Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,003 | Ratings: 6,359
Photo of TLogan
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking this for so long, it's what I compare other porters to. The flavor is mellow, pleasant, and not overly sweet or artificial. Nice "weight" and finish. Enough alcohol to do the job with out knocking you on your @$$ if you decide to finish the 6 pack after grilling dinner for the fam.

 301 characters

Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

by far one of the best porters out there. Growing up and living in Ohio the Edmund Fitzgerald is legend. This beer too is legendary. Not too dark smooth and silky taste

 169 characters

Photo of NickSMpls
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Great dark pour, not the motor-oil stout thick. Nice head, good retention Color is clear, deep deep mahogany. Good carbonation. Aroma of roasted grain and rye bread toast. A very smooth and highly drinkable taste of toffee, expresso and anise. This is a very well done, year round beer. Serve at room temperature. Good for a winter night or one of those not-so-warm late spring days.

 391 characters

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

Pours dark with a medium white head. Smells of coffee and chocolate. Taste is coffee with the chocolate in the background. Nicely balanced with mild carbonation and a nice finish. Overall, a nice porter at a vary reasonable price.

 234 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - Sits damn near black in the glass (super dark brown).
Smell - coffee/espresso, chocolate, sweetness, burnt roasty malts
Taste - chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, a cola type sweetness, hints of a jerky type smokiness

Overall - One of my favorite shelf/everyday porters. Very enjoyable.

 296 characters

Photo of Beers-es
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap, pours a dark reddish brown with about a finger of beige head. Smell may be the best thing about this to me, though it's on the subtle side--chocolate, coffee, dark fruits and roasty malt. Taste is heavier on the roasty (somewhat burned tasting) malts. Doesn't really have the complexity hinted at by the smell. Feel is thin and watery to me. Overall a decent porter, but not really a standout.

 401 characters

Photo of EMH73
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown with a one inch, poorly retained head. Tastes of bitter coffee and dark chocolate. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Excellent porter from a very consistent brewery.

 191 characters

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - a very attractive beer, black, with a bit of a red halo around the glass, foamy head that stays clumped up in middle
A - espresso, burnt sugar, feint hint of dark chocolate
T - follows nose, roasted malt/burnt sugar coat me through, but not sweet
F - nice and dry, but a little thin to me (other reviews have it medium to full body - maybe my palate is off)

 362 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Brewing Co. - Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. 6% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into stout glass. Best by 12/20/15.

Look: Pours a deep caramel color, and settles a very rich dark brown, retaining caramel highlights. A fair sized finger white head remained shortly, before disappearing completely.

Smell: Rich coffee notes, and some dark cocoa, accompanied by a nice smoky/charred aspect. Some faint caramel, dark malts, brown sugar, and dark fruits are present, although not as profound.

Feel: Medium bodied, and heavily carbonated.

Taste: Rich bitter coffee, engulfed by charred smokiness, followed by some dark cocoa. About midway through, the coffee mellows out, and some of the caramel, malts, and dark fruits appear, but are soon drowned by the coffee returning into the back end.

Overall: I had heard a lot of good things about this, so I finally decided to pick up a bottle, albeit it was about a week past its BB date. It seemed as good as it should, with a nice bold aroma and taste.

 1,008 characters

Photo of ViciousFishes
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The slightly bittersweet chocolate notes make it seem more bitter than the IBUs suggest. The roasted barley lends a roasted coffee bean note that makes it a bit harsh on the mid-palate. Fades to really nice aftertaste that demands another sip. Dark malts on the nose, little hop aroma

 284 characters

Photo of Telcocoffeedad
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chocolate on the nose
Thick creamy head
Lots of lacing
On the palate there are notes of chocolate and grain with a hint of raisen burnt toast on the finish.

 158 characters

Photo of Ksmoove27
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look - dark coffee with a red tint, a two finger tan head that dissipated to one finger quickly; ok lacing

Aroma - good roasted coffee and cocoa beans

Taste - the malty, sour taste upfront with a slight chocolate, strong coffer follow through

Feel - a little lighter more session feel than I normally like my porter and a little more carbonation than I like.

Overall - it's a good American porter...not as good as Founders.

 428 characters

Photo of q33jeff
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aroma is coffee, toasted Carmel, though medium to weak strength. Nice dark black chocolaty pour , medium white head. Taste is toasted barley, cocoa, aftertaste is vegetable, . Not as good as I remember, but still a quality porter."

 248 characters

Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Delicate lace weaves around the glass.
The smell started off with a big roasty coffee bean balancing into delicate cocoa bean tones.
The taste was basically the same with a lingering dry roasty aftertaste running into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fairly nice sessionable feel about it. Carbonation seems to run nicely.
Overall, a really good American Porter that I know I would have again.

 589 characters

Photo of lastmango
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with less than a finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Moderate lacing. Chocolate malt aroma. Roasted malt and cocoa taste with a slight balanced bitterness on the end. Moderate carbonation and a nice medium feel. This is a really great porter.

 278 characters

Photo of ChicagoPartisan
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Standard pint glass

A – Pours a rich dark brown color. Carbonation evident. About a finger of fairly sudsy, off-white head.

S – Malts up front. Deep fruits. Some chocolate tones.

T – Malts and dark chocolate initially. Very strong coffee presence in the finish.

M – Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Fairly wet.

O – Interesting but good. Coffee is a bit too present off the get-go, but it moderates. A perfect choice for the late Fall. Overall, a good choice, but my ratings may come in below the average for this one seeing the high regard in which it is held.

