Eliot Ness
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Eliot NessEliot Ness
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Lager - Vienna
Ranked #1
Ranked #3,665
4.09 | pDev: 11.25%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Eliot NessEliot Ness
Notes: An amber lager with rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops.
Reviews: 1,086 | Ratings: 3,399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JustinTheJuice
JustinTheJuice from Wisconsin

3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Eliot Ness has a great amber brown look. It smells and tastes of caramel malt but combines it with the right amount of hops to still give it the kick. The aftertaste does not linger strongly and is not bad. Overall Eliot Ness is a great amber lager.

Jun 30, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tumbler.
Enjoy by: 08/02/20

A very good, straightforward but solid Vienna the seems to fit within the style on all accounts. Possibly it is brewed to please the masses and is being held back a bit because, but there is nothing to complain about. While my experience in this style is limited I think this may be the best Vienna I have drank. Well done!

May 25, 2020
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the best beers I can remember to date. There is an overwhelmingly great balance of malty flavor that is slightly sweet, bready, and a tad bit syrupy but this Vienna lager tastes like nothing else on the market.

This is a medium-bodied, full-flavored beer that finishes with a syrupy mouthfeel.

May 17, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Copper amber color. Fizzy head that fades.

Caramel and toffee malts. Biscuity and bready. Earthy and a bit zesty. Clean and smooth. Solid Vienna lager.

May 08, 2020
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BeerBaronBear from New York

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I liked this beer quite a bit. I first had Great Lakes beers several years ago, and thought they were really good. Now that I've become more of a beer connoisseur, it's been interesting to come back around to some of the same beers, and find that... they're still really good! I enjoy GL's Edmund Fitzgerald a bit more, but this was a really tasty beer as well. I thought the rich red color was very appealing. The smell was OK but nothing too special. The taste was very good - sweet and malty but with plenty of hop for balance as well. A very drinkable amber, although if we're comparing, Ma from Tree House is still by far my favorite amber (although it's an ale and this is a lager)

May 05, 2020
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jadpsu from Georgia

4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

LOOK: Pours bright and crystal clear in an inviting mahogany color. Good looking tan head that has fair to good retention, but some significant side glass lace.
AROMA: Nuts, dark cherry sweet malt compote, along with some burnt malts and licorice.
TASTE: Roasted malts are more noticed in the flavor, caramel sweetness.
FEEL: Low in carbonation , smooth and creamy.
Drying finish. an excellent beer, with characteristic of a solid brown ale.

Feb 24, 2020
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Judgie from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoy by date of 04/17/20. Very cold pour into a Sam Adams pint glass. Very thin head, no lacing. Beautiful clear amber color. Smell & taste are strong blasts of toasty malt, caramel, & toffee. Noble hops provide perfect hint of bitterness to balance the sweetness. Nice carbonation and medium, creamy smooth feel on the tongue. Very easy to see how this is highly rated. Glad that it is readily available to me and relatively fresh.

Feb 20, 2020
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear, deep amber color with a khaki head that falls to a thin cap.
Smell: Malt! Lots of sweet bready malt with some earthy, spicy hops mixed in.
Taste: Sweet malt up front with some toffee flavor and to me a bit of a nutty flavor. Then the herbal, spicy hops clean everything up and keep the beer balanced. Leaves you anticipating another sip.
Feel: Medium body, smooth, almost creamy on the tongue. Enough carbonation to keep it alive!
Overall: Wow it's good. I've ignored this beer for far too long! Not anymore. Could become a fixture in my fridge when I want a tasty easy drinker.

Jan 05, 2020
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woosterbill from Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip.

L: Crystal clear, deep chestnut body under a three-finger head of off-white foam. Solid retention and lacing. Beautiful beer.

S: Relatively sweet, malt-forward aroma. Lots of caramel and vanilla up front, with toasted bread in the background. Quite nice.

T: Toffee, toast, and sweet nuttiness dominate the palate. As the finish nears, things dry out a bit as some faintly herbal hops provide a crisp close. Walnuts and brown sugar on the aftertaste. Perhaps a touch sweeter overall than I typically expect from the style, but well-balanced and delicious all the same.

F: Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Not much to say, but it's solid.

