, the perfect blend of hops and barley; the flavor is full of malty goodness. Goes down easy, a real pleasure. One of the best beers out there. Makes me glad to live in Ohio where these are readily available.

Photo of riboflavin88
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't say enough about Great Lakes Brewing Company. The beers I've tried have been outstanding, and this one is no exception. It poured a beautiful red-caramel color and the head stuck around throughout its entirety. Its nose was sweet and toasty, a hint of coffee. I really liked the taste, very smooth on the way down and just the right amount of carbonation. Full of malt, spice, caramel with a hint of chocolate. This was a complex tasting brew, but was refreshing at the same time, very drinkable.

Photo of Hatch
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with pry-off cap. Freshness date found on bottle.

Pours a dark, transparent amber with a small, slightly off-white head that fades into some decent lacing.

Smells of mellow, sweet malts, carmalized malts, some hints of citrusy hops. Smells good.

Taste of sweet, biscuity malts up front, pretty malty, with a nice balance of citrusy hops to even things out. Very mild bitterness to finish it off. Very balanced.

Has a medium body feel with a lower amount of carbonation that feels appropriate for this brew. I don't think I'd want it to have any more carbonation.

This is a very balanced, very delicious, and a very easy drinking brew.

Notes: Definitley one of the best examples of a session brew that I've ever tried. Very balanced and very delicious. There's really nothing wrong with this beer; at least nothing wrong enough for me to write. If you want a great session beer then you know what to try.

Photo of animal69
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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...

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of baos
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of chiefydawg
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jackorain
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of rmcnealy
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.


Photo of letsgopens
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SMark
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of cabsandking
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ffejherb
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,672 ratings.