Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

2,017 Reviews
Edmund Fitzgerald PorterEdmund Fitzgerald Porter

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Robust and complex, our Porter is a bittersweet tribute to the legendary freighter's fallen crew--taken too soon when the gales of November came early.

37 IBUs

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-09-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,017 | Ratings: 6,432
Reviews by json83:
Photo of json83
3.72/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

174 calories per bottle at 5.8% ABV. Anticipated a nice dark beer and found this to be a nice choice, not far from a typical Guinness - however it's porter style instead of a dry stout which makes this slightly 2nd choice for me. The taste is very dark and robust with a slight bittersweet twang at the end. A fan of dark beer and this one is average in it's class and far from disappointing - would buy again.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a very faint hit of dark brown along the edges. Tan colored head that mellows out to a thin span across the top of the beer leaving very little lacing on the way down. Initial smell is heavy chocolate and roasted malts, kind of had to coax it out. After the beer warmed up a bit and the glass was swirled, I started to get heavier notes of sweetness from the malts as well as some rich and milky smells. Incredible.

The taste is wonderful. First sip gives a huge roasted malt flavor up front, with a bit of a carbonation snap to it. After a little bit, more flavors start to develop: burnt campfire wood, nuttiness, sweet coffee beans, roasted grains. At the end of the sip, out comes an ever-so-slight yet still very noticeable bite from the hops, to finish the beer off with a nice floral touch. Honestly, the bitterness from the hops at the end, along with the malts and the sweetness of the chocolate is incredible - very nearly perfect in balance. Slightly creamy, but a little thin for what I was expecting.

Lovely porter, here. Great balance, great drinkability, and overall just a great beer. Anyone looking for a top-of-the-line porter should look no further (unless they haven't already had Founders Porter). Great price, easy to find, and more than enough to fulfill your dark and roasted malty needs. Give this one a shot and thank me later.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours brilliant ruby brown under a creamy light brown head that grips the inside of the glass. Big malt aromas with hints of chocolate but no harsh or burnt aromas. The palate follows the nose - creamy snooth light chocolate flavors, well balanced with a light hop accent on the finish.

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Photo of timontheroad
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Poured a very dark brown color, nice three finger head that slowly receded to about a quarter inch of foam that left some nice lacing.
Smell: The aroma was coffee, dark chocolate and dark roast malt, with a bit of a caramel note.
Taste: Very close to the smell, coffee and chocolate flavors were dominant, with some slight caramel flavors
Mouthfeel: Rather thin for such a robust flavor.
Overall: This was a very good beer, I'll seek this one out again.

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Photo of Roguer
3.46/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful, firm light tan head with solid retention and thick, wide fields of lacing. Brew is almost perfectly black, with a slight purple hue in the body and dark brown at the bottom of the glass. Head retention is excellent.

Huge roasty notes in the aroma, balanced against caramel, cocoa, and pale malt aromas, and a semi-sweet, slightly grape-like fruit note.

Flavor comes in the reverse order of the aroma: sweet, malty, and smooth up front, with notes of cream and cocoa, with the big roasted malts coming in the latter half. A little bit stale on the front end, though; I'm not particularly feeling this. Perhaps it's normally a hoppy porter, and the hops have significantly degraded.

Sticky feel, medium-full, with a long finish.

I really wonder about the age of this bottle, and the intended flavor. There's a significant stale taste, that only builds as the bottle warms, and that's really ruining it for me. I'd like to try it again, possibly on tap, and see if maybe it's supposed to be a hoppy porter, drank fresh.

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Photo of DavidGross
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

great beer. had on tap and was good.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- pours dark brown-almost black with just a bit if light seeping through, creamy light-tan head that retains long after the pour with a ring of lace sticking to the sides.

S- grainy roasted malts with a bit of cocoa and coffee, slight hop bitterness

T- roasted & toasted malty goodness, smoky firewood with a bit of charcoal, mid-palate transitions into silky sweet chocolate flavors with a touch of caramel, the finish is smoky and dry-yet-sweet with rich chocolate on the linger. The smokiness provides almost a dried meat flavor. Flavors are so complex, yet just enough hop to balance it out. The smoky flavors sit on the palate long after consumption.

M- medium body with low carbonation, velvety smooth mouthfeel leads to a silky finish

O- be of the best examples of an American porter out there. Smoky, chocolaty and silky smooth. This is probably my favorite everyday porter and one that I'm glad I can get very easily.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got as a gift from a friend. Served at 10deg C in a tulip

A- Opens really well and pours a nice light brown head that stays for a bit before settling to a film. VERY dark. Almost black. Unheard of in a porter

S- Pretty good. Good coffee and smoke

T- A touch of smokiness. Good coffee and some chocolate. Nice brew all around.

