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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.

2,635 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,635
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 198
Gots: 241 | 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: 2,635 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a lovely dark orange copper tone with a solid inch of off-white head, decent retention, down to a nice filmy foam in a few minutes, lacing in falling sheets and thick webbing. The aroma is kind of forgettable, but lots of bready caramel malts wafting about, Noble spicy hops swirling about. The taste follows suit, with a more defined hop spice and the malts start off bready then roll over caramels, quite delicious. The mouth is over medium, somewhat creamy but also nicely carbonated, pretty solid. In all, its a beer that'd make me a lager lover, and thats saying a lot.

objectivemonkey, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of Keitherduder
3.2/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The nose was very malty with barley any hop smell. Which of course is the idea with the amber style. I did, as well, pick up a little roast which was very nice. I liked the clear redish brown color of the beer however the head didnt last nearly as long as i would have liked it to. The best thing about this beer is the taste. It's malty sweet with a hint of... uh.. what is it fuggle hops? or cascade? Whatever it is it's very well done.

The alcohal is up there around 6.2 (as i read it from the bottle!) which is pleasantly higher than what i would have thought. so of course.. that's always a plus!!!

This is a beer that I would recoment to someone thats trying to get into better beers. I could see myself saying, "here's a good example of a good ole american amber lager!"

Keitherduder, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of Slar211
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber, with a creamy tan head into a pint glass. Thin layer of lacing sticks around to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Malty sweetness with a hint of toasted bread, balanced with citrus hop notes.

Taste: Malt and hops hit the tongue in harmony to give this beer a thick sweet taste with zesty, orange-like undertones.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and full in the mouth. Finishes dry and semi-sweet with a bit of spice.

Drinkability: I was sorry to see the bottom of the glass here. Another would be magic on a lazy afternoon or evening.

Slar211, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of giblet
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice color - a reddish amba. nice head and lace. nice small bubbles in the carbonation.

very pleasant smell and taste. i enjoyed two bottles of this. i am saving the rest for later in the week (if i cant impose enough self control!) i would like to get up to Cleveburg to try this on tap.

nice body and mouthfeel. very drinkable.

i recomend this beer and all of the gems from Great Lakes!

suckem up and movem out!


giblet, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice red amber color with a nice head and great lacing. The nose is high on malt, with a touch of grain. Flavor is fairly similar; lots of caramel, dried fruit, and a touch of strawberries in there too. Feel is solid, full bodied, and good on carbonation. This one was a tasty surprise in a Great Lakes variety pack. Definitely check it out.

soupyman10, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of kellyst
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep reddish brown color. White head.

S: Sweet smelling. Toffee and roasted grain apparent.

T: This is one excellent brew. Big chewy malty flavors. Exceptional balance of roasted grains, toffee, and sweetness. Finish is kind of dry.

M: Sweet, full mouthfeel.

D: Very high for a relatively sweet brew.

I had an Elliot Ness right after having a Dortmunder Gold. While both are great, I’m going to go for the Elliot Ness first when I’m at this bar. It’s an incredibly flavorful brew, with excellent drinkability, even on a hot Ohio summer night.

kellyst, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a nice deep copper hue with a small head but clearly well carbonated. Minimal lacing as the head went away.
Mild malt/hop aroma..very clean in smell if that makes any sense
Very oily , full mouthfeel with a good sense of malt permeating throughout.
No pronounced hop flavor and very nice, sweet aftertaste.
Very good beer by my standards.

dmamiano, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle with a best by date of 8/14/07. The beer pours an amber/red color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like toasted malt, some grassy hops and some caramel. The taste starts off with malty sweetness, and then has a good hoppy bitter finish. Good, full flavor with this beer. Mouthfeel is medium, it's a little bit creamy and slick with just the right amount of carbonation. It has a coating finish which sticks around in my mouth for a while. Drinkability is pretty good, it goes down smooth and easy. Great choice for a session beer. I'd recommend it to anyone to try.

bluejacket74, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of SSBrennan
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great deep amber almost red. A big tan rocky head that falls with good lacing.

Smells of sweet malts with hints of fruit and light hops.

The taste is very mild with a touch of bitterness and good malt presence. There is a slightly nut like flavor in the finish.

The mouthfeel is fine with good weight but underwhelming carbonation.

Drinkability is high with decent balance and nothing overpowering.

SSBrennan, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of psinderson
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear amber red color. Thick, light-caramel head. The foam lasts quite a while. Little streams of bubbles show a good carbonation.

