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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,014 | Ratings: 6,414
Photo of edmonan
3.31/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Good opaque dark dark brown color, with nearly a finger of light brown head. The head sticks around for a while.

S: Toasty, malty aroma. What I would expect from a porter.

T: This one needs to be served at the right temp. I had to wait a while until the flavors started to coalesce.

M: Too much carbonation.

O: Definitely needs to be served on the warmer side. Could use less carbonation as well. A very good average american porter.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.31/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a nice dark dark brown with a head that resembles a thick and creamy root beer and not the normal dark ale heads. Aromas of nutty chocolate, and an ever so slight charcoal smoke. So slight I had a hard time finding it, but it's there. The flavor comes with malt, chocoalte, bbq grill and corn flakes. I know I know, "CORN FLAKES?!" So help me god they were there. The mouth feel was very pleasant, light and smooth very enjoyable.

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Photo of Crosling
3.31/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Moderately aromatic, with notes of currants, sweet malts, dark malts, chocolate, bold hops, onions and alcohol.

The malts provide notes of prunes, coffee and chocolate while other notes of brown sugar and molasses are present. The hops are bold and very prominent but in this porter it just didn't work. Too hoppy for its style in my opinion.

Not that good.

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Photo of Steasy66
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle into pint glass.
A- Deep brown, 1 finger light brown head
S- Roasty, malty, even a bit of rye
T- Not very malt, a bit of roast, tastes a bit thin overall.
M- Thin, crisp carbonation
O- Probably wouldn't buy again, nothing special, nothing to warrant the price or the high ratings.

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Photo of dragonWhale
3.32/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2nd time I've had the opportunity to try this beer. I remember not being blown away but wanting another chance. Well, here that chance is, thanks to Steve. Cheers.

Auburn with a slight head that fades into nothingness with no lacing. After 10 minutes in the glass, it actually looks kind've sad and lonesome. Aroma of chocolate and iron. The chocolate is wonderful, the iron not too bad. Sort've one dimensional, though.
The taste is similar, a rich chocolate flavor in a well-attenuated beer that doesn't have much body. I guess my preference is much more towards porters with more full flavor. A little black malt for some coffee-like presence. I know it's a brown porter, but it's still coming way short for me. I can think of at least 10 porters off the top of my head I'd rather have.
Great Lakes, I cheers you regardless..glad to have this beer again, for it is a drinkable and tasty beer.

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Photo of Wisconsinality
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint.

A- Pours a very dark brown with a finger and half worth of head. The head is nice pillowy and leaves a nice cap and good lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, a little smoke and a hint of coffee. Just the slightest bit of caramel is present.

T- Big roasted malts and a little sweetness in there as well. Smoke and coffee round out the taste.

M- Medium body with good carbonation for the style. Just a touch of bitterness at the beginning.

D- A good beer that lacks a little flavor but goes down well. Can be a little overpowering after more than two. Decent all around.

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Photo of muttyd
3.35/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Espresso body with a thin finger width head.

S - Roasted malts, burnt espresso, and dark chocolate. Slight metallic aroma.

T - Sweet roasted/toasted malts, coffee/espresso, bitter dark chocolate. Bitter hop bite towards the end. Again, I am getting sort of a metallic funk (not in a bad way) that reminds me of wet pennies? Not sure what this flavor is.

M - Medium body with a chewy finish. Long finish.

D - I am really impressed with this porter. Got this one in a trade and would love to try this again.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.36/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle thanks to SpdKilz, appreciate it man. Dark black color, good head. The aroma is smoky sort of, dark malts and a hint of smoke like a burnt match, average. The flavor is better, roasty porter with a hint of chocolate and coffee. I'm not sure why this is a top beer, tastes like an average porter to me.

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Photo of pumarocks
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

OK, this is one serious brew. You don't drink this so much as you chew it ha-ha! I had this on draft at the Winking Lizard in downtown Cleveland. It is dark: more black than brown and very cola-like in appearance. It has a wonderful smoky flavor that is intense with chocolate undertones. This actually went very well with the Caribbean jerk chicken wings I ordered. I have had this in a bottle b4 but it is much better on draft. Pick it up if you want a serious beer that will hold up to big meats/spices or the next time you are in "the mistake on the lake" for a ballgame.

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Photo of smudgewhat
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a winner on the basis of flavor vs price. It's relatively inexpensive but nearly as satisfying as some other more expensive similar beers.

I'm not a porter expert but I have tried many many stouts. This tastes like an oatmeal stout to me - possible chocolate tones. It's not a thick as many stouts so maybe that's part of why it's called a porter.

