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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold
3,278 Ratings
Great Lakes Dortmunder GoldGreat Lakes Dortmunder Gold

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,278 |  Reviews: 1,107
Photo of shand
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle lovingly driven from Ohio by my roommate into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

This one pours a great looking golden color with huge amounts of visible carbonation. This probably has something to do with the excellent head retention. Aroma has plenty of bready/nutty malts, along with a fair level of herbal bittering. The taste is quite good, it goes on crisp, with a bit of floral hops in the middle. The nuttiness of the malts really starts to come out on the finish. The mouthfeel is nice, it's fairly thick for a lager, but feels good going down. The drinkability is superb. Overall, this is a great lager that'd be a staple in my fridge if I lived in the area. I'm not going to go crazy not being able to get it though.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to GehenHerzog for sending this one my way.

A: Pours a nice copper/orange color with a foamy 1.5 finger head on top. Moderate retention, leaving behind a thin layer of white foam on top. Nice, thick lacing all around the glass.

S: Some grainy malt, a little bit of grassy/floral hops, there is a good bit of doughy malt as well.

T: A good bit of bready malt, some light floral/grassy hops, a touch of honey, and a little grain malt.

M: Medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. Very smooth, clean and refreshing.

O: Really impressed with this beer. Incredibly easy drinking with a clean flavor profile.

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Photo of fx20736
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a glass mug.

A rough pour yields an erupting eggshell head that quickly foams to the top and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Beer is a beautiful amberish gold with moderate carbonation.

Aroma is all grassy and sour, smells very much like a German Helles Lager.

First taste yields a brief flash of piney American style Hops that quickly recedes. What is left is a slightly bitter sour taste that leaves the palate cleanly and leaves just a slight aftertaste. The rest of the way this is a great balance of malt and hops.

The brief Cascade style Hopiness gives away that this is not a German Import. Otherwise the beer is spot on and is fine Summer drinking experience. This is a beer that is obviously well made and a pleasure to drink. I admire Great Lakes and consider Edmund Fitzgerald Porter to be my favorite American Beer.

The only catch is that the price of a 6 pack of Great Lakes is not really much different than most German Lagers such as Spaten, Warsteiner, etc. so I'm thinking the major reason to buy this over those would be the freshness of the beer. If the price difference were two bucks a sixer less I would make this beer one of my default Lagers for sure.

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Photo of Reaper16
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served into a mason jar

Pours a dark yellow, almost a mustard yellow, with inflections of orange. It certainly isn't the straw-yellow that I was expecting. 1.5 fingers of billowing, tightly-constructed head sit on top. It laces about as well as I could ever expect given the container.

So many lagers are terrible. This beer demonstrates how good a lager can be. Everything about the aroma is clean: clean hop bitterness, clean nutty malt profile. There's some aromas of nougat and white flowers. Good stuff.

The taste, though, takes things up another level. Why can't BMC beer taste like this? This beer has nearly the nutty malt flavor of a maibock, with close to the flowery green crispness of a pilsner. Lush yeast flavors of pear juice tie the hops and malts together. This beer is so balanced and so clean. I suppose that is the hallmark of the Dortmunder Lager style, but still, this is a great example of it.

There is nothing wrong with the mouthfeel here. Light-medium-bodied for a lager with plenty of carbonation. Overall, this is an excellent Dortmunder Lager. This beer is just plain delicious. If I could buy it where I lived I would use it to convert BMC drinkers over to the side of craft beer.

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Photo of aasher
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this bottle a couple days ago from Party Source in Newport, Kentucky. It pours light bodied and a bold gold in color with a light white lacing around the glass. It is very clear and has nice color. It smells of pale malts, light yeast, light breadiness, and grains with light spices. The flavors begin with a dry lightly fruity, almost pilsner esque sweetness. The biscuity malts are prevalent and pair nicely with the citrus flavor that is also presented. It finishes pretty dry. This drinks light and body and is pretty smooth. It coats the palate and leaves a moderate biscuit flavor behind. Overall it's a pretty good Dortmunder. It's one of the better ones out there so it's worth a try.

