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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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1,087 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 pezoids on 09-18-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,087 | Ratings: 3,203
Photo of 88caprice
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap the other day. My first Dortmunder.
Nice orange-gold color, little to no head.
Malty, sweet, and grainy.
Some subtle hop bitterness for a little kick.
Enjoyed it.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a remarkably well balanced lager-type beer. It pours clear & golden. It has distinct and flavorful malts & hops neither of which is over balanced. While it's a good thing to have no flaws (I feel) that means that this brew offers nothing that is stand-out special.

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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 Isoruku
2.88/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Hard to fathom why this beer is rated so highly. It's a very odd "lager" - with a decidedly un-lager taste that borders on sour and slightly nasty. It's as though they wanted to inject a "lager" with as many incompatible flavors as possible, with a hoppy, mildly citrusy body dominated by something reminiscent of dishwater. Surprisingly disappointing, especially given the reputation of Great Lakes.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from a 12oz bottle into a glass. best by 5/2/16, so just under the wire here.

looks excellent on the pour. clear crisp golden body with a small white head. lots of small carbonation bubbles. lacing is also good.

not much on the nose except some malt sweetness.

this is a damn tasty beer. and lagers do not usually do much for me. clean, crisp, malty sweetness, a shot of pepper at the end, and a slight hop bite to the finish. could happily drink this all night.

mouth is a solid medium, slightly tart bite in the finish.

Overall, about the best lager i've had in a long time. glad i grabbed a sixer.

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Photo of FBarber
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber hue with a thick pillowy white head. Head dissipates leaving lots of sticky lacing in the glass and a thin pillowy foam head. Seems a bit darker than I remember.

Smell has aromas of bread, caramel, malts, bit of sweetness.

Taste has flavors of bready malt, whole grain bread, and a slight caramel sweetness. Herbal hoppy finish is present towards the second half of the flavor and through the finish. Very balanced notes between the robust bread malts and the herbal hops.

Feel is crisp, refreshing, and balanced. Mild carbonation, but that seems to just be this bottle based on my memory.

Overall a really outstanding Dortmunder lager and outstanding lager overall.

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Photo of Squire123
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A very good beer. Is it a true Dortmunder, representative of the style? I donno, nor would it make a difference to me if they call it Helles or something else. I will cheerfully buy and drink this under any name. Golden color, malt forward, hops enough to offset and all in balance. What's not to like? Not enough IBU, coffee or whisky barrel influence? This beer doesn't need any of that stuff, it's fine as is.

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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 NorthernMichiganLogan
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this beer in a Great Lakes Brewing 12 pack that had 4 different beers. It's a 12oz bottle.
Look-It has a nice gold tint with a little amber The light carbonation makes it look very impressive.
Smell-The smell resembles grains, corn, and a light note of hops. It's a normal smelling lager. Nothing too special.
Taste-Upfront, the taste the grain is noticeably there. It reminds me of a typical lager at this point. It's a dry finish where you get a light blast of hops. The hops are not too over powering. It leaves a bit of sourness in your mouth as well.
Feel-It's a clean feel. Overall smooth beer. Goes down very nice.
Overall-Its a nice beer thats a little different than a normal lager. I would recommend it.

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Photo of bwood06
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A - Moderate pour produces a 1 1/2 finger head in height that is white in color and a moderate frothiness in appearance. Head dissipates somewhat slowly. The beer itself is clear and golden in color with just a slight amber tint to it. Light to moderate carbonation is visible rising moderately paced towards the surface. 4/5

S - Butter and caramel grace the nose right off the bat along with a light cereal grain note that provides a sweet beginning to the experience. There is a bit of very light fruitiness reminiscent of peaches to the aroma as well as a noble hop profile. 4/5

T - Caramel blasts the palate right away with a nice sweetness that is backed up by a buttered wheat bread note that allows the caramel to play out like a piece of candy, but in a controlled manner. A bit of sweet, not tart, apple comes in during the middle as well as just a hint of peaches and pears. Noble hops finish out the flavor profile with just a hint of peaches. No lingering bitterness on the palate. 4.25/5

M - Light carbonation tickle up front but for the most part creamy and buttery like a Czech Pilsner. Coats the tongue nicely and does not dry the palate out at all. Medium-light bodied. 4.25/5

O - Well balanced flavor profile between sweet and bitter with each playing their role very nicely. The body of this beer allows for versatility in terms of drinkability and the mouthfeel is very much like a Czech lager. Sweet but not to the degree of a Marzen. 4/5

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Photo of Beginner2
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not a go-to style for me, but this pours pretty and is a rich, malty lager that finishes dry but not bitter. Balanced. This is the flagship of Cleveland's first brewpub, these pioneers should be proud.

Reviewed in Roger Protz' "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
MJ's 1999 pocket guide gave it 2.5 stars of 4 calling it "big, dryish"
This is on the "1001 Beers" list.

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Photo of BrewsingBuffalo
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Best by May 2016. Bottle.

L: dark gold/Copper in color, with a small, white head. Some lacing; head recedes over time, leaving ~1/4th of an inch lasting throughout.

S: Bready, Grain sweetness, corn, and a light floral/earthy nature to it

T: Bready, floral, grain sweetness- There is a very nice balance going on here, the sweetness wrestling with the floral hops, neither gaining supremacy, however. A lingering earthiness is apparent.

F: Clean. light-medium body, crisp while also featuring a smoothness which makes it incredibly quaffable.
Finish is somewhat dry, Carbonation is medium.

O: Excellent. This lager is superbly balanced. For a moment, mid-palate, it seems as though the bitter earthiness will be a touch too strong, but the sweetness of the malt balances it perfectly. Highly recommended, and I myself am quite glad I decided to revisit this wonderful brew.

