Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Edmund Fitzgerald PorterEdmund Fitzgerald Porter
6,553 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: 6,553 |  Reviews: 2,045
Photo of CRJMellor
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep red color with dark brown or black highlights. Two fingered head fades away rather quickly but leaves moderate billowy lace on teh Great Lakes pint glass.
Aroma of full roasted malt with chocolate and a hint of coffee. Some earth, wood and a nutty note also detected.
Flavor of coffee and chocolate and carmelized sugar. Roasted flavoris very dominant and leads to a hint of charcoal in the middle. Faint taste of nut somewhere along the way also. Medium bitterness towards the finish.
Mouthfeel is full and thick on the tongue with a nice sweet aftertaste of chocolate cake or brownie.
Drinkability is extremely high, hard to save a few for beerluvr from this six-pack.
Classic porter that would stad up to anyhting that the UK would brew. Would sell very well with true porter lovers in the UK.

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Photo of masterbruewer
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black/dark amber color with a thin light brown head that faded quickly leaving nice lacing.

The small was like burnt oak. A little hint of a plastic-like smell.

Aahh, a nice flavor a little burnt oak taste, a little coffee taste, a bit of a chocolate flavor, a nice blend of tastes with a solid hop background.

The mouthfeel is solid and smooth. Not syrupy or stringy.

A very smooth but flavorful brew. A fine example of a porter.

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Photo of jahred
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm a bit puzzled. My bottle says the beer complies with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516 - but this is brewed in Ohio. And porters, as far as I know, had/have nothing to do with Bavaria. Alas - maybe my beer history/knowledge is lacking.

Anyway, pours an almost-black brown with a thin-to-medium head that quickly disappears. The scent is of roasted malts and esters.

The rich taste is malty and roasty. Not quite sure why, but the thing that comes to mind is that puffed wheat cereal I used to eat as a kid. I don't think there's any wheat in here at all, so maybe my taste buds are deceiving me. Then again, it's a good taste.

The beer tingles a bit on the tongue, and has a very slight, pleasant bitter hoppy finish. As it warms I also taste light chocolate and toffee, but nothing too overwhelming.

Most importantly, this is very easy to drink. It's fairly complex and very tasty.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Standard 12 ounce brown glass bottle. Dark label that has a black background with white lettering. The picture on the label is of storm battered boat called the Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in Lake Superior in 1975. Described on the right hand side of the label as a Porter that combines a complex, roasty aroma with a bittersweet, chocolate-coffee taste and a bold hop presence. Recommended Serving Temperature of 45°F, as well as a listed Strength of 5.8%. Enjoy By Date is Feb. 09 04.

Appearance: Dark brown, deep ruby chestnut body impregnated with inlaid aged mahogany. The body is dark, but held to the light it is possible to see that it is clear, when it even winks with a ruby red hint as it catches the light. Thick smattered cocoa brown lacing sticks to the glass walls as the head that was formed from the initial expanding tan mass settles down to a thick steady looking pillowy 1/2". A Super Model of the Porter world.

Nose: Smells marvelous, like cracking the foil top open on a fresh jar of roasted coffee mixed with hints of powdered Cocoa and a whiff of Chocolate covered Sponge Cake bring up the rear.

Taste: Strong dark flavors from a Box of Terry’s All Gold chocolates and kick-licks like those from a long-standing percolated coffee introduce the beer. The chocolate strata in the beer quickly develops a bitter aspect, akin to a bar of Cadburys Bourneville. Then suddenly, I get a strong floral hoppy twist right in the finish, its almost remarkable how this can break through at such a late stage, like an armor piercing shell somehow it wriggles away from the dark roasted malts and coffee aspects. The hops linger in the finish, and contribute to the bitter astringent ending.

Mouthfeel: Smoky at times, deeply rich and bitter, this is a not a Porter of the vinous Old School, but a welcome addition to the Impressionist era of dark coffee-bitter Porters. High carbonation ensures that the velvety head is experienced with every sip, smooth, rich, expansive and creamy it balances and introduces the bitter coffee body perfectly.

Drinkability: Yet again – a great beer, that only depresses when it gets to the Drinkability marking, for the third time tonight I get to this part of my Review with no beer left!!! Nuff Said!

Overall: A highly enjoyable Porter and a well put together quality beverage.

Well that’s 3 Great Lake beers tonight, a real ménage-a-trois of crackers that I would not mind having again. Cheers to BigHuge for delivering another winner from Great Lakes to Long Beach.

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Photo of stewart124
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown with a nice thick foamy head and lacing. The head fades after a minute but the lacing is still there. Smells of raosted malts. Sweet smelling and strong presence of a chocolate/nutty aroma. The taste is that of a delicious blend of chocolate and coffee. Smooth body and a nice blend of all the flavors including a hint of hops to add to the overall make-up of this brew. Great aftertaste and a very drinkable porter. Another salute goes out to the Great Lakes Brewers!

