916: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Name: Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Cleveland, Ohio
Style: American Porter
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.8%
First Brewed: 1991

Tasting Notes
A massive roasted malt aroma rises from an ink-black pint glass. Despite its forbidding appearance, the body is light and quite easy to swallow, offering an outstanding complexity of rich malt flavors, especially burned roast and bitter chocolate. The finish is rich, satisfying, and clean.

Ricky’s Thoughts
The first time I had this beer was in Ohio. We were in town for a concert, and had some time to kill. It was actually on Thanksgiving, if I remember correctly, and there was only one bar open. We stopped in, and they had this on tap. You can’t get this beer in Indiana, so I ordered a pint. It. Was. Amazing. The concert was great too.

Let’s see if the Edmund Fitzgerald tastes like I remember.

In the Glass: It’s black. It’s a porter, and most porters are black… but this one is REALLY black. There is little head, and a thin lace. I am not a huge fan of porter, but I remember this one being a little more sweet than most.

Nose: It smells like chocolate. It has a dark sweet chocolate nose, and if I close my eyes it’s not beer I am smelling, but the holidays and all of the cookies and cakes being made in the kitchen.

Flavor: The flavor changes several times from the moment it hits your lips. There is a lot of carbonation on the front of the tongue, then it slides across the palate leading to a dry and sweet punch before you swallow to the dry and sweet finish, Remember I said it smells like chocolate… well, it has an aftertaste like that too. But I will get to that.

Mouthfeel: We drink all of our beers cold, and I bet this one gets better as it heats up. Most beers do. But this one is solid across the board. From the smell to the flavors and the aftertaste, this is a great beer. The carbonation that I get at first isn’t enough to worry me as I move my way through the glass.

Aftertaste: At first, it’s dry and sweet. Then it settles in and reminds me of a dark chocolate aftertaste. Specifically the small little Hershey’s candies… the dark ones though. Not milk chocolate. As I continue to swallow, the flavors come alive. The burp is weak, but the aftertaste lasts for a few minutes.

This is a great beer. From the moment I had it on tap, I wanted this one again. I just wish we could get this here in Indiana. If you get the chance to try this, do. You won’t regret it. Oh, and thickness that you expect from most porters… not here. It’s very thin and smooth across the palate.

Beer Name – The bottle says: – neck of the bottle – “Thanks to our craft brewing process, when you take a swig of our Edmund Fitzgerald, it will taste smoky, robust, dark and bittersweet. Thanks to our environmental efforts, if you take a swig of Lake Erie, it won’t taste smoky, dark and bittersweet.”

The bottle says: – the label – WORLD CHAMPION GOLD MEDAL WINNER World Championships Great American Beer Festival – Named after the ship that frequently docked in Cleveland and sunk in Lake Superior in 1975, our porter combines a complex, roasty aroma with a bittersweet, chocolate-coffee taste.

“In keeping with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516, this beer is traditionally brewed from all natural ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. No chemicals or preservatives are used.”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
I have had this beer before, so I know it’s good.  I love porters, but I am so picky about the ones I really like.  If I remember correctly, this one was actually pretty good.  Unfortunately, we can’t get Great Lakes beer here in Indiana, or I’d probably be drinking it all the time!

Ricky poured it out right, so there’s not much head.  I actually prefer beers with less foam, honestly.  This one smells great… very malty and chocolaty.  The malt taste is what I smell the most when lifting it up to my nose.  It’s a very dark brown in the glass, almost black, as expected from a porter.  And man… I do really love that smell.  I’m almost not ready to drink it yet.  Porters usually taste better about room temperature or a little above anyway.

First drink… it’s a little carbonated, which I wasn’t expecting.  Definitely has that chocolaty malt taste that you can smell.  And then… the finish leaves almost a hint of coffee taste going down.  This is a pretty solid porter.  I think what I like about it, and what I look for in porters but don’t often find, is a richness and complexity.  There are a lot of porters out there, and a lot of the ones I’ve tried just all seem to have the same basic taste, and it’s an average one.  This one rises above that, adding a hint more flavor.  It’s a beer you want to savor, and definitely one I’ll buy again when I get the opportunity.

Rating: 4/5

915 bottles of beer on the wall…

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