Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

2,014 Reviews
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald PorterGreat Lakes Edmund 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

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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 6,413
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.2/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is from Great Lakes Brewing Co., and takes it's name from the infamous sunken freighter. I'm hoping I sampled a bad batch because this tasted like it was dredged up from the bottom of Lake Erie! Way too bitter and hopped up, foul aftertaste! It was not "skunked", the aroma was what I expect from Porter. I can't even come up with a constructive criticism on this one!

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Photo of blakesell
2.63/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Discovered on tap at Brixx Ice Company in Dayton. Poured from the tap into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Beer pours not quite black with thick clingy lacing, more of a darkened amber with red hues shining through. I can see the sports playing on the TV behind when I hold it up. One finger deep lingering head.

Smell- Roasty and malty with much hop presence. More roasted barley than chocolate, but chocolate persists. Hops are pretty strong, but not overpowering.

Taste- Roasty, hoppy and smooth with yeasty esters, but outside of that.. The tap is not clean, and the beer is infected, showing big metallic traces. This is clearly not the ideal venue for reviewing. First I had this problem here with Founders Dirty Bastard, now this. Tastes off, but I wouldn't blame Great Lakes. Unfortunately, to the untrained drinker, that's exactly what will happen.

Mouthfeel- Thin and metallic. Quite astringent. Normally the beer is creamy and smooth, lightly carbonated.

Drinkability- Normally I would give this beer about a 4 or 4.5 on drinkability, but this time I have to give it a 1. I couldn't even finish this one. No more of these today. Shame on you Brixx Ice Company, shame on you. Cleanliness is important with tap handles. I guess some bars are only in it for the swilling needs.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.68/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours black with ruby highlights and 2 fingers of head that dissipate quickly. Decent lacing.

N: Coffee, toffee, dark chocolate and a hint of floral aroma.

T: Watery chocolate and coffee with a toffee base.

M: Light-Medium bodied, watery and dry.

O: I just can't understand the high ratings for such a mediocre Porter. This isn't the first time I've had this beer either. Very watery with almost artificial flavoring. On the plus side it is very easy drinking and probably a nice gateway beer.

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Photo of clickpush
2.79/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured 12oz bottle to pint glass. Two fingers of tan head rise over a coffee like body. Head leaves nice lace and a halo behind. Smells of coffee and caramel though somehow fairly sweet and unidemensional. Flavor is metallic and sour, finishes with a lingering bitterness that has absolutely no roast character. Lace remains on the glass very nicely as I drain it. Big disappointment as this beer flavor and texture is watery.

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Photo of denver10
2.83/5  rDev -33.6%

Was super excited to try this one, as I love a great porter and this beer has generated tons of love. Ended up being quite letdown with this it though. Pours black with a khaki head. Aroma is roasty with dark chocolate, fruits, and some coffee. Also there is a good dose of sweet sugars. Flavor followed suit and was completely derailed by the presence of a high concentration of sugars. Seemed to me like the recipe is a good one but there was an issue with the brewing process. A heavy mouthfeel. Overall, thought this had glimpses of being the great porter everyone makes it out to be but derailed by some intense sugars. Maybe I will give this another shot in the future but for now I will stick with the amazing Founders Porter for my porter fix.

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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 Jeffo
2.88/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mom and Dad brought this one back from their last trip to the States. Thanks guys.

APPEARANCE: Very clear brown out of the bottle. Pour yields a one finger, medium-thinner looking tan head with decent retention. Very noisy as well. Dark brown body with medium levels of carbonation. A ring remains and leaves some dots of lacing down the glass. Average at best for the style.

SMELL: Mild nose. Some dark malts, roasted malts, and touches of coffee. Not much going on really.

TASTE: Dark malts, caramel malts, and touches of coffee in there. A bit of bitter-sweetness after the swallow. Mild yet lingering aftertaste shows some caramel and dark malt sweetness, with touches of bitter coffee as balance. Okay, but way too mild to be memorable.

PALATE: Medium-light body and medium carbonation. Lighter on the palate than normal. Creamy smooth on the palate, which is nice, goes down smooth and finishes rather dry.

OVERALL: Average at best for the style. Not sure why this one gets all the great press. The bottle is within the best-before date, but perhaps this one has faded faster than the bottle dating machine thought it would. Something I’ll have to try again at some point in the future, but as it is now, this one is highly overrated.

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Photo of eballard
2.92/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured black as could be with an airy head that disappeared as fast as I could pour and left no lace. The smell is smoky and with an almost sour quality. The beer tastes chocolate and smoky with hints of roasted coffee. The taste dissipates fast with little after taste. The beer is creamy and smooth and finishes clean. I was not really impressed with this beer. It is a little weak in flavor and a little on the flat side but it also has some nice qualities. I would defiantly give this beer another try if I run across it again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have a sinking feeling on this one. Pours clear black color with dark brown hues throughout. Red around the edges. A light tan colored head with good retention and lacing Though did die out completely.

