Great Lakes Eliot Ness | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

3,184 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,184 |  Reviews: 1,023
Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +10%
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!

 749 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 586 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

 917 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 451 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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

Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

 1,736 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

 499 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of WoodBrew
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
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 AlexFields
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

 481 characters

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ejimhof
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear darker brown/amber with a nice off white head that falls and leaves a lot of lacing. Nose is minor leafy and earthy tones. Not much going on. Very minor touch of caramel and apples. Flavor has a tangy sweet tone to it, adding to an earthy profile. Just a slightly lower carbonation sits with a good liquid touch. This is easy to drink. I'd be interested to see this on cask.

 388 characters

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Great Lakes Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.09 out of 5 based on 3,184 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.