Wednesday, August 26, 2009

PorterPalooza #1 - Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Not much text to accompany the review today. Unfortunately, or fortunately maybe, I have a ton of other beer writing and reading that I'm doing right now. Most of it related to this damned obsession.

As I may have mentioned on this site before, I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio and Great Lakes Brewing Company was my hometown brewery. I grew up, in beer-drinking terms, with Dortmunder GoldBurning River, Commodore Perry and Edmund Fitzgerald. These beers mark and define many of my preferences and biases whenever I approach these styles. Indeed, these beers are stylistic definitions in some cases.

So, I was back in Cleveland this past weekend and nostalgic for some comfort food in the manner of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

Appearance: Served at 55 degrees as recommended by the bottle, it is a deep, deep brown with a thick tan/off-white head that holds up strongly; looks a lot like the picture to the left there, but with ruby coloring on the fringes
Aroma: roasted malts and floral hops; the hop aroma is pretty forward though still secondary to the roasted malts; other chocolate and caramel malt aromas come through as well
Flavor: roasted and coffee-like with a nice espresso-y bite; it's not a huge flavor, this isn't an "imperial porter" or even a stout, but it really does much like a muted stout would; hops help to clean it up and it leaves a dry, coffeebean flavor in the finish
Body: somewhat soft and definitely medium to full-bodied; a bit on the "fuller" side for porters, but it isn't so substantial as to be overly filling
Drinkability: I definitely can't drink more than two, but it pairs great with lots of fall cook-out type foods and is great on the dinner table; it's also an easy sipper as it warms up well and is good for bars and watching Ohio State football
Summary: a classic; time has given me a preference for less body, but this definitely is a great porter that I would drink when I want a stout (since I like my stouts less full-bodied as well)


  1. I love the Edmund Fitz, and am big on Great Lakes in general. And if there's a better sampler pack available around here, I'm not sure what it is (though Tyranena's comes close).

  2. Edmund Fitz is my favorite Porter. HOWEVER - I tried a New Glarus Unplugged Old English Porter and it was the 2nd worst beer I have ever had.

    2nd only to Lazy Mutt. Beer Advocate rates it as an A- but I have issues. To me this is an undrinkable Porter.

    Sorry New Glarus brewery

  3. Grinder, you should know the Old English Porter is not trying to be the modern definition of porter, but an example of what porter would have been like in the 1800's. The bottle and Jeff's post a few days ago explain it more fully. Certainly not a beer for everyone, I know not everyone is into sour beers, and if you went into it thining you were getting a normal porter I'm sure it was quite a shock. I myself quite liked it.

  4. I was going write a big review on Beer Advocate but then started to research what "Old" meant. It means "Stale or sour", brewed in the old tradition.

    Personally, the brews I make I stay away from "stale or sour" type words LOL

    But I see now that it was I that was uninformed.

    Anyone want a two pack that lives near Columbus??

    BTW - Shock AND a little awe! My first sip was a WTF moment LOL

    I did not review it on Beer Advocate!


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