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Great Lakes Eliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

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2,755 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,755
Reviews: 959
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 215
Gots: 333 | 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
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Ratings: 2,755 | Reviews: 959 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear amber color with a medium size white head. Good head retention and lacing. OK smell, bready malts.

Nice crisp taste mostly malty, slightly sweet with a hint of floral hops at the end. Mouthfeel is not particularly rich but not watery either....light and crisp.

Drinkability is good. Tasty, light crisp balanced. A nice session beer.

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

On-tap at the Cleveland-Hopkins airport

Appears dark amber with a thin white head. Very smooth lager. There a hint of vegetl DMS in the aroma with bready and light caramel malts. The flavor has a dry bread crust note and finishes with a mixture of balancing hops and juicy candy sweetness. This is so nice and sweet, it's almost like a sugar cookie with a touch of caramel.

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

I had this on tap at Stony River in Dublin, OH. The beer was dark orange color and clear, medium sized head. The smell was a bit like an ESB, kind of muted but included both malt and hops, more of the former. The taste was nice, toasted malts and a little nutty, just a bit of hoppiness in the aftertaste.

I've had this many times but never reviewed it, it's one of the reasons I love Great Lakes so much. Never a bad choice in any number of restaurants in OH.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Untouchables? Poured a deep burnt amber color with some lighter highlights throughout. A good pour leaves an ample soft, white head. Ok retention that remained around the edge of the glass and limited lacing over time.

The nose is sweet with malty undertones. Mostly caramel but limited in its complexity, especially for style. Some sugary residual but smoother. No really yeasty undertones. No real hop aroma.

The taste is off on style, more of an amber. Some sweeter malt with more of a caramel flavor. No real Vienna flavors at all. Some grainy and light honey flavors. Some grassy finishing hops with a light earthy flavor as well. Some light spicy almost peppery finish. Very smooth with next to no yeasty/estery undertones.

The body feels light but still has a lot of sweetness. Although does not have that unattenuated feel more with an under balance of bittering hops. To me, not a Vienna. Maybe fermented cold but nice amber.

Photo of schroe58
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into typical pint glass

a- dark amber with thin head that disappears almost instantly but lacing stays till the end

s-sweet and malty with a little bit of hop, very very simple and nice, great balance, love it.

t-beautiful malt flavor with just the right amount of sweetness finished out with a good balance of very light hops

m- light carbonation and light smooth feel

d-this beer is my go to since i live about 1/2 hour from the great lakes brewery. the beer is an amazing balance of flavor, feel, and taste and it can be had for sub $10 for a six. the taste is extremely pleasant, sweet but not too sweet, just a great blend. straightforward beer that delivers great balance and taste. highly recommended for anyone that appreciates good beer. 6.2% abv so you can enjoy a few. very pleasant any day beer.

Photo of sleazo
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours a medium brown with hints of orange. What is that siena? The nice foamy head recedes a bit too quickly to a nice slick that floats to the end.

S_Despite the small head the beer produces a strong aroma. The malt is the dominant factor here with its' biscuit and sweet caramel. Some grassy hops are noteworthy in the background.

T_The hops appear up front here, grassy and slightly medicinal. The follow through is a nice sweet caramel and toffee malt. The whole of the matter is very well balanced. Slight hint of alcohol is the only detracting note.

M_On the thicker side for a lager with an above average carbonation.

D_This is a very nice lager, sweeter than Sam Adams or Brooklyn but well balanced. I would drink this a lot if it was around more often. Thanks to Pimpp for the sample.

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

Pours a dark amber with 1 finger head. Smell is grains and malt. Taste has a nice sweet grainy flavor with caramel malt and finishes smoothly with a little dose of hops. Mouthfeel was smooth and pleasant. Drinkability is good with a 6.2 abv. I'm not a lager guy, but this one has made me wonder. Best lager I've ever had. Cheers!

Photo of Bockrules
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A brilliantly Deep Amber with a head that stays all the way down the glass. Leaves behind a nice lacing all the way down the glass as well.

S: Very malty and sweet - quite pleasant, could stand to be a bit stronger

T: Very flavorful and malty with a kiss of hops on the finnish

M: At first seems a little thin, but later gets very creamy

D: Great, I think I could drink these all night. The price is reasonable, but I think for the money, trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager is a better bet

Photo of GreatLaura
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer, It is a lager but rprised it was a lager.gain, sureally reminds me of a micro ale. A bit of a burned carmel te color is medium, the taste is burnt carmel but lighter than say Rouge ead Guy Ale. Again, surprised it ws a lager. Great Lakes won't stand out as the best brewery ever but, you can trust what they put out as great quality and true to style.

Photo of raephun
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
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
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
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
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
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
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
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
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
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
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
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
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
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
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
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
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,755 ratings.