Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,090 Reviews

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Dortmunder / Export Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 09-18-2001

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Reviews: 1,090 | Ratings: 3,219
Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lightly hazy solid gold color with a very nice light beige head, slow bubbled carbonation, and some lace. Excellent grainy malt and lightly hopped aroma and flavor with great balance -- very clean all around. Medium-full bodied, creamy and smooth with a strong malty finish.

Excellent example, if not the best example, of the style !!

Per GL website: 30 IBU
Gold Medal - 1990 GABF

Enjoy By: 05/18/04
Tasted: 03/19/05

(B. Scott)

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Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden color with nice head.

Smell: Lager with some hops smell.

Taste: This is a lager with a nice hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a slightly dry finish.

Drinkability: could drink this all night wish there were more examples of this style available.

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Photo of Bighuge
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11-18-08 edit:

I'm upping my rating from a 4.85 to a 5.0. Everytime I have this beer, it seems better. No other Dortmunder has been as perfect as this one over the past 10 or so years I've been tasting beer. This one deserves a 5.0.

This beer is perfectly clear and perfectly golden. Carbonation is evident in the form of gaseous bubbles surfacing at a good clip. A beautiful frothy white head tops this gorgeous looking brew. A nice clean malt aroma is present. The malt profile in this brew is exceptionally clean. The beer has a nice subdued toastiness. Good biscuit notes. Hop notes and bitterness are at a minimum, but they are there and blend in nicely in the background. The balance of this beer is impeccable. Body is medium at most and the beer is very drinkable. Highly enjoyable lager. This beer defines the essence of a session beer. If it were available here in Minnesota, it would be the ONE beer that would be a constant Staple in my fridge.

Gotta give my sister some props for landing this big northern for me on her trip to Pennsylvania.

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Photo of HopHeadRyan
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Golden with a very slight haze, Nice thick head dissapates leaving lacing and a thin head that stays.

S - Sweet biscuits, slight yeastiness, crisp and clean

T - Beautiful - breadiness, crisp and clean just like the smell. Very blanaced. The hops and malts counter each other perfectly.

M - Balanced, dry, light considering its near 6% abv - - Perfect!

O - The perfect lager in my opinion. One of my favorite beers, even with my favorite style still being a Pale Ale, IPA, or DIPA. I'd still take this over many Pale Ales.

I have tasted most domestic and european lagers and this is by far the best lager I've experienced! Do yourself a favor...go out and buy as much Dortmunder Gold as you can find! I pick up at least a case ever time I'm in Ohio! Its harder to come by in PA. Great Great Great Beer!

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Photo of Offa
4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply an incredible beer, just about perfect for what I would want from a Dortmunder - light and easy to drink, yet full-bodied, complex, and engaging with firm malt and hop character.

Very dark gold, it has a big off-white head steadily shrinking at first, then slowly, leaving a rich, frothy ring and some lace.

Aroma is wonderful full herb, grain, hay, light bread crust, faintly toasty and caramelly.

Taste is full, toasty bread, hay (esp. in finish), strong herbal hop character, complex, zesty, engaging. Full-bodied and firm of character, it has a creamy, yet lively, full feel that retains lightness.

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Photo of bigkingken
4.97/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice golden hue with a tinge of amber. Nice creamy head just a tad off-white that holds the side of the glass. Smells strongly of traditional German pilsner hops but are actually from America (Cascade, Hallertau). Also pick up some hints of some herbage, like coriander or clove. Tastes dry with a tinge of honey towards the end. Like a nice mix between a pilsner and a cream ale. A tad bitter on the finish, though not unpleasant. One of my favorites. Perfect for sipping on a summer evening.

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Photo of BeerYoss
4.96/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5


Appearance: Gold, nice full head. a bit of carbonation

Smell: very crisp and inviting smell

Taste: This is what a lager should taste like. crisp and refreshing, a touch of sweetness (apricot maybe) with hops laying underneath to give some great depth.

Mouthfeel: light-medium. some carbonation up front. coats and lingers in the mouth just a little bit, really the perfect amount. slightly dry finish

Overall: almost perfect, everything goes together so well. drinkability is 100/100. if I had only one beer to drink for the rest of my life this may be the one

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Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
4.95/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

To me this is the perfect beer. Certainly an "Americanized" Dortmunder due to the Cascade and Mt. Hood hops, yet very true to the style. The epitome of balance. Not too malty, not too hoppy, not too light, not too heavy. Infinitely drinkable, perfect smell, loads of flavor, great feel. If there was only one beer i could drink for the rest of my life, this would be it.

L: Dark golden beauty

S: I get malty sweetness and a bit of the signature Cascade smell.

T: The way it hits me is hops, wave of malt, then hops again even out the finish with that signature Cascade citrusy flavor.. but bear in mind they are used in the perfect amount here, just enough to balance out the malt and they do not take center stage. In fact this is the first time I've seen them used this expertly. Perfect balance.

