Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Wheat Beer - Dunkelweizen
Ranked #13
Ranked #18,669
3.9 | pDev: 7.18%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Very Good
Notes: Cold brew coffee, chocolate and orange peel creep into the heart of this German-style Dunkelweizen, transforming a once traditional brew into a hauntingly decadent hybrid.

25 IBU
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 76 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT from Ohio

2.87/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance – This poured a dull, dingy dark brown with an unimpressive head.

Smell – The harsh coffee grounds are uncharacteristic of the style and the banana promised on the Great Lakes website is absent. There is some light wheat and some darkish spicing.

Taste – The coffee is again harsh at the taste and the banana a little bigger.

Mouthfeel – This light-bodied dunkles lacks the feathery tingle that one comes to expect from a true German example of the style. There is also an unflattering bitterness. The high ABV adds to the discomfort of the mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is not a bad brew but a poor example of the style. I’m a big fan of the brewery, especially the darker styles like the stouts, but this one missed the mark.

Oct 22, 2020
Photo of superspak
superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 6/20/2020. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy deep ruby red/orange/brown color with a 1 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas and flavors of big chocolate, nutty medium roast coffee, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread/crust, toasted biscuit, banana, orange peel, fig, pear, apple, bubblegum, clove, peppercorn, wood, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/roasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal, floral, woody, grassy, roasted coffee bitterness; yeast spiciness; and light wheat/yeast tang/tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of chocolate, nutty medium roast coffee, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread/crust, toasted biscuit, banana, orange peel, fig, pear, apple, bubblegum, clove, peppercorn, wood, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast/roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, chocolate, coffee, orange peel, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from lingering bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and fairly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is great. Minimal warming alcohol for 6.6%. Overall this is an awesome flavored dunkelweizen. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malts, chocolate, coffee, orange peel, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink with the modestly bitter/spicy/drying finish; nicely soft feel. Great balance of rich malts, fruity/nutty coffee, chocolate, orange peel, and Weizen yeast flavors; with nice noble hop presence/balance. Minimal residual sweetness with lingering bitter/spicy dryness. A really enjoyable offering, and impressively spot on base style example as expected of the brewery.

Sep 07, 2020
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a narrow pint: color is amber to light brown, opaque, head is light tan and presents 1/2 inch thick; head lingers well with solid top and some lacing on glass sides.

Smell is coffee mid roast style then some cocoa, the hefe yeast qualities seem to dissipate with warmth, which is quite unfortunate.

Taste is similar with mild roast coffee, cocoa, some wheat and light caramel like flavor, but minimal if any hefe qualities, near lager or clean ale taste.

Mouthfeel is crisp, near sharp carbonation, moderate sweet presence.

Overall this was a bit disappointing - expected much more hefe yeast qualities (banana, clove, phenolics) but this seemed more like a dark wheat lager with coffee and cocoa. Not bad but does not seem to be a dunkelweizen in base style.

May 16, 2020
Photo of drdiesel9483
drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - clear dark reddish brown with a very slight head that goes away pretty quick
Smell - banana with a very slight cocoa and orange
Taste - tons of taste! has that transitional banana toasty taste that you get from a dunkelweizen but you get that slight chocolate orange taste like the chocolates with some orange in them. Also very slight cold brew coffee taste.
Feel - Medium body and carbonation
Overall - Interesting different twist on a dunkelweizen. Tasty and very complex

Apr 12, 2020
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig from Ohio

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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my weizen glass, this beer pours a light to medium brown/copper color with lots of streams of little bubbles fairly rapidly and continuously rising to the beer's surface. Has a slightly tan/off-white head that's over an inch thick when first poured and that eventually settles to a thick, creamy looking surface coating of foam with a thick ring lining the snide of the glass and good lacing. Aromas of toasted, bready malts and caramel sweetness along with some coffee and a hint of orange peel and a slight hint of clove. A pretty similar flavor profile, with some toasted, bready and caramel malt sweetness along with just a hint of chocolate malt that gives way to the coffee roast. The coffee used here tastes like a light to medium roast. it isn't dark/bitter in a manner that would likely be overpowering for this style of beer. The orange peel and a bit of clove spice round out the flavor profile nicely. A good beer. Not really any discernible hops. A very well balanced flavor profile. Has a mainly crisp, also smooth and frothy, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a nice bready and sweet, just slightly roasted aftertaste and the flavors like to linger nicely on my palate after each sip. Another excellent beer from the fine folks at the GLBC!