 589 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter on Eddy Fitz Day. The color appears nearly black, but holding it to the light, the bottom of the glass is a deep, ruby red. It features a creamy, milk-white head and extensive lacing. The smell features burnt coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, cracker, and brown sugar. The taste is not as sweet as the nose: coffee, bitter chocolate, char, and nutty pine, with sour, bitter finish. As the glass warmed, I also detected a very slight sweet after taste. This is a creamy, medium-bodied porter with a pleasant mouthfeel and very easy to drink at 6% ABV. Overall, this is a very fine American Porter. Great Lakes produces some delicious, albeit quirky beers!

 690 characters

4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Porters always fall a bit short on the smell for me. You have some malts and some alcohol and some… but anyway. This beer is very good. Everything I want in a porter. Lowerish abv, not overpowering but by no means weak. GLBC knows how to make a good malty beer.

 263 characters

Photo of Carb-Overlord
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fantastic porter! Certainly a bittersweet tribute as the bottle suggests. The smell and flavor really hit you with sweet chocolate in the beginning and finished with a malty bitter aftertaste (not overpowering bitter, but feels just right with this beer). The mouthfeel for me was very pleasing; not quite thick creamy but chewy enough to be what I personally like in a porter. This is a great beer to warm the bones after a cold day raking wet leaves or cleaning out the gutters in fall.

 491 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap.

A - Very dark brown/black pour with a roasted caramel colored creamy layer that sticks.

S - Wonderful rich dark chocolate aroma, cream, some char, and a hint of caramel.

T - Much of the same carried over from the aroma: big roasted chocolate flavor throughout with some creaminess, light char, and a lingering bitter chocolate and pine bite to balance out the roast.

M - Big and full body with a velvety texture. Coats the mouth with a thick layer of deep roasted chocolate with some smokiness.

O - It doesn't get much better than this when it comes to American Porters.

 584 characters

Photo of JohnL9013
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

So glad I decided to kick off the winter season with a case of this stuff. Absolutely everything I could ask for in a porter. I haven't had too many American Porters before - most of the ones I've had have been Baltic. This is like a baltic, but with the flavor turned up to 11.

A: Beautiful brown head and deep chocolate color

S: Smell is relatively tame. Mostly just roasted malts and some caramel

T: Very balanced, a hair on the sweet side. Heavy caramel roasted malt taste with a medium amount of hop bitterness and a surprisingly high amount of hop taste as well. Really delicious flavor that is way beyond what the 6% ABV label would suggest. The amount of flavor is on part with imperial stouts I have had from other companies, and the quality is there to boot.

M: Medium amount of carbonation. A bit heavy to be sessionable perhaps.

Overall I would highly recommend this beer and I do plan on buying it again. I have yet to be unimpressed by a Great Lakes beer. This company is putting out some seriously top notch stuff!

 1,034 characters

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

excellent beer. nose is slightly roasted, caramel malts. taste wonderful. chocolate, lightly roasted malt, coffee, a bit of nuttiness very slightly smokey. body is much creameir than I had expected from a 6% brown porter

 220 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into Spiegelau glass enjoy by March of 2016

A: fluffy looking off white head very dark but light escapes the edges making it appear brown around the edges laces down the glass beautifully

S: nice deep roasty, nutty, brown sugar, light anise, beautiful malts with a grainy, wheat smell

T: lots of rich roasted malts, a touch of bitterness, nutty, anise, soft chocolate,

M: Very soft and creamy fantastic feel to a porter

O: Insanely well balanced so smooth with a rich creaminess. Great maltiness with strong flavors of chocolate nuts and hints of coffee. Can not believe I have never rated this beer before its about as perfect as a porter can get.

 675 characters

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

Pours a deep inky black, creamy head. Has a hint of malt and chocolate in the aroma. A burst of very full chocolaty porter flavor in your mouth, but not overpowering. Finishes with a touch of bitterness from the hops. This one is delicious and well balanced.

 258 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I really like the Great Lakes Brewing Company, because they are world class. The Bros really speak highly of this variety and so I had to try it. This one is an even 6.0% ABV and has a lot to offer. Let me tell you about this brew.

Look-It pours a dark black that is deeper than the depths of the Great Lakes where the fated Fitzgerald lies for eternity. The head pours thick and rich silky foam that is off-white like the foam on the lake shores after a torrential storm where waves twenty feet high pound the coastline. The lacing is perforated and foamy like the rock-smashed hull of the ship.

Smell-It smells of roasted caramel malts and chocolate infused coffee. Grains and hints of Beachwood swim and waft among aromas of caramel and smoky barrels like the aftermath of the cataclysmic wreck of the Fitzgerald.

Taste-The taste reliably follows the nose much like the Fitzgerald followed the storm swells into its chaotic demise. The caramel, coffee, and chocolate fill ones senses much like the icy cold waters of the Great Lakes inexorably filled the hull of the fated ship. A mild sweetness is tempered by grassy seaweed hops, from the depths of the Great Lakes, that exhibit an herbal quality.

Mouthfeel-It feels like silky smooth wetness from the perilous dark waters of the Great Lakes. The medium-bodied creaminess reflects off the foam churned waters of the Lakes. It leaves a coating of chocolate esters and smoky grains on the tongue much like the deep floors of the depths of the Great Lakes are coated in the corpses of untold thousands of fated ships that dared cross these perilous Lakes.

Overall-This beer is world class for a reason and I think that you should pull up the anchor and sail out to grab a six pack or two of these dark delicious beauties. But beware, if you drink too many, you may find yourself at the cold dark depths of a lake of shameful hangover. Be sure to wash down this beauty with some fresh water, because you won’t be able to stop popping the top of the depth of this darkness.

 2,033 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!