A nice flavor and more available on tap at bars than the stouts I am reminded of like 8 Ball, which is another bargain-ish stout. But neither is that close to Anderson Valleys oatmeal which is more pricey. I've found though that Edmund wears thin for me after one pint.

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Photo of TheDM
3.4/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured a medium sized head of medium sized light brown bubbles with a semi-opaque brown body. It has a mild malt aroma with the coffee flavor of a stout. It was smooth yet had a bit too much coffee for a porter. This would be better classified as a stout.

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Photo of haddon
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown body with a small, light colored head.

Smell: Aroma of coffee and chocolate with a faint hint of smoke.

Bittersweet chocolate flavor with some roasty coffee and a slight caramel sweetness. A hint of roasted nuts. pine hop presence provides a touch of balancing bitterness. mocha finish.

Medium-bodied with medium carbonation.

Porters as a class continue to underwhelm me. I know this is at the top of the class for porters but I just don't get it. To me, porters are the red-headed stepchild of Imperial stouts. this is drinkable per se, but I sure won't miss this sixer when its gone.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep crimson brownish with good carbonation leaving a nice tan cap, bubbles and some moderate lacing

S: Cocoa and grains.

T: Let down. An astringent, bitter bakers powder meets roasted malt. The finish is dry, some cheap chocolate, bakers powder cocoa and lingering roasted malt plus bitterness

M: Medium bodied, somewhat thin. Not exactly great.

O: Let down.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.41/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a beige head. Aroma is dark malts, some cocoa and red grapes.

Taste is patent malt with a slight vinous element. Ashy, espresso and Dutch cocoa flavors, bittersweet but not quite cloying. Hints of wine around the edges like a pinot noir. Reminds me of a very light milk stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and grainy. A good stout, I've tried it before on tap. Quite drinkable but not a Top 50-caliber beer, in my opinion. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the chance to try this one in the bottle.

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Photo of jgap
3.42/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Big thanks to sholland for this one. Cracking the bottle i get a strong wiff of chocolate. It pours deep brown with receeding head that leaves lots of spotchy lacing. Smells of bitter chocolate, light coffee, and toasty almonds. Taste is coffee and bitter dark chocolate with a light hop presence that strengthens into the aftertaste. Could use some better blending of the taste and needs some thickness but overall a solid brew.

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Photo of putnam
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted blind among five peers. (guinness E.S., Sam Smith Taddy, Sinebrychoff and Sierra Nevada)
Aromas of roasted coffee, water and skim milk. The palate features a creamy texture with flavors of burnt things. Dry. Weathered, seasoned wood emerges later on the nose. Simple, foursquare flavors of browned starch. Drinkable if forgettable.

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Photo of 7ways
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint Glass.

A Dark brown, almost black, but ruby when held up to light. Inviting light tan head, good lacing throughout.

S Chocolate cereal (Coco Puffs?), caramel, roasted malt.

T More chocolate, toasty, coffee/dutch cocoa, bitterish hop finish. Interesting hop character for a porter, but still I expected more complexity.

M Medium body at best, smooth, tingles a bit at the end. Coats the tongue a bit; lingering sour/metalic taste.

D Goes down like water. Decent stuff, though I'm not a huge fan. However, if I was in the mood to drink 9 porters in a night, this would work.

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Photo of Derek
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Cola colour, tan head, not much retention, hint of lace.

S: Mocha, fruity esters (British Ale yeast?), nut bread.

T: Mocha, bread, slight nut, grainy astringency. Slight hint of British fruity esters (apparant that it's an ale, but not assertive), slight roastyness.

M: Greater than moderate body, moderate carbonation, hint of chalk & acidity.

D: Decent drinker.

I've been looking forward to trying this for a while, but I it seems a little over-rated. My first bottle was merely average, but I have had a couple more that were a little better... adjusted scoring as necessary.

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Photo of alysmith4
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Was eager to try a Great Lakes beer, so when a friend ordered one of these at a local DC bar, I told her I wanted half. Was pretty impressed. Had an above average look and smell, definitely a good looking porter. Taste was of coffee and chocolate, with some earthy toffee notes. Mouthfeel was just average. I'd have this beer again, either for dessert or as a session beer.

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Photo of Roguer
3.46/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a beautiful, firm light tan head with solid retention and thick, wide fields of lacing. Brew is almost perfectly black, with a slight purple hue in the body and dark brown at the bottom of the glass. Head retention is excellent.

