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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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2,002 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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,002 | Ratings: 6,358
Photo of findlayfan
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like mattcrill said nearly everything that I feel about this brew--but I have to go ahead anyway.

I've been drinking GLBC's Edmund Fitzgerald in bottles for some time and had a sample at the brewery several years ago. Recently I ran across it on tap at a local restaurant (Diamond River in Findlay) and felt it was about time to write a review.

Pours near-black with mahogany hues and a dense medium brown head.

Has a wonderful smell, with significant coffee and chocolate notes--and just a touch of molasses.

Very slight carbonation, with only a few bubbles.

Wonderfully balanced, with bitter chocolate, coffee, and the slightest touch of hops in the aftertaste.

If (God forbid!) I were to be limited to one style of beer, porter would be it--and if I could have only ONE example of that style, the Edmund Fitzgerald would be that beer. I love Anchor's porter and Fuller's as well, but to quote mattcrill "I think they should just infuse this into my veins."

Amen, brother...

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Photo of mattcrill
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the brewpub.

I don't have much more to add to my reviews from the bottle but from the tap the taste and the mouthfeel are off the hook! The coffee and cocoa flavors are amped up compared to the bottle. It was a great overall flavor. The coffee and cocoa kept bouncing back and forth for control and made for a bittersweet, enjoyable taste.

The mouthfeel was improved to the medium to full end of the spectrum with a creamier overall flavor on the palate.

This is by far my favorite porter and from the tap it is simply perfection in a glass.

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

On tap @ D's
A: Dark dark brown in color-almost black. Nice 1" mocha colored head, very sticky.
S: Nice brewed coffee smell without a lot of the burnt undertones I've smelled in others. Nice bit of caramel/malty smells.
T: Very mellow chocolate, sweet malts, and a big coffee taste. Again, no real burnt flavors. Hops are nicely done and keep this from being too sweet.
M: Full bodied without being too heavy. Carbonation was medium/high. Alcohol pleasantly warming.
D&N: I've yet to try something from this brewery I haven't really enjoyed, and this is no exception. Very well balanced, easy to drink, nice and mellow. Super beer.

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Photo of fizzyfred
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark color with a light dark brown head. The smell is full of roasted malt, chocolote and caramel. This beer tastes wonderful. Very nice and chewy malt flavor with a pleasant aftertaste. A little bit of hop bitterness comes through, but mostly it balances the very malty base nicely. This one is delicious.

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

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out black with a huge tan head. The aroma is caramel, chocolate, and most of all coffee. Roasted malt flavor. Coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and oak flavors. There is a nice spicy hop flavor, and the finish is bitter. This is how a porter should taste. Full mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. This is an amazing porter, and at $5 a sixer, it's an amazing value too.

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

12oz. bottle: This beer pours an opaque brown. There was a bit of a tan head that died off rather quickly. Nice big whiff of chocolate to the nose. Also some notes of roastiness and nutiness. The taste is somewhat chocolate sweet, with a nice bitterness to it also. Very smooth and drinkable. Thanks, Jay!

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown out of the bottle, allowing very little light to come through. Light tan head quickly dissipates, yet is easily recreated with a little swirling. Smells of sweet malt and chocolate, well balanced with the hops, very pleasing. Perfectly carbonated, not too much and not too little, producing a very nice mouthfeel. Taste is of sweet, chocolaty, earthy maltiness. Slight hop flavor, and just the right amount of hop bitterness to offset the malty sweetness. Finishes well, with a little sweet bitterness lingering after the swallow. My favorite of the Great Lakes sampler I acquired, as well as my favorite porter of those I have tried so far. One to buy again.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice, purble, ruby, egg plant hue. Small, less than persistent tan head. Not much lacy elegance notable. Can't wait.

Smell: Definitely some kwoffee 'n dark and mysterious fruitiness. Azucar de tan. Milky chocolate seems feasible.

Taste: Superb flavour. I am completely enamoured with this thing as I reach the end of my plunge. ( Mouthfeel: ) Perfect texture. Smooth, rich chocolate that is at precisely the correct pitch to jive harmoniously with the beans. Hops are perfectly blended into the flavour scape. A balance that is tightrope worthy. A dark and rindy, bitter and smokey fat lady sings her storied part. This one earns the clout! I pine for another.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

again, from an oversized taster at the brewpub..

this beer is black as night with a no discernible head. oatmeal stout was recommended over this one, but i went with the BA word-on-the-street and hung out with eddie.

lacing on this baby stays around and, when left unattended, forms a nice piecrust on my glass.

burnt brown sugar and chocolate malty offer a one-two punch. something about this beer reminds me of coffee-aftertaste.. coffee breath? in a good way? mild coffee notes in the flavor with a heavy chocolate-covered hazelnut kick. big tang follows and an overall lighter body makes this very drinkable.. the experience is rounded off by caramel and.. pretzel? flavors.

complex and a winner overall. cant believe this is an old standard out in the midwest.

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Photo of Redrover
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown longneck with clear freshness dating. Nice informative label.

