Great Lakes Eliot Ness | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Eliot NessGreat Lakes Eliot Ness
3,215 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,215 |  Reviews: 1,033
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Gorgeous orange-red-amber with the accent on the orange. The tangerine-tinted beige colored head is large, pitting and sticky. Foam is already starting to stick in clumps to the inside of the pint glass. It eventually settles to a creamy disk and leaves a few unbroken rings.

The nose is an enticing melange of caramel malt and spicy hops. The flavor follows suit, though hops aren't very prominent, which is exactly as it should be for the style. Each mouthful starts off sweet and malty, with earthy and spicy joining the party soon after. Bitter orange peel is the perfect (mild) accent flavor.

The mouthfeel is full, creamy and... perfect! This brewery never ceases to amaze me when it comes the characteristic that I think is second only to flavor in importance.

Great Lakes Eliot Ness is only the fourth Vienna lager that I have ever had... and it's easily the best. There will undoubtedly be many more in my craft beer future, but it's doubtful if any of them will surpass this one for across-the-board quality and drinkability. Simply put, this is beautiful beer.

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

Presentation: 12oz brown with a drink before date clearly marked.

Appearance: Crystal clear reddish amber in colour with a well retaining off white lace that holds its own all the way down.

Smell: A bit of toffee, a bit of toasted grain and a touch of sweetness.

Taste: Full rich and smooth with quite a chewy malt mouth feel. Very malty on the palate with toasted and caramel all over, just enough hops to balance and a dose of spicy/herbal hop flavour to add a complexity. The toasted grain seems to go on for a while into the dry finish which is reminiscent of toasted whole grain bread.

Notes: Indeed a awesome brew ... high quality and oh so flavourful, very hard to find anything wrong with this beer. A definite BeerAdvocate pick!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Applebees tonight and it was poured into a 22oz Pilsner glass.

A - Poured a very nice deep burnt amber with a nice large white foamy head that rose up above it a good three fingers high before finally setting down and relaxing into a thin film across the top and a nice side glass lacing throughout the session. There was nice carbonation streaming up from the bottom.

S - The aroma was full of grain. Lots of earhty cereal grains were the domunant aroma here. There was a slight hint of grassy flavors underneath, but this was only slight and nothing really notworthy about it. There was a hint of some wheat as well.

T - The flavor was not really your classic Vienna lager. I would have thought that was what it was gonna be but it really was more indicative of a red or amber ale more then anything else. A very tight flavor there was lots of grain and herby like flavors mixed in with a earthy grass like flavor that gave it a little extra pop towards the end. The finish was somewhat drawn out with the flavor of bready like malts starting to come through more then anything else.

M - A medium bodied ale the carbonation served to lighten it up some, however there was a nice like slicknes to the finish. I would have thought it would have been a little bit thinner then it actually was but it turned out it was not half bad at all, and was definitly a quality ale.

D - I thought this was a fine session ale. Its profile was not too heavy and the flavors went together very well. I could easily see myself drinking several of these without any issue. A very fine ale indeed and something I would drink more of.

Overall this was good I was very happy to see it on tap and it was defintily very nice going with dinner. I would not say this was excellent, however it was still a fine brew non the less. I would say it was a good call in a pinch.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I picked this bottle up at Wegman's enjoyed in a willybecker chilled.

The color is almost bronze with great clarity and thick pale cap with 2 fingers depth. The retention is good and lace sticks well. The smell is very malt-centric with a nice toasted grain aroma there is a mild yeast ester which offsets the sweetness of caramel in the nose. The feel is great with moderate carbonation level and balance of malt with some hops adding to the texture and semidry finish with very low alcohol presence.

The taste is great a good bready quality which has the toastiness of vienna malt with a slight flavor of caramel backing and the malt is balanced well by an herbal hop flavor. The sweetness is a little more noticeable than when I tried this on draft, but I didn't check the bottled on date either. I like this beer a lot it is perfect for a single beer to sip or for pairing with food a very good representation of the style with plenty of flavor.

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Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2%

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

Thanks to Thorpe for this one.

A: The beer pours a somewhat cloudy copper color with about two fingers of khaki colored head.

S: Nice sweet caramel and toffee malt aromas to this. Plenty of toasted bread/malts are also there. There is a touch of yeast and some floral and spicy hop notes. Very nice nose.

T: Fairly sweet, but not overly so. Caramel and toffee malt flavors are there with some toasted bread. Light floral and spicy hop flavor and very faint bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very crisp.

