1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,514 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,514
Reviews: 922
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 178
Gots: 206 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Eliot Ness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,514 | Reviews: 922 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tavernjef
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid rust/coppery color with a slight chill haze, medium, softly topped yellowy chicken meat colored head that sits a good while before settling to a favorable skim and thin, speckled curtains of lace sticking as we go. Aroma starts a tad light on the nose with some light toasty grains and bread with just a bit of sweetened fruitiness. As it warms a nice smokey-like dryness of multi whole grains, roasty hazelnuts, and hard caramel appear in the nose making it much nicer and even a bit stronger. Taste is mild but eagerly built with some f*ckin' great malts! One of the best profiles of bready/grains ever encountered, wow! Has an easy start that remains in some mixed maltyness of slight sweetness and light toastyness, but that gains with a gradual presence of uniquely thick seven grain pancake-like, toasty wild rice roundness. Spectacular malts! Perfectly milding light grassy spice and hops poke through. Add in the teriffic finish of smokened grains and malts slightly drying and lifting into the finish with mixed roasty nuttyness. Very intriguing flavors indeed, well put together with a delicately rich and smooth body that keeps convalescing. A true showmanship of the meaning behind hand crafted. Wow, what a recipe, great stuff! Try it and see, you'll be impressed no doubt! Absolutely drinkable to the fullest! My new Vienna/Marzen to keep around at all costs! Yum times ten!

tavernjef, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Dark label that has a black background with white lettering. The picture is a sepia photograph of the man himself enjoying a Pint. Brewery blurb to the right of the label explains that this beer is named after one time Cleveland Safety Director. It goes on to explain that this Amber Lager has a feint hop nose and a slightly sweet finish. Recommended Serving Temperature of 45°F, as well as a listed Strength of 6.2%. Enjoy By Date is Jan. 01 04, wow, a New Years Eve beer this one!!

Appearance: A very dark but exceptionally clear amber body with some polished copper burnishings when twizzled in the light. Just as with my first Great Lakes beer, the head is awesome. A solid tan head that is large, fluffy and caps the beer well. Cloud like; it leaves a little lacing on the glass walls, but not much. Great staying power. Average levels of dissolved carbon dioxide, but curiously the bubbles appear to be trapped near the surface of the beer like air bubbles in blown glass. Looks great.

Nose: Toasted malts and ‘brown’ nutty odors fill the air. Some grain and a heavy odor of freshly baked wholemeal bread aromas mixed with a sweet feel in the ending. Like a thick Nut Brown Ale.

Taste: Sweetish start, toasty malts, grain and biscuit to start with, it rises a notch in the middle when hazelnuts together with a spicy caramel middle take over completely. Bitter hops linger in the background, but they race through and stick to the cleft of the mouth once the beer is swallowed, whilst all the time a very nutty finish with a hint of the caramel fudginess from a half chewed Curly-Wurly mixes with a solid Malt feel in the ending.

Mouthfeel: Easy going smooth licks, even creamy at times, yet bitter with a husky nuttiness mixed with biscuit and grain at others. Finish is astringent, bitter and it lingers, it won’t let you forget the experience too quickly. Above average body with a fulfilling sturdy frame that is very robust.

Drinkability: I love the malty finish in this beer, slightly sweet, nutty malty and creamy. Has a solid high quality feel about it that impresses.

Overall: Only my second offering from Great Lakes, and I am already very impressed. Well worth seeking out if you get chance. Recommended!

”They sip one of ours, we imbibe one of theirs, they drink one of ours, we quaff one of theirs, they sink one of ours, we “down-in-one” another one of theirs”.
A Sean Connery ‘Untouchable’ Thanks to BigHuge for this one!

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of CortexBomb
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours out a lovely shade of amber with plenty of frothy head to go with it. Scent is that hoppy floral aroma with nuttiness creeping in as well.

Nice deep taste here, Roast and nuttiness starts to come through, and it continues to build and build to a crescendo pitch on the back with a dash of hops, and a light rememberence left in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is relatively thick for the style, while the drinkability on this beer is excellent, very smooth. I'd label this beer a perfect candidate for 'bridging the gap' between macro and micro drinking, it's not as overwhelming as many micros, yet has more than enough character to keep your palate interested.

CortexBomb, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of Reneejane
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a nice reddish orange topped with a beige-orange head that was fluffy and thick, it seemed to last. I've had this beer on tap as well as in the bottle, but I'm reviewing bottle. Anyway, starts with a definite hoppy taste. The hop is somewhat earthy but mostly floral. It finishes with a nutty malt. I just love the nuttiness afterwards.

Reneejane, Jan 28, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark amber, very nice head which dissipated fairly quickly. Lacing is pretty good for what little head is left.