M- Thin and dry as a porter should be.

O- I like this one. Best porter I ever had. Will buy again

Food Pairing

This wonderful brew went fantastic with...... BBQ'd T bone steak with baked beans on the side and buttered bread


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Photo of Raidersox
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spotted this in the single bottle area and added to my pick six. Only a "Best By" date of 7/4/16 to go by. Chilled to 39 degrees, allowed to sit for 10 minutes unopened, poured into oversize wine glass.

Look: Poured a dark ebony brown/black color with a 1/2" dark khaki color head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving a thin ring of foam. Swirling the glass produced a modest bit of lacing.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate, caramel malt, maybe a hint of nuttiness.

Taste: Bold coffee and roasted/burnt malt, chocolate, cola, a hint almost of wine or champagne flavors. A slight but not unpleasant grassy aftertaste. Hop flavors balance nicely, with a smokey touch.

Mouthfeel: Creaminess despite the lack of a bigger head at the pour, carbonation is light but noticeable early on dropping off later as it warmed. I felt a little tingle on the lips, again not unpleasant.

Overall: I've only tried a few porters since getting deeper into craft beers so I'm no expert but I feel this beer certainly represents the style very well and I look forward to trying this one again (and again!). One of the best I have tasted.

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Photo of TooGood
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours an dark amber brown with 1/4 inch head, nice lacing on glass.
Smell: At first pour good chocolate notes revealed, after sitting in glass for several minutes a definite sweet coffee aroma dominates.
Taste: Very smooth light coffee with subtle chocolate and dark fruits on the tongue lead to a smoky finish with little bitter aftertaste.
Mouth feel: very smooth and well balanced, not too thick or thin.
Overall: A very solid porter that is readily available and never disappoints.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I gravitate towards Stouts, but Porters as a category very much overlap (with typically more hops vs a pure Stout). This Edmund Fitzgerald has the thick malt and pronounced hops flavors of a Porter. But it is distinctive by adding nicely executed Coffee and Dark Chocolate flavors. I could happily drink this all night.

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Photo of CraigP83
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smoky, chocolate, smooth excellent porter

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Photo of MUTINY
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a deep dark brown/amber with 1/2" tan head that recedes pretty quickly. Retention is pretty good. Lacing is not really present.

S: Cocoa & vanilla jump out of the glass. Almost some pitted fruit/dark berry undertones. Brown sugar. Smells great.

T: Following the nose this is a bit of a disappointment. Milk chocolate & raspberry are the two components that seem to dominate the palate. A skootch of hop-bitterness toward the finish. Not as complex as I'd hoped.

M: Lowish carb & perfectly, silkily creamy feel. Just heavy enough on the palate to remind you that you're drinking a porter.

O: There are high notes & there are average notes. Nothing about this brew is sub-par.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of the best porters readily available- may be the best available tbh. Pours black, nice coffee on the nose with a little cocoa and an almost licorice scent. Thin, but that is to be expected as this ABV. A masterpiece in every way for the style.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

a: pretty dark - black/deep dark purple. some reddish notes at the bottom of the glass. large 3 finger beige rocky head that fades pretty quick

s: smells like a pretty standard porter. toasted malt, milk chocolate, hint fig and plum, candied sugar, lactose? smells pretty inviting

t: first sip makes me think this is definitely worth the high rating. second sip confirms. this drinks REALLY smooth. nice toasted malt, dark chocolate, plums, raisins. there is a very slight and smooth earthy coffee-like bitterness, almost tea leaf like on the backend. milk chocolate and toasted malt linger for a while - real nice

m: lighter side of medium. even though there was a large head, there is not much carbonation in the mouth

o: i am very happy with this, it is absolutely worth you getting. at 5.8% its really drinkable, yet the filled with smooth flavors. i have nothing negative to say about this beer. if you like porters, drink this.

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Photo of pgrose
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Buffalo, NY
L: dark Amber brown, some lacing
S: coffee/espresso
T: starts sweet, tangy middle, coffee finish
F: smooth, light carbonation
O: excellent porter style, very flavorful

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If you are looking for the body/feel of a Founders Porter you may be disappointed. However, the thing I like the most about this beer (outside of price and availability) is that I dont know of any other beer that offers the flavor at this ABV and thinner body. Smokey, roasted malts with chocolate and coffee. Very ashy. Everything a porter should be. You can drink an entire 6 pack in an evening and not only enjoy the hell out of it, but not regret it.

