Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

2,016 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: 2,016 | Ratings: 6,423
Photo of brjr508
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I picked up a six pack of this in Dekalb, Illinois, at the start of September, 2006.

Appearance: This is a nice, dark brown beer. Some hints of red when held up to light, but for the most part this beer is very dark.

Smell: Coffee, chocolate, and, when warm and straight out of the bottle, caramel. The caramel seems to disappear, however.

Taste: Again, the coffee and chocolate notes come out, but despite the smell of caramel I was unable to taste it in the beer. Maybe this comes out if the beer is colder? I tend to drink porters when they're a bit warmer. A nice bitterness complements these flavors.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is very good, and very substantial.

Drinkability: This is a beer I could drink all day. It takes a while to drink it because I don't need to take large sips in order to get its complexity; the complexity is just there so less is required to drink.

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

A-Pours a rich, dark brown, almost black. Decent tan head.

S-Aroma is of sweet, roasted malts, with just a hint of coffee as well.

T-Semi-sweet, roasted malt flavor to start. Ends on a sort of dark coffee, nutty note, with a bit of hop bitterness to boot.

M-Medium bodied, with a creamy smooth texture. Not much carbonation.

D-Fairly drinkable, with a nice balance between the many flavors. Each bottle reveals a different characteristic, making it interesting.

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Photo of Budlum
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep black and brown with a thick and creamy tan head at about one inch. Slight translucent qualities displaying some shades of red near the bottom of the glass. Excellent head retention.

A rush of deep roasted barley hits the nose. Surprisingly sweet and malty. Great charcoal, peat and oak tones. Additional black molasses sweetness with some malty qualities. A chocolate and vanilla finish on the nose with a constant reminder of the powerful, dark-roasted barley.

Like the aromas, a huge rush of deeply roasted to almost burned barley flavors lead this porter. Dark chocolates and strong charcoal with tobacco flavor really power this out. Notes of roasted walnuts, vanilla and faint black licorice. A subtle hint of dry hops before a long, deep finish similar to a French or Italian roast coffee.

Mouthfeel is creamy but not quite as viscous as typical porters. It is still thick enough to leave a nice coating on the tongue after each sip.

Drinkability is probably the best of any porter I've tried. Typically this is not one of my choice styles but I would love to have Edmund Fitzgerald constantly in my refrigerator.

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Photo of beerphan
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> american pint
enjoy by: Dec 06/06

Pours a near black with red around the edges when lifted to the light. A big creamy full tan head which leaves sticky even lace which rings the glass after each swig. The original lace from the head decline is still sticking to the top edges of the glass, as i ready to pour another. Light carbonation is present.

Nose: Initial chocolate scent gives way to burnt coffee, burnt dark malt, expresso, and a nice hint of fruity hops. Impressive complex full nose.

Taste - Sweet chocolate and rich coffee upfront, with a nice deep dark roasted malt background. Roasty burnt bitter dry aftertaste that leaves a delightful taste and feel on the tongue. An exceptional use of bittering hops to even out the sweetness without overpowering the palate. Yummy.

Mouthfeel is just about perfect. Light carbonation with a sticky sweet feel leaves you wanting more.

A very drinkable sessionalbe porter. I liked it the first time a tried it and i like even more today.

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Photo of peabody
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out very dark with a nice head and leaves a little lacing on the pint glass.
The smell is chocolate and coffee mixed with raisin or plum.
The taste is coffee and chocolate with a fruity flavor in there that I can't recognize.
Mouthfeel is very clean and it leaves a slight bitterness and a little alcohol to set it all off.
I like this beer and will drink all 6 out of the pack today.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer numerous times over the past 15 years or so. However, I have never really gotten to sit down with a pint and think about it till now. I am always at my sisters in Cleveland or somewhere and its just "around" for drinking. Nice appearance-chocolatey brown with a very thin tan head. Low aroma-roasted/cocoa like with a mild, sort of caramel trace. Good roasted flavor-has a slight, pleasant burnt tinge to it. Very nice indeed. Bit thin for me in the body. Very, very drinkable porter. Its nice to sit back and savor a beer that isnt "big" or "double" for a change.

