Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

2,014 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

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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 6,413
Photo of malty
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 12 oz. longneck w/ best before March 16 '04.

Pours a midnight-brown with a tan head that lasts a while with various sized clumps of bubbles sitting atop the virtualy opaque liquid.

Strong scent of bitter dark chocolate, roasted coffee, fresh brownies and a hint of floral fruity hops.

Tastes alot like it smells (see above) with a nice crispness that balances out nicely with the bisquit-like malt. Also a good dose of toast and dark fruity jam flavors as well.

Mouthfeel is airy and silky with a fine carbonation to keep things from getting heavy, being the body is med-full.

For such a robust porter, it never seems to fill me up. High drinkability factor here.

I've had the honor and pleasure of having this from the source back in Oct. '03, and I honestly have not had a finer porter, and I've had my share. And I will say without a doubt this is one of the best bottled porters on the market - a stellar ale indeed!

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to limesmut for this one. Best by date of 9/11/07.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black with a touch of blackberry colored highlights. Tan, mocha colored one finger sized head. Sporadic lacing.

Aroma is beautiful. Chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel malts. I would have a hard time distinguishing this one from a stout based on aroma. I guess not quite as roasty as a stout, but pretty damn close.

Wonderful stout like flavors as well. Big chocolate flavors with the sweet coffee background to lend a bit of balance.

Maybe a little too much carbonation for me, but otherwise, nearly perfect mouthfeel. Medium bodied, on the light, but it should be. Super long finish wiht the coffee sticking around forever. A more drinkable porter I could not imagine.

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Photo of jampics2
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A nice sized mug clubber sized mug delivered to me with a smile by my GLBC waiter.

A black beer with cappuchino head is alluring, almost irresistable. Looks great to me!

Smells like smooth mocah. Just a touch of hops. Luke, brewmaster extraordinare of Great Lakes, let me know that this is the one beer they find actually scores better as it ages. This keg is actually a few months old, so some of the mild hops you'll get from a fresher batch have left the building.

Taste is exceptional. Touch of sweet malt is laced with cocoa powder, coffee, and a touch of vanilla sweetness in the finish. This is truly world class.

Perfect carb on this from the taps at GLBC. Creamy and nice consistency in the body.

Sessionable like none other. I've had pours, bottles, and kegs of this. One of my favorite beers in the world - nice way to spend a Saturday, drinking this from the source.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint at the Map Room in Chicago.

Pours a darkish, near opaque color that reveals slight reddish transparency when held against the light. Not much of a head to speak of, although carbonation is still decent and attempts to hold up well here. There's some dripped, slightly cobwebby lacing that goes all around the glass's edges, which adds slight character. Looks like a classic American porter all around.

Whoa! The aroma completely caught me by surprise here. Very robust, full bodied, and juicy unlike any porter I've had to date. Chocolate nibs, cracked roasted barley, vanilla, cream, and berries (blueberries in particular). Not much coffee is present here, to my surprise. As this warms up, the chocolate aspects become far more accentuated and meld with the vanilla notes in almost a dessert-like manner. Luckily, the barley flavor and slight hoppy bitterness keep this from becoming too sweet, and provide a combination of a bready, toasted character combined with all of the chocolate and dark fruitiness.

The flavor only makes things better, really. The chocolate is ever more present (think semi-dark), and combined with the vanilla and big dark berry flavors, it almost resembles the texture and thickness of a cake or brownie of sorts. There is finally some coffee that creeps in towards the finish, which adds a little bitterness to the otherwise well atoned flavors that range back and forth from dessert sweetness to the cracked barley character. Hops lie beneath all of these flavors, but they are by no means muted – there's a subtle hint of grassiness at the finish here. However, the chocolate and vanilla creaminess are the really the highlights here, and really in ways I haven't had an American porter before.

This is awesome! I should have invested in a 6-pack of this during my stay, but I had too many beers I wanted to try. This is exactly like a hearty stout without being nearly as heavy on body or senses, yet still tenfold in flavor. Not sure how they did it, but I think the well rounded carbonation, as well as the excellent ingredients they're using here, helped it out. While I'm glad I get stuff like, say, Black Butte Porter out West, I want more of these sometime!

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If you are looking for the body/feel of a Founders Porter you may be disappointed. However, the thing I like the most about this beer (outside of price and availability) is that I dont know of any other beer that offers the flavor at this ABV and thinner body. Smokey, roasted malts with chocolate and coffee. Very ashy. Everything a porter should be. You can drink an entire 6 pack in an evening and not only enjoy the hell out of it, but not regret it.

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Photo of Sleepisforthewik
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Poured dark with a thumb's width head. Head thins out to a layer of bubbles on top.

S- Smells of roasted malts with what I detect as some hops; the hops smell I feel is subtle.

T- Roasted Barley, with a slight coffee flavor. There is a slight hint of hops on the back of the tongue for a fleeting second.

M- I would call it thin, but it compliments the taste so that it doesn't feel like I am chewing on chocolate syrup.

D- I would pick up a growler of this whenever possible.

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Photo of Mojo
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head glass

A - deep brown, almost obsidian black with luscious two finger caramel colored head. Retention is good and lacing is great. It is a beautiful beer.

S - Roasted nuts, chocolate, vanilla, and coffee are the predominant notes.

T - The taste is almost indescribably good. As close to porter perfection as I've ever tasted. My other favorite porter, Smuttynose is a little more roasty, but this one is a little more well balanced.

M - full and delightful with no real aftertaste.

O - world class and very affordable.

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Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle into nonic pint. Enjoy by date is 06/26/13

A: Deep, black-brown coffee color, with mahogany tones when held up to light. Thin, quickly dissipating, khaki head leaving little lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, light and sweet toasted bread malts.

T: Warm, dark, chocolate , followed by slightly burnt toast, bittersweet espresso with slightly smokiness in the finish. Very little in the way of hop bitterness. Excellent

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. It has a silky and soft mouthfeel.

O: One outstanding American porter. It's super flavorful without being overwhelming and is perfectly balanced. This is one of my favorite beers for wintertime. GLBC continues to amaze.

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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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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,413 ratings.
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