Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Edmund Fitzgerald PorterEdmund Fitzgerald Porter
6,588 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,588 |  Reviews: 2,056
Photo of profzoom
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This fine beer looks like a good porter should - extremely dark. No way you can see through that glass. The smell is also excellent and typical of a good porter - a delicious roasted chocolatey aroma. The taste is also fantastic. All in all a superb brew.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Dark, muddy, almost black in color with a gorgeous head that came up with ease and down with much protest. It left some cool pits on top of the liquid and some nice lacing as well.

Smell – The chocolate came across the room at the pour. Like LBB said, it’s more of a cakey kind of chocolate than anything else. The coffee grounds are very sharp and forward as well. I can pick up some darkish malt but it is mostly trumped by the coffee and chocolate notes.

Taste – There’s an interesting bitterness that comes out at the taste, but otherwise the tongue follows the nose.

Mouthfeel – Close to medium-bodied with some very slight carbonation. The flavor profile here really sets off the taste buds in the front part of your tongue.

Drinkability – This is a terrific, easy-drinking session porter, if there is such a thing.

Comments – Thanks to garthwaite for sending me not one, but two of these babies.

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Photo of garthwaite
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at the brewery. This gorgeous brew is a deep dark brown that approaches black with a thin lasting, sticky tan head. Smeet aroma that immediately gives notice of the quantity of chocolate malt & roasted barley used in this brew. Additional hints of chocolate covered cherry, roasted coffee, & a touch of both floral hops & campfire ash. Once in the mouth, this is absolutely delicious. A brief initial wave of bitterness is devastated by a huge, complex dark malt portfolio. Roasted coffee & bittersweet chocolate balanced beautifully by flavors of dark fruit & English hops. Medium bodied with a pleasant velvety mouthfeel. Long lasting bittersweet dry finish. Fresh on tap, the drinkability on this one is through the roof.

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Photo of soilguy
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is without a doubt the best porter I have drank to date, and being that porter is one of my favorite styles, I've tried a good many. This beer came in a pint glass, through which I could just barely make out some translucency in the beer. It had a wonderful off white head and a rich, chocolaty aroma. The taste starts out with a tease of sweetness, which then becomes a complex blend of chocolate, malt, and slightly roasted flavors. This is one beer that I absolutley cannot have just one of. I would bring my wife to the pub to be my DD, but she likes this as much as I do!

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Photo of wyllder
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off: Big thanks go out to matcrill for the chance to sample this!

Edmund pours a deep ruby, chocolate brown, leaving a fizzy 1/4 inch caramel head that eventually recedes and leaves a sticky lacing as you go.

Nose is a delicious chocolate cream with an almost thick, buttery backbone to the scent. Talk about piquing your interest! Unlike many beers, their is no hint of bitterness about smell, it's wonderful in the subdued chocolate creaminess of it.

The first hit on the palate is at once sweet, even tart, with a crisp carbonated feel. By the midsip a nice caramel malt plays in as the sweetness begins to recede. The fade out to the aftertaste is a blissful receding of sugary tartness that reveals a deep, creamy chocolate flavor with subtle hints of coffee blended in.

Mouthfeel is a bit too tart for my liking, though in a way this actually adds to the receding effect as the tartness backs off to reveal the creamy aftertaste.

Overall, this is terribly good stuff!


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Photo of RocketWidget
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Buckeyenation for the opportunity to try this brew.

Now this is a porter! Pours a deep black, light brown if held to the light. Good, lacy, long lasting, light off yellow head that clings to the side of the glass. Smells sweet, malty, and chocolaty. Taste delicious. Has that great porter taste, sweet and slightly hopped in the aftertaste. Malty and sharp flavor. Very drinkable and smooth, especially for a porter. A top notch brew.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

In terms of depth, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter's closest companion would be an imperial stout. Dark yet creamy chocolate from some place that isn't America or Britain introduces itself to you and then takes a nap on your tongue as if it had always lived there. And I'm welcoming him into my home.