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Photo of Deconstructionis
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an excellent Porter. It's not my favorite style, but this might be the best widely available example of the style.

It's a rich mahogany in color with very substantial creamy head. Rich rroasted malt aroma with notes of espresso. Full bodied with moderate carbonation it feels very smooth. the best part is the taste This is a rich malty concoction with a perfectly balanced undertone of bitterness that lingers and precludes any cloying aftertaste. You can't go wrong with this brew and it is priced better than many many inferior brands.

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Photo of Iguana
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a dark brown with a 1 inch foamy beige head, looks right on for a porter.

S: Coffee, chocolate, roast malts. Smells pretty excellent.

T: Amazing, extremely chocolatey. Has that nice roasty porter taste and imagine that paired with some hershey's chocolate and thats what I am tasting. I absolutely love it.

M: Pretty thick for a porter, but I am liking it, almost coats my mouth in flavor.

D: I love this, and am gonna have to have my relatives send me some more. A truely amazing porter. If I had this readily available near me I would buy it all the time.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with ruby red highlights, topped by a two-inch, creamy tan head that takes its time retreating to about the half-inch level, leaving some creamy, sticky lacing along the way. Aroma of rich roasted malt, with notes of mocha, dark fruit, and dark chocolate. Palate is up front with toasty, roasty malt, with a bit of coffee, plum, and bittersweet chocolate. The creamy body is almost perfect - not unlike that of malted milk (although, 2% malted milk). A delight to drink, this went beautifully with a slice of chocolte beet cake. Wish I could have brought more than one bottle back from my trip to the Midwest.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been seeking this brew since last winter. It's not exactly porter season anymore but that's okay with me. Pours near black with thin, tightly bubbled head. Nose is powerful and complex with coffee and caramel in spades with sweetness and a touch of hops in the backround. Lacing holds the fort after each sip.

Full rush of nutty, toasted malt accompanied by a easy to drink mouthfeel and a balanced, mature finish. This one improves as it warms as well. Light in texture and probably the closest a porter can come to being sessionable. This goes down way too easy.

Not heavy or big on alcohol but right up there with the best American porters I've ever had.

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Photo of HomerSimpson742
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been wanting to try this beer for awhile. On a recent trip to Cleveland, we stopped for dinner at Great Lakes Brewing Co's Brewpub and I had a chance to try this from a freshly tapped keg.

Aroma - coffe/roasted malt

Taste - wow...Quite possibly the finest porter I've tried on this side of the pond. I whish they had Massachusetts distribution.

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Photo of Derek
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cola colour, tan head, not much retention, hint of lace.

S: Mocha, fruity esters (British Ale yeast?), nut bread.

T: Mocha, bread, slight nut, grainy astringency. Slight hint of British fruity esters (apparant that it's an ale, but not assertive), slight roastyness.

M: Greater than moderate body, moderate carbonation, hint of chalk & acidity.

D: Decent drinker.

I've been looking forward to trying this for a while, but I it seems a little over-rated. My first bottle was merely average, but I have had a couple more that were a little better... adjusted scoring as necessary.

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Photo of jwm232
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark, dark caramel color; not dark as night but pretty dark. nice, lingering head...lacing to the glass before I started drinking. Thick but not too-thick. Very nice lacing through the whole pint!

Smell - Strong bitter chocolate smell.

Taste - chocolate, coffee, matly at first...hops make a showing at the end. Leaves a hoppy lingering on my tongue. Way more hoppy than I remember. Slight metallic taste. Though it's a shade shy of 6% ABV, there is a slight boozey taste towards the end.

Mouthfeel - Nice, smooth, not uber-creamy. Carbonation not overwhelming.

Drinkability - Oh yeah!

I tried this beer at a Brew was much better there...I think it was from a keg. I tasted a bit of vanilla at the expo and it was lacking here. Word to the wise: definitely let this brew warm-up. It rapidly changes character with a little warmth (true of lots of beers I reckon). Though I was slightly disappointed, this is one good brew.