Smell: a bit spicy, a bit toasty.

Taste: Very nice balance of sweetness and bitterness. Finishes a bit hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Big, full but not too heavy. Carbonation is really good. Alcohol is noticeable, but not too heavy, but does give a wonderful warming feeling in the belly.

Drinkability: So far, I've really enjoyed everything from Great Lakes Brewing, and this is no exception. This is a very easy beer to drink, not too much going on to overwhelm my still-in-training beer sensors, but good enough that I'll be picking up a few more on my next trip to D's.

JackTheRipper, Jan 14, 2004
Photo of goz
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear deep amber, with a small tan head that slightly lasts, and leaves a very small bit of lacing. Aroma strong on sweet caramel, lightly nutty, and some toasted grains. Flavor starts with caramel spread on some toasted whole grain bread, ends with a slightly spicy hop finish. Medium body, very drinkable.

goz, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of Shiloh
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exellent brew.
Very deep dark amber with a touch of cloudiness. Head was short but left a nice frothy ring and thin island lace.
Carbonation was active.
The body close to full.
Aroma slight of roasted nuts.
Aaah, the taste, features an early roasted malty caromel with a gentle bitter hop back to finish. Great balance.

Shiloh, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of dpend
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich, deep, dark amber that built to a decent pillowy off-white head. Good lacing. Aroma of malts greet you immediately with fruitiness through the middle and mild hopping in background. Taste is also heavily malted and a bit of a raisin presence. Nice and mellow feel with a slighty hoppy and wet finish.

dpend, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never had a bad brew from this legendary brewpub. Clear freshness dating appreciated. Too bad its not available in Canada. This is a very good German style beer. Goes well with food, perfect for appetizers. Well balanced. Two to three people to finish a six-pack.

Sammy, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a nice 2 finger off-white head. Good lacing down the glass. Smells strongly of bread with a hint of hop citrus in the background.

The taste is fairly mundane and average to me. Caramel malts followed by a little buttery diacetyl and some underlying fruit. Slightly nutty. Mildly hopped. Mouthfeel is middle of the road.

A very easy drinking brew, you could easily consume a lot, but it does nothing to set itself apart from the field.

yankeeheel, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of Dogbrick
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Winking Lizard. Lovely amber color with a medium thick off-white head. Thin lacing Nice aroma of malt, caramel and nuts. Medium-bodied and smooth with a blend of roasted nuts, caramel, cinnamon and malt working well together. The finish is mostly sweet malt with a lingering hops bite. Great beer.

Dogbrick, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of xgrigorix
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. Best by date printed on label.

Dark amber, slightly hazy. One finger of tan foam caps it. Large bubbles pop through the head.

Strong malt aroma, some dark fruit, & mild hop aromas.

Malt drives this one start to finish. Some breadiness, a hint of fruit, and just enough hops to keep it from becoming cloying. Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

xgrigorix, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle at MikeyW's house. Deep, shiny copper color. Glowing. Off-white sticky head. Bubbly. Laced the glass to the bottom. Full toasted carmel malt smell. Perfectly rich taste of toasted malt, very full malt taste. Lots of sweetness, and snap, sticky, quick hop kick. Very balanced, and full flavored. Solid medium bodied, but super easy to drink. Dru finish, but toasted flavors linger on the tongue. I thought this was vienna lager, not a marzen, but there probably isn't really a difference. Whatever category you place it, it was a very impressive beer and worth any efforts to try it. I waited a long time to try it, and it exceded my expectations. A "wow" beer.

StevieW, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of euskera
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle..

Nice rusty-red color with a nice mediun bodied head. Good balance of malt and hop with a slight floral tinge to it. Smooth and eminently drinkable, with a little caramel edge to it at the back end. I'd love to have a keg of this stuff at a party..

euskera, Sep 26, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This marzen-style lager poured a nice copper colour with an off-white head. The aromas were of malts and hops in a nice perfect harmony. The taste is malty of course, a bit fruity, fresh, floral and hoppy. The mouthfeel is a bit light on the tonuge, but heavy enough to slightly coat the throat on the way down. The drinkability is pretty excellent as well. Another good brew from the folks at GLBC!

francisweizen, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of Reverand
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Amber red color with an off white head. Head retention is good, traces of Belgian lace down the side of the glass. A nice balance of noble hop and caramelized malt give this beer a good taste. Very drinkable beer considering the alcohol content.

