Green Lakes Organic Ale | Deschutes Brewery

Green Lakes Organic AleGreen Lakes Organic Ale
Liked This Beer
3.75 w/ 351 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 351 |  Reviews: 193
Photo of birdypowder
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon pouring, a thick white creamy head arises consisting of both small and large bubbles. The head dissipates slowly leaving thick lacing which slowly fades to a thin white film.

Held to the light, an orange/copper hue presents itself as well as a slight haze.

The aroma is a mixture of nuttiness, caramel and slight kettle hop with the nuttiness being paramount. Citrus notes are found on second and third whiffs.

Some initial sweetness up front, but not too much, is followed by a subtle backend bitterness and tangy carbonation. Roundish mouth feel. The slight lingering bitterness reminds you there is more Green Lakes in your glass and beckons you to let more of this delicious well balanced organic ale into your mouth.

You could have four of these in a sitting before you wanted to switch to something different.

 826 characters

Photo of Jmoore50
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Just to start off, I love Deschutes brewery. I love the Bond Street series. I sometimes like Red Ales.

The bottle and graphics stand out, a really tree hugging label. Lets just say I did recycle glass bottle after I was done drinking the brew.

The appearance is nice, with a real golden yellow poor with a slight yellow head. Came to about one and a half finger head. Actually now to think of it, kind of came out to a dark orange color.

Smell was that of the Deschutes hops. A flavor that you can really enjoy with the Hop Trip, a different brew but none-the-less a somewhat similar taste. I really was not impressed with it. I was a bit prejudice because I am on the fence with Red Ales. The flavor was pretty mild, but good.

I could taste the hops, like said before. Other than that it wasn't very appeasing to me altogether. I was kind of so-so.

Overall I would probably drink another just to get a second taste just to make sure, but you know it was not all that I was expecting. If I saw it again I might buy it, matters on the situation.

 1,052 characters

Photo of sevopie
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

*Let it be known that I am not a fan of ambers.*

Appearance - Hmm... Amber. With a frothy tan had, laces decently so.

Smell - This is where I started to get worried. This one smells typically of an amber, with a stale bitter bitter malt smell with a dash of hops. A small hint of caramel.

Taste - The caramel malt absolutely saves this one. Let it breathe! After 10-15 minutes of breathing, this one gets so much better. The caramel malt is the winner, with the hops still very much present with hints of fruit and a touch of clove to finish it out.

Mouthfeel - Not too bad, but too heavy on the carbonation.

Drinkability - Easily the best amber I have ever had, the only one I would ever consider returning to.

 716 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/11/08. Bottle courtesy of scrizzz. Pours a pretty clear deep red with a small white head. Flavor of sweet malt and light fruits. Flavor is light with nice fruitiness. Also a light spiciness that is really tasty. Definitely the best organic beer I've had (it's a short list, but still). Nice amber with a spicy kick.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

 349 characters

Photo of xhcadamx
4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My wife's favorite beer are Amber / Reds so I am constantly seeking a new one.

A - Deep cloudy dark amber with it leanings more toward brown than red. Frothy cream head with spectacular lacing.

S - Earthy hops and bready malt

T- DELICIOUS. So much more than I was expecting from the nose. Nice C hops with biscuit and toasted malts. Nice bitter aftertaste.

M - medium body with a slick finish

D - I would gladly drink a couple more of these.

 448 characters

Photo of sprucetip
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, medium amber. Decent tan head with retention and lacing.

Nice, pleasant, sweet, malty aroma. Not especially complex or profound.

A bit like the nose. Sweet and malty with mild hop bitterness coming in the middle and lingering through the finish. Again, not particularly complex.

Mild tingling, almost creamy texture. Dry finish. A bit thin.

Way easy drinking. At 5%abv, it should be.

Up here in Alaska, we don't get alot of days worthy of lawnmower beer. On those rare occasions, this just might the one. A solid effort, but nothing to write home about.

 573 characters

Photo of riored4v
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed on 9/7/08

Poured into a pint glass. Great, 1-2 finger, rocky, off-white head. Deep golden/brown in color.

Smell was of a mild amount of citrus hops with a nicely balanced maltiness.

Taste had a really good balanced taste. Moderate sweetness with a moderate amount of hops in the finish. Slighty spicey and fruity/citrusy notes.

Mouthfeel was a medium body with an almost cream finish.

Drinkability was excellent. Nice low ABV but a great balanced flavor.

Great session beer. Was on the few ambers I've really enjoyed.