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Photo of beveritt
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wide-mouth pint glass. There is a freshness date on the bottle, but I can't make it out. Maybe 04/06? That would mean I am 4 months behind on this bottle.

Appearance: Pours with a medium head. Maybe two fingers of not too creamy, big bubble type stuff. The beer itself is a nice dark, red-brown. I can just barely see through it while holding it up to a 60 watt bulb.

Smell: Smells strongly of dark, rich malts. It has that coffee, chocolate, and caramel smell I like so much in the darker beers.

Taste: Yum. The taste comes across like the smell. Coffe and dark roasted malts. You can definitely pick out bittersweet chocolate flavors.

Mouthfeel: Nice lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: This is a great porter. If this is what it tastes four months past the recommended drink by date, I can't wait to pick up some more.

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Photo of jhollick
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nearly opaque with a 1.5" tan head that stuck around for most of the beer; deep ruby undertones.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, caramel. An overall sweet and inviting aroma.

Mouthfeel: Thick, heavy, and creamy; just as I would expect from a superior porter.

Taste: A sweet and roasted flavor initally, followed by a nice, but not too sharp hop bite. The flavor then mellows, sweetens again, and then takes on a more roasted and nutty flavor. Some darker berries also come out towards the end, and dark chocoloate flavors, nuts, and caramel and present throughout the beer. There is also a slightly dry and powdery quality in the chocolate flavor. The hop bite keeps you wanting more, but it isn't enough to overwhelm by any means.

Drinkability: Par for the course for a porter. This porter is much better than most, but I'm still not going to guzzle it all night long.

Overall: Hands down the best porter I have ever encountered. The flavors are all in perfect harmony, and it is dangerously sessionable. If you can find a tastier porter, please tell me what it is and where to get it immediately.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a dark, opaque brown with thick tan head and great lacing. malty aroma of nuts, chocolate and toffee. The taste was more of the chocolate and toffee. Body was a tad on the thin side, but finish very smooth. Although I had this on a warm summer’s eve, it was a most enjoyable beer.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to blitheringidiot for giving me the opportunity to try this wonderful brew.
Pours a deep, deep reddish amber that is almost black with a nice full head of tan bubbles that melts rather slowly to a top covering sticky lacing.
Aroma is nutty coffee with cream...not bitter or biting at all.
Taste is roasted coffee with a touch of caramel, a little nuttiness (as in nuts, not as in crazy), followed by a pleasant hop bite that keeps it dry and not cloying or sweet at all.
Mouthfeel is almost and full.
Aftertaste of roasted coffee bean that lasts a long, long time.
This is a wonderful porter to be savored and enjoyed slowly during the course of the evening.
Very drinkable and comforting.

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Photo of rabsten
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass from 12oz bottle (opened up with my new Beer Advocate opener! ), it presents with a three finger, lighter-brown head. Body is a dark red-tinted ebony, while the head has good lacing.

Smell: Toasted cocoa malt with metallic hop tang in the background. Coffee notes as well. Toasty all around.

Taste: This is everything I want in this style: toasted chocolate and coffee malts, some caramel-like sweetness, balanced with a subtle hop bite that keeps the malt from being too clingy. My favorite Porter.

Remarkably dry mouthfeel, especially considering all of the candy-like qualities in the flavor. Crisp enough to leave the palate mostly cleansed, with only a lingering cocoa/toasted malt flavor on the roof of the mouth. Excellent-to-spectacular.

As drinkable as a porter gets. I can – and have – have one after the other.

I’ve said it before: EFP is my favorite porter. And since porter is one of my favorite styles (DIPA and IPA being the other), this is one of my favorite beers. Add to the mix that this is AVAILABLE and reasonably distributed in West Virginia (I’ve heard rumors of Keg Availability, even!) and I’m in heaven with this brew. I try to keep my consuption seasonal so as to not get all burned out on it. Becasue of this, this was teh first one I'd had in several months. Come September, I won't be without at least a six around.

The way I see it, I’m allowed one “Five out of Five” per style and still maintain some credibility
For Porter, Edmond Fitzgerald is my Five.