The beer is very dark brown with a nice 1 inch tan head. Great lacing.

The aroma is of fresh roasted malts, caramel and a bit of bakers chocolate.

The taste is much like the smell initial taste of roasted malt with more than a hint of coffee (reminds me of the smell of a coffee roasting plant). Nice subtle hoping to counterpoint the toasted malts. Just a bit of chocolate flavor emerges late. No off notes at all. Tasty and it reminds me of Big Shoulders Porter from the defunct Chicago Brewing Co.

Nice thick and substantial mouthfeel. Extremely easy drinker to boot. Way to go Ohio (as the Pretenders say).

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Photo of Star80
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ahh yes, the beer that set me straight as far as Porters go. Great Lakes could almost straighten out Richard Simmons given the chance! This one gave me a whole new outlook on the style and set a new personal best. Pours very dark, almost as black as their Blackout Stout. Head is not overwhelming but appears as a beige specter hovering on top. Delicate lacing is on the sides of my glass. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and faintly of hops. Tastes like coffee, toffee, roasted marshmallow and bittersweet dark chocolate! Mouthfeel is fine, actually great! I could drink these forever.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The perfect looking porter, in my opinion. Looks black, with just a hint of deep red at the bottom of the glass. Light will just barely pass through it, showing up dark red. Frothy tan head crops up and leaves some sticky lacing on the glass. Good head retention. Aroma of dark malt, chocolate, mocha, dark fruit, and even a bit of hops. Good robust taste of coffee and chocolate, with some caramel undertones. I'm even detecting a little dark fruit in this one. Some good hop notes finish off the taste and lead to a perfectly balanced, slightly dry finish. Not too much or too little aftertaste, perfect finish. Although its a pretty robust taste, it is an extremely drinkable porter.

This is the beer that got me into GLBC. I remember ordering several of these in a row the first time I tasted this, simply because they were that good.

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Photo of tom444
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cola brown, with about half an inch of thick, tan head.

Smells of rich roasted malts, with a bit of a burnt aroma.

Tastes of a good bit of roasted malts, with some chocolate and coffee notes, and a little bit of a nutty taste. A decent amount of hop bitterness.

Leaves a nice chocolate/coffee aftertaste.

A great porter to enjoy with a meal or just for the sake of drinking good beer.

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Photo of longarm
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick tan foam cascades from the pour as a dark brew billows from the depths of the glass. Large bubbles rest on the top of the beer. A short rest leaves a thin but not unnoticeable head.

Aroma has a hint of something akin to blackberries. Unusual for a beer, but it fits exceptionally well with this dark style. Hop aroma is also present but not dominant.

Flavor is slightly sour with mild roasty/chocolate malt bitterness. A strong hop flavor appears at the finish. The end result is quite smooth with only a slightly sour aftertaste still wetting the palate for more.

This is certainly one of the better porters I've had. Easy to drink, complex and quite smooth.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like Great Lakes. This porter pours a real nice dark brown color with little dark red highlights around the sides. Nice thick tan head floating on top. Smell is a bit hoppier than most porters I'd say, but there's also a strong roasted malt smell and a hint of sweet chocolaty scent. Taste is again a bit hoppier than most porters, kind of hits you up front and then comes the malt. There is a nice sweetness to this beer but it's really subtle and you have to pay attention to notice. Mouthfeel is smooth but maybe a little watery? I don't know what to think of this beer. On St. Patty's day I drank one of these for the first time, out of a bottle too, and thought it was fantastic. Maybe that was just because I had a Guinness right before that. So I went out and bought a couple bottles and brought them back to Mass with me and these ones don't seem to have the complexities that I initially noticed. I wish I could get some out here but it doesn't come here unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, it's a good porter. But I originally thought it was living up to all the hype as one of the best but the next two bottles haven't quite been as good as the first. Weird. I'll try some more sometime.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a very dark ruby color, almost black, with a nice dark tan head. Smell is charred, charcoal like, very burnt, but yet very chocolatey at the same time. Taste is sweet caramel malts, backed up by an abundance of chocolate, and a slight biterness and earthy hop flavor. smooth in the mouth and very drinkable, a top notch porter, one that should be admired by all.

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Photo of shapudding
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dated August 26, 2004. Dark and clear chestnut, but held to the light you can catch a bit of ruby. Khaki dusting in a ring. Wonderful aroma, thick chocolate and coffee with a bit of hops shooting through. Nice and dark! Smooth and silky, barely feel the carbonation, but not flat at all. Chocolate and hoppy flavors, bit with a snap in there... but yet smooth. Very nice and highly enjoyable! Thanks to Brandon/Pissky for this gifted brew!

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Photo of asabreed
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A hyped up beer for sure, as many know by now. And this lives up to the hype ten fold. Picked up a case for around $28.

Of the many porters I've had, it seems -- though I may be wrong -- that an average porter seems to be pretty standard, meaning I guess there are many average ones out there versus many that I wouldn't even want to try. However, I've yet to come across one as delicious and balanced as Edmund Fitzgerald.

