1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,722 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,722
Reviews: 951
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 211
Gots: 297 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Eliot Ness Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,722 | Reviews: 951 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iceball585
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish copper color, semi-clear, very thin lacy cover that faded to a thin ring around the glass

S- Dark malts, caramel, sweet, hint of hops spicyness

T- Toasted malts, caramel, cocoa, toffee, hint of hops, slight bitter finish

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, clean, smooth, crisp

D- Very good session beer

This is a very interesting beer. Good flavors but slightly different from most other beers of this style. The label states it as an amber but it's actually a vienna lager. Over all good beer in my opinion.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean copper color, with an off-white/ tan head. Aromas of a dry earthiness, and just a hint of sweetness. In the taste, malty with a dry end, kind of sticky-sweet too. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry maltiness in the aftertaste. Kind of Oktoberfest like, easy to drink and nice earthy malt.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First things first I don't drink this beer nearly enough anymore, it used to be available throughout my area of WV brought in by Wine and Beverage Merchants of Weirton. Sadly someone down state decided to turn him in for selling beer above the 6% alcohol law that are fucked laws here in the DUB VEE endorse. Yes a beer at 6.2% alcohol by volume has been off the shelves for a couple years now, due to some asshole in my state. Now that I got to vent, here goes Eliot Ness ruby caramel vibrant bright crystal clear body with a large beige head forming thick in my 1/2 liter mug lacing is even and simply clings to the sides of my glass. Aroma here has it all with roasted nuts toffee/caramel slightly burnt brown sugar flow going on with spicy German hops a flowing in the background. Also a mild air of citrus peel floats around what a great spicy hop profile, thank god I'm living in Ohio at least alcohol laws are in check. Now I have to start convincing stores to carry a selection and get Cavalier Distributing involved in this region of the state. Flavor has a pronounced funky hop flow with spicy herbal edges and tangy citrus peels flowing with mildly bitter darker roasted malts bringing out a touch of dark chocolate melted over one of your favorite toffee or caramel filled candy bar think Heath sans as much chocolate. Mouthfeel is so nice carbonation is perfect creamy layers divide on the palate with slick hop oils also gracing my palate overall beautifully crafted medium bodied micro brewed beer at it's best. Drinkability is butter, it caresses you. The best Vienna style lager I've come into contact with thank god I understand this style due to a single beer because there's not many great representations out there.

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

Small capped bottle, expiration date 12/07/07.
Orange with red highlights, it is topped by a nice tan head with above average retention.
Aroma, like the taste, is not overly complex or powerful, but well balanced, with a caramelized, toasted malt, with some hoppy notes.
Clean, lightly sweet with a somewhat dry finish, medium bodied.
Simple and pleasant, a good Vienna lager, perhaps a tad more hopped than the average.

Photo of riversider76
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a thin white head. Not much retention,but good lacing. Aroma is of sweet bready malts. Medium bodied, this beer has little carbonation. Taste is of sweet,breads,and fruit, but there is a touch of hops.Full flavored,yet light,and refreshing. Excellent.

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

Reddish amber pour with a small white head. Perfect clarity in the beer.
Big malt hit in the smell. Caramel/toffee accents with a lot of sweet malt, reminds me of a doppelbock.
Good balance in the flavor between malt and hops. Sweet malt is immediately followed by some hop bitterness then some biscuit malt and some more bitter hop in the finish.
Mouthfeel is not bad, but not exceptional either.
This is a very tasty, easy to drink example of an amber lager. extremely drinkable. I found some of this in Ohio and brought it back to NC. I'm already scheming to find a reason to go back.

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

A. Looks the type as a typical Amber Lager. S. Has a bit of a subdued smell, not very powerful or round like most Amber. T. Just an average taste, kind of let down as all Great Lakes beers are generally superior, has a true microbrew taste but not overwhelming, a bit acidic, lingering aftertaste. M. Solid mouthfeel, a nothing remarkable. D. goes down nice, decent beer, would prefer draft to bottle on this one in particular.

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

My toast to Michael Jackson, enjoyed on 9/30/07. Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a Sam Adams specialty pint glass. The label declares: "enjoy by 10/22/07."
A: Coppery-red in color, with one inch of foamy, off-white head that settles slowly and leaves some sparse, lacy fingers on the glass. Medium amount of carbonation visible.
S: Overall, the nose is of the subdued hoppy variety. Notes of freshly mown grass, floral hops, and mild sugars. Stronger sniffs reveal some fruity scents, possibly apples, and a subtle toastiness.
T: The crisp, floral hops lead the way, and yield a slightly more citrusy flavor heading into the midtaste, but it doesn't quite crest into a full-fledged citrus flavor. Rather, it falls down to a pleasant sweetness that rounds out the taste rather well.
M: Mostly fine, but a tad watery overall, and drying in the finish. It leaves me wanting another sip, but the next one doesn't quite quench my thirst either.
D: Not bad. The taste leaves me wanting more, but the drying afterfeel is a bit of a deterrent.
Overall, a really solid amber lager. Worth investigating if you haven't tried it.

Photo of bradley194
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My girlfriend and I took a day trip to Cleveland, OH so we could go to the Great Lakes Brewery.

The Eliot Ness:

Color- Amber. Really looks beautiful in a glass. Mine had a about one and a half finger head that stuck around for a while.

Taste- A nice balance between malt and hops. This beer tends to lean towards the maltier side which I love because I am a malt lover. Sweet at first with a fair bite as it goes down. A really enjoyable beer.

* I had this straight from the brewery so it was about as fresh as you could get it, but I have also had it in a bottle from a local Columbus, OH restaurant. Though for my taste you can't beat getting it straight from the source, the bottle was equally enjoyable.

I would recommend this beer to anyone. In my opinion this is a good beer for someone who is just getting into beer tasting. It is heavy, but very drinkable.

This is my favorite of the year-round Great Lakes beer.

I give this beer an overall score of 4.4 out of 5.

Photo of WesWes
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a creamy, pale, Vienna, and crystal malt scent. It's smooth and sweet with a slightly dry lager yeast aroma. The taste is awesome. As far as lagers go, this is one of the best around. It's got excellent malt character as well as a smooth, creamy finish. It goes down easy with a slight breadlike quality in addition to a lager dryness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good lager. It's full of malt flavor and is easy drinkable; a real gem of a beer.

Photo of Risser09
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This lager is copper in color with a generous head that won't give up. It is tan in color and leaves some lacing behind.
Smell: The smell is lager like with fragrances of malt, fig and raisin. there is no hop aroma.
Taste: Malt and some bubblegum. Cherry and some toffee are present. Not a lot of complexity but still a great lager.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and smoothe. Slight hop twinge in the finish is awesome and begs to be drank.
Drinkability: I like this beer, but would let the Dortmunder edge it out overall. A great beer.

Photo of Abita45
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass with a thick, foamy head, deep, dark copper color, and a sweetly hoppy aroma that is also faintly salty like a ocean water. This is a very good tasting beer, medium hoppiness and lightly fruity with grassy tones. There is a very pleasant combination of sweetness and earthiness.

Really great beer and a credit to Great Lakes.

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.

Photo of Keitherduder
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
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!"

Photo of Slar211
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of giblet
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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!


Photo of soupyman10
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of kellyst
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of dmamiano
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

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.

Photo of psinderson
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of shivtim
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of TheBierBand
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
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...

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,722 ratings.