God bless Great Lakes for this beer.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a little light shining through. Massive frothy head that is chocolate colored with some cherry coloring to boot. Heavy lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Truely this is something to sit and stare at.
Aroma is kind of a nutty chocolate.
Heavy roasted flavors. Coffee. Awsome bittersweet finish that lingers. This is the best finish I ever remember having in a beer. The flavor flows wonderfully from sweet to bitter. No harshness here.
Feels wonderful in the mouth. Thick and chewy but not so much that it's a meal in a bottle.
Very drinkable. I'm having to show restraint to drink it slow and enjoy the flavors.
Easily the best porter I've had and one of the best beers period.
Many thanks to justcas and July Secret Santa BIF 2006...My tastebuds are bowing in your honor.

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Photo of Vancer
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, quite a brew, even if it didn’t meet my expectations (darn those top 100 BA brews!)

Deep brown pour with ruby edges and a tan head, nice sheet lacing all the way down the glass. Nice label too, and with a best by dating included.

Wow, this one smells like a chocolate vanilla ice cream shake. Quaff was just a smidgen disappointing. Sure, had the coffee, chocolate and maltly start. But the finish, a lite hoppy offering was a tad thin on the sour ale taste – I’m sure nit picking here.

Full bodied and dry, all it all it was very tasty and I’m looking forward to the rest of the six pack and many more down the road.

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Photo of Enola
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was looking forward to trying this beer and it was worth the wait. It poured a very deep brown and had a tan head. The smell is roasted grain. The taste is borderline stout. This is a hard hitting porter. Oatmeal flavors are present. This is a smooth beer . A nice roasted aftertaste. The drinkability is high. I just wish this beer was available in NC. This is a damn fine beer.

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Photo of badbeer
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown, almost black with a tan head that receded to a ring around the glass. Rich smell of cherries, cocoa, some espresso notes, molasses, and currants. Amazing smell, especially for a regular porter. Roast coffee upfront, before leading into cocoa and some hoppiness, then some of the dark fruit comes through before a dry coffee finish. Medium carbonation and light to medium bodied, pretty slick and oily on the tongue. Really a joy to drink, I wish this was easier to get here in Iowa.

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Photo of expatsteve
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black, with a 1/2 inch cappucino head that subsides to a nice suds cover. Low medium viscosity, with thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Deep chocolate malts with a few hints of honey. Cool and refreshing.

Taste: Chocolate and espresso notes, with dark sweet front and middle palates. Mild milk notes and a biscuity finish. Nice balance between sweet malts and a slight astringent aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, with a malt emphasis. Fantastic.

Drinkability: A solid porter, that remains sessionable despite a nice depth of flavor. Not terribly complex, but graceful in its simplicity.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Edmund Fitzgerald.

I just got back from Belgium, and poured it into my Trappist Westveletren glass. Why not? Everything looks prettier in this thing. I'm going to drink iced tea out of it. Ok, maybe not.

Anyways, nice, deep brown/chocolate body with a bit of mahogany-red light shining through the bottom. The head starts out tan, frothy and chunky, but settles down to a skim in a couple minutes. Nice lacing, though.

Smell is dry, roasty, baker's chocolate and roasted barley. I like a sweeter smelling port usually, but it's nice.

Taste is huge on the chocolate malt with a dry finish. A bit sweet up front, but then settling into the roasted malt at the end. Pretty nice. A big porter, that's for sure.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Creamy, with those tiny little bubbles that tickle your tongue.

Drinkability is good, but it's hindered for me by the dry and roasty barley at the end.

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Photo of xzqrut
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, this Porter has a dark and rich color, more along the lines of high potency cocoa, then say coffee. The beer gives a foamy tan head, that is not too thick. The Edmund Fitzgerald has a very mild odor, but what it lacks to the nose, it makes up for in the mouth. It has a very smooth drinkability, that fills the mouth with bitter coffee tastes and complimentary tones of sweet chocolate. This porter goes down smooth, and is a great member of the Great Lakes family.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,423 ratings.
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