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Photo of jhartley
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark ruddy brown with a thin amount of tan colored head.
Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans and malt.
Mmmm...bittersweet chocolate, coffee with milk, and a bit of smoke.
Full of flavor! A nice round smokiness with a decent amount of carbonation. Great amount of lingering flavor.
Overall a terrific tasting porter! Nice amount of chocolate and coffee and roasted smokiness!

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I think I'll sink a few more of these.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost black but has an edge allows you to observe a crimson hue. The beer has impeccable clarity and when held to the light you can see the stream of bubbles rising in the center of the glass. Fat tan head of foam that falls well and leaves sheets of lace to fall back down into the beer as you drink. The suds refresh with each tip of the glass.

Nose is brilliant. Sophisticated roasted malt. Blackened, bready, but not crusted or burned. Toasted perfectly smooth. It has a the light scent of creamy caramel. A light touch of brown sugar, bold espresso that is smoothed out by dark bittersweet chocolate. It has a cookie like dryness even on the nose and a light and delicate hop herbal.

Taste is sensational. The malt rolls out of the glass, supple, creamy, like velvet. Soft and graceful. The caramel stays light and lightly sweet with a bit of nut to it and that sweet little bit of cream to fill up the palate. The coffee and the dark chocolate gives it oomf and a burly quality that is very dynamic. It finishes dry and with an endless grain. The hop herbal balances this perfectly for an aftertaste that is filled with soft dark bread. The body of the beer is medium and it approaches chewy but stays just shy of it. It has a little bit of thickness and it feels great on the palate.

This beer has a radiant and strikingly handsome appearance. The nose is dapper and full of rich deep scents. The taste is smart and it dazzles with it's depths and with it's light sweetness. Engaging. Simply one of the best porters.

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Photo of pants678
2.84/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.75

Dark brown with a light khaki, maintaining head.

Sorta malty, Willamette hops.

A touch of dark fruit brings out dark chocolate. Saly oyster type flavor. Not that aggressive, light coffee, heavy on black malt, could use a charred flavor. Hoppy and clean, not what I'm looking for, really. Too traditional.

Creamy, heavier side of medium. Perfect.

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Photo of RichD
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep black with a khaki colored head. Some lacing is left along the glass as I drink.

S: Smells of roasted malts and coffee. I pick up some chocolate as well, which is customary for a porter. There's not too much depth to this, but what actually is there is awesome.

T: Roasted malts overtake my pallet in a delicious manner. Some coffee flavors and chocolate of course come from the roasted malts. There's a little bit of sweetness from some dark fruits that I'm picking up as well. Very pleasant.

M: Very smooth tasting with some light carbonation. Very drinkable for the style, even though low in ABV. Definitely easy to have a few of these and not thing twice.

Overall: A fantastic example of the American Porter style. I wish I could get this in my neck of the woods. Under 10 bucks for a 6er of this is one of the best values I've ever seen. If this was available in New England I'd be buying this as my go-to porter.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

crystal clear when held to a light; cola brown with ruby accents; 1 finger light tan head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; sheets of lace;

S: bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain;

T: bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain; a little black coffee from the middle through the finish; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: not all that complex, but enjoyable;

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Photo of TLogan
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this for so long, it's what I compare other porters to. The flavor is mellow, pleasant, and not overly sweet or artificial. Nice "weight" and finish. Enough alcohol to do the job with out knocking you on your @$$ if you decide to finish the 6 pack after grilling dinner for the fam.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril,
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

--Gordon Lightfoot

Deep, dark brown (not quite black) with ruby highlights. The large, pale caramel colored crown has nice retention and gives up lots of sticky lace in the form of concentric rings marching down the pint glass.

The nose is spicy, with plenty of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is dark malty with, again, plenty of coffee and some chocolate. Simply delicious. Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best (if not THE best) porters in the world. There's some hop bitterness present too, making its presence known on the finish.

The body/mouthfeel is what I've come to know as typical Great Lakes. That is, wonderful. Drinkability is sky high; this one goes down so easily that it's scary. In fact, it goes down about as fast as the Edmund Fitzgerald did.

This is my second Great Lakes beer and I am impressed. No wonder these guys finished so high on the "Top 50 American Breweries" list (#3), an honor that is well-deserved. If I was fortunate enough to still live in the GLBC distribution area, I would never be without a few bottles of this world-class porter.

Note: after many more bottles (and most of its serious competition), I still consider Edmund Fitzgerald to be the world's best American porter. 8-5-09.

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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,432 ratings.
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