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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Edmund Fitzgerald PorterEdmund Fitzgerald Porter
6,506 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: 6,506 |  Reviews: 2,034
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: solid brown body, with a lush, flowing head of tannish foam atop, though in a hurry to settle down.
Aroma: mild at first, creamy, with hints of nuts, vanilla, caramel, with slowly the better earmarks of a good porter emerging, and we're getting the roasted coffee, getting roastier and bitterer as we go, and as it unfurls we can detect things weightier, headier, more thick and viscous: molasses, syrup, motor oil.
On first sip and gulp, I was magically lifted up and removed from the mundane and the everyday. Mouth-filling, rich, powerful, flavorful, and just plain FULL!
Nothing loose or limpid here! Bitterness is just so, and soon turns to the sweet. I don't know what exactly to liken it to, but it seems to tread a middle ground: no too bitter, not to smooth, juuust right!
One caveat: the carbonation feels a bit too cola-like, and that ain't good, in my book.
Finish is fine and long-lasting, settles in to occupy the mouth and endear itself to all the senses.
However, a certain heft is lacking in overall body and character, that I would expect, nay demand, out of any true Baltic porter. Needs more Oooom-pa-pa-mow,mow!, if you follow.
Still an excellent porter, and one which I'd greatly appreciate more, if it were available in my environs.

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Photo of stirgy
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark coffee brown, almost black color. It was topped off with a creamy light brown head. Immediately was overwhelmed by the rich roasted coffee and bitter chocolate aromas. Smells great. The taste is toasted and roasty, bitter, spicy and dry. Very drinkable. Hop bitterness is there, too along with some caramel. All the flavors intensify as the the beer warms up. An excellent beer for a rainy night or anytime.

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

I'm a lover of the great lake Gitche Gummi ( Lake Superior) and the whole Edmund Fitzgerald legacy, unfortunately this beer comes up short of port in its story as well.
Color is very dark brown with deep dark ruby highlights, dark as the waves that split the Fitz. Pencil width high head of tannish tight creamy foam, steady and calm, leaving port steady as she goes, no ship sinks in this stuff. Spotty stringy lace sticking some and some losing hold and sinking into the darkness from which it came.
Aroma is crispy, roasty, slightly sweet and dark burntness of malts and a faint noteable hop.
Taste sails along in roastyness, smooth at first, then the waves begin to pick up with sweet tinglyness, darkening up, a surge of bitterness through hops and ends into a light lingering smokey feel, woody, coffeeish finish. Moderately dry port to starboard, through and through. Feel is full and heavy, proudly bittering dry right on into the depths of finishing. Much like the ship, this beer sets sail but sadly never ports again. A bit disappointed in this porter being a fan of the great lake and the story of the Fitz. Was hoping for more weight and robustness. Still a very decent porter and won't turn it down for nothing. The bell tolls for thee, Edmund Fitz.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one in a 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black with 1 finger of light tan head that dies down quickly. There is a bit of lacing on the glass. The smell is a roasted coffee smell, very pleasant. The taste is full of coffee, toffee, and caramel. There are a good amount of hops to balance out these flavors. The mouthfeel is very heavy and thick. At only 5.8%, this is a very drinkable and enjoyable porter.

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Photo of brakspear
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a fantastic porter. Malty, mocha, chocolately goodness all wrapped up in a pleasing pour.

This porter is inky black with a creamy tan head that reduces but is everpresent, moderate lacing in the glass throughout the drinking session.

The aroma is primarily chocolate and mocha with a nice sourness in the backdrop, very pleasing and a signal for what is to come.

The taste is exceptional: malty, thick, chocolately, mocha-infused, with roasted notes balancing any overt sweetness. The hops are present, but take a supporting role. Wow, I could drink this all night long.

A chewy and creamy body complements the well-balanced flavor that this fantastic porter provides. This beer deserves all the accolades it receives. It is now firmly ensconced in my private top beer list.

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Photo of BigHead
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the Eddie Fitz, the legend and the mystery. Lost in the dark waters of the Great Lakes, the ship's lore has always intrigued me and so has this beer.

A dark porter with a nice thin head. Coffee and chocolate dominate the aroma of sweet maltiness. Smooth with the roasted coffee flavor and the chocolate feels like it melts around your tongue. Some nuttiness on the back of the mouth with a slight acidic sensation of coffee on the roof of my mouth. The hops do eventually present some bite after the first few initial sips. It's smooth with more carbonation than I expected. A very good beer, smooth and great flavor.

A nice representation of the Fitzgerald!