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

Look - Nice golden color, crystal clear in appearance, good amount of carbonation
Smell - Bread, biscuity malts, earth/spice, hints of citrus
Taste - Sweet breadiness/crackery malt, lemon zest, spice/floral
Feel - As clean and crisp as can be.

Overall - Great Lakes makes some great beers, and their lagers are no exception. Actually....they make the best lagers you can drink in my personal opinion. This and Eliot Ness are top notch, world class lagers.

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Photo of gopens44
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I forced this foamy beige head that receded fairly quickly, leaving behind lazy, opportunistic lacing. Beer itself is boldly golden and very clear with just a dash of effervescent action.

Nose is mega corn straight away, setting up a pathway for bready malts and just a tickle of heat.

Taste has tons going on right away. Corn, earthy hop, cracker and something a little berry like. Finish is primarily a nondescriptive bitter with a bit of astringency.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and super dry on finish.

This one is fun, no doubt about it.

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Photo of chuckm
4.04/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After pouring this into a pilsner glass I was impressed by the head but surprised that the color was as faint as it was, not a strong scent nor overpowering taste but a very smooth and bready/yeasty flavor. Very good flavor and feel! After getting one in trade from a friend I will search this out and do more reviewing

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Photo of bnes09
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great flavor. Excellent balance. Crisp finish. Awesome feel and carbonation. Love the hop profile. Also very refreshing. I could see myself drinking several of these in a night.

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Photo of adroc
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: Moderate malty sweet aroma with slight spicy nobel hop aroma.

Appearance: Darker gold crystal clear body with nice off white lingering head

Flavor: Nice malty sweet taste with a nice balance of spicy hop bitterness. Very clean fermentation.

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation with a slight warmth from the alcohol.

Overall: Very tasty beer especially for a lager

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Photo of Evilyak
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

gold with a nice head. pretty beer.

smells of biscuits and bread; challah perhaps.

taste is that breadiness again as well as cracker. there's some earthiness to it, and lemon zest or watered down lemon juice. floral at the end.

mouth is a little soapy.

i had this with a very earthy cheese (alemar good thunder) and it held up well, as well as with the bird at thanksgiving. well paired with a lot of things.

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Photo of Sleepy_Cecy
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Deep gold to amber with a nice, fine foam that dissipates at a decent rate. Leaves a rim of foam and pretty lace. Really pleasing our.

Aroma: Fresh-baked bread. You can feel the dampness of the dough. Secondary notes of Meyer lemon and sweet hay.

Flavor: A mouthful of crackers and grass. Bitter hop finish on sides of tongue. Herbal and malty flavors lead to a clean and delicious finish.

Feel: Medium bodied and smooth, with a lively carbonation that complements the flavors.

Overall: One of my favorites. Super friendly, super clean. Everything about it makes you want to keep sipping. A really great example of a classic German style done well in the United States.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed at the Philadelphia Airport on 11/14/15 while waiting for my connecting flight. Served in a shaker pint. Poured a translucent copper hue with a dense, quarter inch, off-white head. Nose expresses noble hops and a grassy quality. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some cereal notes; perhaps corn as well. Mouthfeel is light and lively with an easy carbonation and a fairly clean and crisp finish. Overall, very quaffable - I'd make this a goto beer if I had easy access to it.

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Photo of MVG7113
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The progression of my preferences for beer over the last couple years has been quite an interesting journey. I remember mentioning to a friend of mine about half-a-year ago: "I think I kind of just prefer a decent lager these days".

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is definitely more than that! 12 oz. Bottle poured into glass.

A: High mark on appearance--kind of a gold/bronze hue. Off-white head disperses to a single lace around the glass.

S: I can't say my nose is well-equipped to pick up detailed aromas from lager style beers. I pick up some sweet (maybe fruity) notes. I know this sounds weird but maybe even like a corn biscuit with a quick hit of lemon zest. Smells good.

T: Just so pure. The best lager I've ever had. Lagers are good, sometimes. This lager is great, all the time--especially after a long days work.

F: So drinkable. The refreshing crisp nature of a lager is captured here with a superior feel and taste. I can't imagine what a better lager would taste like.

O: I'm so happy my preferences came full circle back to lager style to give this one a go. In a world seemingly dominated by IPA's as an easy excuse to disregard lagers--even craft--this beer has just enough hop presence to keep all happy. Overall, my favourite beer right now.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles to a nice layer and laces well.

S: Light malt, biscuity, faint toasty notes, a hint of lemon, and a little sweetness.

T: Biscuity malt, light lemony hops, and a hint of caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Clean easy drinking beer. Glad I got to try it.

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Photo of hophead723
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Grabbed this one while trying to find something new. I was looking for an Oktoberfest or a Golden Ale or something with more than 5%.

Look: Brilliant and clear gold-orange color with a nice one finger head.

Smell: Mildly sweet and vaguely nutty malt aroma with a bready character.

Taste: Perfect grainy sweetness impeccably balanced by herbal and lemony hops that give the tongue a jolt in the middle.

Feel: Mouthfeel is firm and even, with an overall dry tone. Finishes a bit dry.

Overall: This beer is excellent! I could tell after just one gulp that it was something special and deserving of it's awards.

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Photo of Salinacheung
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

FLAVOR: A smooth, award-winning (and deceptively unassuming) balance of sweet malt and dry hop flavors
ABV: 5.8% IBU: 30
PAIRS WITH: Salads, fish, chicken, and pretty much any social function
MALTS: Harrington 2-Row Base Malt, Caramel 60
HOPS: Cascade, Mt. Hood
SHELF LIFE: 110 Days

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.08 out of 5 based on 3,203 ratings.
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