Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

2,016 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

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Reviews: 2,016 | Ratings: 6,428
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow - all in all a very, very nice brew here...

I gave this dark brew my standard pour which ended up being a bit more aggressive than called for - it seems that this is a pretty highly carbonated porter! Once the (minor) spillage was sopped up I was still left with a three finger head of sticky brown foam over a jet black brew. The head stuck around a surprisingly long time and left a lot of thick lacing on the glass.

The smell was plenty inviting with sweet malt notes, generous hints of coffee and a bit of vanilla as well. There were light hop notes in the background hinting that this wasn't purely a sweet brew but the malts are the belle of the ball here...

Taste is a different story - there are plenty of well balanced hops here to hold their own against the sweetness of the malts as well as the bitterness of the roasted flavors. This actually reminds me of one of my favorite dry stouts where they aren't afraid to put a little hops in to finish it nicely. Tastes are primarily coffee, sweet malt and vanilla with a good punch of piney hops for good measure. I'm always looking for balance and this brew's got it - in about four directions at once. First you notice the bitter roasted notes of coffee (or a tad of dark chocolate) balanced with the sweet, almost molasses flavors. A moment later you find the nice dry taste of hops mellowed with a very gentle vanilla. Complex and very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is equally balanced. It's a medium bodied brew that doesn't even approach syrupy or heavy, plenty of carbonation (as I discovered on the pour!) and just enough hops to leave a nice dry effect. I thought it was like drinking velvet and the beer felt very 'soft' on the palate.

Drinkable? I'd easily give this one a 'hell yeah!" I like it when you can tell a beer came from a skilled brewer who really cared about their product. The love here shows and I'm looking forward to sharing the love again!

[This was yet another brew from the "Midwest Beer Barge" trade with TikkiGodxxx - a good chance to try some fine brews that aren't normally available in California]

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Photo of klewis
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark black with burgundy hues, one-finger head and moderate lacing

Smell: Sweet chocolate, lots of roasted malt, raisins. Great blend of all of these aromas.

Taste: Earthy flavors, dark coffee, a touch of hops bitterness in the finish, some stoutish qualities, but still very tasty

Mouthfeel: The body is a perfect match for the flavors and style.

Drinkability: Overall, a very good porter. I'll definitely drink this one again.

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

App: Deep black with just the faintest amount of light getting through. Brown stickey head.

Smell: Hops, molasses, malt, chocolate, with a touch of sweetness.

Taste: Some hops up front followed by bittersweet chocolate and coffee. Mollasses and brown sugar. Very quick, and clean finish. A bit light in the taste department for me, but it was definitely well crafted.

Mouth: Nice and smooth, a bit light but appropriate for a porter.

Drink: Perfect

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautifully dark rich brown, with a creamy tan head. Smell is a slightly malty, but I can detect some hops sneaking around as well. And, if my snout isn't mistaken, I smell a bit of chocolate. Very inviting.

Taste is very rich and actually a bit more bitter than the smell led on. Quite balanced in fact. Again I get a bit of chocolate (and caramel) in the flavor as this one warms up a few degrees.

Mouthfeel is just average for the style. It's also pretty drinkable, I have enjoyed several with a nicely grilled steak. Although, not a session beer for me.

This is a good quality porter. Not my favorite, but certainly one I will revisit. Any fan of the style should give it a try.

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Photo of far333
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany colored with ruddy brown highlights at the edges of the glass. A foamy head of various-sized bubbles rises up a full inch, then slooowly recedes to a thick quarter inch cap of tight meringue that rises up the insides of the glass.

Aroma is sweet and roasty, some cocoa and borwn sugar, light molasses, plus some ripe fruits. Flavor is powdery cocoa, a bit of talc and tannin, not overly rich, but complex with other flavors of smokey burnt bark, peat, slightly burnt coffee, and sharp molasses. A fine hop bitter rides beneath.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, fills the whole mouth. Excellent porter. Thanks to Brent for sharing this beauty.

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Photo of Brian700
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been a long time since I have had this beer and I was pleasantly suprised when just tried it again. I don't remember this beer being as good as it tastes right now. Goes to show how palates change over time. This beer pours a dark brown with a light brown/tan head. The head slowly disipates to thin layer that stays around for a while. Mild lacing. The nose is of chocolate, malt, hops. The taste is chocolatey, malty, big caramel flavor on the back of the tongue. It has a nice bitterness to it is well. Good mouthfeel, medium body and carbonation. It is a very drinkable beer. I'm going to start picking this up more often. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of dwvarner77
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle, an aggressive pour gives a tall, mocha head that first falls into something that resembles a beige swiss cheese, then a nice quarter inch of creamy foam.. The beer itself is a deep opaque brown, almost black but not quite.
The aroma is one of dark roasted malt and unground coffee beans. Maybe something subtle like a chocolate or dark caramel contributing, but it's quite sublime.