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

This beer pours a very slightly hazy very dark brownish red with a large dark tan head. The mouthfeel shows a slight firmness. The smell is sweet smoke with a faint coffee aroma. The taste is smooth toasted malt with a coffee-like bitter finish and a slight underlying sweetness. This is a very smooth porter with a pleasant lingering coffee flavor.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown with a dense honey oak colored head. It fades after some time to a thin layer, leaving a clingy lace collar.
Toasted malt aroma, chocolaty and nutty. The hop aroma is taking a backseat to the malty goodness of this beer.
Taste is of chocolate, weak coffee notes, and a nutty flavor too. The bitterness rounds out this beer well and gives it a nice balance.
Medium-full body and an almost perfect carbonation level combined with the taste, make for one very drinkable beer. Great Lakes does it again.

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Photo of Gusler
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful site setting in the glass, this Blackberry to almost brown elixir of life, the head gargantuan
In size, creamy in texture, the color a light chocolate brown, the residual lace a thick clinging sheet. Toasted grain lots of malt and to me a sweet black walnut aroma noticed, a fine sniffer at any rate. At the front sweet, the top slender in its feel to the palate, finish has a splendid hop spiciness, the carbonation mild, with the aftertaste droughty and lingering, a fine porter.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first experience with a porter and it impressed me during the first bottle. The color is very dark, a deep brown with reddish tints, and the head, though small, was creamy and dark tan. This brew is all about taste. My best adjective for this is complex; the flavors are well balanced, but there are a multitude of impressions from a single gulp. Coffee, chocolate, bit of hoppiness; did I miss nutty? Though I'm used to lighter beers, I'll come back to this nice recipe from GLBC.

 493 characters

Photo of jackndan
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter: Hell yeah, on tap, this is one remarkable beer. “really terrific” is my note, and that describes it very well. Not much to look at (probably a bad pour) Smooth flavor, this was a nice easy drinking (but sweet) beer, that I’d recommend to anyone. I’ve got not many notes, but I like it.

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

A very slightly hazy, very dark, brownish-red porter with a very large, dark tan head. The smell is roasted along with chocolate. The taste is roasted, coffee-like, with a bitter sweet finish. The body has aslight firmness in my mouth. Overall, a very nice porter, with an unexpected, but pleasing, lightness.

"...named in honor of the ship which used Cleveland as a home port, and which capsized in 1975 with many Clevelanders on board." Brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516.

(source: PremierGourmet; Buffalo, NY)

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

Damn, I think I have found the perfect porter. This beer is poetry in pouring, that settles out with a black almost opaque hue. The head settles out nice and thick just the way I like it expressing a milk chocolate color, that is resiliant and almost everlasting. Clings to the glass like it's holding on for dear life, this beer leaves an amazing lace on my glass. Containing hints of chocolate, coffee, and other dark roasts this porter has it all. You realize that the aroma and appearance isn't all this beer is made of, the taste is built up to so nicely that this beer has already been a journey of the senses. Initially the this beer dances around the sweet tooth in my mouth, to balance out in the swallow to a nice smooth dryness that soothes and nurtures my senses. This beer on tap is dangerously drinkable, due to the fact that not only can I drink alot of it, but it is like liquid crack without the negative effects. Bottom Line: Great Lakes = Great Beer!!!

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a kick-ass porter. The appearance is a wonderfully dark dark brown with an inch and a half tan head that settles eventually and leaves a nice lace all the way down.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee...very enticing.

Taste: Very much roasted malt, and then some lesser tastes of dark chocolate, and slightly bitter coffee on the way down. It's so well-balanced and smooth.

Mouthfeel: So enjoyably smooth and creamy with a perfect amount of carbonation.

This is the best porter I have had to date. It's not too sweet so I can definitely enjoy a few of these or more in a session. Try this if you like porter, or want a first taste at what a great porter should be.

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

Fantastic. The color is beautifuly dark with a deeply burnt sienna hue. It flowed into the glass producing a thick creamy head which exploded into aromas of caramel and toasted malts.

I haven't tasted a better Porter. Dissappearing into my gullet, it left a lace on the glass that is hard to forget. Everything about this brew is special. Kudos to Great Lakes for coming up with this wonderful beverage.

Going for another!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle that appears to be dated enjoy by 15 Jan 03. Opaque black in color with a nice creamy brown head. Some reddish, mohagony hue in head along the side of the glass and beer itself. Aroma most notably presents heavily roasted malt (nutty) and coffee scents. Awesome flavor. Nutty, heavily roasted malt and coffee flavors. Fairly neutral, meaning not overly sweet or bitter. Exceptionally well balanced. Hops show in the end, but finishes very cleanly. Excellent, creamy mouthfeel. Exceptional drinkability for a beer of this magnitude. Overall, still my favorite porter. It was one of the very first porters I tried and I'm often disappointed upon trying other porters because most just don't match up to the Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of ZAP
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
of the big lake they called "Gitche Gumee."
The beer was the pride of the American side
coming back from some brewery in Cleveland.
As the big porters go, it was bigger than most
with malt and hops well seasoned.