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Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Herbal notes, some breadiness, some spicy hops, slightly floral.

L: Clear orangish yellow, off-white head that dissipates, light dusting.

T: Pils sweetness up front with a medium herbal bitterness. Finishes with some bread crusts along with some herbal and spicy dryness along with some additional cracker maltiness.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

Very solid, truly in between a helles and a pilsner, very drinkable.

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Photo of chefhatt
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a perfect pint glass, it has a nice 2 inch fizzy white head that lays down to a nice lace around its golden color body. The smell is nice and malty with a hint of citrus. My taste buds get a sweet malty taste on the first part then a hop and bitterness on the back end of it. The mouth feel is nice with a little of a after taste. Over all i like this beer and would definitely drink it again.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dortmunder Gold pours a translucent gold color with tints of copper and orange. A fair amount of small bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass to refresh a foamy white head. Nice retention and a little bit of lace.

Smell: Bready pilsner malt, some noble hops, and a bit of citrus zest. A light alcohol aroma exists in the background as it warms.

Taste: An initial sweetness comes with a biscuity malt flavor, which turns grassy for most of the sip. A light floral hoppiness comes in at the end. A lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing, but there is also a nice smooth creaminess that I would not have expected. Medium to full carbonation, light to medium bodied.

Overall: A good beer from a solid brewery.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Golden body with a moderate white head. No lacing. Tastes and smells of malt, grains, sweet doughiness and a hit of herbalness on the nose. Mouthfeel is smooth. A little light on the carbonation.

All in all, a simple beer, and one of the best low/moderate ABV lagers I've had. Would be a nice introductory craft beer for the uninitiated, but there was nothing about this that makes me want to have it again. Kinda tastes like high-class BMC.

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Photo of dataskatt
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful golden amber color. Generous head and lacing. Smells of bread and biscuit...malty, fresh yeasty dough. Tastes medium bodied, smooth and crisp. A touch of bitterness. Nice and light, yet satisfying. Very drinkable and enjoyable. A darn nice lager. Not my favorite style, but would definitely buy again for a change of pace!

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful clear dark straw color with a nice, fine head that dissipates rather quickly. Nice nose of pine, hay, and fresh linen.

This beer has a nice, refreshing flavor. There is some maltiness up front, then it gets slightly grainy, but the graininess and maltiness are nicely balanced. It is tart and dry throughout with a mildly bitter, herb-like finish.

I've only ever had a few beers of this style and hate to pass judgment on this one. I really enjoyed it and would probably buy it again, but I would like to sample a few others of this style first.

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Photo of tjacobs610
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very golden pale amber in color, with a 1-2 inch head that had little retention and even less lace

Smell:Has a very sweet malty aroma. Also has a hint of citrus maybe lemon

T:Very crisp taste, very fresh and citrusy as well with a sweet malt flavor. A hint of dry hops is also noticeable

M:Very light body with a great amount of drinkability. Good mix of carbonation and flavor makes this beer feel just soft on the palate.

O:This is a great beer without question. It has a great taste, color and feel. It lacks just a bit in the smell but it still makes a great beer to sit back and enjoy

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Photo of beerdown77
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It is no secret that I don’t like lagers, but I do love Great Lakes. I do have a bias, but I feel like they are incapable of disappointing. This beer pours a beautiful golden orange, with a lot of chunky head, great lacing, and great retention. The smell is sweet and malty. This beer definitely gives you that thin bodied bitter feel that makes lagers suck, but adds a nice hint of maple…or honey? The malt complexity is nice, and gives a little bit of a bready taste…but it doesn’t come on as strong as some other German styles. There is a crisp bitterness, but I wouldn’t say that the hops are over-done. This is a Great beer, I will come back to this one.

