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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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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:
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Reviews: 2,003 | Ratings: 6,359
Photo of cjgreen79
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Unibroue tulip glass @ 50F.

A - Brilliantly clear, black with amber/ruby hue. Lasting, amber head with fine bubbles.

S - Moderate burnt/roasty, nutty, carmel, moderately malty, lightly grainy, slightly fruity, with a light floral hop aroma.

T - Roasty, coffee/chocolate flavors, moderate caramel with bready/malty notes and a subtle fruity, fig/raisin in the finish. Slightly balanced toward the bitter while maintaining a great malt complexity.

M - Med/Full body. Velvet smooth on the tongue.

D - Thank you sir can I have another!

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Photo of BrewerB
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TwinsDaddy for the hookup on this beer!

A - Dark, mahogany brown. Excellent clarity. Pillow light tan head with plenty of lacing to coat the edges of the glass. Excellent head retention.

S - Moderately strong roasted grain aroma - cocoa, caramel. Slightly smoky.

T - Bittersweet chocolate, smoke, roasted grains. Moderately bitter. Finishing dry.

M - Medium-full in body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth.

D - Wonderfully robust porter. Not much room for improvement, here.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark, dark brown that's almost black. Nice foam cream colored head with really good lacing.

S - Dark, roasted coffee and malts. Fainter hints of cocoa, cream, and hops. Pretty strong.

T - Roasted malts, coffee and cocoa. Slight bitterness accompanies the roast. Some caramel as well.

M - Medium to fuller bodied, very smooth and drinkable. Carbonation is pretty spot on. Slightly dry finish.

O - Edmund Fitzgerald is a top-notch American Porter. Highly recommended and I'm glad that this is now available in Virgina. Will definitely have again.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Just hope its as good out of a bottle as it is on tap.

A: Pours a dark ruby brown wiht a one inch creamy toffee colored head. So its lighter than I remember but thats because the bar was dark at the time. Head fades in a few minutes into a thin half cap and ring with some light lacing. Not as good as I remember being served in the bar but then again they did have proper cleaning equipment.

S: Smell is as good as I remember it, strong resiny hops melded with rich roasted malts, absolutly stunning. Like chocolate covered grapefruit and pinenuts, good, if not better than I remember. I could smell this all day, this is the stuff they sould be pumping into the air in coffee shops or beer stores or anyplace really. Its that good!

T/MF: Thick chewy roasted coffee maltiness that melts into chocolate as the beer lingers on my tongue. The hop profile seems to be a bit muted compared to the one I was served at the bar but this is still a great tasting beer. Good feeling struck between dryness and creamy sweetness. Mild tobacco graces the flavor profile in the long and lasting finish.

D: This beer is once again amazing, a little worse for wear when sampled out of the bottle but still a fantastic beer. Dangerously drinkable and would have scored higher if I had not already had this one on tap.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a little light shining through. Massive frothy head that is chocolate colored with some cherry coloring to boot. Heavy lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Truely this is something to sit and stare at.
Aroma is kind of a nutty chocolate.
Heavy roasted flavors. Coffee. Awsome bittersweet finish that lingers. This is the best finish I ever remember having in a beer. The flavor flows wonderfully from sweet to bitter. No harshness here.
Feels wonderful in the mouth. Thick and chewy but not so much that it's a meal in a bottle.
Very drinkable. I'm having to show restraint to drink it slow and enjoy the flavors.
Easily the best porter I've had and one of the best beers period.
Many thanks to justcas and July Secret Santa BIF 2006...My tastebuds are bowing in your honor.

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Photo of mellowmark
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle to a Leffe Chalice. Enjoy by 07-15-11. $15.49 for a 12-pack sampler.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a 2-finger creamy mocha head. Moderate retention, decent lacing.

Smell: Big coffee and chocolate notes. Slight citrus and a moderate earthy hop profile. A big smoky character brings it all together. Pure cane sugar. Vanilla. Awesome.

Taste: Sweet with an enormous roasted character that just coats your entire mouth. Citrus, roasted coffee and dark chocolate linger on the palate long after. Citrus leaves the mouth juicy. Decent hop profile adds a nice earthiness and a slight bitter quality.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is medium with a medium carbonation. Very smooth. The carbonation could be just a little lower, although it does not detract from the experience in any way.