Appearance: Beautifully black and opaque, with a mocha-colored lace that keeps pretty sticky to the glass. Red / Amber tint to it in the light that's also quite gorgeous.

Smell: Wow. Chocolate. Honey. Mocha / Coffee. Dark berries. The faintest hop nose to complement the sweeter accompaniments.

Taste: Again, wow. Balance all the way through, and a finish that may rival the best beers I've ever tasted. Nothing ever seems overpowering, as if everything is working together all the time. Yet it remains complex even after you swallow and the flavors are still on your tongue. All the smells above seem discernible, in addition to a lingering fruitiness that I can't pin down. Amazing.

Mouthfeel: Once again, it's dark, so the body is chewy, but also deceptively light, which makes it very interesting to swish around a bit.

Drinkability: For a Porter, I could certainly make this a session, as mainly because the hops and malt never seem to overpower each other, and though the body may be a bit chewy, it's also light, which makes Winter not necessarily the only season to drink this I feel. Can't wait to have many more of these.

Great Lakes continues to impress me, and this is not only no different, but I don't know if they make a better beer. I want to try the Blackout Stout, as seemingly that may be the only one that can rival Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its been a while since I had this one. It pours a deep brown color with a slight ruby hues. There is a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of roasted coffee tones, with a slight chocolate in there as well. The flavor is very full, starting with a blast of coffee, fading really quickly to sweet chocolate, finishing slightly bitter. The feel is nice moderate to slightly thick. Overall, I really like the flavor and feel of this one. Everyting works very well together. I dig it.

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Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany color with medium mocha colored head. Wonderful chocolate/roasted malt aroma-not coffee scented, which it shouldn’t have, but is still nice to not bee there, and worth a mention. So many porters swing to the stout way, and leave their roots behind. Back to the beer… Blend of chocolate malt and roasted flavor. Chocolate flavor rests below the heavy roasted taste, which dominates the drink. Very light on the plate overall. Almost 1 dimensional where the roasted flavor is all you get for the most part. Although, there are different levels of the roasted malt in the taste, there should be something else there that isn’t which would help with the body and feel.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've finally got around to try this one. Pours a deep dark black with a nice finger of tan head on top. Brown comes through when held to the light. A nice vibrant mix of aromas...big roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, hints of coffee and a nice hop nose. Very nice.

First sip brings a wonderful roasty, burnt maltiness along with a nice mix of bittersweet chocolate, ground coffee and a nice piney, floral hop bitterness that plays along with the sweetness. This is a wonderfully well balanced porter and just so damn tasty. Yum.

Mouthfeel is damn near perfect for the style...a nice medium body with small bubbly carbonation. I'd have to say this brew is incredibly drinkable...easily sessionable. Yet another super tasty, enjoyable brew from Great Lakes..one of my favorite midwest brewers!

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

Pours very dark, I'd say almost a mix of dark purple and dark brown. Has a fizzy tan head that fades into a ring. Looks tasty.

The smell is nice and strong, coffee, chocolate and a fresh smell hiding behind that, that makes me think of cold milk. Very appetizing.

Taste is good, strong coffee flavour with a dry bitter finish that hangs on for some time. Nice balance throughout.

This beer has some creaminess, and is very comfortable to roll on your tongue. Feels like it moves a little slowly across the tongue.

Drinkability? Well, I am crushed that this is my last bottle, and I may not see this beer again for some time, cause I'd love to sit down with this beer on a quiet evening and enjoy several bottles.

Huge thanks to my friend Praneel for bringing me a mixed six pack of Great Lakes beers which included two of these world class porters.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a beige head. Aroma is dark malts, some cocoa and red grapes.

Taste is patent malt with a slight vinous element. Ashy, espresso and Dutch cocoa flavors, bittersweet but not quite cloying. Hints of wine around the edges like a pinot noir. Reminds me of a very light milk stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and grainy. A good stout, I've tried it before on tap. Quite drinkable but not a Top 50-caliber beer, in my opinion. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the chance to try this one in the bottle.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appeareance: Pours a tempting dark brown with a nice thick beige head that clings like crazy.

Smell: The smell is a very appetizing blend of coffee and cocoa with a hint of bitterness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is like liquid velvet the whole way, with wonderful coffee, roasted, and bittersweet notes everywhere. The combination of these with a wonderfully seductive hop presence combines into a porter that's flavor is truly one of the best in the world. Smooth, creamy, full of power and still balanced enough to bring one to their knees, this beer tastes like heaven on earth.

Drinkability and Overall: I absolutly love this porter. One of the best I've had to date. The wonderul flavors and seductive aromas make this beer dangerously drinkable. This is a phenomenal porter that just doesn't quit. I love it.

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

Pours dark black with a nice creamy light brown head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass, roasty chocolate and coffee aromas. Roasted burnt chocolate, brown sugar and coffee flavors, good roasted bitterness in the finish. Medium body with soft and creamy mouthfeel, this is one of my all time favorite porters.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,358 ratings.
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