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Photo of kwalters
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very memorable porter. I happen to have a GL Edmund Fitzgerald pint glass and made full use of it when sampling this porter. Everything about this beer was above average compared to all the other porters I've had in the past. The best part? It's still distinguishable as a porter instead of a wannabe stout. I'll be back for more!

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Photo of CortexBomb
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a hint of ruby red (just hold it up to the light) with a medium head which lingers atop the brew until it's gone. Smell is delightful as well with lots of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is a good combination with roasty malt, a tad of hops, and chocolate with a nice bitter twang on the after. Beer is also lovely and thick in the mouth with some carbonation to go with. Drinks quite smooth as well.

A quality porter well-deserving of it's reputation!

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Photo of beergeek279
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is dark brown, with a foamy beige head that doesn't want to dissipate. The smell is a nice chocolate/coffee. The taste is a very strong coffee/chocolate hit, with a very nice mild hoppiness in it, and a nice bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Drinkability-wise, I'd be happy with just a case of this in my fridge!!

Finally!! I get this review down after several bottles of this wonderful beer. Despite its dubious origins (Cleveland) and the fact that it gets Gordon Lightfoot stuck in my head, Edmund Fitzgerald may well be the best porter out there, and this is absolutely one I'll have again!

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I came home from work yesterday not feeling very well at all. I poured a deep, dark glass of the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, and gosh darn it, I felt better shortly after.

This is not that review. I feel fine. The beer still pours a very dark, almost black brownish color. The head stuck around for a little while, and left a ragged lace as it dissipated. Giving it a swirl brings a complex, somewhat unfriendly bouquet to bear. It smells good, but it ain't a happy smell. Smokey, burnt, and a little coffee.

Stuff tastes good though. A smooth transition from malts at first gulp to a slightly tangy hops touch as it goes down. It sits in the mouth pretty nicely, the tang from the mellow hops giving it a little pop to the tastebuds. A nice beer all around, one I will definatly drink again.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of this porter is almost jet black. A off whit head did stay for some time and gave way to a very nice ring around the glass. The aroma is of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate present. The taste is nothing but enjoyable. A wave of roasted flavor starts off this porter then followed by hints of a dry hop-"e" finish. A smooth and creamy feeling in the mouth is noticed. A very nice porter.

Again, thanks to MotoRacer36 for this brew!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

"The captain wired in he had water comin' in
And the good ship and crew was in peril,
And later that night when his lights went outta sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

--Gordon Lightfoot

Deep, dark brown (not quite black) with ruby highlights. The large, pale caramel colored crown has nice retention and gives up lots of sticky lace in the form of concentric rings marching down the pint glass.

The nose is spicy, with plenty of coffee and chocolate. The flavor is dark malty with, again, plenty of coffee and some chocolate. Simply delicious. Edmund Fitzgerald is one of the best (if not THE best) porters in the world. There's some hop bitterness present too, making its presence known on the finish.

The body/mouthfeel is what I've come to know as typical Great Lakes. That is, wonderful. Drinkability is sky high; this one goes down so easily that it's scary. In fact, it goes down about as fast as the Edmund Fitzgerald did.

This is my second Great Lakes beer and I am impressed. No wonder these guys finished so high on the "Top 50 American Breweries" list (#3), an honor that is well-deserved. If I was fortunate enough to still live in the GLBC distribution area, I would never be without a few bottles of this world-class porter.

Note: after many more bottles (and most of its serious competition), I still consider Edmund Fitzgerald to be the world's best American porter. 8-5-09.

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

What an outstanding beer.

Pours out to a dark as midnight sky in the glass with a slight, light brown head. Aroma is that of a wonderfully, roasted malt. The taste is fantastic and sets the gold standard in the porter category. There is such a balance between the roasted malt and the hops that makes this beer eminently drinkable.

If you can get your hands on this one, do so. Rock on Cleveland, you make some fine beer there...

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Photo of stegmakk
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful solid black with a nice deep tan head that was thick and lasted...Nice lacing too.
Aroma was a little weak but it had the typical Roasted malt coffee and chocolate aromas...I got more roasted coffee than chocolate
Taste...very good...same as the aroma only stronger and well mixed...nice slight bitter end...
Mouthfeel was nice and creamy
Overall a good porter...
Thank you PhantomVoodoo for this bottle

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another great beer from an outstanding brewery. Pouring this beer results in a solid black body with tan foam. Chocolate aroma and nice lacing add to the experience. Taste and mouthfeel are very good. Roasty, coffee, and chocolate tastes with a very nice, creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.