 532 characters

Photo of josiahschlender
4.17/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This summer I hiked the 45 mile or so loop around Central Oregon's Three Sisters Wilderness. The Green Lakes are on the eastern flank of the mountains... what a beautiful place. Putting on quite a few miles I just passed through, but I'd definitely pitch my tent there the next time. Check them out if you ever get the chance.

Green Lakes Organic Ale is also picturesque, in a different way. Nice hearty amber in color, not totally clear but not hazy. A modest tan-colored head leaves pretty good lacing.

Nice aromas going on, really great for an American Amber. Lots of malts and hops mingling. Definitely noted the sweet caramel and bready malts, not to be outdone by the resinous, nectar and pine hops.

Flavors strikes a nice balance of hops and malt for this self-confessed hophead. Maybe more hoppy than some might like, but the sweet caramel and nutty grain malts aren't overpowered at all. Flavors aren't quite as sweet as the aromas, but are mingle for a while on my palate before a easygoing finish with just a touch of hoppy bitterness. Feel could have been just a bit more substantial, but at the same time, it's making this a very sessionable beer, as well.

For some reason, Deschutes can hardly do no wrong with what I've tried of theirs. Great work again! Kudos to making a very drinkable, quality, affordable organic beer!

 1,341 characters

Photo of MMAJYK
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- This beer pours a beautiful and clear, bronze/copper colored ale. Head is tan colored and composed of a sporadic blend of bubbles. Not much of a pattern to it, but it hangs around for a while.

S- Smells are first nutty, then followed up with some caramel maltiness. Just a tad of roast and a touch of chocolate round out the sweetness. The hops are lightly floral and somewhat hidden in the back.

T- Malty, but light, up front with a pleasant hop bitterness in the middle. Lightly, I taste lemons and also a biscuit like taste.

M- This ale is light in the mouth with high carbonation. It's a little bit on the thin side for me.

D- Most definitely a good session beer. If I lived on the west coast, this would be my go-to session beer without a doubt.

 759 characters

Photo of MtVernon
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow... what an excellent brew! I can only buy this at my local Fred Meyer (go figure), and I always try to get it as fresh as possible, by reaching around to the back of the shelf. This is usually a little pricier than the other micros, even when on sale, but, God, it is SO worth it!

This is the very epitome of a perfect Northwest ale. It's just beautiful, first of all - one of the best looking beers ever. Clear ruby-amber, moderate lacing, just the right amount of bubbles.

The flavor is dark, woodsy, hoppy, sweet, and smooth... absolutely delicious. Few beers I've tasted come close. This, for what it is, is right up there with Aventinus, for instance, but is a much different style altogether. There really is no comparison, but suffice it to say, this is a brew of exceptionally high quality. The smoothness and balance, not to mention the fresh, crisp, cascade-hoppy quality make this one second to none.

Be sure to get it as fresh as possible. This is not a German beer, rather it's part of a whole new renaissance of great Northwest U.S. beers. People really know their craft up here, and take it seriously, it seems. I'm from the South, originally, and there is absolutely nothing down there that even comes close of which I am aware. Not every Deschutes brew is nearly this good--but, this one is obviously exceptional. If you see it, buy it. Organic makes a big difference, and with this one, you can REALLY tell. Just delightful!

 1,452 characters

Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper colored with good clarity and minimal carbonation. Rocky cream head has nice retention, but leaves little lace.

S: Flowery and sweet. Nice lemon hop presence, plus a maple and molasses sweetness.

T: Sweet up front with maple and molasses flavors from the nose. Moderate bitterness offers a nice balance, with flavors of lemon and pepper. Finishes very dry, with a mild lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body has a slick feel to it. Carbonation level is just right.

D: Nice session beer. I found my self liking it more and more with each passing sip.

 561 characters

Photo of Spikester
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber with sizable cream color head and plentiful lacings.
Aroma is piney, floral.
Taste is bitter earthy hops with a good amount of sweet malts to achieve balance. I thought this might be an Organic version of their Cascade beer but I see it is listed as an Amber. Pretty bold hops for the style.
Mouthfeel is good with a fairly dry finish.
A good choice for a session with an abv of 5.2%
One of my favorite everyday beers.
Very easy drinker. Give it a try.

 464 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: amber body, light tan head, rather typical head.

s: sweet toasted malt.

t: toasted caramel malt, moderate hop presence in the finish. hops have a light grassy flavor to them. well balanced.

m: medium body, crisp and smooth.

d: a pretty damn easy drinking amber. nothing too special, but it has session written all over it.