The nose is mostly malty with some underline sour notes. To start there is a stronger roasty note with some minor coffee and toffee backings. Some minor chocolate and yeasty notes. There is a lactic almost sour note that comes out more as it warms. Very offsetting. Some minor esters, figs mostly and a touch of earthy hops

The taste is bit more balance. A good complexity malty taste but a still stronger roasty flavor dominates other flavors. The chocolate notes come out stronger than the nose indicated. Some coffee and a bit of a peaty/smoky note as well. The sourness is gone but there is a subtle infection taste that I just can't get past. Boardline butyric. Some lacto more of a oats flavor and minor esters.

The body is moderate with a light carbonation. This is just an off flavored beer. You could say it's little fishy.

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Photo of craytonic
2.98/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark black, nice head and lacing

Smell: Roast malt, fudge, blackstrap molasses, coffee, bitter chocolate, ash/char/burn

Taste: Heavy (over) roast malt, fudge, coffee, blackstrap molasses, bitter chocolate, ash/char/burn, hop bitterness

mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little off, a bit thin

Drinkability: Apparently well-loved and received, but a tad too much burnt malt flavor.

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Photo of biglite351
3.03/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - reddish light through the middle of the glass. Rootbeer float like head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S - extremely light. Mild roasted malts with a little bitter chocolate. Would be nice if it were stronger.

T - malts, mild dark chocolate and even milder coffee. Like the scent, it would be nicer if it was stronger.

M - mild coating a tingle on front of tongue.

D - easily drinkable, but the lightness of the flavor would probably make me grab something else.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
3.06/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The color is black and deep purple when held up to the light. The pour was very aggressive and left lacing as is fell and stuck to the side of the glass. The head itself was a little thin after falling.

Smell is light and flowery and has a slight dark coffee smell that isn't very strong.

Taste is very strong with toffee and the dark roasted malts are very sour coffee malts. The body is a light medium body that finishes clean.

The mouthfeel is O.K., doesn't suck, doesn't rule. Well carbonated and finishes clean...not my favorite characteristic for a porter.

I will definetly try a fresh bottle to find the original tastes...these tastes seemed a little off.

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Photo of tjacobs610
3.06/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark thick color, very thick brown head with quite a bit of lacing that has awesome retention

Smell: Chocolaty and caramel odors hit the nose first, followed by hints of coffee and hops the complete the smell

Taste: An undertone of coffee is preceded by a sugary caramel taste along with a very bittersweet chocolate taste. It finishes with a dry hoppy taste on the palate

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, very carbonated and thick feeling on the palate.

Overall: Very good porter, a little too much for my taste but still another classic product from GLBC

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Photo of Jammies
3.13/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A-pours black with a thin layer of foam that quickly disappears

S-sweet and smoky, but mostly a nutty smell sticks out

T-sweet and nutty. Almost a chocolaty coffee taste to it

M-the nutty and coffee malts are a little over the top on the palate

O-i wasnt sure what to expect, but I feel like this one struggled to find an identity

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Photo of tayner
3.15/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured dark brown, looked black until it was backlit... decent head that dissipated quickly.

It smelled of roasted malts and a whiff of aroma hops.

average taste at best for me. I love porters but this one, for some reason, did not wow me. I could taste bitter chocolate and some coffee hints, but nothing really stood out.

A bit watery for me. was not expecting the thickness of a stout by any means, but i wanted more in the way of mouthfeel in this brew.

As for drinkability, if someone gave me one i would certainly drink it, but for me, this one is quite forgettable with so many other wonderful choices out there. just average in my opinion. I would choose Black Butte Porter by Deschutes every single time over this one.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.16/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black with garnett highlights. Moderate head and lacing.

Nose and taste are a bit mediocre in my opinion - roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. I couldn't detect much else. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

All in all, I wasn't impressed. However, maybe it's just my inexperienced palate.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Sammy: Poured a deep black color porter with a medium off-white foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of light coffee and roasted malt is less dominating then expected. Taste is also dominated by light coffee with some medium bitterness form the roasted malt. Body is about average with some creamy aspect. Not sure why this is rate so high, I can think of quite a few porter that are at least equal or better then this.

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Photo of kochea7
3.22/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Poured a good head that lasted awhile. Quite dark with black hints.
S-Hops, clearly American hops used in this brew.
T-Overly hoppy and bitter at first, fades to some maltyness, but back to bitter aftertaste.
M-Wasn't too watery and wasn't like pudding. A good thickness for a porter.
D-Its very drinkable if you like a rather hop dominated porter, with little malt tones.

I feel it would have been much better had they used a British hops like Fuggles instead of the American, probably Cascade. I personally prefer more maltyness in my porters and less bitterness.

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Photo of Luk13
3.23/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jprime. Slightly reddish brown pour with a thin veil of foam. Aroma is quite hoppy, smells like an american barleywine. Hops, molasses and rich malts. Taste is quite sweet, old hops, and more molasses. Palate is thin and sticky almost no carbonation. Somewhat disapointing.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.24/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Great Lakes Brewery nook in the Canton-Akron airport. Poured into a kind of weird tall skinny mug that seemed to be a promo chachki for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Whatever.