What a porter!!!! I'm moving to Cleveland...this is a big porter....a ton of hops but it has the malt to balance it perfectly....Nose is dark chocolate...coffee....and leather....body is perfect.on the thicker side of medium...creamy....taste is dark cocoa...even a hint of dark fruits....and a nice...very nice hop finish....this is the way you make a porter...maybe the best I've had...a dandy..

 679 characters

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

On tap at the brewery/pub...

Dark java color, some ruby-red light transmission at the bottom of the pint glass. Close to 1/2 an inch of tawny tan and creamy foam that laces pretty nicely. A little acidity to the aroma. Flavor is slightly smokey and nicely malty, a sense of sweetened coffee with a squirt of lemon and a finish of nice hop and dark roasted malt bitterness. Senses of treacle and semi-sweet chocolate in later sips. Feels like they use American hops here. No wimpy "brown" Porter this, a good and complex one. Excellent on tap...

 547 characters

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

This beer is a dark, dark shade of burgandy and has a very appealing creamy brown head with excellent stick to it. The lacing is admirable as well. The perfect blend of roasted notes, chocolate, coffee and burnt malt on the nose. The palate picks up all of the aforementioned aroma notes (roast, chocolate, coffee and burnt malt) and also a little bit of licorice and anise thrown into the mix. The mouthfeel has an unmistakable carbonation to it (just a bit much in my opinion) and a medium full body. This is a remarkable porter. One of my faves.

Thank you PhantomVoodoo for sharing the wealth.

 600 characters

Photo of johnrobe
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is another well crafted brew from Great Lakes and a textbook porter. The color is just shy of black...light is just barely able to escape its surface. It sports a tan colored head that reduces to just a cap but leaves a fair bit of lace. The aroma is of dark roasted malt, molasses, and a whisp of sourness (the kind which is much more pronounced in Sierra Nevada Porter, I believe due to a healthy hop presence wafting through the dark roasted malt). This brew is chock full of dark roasted malt flavor (reminds me of a dry irish stout, but with a lighter mouthfeel)...some dark roasted coffee, bittersweet chocolate, plus a hint of citric hops. There's just enough sweetness to take the edge off the bitterness without competing for your attention. A very tasty brew.

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

A rough pour will bring up a full inch and a half head of densely creamy tan head. The body is a very dark brown - not quite opaque as mahogany highlights can be seen at the base and rim of the glass - but basically "black". The head eventually drops to just a collar but leaves some nice lace. The aroma is nicely fruity, chocolatey and coffee-ish - almost candyish (chocolate covered cherry?). Very welcoming! The body is firm with a very fine and gentle carbonation that's creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts with sweet and fruity notes amongst a deep roastiness, becomes more chocolatey as it crosses the palate and into the swallow, and then unleashes an intense coffee character that includes flavor as well as roastiness and bitterness. Amazingly, some citrusy hop flavor appears out of nowhere and lingers along with a mocha character and some bitterness in a long finish. Really well balanced, very drinkable, and complex. I was quite impressed with this beer. Well worth seeking out.

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

This is a great porter. It is not a sweet porter, but rather a big, somewhat dry porter. It exhibits coffee and dark chocolate aromas white a nice roasted flavor. It has a wonderful head and a dark, almost black body. Great Lakes sells this in a sampler pack, which is good, because I don't have to choose which one of their beers to buy. Another beer high on my personal best list from Great Lakes.

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Photo of cokes
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Oh, this is a fabulous porter.
Basically jet black, with just a faint edge of burnt sienna. Luscious tan head is frothy, creamy and lasting. Intricate lacework.
Beautiful mocha aroma. Roasted and slightly sweet. Entracing.
Very mocha like in the mouth as well. Moderately heavy roastedness up front. Begins to fade as a subtle chocolate sweetness seeps in. A little dusty earthiness...but in the most spendid way. A nice swift cascade kick in the end to tie this one up. Powerfully hopped, but not overwhelming. Fantastically balance and rock solid, as all Great Lakes products seem to be.
Very smooth and sensuous on the palate. Full bodied, but thins just slightly in the finish.
If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life...this would get serious consideration.

 803 characters

Photo of StevieW
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to jtw5877 for the trade. It's goes against my principles to associate with anything from Cleveland, OH. That being said, this is a very good beer.(jtw5877 is from Canton, so he's ok.) Deep black color, amber hues. Tan foamy rich head, covered the beer to the bottom, laced nicely. Smells were sweet roasted malt, slight roasted bitterness. Taste was smooth sublte hops, very slight, and a sweet roasted chocolate backbone. Very smooth, lightly carbonated. Rich and creamy feel. A mix of sweet chocolate flavors, and roasted bitterness linger. A very pleasant, surprisingly good porter.

 595 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Greater than the sum of its parts. This was my introduction to the Great Lakes line, and I don't know if they can top this. Hints of coffee and somewhat dry, consistently good flavor throughout.

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Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.24 out of 5 with 6,506 ratings
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