Reverand, Sep 24, 2003
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Did not even realize this was an Okto beer, thought it was more of a brown ale (but that's a compliment). A nice creamy head, alost stoutlike. Had a good beery smell with a touch of fruitiness that led me to think this was an ale. A complex hop taste that I thought had more American hops that the normal German ones. A delightful brew that stands out at any autumn party,

DrunkMcDermott, Sep 15, 2003
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eliot pours a nice clear amber, like iced-tea. Initially forms a rocky head which dissipates to a bare covering and crown.

Aroma - malty sweet with some caramel presence, too. Kind of light smell-wise, but what is here is good.

Taste - *Very* toasty malt. Oh man, is that good... Fabulous malt depth. Worth the price of admission right there. But wait, there's more! The malty sweetness ducks down long enough for some mellow hoppiness to show through. Drying on the finish but a toasty, lightly hoppy aftertaste. Great balance.

Great body and mouthfeel for the style. No wimpy Octoberfest offering here. Solid and yummy in the mouth and belly.

What a great session beer for the chilly fall months. Nicely warming and comforting. I will be getting more of these for the fall/winter.

brewdlyhooked13, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of sabrills70
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review date 8/29/03. Drink by date on bottle is 7/18/03. Deep amber in color Poured with a thick tan head that lasted for quite a while. Nice lace. Smell is predominately sweet malt with just a hint of hop presence. Taste is quite good. Malt sweetness with a nicely balanced hop finish. Perhaps a bit more the malt side, but still very nice. The hoppiness has a nice finish that is to say it doesn't hang around long, which is what I like. Mouthfeel is Better than average. The malt and hop flavors are very distinctive and seperate, it would be nicer if they were mixed together a bit more so that they compliment and help balance each other better. this is a very drinkable brew, not one to get drunk on, but one to kick back and enjoy several of.

sabrills70, Aug 30, 2003
Photo of brakspear
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An decent amber lager/marzen. Pours a clear deep amber with a tan head which fades and laces somewhat.

The aroma is malty with toasted malts and a very slight clean nuttiness and faint hop nose.

The flavor has a pronounced graininess, with some caramel and toasted malts rising to the fore. It is crisp for a marzen with a decent hop spice. Medium body that finishes a tad dry.

brakspear, Aug 24, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark Amber color, medium head. Aroma is malty and slighlty sweet. A full-bodied Vienna Lager. Big malty flavors, caramel and slightly nutty. Nice hop bite. Well balanced. Great tasting beer. Smooth taste. Finish is clean and slightly dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

beerguy101, Aug 19, 2003
Photo of canoehornpoint
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber, almost a light brown with red hues. Highly carbonated and a tick rich head. Malty nose. This is a smoothe, full flavored beer with even maltiness and slightly sweet. There is no real hop flavor but this does not make it overly sweet. This is full flavored as stated before but remains refreshing. Another gold for Great Lakes.

An odd note is that this was given to me by a Canadian innkeeper who has guests bring this up from Cleveland.

canoehornpoint, Aug 10, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was a dark amber, with excellent head retention. The smell was malty, with hints of sweetness. The taste was the same sweet malt, with some caramel taste and a wonderfully sweet aftertaste. The mouthfeel was smooth and perfectly carbonated. With drinkability, another one I could have over and over and over again.

Just one of the fantastic beers out of Great Lakes. As much as it pains me to say it, coming from the Pittsburgh area, something from Cleveland isn't really all that bad at all!

beergeek279, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of Winter
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a gem, if you're a Marzen / Oktoberfest fan. Pours a clear deep reddish amber with a thick luscious creamy light tan head. Sweet malt aroma seems almost bock-like, but consists of caramel and raisin. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with just a touch of carbonation. Taste has a real nice sweet rich chewy malt flavor that also consists of dark fruit (raisins) and caramel (this seemed evident from the nose). Hallertau hops provide a mildly dry bitter middle. They provide a good balance to the sweet malt finish. Being a big fan of Oktoberfest beers, this was a real treat.

Winter, Jul 17, 2003
Photo of MJR
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear deep red with a touch of orange around the edges. A tan head starts off well, and fades to a small cap that laces well.

Smell: The aroma is malty and bready. Toasted malts and a slight nuttiness match well with a faint, spicy hop note. Very clean nose here...

Taste: The flavor is quite rich, with a pronounced graininess and loads of toasted, bready malt. There's some caramel, but it stays mostly in the background. Incredibly crisp and clean. Dries out on the finish with a good, firm bitternes and a spicy hop bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, with a firm, clean, and crisp mouthfeel. Finishes a bit dry.

Drinkability: This is a really good brew. It's not 'exactly' to style...but who cares?! This would be one of my regulars if I could get it locally. But I can't. Damn...

A 'thank you' goes out to 'Realale' for the bottle.

MJR, Jul 10, 2003
Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,514 ratings.