Drinkability: High

Overall this is a great porter with a big profile yet a rather modest ABV making it a perfect session brew. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of mozart4898
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - 12 oz bottle, poured to pint glass. 1 1/2 finger of slightly off white head that slowly dwindles to a very persistent foamy ring . Near black appearance but when held to light shows beautiful clarity - dark brown with a dark red tint. Looks awesome.
S - Coffee, unsweetened cocoa. A hint of spice. Robust. Rich aroma.
T - Rich malt, roasty character that stays with you after each sip. Bittersweet chocolate/cocoa is the primary flavor. Perhaps the slightest hint of spicy hop character comes through as well, along with an equally slight hint of alcohol. Amazing perfect combination of flavors.
F - For me perhaps the only place I'd want a little more - wish this was just the slightest bit "chewier." Not thin and watery by any means but I'd like just a little more body. Carbonation spot on.
O - I'm still relatively new to rating beers (although several of those I've rated are beers I've had a number of times). Still when actually breaking it down and analyzing what I'm tasting, it seems I can still be surprised by familiar beers. This is one of those - I've always liked this beer but never quite realized how good it really is. I will probably never give a 5 in any category just to leave room for something unexpected so for me this beer makes a very close run at "perfection." Amazing job on this one GLBC.

*** As a chef, one of my "signature dishes" is a coffee rubbed, porter braised short rib. Guess what beer is the secret ingredient? ***

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Photo of Murrdogg
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the GLBC brewery itself

A: very dark for a porter. Light head that stays with it

S: light roasted chocolate smell. slight roasted malt. the chocolate is definitely mouthwatering and enticing, made me want to stop smelling immediately and get on with the tasting!

T: Obvious coffee taste, roasted chocolate is there, but not as strong as the aroma would have made me assume. Very smooth, velvety. Oak in the background

M: Very smooth, went down easily. Good clean finish.

D: Not 'filling' as many stouts /strong porters can be, so drinkibility is very easy. Very delicious, and would pair great with a dessert, or by itself. Felt like it would be a great autumnal beer, but was great in winter too, and probably year-round.

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Photo of Mavigo
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured two bottles into my new stein, playing gordon lightfoot, the mood is set

A: pours black, but not totally opaque, some light shows through, with a short tan head with good amounts of lacing.

S: smells strong of coffee, chocolate, caramel, malts, vanilla, very aromatic, gives me the sensation of morning, wakes me up

T: coffee, dark chocolate, some hops, smokey, wood, very bold

M: it is wonderful, good carbonation, very bold and thick, gives the feeling of actually drinking coffee, that sort of thickness, the after taste leaves with the temptation for more.

O: A wonderful beer, the atmosphere that I had created, the gordon lightfoot song was perfect, might have made it taste better, but it is a great porter and its wonderful that its in tribute of the late Edmund Firtzgerald. I love Michigan even though this is made in Ohio. Have one nao.

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

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. "Enjoy by" date of 9/23/03 on the side, along with a blurb about the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Appearance: They say first impressions are lasting impressions. With this beer, I will rememer it for a long time. Poured a beautifuly dark brown, nearly opaque. Just the tiniest bits of light manage to penetrate the depth of this beer. Amazingly thick and persistent coffee-colored head sits proudly atop this beer, like a ship in the ocean.

Smell: Yummy cocktail of chocolate, coffee, and a distinct smoky aroma combine to weave a bit of beer poetry for your senses. Fantastic.

Taste: I will admit that following my failed Polygamy Porter experiment months ago, I was very hesitatant to try any porters for quite a long time (I passed on this one at the April BA get-together at the GLBC). This one has radically changed that opinion. This is a stellar beer. A very tasty mix of coffee and chocolate, with a hoppy bitterness mixed in as well at the end. Top it off with a touch of smoky flavor and you've definitley got yourself a winner.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Very smooth on the palate. Low-medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Wow. I could drink this all day. Pleasing, bitter aftertaste leaves you craving more. Simply incredible.

A huge thanks to AKSmokedPorter for hauling this back from Ohio for me. "Ed FiP" (as my fellow BA's/frat brothers call it) has done me right.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Celler temp 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint. Please enjoy by 5/7/12.

A: Pillowy light tan 1 1/2 finger head that has a lot of staying power. Body is ruby red...less opaque than I expected. Lacing cascades down the glass from top to bottom.

