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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,215 |  Reviews: 1,033
Photo of KelsoSaaz
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pilsner glass

A: Beautiful, deep, copper-amber. Fine, khaki, 1.5 finger head that leaves patchy lacing

S: Sweet, bready aromas along with earthy hops.

T: Rich, but not overpowering malt flavor with Earthy and spice hop notes following. Very clean and sessionable.

M: Smooth with medium body and moderate carbonation.

O: A very satisfying brew, exactly what you would expect from GLBC. This beer pairs very well with food and is quite versatile. This beer really doesn’t have any flaws actually.

 513 characters

Photo of bolanrox
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of paulys55
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ryanbayv
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of MichiganderHB
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, deep red. Huge effervescent light tan head. Head fades fairly slowly, leaving thin walls of spiderweb lacing. Good head retention.

S: Lots of toasted bready malt and raisins. Remarkably like smelling freshly toasted raisin bread if I'm honest. Kind of uncanny in fact.

T: Again, very malty. Grainy toasted bread right from the start with light raisins. Bread crusts in the middle, you can practically feel them crumble with each swallow. Smidgeon of grassy hops in the finish with the lightest bitterness.

M: Medium bodied and smooth. Goes down exceptionally easy.

O: Not many good Vienna Lagers out there but this is one of the good ones. Perhaps the best, I'd prefer this to a Sam Adams Boston Lager, myself. Lighter, smooth and malty beer with just a hint of hops. Pretty much exactly what you'd expect, just well executed and tasty. Very drinkable to boot.

 883 characters

Photo of M1A2
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Kerrie
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ummswimmin
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Jimmys
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. best before 06/22/13.

A: very clear. bright copper body. head is slightly reddish white and frothy. retention is good. lacing is terrific.

S: just what I would expect from the appearance, lots of caramel in the nose. very sweet. not getting too much hop aroma, however this thing is getting towards the end of its shelf life.

T: a whole heck of a lot of caramel. cant tell if there is some minor oxidation or there is just a shitload of caramelization. sweet, but not cloying. finishes pretty clean.

M: a frothy carb on a medium body.

D: I remember this being slightly more hoppy and that probably has to do with freshness. while this brew is within its shelf-life, it has definitely lost a bit of hop aroma and bite. otherwise, pretty outstanding example of an American made Vienna lager.

 811 characters

Photo of dmmcgove
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of pmarlowe
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Johnnyv310
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of eblythe1
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kojevergas
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a Uinta pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given current ratings, and to a lesser extent the brewery. 6.2% ABV confirmed. "Best served at 45 degrees F." Enjoy by 03/28/13. Oops. Didn't catch that at the bottle shop. Reviewing as an Amber even though it's currently classified as a Vienna lager; I trust the brewery over beeradvocate's often clunky ratings system.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger light khaki colour head. Nice soft creamy complexion. Flocculent. Good frothiness. Good thickness. Good (~5 minute) retention. No bubble show.

Body colour is a clear translucent vibrant amber. No yeast particles are visible.

Great appearance all around. Spot-on for the style. Very inviting and appealing.

Sm: Hot damn those malty notes are fresh. Smells like the malt room of a brewery. Lovely German style amber malts. Light toasty malt character. Caramalts. Pleasant graininess. Lightly bready. Live yeast. Extremely inviting; I can't remember ever experiencing an aroma this fresh - and it's two months past its recommended enjoy by date. A fantastic aroma of moderate strength. I can't wait to try it. Near perfect for the style. Wow.

T: A well balanced seamless blend of the primary malts used; German amber malts, caramalts, toasty character. Hop character is light and floral, complementing the other flavours nicely. Full-bodied and tasty, with a refreshing finish. Lots of flavour for an amber. Damn, that's tasty. Excellent balance and good complexity. Fair subtlety to boot. Good creaminess.

Mf: Nicely creamy. Perfect coarseness and wetness, adequately coaxing out maximal depth of flavour whilst remaining refreshing. Good presence on the palate. Decent thickness; if I have any one criticism of this beer it's that it feels a bit too thin - a feature that becomes more noticeable as it warms. Nice full body. Clean and crisp. Very soft and welcoming. Complements the flavour profile excellently - even coming off feeling like it was custom-tailored to do so. Great execution.

Dr: Extremely drinkable and sessionable stuff. I'd definitely get this again and would buy it by the six-pack happily. Every beeradvocate needs to try this; they do so much with so little. Elegant simplicity is admirable here. An impressive gem from Great Lakes, and one I'm told has a good price point where it's distributed. Definitely amongst the best in the style. Wow.


 2,677 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep amber color that is strikingly red. Small, off-white colored head that reduces to a thin layer on the top rather quickly. Fairly good lacing for the small amount of head left on top of the body.

S- Huge caramel and semi-sweet malts right up front and dominating throughout. Brown sugar sweetness and a hint of molasses flavor towards the end of scent. Really kind of one dimensional, but very delicious smelling.

T- Just like the scent, except stronger. Less sweet than the scent, but still big caramel malt notes right up front. Some hops make a big appearance for an amber ale right after the caramel notes and provide a balancing bitterness. On the back end the hops persist a little and a slight tinge of dark fruits peak in with a little juiciness.

M- Crisp and dark in feel and flavor. Easy drinking lager that is slightly heavier in flavor profile, yet still quite refreshing.

Overall, a solid everyday brew. A little darker and heavier in flavor than most lagers of its type, but still a beer to drink regularly.

 1,040 characters

Photo of ADTaber
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of herrburgess
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Herky21
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Honus1
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tzieser
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Smextongo
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Moby
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of RoryOMoore
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of FilumDee
4/5  rDev -2%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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