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Photo of beermaker1
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pretty golden color, foam lingers on the glass. Nice lacing down the glass.
S- Malty, Lightly hopped,yeastiness,Bready.
T- fresh and clean, crisp, but light maltiness light fresh hopiness,that lingers on the back of the tongue.
M- Crisp and light, desiring more.
O- I drove from Beaumont, TX to Arcadia, Michigan looking for this and the Edmunds Fitzgerald. Only found this. I was at GABF and saw it win the gold medal. This is a very good beer and very true to style. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of OysterMonkey
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Nice golden color, two fingers of foam. Good lacing down the glass as I drank

S: Very subtle. a little bit of citrus

T: Excellent. A little bit biscuity, but with a nice hop crispness and a smooth, sweetish finish. Very complex for a lager.

M: Light and creamy, not heavy at all.

This is my favorite beer by Great Lakes. Really very good.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the few remaining cheaper Great Lakes beers I can find best by July 2011

A - Not really sure since I drank this out of the bottle but would assume a golden yellow with an inch of foamy white head.

S - Smells mostly of bread and wheat. Maybe a bit of lager grain and corn smells.

T - I was told this is a step up from typical BMC lagers and this should be Budweiser! Crisp and refreshing with a tad bit of skunk and grain. The finish has hints of bread and yeast. Almost has a lemon tone to it.

M - Light to medium. Easy drinking for a tailgate.

Overall not something I would track down again but a great addition to the variety case. Good lager.

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Photo of BrewStoutMagic
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served this Dortmunder from a bottle,pouredthis golden beauty into a glass and it had an inch of head followed with a nice white lacing.Ha that reminds of a song. Anyhoo the smell is good w/ a hint of apple cinnamon so I'm told.The TASTE is slighty bitter and bready but refreshing with no hints of fruit.THe after taste is kinda dry.I'll have to try this one on tap sometime.Overall its good tasting beer.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the beer is crystal clear, but little head retention.

nice subtle aroma. smells a little nutty from the caramel malts.

a nice unobtrusive flavor. mild initial sweetness, with a caramel and nutty taste on the finish, followed by a well balanced hop bitterness.

a good solid beer here. probably nothing go out of your way for though.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey orange color with a half inch head. Leaves a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smell is of pine, citrus, and herbal hops with a strong bread malt backbone. Very balanced and very nice.

Taste opens up with bread and pine, moving into a more citrus with bread and finishes with bread and pine with a pine aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, but a little thick for a hot afternoon drinker.

Overall its a good beer. First time with the style but had it a few times now. A pilsner on steroids is a good way to describe it.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Gold tan, light 1 inch foamy head that disapeared very quickly. Some decent lacing.

Smell - Malts, some hops, yeast, grassy, bready sharp armoa.

Taste - Nice malty and lemonish hoppy kick. Smooth yet slighty bitter and floral. Some yeasty floral flavors mixed in with some nut, sugars and some lemon.

Mouthfeel - Tounge gets a bitter punch at first but the malts come in and mellow it out. Aftertaste is slight lemon flavor but doesnt last long.

Overall - Soild example of a lager. Malty, bitterish, and easy to drink. Bout as good a lager as you can get in the usa. Low alcohol adds to how great this beer would be at a cook-out or bbq. Its a gold metal winner for a reason.

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Photo of weller1js
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours a clear, pale copper, with more-than-moderate carbonation, bubbly off-white foam and light ring of bubbly lacing.

smell: malts are very light but noticably toasty; very subdued with no other particular scents.

taste: tastes begins fresh, but the malts and hops somewhat clash with each other, coming off as almost a metallic-like taste that lingers at the back of the mouth, but the malts in their own right are adequate and mellow, and the hops leave a light bitterness on the front of the tongue after the finish.

drinkability: despite the notable clashing flavor, the beer has redeeming qualities that makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of DrewV
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first review, so bear with me...

Poured from the bottle (drink by 7/12/11) out of my beer fridge (45 degrees) into a Spiegelau Beer Classics Pilsner (tulip) glass.

A: Pure gold, clear, moderate carbonation, 1-1/2 finger head from a conservative pour.

