Great Lakes Eliot Ness | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,021 Reviews
Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness

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

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An amber lager with rich, fragrant malt flavors balanced by crisp noble hops.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-11-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,021 | Ratings: 3,162
Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very Drinkable beer! Orange. If you don't like Oranges this is not the beer for you. Smooth great drinkable mouth feel. You can drink a 6 pack of these very easy. Light, reminds me of a better made BlueMoon Belgium white. 7.9/10 beer here. Very good beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some hops. Taste is good, malts with some hops, a tad bitter at the finish. Well balanced. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of tut2528
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a deep ruby red that creates a massive 2 fingers worth of very thick/foamy head. Lacing is massive as this does not seem to be going anywhere fast.

S: light hint of hops, a whole lot of barley, slight hint of malt and a mild fruit note.

T: again mild hints of hops, fruit is more bold here than in the nose, some barley notes and a slight malt character.

M: light bodied that sits on the verge of being medium. The fruitiness remains on the palate just enough to eliminate the barley notes that I find undesirable.

O: it’s a decent drinking beer that provides a nice balance of sweetness and hops to overcome the barley aspect. It’s a unique brew but not something I would look to purchase again.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving Type: Poured from a bottle with freshness date clearly indicated. Pours a rich amber color with a moderate head that becomes almost non existent. has a good bit of lacing that dissolved over time.

Smell: Predominant sweet caramel malts, slight hop scent in the background.

Taste: Sweet really sweet, the alcohol is present and up front. The hop bitterness is pretty well masked but present in the background.

Mouthfeel: perfectly carbonated and pleasant.

Drinkability: Pretty tasty, the ABV on this though inhibits the ability to put more than one or two down on any given occasion atleast for me.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The Untouchables? Poured a deep burnt amber color with some lighter highlights throughout. A good pour leaves an ample soft, white head. Ok retention that remained around the edge of the glass and limited lacing over time.

The nose is sweet with malty undertones. Mostly caramel but limited in its complexity, especially for style. Some sugary residual but smoother. No really yeasty undertones. No real hop aroma.

The taste is off on style, more of an amber. Some sweeter malt with more of a caramel flavor. No real Vienna flavors at all. Some grainy and light honey flavors. Some grassy finishing hops with a light earthy flavor as well. Some light spicy almost peppery finish. Very smooth with next to no yeasty/estery undertones.

The body feels light but still has a lot of sweetness. Although does not have that unattenuated feel more with an under balance of bittering hops. To me, not a Vienna. Maybe fermented cold but nice amber.

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Photo of Northsider
3.44/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With all the great reviews on this beer, I expected more from it. To me (and my probably undeveloped tastes), this was nothing spectacular. It's good for sure, but nothing I would rave about. The appearance was for me the best part, as it pour a deep amber and white head.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can’t say that I am familiar with Vienna Lager as a style but I like this beer. It has a pleasant bready malted barley aroma balanced by a subtle European hoppiness. It has a clean dry taste with a rich full mouthfeel. I could drink these one after another and in fact have had three of them today.

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Photo of dhannes
3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled into a Perfect Pint.
L=Rich reddish hue, two finger head.
T=I was expecting an amber and this is closer to an amber than a vienna...slightly sweet, but like molasses...moderate barley.
F=Rather sessionable/light.
O=A good offering...not as robust as other ambers...I'd probably try again if on tap, but not worthy of a 6-pack.

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Photo of jpro
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a magnificent deep amber / ruby red, with a light beige head that dissipates pretty quickly. This brew is crystal clear. Aroma is dominated by sweet malts and breadiness - there's also a touch of hop spice, as well as a tart and fruity (yeast?) character in the nose. Taste is of light caramel malt sweetness, with a touch of toastiness - finish is super clean and noticeably doughy / biscuity. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and a touch oily / viscous - zingy carbonation. Overall, a pretty good brew and a nice change of pace - although, its a little too sweet for my taste.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a fluffy head that falls into leaving a film of bubbles....the nose is just as described, malty but mostly caramel that lead into a taste that gives a creamy caramel flavor. I like this beer, it reminds me of a few brews available out here in Oregon.

Nice Vienna in this taste of Great Lakes Day.

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Photo of C20Percent
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

*Full disclosure -- not a huge lager fan*

A: Pours a pale golden-red amber color with an egg shell head with red hues. Fair amount of bubbles in the body and tiny pieces of sediment swimming around. Very nice feature. Unfortunately the lacing was average. Overall, good appearance.

S: Getting a fruity, bready grain aroma. Gave it a swirl, and I could swear I smelled an orange. Very subtle aroma for me. Once your nose gets accustomed the smell blends in with your surroundings. Just above average for me.

T: A nice toasted grain flavor with a subtle fruity backbone. Some spice in there for sure. Pepper or cloves, maybe. An almost-crisp characteristic that just misses the mark. Finish is -- surprisingly -- a little boozy. Good for a lager, just not all the way there.

M: This is where the beer fell a bit flat for me. A medium to heavy body. Heavier than I expected -- kind of syrupy. There's some chewiness that's turning me off. I hate to say this beer could use some hops, but well... Not amazed with the feel.

O: Kind of "meh" for me. One of those good and bad beers. When I drink a lager, I want something that's crisp, and this beer doesn't have that. Decent flavor, but falls a bit short elsewhere.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Eliot Ness pours a darker reddish color with a big lacing head. Mellow creamy malty aroma, with hints of skunk. Taste is creamy and smooth, sweet, with some hop flavors. Body is a little flat. Overall its a very nice malty lager.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The most confusing beer I've ever rated. Comes in smooth, crisp and refreshing then Bam! It Hits you with complexity and a clusterfuck of flavor at the end. I need to try it again

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Photo of jvajda
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Good looking bronze tone with a modest head.
Smell: Malty and rich.
Taste: Good hop-malt balance make this a fine beer, although it does have a slightly simple flavor. Bitterness is good.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and easy on the mouth.
Drinkabilty: Pretty easy to drink, but I can't seem to want another after I finished one.

