Dortmunder Gold
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Dortmunder GoldDortmunder Gold
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Lager - European / Dortmunder Export
Ranked #1
Ranked #3,773
4.08 | pDev: 11.27%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Dortmunder GoldDortmunder Gold
Notes: Yes, it's known for winning medals worldwide. But locally, it's known as "Dort," our flagship lager that humbly maintains its smooth, balanced (and charmingly unpretentious) ways.

A smooth, award-winning (and deceptively unassuming) balance of sweet malt and dry hop flavors.

World Beer Championships
16-Time Medal Winner Since 1994 (World Champion, Gold, Silver)

Great American Beer Festival Awards
1990 Gold Medal Winner
Reviews: 1,152 | Ratings: 3,464 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I recall being at Celevands Jacob's field, now Progressive Field, and I wanted the best local beer I could find. Leaving inward to the concourse I came across a small stand selling local beer. On it Great Lakes Brewing Dortmunder Gold. Not knowing what I got I went back to the first baseline to watch the Tribe play the Cubbies. As Shin-Soo Choo came up to bat I sipped upon this beer and I forever fell in love with one of the best beer I had ever had.

This beer checks off all the greatness qualifiers, malty yes, a bit hoppy yes, a beautiful amber red, yes. There is smell with this beer that is unique. A bit of that Krystal malt and a damn well balanced beer. This maybe my all time favorite beer.

Jun 24, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.
Enjoy by: 06/14/20

This, to the best of my memory, is my first experience with Exportbier. Fortunately this was locally available as it seems to be a solid example of style as well as a great drinking lager. The nose is, in my opinion, is good though a bit subdued. But this beer more than makes up for any aromatic short comings with taste and mouthfeel. The flavor is well balanced and refined, orange and citrus hop flavor with toast and caramel malt, bitterness is restrained but opens up a little towards the short finish. The smooth medium body is somewhat creamy. Very good.

May 28, 2020
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Small head atop a golden orange body. Biscuit-like aroma, lightly spiced. Toasted grain flavor, modest sweetness, moderately hopped. Smooth, well rounded, flavorful mouthfeel. Short lived finish.

May 19, 2020
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defunksta from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep, clear, coppered-orange and copper color with a thick, slightly off-white head. The carbonation swirls in the glass as I pour it. SRM of 13. (4.25).

Aroma: Light to moderate on the aroma. There are light aromas of honey, granola & graham cracker, cereal and even caramel upfront. Light lemon citrus, lemongrass, balanced by rich honey, & granola, and silky, traces of caramel. Lots of honey graham cracker w/ some crumbled biscuit, creamed corn, cooked peas and mixed vegetables to support. The mixed vegetable also reminds of a coral/seawater aroma. As the beer warms, much more lemon hoppiness and graham cracker aromas. Sort of reminds me of a honey granola bar. (4.00)

Flavor: Lemon hops at first followed by baked honey with a bit of lemonflower. A little yeast to support. A slight lemon and orange citrus hop flavor to finish. Some swirled caramel through the middle. Overall, finishes slightly sweet. Wow, the flavors are great. Fantastic English lager yeast. In between a Helles and Zwickel in terms of malt flavor. Lots of graham cracker honey and granola. A granola bar in a glass. (4.25).

Feel: Heavier bodied for a lager, smooth, but a nice amount of yeast and carbonation to make it thick and sweet as expected, but not too much. Maintains the light lager body. Not crisp. Subtle roasted malts and grassy bitterness on the palate, but overall finishes clean. (3.75)

Compared to a Helles: It pours much darker. Has less citrus and more sweet bread and honey aroma. More honey hops from the Mt. Hood, and less lemon. The malts are slightly more roasty. Heavier bodied and sweeter. I should compare it to a steam beer or Vienna lager.
Compared to Paulaner Helles: Pours a darker color. More lemongrass and bittering hops. More caramel and honey malts. Less Munich malt. Overall similar body, but less sweet and bready, which a touch more bitterness.

Compared for Surly's First Avenue +1: Pours a darker color. Less bitter wheat on the flavor. More caramel malts and less honey. Overall, heavier, buttery, and sweeter.

Compared to a Steam Beer: This one is similar in color. Maybe a touch lighter and clearer, but overall similar. Much more bread and lemon flavors. Less toasty caramel. Not has heavy nor sweet.

Compared to Dorothy's New World Lager: A darker color. Less aroma and flavor. More honey flavor and less hoppiness and yeast zing. Flatter. More malty overall.

Compared to Castle Cream Ale 3/28/20: Nearly identical in color. This one has more aroma, but less flavor. More lemon and honey aromas and less cream and ?bread aromas. Similar though. In terms of flavor, it has more lemon hops and more of a honey flavor and sweet bread. Less corn, cream, and lactose. A trace more European bready, salty bread malt flavor rather than corn/honey. Similar in sweetness, body, and feel. Overall, more lemon and hoppy. These are nearly identical though.

Compared to Surly Hell Lager: Pours a more amber color with a smaller head. Less aroma. More honey and malts on the aroma. Less lemon citrus. Less bitter. More malty and sweeter with a slightly heavier body.