Huge roasty notes in the aroma, balanced against caramel, cocoa, and pale malt aromas, and a semi-sweet, slightly grape-like fruit note.

Flavor comes in the reverse order of the aroma: sweet, malty, and smooth up front, with notes of cream and cocoa, with the big roasted malts coming in the latter half. A little bit stale on the front end, though; I'm not particularly feeling this. Perhaps it's normally a hoppy porter, and the hops have significantly degraded.

Sticky feel, medium-full, with a long finish.

I really wonder about the age of this bottle, and the intended flavor. There's a significant stale taste, that only builds as the bottle warms, and that's really ruining it for me. I'd like to try it again, possibly on tap, and see if maybe it's supposed to be a hoppy porter, drank fresh.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.46/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Justdoit1234 (thanks). Bottled 7/24/14. Served in a goblet.

Pours a dark tea brown with a finger of biege head. Decent retention around the edges which deposit a few clumps of lace.

Straight forward nose with notes of roasted malts, cocoa and a hint of sugary sweetness.

Slightly more depth to the taste. Chocolate, toasted malts, burnt sugar and mild coffee. It goes down easily with no perceptible alcohol. The flavors are smooth and balanced but nothing really pops.

Smooth feel, on the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with more of the same- roast, cocoa and moderate sweetness.

Edmund Fitzgerald is an unassuming and easy drinking porter. I tend to prefer a more assertive flavor profile but had no problems here. Solid stuff that could possibly serve as a an introduction to dark beers for the uninitiated.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

Look is deep dark brown. Nice creamy layer on top and respectable lacing.
Smell is 58% dark malts, 34% coffee, 6% sweet cigar, and a fleeting 2% dried cherries or generic acidic fruitiness.

Beautiful malts in the nose set expectations.
Taste has initial (albeit lesser) roasted malt and burnt sugar. By mid swallow malts are gone and you're left with char. The aftertaste goes to the hop end of the seesaw with an herbal, grassy bitterness.

Overall, I feel like the malts walked out and left me holding the charred herb check.

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Photo of beertunes
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Superspak for the chance to finally try this guy, from his box in NBS BIF#4, MWK. Best by 12/31/16. 12oz bottle, poured into 10oz goblet. Poured a very dark brown color, just short of black, and had a bit of a reddish tint near the edges. The beer was nicely clear, and had about 1/2 inch of tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left low lacing.

Some nicely gentle roast notes were at the front of the olfactory portion of the program, with a gentle underlying malt scent. No noticeable hop profile. The taste was similar, but stronger, with the roast bordering on being coffee-like.

The body was thinner than I prefer in the style, but was smooth and even. There was good carbonation across the tongue, giving a very enjoyable effervescence. The roasted flavors lingered a few moments at the back of the palate, and led to a dry finish.

Drinkability was very good, I can see where folks could, and have, drink a lot of these. Overall, a very nice brew that certainly lives up to its reputation. If it were locally available, It would probably have it in my rotation.

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Photo of mjaskula
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fresh until 11/09/2010. Served in a pint glass. The beer is black, just barely showing red highlights when held to the light. I poured it fairly vigorously to get a decent one finger head which thinned to a film and left a thick wall of lace.

The aroma is mild and slightly sweet with clear roasted malt and chocolate notes. Flavor continues the nose with a stronger roasted malt character, nuttiness, sweet bread and a touch of sourness. Carbonation is high, helping to lighten the beer overall. This is a well rounded mild porter, quite easy to drink.

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Photo of redearth329
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured around 60 degrees (F) into a chilled Weissen glass.

A - Two fingers of sticky tan head that hung around for a couple minutes, before settling into about a half-finger's worth with some lacing of the glass. Very dark brown, although the tiniest bit of light shines through when held up to a lamp, revealing clarity and a slight ruby tinge. No evident carbonation (besides the head).

S - roasty malt notes on the nose, but not very forward. I'm finding a weak nose to be a trend with the Great Lakes stuff.

T - Nice roasty malt character, with some hints of chocolate, black cherry, cola, and maybe a touch of coffee. Sweetness of a cola balanced with bitterness of dark chocolate or coffee. No hop presence.

M - a bit flabby. Medium to full bodied like whole milk, but I'm getting an aqueous impression (as though water was added). Little to no noticeable carbonation.

Very good, but the flavors seem a little disjoint and the mouthfeel is just ok. Not the most mind-expanding porter I've had lately.

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Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.26 out of 5 based on 6,414 ratings.
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