O: Really nice Vienna Lager. Better than the vast majority on the market, and one I'd happily drink in any season, on any occasion. Beers of Fame tick 178/250.


Dec 06, 2019
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kagee from Virginia

4.86/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This Eliot lager has exceptional look and smell. The complexity of the smell is matched by the taste. Toasted malt (almost burned?) and some sweet and slightly bitter notes are there from start to finish. The ABV is perfect to match the mouthfeel and overall great finish to this wonderful representation of a Vienna-style lager. If one has not tried one of these then I feel it would be safe to say that person has missed one of the truly outstanding lagers to be savored.

Nov 29, 2019
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Jmongillo from New York

4.94/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pretty near perfect lager. A fantastic smell that is surprising and makes you excited to try it. Very clean finish and a excellent mouth feel. Something about it has a wine component to it. Would be super easy to drink way too many of these.

Nov 22, 2019
Photo of sseisele

4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pilsner style glass. A thin white head that dissipates quickly. No lacing on the glass but this does not have an affect the flavor. Smells strongly boozy from the bottle before pouring. Again no impact on the overall taste. Very malty taste and smooth mouthfeel. As a sidenote it drinks similar to Sam Adams Oktoberfest and pairs well with spicy chicken.

Nov 17, 2019
Photo of a2001potodyssey

4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

It looks beautiful, smells great, all the flavors are perfectly balanced, and it has just the right edge on it bitter wise. Damn near a perfect lager.

Nov 07, 2019
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nicholas2121 from Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eliot Ness brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co., with an ABV of 6.10% This Vienna Lager pours out of a 12oz glass bottle into a pint beer glass. The color is a nice reddish brown color with a nice off white head. Really digging the copper color of this brew. There is also a nice amount of lacing to this brew, it sticks to the side of the glass well. The smell is Rich with sweetness l, mixed with grians and malts. You do pick up a nice hop bitterness at the end I. The smell of this brew as well. So far Eliot Ness is a nice inviting brew. Now for the taste, it is Bold with flavors. You pick up a nice amount of roasted grins and malts in the taste mixed with a mild sweetness. There is nothing overpowering about this brew, it has a super nice balance to it. It is really hard to pick up on the 6.10% ABV in this brew, it is just that smooth. This brew would go nice with dinner or any get together. The mouth feel is Bold, Roasted, Rich, Clean, Smooth and Refreshing. Overall I think I going to give Eliot Ness a soild 4 out of 5. I would definitely look this brew up again givin the opportunity to. Great Lakes Brewing Co., Did a super nice job with this Lager.

Aug 21, 2019
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Trailboss76 from Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours about the color of iced tea... if it was just a smidge redder it'd be in the land (color-wise) of an Irish Red. Pick up some light roastiness, maybe just a hint of malt even though this guy is a lager. Then comes the taste - a bit of bite a bit of bitter. Nice smooth drinker but with a dose of "edge" that makes you know you're not drinking a totally smooth traditional lager. Nice beer - and I've had enough variety of Great Lakes by now to realize they know what they are doing in crafting a good beer.

Aug 16, 2019
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Navanation from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark red amber color with a tan 1inch head that laces sparingly down the glass. Malty smell and taste, but not too sweet. Balanced nicely with a slight hoppy aftertaste that is pleasant and balances the malt. Thus is a wonderful Vienna lager.

Aug 14, 2019
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MNAle from Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1/2 inch off-white, tan/cream colored head, thick appearing, that hangs around, leaving sheets of attractive lacing behind as it slowly recedes. Deep amber color, clear, with a good level of carbonation. The look is quite attractive.

Aroma is rich: toasted malts, caramel, toffee.

Taste is, again, toasted bready malts, caramel, toffee, with a good bitter bite from the hops. There is a fruit component to the flavor, perhaps apple. The taste is delicious and multifaceted. The toffee and apple lingers on the tongue, and the hops provide the right amount of balance. Rich and malty, with a good offset from the hops. Very enjoyable.

Body is on the thin side of medium.

Finish is dry with some bitterness (but not a lot) lingering into the aftertaste. This is a great Vienna lager.