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

Just a great beer. Berry-black with a beige head, slight see thorough capability. Beautiful mint and milk and dark chocolate flavors give way to a clean dry finish. A classic from Great Lakes either in the bottle or,even better on tap at the brewery.

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Photo of goz
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very deep ruby-brown, with a medium rocky tan head, medium diminishing to leave bunches of lace. Aroma is strong - roasted malts, big chocolate, and some coffee. Flavor is very smooth chocolate, with some bitter coffee in the finish. Medium-full bodied, slightly creamy mouthfeel.

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Photo of grynder33
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small head on the pour,aroma was faint, really had to dig but there was a little chocolate there,taste however was very bold,nice chocolate taste fills the palate with a coffee aftertaste, little bit of a chewy texture, distinct currant taste comes on to mix with the always present mocha flavor,towards middle it gets sweeter, almost like hershey syrup. This is really good stuff. Would have rated it higher if there had been a fuller aroma.

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Photo of merlin48
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost opaque dark chestnut pour, beige head disappeared in aabout a minute with minimal lacing. Nose is inviting, dark fruits overshadowed by coffee and chocolate. Mouthful is medium bodied. Taste mirrors the nose, and improves as the glass nears room temperature. Overall excellent brew. Deserving of its reputation!

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coffeeness dissipated after a few days in fridge. Burnt grounds more pronounced after that. Fruity taste makes it drinkable. Dark color peaks interest.
Great taste, above average mouthfeel is noticeable a good 5.5 years later bottle. Great example of American porter, with good roast and chocolate malt,drying finish.

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

This beer is quite deserving of the reputation it has and did not dissapoint. Deep dark color with ruby edges showing through and a cafe au lait head with little lacing here and there. The smell was dominated by notes of very sweet raisins and just a hint of day old coffee and roasted malts. Taste was full of sharp bitter coffee and kiln roasted grains but it was mostly a coffee taste that dominated with the nice scratchy porter finish due to a good addition of hops and a balanced carbonation. Well done Great Lakes!

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Photo of Beaver13
3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours an almost opaque dark brown with ruby highlights. It has a creamy tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a mellow, slightly metallic, chocolate with notes of coffee and hops.

The flavor is big on chocolate malts intially, some dark fuits, and a decent hop finish. The mouthfeel is full and creamy. The aftertaste is sticky and slightly metallic bitterness.

Overall, a fine porter. Chocolately with a nice hop balance.

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Photo of budsboy
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's darker than I expected. Pours nearly opaque with a short-lived carmel-color frothy head. Slight lacing.

Smell is date, malt hints of woodsmoke.

Mmmm. Man, that's good. Great mix of fruit, coffee and pleasant side of chocolate with a nice dry finish. If those Cleveland boys can do better than this, God love 'em.

I went lower on drinkability because, sadly, this beer didn't agree with my system. Two of these and I felt queezy, one and I'm OK. Too damn bad for me.

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Photo of tar
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into the glass a dark black with reddish highlights which are particularly apparent in the light. A thick, foamy, tan to off-white head nicely caps the beer and adds to its already inviting appearance. Smells of roasted malt and coffee. Not unexpectedly the taste is also of roasted malt and coffee, with a bit of bitterness in the finish which nicely balances the flavors. Smooth, medium/full bodied, and highly drinkable. Overall a very good beer which I look forward to having again.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this at John's Spirits & Fine Wines in Greenwood, IN. Having developed an affinity for porters and stouts since becoming a BA, and regularly checking the Top 50 list, I knew I had to get a sixer.
Presented in a 12oz bottle as depicted, E.F.P. has a black hue with minor ruby shading at the edges. A one inch thick bubbly tan head slowly settles down to a thin cap and leaves behind some small bits of lace.
The aroma is quite sweet, of dates and prunes, as well as roasted malt and molasses. The taste is a silky concoction of sweet dark fruits, caramel and toffee, and roasted dark malt. A bittersweet chocolate taste briefly shows itself on the palate before a bitter old coffee taste finishes each sip. The feel is medium-bodied, smooth and silky.
I drank three in Indy and brought the rest back on the plane with me. No sharing with family, just hoarded for myself. I'm finishing one of my three even as I complete this review. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is one of the best porters I've tasted. Incredibly easy to drink and velvety smooth, it's a must-find for any lover of a good porter.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep dark mahogany with a wee bit of light peeking through. Smells very choclatey/coffee. Lots of dark malts pervade.

The taste is very nice. You get just a hint of burnt malt followed by a very smooth, almost sweet, wave of chocolate and coffee. Hops show up but are not overly intrusive. Mouthfeel is medium. Thankfully they don't overcarbonate this bad boy. A very balanced porter that ranks tight up there.

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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 6,553 ratings