The roasted nose hints at a lightly fruity hoppiness and the chocolate draws our attention away from it until the end when a natural bitterness adds complexity to the malt, as if we are moving through a tasting of different percent cocoas, and synergistically opens to bright, drying hops and a latent yeasty cream.

Despite all this and a finish that not only lingers but develops unabated for well over 2 minutes (I timed it), Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is as quaffable and liquid as a cold hefe on a mid-summer day.

The body of this beer is dynamic, apparently full because of the dark malt, but light from a healthy attenuation of sugars and frizzante carbonation that is just lively enough to dissect the roast flavors and make what could have been an overpowering beer accessible to the masses.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of noclue
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Very dark pour with slight hints of amber. A nice almost foamy head that stuck around until the last drink. The aroma was my favorite aspect of this fine porter. Almost overwhelming Chocolate/Espresso aromas with a hint of smoke.

This is an extremely strong porter, with a pleasing roasty, hoppy bitterness. The EF seemed to be heavier to me than most porters, almost stout-like, which complimented the taste very well.

I highly recommend this beer, but due to the intensity, I can hardly drink more than one. Easily my favorite porter!

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

GLBC. One of those breweries I simply didn't understand the fuss about until I hit upon the Burning River pale ale. I've seen the light now, so its about time to sample one of their most highly acclaimed, the EF porter. I quiver with anticipation.

Presented in a 20 oz. Imperial pint tumbler. Black with slight ruby translucence. Dirty-moon 1 1/2" head that leaves a slightly paper-bag like lace.

The nose is an amazing amalgam of roastiness and hoppiness, a tug of war that continues all the way through the beer. There are also huge hints of espresso and chocolate here.

The taste is nutty rich with a slightly smoky influence. They somehow figured to milk out the smoothness of nitro without the flavor-degredation. The hop characteristic cuts through the dark-night of major roastiness enough to make even Nick Floyd happy.

The drinkability is actually fairly low on this one. Such a complex and fine beer that only one is enough. Enough cannot be said for drinking this one just about cellar temperature, because a beautifully delicate sweetness appears that makes the package absolutely undeniable.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.69 for a 12oz. bottle

The appearence pours out a heavy dark brown, almost black base with a small-to-mid sized head that retains for the most part till the end. The aroma is like a dark-roasted coffee with hints of chocolate and a heavy hop thing going on as well.

The taste is a phenominal blend of what the aroma gave away, a heavier porter than most, almost a bit imperial stout like that has everything going for it. The mouthfeel is a little harsh on the palette but everything else goes down fine. The drinkability is well above par, wondering how this beer went down in only 10 minutes.

Final Thought: I love living in Ohio and having this beer available, clearly one of the best porters and beers available in Cincinnati.

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Photo of Foxman
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a deep, rick inky brown, but comes across as black, until you see flashes of ruby where light dares pass through. Two fingers of light brown head swell gently and settle, like chocolate mousse melting to a frothy puddle. Sticky, winding lacing roams the inside of the glass.

The aroma delivers dark roasted malt, offering a melange of chocolate, coffee, and licorice. Cherry and berry notes lurk earthily in the mix. A sherry-like presence closes along with an outlying hops bitterness.

The first sip brings the dense, earthen bittersweet character of long-roasted malt, bearing espresso and dark chocolate. A cherry fruit tanginess tangles buoyantly with a vinous hint in the middle, this time more like port than sherry. The aura of well-cooked grain reasserts near the end, leaving black coffee across the palate. Hops bitter and malt sweet linger mellifluously at the finish. Artfully balanced and craftily blended, it brings Many together into a wonderfully unified One.

Medium bodied, it impresses the palate tangibly, coating and laying softly before a dry bitter glow lingers.

