Great Lakes Eliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

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2,679 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,679
Reviews: 938
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 206
Gots: 268 | 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: 2,679 | Reviews: 938 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of number1bum
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful deep amber, crystal cleer with a moderate amount of light beige head. Not much in the way of regention or lacing. Smell is subtly sweet, honey and toasted grain. Also a touch of fruity hops in the background. Taste is to die for - toasted grain with a mild malt sweetness - caramel and honey - and a perfect hop balance. Medium mouthfeel, finishes clean and smooth.

This really is an exceptional beer. So smooth and perfectly balanced, I could drink it all night. Fantastic. Maybe the best lager I've ever had the pleasure to drink.

Photo of Phatz
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served on tap at Capone's.

Appearance: Served a luminescent copper amber color with a creamy frothy thick off white head on top. Very nice. Lacing as well.

Smell: Sweet Vienna malts clean and light with a touch of fruit, bread, cake and even a drop of caramel.

Taste: Bready malts and fruit attribute lead with a bit of dry grain, nut and toasted caramel with a berry hint in the finish and a nice lingering aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, smooth crisp lager built for easy drinking.

Drinkability: This is a very easy drinking beer. I think it'd make a great transition beer for Yuengling drinkers and it'd even please the BAs. Well done!

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of meatyard
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours with a good-looking 2 finger white head that leaves consistent, even lacing. The color is a clear, deep amber.
The smell is sweet malts.
The taste is malty and sweet as well with a very slight hops bitterness.
The mouthfeel has a tingle of carbonation and is slightly thin to medium.
Drinkability is very good.
A solid, tasty, easy to drink lager that you can't go wrong with in your fridge.

Photo of BMoney575
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 3-12-07
Best before 5-25-07

Pours a very dark and very clear amber with a huge off-white everlasting head.

Smells malty and slightly sweet, refreshing hop aroma.

Taste is sweet malt at first, with a good hop kick. Finishes very bready with a slight sourness.

Mouthfeel is good, not too thin but not too robust.

Drinkability is very good, the flavors are nice and very well balanced.

Overall a very good and drinkable beer. Very refreshing and easy to drink but still complex and rewarding.

Photo of jpkoch1962
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice amber lager - I wouldn't go as far as classifying it as a Vienna, though. Pours a brilliant light bronze/amber with a nice 2 finger head. The aroma is a thick complex assortment of malts and hops. Perhaps a bit too sweet. The taste matches the aroma. This starts with a sweet toffee profile that begins to dry out in the middle. Very smooth, with a quick hop punch at the end. Nice dry finish with no lingering aftertaste. Great Lakes keeps brewing high quality beer.

Very nice session beer.

Photo of Ricochet
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark amber with decent head and a really sticky lace all around the rim of the glass.

S: Stronger malt and hops. Smell was familiar, and average.

M: Mild wash, not offensive, grassy aftertaste.

T: Yep. This is a Yuengling Amber made without adjuncts. IE: A good beer made even stonger because of the lack of cheapness. Slight bitterness, mostly lightly toasted malt making it's presence known. It also has a fullness , more rounded, but damn, this is like an imperial Yuengling, or something like that.

D: You pay for the lack of adjuncts. It's damn good, but when I get a 24 of the Y for $17 (in cans) and this would be $28, well...see my point? Who cares. This is excellent. If this was thier signature beer and was in every bar like Dortmunder, I'd be a happy camper.

Photo of tgbljb
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very deep amber color with long-lasting tannish creamy head.
Smell is sweet and malty with some interesting caramel notes.
Taste also shows some strong maltiness with a light background hoppiness at the finish.
The hop presence becomes stronger in the mouth and is almost ale-like at the ending.
A somewhat inbalanced beer with a too strong hop bitterness that klingers in the mouth.

Photo of Magpie14
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a copper 'n' amber based beer fused with gold highlights in the glass. Two finger head and overall wonderful color

Smell: malty, nutty with a sweet caramel nose. Caramel gives way to a more toffee-nut smells

Taste: like the smell. Toasty malted caramel with slight chocolate taste. Has a good dose of sweetness but it never gets in the way and the hops jump out and give a spiced texture that makes the beer complete.

