Green Lakes Organic Ale | Deschutes Brewery

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Green Lakes Organic AleGreen Lakes Organic Ale

Brewed by:
Deschutes Brewery
Oregon, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Alc. by Vol.: 5.2%
IBUs: 45

Added by JohnGalt1 on 12-30-2007

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 351
Photo of Vashtar
2.68/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The appearance is foggy but it has a nice gradient and head.

The smell is just hoppy.

This beer tastes hoppy! Is there anything else but hops? My friend and I couldn't really taste the beer because the hops overwhelm everything.

The mouthfeel is clean. It's neither crisp, smooth nor textury.

Overall, it's just too hoppy to enjoy or even taste.

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Photo of chadjulius
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Organic beer? I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I hope this doesn't catch on if it's going to taste like this. Deschutes Brewery has many superior options to Green Lakes Organic Ale. It doesn't really taste like an ale either. It has a plant-like taste (does that qualify it as organic?) that is quite heavy, like a darker beer. I'm not feelin' this one.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.85/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

03/10/08- Purchased at Whole Foods in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle. Couldn't find any freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Amber-copper colored pour with a 1/2 inch head which fades fairly quickly. Leaves light spotty lace.

Smell- Very odd nose of malted chocolate, pungent hop resin and burnt malt. Didn't love it, but boosted it up because it was very intresting.

Taste- Rally not what I was expecting or looking for. Strong hop prescence, actually quite bitter, but the malt was overly burnt with a wet cardboard taste. Kind of the familiar organic flavor that I am used to. Really came close to a drain pour.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation was on the right track, but the malt aftertaste ruined any goodness from the hops.

Drinkability- Pass once again on another organic. Thought that Deschutes could nail one...oh well, I'll stick to all their other great brews.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Comes in that dark amber color, thin 1/3" white head. Some woody malt aroma, but nothing else really.

Lacks flavor. Bland, somewhere between a blonde and a brown ale in many ways. For those who found a pale ale too hoppy or bitter, like a melange of the more pedestrian flavor style beers.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks decent, pretty dark, light brown color. Thin body. A woodsy aroma, no hop qualities apparent.

Taste, kind of bland. Its thin body, with average hops. Kind of watered down for Deschutes, or maybe that's what qualifies as a "session ale," but I just look at this as Mirror Pond light. Its drinkable, but not going to knock anyone's socks off.

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Photo of MouthfulOfchris
3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a half finger of tan colored head with an okay retention. Color is a nontransparent dark amber.

S: Light caramelized malts dominate the aroma with light grassy floral notes.

T: Very hoppy taste that makes it more bitter than you would expect. Once you get past the hops, the malts are nice with a slightly toasted caramel flavor. It is not a well balanced beer and i would like the bitterness to be cut back yo enjoy the malts more.

M: Low carbonation with a weak body. While nicely creamy, it has a watery, thin mouth feel that is not very staisfying.

O: This beer's mouth feel is its weak point. I typically love hoppy, bitter beers but it does not work with this style. I would like to enjoy the caramel notes to be more present without having to search for them. Still, the flavor is good enough for me to enjoy. The weak mouth feel is what would keep me from coming back.

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Photo of CapitalGains
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured and tasted 8/13/11
12 oz. bottle into an Edmund Fitz pint glass

Amber/burnt gold colored body with a ~2 inch creamy, bubbly faint peach head after initial pour, leaves a little lacing.
Aroma is dominantly caramel malt, general earthy hop notes which are subdued, residual sweetness as it warms a bit; smell overall is lacking.
Taste is sweet malt, pineyness, perhaps a hint of pineapple, very slight hop bitterness on the finish, balanced profile overall though it could stand to use some more bittering hops.
Medium carbonation and mouthfeel on the whole, appropriate for the style.
A solid, unimposing amber ale overall. Can't say there is anything that makes this brew stand out but it is a balanced offering. It's a decent deal from a price perspective (usually ~$6-7 for a sixer) and at 5% or so ABV it could be a decent session beer.

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Photo of jzmaxson27
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to tony223366 for this bottle!

Reviewed on 12/15/11 from a bottle dated best by 1/11/12.

Appearance: Nice clear amber colored pour with a one finger pale white head that quickly dissipates, leaving light lacing down the glass. No real visible carbonation.

Nose: Fairly neutral here, some piney resin hop smells, maybe a little bit of chalkiness, nothing too noteworthy.

Taste: There is a surprising tartness on the tip of my tongue that I quite like, and that's followed by some nice malty notes. There's a caramel like sweetness that is by no means overpowering, but subtle and pleasant. There is a bit of bitter grapefruit in the finish, but it is balanced fairly well by that malty sweetness up front.

Mouthfeel: Very thin, maybe one of the thinnest beers I have ever tasted. Really surprising because the malty notes are robust enough that it seems to directly contradict the thin mouthfeel. Carbonation is subtle, but he beer is by no means flat. It's fairly equivalent to drinking soda water.