F: Very nice, perfect carbonation, fairly dry. Makes you want more.

O: See first paragraph.. Great Lakes is top notch.

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Photo of JustinMatthew
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a vibrant golden color with a fingers width of white head. Smells of earthy, floral hops. Taste is hop forward, citrusy and sweet with a slight bitterness. A bit floral also lingering in the aftertaste. A little drying as well. One of the better lagers ive had. This is very well done.. Great Lakes never fails me.

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Photo of alexkeil
4.9/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

When growing up, in my mind this is what a beer was, and should be. It looks, smells, and tastes like: beer.

The appearance is a pale golden color with a fizzy white, lasting head.

The smell is a balance of pilsner malts and noble hops, slightly grainy.

The taste is that great balance of pilsner malt and hops. The finish is dry with a lasting bitterness. Its a lighter beer with bold flavor.

The mouthfeel is light to medium body with medium carbonation which is actually quite lively, adding to the mouthfeel. There is a little creaminess in this beer, probably from that great head.

This is a great example of what lagers should be: full of grainy, balanced flavor with low esters and no diactyl. This beer showcases its ingredients and does a lot with a little.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.89/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Great Lakes imperial pint.
5.8% ABV, 30 IBUs, Best By 01/24/16

A - Very few bubbles float through this clear deep honey golden-colored beer which is perplexing because the tall cap of off-white foam sticks around for quite some time without carbonation support while the clean glass allows shrouds of sticky foam to cling to the sides.

S - With incredible crisp cleanliness, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold opens with a firm biscuity malt presence beautifully balanced out by faintly earthy, herbal-forward hops and a dry, delicate mineral finish.

T - German hops take center stage in flavor bringing a spicy herbal quality to the beer that compliments its crisp biscuity malt base wonderfully. Simplistic and crushable at first glance, complex upon further investigation.

M - Lighter feeling in body, this firm and crisp beer's dry mineral finish is quickly overcome by the lingering herbal hops which lend it perfect bittering balance for an easy drinking experience.

O - Dortmunder Gold's inherent complexity yet forward simplicity is an incredible balancing act that delivers aromatic and flavor perfection while clearly displaying Great Lakes' brewing skill. Sometimes long-winded reviews aren't necessary when the beer clearly speaks for itself.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For me this beer is a go to, it is my trusty dog. One beer that does me right over and over again. The color of this Dortmunder Gold is a deep orangish gold with a huge white frothing head. An aroma full of citrusy grain that puts a smile on the drinkers face without thinking it is a pure reaction. I am not kidding take a whiff test my theory, and you'll be grinning like a little kid. This beer's flavor is so well balanced and crisp it is dangerously drinkable. It contains almost a sharp citrusy sweetness that dances with the tastebuds that equals pure enjoyment. This beer makes me want to pack my bags and make my way to Dortmunder. Awesome along with the other Great Lakes products.

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Photo of cokes
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gold as can be. King Midas would be proud. Frothy, white head is equally impressive, both in its texture and retention.
Husky, grainy, doughy and welcoming in the nose.
Taste starts with a floured dinner roll and slightly toasted biscuit flavor, doused with liberal amounts of honey. Grainy, husky flavors are smoothed over with some subdued caramel notes. A moderately large dried grass hop bite comes in at the finish.
The very definition of balanced.
Medium body, intricately structured, with a refreshing crispness and steady, moderately firm carbonation.
A beer that defines drinkability.
This is absolutely world-class.

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Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful gold color, though little head on the pour. Smells almost champagne-y with a hint of fruit and always reminds me of sitting in Great Lakes Brewery itself. Smooth with a good mix of grain and malt taste. Almost tastes buttery, like a fresh biscuit or muffin. In the mouth it is ridiculously smooth and crisp, with a lingering sweet grain taste that is wonderful. One of the first beers I ever had and still one of my favorites. Possibly influenced by the first beer thing, but is pretty much what a beer should be in my head.

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Photo of general_staal
4.88/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of my all time favorites. I live in the general area of the brewery and the Cleveland area has quite a few good breweries popping up in the area. Great Lakes is probably currently the best of the bunch.

Dortmunder pours a gorgeous golden color with a very nice thick head ~1in with a lot of lacing on the glass.

It smells of herbs and grain with a little bit of a lemony kick.

Dortmunder tastes like angel tears and unicorn hearts. It is a well balanced hoppy and grainy lager style beer.

It has a nice carbonation on the tongue with a smooth finish.

Overall I would give it a 5 but there is only one beer that will get that score and it would be the Christmas Ale. I love Dortmunder and most all of the Great Lakes line. I would highly recommend that any beer fan give this one a try.

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Photo of PapaGemutlich
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now that's more like it.