Apr 05, 2020
Photo of Steve_Studnuts
Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Body is deep amber with a soft haze and super-creamy off-white head and lotsa sticky lacing. Smells bready with a lot of roasted grains. Soft hints of the chocolate and orange peel additions, but I'm not really picking up much coffee. Taste is like an ever-so-slightly burnt slice of brown bread with hints of cocoa coming through on the backend. Light, lingering orange peel vibes throughout. Maybe (maybe?) a smidge of coffee? Not really getting it myself, but that's OK; what's there is very pleasant. Medium-bodied and crisp. I don't really know whether or not this is representative of the style as a whole, but I dig it.

Mar 23, 2020
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a weizen glass

The beer pours a deep rust color with some copper highlights. It is hazy with yeast visibly suspended. It is topped with an inch of tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

The initial smell is chocolate, banana, and clove. As it warms I get a little roasted malt and coffee.

The coffee is a little more pronounced in the flavor. I get coffee and chocolate upfront with banana and clove quick to follow. The orange peel is very subtle. The coffee flavor grows with each sip.

Medium bodied with a slightly chalky mouthfeel

I feel there is a great base dunkelweizen that has been bastardized by adjuncts. Great Lakes does an excellent job with classic styles. Just give me a great dunkelweizen. The adjuncts are okay. I just wish they were not in there.

Mar 22, 2020
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On room temperature shelf at Franklin Beer, Franklin, PA. $ 10.00 (Including tax)/four-pack of 12 oz bottles ($ 0.208/oz). Reviewed 3/18/20.
On label “Enjoy By 07/04/20”. Stored at home at 42 degrees and served at 50 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.25.
First pour – Amber, almost clear. Some haziness is expected from a style that may be 50% wheat.
Body – Dark brown, opaque. When held to direct light, red-amber and translucent.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density, short retention, diminishing to a five to six mm crown fed by light effervescence and a rocky complete cap.
Lacing – Fair. Short irregular pieces consisting of tiny bubbles.
Aroma – 3.5 – Light cocoa and very weak orange, no hops, no maltiness, no yeastiness
Flavor – 4.25 – Weak cocoa, along with a slight sweetness. No malt flavors. Ends with barely noticeable coffee. No alcohol (6.6 % ABV as marked on the label) taste or aroma. No diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide. Aftertaste is slightly bitter with a medium hang time.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, approaching creamy, medium carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4.25. This is bogus. Although this follows style fairly well, and the individual flavors and aromas map well, in a real dunkelweizen they are from the malt and hops, not added ingredients. So, by trying to rate to style, this is better than a four. Leaving out the added ingredients, however, this is probably a 3. Still, it’s fairly cheap and the label isn’t ugly.

Mar 18, 2020
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew from Ohio

3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got a 4pck of this beer from my local Meijer store. It poured a dark amber with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had dark fruit, molasses and spices. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with sweet malt base accented with dates, coffee citrus peel and toffee. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a good beer.

Mar 13, 2020
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, enjoy by 06/20/20. Mahogany colored body is capped by a foamy ivory head. A lot going on with the aroma: banana, orange, caramel, hefe yeast, coffee. Flavors are very complex but do go together pretty well: coffee, chocolate, orange zest, banana, bubble gum, caramel, wheat, grassy/spicy hops. Medium body, moderate carbonation, balanced finish with white pepper and coffee lingering. A very interesting beer that works, yet wasn't anything I would want again. I think I wanted to like it more than I did.

Feb 28, 2020
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Cole's in Buffalo, NY.

This one pours a dark-ish amber color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This one smells like banana, orange citrus, light breadiness, and very little coffee.

The coffee is extremely subtle here - almost imperceptible - but the dunkelweizen underneath is strongly malty enough that it's not a huge problem. The chocolate feels stronger, and there's a mild touch of orange, too, and there's that caramel breadiness. The more subtle lager-y aspects are kind of buried and not super notable, though - this could very well have just been a brown ale.

This is light bodied, bready, and pretty drinkable, with a decently crisp finish.

I wish the added flavorings made more of an impression here. It's not too bad, though, just a touch disappointing.

Feb 24, 2020
Photo of lastmango
lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a translucent brown with a one finger fizzy off-white head that dissipated quickly to a thin film. Nose of coffee, malt, chocolate and orange peel, which I was not quite expecting. Nice though. Taste follows the nose with a bit more coffee and banana coming through. Slight hop finish. Medium-thin body with a slight slipperiness. Overall, I am just not sure the additional flavors for this style is worth the price. I just spent $24+ for a 4 pack.

Feb 14, 2020
Photo of yuenglingfan101
yuenglingfan101 from Ohio

5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown to light blackish color with a small tan head. Chocolate, coffee and orange peel . Taste a between white beer and stout absolutely amazing combo

Feb 11, 2020
Photo of Korbynlehr
Korbynlehr from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark cola in color, with a tan head that quickly dissipated. Nose is malty. Taste is almost malt ball like. After taste is slightly clove. Good beer, but not as great as expected from Great Lakes.

