Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,094 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,094 | Ratings: 3,229
Photo of Vdubb86
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass

This beer looks a beautiful golden orange color with some nice white foam with some decent lacing. The smell is very bready with some light lemon pepper notes. Overall not too impressive. The taste is rather acidic. There are some general bitter notes that are perhaps from the vinegary flavor notes. I know the style is supposed to be like this, but this is too bitter to really be all that enjoyable for me. I don't know why, but I'm starting to think that there is something in the water in Cleveland that doesn't personally work with my taste buds.

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Photo of flexinwext
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very nice clear light gold color. There is a lot of carbonation in this beer. Has an odd smell that I cant quite place, sweet but has a vegetabley? smell to it. Taste is different. Not sure how to place it. Reminds me of their grassroots ale. Light body. Low ABV. Not one of my favs from GL.

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Photo of Vancer
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I see on the label that this one is BB 5/31/06, 5.8%abv, and a gold medal winner – nice.

Great pour too, a lite and clear amber/orange with a frothy ivory head – good sliding lace too. Earthy bread notes in the aroma. But the quaff – earthy with a malt backbone, harty but at the same time finishing with a gritty. leathery taste. All in all, don’t care for this flavor. Medium bodied, but that bitter finish brings this one down for me.

Lil too strong with the 5/8% for a sessional brew, I believe there are better amber brew options out there.

I do see from the BA style notes that this one, with the dry tones and bitterness, meets the style requirements!

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think Dortmunder's are one of the hardest beers to brew. I always look at the BJCP for a good description of style. Pours out a lemony yellow color. A good pour leaves a nice white, frothy head with some staying power but does dissipate through the tasting.

The nose has a grainy, malty aroma. Mostly pilsner malt but some bready and limited corn characteristics. Very limited hop flavor with some earthy and noble hop aromas. Some light yeast and DMS aromas as well.

The taste is a tad bit more balanced with malt and hops but not balanced. The malt brings out a grainy and sweet flavor. The pilsner taste blends more evenly than what the nose originally indicated. The bready flavor is more present with some biscuit and a touch of munich finish. The hops are a touch citrus and earthy presence. The hops are mostly aroma and finish the beer nice.

The body is close to mid than light. I would have liked to see it finish lower with more of a crispness as there is a lot of sweetness especially for style. There is a definite yeasty finish that is offset and really is a deterrent. Overall a good beer but a lot of tangibles that are missed here, then again this is a very difficult beer to brew.

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Photo of Keitherduder
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As the flagship beer for Great Lakes Berwing Co. I must say that I've judged this beer harshly. Being born and raised in Cleveland I must make sure that my hometowns flagship beer is top notch! And i'm glad to say that it is indeed, a top notch beer. For a dortmunder made here in America it's amazing! Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water... The way it should be!

The color lets me know right away that it's going to be a tasteful adventure!!! The smell was the best part. clean light hoppy aroma. The taste is so refreshing on this hot humid summer day. I will however say as i go along to my 3rd or 4th bottle the taste gets less and less pleasing. I may just be getting used to it though.

all around (and trying not to be biased) I have to say it's a great beer. a great dortmunder.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - glowing gold around the edge with close to an extremely light amber in the middle. nice 1 and half finger head that is lacey and sticks beautifully to the glass all the way down.

Smell - nothing too special here. at first I thought it was any old lager, but upon second sniffing found a tasty lemon pasta smell.

Taste - seems like an average lighter lager, just brewed by someone who put a little more love into it. nice balance of hops. no particularly special tastes of malt detected. slight dry finish. Not a beer I would drink for the sheer enjoyment of it. Nor one I would buy a six pack of, regardless of intentions. I'd definitely take one if offered to me though!

Mouthfeel - slightly velvety smooth. very pleasurable.

Overall, an average lager with not much to offer except for the surprisingly velvety smooth mouthfeel

From 4/13/16
A touch too bitter for what I'm going for. And there's some aroma/flavor hops that I don't want. It is fermented very clean, nice color too. Malty backbone that doesn't dominate. I think the malt is right where I want it, maybe 5 IBUs less. Very close to what I want in my next brew

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.26/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a bright clear orange with a thin white head. This beer leaves behind spotted laceing and a few columns of bead can be found as well.

Smell: The aromas are vague all around. Light hops, some pines in the distance, a subtle sweet malt. Not alot to describe here.