I'm new to GLBC (no, I don't mean "gay-lesbian-bi-curious": it's "Great Lakes Brewing Company", thank you very much), but these folks are clearly pros. Unlike the Commodore Perry IPA, which I know is good but didn't much enjoy, they get everything right with this one: weight, balance, rich gold color, topnote aromatic hops, underlying bitter, and clean, grassy finish--everything comes together here. The only, very minor quibble I have is a slightly pushy carbonation that affects mouthfeel a bit. This is what warm-weather beer should be (it's what every American lager would aspire to in a beerperfect world).

I'm looking forward to this as a fundamental for my summer fridge (when I can afford it).

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Photo of TheOtherMike
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this one by mistake. I asked my wife to pick up the Great Lakes IPA - she got this one instead, and it became a favorite of mine. Lucky me! It's fairly available and I usually pick up a six when I see it.

Appearance - Dark amber color, very slight haze. Moderate head with active carbonation.

Smell - smells like (very) good beer, very appealing.

Taste - full bodied and well rounded.

Drinkability - it goes down very easily. 'nother please.

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Photo of pijiuhuaxian
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Maybe the best of the Great Lakes offerings. I had the the Dortmunder Gold recently on tap at a seafood restaurant outside of Cleveland. Was skeptical since it had been a couple years since I had had it, but this beer is still as world class as it was before I knew what good beer was. If you grew up with Great Lakes you grew up spoiled.

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Photo of JR88
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Truly Exceptional Balanced Lager....Many Lagers simply are not that good...many are dull/boring, not very clean/ refreshing etc. The Dortmunder styles are underrated imo...

This one is just very Clean/Refreshing and added richer Biscuit/malty character really is tasty, gets into/more like how a Lager should be like xD

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Photo of WMEugene
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Slightly dark golden color with a thin head and very good lacing.

S - Sweet and bright malty notes. A bit bready and doughy. Very nice.

T - Sweet bready malts. A bit of honey as well. This is just simply a great tasting beer. It's light, sweet in a bready way and refreshing. To me, this is probably the pinnacle of the style.

M - Extremely smooth and drinkable, medium bodied. Refreshing. It's very inviting.

O - This is a fantastic lager. It's inviting, simple, and delicious. I'm not surprised to see this is the highest rated of the style. Highly recommended, and I really look forward to having this again.

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Photo of hopman333
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok, why have I not reviewed this beer a long long time ago is beyond me as I have been drinking this off and on for quite some time. And as much as I love hops, hops and more hops I have always loved the Pilsner / Lager styles of beer. Where do I start.

The Appearance is that of a true hancrafted malty Lager, Deep Deep golden color that has some wonderful lacing.

It smells of Butterscotch laced malts with a deeply bready and caramel smell that just screams quality. No adjucts of ant kind in this brew. And at the same time there is a supremely fresh German Hop aroma that seems to be in in total harmony with the malts. Very very nice.

And as for the taste, this is how a Lager should taste, extremely malty and richly hopped at the same time.Jam packed with flavour and extremely satisfying. Even if you are not a Lager fan you will probably appreciate this. This is a perfect, if not the benchmark of how a high quality lager should taste.

This is absolute perfection in a bottle, just pick up a sixer at any price and enjoy. This is craft beer at it's absolute finest.

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Photo of mempath
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

beautiful light lacing and deep golden color.

smell is fresh bread. sourdough.

taste is outstanding. bready, malty and the hop kiss lingering in the semi-dry finish. no wonder it wins medals. luscious mouthfeel.

way too drinkable. a randy session brew for sure.

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Photo of PhillyJay1701
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Good lord. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Look: this is a FINE looking beer; golden in appearance with fair carbonation a healthy off white head.

Smell: I was surprised at how complex the smell is. Frothy, salty, malty and bready. Just a ton going on here; I'm not even coming close to doing it justice.

Taste: the balance of this beer is amazing; just the right amount of sweet notes to offset the dry finish. Outstanding taste on this beer.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and lively, the carbonation fizzes and the malt coats the palate and the hops bite just enough.

Just an outstanding brew; this is the lager to hold all others up to.

Link to my YouTube review of this beer:

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle with freshness date marked into pint glass.

Beautiful, golden, sun a dusk color.

Lovely, honey, bready, hoppy goodness.

Slick and flavorful. Hops and malts in perfect balance. Deliciousness.

Very smooth and slick on the pallet.

Absolutely wonderful. Amazing. Hats off to Great Lakes. Top 3 p4p breweries world wide. You can't F with Dortmunder Gold. Top Notch beer.

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Photo of sitarist
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a light clear copper with an inch of white head that fades to a ring. Lots of lacing.

S- Sour-dough, malty, with some flowery hops. Light and pleasant.

T- Sour-dough/malt up front, nutty, flowery hop flavors at the end. Great balance between malt, yeast, a hops.

M- Carbonation dances on my tongue, medium body(heavy for a lager).

D- Drinkable like a good lager should be. Each sip leaves me wanting another.

F.T.- One of the top 5 lagers in the world; in my opinion.

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 3,219 ratings.
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