Dortmunder Gold | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Dortmunder GoldDortmunder Gold
3,384 Ratings
Dortmunder GoldDortmunder Gold

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

Style: European Export / Dortmunder

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by stirgy on 09-18-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,384 |  Reviews: 1,134
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A well-executed example of the style. I was impressed by the malt flavor, which was softly bready, without fading into cereal or grassy notes, as is often the case for the style. Crisply moderate hops balanced nicely with the malt, and the beer is quite drinkable, either with a sandwich or on its own.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another fine offering from the GLBC sampled during the 4/5 party.

Appearance: Bright copper in color. Slight cream-colored head laces nicely.

Smell: Citrus hops and malty sweetness evident.

Taste: Tasty mix of hops and malts. Very nice and well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium in the body department. Crisp aftertaste.

Drinkabilty: So very easy to drink this one. As GLBC's flagship beer, they have done an excellent job with this one. Keep em' coming!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light copper color with an off-white head that leaves lace.
Aroma of pale malts and floral hops.

Taste is exceptionally well balanced. Both the floral hops and the malts make their presence well known. They play a tug of war on your palate, with each side making ground, but then losing it right back to the other. Crisp, yet smooth. As demonstrated after a tour of the brewery, drink this one colder if you want the hops to dominate a bit more, but a little warmer if you want the malts to show more creating a much smoother, more balanced beer. I may use this beer in the future to show some of my freinds and family the effect of temperature on beer flavor.

Good mouthfeel. Medium body.
Good drinkability.

Overall, I'm not a big fan of pale lagers, but Dortmunder Gold is my favorite pale lager and a beer I'm always happy to drink.

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

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium reddish golden yellow with a large creamy, rocky off white head. The mouthfeel is firm and rounded. The smell is breadlike, spicy with a slight herbalness. The taste is rounded toasty malt with a spicy hoppy finish. A very tasty drinkable lager and definitely one of if not my most favorite of the style.

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Photo of inebrius
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy toasted golden under a thin cap sprouting a few reeds of lace. Nose of toasted pine nuts, budding oaks and strawberry taffy, nearly ale-like in aroma, no sulfur to be sniffed. Start your draught with clean sweet malt, add a dash of almond, and finish off with some big mellow hop. Cool and crisp and poundable by the half-dozen.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Truly an exceptional lager. In Cleveland on business, I asked about good local brews. I was pointed toward Great Lakes Brewing as outstanding, and it is; I can't wait to get back to Cleveland to visit their pub. I bought a six pack to go, along with a sixer of GLBC's Eliot Ness. After sampling it I panicked that I wouldn't find it again closer to home. Not to worry; even my local grocery store now has it prominently displayed and it's showing up on tap.

This is an incredibly drinkable beer. Beautiful medium golden color, a pleasantly tan-colored head that fades a bit too quickly, good lacing, and a pleasant richness to the feel. Nicely balanced grain sense, it starts well and ends well. Could this be my ultimate favorite? Maybe, if it weren't for GLBC's Eliot Ness!

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Photo of stoutman
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Malty aroma with some citrus in the background. Perfect golden color. Foamy with a diminishing white head. Tangy front. Spicy hops give way to a slowly rising malt presence. Clean, dry finish. Start to finish one of the finest lagers in the world. Excellent!

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

A slightly hazy, medium golden yellow Golden Lager with a large, creamy, rocky, off-white head. The smell is herbal and slightly hoppy. The taste is smooth and malty, with a mild hoppy finish. The body is firm and rounded in my mouth. Overall, a thirst quenching lager.

"...named for the city of Germany where the Dortmunder style originated." Brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516.
(source: Tops; Williamsville, NY)

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a crystal clear golden color with a very enticing enormous off white head that leaves a nice lace all the way down. Aroma is very grainy and strong. The taste is citrusy and enjoyable. It's just plain smooth and easy to drink while having some awesome taste to it. I think anyone could easily drink these all night. The mouthfeel is very smooth, and the aftertaste is slighty hopped. I had no idea what to expect when I bought this beer, and I am very happy I tried it. I will definitely be a repeat buyer, especially in the summer when concerts and festivals come around and it becomes tailgate time.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, reddish gold with a prominent head which fades rather quickly to a thin layer fed by beautiful carbonation. Earthy yeast aroma with lemon and orange peel hint on the nose. Slightly musty. Starts with a sharp hop bite and fairly dry, malt balance comes to play mid-beer. Grassy and sweeter towards the finish. Great lace clinging all the way down the glass. Overall very drinkable. A great session beer.