Smell: Predominantly malty with a good backbone of woody, earthy, grassy scents. Slight grainy aroma with some biscuit undertones. Pleasantly complex.

Taste: Lots of roasted and hoppy flavors. Very light fruity sweetness, like apples, in the middle. A bit of coffee in the finish? Mild, but lingering hop bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. Nice carbonation and peppery feel.

Drinkability: This is yummy, but it's not one I could session with.

psinderson, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Freshness date 4/6/07 which pisses me off because it was in the front of the cooler when I grabbed it, it seems strange that it should have been sitting in there that long. In any case if pours a very nice dark amber with a bubbly tan 2 finger head that fades into a half inch cap, some lacing but not much.

Smell is at first bready with hints of carmel malt, veggies and floral hops, nice complex aromas even after freshness date

T:Big carmel malt flavor up front, hop bitterness attacks the tongue upfront and lingers after each sip. Very balanced hops and malts, malt taking precedence, though not as sweet as I would have expected, Rouge's American Amber Ale much sweeter than this brew, though this could be accounted for due to the freshness date.

All in all a very good beer but the overall taste was a bit off, at least compared to the other ambers I've tried. Would pick this up again but check the freshness date next time.

bluemoonswoon, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of shivtim
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought I'd get around to reviewing this beer, because I enjoy it. Pours a clear dark rusty color with a sizable tan head that casually fades. Nose is malts and cereal grains, with some hops, and nice deep molasses sweetness. Like those candies grandma used to chew. Taste is biscuity sweet malts up front, then hops and a honey-sweet finish. Mouthfeel is good and full, very nice. Drinkability is quite high. Great brew.

shivtim, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another solid offerining from Great Lakes. I poured this into my pint glass to produce a perfect 1" head that slowly dissipated to a thin cap. It left nice lacing down the sides of the glass. The color is a deep copper/amber, clear as a bell.

The nose is rich with a hoppy aroma with a nice malty balance. And, what's that?... a bit of carmel sweetness.

The taste is also quite good.... full bodied and complex with some smooth malt at the front end and notes of a crisp hoppy bite right at the end...

Mouthfeel: creamy and well carbonated. This beer leaves a film in your mouth that lets you enjoy the complexities of this brew even after it's gone...

Drinkability: I recommend this fine beer from GLBC. Time for another...

TheBierBand, Jun 11, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kssweene for this beer.

A - Deep, dark orange/amber color. Head is offwhite and fades to a film. Minimal lacing. I really like the color of this beer so I still find it very attractive despite little head and lacing.

S - Rich and sweet caramel amber malts with a bit of spicy hop balance, which I believe is what a Vienna lager should smell like (more malt than hops).

T - More hops here than in the smell. Starts light and bitter with detectable caramel flavor, into a slightly oily caramely hop flavor and finishes crisp with more caramel and oily hop.

M - Consistency is medium to light and carbonation is slightly elevated and works well with the flavor of beer.

D - Overall a good beer, definitely better than boston lager. Crisp and clean tasting with a good solid flavor. Definitely worth the effort.

umustdrink, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of GPHarris
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one-finger thick tan head into a tumbler. what sheet and lace evident were gone halfway through. the body was a clear dark amber color.
s - hints of some spicy hops, caramel and vanilla.
t - bready and caramel hops with earthy hops.
m - creamy.
d - overall a nice beer but i was disappointed in the appearance.

GPHarris, May 29, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by July 02, 07:

Pours bright copper with a thick, creamy, off-white head that slowly descends to a lasting cover. Quite a bit of lacing sticks to glass.

The smell is of sweet grainy malt. Doughy bread and light touch of spicy hops back up the graininess.

The taste is of sweet caramelish/toffeeish malt. Grainy and doughy. Slightly acidic. Woody/oakish, spicy, dry finish.

Full-bodied, rich and creamy. A wonderful sweet aftertaste lingers.

On its own, or paired with pizza, this is a real gem and stands out for its style.

jwc215, May 25, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a deep clear amber color with a thick foamy head that is well retained. The aroma is rich maltiness accented slightly by hops. The rich malty aroma is delivered in the flavor with a strong dry hoppy finish. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a very tasty beer. Good example of the style and very enjoyable; another great beer from Great Lakes.

scoobybrew, May 24, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eliot Ness pours with a beautiful two finger thick head that dissipates quickly, but has delicate lacing that sticks to the glass all the way through. The body is dark golden amber and is cleanly filtered for a truly clear presentation.