 329 characters

Photo of Dubbercody
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Nice beer, looks like a traditional amber. Picked up a sixer...and wish they had 12 packs.

Nice bit of sweet followed with a nicely hopped, a bit on the hoppier side for an amber, but a) it's Deschutes and b) it's from Oregon...what do you expect. Fantastic Organic beer, readily drinkable by the masses. Thanks Deschutes.

 338 characters

Photo of woemad
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased about two months ago at Bottles in Millwood for $1.49. "Best by 06/21/08." Oops.

Poured a light russet color that took on a more reddish-copper glow when held up to light. Big, two-fingered (and I have thick fingers) beige head that left a surprising amount of lace for something that should have been drunk more than a month ago. At least a half-inch of foam remained present for most of this beer's duration in my Mirror Pond pint glass. All in all, this was a pretty good looking beer.

The nose is of mild, floral and citrusy hops, a modest but clear herbal note, and a subordinate but still substantial caramel-y malt backing. This is how I like ambers and pale ales (whichever you choose to classify this as - I lean toward the latter) to smell.

The taste starts out malty, but not overly sweet. The hops are present primarily in a bittering sort of way, giving character but not taking charge of the flavor profile. There's a citrus flavor alongside the bitterness, but it's fairly toned down.

The body of this one pretty much fit the definition of "medium." Pretty decent amount of carbonation for the style, I thought. So many beers under the "amber" category seem a little too leaden.

Quite drinkable, to the point where I wish I had purchased several. Hopefully Deschutes will not consign this to that oft-mentioned dustbin of history, but will bring it back as a seasonal instead. I've generally found in the past that beers labeled organic have tended to taste a bit bland and insipid. Glad to see that doesn't always have to be the case.

NOTE FOR GEEKS OF 70'S ART ROCK: I drank this after doing some housework after getting home from work which I decided to accompany with Pink Floyd's "Pulse (sadly the VHS version-gotta buy the DVD) on the telly. Judging by the "topographic" nature of the beer's label, I should have busted out some old-school Yes.

 1,898 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split with a friend last night

A: Deep copper with a 1" thick off-white head. Good retention but surprisingly little lacing

S: Mildly hoppy with citrus and orange aromas with a mild caramel sweetness in the back. Despite being so light, it's still delightful

T: As with the nose, it starts of mildly hoppy with orange being the most prominent of flavors. This is backed up by a mild sweetness and is followed by a mildly bitter and sweet finish

M: A little undercarbonated and a little sweeter on the finish than i like but still good

D: Very easily drinkable. One of the more delicate beers i've had recently

 626 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12 oz. brown bottle into the sam adams glass. It has an amber, redish brown, color with little head and perfect clarity. Head is gone quickly and there's almost no lacing.

Aroma is hoppy but not like an IPA. More like a dry-hopped pale ale. Nice and citrusy.

Taste is very well done with some roasted malt character, some sweetness, and a good dose of hop bittering. Nothing weak about this organic ale. It's definately full flavored.

Mouthfeel is fair. I think this one might be a little over-carbonated but, other than that, it's enjoyable.

It has drinkability and I think it goes well with Deschutes' seasonal Cinder Cone Red. I enjoy both very much.

I think the "organic" label may turn some people on and turn others away. In these days of "being green" becoming trendy, I was afraid this might not have the interesting character I've grown to love about Deschutes' beers. Luckily, I gave it a try because it's really quite good.

 952 characters

Photo of RJLarse
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Green Lakes Organic Ale at a grocery store. poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a deep garnet red color and is clear. Frothy off--white, approaching beige, head caps the beer with some resiliency.

Smell is a sweet candy caramel aroma, with some dark sugars, molasses maybe, along side.

The taste is a bit acerbic. There is a caramel malt flavor up front that gives way to a distilled bourbon flavor. There is a mildly bitter slightly roasted finish.

The mouthfeel is good. Full-bodied but not cloying. The beer is well carbonated and feels a bit like cola.

A drinkable amber. I'm not much on the style, and I am having it somewhat out of season. This is one I might be inclined to again in the fall.

 724 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a deep dark red, but the head disappoints. Not much of it, and no lacing. Smells mildly of malt and hops; aroma is on the weak side. Taste, on the other hand, is a nice malty amber flavor, with some citrus thrown in. A very drinkable beer, one of the better ambers I've had.