Aug 09, 2019
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JerzDevl2000 from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle of this at Gary's the other night, thinking I had this years ago. In actuality, this was my first time with this and the first time in ages that I had a beer from Great Lakes. Like Sam Adams Boston Lager, this was clean, crisp, and easy to drink but had just a bit more alcohol than I would have liked. That wasn't a deterrent as this didn't stay in my pint glass for very long!

Nice, nutty brown hue to the pour as it was clear and bright. Plenty of offsetting, bready head topped this off as the foam was quite thick. Not a lot of lacing was left behind as only a few splotches remained on my pint glass once I started to sip this. Macadamia, bananas, bread, and yeast were in the nose as the taste contained all of these as well. Lots of chewiness to this as some raisin, toast, and caramel malt entered the fray once this fully warmed up. Almost reminded me of a Weizenbock but with just a bit less dark fruit and berry, but having all of the qualities that I love in that style. Cloying and full, the carbonation was light as the flavors never came across as too overbearing.

The booze was felt, while not being detectable on the palate, and there were hints of sourdough the lingered once this finally went down. Although not my favorite style, a Vienna Lager can be great if done right and it's easy to see why this is rated #1 for this style. It's impossible to dislike this and I'd reach for it again as a change from the more hoppy beers that I tend to enjoy here at home!

Aug 08, 2019
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Grounder from Illinois

1.06/5  rDev -74.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Billed at IBU of only 27 this beer turned out to be overwhelmingly bitter. Bitter, bitter, bitter, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Hated it all the way from bottle 1 to bottle 5. The last bottle still sits there, and I hope someone else gets to drink it.

Jun 20, 2019
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Brook82 from Ohio

3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Attractive malt aroma, cream colored head that vanished to thin film. A little lacing in pilsner glass. Taste is some sweet quick!y hit with hops. Best served around mid 40's. On par with other Vienna lagers, good brew!

Jun 15, 2019
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.87/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red color with a mild-moderate heavy, yellow head.
Aroma: Mild citrus hop aromas, with a bittersweet roasted barley aroma.
Flavor: Strong cherry and toffee flavors. Not roasty, but dark fruit. Definitely black cherry. Molasses. Subtle citrus flavors. Less hops than a marzen. Lighter bodied, less sweet and caramel. This one is light and dry black cherry. Some rye flavor. Moderate bitterness on the back-end.
Feel: Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Feels full and foamy on the palate. Moderate bitterness. Finishes incredibly balanced, but dry for the amount of malt flavor.

Overall: Now this is a real Vienna lager. It's dark and ruby red. It's dark, cherry-syrup flavored, but not roasty. Definitely a malt forward beer that has an appropriate amount of hops to make this a dynamic product from Great Lakes.

May 15, 2019
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber in color, lots of bubbles, with a big creamy tan head. Excellent retention and tons of lacing.

Smells of toffee, toasted brown bread, roasted nuts, sweet red apple, and a hint of grass.

Tastes of toffee, caramel, toasted brown bread, toasted cashew, candied apple, pink grapefruit, and bit of peppercorn.

Medium-mouthfeel, slightly sticky with residual sugars, well carbonated, clean.

An excellent Vienna lager. Highly recommended.

Apr 04, 2019
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MercInc from Wisconsin

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 40 degrees in a pint beer glass. Slightly reddish in color, not clear.The head is a creamy white. Malt and hop aromas. The balance between the Malt and hops was very good, neither one dominating the flavor of the other. Very good beer for folk wanting to try something other than the usual, tasteless lite beer.

Apr 04, 2019
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Johnpaulzay1981 from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent Vienna style lager very malty and character slight hop flavor nice amber color poured into a cold mug out of my freezer about a two-and-a-half three-finger head left very nice lacing on the mug has nice floral smell citrus sugar this beer is one of my favorite loggers and it's 6% + alcohol it'll get you where you want to go

Mar 24, 2019
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DaveyCream from Ohio

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice reddish amber color, which makes sense since it is an amber lager. The toasty malt and hop smell was the first thing I noticed. My big thing with this beer is pouring it into a glass to stretch out the flavors. One of those beers that does not taste the same if you do not pour it out. Taste took a couple sips to get used to, but overall a really good beer by a really good brewery.

Mar 24, 2019
Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 3399 ratings