Taste: This beer has thin amber taste, with a little pine, the light hops and creaminess is also present. A hint of sweet alcohol in the finish. Nothing exciteing here either.

Mouthfeel: Heavier side of thin body with a medium level of carbonation. Finishes with small bubbles slideing down my throat.

Drinkability: Not bad at all, just nothing to excite the palate. Just another lager on the shelf, in my opinion.


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Photo of harrymel
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 25JUL11

A: pours a nice golden ale with a single finger of fine white head. This falls in a few minutes to a dome speckled sheet of the same. Nice cloying cobweb lace. Excellent clarity.

S: grain, sweet grain, honey, hints of lemon pepper.

T: Nice honey flavor hits up front and then transitions to reveal a earthy vegetal bitterness. Pretty refreshing beer. Simple.

M: heavy body for the style, medium carb is spot on.

O: good beer, a bit less sweet than I initially anticipated.

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Photo of Nick_Lucas
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Very average with little flavor or anything to make it stand out IMHO. No sure why it's rated so highly. Drank 3 months past the fresh date so maybe that has something to do wit it? Will try once more before giving a final determination.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dayton, OH AleFest:The head was small sized, white and it quickly diiminished.The body was clear with carbonation observed.This beer's hue was yellow and the nose was lightly malty.The flavor was bitter from start to finish and it left a lingering aftertaste.The beer's mouthfeel was smooth, tingly and light-medium bodied.This beer's lacing was fair.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.33/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a pilsner glass)

A- This beer pours a deep golden yellow crystal clear body and a good carbonation of tiny bubbles. The creamy off-white head lasts forever.

S- Sweet fresh corn smell with a hint of pale malt. No real hops smell.

T-This beer has a fresh sweet corn taste that has a very faint pale malt hint. The hops are a faint bitterness at the finish. The finish is dry with a slight sulfur taste. The carbonic acid taste is very light but noticeable and actually compliments the hops.

M- medium mouthfeel but the carbonation is a lot of that mouthfeel.

D- This tastes like strong sweet corn and I think I can even taste the corn silk in my teeth. I would like to see the malt come through a bit more or some more hops to balance. It was to one-dimensional for me. However this beer had an amazing, long-lasting head.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.35/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light copper color beer with a nice clean white bubbly head with pretty good retention. Aroma of floral malt and subtle hops. Taste is very refreshing with a good malt presence, a full body (for the style) and medium bitterness at the end. Very good for the style.

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Photo of mpyle
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich golden color, brilliantly clear. Pours a nice creamy white head with good retention.

Initial aroma is a bit of DMS/corn, but once that clears, just a very faint malt aroma and quite clean.

Taste something unpleasant that seems to be somewhere between meat and apple cider. Minimal maltiness, and becomes significantly bitter by the finish. Almost as though it is a slight bit oxidized

MF - Medium body and high carbonation. Carbonation is a bit harsh, but not quite astringent.

Harsh to say, but really tastes like a bigger, more bitter American macro lager to me. A bit of a disappointment given how beautiful it was in the glass.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.36/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a very clean light reddish copper color with a 1 finger head of offwhite bubbles. Nice collar. The aroma that I get is a sweet malt and a touch of hops. Actually has an aroma like apples or pears. Interesting taste, sweet up front followed by a slight hop bite in the back but the sweetness really never goes away. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, not a bad smooth drinking beer.

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Photo of ranger7
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a pint glass in WV. Beautiful beer; clear light amber with nice short white head. Nice carbonation. Smells somewhat hoppy, which surprised me. Tastes like it smells; a little harsh. Nice beer overall, but not a great example of the style. I had much more balanced Dortmunders in Bavaria.

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Photo of Buildscharacter
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Maybe I'm not a true beer lover, but a lager is a lager is a lager. There's just only so much flavor and zest that they can have.

What we have here is a very pretty beer. It's golden colored and have a nice flavorful smell. Almost floral, but not quite.

Sweetness on the palet, with a decided corn flavor in the back that comes through more as an aftertaste. Leaves me with a mouthfull of grain about 10 seconds after swallowing.

The beer is quite thin and easily drinkable.

Great for sitting out and having a brew.