Compared w/ Paulaner Helles: Pours a darker orange color. Lighter aromas, and more lemon citrus and lemongrass. Crispier, hoppier, and less Munich malts. More honey rather than Munich malt sweetness. Finishes crispier, lighter, and dryer.

Compared w/ Bahaus Wonderstuff 5/26/20: Extremely similar. Pours a darker golden color. Aroma is weaker. Flavor is more earthy honey and lemonflower. Less bread. Similar amount of lemon. Overall, it just has slightly more earthy honey and flower. Maybe sweeter, but less salty.

Compared to Dakota Soul 5/17/20: Pours a slightly darker color. Milder aromas. More earthy flower and honey lemon. Less zesty citrus and yeast. More malt focused and less hops and bitterness.

Compared to Bent Paddle's Classic Cream 7/12/20: Pours a much darker color. Stronger aromas of authentic earthy, European honey. Less corn, cream, and American honey.

Overall: Really a fantastic beer. The malts mix between a Helles and a Zwickel. This beer from Great Lakes nails the English lemon hops and caramel malts and I wouldn't be able to tell it's American-made by any means. Nice honey and granola flavors with some lemonflower to support. Lean malty though with English notes. Very much reminds me of drinking an English biscuit or granola bar. (Final Rating: 4.19)
Try comparing to Kato*

May 17, 2020
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VoxRationis from New York

4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) into a Captain Lawrence muffin top; best by 3/25/20 (still seems pretty fresh).
A: Pours a dark golden leaning toward light copper color with foamy, white (one-ish finger) head formation, rim retention and little lacing.
S: Aromas of honey suckle, pumpkin, apple, peanut, and (light) spice (esp cinnamon). Vinous toward the end. More peppery as it warms.
T: At least semisweet and nicely malty, flavor an amalgam of the palate, and overall nicely balance by the light bitterness.
M: Light to medium bodied with solid carbonation. Smooth and creamy.
O: Flavorful and enjoyable, flavor forward, really. This is really a winner and could see it being a go to, as least for my palate.

Apr 02, 2020
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thatfellow from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A mainstay of good and sessionable drinking, Dortmunder Gold is balanced, approachable, and hooks the palate with its compelling malty undertones.

From the beginning it pours a slightly toasted grain color, with a soft fluffy head that persists from the brim to the bottom of the vessel. Scent is squarely within lager domain; neither skunky nor lifeless. Each taste washes over the tongue and compels another afterwards, with an enjoyable and satisfying heartiness that doesn't overpower. It's thin but not forgettable, and that maltiness tempered by hops comes back again and again.

Very enjoyable lager, the kind you'd like to have more often and pass a pitcher back and forth between friends.

Feb 15, 2020
Photo of zoowatcher

4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It is a beer that delivers on its claims. It is a great all around beer experience. It holds its own against the hoppy and heavy stout trends going on. A great standard to start on and hold other beers against.

Jan 20, 2020
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid gold with a nice white top. Crystal clear. Head falls to a thin cap. Smells of bread dough with a bit of herblness. Great balance between malt and hops. Not too sweet, not too bitter. Yup, balance is the key. Real smooth feel. Not overly carbed, but it's there. Overall a real smooth drinker that wouldn't get heavy or boring. Glad I finally tried it!

Jan 18, 2020
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4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

pours a one finger rich creamy off white head, quickly dissipating to an attractive pillowy lace. amber gold with a little carbonation
wonderful sweet smell
tastes as wonderful as it smells. honey with some hop bitters on the outro
crisp and satisfyingly full mouthfeel
a joy to drink.

Dec 02, 2019
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officerbill from New York

4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much to add to the other reviews. This is an excellent example of a German Dortmunder/export beer. Malty, a little hoppy. Crisp and refreshing. An American version as good as any German offering.

Jul 26, 2019
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TH28 from Florida

4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. 9/4/19 BB date. Appearance: Deep golden, crystal clear, with a thick pillowy white head that lingers with nice lacing.
Aroma: Breadiness is strong with quite a bit of caramel. All malt, with no noticeable hop or yeast contribution.
Taste: Medium caramel malt sweetness with a light breadiness and toasted crust on the back end. Moderate bitterness pears only on the swallow to balance out the malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a low to moderate carbonation.
Finish: Malt lingers long after the swallow, primarily with caramel and some bread crust.
Overall: Really clean and crisp with a strong malt character throughout, with a complimentary but not overpowering caramel and toasted crust. World class

Jul 07, 2019
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laketang from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice clear amber beer with a minimal tan head. Wafts of caramel saltiness, wet may or grass clippings. Nice balance of hops with that malt sweetness you would expect with this beer. Good carbonation level too. Clean finish, tingle in the mouth. I would certainly buy more of this lager.

May 27, 2019
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izraelc from New York

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold. Smells clean. A very good lager. Tastes clean and crisp with a slight bitter lager finish. I could definitely hang out with a bunch of these.