Very drinkable and tastes great. This one is a new favorite of mine
solid beer....Yum

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear amber color with a finger and a half head of cream colored head.

Aroma is of toasted malt, sweet caramel, and a little background of hops.

Taste is pretty well balanced. There is some toasted bready malt, some sweet caramel, a little herbal hops providing some bitterness towards the finish.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and pleasantly carbonated with a slightly dry finish.

This is definitely an easy drinker. My first beer from Great Lakes and if they are all as well done as this, I look forward to tasting them. I really dig this beer.

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

Got in a trade with david eddie

Nice frothy head that isn't too big but stays for a while. I poured this into a pilsner glass.

Nice caramel malt smell.

Taste very nice caramel malts with a nice hop balance. More malty than hoppy. This had a crisp mouthfeel as well. I love these beers because they give a malt fix and a hop fix without being over bearing and are very sessionable. A great beer to start the night with or to make a session with.

Photo of Cresant
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Best by dat: 2/10/07. The meager head dissolved quickly. The body was a clear, golden brown.

Smell was initially metallic and sweet. Later toffee-like sweet malts surfaced. Fresh leafy hops peek out too.

Taste was not as sweet as one would guess from the smell. Plums? Caramel.
rich flavor with being heavy.

Mouthfeel was smooth but there was some zestiness from the carbonation. Nice overall.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great Lakes is one of a select few breweries that seem to never disappoint, and this is another quality offering from them. I was expecting very little from an amber lager (based on many disappointing amber ales I've had), but this beer over-delivered on appearance and taste.

It poured a vibrant copper-red color that gleamed in the glass. Head formation was great, but looked slightly soapy when it went away.

Aroma was a bit faint, but more abundant than a lot of amber ales, and is malty and bready.

Taste is of caramel malt with some sweetness at the finish, and is quite good.

Mouthfeel is extremely substantial for a lager, and feels appropriate. I found this beer to be very drinkable.

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

Thanks BuckEyeNation

Pours a clear dark amber color, nice carbonation, small fizzy head that leaves quickly, some lacing afterwards. The nose is of sweet malts, hops, and caramel. The taste follows the nose, sweet and malty, nice touch of caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice offering from Great Lakes.

Photo of Dubbercody
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a fluffy head that falls into leaving a film of bubbles....the nose is just as described, malty but mostly caramel that lead into a taste that gives a creamy caramel flavor. I like this beer, it reminds me of a few brews available out here in Oregon.

Nice Vienna in this taste of Great Lakes Day.

Photo of becktone
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On the back of a questionaire at the Great Lakes Brewpub:

A- Deep red, garnet. A small head, one finger, could be due to a dirty/greasy/oily glass. Lacing is somewhat appealing and at times is even great, would be better if glass were properly cleaned. Eventually the head receeds to a film.

S- Malty, sweet, caramel and a hint of smoke-just a hint though. Perhaps thats Vienna malts I'm smelling? most likely.

T- Good malt backbone, just enough hops to balance it though there isn't too much hop flavor, just a light bitterness. Little bit of burnt caramel flavor, though less emphasis on the burnt aspect.

On the palate the beer is creamy and carbonation doesn't get in the way but is high enough to notice without focusing on it. Definitely better on tap than in the bottle. Overall a great brew that hits the spot in the late fall and srping.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a red amber color no too dark but dark enough. It had a creamy off-white head. Had a storng aroma of roasted malt and hops and some coffee to it. It tasted very malty and it finished witha a very nice hop induced bitterness that was refereshing. Oeral a very attractive beer that reminded me a bit of Dead Guy Ale and was equally attractive to me.

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

A good finger of head that becomes somewhat spotty lacing. The body itself is an attractive hue somewhere between cranberry juice and iced tea.

A sweet/spicy aroma gives me a good feel for hops and berries in the nose along with some nice breadiness via the malt.