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Photo of lester619
3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant crystal clear deep golden color. Thick bubbly head. Not much in the way of lacing. The smell has a funky vinyl or plastic quality to it that was a little off-putting. The taste is dry and grainy. It's nicely balanced up front with bready fresh cut hay flavors and a pleasant bitterness. Theese flavors give way to a little bit of metalic and skunk aftertaste. Tastes like an import is the easiest way to describe it. I'm not as in love with this stuff as alot of people seem to be. It does grow on you. It goes down very nicely and the third or fourth is better than the first. Maybe the style just isn't my thing. I'm sure this tastes exactly like it is supposed to taste. Great lakes knows what they are doing. Personally if we are talking about a good lager, just give me a nice crisp pilsener or even a macro. This just wasn't great for me.

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Photo of dpasotti
3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

They weren't kidding about the gold. This is one of the best-looking beers I've seen. Beautiful golden with a little orange hue. Decent head that leaves a lasting film and nice splotchy lace. Complex malty nose; lacks the characteristic German Pils malt presence, but has interesting notes of bready and sweet grain. Unique grape-like aroma that hints at an uncommon lager yeast strain.

This leads into a strong and distinctive white wine flavor that I find distracting. It's not a bad flavor, just unwelcome. Deep malty flavor with some caramel sweetness, but finishes on the dry side.

The body is excellent, at least medium. It manages to be refreshing and substantial at the same time. Overall it's decent, but I find the grape character takes away from what might otherwise be a very good malt-forward beer. The mouthfeel keeps this one alive. Not bad, but definitely not one of my favorites from this outstanding brewery.

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Photo of pschul4
3.4/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into Pint glass (with Milwaukee Brewers decal :))

A- Bright gold with 3/4" head that sticks around for a while but isn't bothersome

S- Very malty, not much else just some slightly sweet scents coming off of this brew

T- Maybe I'm just not a Lager guy but this is kind of bland to me. It's slightly sweet but not a ton of flavor going on in my opinion

M- Bubbly but not rediculously so, the feel is nice but not prose inspiring, nuff said

O- I'm honeslty disappointed right now, after reading the reviews I was expecting a great beer but this is rather boring to me. Always nice to try new things though

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Photo of deebo
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Golden and clear with a tight foam

S-Malted barley with a wheat grainy aroma

T-Sweet, slightly fruity, just a touch of astringent hops-well balanced

M-Fairly heavy for the style-in a good way

D-Hopiness start to build halfway through beer. A very nice, flavorful beer that is a nice alternative to less flavorful lagers.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold has a thick, soapy, slightly off-white head, a clear, bubbly, old-gold appearance, and pretty substantial lacing left behind. The aroma is of pungent, hearty, medium-roasted malt with possibly a little hop zing. Taste is of light malt, some mild sweetness, and subdued hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and easy going. Overall, this is a very good beer, even though it’s a little bit on the dull side.


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Photo of BrewMaster
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with the drink before date marked. THe color is a golden orange with a lacy swirled head on top. A great texture on the head shows up soon after it is poured.

The beer lacks a distinct nose. Nothing comes through on the nose. A bit of maltiness, but even that was a stretch.

The flavor is bready and malty and not complex at all. Smooth but lackluster in the flavor department. This beer would go well as an apetizer beer or with something light like sushi. But overall it is not that impressive of a beer, even for a lager.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a murky copper orange with just a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - biscuity aroma and spicy hops, similar to a pilsner smell

T - biscuit malt and grassy hops, some citrus & lemon taste

M/D - a bit of a zippy bite with some nice carbonation and good taste

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Photo of gr0g
3.42/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden-amber in color with high clarity. About a finger of foam caps it off, leaving some ragged lacing on the glass. Faint aroma of grain and floral hops. A swirl of the glass is needed to rouse any character. Bready, with floral overtones. Not much here.

Crisp, malt-forward flavor profile. There's a pretty good malt backbone here, but it's not as malty as say, Eliot Ness. Bready, cracker-like notes dominate. Hops add a moderate bitterness, but otherwise don't contribute much.

Great Lakes has done a good job with an admittedly boring style. I've not met a Helles or Dortmunder that really interested me all that much, but if I had to pick one, this would be on my short list.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looked similar to a BMC, maybe a little darker yellow. Thin head. Aroma neutral.

Taste, a little more than where my expectations had sank to after the pour. Tasted grainy. Minimal hop or malt feel. No surprises through the rest. Light on the palate. Hoped for more zest. Very easy to drink. I honestly don't get what is so great about this beer. Its fine, just fine.

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 3,229 ratings.
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