26 January 2008

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold/Edmund Fitzgerald (OH)

Where I live, we can't get many beers from Big Ten country. Cleveland is only about a two hour drive from Lakewood, NY (home of Southern Tier), but while the latter has its own shelf display at Wegmans, the former has been unavailable. Until recently, that is. Beers of the World now sells Great Lakes, including the variety 12-pack that I bought for an affordable $14-15.

Three of these four beers are listed among the 500 mentioned in Michael Jackson's Great Beer Guide. The downside is this probably isn't the best season for some of them.

Dortmunder Gold: Gold refers both to medals won at GABF and the color. "Not as dry as a Pilsner or as malty as a Munich-style lager," the label says. It is still pretty malty, with an earthy, grainy flavor to it. Hops make an appearance, but it isn't bitter. Nor does it finish cleanly, which is fine given its tastiness. It's more medium-bodied than light, with a decent amount of fizz. I like it, and intend to come back to it when the weather warms up.

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
: I think this one's even better. It's named after the doomed ship rather than the guy who the ship was named after (an insurance executive, BTW). Like Dortmunder Gold, it's listed as 5.8% ABV. It pours a very dark brown, but I can just see my fingers through the other side of the glass. Nice tan head that lasts. The taste is on the dry side, very roasty (almost smoky), and noticeably of coffee. There are some other flavors going on, but I like it because it's fairly direct. The body has a nice soft carbonation. It strikes me as being a tiny bit thinner than I'd like, but that's a minor criticism. This is a wonderfully drinkable porter.

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