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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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2,003 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 2,003 | Ratings: 6,359
Photo of Jadjunk
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

"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." Brewed in the style of an American Porter, available in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on year round draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, frothy head of a medium tan consistency over an opaque dark brown body with fine sediment and sunset red highlights. Retention is good and lacing is light and patchy. 4

(Smell) Toasted caramel grain, chocolate malt and earthy toffee form a complex, yet drinkable malt body with a subtle lightness, essential for a porter. Delicate undertones of roast and dark fruit. Very textbook but pleasing aroma with no unexpected additions. Potency is moderate. 4

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the aroma, with a light-drinking malt body of dry chocolate malt, smooth toffee and lightly toasted caramel malt midsection, and a gentle cold roasted malt finish. Very clean, highly drinkable. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly chewy, medium dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a medium frothiness and a moderately crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to roasted and toasted specialty malt character bitterness. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Edmund Fitzgerald Porter isn't extraordinary by any means in that it doesn't take any particular risks in pushing the style beyond its current boundaries, but falls rather gracefully in the middle, generating a precise, enjoyable malt body that nicely balances out with the subtle specialty malt character, all while maintaining a high lightness and drinkability, essential for the design of a quality porter. In conclusion, it doesn't reach the pinnacle of some experimental and unique variations on the style, but is a great starting place for what we should come to expect from our American Porters. 4

Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s
Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

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Photo of beertunes
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Superspak for the chance to finally try this guy, from his box in NBS BIF#4, MWK. Best by 12/31/16. 12oz bottle, poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a very dark brown color, just short of black, and had a bit of a reddish tint near the edges. The beer was nicely clear, and had about 1/2 inch of tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left low lacing.

Some nicely gentle roast notes were at the front of the olfactory portion of the program, with a gentle underlying malt scent. No noticeable hop profile. The taste was similar, but stronger, with the roast bordering on being coffee-like.

The body was thinner than I prefer in the style, but was smooth and even. There was good carbonation across the tongue, giving a very enjoyable effervescence. The roasted flavors lingered a few moments at the back of the palate, and led to a dry finish.

Drinkability was very good, I can see where folks could, and have, drink a lot of these. Overall, a very nice brew that certainly lives up to its reputation. If it were locally available, It would probably have it in my rotation.

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Photo of amont118
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is my first review so take it with a grain of salt.
This beer had a really nice look almost seeming black but in light it looked more like cola. The head had an initial rise and subsided quickly leaving just a thin layer on top which helped accentuate the great aroma of coffee and chocolate that this beer releases. As far as taste it matched the smell which I thought was delicious. As for feel I really am not an expert but I thought that it changed from the start toward the finish but it could have been a little too cold to start with and as it came to an appropriate temperature really became pleasant. Overall I really liked this beer and will be drinking it more often.

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Photo of wuthrichj15
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/blackish. Smells delicious (coffee, chocolate), nice dark head that dissipates quickly. Taste matches the smell. Really smooth finish. Very well done

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Photo of Nimbus_
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Great looking beer. Pours nearly black, although holding up to light reveals a surprisingly clear dark brown cola color. I poured this pretty aggressively and ended up with about three fingers of tan head which went down fairly quickly leaving a thin layer to sit on top for the session. A splotchy lacing was left on the glass as I drank.

Smell: Initially, I got a lot of roasted malt, coffee, and just a tiny bit of chocolate. As I drank I noticed that the roasty aroma subsided and it balanced out very well with the chocolate.

Taste: Very similar to the taste. The first two sips or so had overpowering roasted malt and coffee flavors, which I am completely fine with. As I drank, the sweetness of the chocolate emerged a little more to balance out the flavors. There is a slight hop presence in the finish too that isn't overly bitter, and it actually balances the sweetness of the chocolate very well.

Feel: Medium bodied, and slightly creamy. An appropriate amount of gentle carbonation. A slightly dry finish that fits the roasted malt and mildly hoppy taste near the end.

Overall: I really liked this brew. I'm a big fan of porters, and this one stands out as one of the greats.

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Photo of Alan_Bats
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Honestly might be the best porter I've ever had. Roasty aroma and aftertaste. Depth of aroma is further accentuated in the flavor. Color is black, feel is wonderful. Aroma is spectacular and taste is even better. Maybe it is just my taste but this is damn near perfect.

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Photo of lwcreasy
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Near black with an inch of creamy, tan head. A frothy ring persists along the side of the glass. Decent lacing.

Deep chocolate aroma and rich breadiness. Toffee sweetness rolls in with every inhalation. Slight touch of earthiness from the hops joins the party, and the beer produces additional aroma after wonderful aroma as it is warming. Very subtle dark fruit and cocoa powder. Outstanding, subtle, and always evolving.

Strong and sharp breadiness transcends the nose. Slightly acidic (in a good way) with a nice hop bitterness and barely perceptible earthy hop notes to balance. Bittersweet chocolate and pleasant roastiness supplement the delicious bready quality.

Noticeable carbonation and slight alcohol warmth. Medium body. Refreshing and comforting at the same time.

Delicious beer with sumptuous bready character, nice supporting hop presence, and undeniable drinkability.

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

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter has a thick, beige head, a dark, ruby-brown (as the light hits it) appearance, with some lacing left behind (but, not heavy lacing). The smell is of rich, sweet coffee, cream, chocolate, brown bread crust, and strong malt. Taste is of all that, with balancing bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium, and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter finishes on the powdery side.