Like a master juggler keeping several balls in the air effortlessly, this splendid porter nimbly melds multiple elements into a fascinating progression of flavors. With nary a wrong turn, it meanders and winds from one tasty station to another. It's gutsy, but as full as it is, I defy anyone to drink just one, unless that's all you have on hand, which would be a real shame. The name is a memorial to a lost ship and its crew; the beer is a tribute to the artisans who crafted it.

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

Black as night with a beautiful tannish head that leaves a great lace clingingto the glass. A sweet caramel candy smell follows as a coffee like taste is amazing. I absolutely loves this beer, too bad it doesn't make it out this far East. Certainly a world classic in the making. If you can find definitely buy it.

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Photo of Lupe
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A creamy tan head sits atop the dark brown liquid. Garnet hues shine through when struck by the light, and stick lace is left behind as the glass is emptied. Chocolate, coffee, and roasted aroma. Starts sweet with some caramel, then leads to dark chocolate flavors followed by roasted coffee and bitterness. Light citrus hops make a brief suprise appearance and round things up. Full-bodied, creamy, and velvety smooth. Well balanced, highly drinkable, and complex. Very tastey!!

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Photo of chugamugofsud
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer had very little head but smelled of a traditional matly porter. It's appearance was relatively dark, although not stout depth. The taste is the real kicker with this great beer, it is deep with hints of chocolate and tobacco that remain in the background of the rich porter taste. Highly recommended as a porter, easily the best beer made by Great Lakes.

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Photo of Ellbert
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A nice dark dark brown color with a nice tan head that lasted a while. There was some nice lacing on the glass that made this brew look very nice.

Smell: Smell was of roasted mocha coffee. A very nice aroma that made me excited to taste the brew.

Taste: Roasted malts and coffee upfront. Chocolate and hops came next. There was a decent hop presence that made this brew very interesting

A very rich and thick mouthfeel made this brew extra pleasant. Very nice beer. Go GLBC.

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Photo of rdailey76
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice deep dark brown with a twinge of "metallic" orange color. Creates a real nice head about a pinky's width that settles down after a couple minutes. Leaves some lacing on the side as I drink it down. The smell is what first brought me to this beer. The coffee aroma makes me think I can have this for breakfast. Fabulous taste and mouthfeel with a nice little kick of spice at the end from the hops. Mouthfeel I feel is kinda light, which adds to it's drinkability. Drinking just one leads me to want another. Well crafted porter that I will definitely get again. Not sure why it has been sitting in my beer fridge for two months.

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Photo of Morris729
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brownish color with some reddish highlights and a tall and creamy tan head with a nice retention. Nose is rich milk chocolate with some underlying aromas of fresh brewed coffee. Medium to full in body with a creamy and silky texture. Taste begins with sweet roasted malts along with a touch of dark caramel followed by a bit of a smoky and woody flavor. Some acidic coffee and a hint of citrusy bitter hops are present towards the finish. A marvelous porter. This was my first beer from Great Lakes, but hopefully not my last! Thanks to faernt for the sample!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark deep brown liquid with some ruby highlights around the edges. The head is a wonderful tan color. The foamy head lingered for more than half of the glass, leaving a fair amount of lace on the glass. Smells like chocolate, and roasted espresso. The taste is immediately a roasted coffee, followed by a dry chocolate note. There is a modest amount of hop bitterness that seems to be in perfect balance. The carbonation was perfect. I felt that it is just a bit thin, but not enough to discourage. This would be a good session beer. Yes, I would love another, but unfortunately it is the last in the fridge (for now). Overall, this is a fantastic porter, easily the best one I have had to date. Great Lakes continues to wow me, particularly because they are consistent time and time again.

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Photo of psyco1
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is good.
It's nearly completely black with a nice tan head that dwindles down to a thin layer of foam that hangs on for a while.
The smell and taste are of chocolate and coffee, malt and nut then mixing into something great with a bit of a hop bite at the end.
There's a definate feel to it, though not as much as I thought there'd be, which makes for a very downable beer. Porter heaven. Forget about the Browns, the Ed Fitz is where it's at.