S: Medium roasted malt...a little caramel. Some hops, but not much.

T: Big flavors. Smoky up front. Nicely balanced caramel and chocolate/black malts with some biscuity dryness. A touch acrid and nicely bitter during the finish.

M: Love the creaminess created by the seemingly-infinite head and medium-heavy body. Carb is fairly high for a porter and tickles the tongue.

O: My personal standard for an American Porter. Big flavors at a respectable level of drinkability. Also, do yourself a favor and drink this at near cellar temp. It’s a much better experience.

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

Pitch dark with amber highlights and nice head that rims slowly, but maintains active carbonation.
Big coffee upfront, that delivers roasted malt goodness unto the tongue. Not too thick, not too thin, yet still not perfect. But close. I've had Deschute's Black Butte goodness.
As with most all of GLBC's well-balanced intentions - clean, crisp & easy to drink.

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

I have had this before but I thought it was about time to give this great brew a proper review.

A full two fingers of rocky tan head easil reaches the top of my maudite goblet. Body is a true stout blackness. Nose is big and toasty with tons of chocolatey malt, a bit of meaty smoke, soft and attractive. I am quickly reminded of why this beer gets so much praise. With first sip you get many lovely layers of delecious complexity. Coco, dark fruit, rich malt carmel, and dry minerals all come so smooth and easy for this beer. A bit of fruity souredness is there on the mouthfeel but not harsh, actually very good. It then turns considerably thick. Very nicely drinkable, sessionable porter.

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

Served on tap in the Great Lakes Brewpub/Cafe. Served in a pint glass all the way to the top. No head and practically no lacing or foam, but a nice brown color on top with hints of ruby red deeper in the glass.

Smell - molasses, coffee, and chocolate pours out. Yum!!

Taste - nice coffee and chocolate up front, and then a mild bitter finish with malts. Nicely satisfying with every sip.

Mouthfeel - thick with no carbonation on the tongue, but slick enough to go down smooth.

Drinkability - I easily could have had another one of these, and it went fantastic with the meal (meatloaf). A great beer for a great evening in a holy place of beer.

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

Oh Yeah!

The gift that keeps on giving....

Pours a beautiful dark opaque black with some brown highlights.

Smells of coffee, roasted malts, alcohol, fruity smell, hops

This beer hits you with a five finger exploding taste technique with a chocolate, creamy, smooth, roasted coffee beans, deep lingering joy joy joy joy down in my heart taste.

I wish I lived closer to this beer as it would be my go to beer. This might be blasphomey but I think it's better than anchor porter.

Hear me now and listen to me later, BUY THIS BEER NOW GIRLYMAN!!!

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Photo of wdberkley
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee."

The beer is even better than the song, and I love Gordon Lightfoot. (Who doesn't?)

This is what a Porter should be. Black. Malty. Vanilla. Light Sweetness - almost Fruit. Smokey. Caramel. A little thin, but still spectacular for a beer that is readily available.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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 garbercury
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Never realized I had never rated this brew, sipping on one now, why not?

A--Good lacing, deep brownish black with hints of red in the tones.

S--Roasted malt, you can smell the coffee notes.

T--Coffee, toasty, malty goodness. Hints of chocolate in the finish, exceptional.

M--Smooth mouthfeel.

D--This is one of the best examples you will ever get in terms of a straight up American Porter. Great flavor and balance. A must try if you enjoy the style...

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Brown in color with amber highlights when held up to the light. Nice tan head that provides very good lacing. Decent looking beer, not great, but good.

Smell is outstanding, lots of coffee and chocolate. In addition there are some nice additions of some dehydrated fruits. Not much of a hop presence in the nose. Really the big aromas are rich chocolate and darker roasted coffee, a little bit of caramel malts.

Taste is equally as good as the smell, maybe even a little better. Chocolate profile is a little different than the nose here. It's more of a bitter sweet than just sweet. Still a strong portion of coffee as well, dark roasted. Slightly weaker hints of dehydrated fruit again, really well balanced and well blended flavor. Can't really taste the hops but you can tell there present.

Mouthfeel is very good. For something that has really good flavor the feel is only medium which is nice, not too easy to do for a lot of porters I feel. The carbonation level is very good and there's a nice clean bitter finish from the hops. A really wonderful porter I'm glad I finally got the chance to try it. Great representation of what's probably my favorite style of beer. Top 5 for me, I wish it distributed to my area.