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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 laketang
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

appears black upon pour, but looking in light reveals a dark cola color with small fluffy head
roasted coffee scents. I love that aspect of this beer
chocolate and roast coffee notes.some English toffee as well
medium mouthfeel, great fresh brewed coffee like aftertaste.some bitterness
that is why this beer rates well.

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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 rodbeermunch
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer really looks impressive, hits those dark as brown can be without being black notes, solid 1" tan head that provides some uniform lace down the side. Aroma was the usual droppings of chocolate and coffee from the roasted malt.

Taste, a thick, chewy chocolate malt and coffee impression. Nothing adjuncty, nothing out of the ordinary, just one of those prototype kind of porters. This one tames down the hopping and bitterness compared to another prototype like Sierra Nevada. All good, relatively sessionable and easy to drink. No frills. Elite 1st tier stuff.

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Photo of Beric
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 6 May 2016

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown, definitely NOT black, crowned with a one-finger tan head. The head diminishes somewhat but leaves incredible lacing. Every sip all the way down the glass was marked by a perfect half-circle of bubbles.

Smell: Notes of black coffee, espresso, and a subtle roastiness. Some charred nuttiness.

Taste: Really nice blend of flavors here- the roasted malt definitely stands out without being abrasive. Notes of French roast coffee underly the whole thing, with a subtle hint of very dark chocolate to round it out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, honestly. This doesn't feel big nor small on the palate, despite its rich color and flavor.

Overall: A magnificent porter and one that I think really speaks for itself. Highly recommended.

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Photo of OldSwampy
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has bee one of my favorite beers for some time, though as a relatively new BA I have not reviewed it before.

Brown bottle poured into a nonic. Dark, dark brown with a rich tan head that's not too big. Nice nose, raisiny and dark chocolate malty scent. Taste hits with bitterness and leanness rather than sweetness, though there's some sweetness underneath. Rich and somewhat complex malt and hops interplay. Mouthfeel creamy but fades cleanly.

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Photo of DJChaseTheBase
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. What a terrific porter with a malty coffee flavor. There may be some chocolate listed in this, but I couldn't taste it. This beer is a great nice and full that pairs with just about anything. I can't wait to have this beer again from Great Lakes!

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

A-color is a very dark brown with ruby highlights in the light and two fingers worth of khaki colored head

S-smell is of chocolate, dark malt, and light coffee

T-taste is similar to the smell with a roasted malt backbone, chocolate, and roasted coffee

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, dry and roasted finish

Overall a great example for the style, very drinkable and great tasting

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was pretty "meh" for me. Based on prior reviews I might have gotten an off bottle or something. It was really thin and very little roast from the malts that I expected.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Look is deep dark brown. Nice creamy layer on top and respectable lacing.
Smell is 58% dark malts, 34% coffee, 6% sweet cigar, and a fleeting 2% dried cherries or generic acidic fruitiness.

Beautiful malts in the nose set expectations.
Taste has initial (albeit lesser) roasted malt and burnt sugar. By mid swallow malts are gone and you're left with char. The aftertaste goes to the hop end of the seesaw with an herbal, grassy bitterness.

Overall, I feel like the malts walked out and left me holding the charred herb check.

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Photo of Owlish1
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I really wanted to like this, but ... I couldn't quite make it work. It poured a lovely, rich, dark mahogany with a smallish head. The aroma was full of promise - roasted coffee, toasty malts - but the delivery started out more bitter than smooth and mellow. As the glass warmed in my hand, it improved, but not enough to redeem it.

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Porters are sort of hard to pinpoint. Kind of a blurry line between them and stouts. Be that as it may, as a beer this is certainly great whatever you want to call it.

Pours a very dark brown with an amberish hue. Smells like what you would expect, coffee, roasted malts, subtle fruits. Taste follows, strong malty coffee/espresso, hints of fruits (i find this to be highly subjective as what you will pick out, to me raisins/prunes and cherry) and a balancing earthy bitterness.

Maybe a bit thin on the mouth? But like I said porters are a strange beast so I wont knock it too much for that. Otherwise, probably the best Porter i've had.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a dark brown head that slowly dissipated. Smell is a warm malty note with other undertones. Taste is full, big, and very complex and nice, with a smooth aftertaste of the malt. Almost sweet. This porter has good body, and is an excellent drink.

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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 catastrophy
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

this is the cream of the crop of porters...must be bought by the case and never refrigerated. .the hops in this beer is very delicate and precariously balanced. the fresher the better. please don't review if you bought from a supermarket. it's probably been ruined. all porters should have this hop flavor. strongly carbonated and "thick"...able to drink two days later after opening. ..no other beer, I have found I can do this. (still carbonated). ..don't like to describe as chocolate, but most certainly has that attribute. smooth, smooth, smooth, with the only bite coming from the bubbles. multi layered across the spectrum of flavors. ..but all complimentary. not sweet..and not TOO bitter.

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Photo of dditto2
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark coffee color with off white decent head. Smells sweet, chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Taste is robust, has more bitterness too it, roasted malts, mild chocolate and coffee flavors. Has moderate carbonation, somewhat smooth and creamy. Overall it is a great beer, one of my favorite styles. Seems more on the bitter side than I prefer for this style but, still very drinkable.I am from Ohio and I always seem to rate GL beers lower than average, I am not sure what it is about them, they all have a specific flavor I find less desirable.

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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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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,359 ratings.
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