Overall: The taste is right, but the nose and mouthfeel are fairly disappointing. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink this again, but it tastes good enough that I would never turn it down. Plus, it's organic! Have to give it props for that. NOT a bad beer, just not that special.

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Photo of denver10
3.12/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A dark amber color with a half thumbs width beige head. The head doesn't stick around for too long, leaving behind a trace coat atop the surface. A very smooth sweet and floral aroma. Maybe even a little fruit hiding in there. The flavor is exactly what you'd expect from the aroma with a surprise kick of some bitterness thrown in there. It starts off very sweet (kinda jolly rancherish ) paired with the florals, the bitter hops kick in mid stream and then leave, bringing you with an earthy, tobacco like and sweet finish. A pirckly, medium bodied moutfeel. I had high hopes for this and while I think it is a pretty decent amber I can't say I am much of a fan for it personally.

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Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from Bottle into Pint glass.

Pours a copper color with two fingers of off-white head that dissolves into a frothy layer atop the beer. The aroma is mostly toasted malts and bread but there is some "metallic" aroma. Taste is caramel goodness upfront with some burnt bread and sweet bitterness on the end. Its medium bodied with a soft carbonation. Its pretty sweet with lots of bready notes. Decent enough but I prefer a little more hop character from an amber.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 FL OZS bottle into a 'cone' pint glass...

A - Pours orange/amber, with a nice white head...- some lacing.

S - Hops and malts lots of sweet citrus -

T - Sweet Tang! A good hop kick at the top, followed by some citrus, then ending with a bit of pine-like spices...Pleasant & refreshing!!

M - Great carbonation! There's a good fullness. Present, but not 'too' much fruity/sweet flavors...

D - This is a great amber, since I'm not a fan of the type...the name 'organic-ale' hid the actual type...I was expecting a 'wild-like' ale... good blend of malts & hops...clean good beer!

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Photo of stevoj
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nice and mild amber ale, somewhat subdued from the norm for the NW. Amber in color with small airy head, malty, nutty, some hop bitterness. Not picking up any differences from the organic nature of this brew.

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Photo of OF001
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice hazy red-amber off copper hue on the pour, with fair head and good carbonation that maintains a thin sporadic film and adequate lacing.

Nose is uneventful with light malts and unsweetened toffee. Aroma is likewise poor but adds a citrus hop note.

Thin body mainly consisting of caramel malts and lightly toasted breads. A light citrus hop abruptly cut off by a dry, palate coating finish. The carbonation prevents the citrus hop and harder water quality from being too sharp and gives a moderate creamy texture. Although this just staves off the notion of it approaching a lager.

I wish there was either a little more body through additional malt or more hops to satisfy my NW North America palate. Or make it a dark lager.

 732 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Poured into a nonic. Dark amber with a dense beige head that seems to last forever. Almost a nitro quality to it.

Aroma is kind of faint, with some standard PNW hoppiness and bready malt.

Flavor is also subdued, and it's pretty much the same as the aroma. Citrus hops with a touch of herbalness, and sweet malt for balance. On the watery side.

Mouthfeel is nitro-esque as well. Not thin but a little flat. Easily drinkable.

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Photo of dnichols
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was served this beer from the tap at the March 21, 2008 session of the Spring Beer Festival in Portland, Oregon.

A: It poured a dirty yellow colored body with a robust two finger off white head that had decent retention and supported a balanced lacing.

S: It had aromas of sweet lightly toasted malts, with hints of caramel and the smoll

T: It began with sweet caramel malt flavors and creamy yeasty flavors. That was followed by minor citrusy flavors including lemons and oranges. It hid the alcohol well and was a bit thin on many flavors.

M: It was a light bodied beer with modest carbonation and a sweet clean finish.

D: Nice ale but does not stand out as an outstanding beer. Good session brew....but only one in a crowd.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into standard pint. Pretty excited for this, deschutes never fals and I like ambers.

A: a finger of offwhite head that is leaving good lacing. A splotchy cap remains. Good clear amber color almost red.

S: fruity hops anda slighly sweet malt smell. Pineapple and other tropical fruit notes. Smells pretty good.

T: the hops aren't as fruity as I was expecting. Solid malty body with slightly bitter end. The taste isn't as good as the smell but I would gladly buy this again.

M: good medium body. Nothing amazing about it.

O: a good amber, but nothing fantastic. I enjoy it and will finish happily.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers of head on a fairly clear, but deep red colored body.
The smell is only faintly caramel.
The taste is has a mild malt sweetness to start, then a mild grapefruit bitterness.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
This is an easy drinkin' beer but still has some nice flavor.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an Orval goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery. I'm a bit wary of the whole "organic" beer movement, but I do trust Deschutes. My bottle (2011) is labelled 5.3%.

A: Pours a half finger head of fair cream and decent thickness, but merely okay retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark amber.

Sm: Amber hops, light caramelized malt, and light grassy floral notes. Also unexpected light nuts. A moderate strength aroma.