Apr 13, 2019
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DaveyCream from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

There is a reason this beer is constantly award winning and one of the most popular Great Lakes selections. Very easy to drink and smooth beer. Nice balance and has an absolutely beautiful gold color to it that is tough to find in American made German lagers. It's simplicity in taste it what makes it so appealing. GLB is not trying to do too much, rather they just want a beer you are able to drink and enjoy which is very nice.

Mar 24, 2019
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I_Am_The_Noise from Michigan

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just got back from a trip to Frankfurt, Germany. This place have the absolute best lagers in the world. Yes, we Americans are very talented and clever, but no one does lager like the Germans. There's a cleanness to the finish when you take a swig, with just a little bit of a bite in the finish. Sipping this lager takes me back to Deutchland. It's no surprise that it wins awards.

It just doesn't *look* like a German lager, having a dark gold color that looks more like an ale, But, who cares if it tastes this good?

Mar 10, 2019
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Zythophile from District of Columbia

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle Date: best by 2/17/19
Palate Contaminants: none

Color is dark gold, if that makes sense. It's also very, very clear. Good amount of fine head. All lagers should look like this.

Smell is sweet grain and moderate hops. The word "clean" fits nicely. For the type, it's intense. The only deficiency is complexity, which isn't something associated with a lager, anyways.

It has a good toasty flavor on top of the grain. Light-moderate sweetness. General vegetative hops flavor is also in there right from the start. Light-moderate bitterness and astringency. As everything else hints at, the taste is rich, if not complex.

I love the weight of this brew. This might be my favorite lager. Fairly well integrated carbonation, only a little bit of prickliness with a swish. Aftertaste is everything in the taste, but the sweetness is diminished.

Jan 06, 2019
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Azdirtmover from Arizona

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Total wine brought a truckload of their stuff out this way.Glad I got to try it.Liked all of them except Holy Moses.Not enough to make this AZ native move to Ohio tho

Dec 06, 2018
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Dr_Gonzo from Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Has a glowing, clear golden-orange color with moderate carbonation, thin head, and some lacing. Some floaters are present as well.

Along with grassy hops that are upfront, smell is very doughy and yeasty like a dortmunder, along with cracker and bread malts.

Taste like the aroma. Grassy hops and sourdough upfront, very yeasty. Feels smooth. Pretty crisp and mild tasting beer, not very bitter!

Dec 05, 2018
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TooManyGlasses from Canada

3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When in Cleveland.....pours a pale amber/copper - clear, with one finger short lived off white head. Aroma is sweet biscuity malt, caramel, almost a little apple juice like. Taste follows - bready malt, slightly sweet with only a touch of hoppy bitterness on the finish. Medium bodied leaving a pleasant malty bitterness hanging on back of palate. Refreshing and tasty.

Nov 10, 2018
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MoreBeer4me from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice tasty and rich lager. Has a slight thick-ish quality to it which is very satisfying. Quite malty and bready with just the right amount of carbonation. A beer that I now usually keep on hand. Get some!

Sep 27, 2018
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HoppingMadMonk from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A semi clear amber color around a medium body as well as about medium carbonation.
Aroma was doughy, yeast, cracker and malt . Behind that there was a floral, grassy hop aroma
Taste is very identical to aroma . The malt dominates the flavor but not to the point of being a sweet malt bomb. If anything this is as far as I prefer to have the malts dominate, adds flavor and a bit of sweetness but allows other flavors to show up. The doughy, yeast, cereal taste follows the malt and then there's a dry, mild, bitterness that lingers a bit works really well.
This was a very good beer in my opinion and one I would look for again

Sep 19, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle bb 11/10/18 poured into a pilsner glass at fridge temp 5.8% ABV 30 IBU. The beer pours bright very light amber with khaki colored head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves some splotchy lacing. The aroma is bready balanced by spicy and floral hops. The taste is semisweet bready malts again balanced by a grassy, spicy hop note. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, adequately carbonated and dry in the finish. The malt sweetness and hop bitterness interact throughout each phase of this beer where neither is ever completely missing. Overall, excellent. This is a tasty beer and fits the style description nearly to a tee.

Sep 08, 2018
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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Caramel color with a head that dissipates quickly to a small ring. Tastes sweeter than I expected with caramel and corn/malt toward the front. A little more bitter than I expected, was hoping for a more biscuit/bready taste but not bad.

Jul 29, 2018
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Samlover55 from New York

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into Perfect Pint
BB 7/7/18 (missed by a couple weeks)
Clear dark gold with thin white
Sweet doughy aroma, caramel toffee
Same as nose with nice herbal hoppy finish
Medium bodied, with doughy feel
Overall a drinkable malty lager will have to try and revisit a fresh one

Jul 25, 2018
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle. I have REALLY been looking forward to trying this. It has eluded me for literally a decade. Haphazardly got to try it and was a bit disappointed. It's pretty tasty. Richer, and deeper in color and sweetness than expected. Overall though, I thought it was merely a good beer. This rather high consensus rating I think is Beeradvocate users' universal approval of the Great Lakes brand.

Jul 19, 2018
Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 3464 ratings