The taste gives me first and foremost a great coffee impression, with a subtle dark or burnt malt contribution. That burnt malt flavor lingers in the aftertaste, but not offensively like a strong espresso might. Somehow the mouthfeel is simultaneously slight yet full, with a supportive body. Provides more satisfaction in the flavor and body department than the few other pedestrian porters I've had.

This is a nice beer that gives one the full flavors that might be expected in a stout, but less filling with a pleasant, mild drinkability. Would be a great pairing with something off the grill.

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

I anticipated the arrival of this beer to my home with baited breath. When It arrived, I immediately put it in the fridge and waited patiently...or not.

The Edmund Fitzgerald porter poured a very dark brown. A tiny amount of light escapes with a dark red hue when raised to the light. Otherwise, this porter is as dark as night. The tan head was minimal and did quickly.

The aroma is very pronounced with strong notes of coffee, mocha and roasted malt. The taste is as strong as the aroma with the roasted malts taking center stage. Also, unlike some other porters I've had, the alcohol is apparent...not burning but it's there, even at 5.8%.

This is one tasty porter!

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice summer thunderstorms outside, good time for an Edmund Fitzgerald. Since my power only just came back on, the beer is already at perfect serving temp. Black body, nice big khaki head that stuck around. Nice smoky aroma, but not overpowering like in some porters. Plenty of room for some chocolate and coffee aromas to come through. Smooth velvety mouthfeel, carbonation is just right. There's nothing that really knocks my socks off about the taste, but it's just so well balanced and satisfying. Slightly roasty, some mocha and a little bit sweet. Nice bitterness to balance it. Very nice.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(part of a sampler at the Great Lakes brewpub)

Here's my one issue with the Porter . . . this 5.9% porter and the 9% Stout/Barleywine did not seem to much different. I actually prefer this to the latter. Very smooth down my throat and great mouthfeel. Appears thick and dark, almost like a stout. Better tasting as it warms. Not my favorite for the style or brewery but a good choice nonetheless.

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

(part of a sampler at the Great Lakes brewpub)

The more I have this one, the more I am convincing myself that, for now, this may be my favrorite beer. And what better place to taste it than the GLBC brewpub.

Poured an almost opaque, deep ruby/ebony hue, almost oily. The tight head of tan foam laced rediculously as I indulged. Nose was more intense than bottled versions - very bittersweet, waves of mocha and rich, roasted malts just roll and roll...wonderful.

Oh..my...is a fresh tapped glass sssmmootthhh! Where do I start? Chocolate, richness, some subtle smoke, roasted hues just take my tongue on a joyride. The crescendo builds to a warm interlude and then the finish...oh...a delicious slide into a fantastic mocha swallow, followed by a bitter high at the end.

This is luscious, and should be required drinking for all BA's. I cannot sing the praises of this one enough. I think I hear one calling me from the fridge....excuse me...

Side note - I talked my barkeep into a 2nd sample of this as I enjoyed the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream made with Edmund Fitz, and dunked each spoonful into the sampler....wonderful!

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

I picked up a growler of this at the Party Source in Bellevue Kentucky. This is the only liquor store I know of where you can buy growlers of craft beer from a tap setup. A cool concept and something I'd like to see more frequently.

Being from Cleveland, the Edmund Fitzgerald is one of my favorite beers, and one that I've had on a number of occasions.

The beer poured essentially black with a bit of ruby showing at the bottom of the glass. A thick tan head formed and receded to form a thin cap. As I drank the beer a fine latticework of lace was left on the glass. Truly a looker.

The aroma reminded me a bit of powdered cocoa.

The taste was wonderful: bittersweet chocolate and coffee intertwined with hoppiness that is present, but doesn't over assert itself. Finish was dry, with a pleasant charred bitterness.

The mounthfeel was excellent. The body was medium, just what I would expect for the style, with a moderate level of carbonation.

The drinkability of this beer was unbelievable. I thought the balanced flavor was perfect and my glass was empty in no time.

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

Black colour with ruby/brown highlights topped by a thin, light brown head. Chocolatey aroma with some caramel and a slight grassiness. Dark chocolate, malty flavour, dryness from roasted grains is apparent starting mid-way through. Hop bitterness is restrained, but there is some bitterness from the grain as well. Medium carbonation combines very well with the medium/full body. The finish is on the dry side, with a lingering roasted bitterness. Very nice porter and one that I'd love to find on tap at some point.

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Photo of Gritsak
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the smell is great, hints of carmel and chocolate. the taste is one of my favorites so far. not harsh at all, with an awsome aftertaste just like is smells...

ive tried all of the year round beer from GL and this is my favorite. yet to taste the christmas ale, but im looking forward to it.

follow up 5/23/05

A- dark brown with a light tan head. deep red shown through when held up to the light
S- chocolate and burnt coffee aroma
T- creamy coffee and and roasted malt flavor with a hint of hops at the tail end
M- fairly thick and really creamy. light carbonation
D- pretty decent. it would be tough to drink this all night because as of late i have started to favor high hopped beers, but as far as porters go, this is where its at.

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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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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,428 ratings.
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