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Photo of Afterburner
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, but not completely opaque. Dark reddish-brown in color. Moderate tan head, minimal lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of coffee and hops, with the coffee dominating the profile. The only beer I've ever had that smells more like coffee than this one is a batch of my own homebrew that I make with 1.5 gallons of real, actual coffee. The hops are more floral than piney or citrus.

Taste: Very strong coffee flavor to go with the aroma. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a coffee beer. Malt sweetness comes through mid-palate, giving it a nice balance. Hops and bitter chocolate notes on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, lightly carbonated, small bead. Perfect for this style.

Drinkability: Good, but a little heavy.

Overall: I'd heard many good comments about this beer, and was able to give it a whirl thanks to the largesse of a friend in Cleveland. It has lived up to its reputation.

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Photo of budgood1
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a nearly opaque ruby tinted dark brown colour with a half inch head. lots of lace. vanilla dominated cookie dough aroma, with a delicious flowery hop nose. fruity esters abound. the chocolate chip cookie dough theme remains throughtout the taste, with an interesting lingering interplay of yeast esters and hop flavour in the finish. this beer lingers long on the tongue; obviously full bodied with a rich creamy mouthfeel...the alcohol aspect (think kahlua) blends nicely with the dark roasted malt to provide a candy bar like taste. this is an extremely smooth concoction...so very drinkable despite it's full body. an alcohol filled liquid milky way candy bar. really delicious and unlike any other porter i've tried ( the closest i can think of is bell's porter). i hope to have this again someday.

many thanks go out to bighuge and zap for procuring this beer for me getting it to me safe and intact.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle was received from cupbeerman and beergeek279.

Upon first inspection, a very good looking beer. Very dark brown, almost black with an light tan that was about an inch thick. It laced nicely down the glass.

Smell is toasty at first, but there is a high amount of hop nose as well. Chocolate peeks in a bit, but not as prevalent as the toastiness.

Taste is pretty complex. Nuttiness dominates the malt profile, with a bit of chocolate in the background. A bit of a burnt malt taste as well. Hops don't come through as much in the flavor as they do in the aroma, but they're is a lot of hop character in this porter.

Mouthfeel is a bit disappointing to me. Maybe too much black malt, but there is a bit of an astringency to the beer. It bites the back of your throat. Body is pretty high, and the bitter/sweet ratio is neer perfect.

I think the astringency I got in the mouthfeel turns me away from having multiple ones, but I would definitely enjoy this beer again, as long as I can find it.

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Photo of faernt
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good lace and a slight green tinge to the blonde head. I guess that's just the hops, Yes? Lots of smell/ taste licorice (no, anise), chocolate which turns into cocoa and then into coffee. That's a nice trick. The tastes soon blend and recall another porter I've enjoyed,(Bell's).
The mouthfeel is medium to light compared to beer I've been drinking lately, but I find it very much on style. It's a drinkable session beer

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Fitz has a deep brown color...bordering on chestnut. A tan, 1" creamy head tops things off, lasts well and sticks nicely. Has dry, roasty, coffee notes in the aroma. Traverses the tongue smoothly, and has a middle of the road, medium body to boot. Roasty and semi-sweet malt hit the palate first. Some chocolate makes a cameo, and the hopping is mild and subdued at the dry finish, being slightly bitter. Kudos to AKSmokedPorter for the tasty sample.

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.1
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4


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

Beer smells toasty and nutty. It poured a nice 3/4" head that looks perfect. Then, suddenly, my glass shattered. WTF? Had to be poured into a different pint. Luckily no glass shards in the beer.
This is the tastiest porter i've ever had. The roasted, toasty flavor is just as addicting as the nutty undertones. And there is a really nice hop finish, which is really nice to see in a port. The mouthfeel was good, and it would have been better if not for the carbonation that was lost in the re-pour. I rated the score accordingly, which I may adjust when i drink this beauty again, without glass disasters hopefully. Do yourself a favor and get a sixer of this beer.

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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 6,588 ratings