Feb 11, 2020
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a brownish color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has slight chocolate, orange peel and coffee hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a subdued chocolate, orange peel and coffee flavor
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent Dunkelweizen

Feb 09, 2020
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really wanted to love this beer but sadly the coffee toast note was stronger than I wanted in the flavors that I wanted in the style a good dose of wheat maybe some orange peel and some good sweetness. On the lighter spectrum of the style it's quite good but I'm not really seeing the point of this it's lower ABV then one would expect the style and not as drinkable. Still I appreciate finding it and since I love a good effort in American craft beers I have to give it a solid 4

Feb 08, 2020
Photo of cwm51662
cwm51662 from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I don't want anyone to take this the wrong way, but my first thought at a sniff was old orange peel in an ashtray. I guess that I am new to the strong clove presence. Definitely a lighter feel, but just unusual enough to be really tasty.

Feb 08, 2020
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Fordcoyote15 from Kentucky

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

It's a step away from a traditional dunkleweizen but its still a refreshing treat in a saturated sea of ipas and stouts with no love for German beers.

Feb 01, 2020
Photo of WesMantooth
WesMantooth from Ohio

3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Semi transparent brown with a moderate amount of beige head.

Smells mostly like a Dunkelweizen. Wheat grains, cloves, and banana/fruity esters. Also some light coffee and chocolate. Almost like a Mocha Latte.

Flavors are pretty much the same. The base beer is there standing out on it’s own. Lots of wheat and banana. Then it rounds out with cocoa powder and very light coffee and citrus. Lingering ashy flavor on top of cloves.

The body is lacking a little heft. Comes across watery at times. Especially in the finish.

These type of beers are always tough to score to style, which I think they would do alright with if the additional ingredients were axed. It’s not completely undrinkable, but it doesn’t really work for me either. The chocolate-coffee flavors would be alright with a regular Dunkel, but they really clash with the baking spice and fruity esters for me.

Jan 25, 2020
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74 from Ohio

3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, label says best enjoyed by 06/20/20. Served in a weizen glass, the beer pours a mostly clear brownish/amber color with about an inch off-white head that stayed around for a while. Decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like clove, bubblegum, banana, coffee, and dark breadiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some orange peel, chocolate and wheat/grainy malt flavors too. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and goes down easy with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a nice twist on a dunkelweizen, the additions mesh well with the beer without overpowering it. Certainly worth picking this up, I liked it!

Jan 25, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into snifter

A- pours brown with a one finger off white head that reduces to a ring

S- herbal coffee, char, banana nut bread, clove, toasted wheat

T- chocolate, peppery yeast, clove, toasted wheat, banana, brown bread, herbal coffee on the finish

M- medium body with moderate carbonation, foamy mouthfeel and finish

O- an interesting take on the style

Jan 25, 2020
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap:
I enjoyed this beer, though it stems a tad from its reliance on the Dunkel side. It seems to be light on the phenolic “weizen” side, to me.

Reading the one review before me, I agreed with a cold brew coffee (especially the nose), solid malt backbone, medium body and carbonation.

I’m getting a light banana/bubblegum note, initially because I’m looking for it, a little more distinctly as it warms. The nose sticks to cold-pressed coffee a little much. I’m getting a toasty, earthy malt-driven flavor up front (some cold-pressed coffee here as well). The wheat-like characteristics I get are slow to develop, but come about. The Dunkel side still seems the dominant, and I feel the phenolic side is a little more pronounced in the classic versions.

Jan 22, 2020
Photo of BB1313
BB1313 from Ohio

3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 6/20/20. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an amber/auburn/mahogany with ruby hues; mild haze but there's still some clarity to it; light khaki head that falls leaving great bubbly retention and nice lacing. The aromas have a subtle blend of banana, bubblegum, coffee and cocoa. Yeasts and malts are there. The flavors basically follow the nose for the most part. More banana. The coffee and chocolate comes through in the finish without dominating. Hints of orange peel in the mix. Low to no bitterness. Subtle sweetness. Finishes clean. Yeasts do their thing. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's fluffy, slightly creamy, smooth and easy to drink.

This is a pretty nice brew. It's pretty clean. Balance is the key with this one. The chocolate, orange peel and cold brew coffee all come through without dominating. It's enjoyable stuff. I appreciate how unique this is, especially for the style. It's obviously not a classic or traditional example of the style, but it works.

Jan 10, 2020
Bierwolf from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 76 ratings