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Photo of TXHops
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd been dying to try Dortmunder Gold, as German export style lagers, especially Dortmunders, are getting pretty rare these days. I got to try a DAB once in England, but I drank it straight from the can, and thought it was too grainy... Retrospectively, I'm not even sure it was their Export... Consequently, all of my Export knowledge has come from literature and American micro examples... Thanks God Chilidog came through for me!

The Great Lakes example is probably one of the prettiest beers I've ever seen--the brilliant gold body is filled with rivulets of rising bubbles, streaming from everywhere toward the top of the glass. That's where the magnificent head of cream colored foam sits proudly atop its source. It's rocky and dense, not quite fluffy, but not even or smooth either. In fact, it looks a lot like the head on a nitro ale--the foam-like pancake. The foam clings to the sides in all manner of lace, creating the most appetizing beer I can imagine... I took off half a point for the foam not being stark white. Other than that, it's perfect...

The aroma is pretty minimal--a vague hint of noble hops, followed by a whiff of grainy malt. That's it. The supple-y smooth body just glides through my mouth, leaving a barely lingering grainy maltiness and a bitter, non-resiny hop accent. Both flavors are in good balance, though they don't really integrate with one and other to create any new, synergistic flavors... The firm, grainy body is inexplicably soft, if that isn't too contradictory a statement.

All in all, I'd have to take an educated guess that this is very good example of the Dortmund style of export beers. I find it a little too grainy to be delicious, but I'd love to drink a lot of these. This would be an ideal beer to have a liter of after some hard, sweaty work--the perfect amount of bitterness and body...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
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 jtw5877
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden color with a white head, smells slightly bitter, with a nice malty profile. This is one good lager, A little bit more body than alot of lagers, assertive hop presence with a nice malty backbone. I could drink these all night, and I have enjoyed them all night.

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

On tap at the Hilton Cleveland East, just south of Shaker Heights...

Slightly hazy dark peach color, 1/4 inch small-bubbled head. Spicy cinnamon and slightly hoppy aroma. Nice mouthfeel, smooth and velvety pumpkin pie with elements of some light and slightly buttered toast and a little citrusy hop tang that gets more evident close to the swallow. Seems to mellow more with following sips, very agreeable and somewhat warming. Smooth and pleasant, nice beer here...

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Photo of shirfan
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best if enjoyed by: Feb 28, 2002!

I certainly enjoyed it 10 months later, as my supermarket had the good sense to age this for me.

Hailing from just a ways up Lake Erie, this pours a cloudy honey color with a fluffy, sudsy head that sticks around.

Aroma is sweet and crisp malt, slightly musky like fallen wild apples.

Taste is hard to describe, but very inviting and unique... slightly smoky, smooth, big on malt without being overly sweet. This immediately made me crave chicken wings even though I've been a vegetarian for years. Finishes big and bitter yet refreshing. Not overly hoppy.

I know nothing about Dortmunder, but this is an excellent rust-belt brew... tasty, quality beer, yet completely unpretentious. It would be a great pick for tailgating, pizza night, etc.

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Photo of 49degrees
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional offering from the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland. One of my favorite road drinks and is one of the first items I'll scope out when I visit Cleveland. Like the Vienna Amber (Eliot Ness) from Great Lakes Brewing, the Dortmunder Gold is an excellent draught specialty, which sadly I've yet to find west of the Rockies.

The Great Lakes Dortmunder is my personal favorite in this style of brew and is one of the easiest drinking (bitter) beers around. I've found it to be extremely enjoyable on its own, with appetizers, and even with a meal, particularly fish dishes such as halibut or grilled prawns.

If you're looking for a nice medium bodied brew, don't hesitate to tackle this one, particularly if you're looking for something with a little more bang than a simple pilsner.