S: Bready malt, delicious aromas of noble and slight cascade hops, slightly sharp.

T: Follows the aroma, bready malt up front, slight cascade (grapefruit) also, noble hops take over in the finish to dry things up a bit and leave a slightly bitter hoppy aftertaste. I just didn't find the aftertaste very refreshing overall.

M: Slightly oily up front, drying at the finish. Excellent carbonation level, virtually perfect. Nice overall mouthfeel.

O: Overall, while this is a great example of the style and has good depth and complexity, it leaves a bit to be desired as far as the finish is concerned for me. I just don't find myself in anticipation of another sip. In fact, the only reason I look forward to another sip is to re-taste the bready malts and get the aftertaste out of my mouth.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Great Lakes Brewery and they really make exceptional beers (Eliot Ness, Burning River, and Edmund Fitz are my favorites), but among their stable of beers, I like this one the least. I've had at least 8 of them over the past month or so, but my appreciation for it just hasn't improved. A solid B-B+ rating in my book.

Oddly, if I drink this beer following GLBC's Eliot Ness, I get a nutty flavor and the bitterness decreases substantially. The combination of the two in sequence is very stunning and I find the flavor of this brew extremely tasty after pre-conditioning my taste buds with Eliot Ness first.

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Photo of Northsider
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at a Holiday Inn bar near Cleveland.

A - Clear gold with a nice head

S - Smells bready/wheaty. Excellent smell on this one that leads right up to the taste...

T - I honestly can't remember exactly what it tasted like other than I absolutely LOVED the taste. I almost chugged this drink like apple juice. Great Lakes definitely knows where it's at!

M - Carbonated and crispy in my mouth

O - Excellent excellent excellent. I need to try more of this and more from Great Lakes!

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Photo of beerwolf77
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tick tick tick. Another style under my belt. Getting so close now. Poured into a standard pint glass from a bottle.

A: Crystal clear golden amber. Fingers worth of off white head. Solid coating of sticky lace remains. Cap sets up nicely.

S: Stark and crisp pale malts cut through the air as I inhale. Distinct hallertau hops put there mark on this one for sure. Just a hint of earthy dust. Very clean.

T: Flavors are pretty much where I expected. Caramel malt and a good burst of cascade hops sting my tongue. Rather bready finish.

M: Light crisp body. Good carbonation level.

O: Pretty much spot on style. It's nice to drink something light and refreshing once and awhile.

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Photo of biegaman
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dortmunder Gold is... you guessed it. Despite full transparency and gleaming bright reflections, its complexion is actually relatively hazy. Its head seems to have fizzed out quite hastily; agitating the beer does little to bring it back to life. And, like a name drawn in sand at the edge of the sea, that swirling also erases what little lacing it had managed.

The aroma is fairly pedestrian - as the style dictates - but is underlined with a distantly sweet bready note, and boy is it enticing. Even more faded yet is a floral, vaguely citrusy hop profile. Both are very discreet, but perceptible. As in the taste, there is a mild graininess. Unlike many lagers, this one actually improves with warmth.

It can take a fairly experienced palate to distinguish Dortmunders from other lagers and, admittedly, the distinction between it and, say, a Pils or Munich Helles, can indeed be blurry. But it does have a character of its own, one led by a firm, tongue-hugging maltiness and an assertive, hard sulfate-accentuated hop bitterness on the finish.

It doesn't take a big gulp to saturate the mouth with wholesome, bready maltiness. The grains used were obviously of the highest quality, added in generous quantity and integrated with the hops by a most vigilant brewer. With no yeast by-products, alcohol presence or brewing blunders, the rich maltiness and underlying hop bite shine bright.

The city of Dortmund has historically been a major industrial center for coal and steel manufacturing - no wonder it birthed a style of beer that is so industriously refreshing and to-the-point gratifying; a beer to chug not sip. Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is indeed a shinning example of the style as well as an exceedingly enjoyable lager in its own right.

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Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 3,278 ratings
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