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Photo of bdo894
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown, chocolate color. Nice coffee colored head, about an inch.
Smelled earthy but clean. Chocolate, graham cracker, coffee notes.
Tasted really bold coffee flavor up the wazoo, also chocolate with just a touch of hops. Chocolate lingers on the tongue.
Great smooth mouthfeel. Clean finish.
An amazing amazing beer. Even though I align myself with IPA's as a beer standard I would definitely get this again just for the sheer flavor.

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

A- Pours a dark dark brown with a small tan head. Lingers for awhile, then gives way to minimal lacing.

S- The always excellent chocolate/coffee combo. A whiff of smoke, dark roasted malts.

T- Reminds me vaguely of a dark chocolate I once had that had bits of sea salt in it. Solidly malty, dark roasted coffee beans. A hint of smokiness at the finish.

MF- Slides right down. Delightfully creamy with carbonation that is perfectly suited to the rest of the beer, as far as I'm concerned. Smooth city up in here.

OD- I love porters, I especially love this one. I could drink it for days. Wonderfully balanced and, to put it simply, I will choose this over and over.

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Photo of cavedave
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A gentle pour coddles a thick, dark-chestnut-brown, beauty of a brew into the glass. Atop luxuriates a one finger head of beige. It recedes languidly to a whisk of a cap, and leaves coriolis ejections of lace. Tempting look.

The nose is a medium aroma of sweet toasty malt, hints of chocolate, dark bread, and light yeast, with a lighter edge of bitter and burnt that blends the bouquet into a scent of dark, clean beauty. Nice. One of the best aromas on a porter this nose knows.

The flavor of this is a joy, but it is the mouthfeel that takes the exceptional flavor a step beyond. It is a perfect balance of light and airy sweet, with dark (toasty, burnt) notes, and intricately dank flavors (bakers chocolate, espresso, bitter herbosity) that combine through the perfection of a just-perfectly-light-enough mouthfeel (like the perfect spotlight accurately lighting the perfect stage performance) into a flavor that defies proper accolades. I have exclaimed, "Mmmm..." after many sips.

Rated for style I have no choice but to give this a 5 for mouthfeel. Every aspect here combines to give this porter the perfect taste and perfect finish. I wish I had the skill to brew this.

Drinkability also is beyond hyperbole here. It is the most refreshing, delicious porter. The fact that it is now readily available here makes me happy.

Hope to taste a better one than this. Doubt I will. Get it if you can. Thanks Great Lakes. Nicely done!

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this one. I guess I always assumed I have before.

The beer pours a jet black with a very faint garnet glow when held to a bright light. The head is moderate, tan colored and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is highly malty with a hint of earthy hop and rather complex; chocolate, roast coffee, and caramel sweetness. The flavor is intensely malty, initially chocolate malt and roast coffee, then bittersweet with an earthy hop flavor and the roasty flavor returns after the swallow. The body is medium-full and carbonation moderate. The beer is rather smooth aside from a slight hop/acidic prick at the swallow. Overall all around a great porter, definitely recommend if you enjoy porters, one of, if not the best porter I’ve had.

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

Bottle says "enjoy by" June 15, 2005. It's now several months past it, but the beer hasn't suffered at all. Poured into a imperial pint glass with a good head that's almost a tan brown. The beer itself is nearly pitch black. There's good lacing down the whole glass.

The smell of chcolate jumps from the glass as its poured. The taste is nutty, roasty, chocolately malt. Hop bitterness backing it up on the finish. Hint of smoke. Really great. This is a great beer and some of the malt flavors poke through now that it's a bit older.

A good porter. Mouthfeel is nicely full but not sticky. Amazingly drinkable and at 5.8% ABV you can easily have a few.

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Photo of Lillie1128
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Dogfish Head pint glass. Thanks to BobCS for including this one in our trade!

A - pours a deep ruby with a luscious honey colored head

S - smells pretty strongly of coffee...mmm

T - This is just delicious. It's dark, rich and has the most delicious coffee kick at the end.

M - Nice mouthfeel, a bit of carbonation

D - Medium drinkability, it's pretty damn delicious but so much so that I want to savor it

This is a good one!

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