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

This isn't my favorite style of beer but it's hard to find anything negative to say about it, another outstanding effort from Great Lakes. It pours a deep gold, honey color with a bright white sudsy head. Aroma contains lightly toasted sweet malt, a touch of caramel, plenty of fresh grain and some herbal hops. The taste is pretty much just like the smell. The great thing about this brew is that it is magnificently balanced and very smooth, easy to drink. This would make an excellent gateway brew for any macroswilling friends you may have. Give them a bottle of this and they will see the light! Hallelujah!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy with a very nice golden color. The foamy bright-white head holds fairly well before dropping to a decent collar. The aroma offers a clean and mildly grainy maltiness but no noticeable hops (which is OK for the style).The body is medium/light with a fine, moderate carbonation that leaves it crisp and smooth in the mouth. The flavor offers a grainy, lightly bready and softly honeyish malt that's well entwined with grassy and mildly floral hops. It finishes dry with a mild lingering maltiness. Very well balanced. I recently spent a week in Cleveland and enjoyed this quite regularly on draft. It's widely available and makes a refreshing change of pace. It's easy to drink and quite enjoyable pint after pint. I appreciate that they've kept it restrained and well balanced. Well made. Very nicely done.

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Photo of beernut7
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick foamy lace on top of a hazy orange-gold color. The aroma is clean and crisp with citrus hints. The extremely well balanced sweet malt with a brush of spice and a lingering mellow crisp bitterness. Very flavorful, a definite favorite.

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Photo of putnam
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expires 16JAN. Pretty fresh compared with the track record for this brand in my market.
Honey blonde head. Rosy gold liquid.
Aromas are of ultra sweet malt and fresh, floral hops. Perhaps a little unfinished yet.
Flavors are right on with as much caramel flavor as you could possibly hope for in a completely dry beer. Hops help in this respect, swabbing up any remaining sugar on the finish.
I wish the word "balance" wasn't used as often as it is. Instead it should be reserved to describe this beer. It is like a swiss watch. Caramel yet dry. Aromatic and bittering hops are in equal proportion. Full-bodied yet lifted by delicate acidity and fine bubbles. Every component balanced and working in harmony for a sensational experience, sinus to gut.

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Photo of Maestro
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is quite a great beer. Definitely not my favorite style of beer but it keeps me coming back for more. The beer is golden with a very thick white head. There is a floral aroma that permeates through the entire beer. The hops are subdued but present making it a highly drinkable beer for all seasons. Unique and delicious!

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Photo of aaronh
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dortmunder Gold is truly golden in color, such a deep gold that it must be seen to sppreciate the depth of color this beer displays. It has a great hop aroma which rivals a good bottle of Pilsner Urquell. The taste is very full and satisfying, with the clean lager finish. This beer will leave a lace that is extrordinary for a lager. Truly an exceptional beer, which is not a surprise from Great Lakes. My favorite traditional lager (thus far).

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the draft version at the Renaissance in downtown Cleveland. Once again, Great Lakes can do no wrong in my book. Wonderful effervescence on the pour, and a nice off-white head. The lacing was what really impressed me though. Similar to how you can tell how old a tree is by counting the rings, the lacing allowed you to see the previous level where your beer was before each sip. So by the end I had a nice ripple effect down the entire length of the inside of my glass. I have never seen that before and it was very cool. As for the flavor, very good as well. Malty oat flavor. Another winner from GLBC.

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Photo of allboutbierge
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle of liquid gold poured one of the prettiest glasses of beer I have yet to see in my drinking career. The head on this beer was perfect and never dissapated through the beer. It left a heavy lace on the glass with allure similiar to that of a dancer. The taste is slightly hoppy with a touch of carmel aftertaste; the taste is also incredibly smooth and has almost a 'creamy' quality to its mouthfeel. Now I understand why Drew Carey says "Cleveland rocks". I vow to enjoy this beer every time an oppurtunity presents itself with one exception: The next time the Steelers are pounding the Browns, during which I will be proudly watching with my 'Arn City and 'Terrible Towel' in hand :) Truthfully though, I hate to say it but...With this beer Cleveland finally has an attraction worth something besides the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame (j/k)

p.s. To all Clevelanders who may read this, I apologize if i offended you for anyway, since I'm from Pittsburgh, feel free to send me all the e-mails making fun of the Pirates you feel like; no offense will be taken :)

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Photo of cokes
4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
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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Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 3,384 ratings