This produces aromas of faint hops and well balanced with a hint of maltiness. The taste is well balanced too and is a good example of a great amber Vienna lager.

Altogether a great brew and one of the best lagers I’ve ever had.

TheSarge, May 20, 2007
Photo of crayphish
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Elliot Ness pours from a 12 oz. bottle to a ruby copper liquid. A bubbly head leaves nominal lacing. Smell is malt with a caramel sweetness. Taste is a again the malty caramel with some sweet fruit as well. Complex. Just enough hops to keep it from being too sweet. For a complex lager they go down very easy. Nice balanced brew.

crayphish, May 14, 2007
Photo of MrMcGibblets
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is just a solid beer and i may have appreciated it more if i had in in solitude. tried it at the venerable hopleaf between many other tasty beers. pours a deep red/amber with great clarity and a tan, off-white, creamy head. great lacing. smell is dominated by the caramelly, toffee-ish malts and some vegetal, floral european hops. nice malt sweetness at first in the mouth somehow balanced by the underlying, supporting hops with an almost dry, crisp finish. medium bodied and great mouthfeel. i could have had several of these but there were more beers to try. went great with the mussels and pommes frites.

MrMcGibblets, May 14, 2007
Photo of bozebus17
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby-red color into my mug. The head is a very foamy very light tan. This one is truly a pleasure to take in with the eye.

Smells sweet; there is a brown sugar note.

This beer is very flavorful. It is well balanced but definitely leans towards the malty side. I taste a bit of frutiness, I'm reminded of grapefruit. The finish is a load of sweet roasted malt flavor and bread.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and creamy. It is more substantial than I expected. It goes down very easily.

This is a truly awesome lager. I've never had one quite like it. I limited myself to one last night but it left me wanting more. Great Lakes makes some of the best lagers around. I have never disliked any of their products. A must try!

bozebus17, May 03, 2007
Photo of Duster72
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice reddish amber color with a off white one finger head with fair retention and lacing. Aroma is all sweet malts. Smooth malts with hints of sweetness. Some orange present. Very bready. Mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing. Very drinkable. Great session choice.

Duster72, May 03, 2007
Photo of dherling
3.13/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a honey brown color with a creamy off white head, medium lacing. Nose was a funkadelic, with some green malt and other fresh smelling notes. The taste was like a straight up lager. This came accross like MGD to me. Mouthfeel consisted of a medium body and low carbonation. Not a challenging drink, but not an enjoyable one either. Translation: easy drinking, but who would want to?

dherling, May 01, 2007
Photo of emerge077
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice reddish-amber body, Huge frothy head that billows over the rim of the glass. Good clarity as well.

Aroma of malty, toasted cereal grain. Pleasant, not musty, clean.

Taste has a purely malty profile, light residual hop bitterness in the end. Very light spiciness in the middle. Not bad.

Mouthfeel is smooth due to the ample, balanced carbonation. Would be a great choice for a summer session.

emerge077, Apr 30, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Re-review: 11oz bottle ("Best By of 4/6/07") in a classic conical pint glass

This is one of the 1st beers I reviewed as a BA, so now I revisit this beer to see if my impressions have changed any.

Poured with some energy & vitality. Lovely, subtle nose - mildly spiced, pleasing caramels, sea air, faint citrus. Head was a finger's worth of loose, agitated, crisp ivory hued foam that snapped & danced then faded very quickly to a sheen of coverage and a glass ring that laced sporadically.

Color is remarkable - the most crystal clear, vibrant, perfect mix between brassy orange and cherry amber, a southwest sunset hue (whatever that means). A few lone bubbles rise slowly thru it.

Mmm..very nicely malted, lite caramel, very even & balanced. Subtle orange quality, echoes of some hop oiliness & spiciness. A nice aspect is the refreshing balance & overall smoothness - no rough spots. As it blooms the caramels grow, perhaps even a twinge of milk chocolate sweetness hiding in those malts. The tonguefeel is a nice contrast as it grows drier & crisper, hops rising but not over the top. It finishes nice bittersweet, clean, leaving a bitter, chewy film that is not unpleasant at all.

Just as good as I remember. Great Lakes worst beers are simply very good, and this one is definitely above that. An outstanding beer and great example of the genre. This would pair exceptionally well with a grilled steak, a marinated beef, spicy pork, cheddar cheese...a very versatile food beer. Highly recommended....again!

BuckSpin, Apr 28, 2007
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,635 ratings.