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Photo of Veristic
3.49/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Eliot Ness poured into a pilsner flute, consumed on 5/4/12. Best by date: 6/3/12.

A- Massive three finger head with good retention, pillowy & off-white. Deep amber-copper body with a slightly red hue. Good clarity. Spotty lacing.

S- Out the neck, smells malty & slightly sweet. Once poured, light malt aroma. Fairly uninteresting.

T- Very balanced. Light toasty vienna malt, slightly sweet. Decent amount of hops. Moderate-light bitterness. Very tasty and easy drinking, quaffable. Dry aftertaste with nice toasty vienna malt lingering.

M- Moderate body. Moderate to moderate-high carbonation. Slightly creamy.

O- Not that I've had that many but this is the best Vienna Lager I've ever had. Also one of the best lagers I've had.

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Photo of Cresant
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Best by dat: 2/10/07. The meager head dissolved quickly. The body was a clear, golden brown.

Smell was initially metallic and sweet. Later toffee-like sweet malts surfaced. Fresh leafy hops peek out too.

Taste was not as sweet as one would guess from the smell. Plums? Caramel.
rich flavor with being heavy.

Mouthfeel was smooth but there was some zestiness from the carbonation. Nice overall.

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Photo of rmcnealy
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Elliot Ness - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

12 oz bottle, best by 12/29/07

Pours transulent dark copper... like a 5 year old penny. Small head totally dissapears. Smell is good, but better appreciated in the drink. Good taste. Has hints of malt, caramel, and roasts. A good lager. A healthy 6.2 abv! Overall, a good beer. Have access to it if anyone wants to trade some. There's a few I'm looking for.


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Photo of bonsreeb85
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brought some bottles back w/ me from a trip to the Windy City. Finally got to try some of this stuff, here it goes...

A - Deep dark red w/ orange highlights. Single finger biege colored head w/ tiny foamy bubbles.

S - earthy and herbal hops, caramel malt. gives off a very bready scent. nothing too special here

T - very balanced, slightly hoppier than expected. Opens up w/ a slighty spicy and bitter intro which leads to a creeping malt sweetness that rolls out like a red carpet. some sweetness is there, but is kept to a minimum. the overall flavor is that of bread. this beer is not really dominated by any one element or flavor, but the starring role goes to the bread-yeast flavor, and is accompanied by an unidentifiable spice.

MF - medium bodied, medium carbonation and an overall creamy mouthfeel. very easy to drink and mellow on the palate.

D - Easy drinker, nothing too extreme in any way, good balance and ample flavor.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Clear amber/red with a good inch of off-white foam.

S - Nose is caramel, toast and light citrus.

T - Big caramel flavour and light hints of toasted grain. Some fruitiness, fairly pronounced bitterness.

M - Generally moderate mouthfeel in all respects. Nothing special here.

D - Not bad drinking, but doesn't stand out as particularly special.

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Photo of claytri
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poures a solid opaque browm, just a bit dark for an amber. The aroma was a bit malty but nothing special. The taste is slightly malty with a bit of alcohol burn no additional flavors stand out. The feel is medium and wet. Overall an above average beer but nothing special.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in pint glass at Fat Head's in Pittsburgh, PA on 11/23/07.

A - Clear amber body with virtually no head or lacing. Average density with minimal carbonation.

S - Light breadiness with some toasted and sweet caramel maltiness. Light hop aroma with subtle English noble hops. Some doughy yeast was in the back.

T - Lightly sweet initial flavor followed by sweet breadiness and a very light hop bite with an average finish.

M - Medium body with a pretty creamy texture and soft carbonation that's semi-prickly on the tongue.

D - This is definitely a drinkable lager that has a nice balance of malts and noble hops. Decent, solid session beer with some nice flavors.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber in color, this is a red/amber lager in the Vienna category. Great Lakes usually makes nice looking beer, this is no exception. Aroma has that feel of a cool breeze in fall.

Some caramel and carbonation with noble hop spice. Plenty of grain feels. Not too sweet. Heartier than average for style.

Above average at everything. Manages to do a lot in a light body and a style with nuance.

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Photo of IPAescotch
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from bottle.

Smelled clean and sharp, mild amber maltiness.

Interesting flavor. Bitter front flavor, but mellows out in the aftertaste. Almost like an amber pilsner.

Smooth and light, yet with some stickyness unusual for lagers

I wouldn't necessarily want to pound these, but i wouldn't mind either

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Photo of BigHead
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice red copper brew sits in my glass with a slightly yellowish head that is thick initially but quickly dies down to about 1/4". Sweet malts come to the nose, with the hops, spices, and hints of fruitiness coming through. Tastes kinda like a sourish sweet malt flavor, with an apple like fruit presence. This beer has an odd complexity that I can't quite put my finger on, seems to be more like an amber ale at first but then finishes with the lager. A different brew.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Stony River in Dublin, OH. The beer was dark orange color and clear, medium sized head. The smell was a bit like an ESB, kind of muted but included both malt and hops, more of the former. The taste was nice, toasted malts and a little nutty, just a bit of hoppiness in the aftertaste.

I've had this many times but never reviewed it, it's one of the reasons I love Great Lakes so much. Never a bad choice in any number of restaurants in OH.

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Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.09 out of 5 based on 3,162 ratings.
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