O: An extremely well done lager. I very much enjoyed this.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy copper to an ambered brown with a small light brown rocky head. Sweet malted barley with sugary notes and a hoppy nose with vanilla hints. Warm and sweet creamy caramel flavor greets your tonue with the first draw and leaves you with a creamy hoppiness. Medium-bodied and creamy/fizzy palate.

 305 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

When we first tried this beer years ago, a buddy of mine made it seem that he was among the Untouchables as that you couldn't bribe him enough to willingly drink this again. Let's see if my tastebuds have evolved since then. This stuff pours a clear copper-amber topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises caramel, toffee, and some very mild and light orange zest. The taste brings the orange forward, mostly in terms of the peel, with the caramel and toffee coming in later. In the end, though, is a short but sharp stab of harsh bitterness. This is probably what turned my buddy and me off so long ago, and not much has changed (though my reaction now is decidedly less vitriolic). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta dry-ish finish. Overall, an okay brew, but not something I really wanna go for again.

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

The beer is transparenty and amber colored with over an inch of dense, soapy, tan head. The aroma offers malt, lager yeast, fruity notes. The flavor is sweet, with a pronounced lager taste and lingering fruity malts. Biscuits and perhaps some crackers. Light to medium bodied. A bit heavier than your session type lagers. Well done and flavorful, though the sweetness, while not overbearing or cloying, per se, does limit my consumption. A solid beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby/amber color with a huge bubbly beige that leaves lots o lace on the way down the glass. Smell is a sweet fruity malt aroma with a hint of earthy floral hops. Taste is sweet with malts. Burnt sugar caramel fruity and bready with just enough of a hop bite about midway through to keep the sweetness in check. Crisp carbonation, medium body, Oily almost creamy sensation in the mouth. It's been a while since I've had a great Lager. This is one. Easy drinking smooth sessionable brew.

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Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of krome
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First things first I don't drink this beer nearly enough anymore, it used to be available throughout my area of WV brought in by Wine and Beverage Merchants of Weirton. Sadly someone down state decided to turn him in for selling beer above the 6% alcohol law that are fucked laws here in the DUB VEE endorse. Yes a beer at 6.2% alcohol by volume has been off the shelves for a couple years now, due to some asshole in my state. Now that I got to vent, here goes Eliot Ness ruby caramel vibrant bright crystal clear body with a large beige head forming thick in my 1/2 liter mug lacing is even and simply clings to the sides of my glass. Aroma here has it all with roasted nuts toffee/caramel slightly burnt brown sugar flow going on with spicy German hops a flowing in the background. Also a mild air of citrus peel floats around what a great spicy hop profile, thank god I'm living in Ohio at least alcohol laws are in check. Now I have to start convincing stores to carry a selection and get Cavalier Distributing involved in this region of the state. Flavor has a pronounced funky hop flow with spicy herbal edges and tangy citrus peels flowing with mildly bitter darker roasted malts bringing out a touch of dark chocolate melted over one of your favorite toffee or caramel filled candy bar think Heath sans as much chocolate. Mouthfeel is so nice carbonation is perfect creamy layers divide on the palate with slick hop oils also gracing my palate overall beautifully crafted medium bodied micro brewed beer at it's best. Drinkability is butter, it caresses you. The best Vienna style lager I've come into contact with thank god I understand this style due to a single beer because there's not many great representations out there.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a big, off white, creamy head that has good retention. The nose has a faint caramel sweetness and a nice floral hop aroma. The taste is toasty with a nice caramel sweetness up front followed by a clean, citrusy hop character that imparts a balanced, bitter finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and well carbonated leading to an easy drinking, medium body.

This is a really decent beer. It's balanced, flavorful, and drinkable. I will definitely have this again.

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Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -51%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of imbibehour
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ah another great Great Lakes brew it seems, how did this one turn out?

Poured from the bottle into a mug. I didn't get to pour it myself so I can't describe a head that wasn't made.

Great amber colored body that is clear showing off good visible carbonation. The few head bubbles are of a creamy faint tan quality color.

Great bouquet on this beer, and instance of faint caramel and this airy malt and grain that just lingers in your nose.

Very unique tasting brew. Had this sweetness like a red ale with a big malt drop and bread. It hits like a bomb it seems for such a fairly light bodied beer. Some slight carbonation on the tongue but with really good body and full and expressive. Hop lingering on the swallow which is a real surprise it seems also.

Easily masked abv, could pound these back with much fun, another great tasting brew from Great Lakes.

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Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 3,215 ratings
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