A--1 finger thick foamy lightish tan head that lasted most of the duration and left decent lacing. Body was black as stout with some deep burgundy undertones. Good looking beer.

S--Couldn't pull much because of the shape of the glass, but what I got was some wet laundry (which isn't necessarily bad) and a hint of molasses.

T--Full onrush of toasty malts up front, followed by a more mellow sweetness in the middle reminiscent of brownies with batteries baked into them. What most struck me, though, was the back end and just how overall dry a porter this is. The hops pull and linger on the aftertaste is a little much for me, though there was some nice mustiness on the finish.

M&D--Definitely more thin and dry than round and sweet--built for speed rather than comfort. While the ABV's a little up there for extended use, the drinkability's high.

It's just the taste I couldn't get into! I must be the only person on Earth who isn't wildly raving about this beer. The porter I had previous to this one was Sixpoint's Carob (aka Black Market), and I liked it much, much better. This seemed more like a hop-head's porter--which is cool, just not my style. Having said that, this very well may be a beer too under my amateur radar, one I taste five years later and do a complete 180 review of.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

An extra, oh My! on my want list too!

I was pretty stoked for this, I have heard such raves for the Edmund, and growing up in MI I have many fond memories of singing the old Lightfoot tune around the boy scout bonfire.

Pours vigorously and black, a nice tan head. Aroma is roasty and woody, taste is thin and dry with a tinge of earthy hops and blackened grain. The mouthfeel is thin though, thinner than an American porter should be.

I enjoyed it listening to some Miles Davis and warming dinner after a long day of getting work trucks stuck in the field. A good beer to have, but not a beer I would chase.

Great Lakes- Solid Work.

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Photo of 5lat5ive
3.26/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a Great Lakes "Taster's" 12-pack. 4/4. Bottle into a pint glass.

A - About 90% opaque black. Thin, tan.

S - Small aroma, kind of flat. I think I may have had this too cold. It came straight from the fridge and into my glass. Sweet toffee smell.

T - The first thing I notice is the bitter bite. Nice for a porter. Strong toffee, coffee, and chocolate. Strong dry hop. Also, lemony aftertaste. But, I am also concerned with cross-contamination as this is the 4th beer in my session. I've been careful to drink water and light food between beers.

M - Sticky and dry

O - Decent porter. I've had this once before, and remember it being better the first time.

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Photo of beer1018
3.27/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle poured into pint glass. Bottle says it is fresh until 10/3/2009

A. Black but when put up to the light it apears dark red. 1 inch carmel colored head. A little lacing but it doesnt last long.

S. Burnt bitter sweet chocolate coffee.

T. All i can taste is burnt coffee, i cant detect the chocolate in it. To bitter for my tastes, it and burnt coffee is all i can taste after drinking.

M. Thin and wattery. I was exspecting it to be heavier like guiness or beamish. I would have liked it better.

D. One and done for me. The smell was the only thing i liked on this brew. I dont think it is balanced well and i wish it was a thicker beer.

I wanted to like this beer after enjoying the blackout stout so much but i dont think i will buy again. This is my 5th out of a sixer and i still have the same impression as when i drank the first one a week ago.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.29/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick tan head and a dark dark brown body. Nice lacing. Enjoyed a month past it's 'best by' date, fwiw.

Nose is kinda malty, almost a bit briny. Maybe it's the ship on the bottle. Not great, but not offensive.

There's some kinda tart, Orangina-eqsue taste going on here. Maybe it's just me. Some kinda weird metallic tang. But once you get past that, it's robust and malty, and pretty well balanced. I am thinking now that the metallic flavor (which lingers) could be some muted hops. Bit of a warming at the back of your mouth.

This has a good body-- strong and robust, thick, but with some pretty bright carbonation.

This is not the type of porter I normally go for. It's more American (and slightly more steely/bitter) than I prefer, although it is certainly robust enough to be enjoyable for what it is. Could be something off with my bottle, or off with me. I will say that having read more into the reviews of this (and some comparisons), I would order a Founders Porter over this any day of the week. Does that mean Founders' is objectively better? No, just that I prefer it.

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Photo of Buggabeer
3.3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into 16oz glass.
A. Nice dark Brown with a reddish hint when held to the light. A fast pour produced a two finger head which after a couple of drinks vanishes to a thin coating on top of the beer. I laces very nice on the side of the glass.

S. Is good I can pick up a toasted smell to the malt and coffee under tones.

T. The taste is average to me. I'm not a big fan of the toasted after taste. It's as if they burnt the grains. I wish there was a little more coffee taste than what there is. The coffee flavor is over powered by the toasted (I think more like burnt grains)

M. I can't seem to get that burnt tast out of my mouth. I goes into the mouth very nice but that finish is to much for me.

D. I find this to be a very average Porter. I wouldn't like another after this one. That flavor of burnt grains or burnt coffee just isn't doing it for me.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,413 ratings.
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