T: More hoppy than expected, lending it an unexpected and largely unwelcome bitterness that persists until the third act. The malts are its best feature, and are well handled and perchance slightly toasted. The caramel is slight if present, which may actually be a good thing. I wouldn't call it balanced, but it's decently built. Not refreshing or particularly pleasant, but nonetheless enjoyable. No alcohol comes through (predictably).

Mf: Alternating smoothness and coarseness, ending on coarseness - which isn't particularly suitable for the flavours (or style!). It's wet, but falls short of refreshing. Some of the notes feel stale as a result of the texture.

Dr: On account of the hops, this would age poorly. Its balance is its weak point. It isn't real drinkable on account of the coarseness, but the flavour is alright. This may be one of the worst Deschutes beers I've had, but that isn't saying a whole lot. I'd try it on draught if I came across it, but otherwise it's largely unremarkable. Would pair well with spicy food.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to hopsbreath and the Support Your Team! BIF for this bottle!

I think VDubb's getting a touch mean in his directives, especially after the last organic amber he had me crack. This one pours a clear russet amber topped by a large, thick, off-white froth. The nose is laden with floral hops, with some greens (mostly spinach) and a touch of toffee to accomp'ny them. Rock on, Bobby. The greens and flowers remain in power on the tongue, with the toffee once again playing the Submissive in this S & M tableau. Unfortunately, the florals are rather one-dimensional and border on the chalky after a while. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a pretty smooth feel. Y'know, I went into these organic ambers with an open mind, but they have both been disappointments, generally speaking. I may have to seek out the tasty organics, much like Woody is seeking out the tasty CANs. Time will tell, baby.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes to Arbitrator for this nice extra.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is a slightly cloudy amber orange. Two fingers of off white head recede leaving a thick coating of lace.

The aroma is a touch muted. What I can pick out is citrus hops along with a nice malt sweetness. A bit of earth and a hint of apples.

The flavor is very malt forward. Slight hints of oranges and lemons. A definite earth tone comes through in every sip. A dry bitterness finishes things off.

Medium bodied with a moderate to light carbonation.

Overall just another average beer. Nothing special. Nothing offensive.

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Photo of BeanBone
3.36/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A crystal-clear orange-amber body capped by a little less than two fingers of off-white head that leave good lacing.

Aroma: Lots of grainy malt along with a hint of brassy hops. Not much going on here.

Flavor: Again, there's lots of husky caramel malt accompanied by some mild brassy hops. It's not terribly unbalanced, but certainly malt-forward. The same malt profile makes up the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a neutral finish.

Drinkability: If you're into the flavor profile, this is an easy drinker.

Verdict: Kudos to Deschutes to crafting a beer that is truly environmentally friendly. Unfortunately though, Green Lakes ends up being not particularly remarkable and seems to call out for more hops; this may be just for those interested in organic brews.

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Photo of appenzeller
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The concept of organic beer is intriguing to me. I'm a hard-core foodie and buy a good bit of organic food. I haven't really focused on that when buying beer or other drinks. How does this one stack up?

Deep amber with low carbonation and minimal head. Smell is very feint, mainly hoppy. Taste is well-balanced, nice bready malts with caramel and honey, hops give this one a nice bite going down. Mouthfeel is a bit watery, but I appreciate the beer's relative lightness. Not a session beer but one where you could have a few and still feel refreshed.

With some foods, true organic foods do taste better, not sure I could say that with beer necessarily but I REALLY like the idea that breweries like Deschutes are thinking about healthy and sustainable products and all things being equal I'll pay a bit more to support that. May not give the beer a higher score for that but it needs to be said.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Deschutes, Portland, OR

Poured a darker amber color with a thin whitish head; decent lacing, moderately carbonated. Thin aroma of toasted malts, light notes of herbal hops and citrus. Taste of toasted bread and light caramel or honey, herbal, grassy, some tea-like essence, but not too heavy on that, mild but slightly bitter in the finish. Light-medium body, and decently drinkable overall.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thank you MADhomebrewer! best by 2/21/12

a - opened the bottle and to my E snifter. poured a golden amber that settled more ruby in the glass. finger and a half of white foamy head and milkshake like lacing. sticky. looks nice. rich, transparent.

s - brown sugar and malts. nutmeg. clean. a bit soggy.

t - malty. pretty uneventful and average.

m - little fizzy. medium to full bodied.

o - overall, ambers aren't my favorite, but i've come to try a wide array of the style and this one falls a bit short in my opinion. it is kind of lagery...and earthy at the same time. not my thing. always glad to try another beer from this stellar brewery none-the-less.

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Photo of dgilks
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper colour with a small, foamy, light tan head.

Moderately malty aroma with a slightly nutty note. Earthy hop character.

Biscuit malt with a hint of tart roasted malt for colour. Earthy hops.

Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A decent session ale but this lacks a bit of character to make it interesting.

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Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 351 ratings.
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