The hops are far more active here than in any Vienna I've had. Even more unexpected are the earthy flavors on the back end. I'm almost having trouble seeing this as a Vienna as it's going beyond that classification in most regards.

There is a slight astringency that I am getting on the finish that is keeping the mouthfeel down a bit. Still, for the flavor and the overall enjoyment factor I still have to count this as extremely drinkable.

Photo of bigdeuce
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this to be more of an American red ale than a vienna lager, although it is maltier than a red, way maltier but deeper than a vienna. That being said this is like the big brother of an Oktoberfest. Pours a tight creamy head, leaving tons of lacing down the glass. Tasted great with pork and sauerkraut! Has slight burnt chocolatey notes and some plumy fruit, caramelly crisp as well. Nice thick body and pours a nice red amber color. A great session brew and another top notch, great lakes brew!

Photo of ndekke39
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered this on-tap at a small concert venue. Quick possibly the definition of an "easy" craft beer: you know you're getting good quality beer, but it's not terribly complex and very simple to enjoy. Pour a clear medium brown - small head on it with a bit of retention. In terms of smell and taste, it's a good balance of lightly toasted grains and floral hops. No really significant flavors stood out, but the mix of flavors again made this an easy beer to enjoy. Medium mouthfeel - a tad watery for my taste. Very, very drinkable. As I said, easy to enjoy.

Photo of beakerboy
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a small head with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. the beer leaves behind a fair amount of lace. The aroma has lots of sweet malt and floral hops. The flavor is medium-heavy hopped and a good amount of bitterness. Body is medium-light. A good beer. The is only the second Great Lakes beer I've tried. The first was a dissapointment, so this is a pleasent surprise.

Photo of brucer1
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: poured from bottle dated 1/25/07 into pint glass.
Appearance: warm ruddy amber in colour. thin head, no lacing.
Taste: Subtle complexity, not overly hoppy. good flavour, smoky.
Mouthfeel: nice carbonation feel within the mouth, little bite.
Drinkability: one of my favorite year round glbc beers. 6.2% abv makes it very drinkable.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark amber, lots of colors going on, good carbonation. The head is good 2 full fingers, nice and thick, good lace.

The smell is malty but a good hop going on as well. But not like a pale ale.

The taste is good , thick sweet malt balancing out a big yet present Hopy bite. Nice slightly different.

The mouthfeel is good, nice body good carbonation, a nice brew going down.

The drinkability is good, Nothing wrong here. Prosit MK

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

got this bottle in a trade with nlmartin. thanks nate!

pours a deep reddish amber colour with a half inch of very fine head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass.

aroma is nice. mild grapefruity hops. great bready malt. caramel sweetness.

taste is great. toffee. bready malt. mild bitterness. light grapefruit hops. really crisp.

mouthfeel is great. light and refreshing, but by no means thin. carbonation level feels a little low, but good.

drinkability is great. nice and refreshing and well balanced.

Photo of rrg1gb
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - 12 oz pilsener glass, pours a dark amber color, mahogany like, with a large amount of carbonation and a thick, foamy head that slowly dissipates.

S - Faint, sweet aroma, hints of caramel.

T - Starts off sweet and malty, reminiscient of caramel, but finishes off with a very light bitterness.

M - It looked overcarbonated, but it's not. That may have to do with the malty sweetness, which becomes more prevalent as the bottom of the glass becomes more visible. But overall, it still has a nice smooth finish. It's definitely "liquid bread" at its finest.

D - Great beer, full of flavor but not at all intimidating. It's a great beer for trying to wean people off of that yellow fizz.

Photo of alexgash
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Autumnal red and gold body with a solid finger of dense, sandy head. Very nice looking beer for the first day of fall. Caramel covered fruit nose with toasted vegetal pepper spice and soft cookie dough malt. Caramel-soaked cookie dough malt flavors up front gain a toasted, slightly rummy sweetness before vegetal spice bitterness does an excellent job of balancing it all. Long, enjoyable finish. Medium bodied, with a creamy feel. Very easy drinking. Viva this Vienna!

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,679 ratings.