 283 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

 459 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunset orange with just enough coral red to make it even more interesting. The unfiltered yeastiness looks great, as does the fantastic looking head. It's orangish ivory in color and is amazingly sticky. The glass is chock full of bubbly lace that easily qualifies as eye candy.

The aroma is full-to-bursting with both malt and hops. GLOA smells lightly toasted bready and earthy-herbal hoppy. The hops are Crystal and Salmon-Safe Sterling. Can't hurt the little fishies... especially since salmon is my favorite seafood. Wait just a second. Killing them and eating them is hurting them, isn't it? Damn.

It takes quite a bit for an amber ale to impress this hophead. After one mouthful of Green Lakes Organic Ale, color me impressed. The beer is beautifully hoppy, but doesn't neglect its malt side in the least. 'Both sides of the scale weighted down' balanced beer is best. And only 5.2%. These guys can brew their asses off.

The malt tastes mostly pale, with a side order of toasted brown bread (probably Munich) and caramel/toffee. Herbal, fruity, green tea-like hops dominate, while still allowing the malt to be easily appreciated. This is a classic amber that deserves to be released on a regular basis. It looks like Deschutes agrees, because six-packs are now available. Lucky Oregonians.

The body/mouthfeel, like everything else, is spot-on. It's both light-medium and creamily expansive... not an easy combination to pull off. Why can't all craft brewers be this talented?

Deschutes deserves major respect. Never mind the mindblowing excellence of The Abyss, they churn out righteous brew after righteous brew right up and down the style ladder. Green Lakes Organic Ale is one of the best ambers in recent memory. It's also an easy recommendation to anyone who loves expertly-crafted beer.

 1,805 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally at Poplar Wine & Spirits.

I'm not all that impressed with the few Organic Ales I've tried but I'm not passing up the chance to try this...

Best by Jul 25, 2008 and 5.2% abv per 12oz bottle:

It has a nice deep amber clear colour in the pour with a 1 finger head of foam. It has some good lacing and the head retention is above average.

I get roasted and caramel malt in the nose and there's also a touch of citrus hops in the background.

The taste reveals some caramel malt along with some bread, roasted malt, some piney citrus..already, it's a lot tastier than other organics that I've tried. The pine here works really well to balance the caramel and bready malt but the overall flavour isn't really all that balanced in the usual sense but in this case, it works well for my palate and judging from how often I take a sip, this is *very* drinkable. I dare say that this is the best Organic Ale I've tried to date but even putting aside the organics, this is just a darned good brew. Tasty, drinkable, good mouthfeel,..I'm sure glad I picked up the sixer and it probably won't be the last.

Well done again Deschutes!

 1,140 characters

Photo of dbalsock
4.58/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was one kick-ass amber.

App: Poured dark amber/orange with a 2 finger head and great lacing. The head itself is offwhite. It looks exactly like I would imagine an amber ale to be.

Smell: A mix of caramel malt, cascade hops and bread come together. It's a very well balanced nose, but a little simple on characteristics to keep it from being perfect.

Taste: Very well balanced on the taste as well, as the hops mix with a great malt profile that isn't overloaded on caramel. A hint of roastiness, but so slight it almost isn't there as well as an equally subtle hint of molasses.

Mouthfeel: A great balance of bitterness and sweetness. Very nice body.

Drinkability: This is my new favorite amber. Very well done.

 721 characters

Photo of toolbrew
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice reddish copper color with a thick off-white head. Good head retention and good lacing down the glass.

Sweet caramel smell.

The taste is hoppier than I would expect from an amber. It hides the malt. As I drink more the malts begin to show themselves.

More carbonation in the sip than there looks to be in the glass.

I could have a few of these per sitting. I would probably opt for another brew from Deschutes, but as this was the only one I could get in my mix-6 from Montrose, CO, it is my first Deschutes beer. I will try more before I leave Colorado though.

 617 characters

Photo of bkilpatr
3.44/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. 04/13/08.

Pours a deep amber color with about 1 and a half fingers of whitish head. The head faded fairly quickly but left some nice lacing. Aroma is toasted malts, with some grassy/piney hops as well. Nothing really remarkable in the aroma.

Taste is sweet caramel malts, slightly bread-like. A surprising amount of grassy hop taste as well. Slightly bitter finish from the hops. Very earthy, very organic (and slight citrus?) taste to it.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both very good for this. Smooth and crisp, excellent amount of carbonation. Could easily drink a lot of this. Very sessionable.

Another solid offering from one of my favorite breweries.

 706 characters

Green Lakes Organic Ale from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 58.7% out of 100 with 351 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.