Blue Collar Brew Review – Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

greatlakesI was on the prowl for beer again, last Friday and I wanted something different. Perhaps something more in tune with the season. At the last homebrew club meeting there was a porter on tap. I figured that seemed to fit what I was looking for. Then I tried to remember what porter beers I knew of in the past.

There was Breckenridge vanilla, Stone’s smoked porter, Ballast Point’s coffee vanilla porter, but I didn’t want any of that. I wanted to try a Plain Jane porter so I could remember what a true porter tasted like later on. Aha! I spotted Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter.

Fitz sixI remembered writing about this beer a while ago. and a little searching showed that the last time I partook of Edmund F. was back in 2009. Back when I was a beer dweeb. Looks as if the beer price went up by 2 bucks and 2 tenths ABV since then. Edmund Fitzgerald shall do for today as well. It’ll be a rerun of past enjoyment.

Another search showed that the Fitz garnered a near perfect rating on Rate Beer. That justified my purchase even more. This came 4 days after the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the big ship on Lake Superior. There are links at the end.

Time to soak the taste buds with some good craft beer. Let’s get going.

Fitz foamThe beer poured brown in color, similar to Pepsi or Coke, but in this case, the liquid brought up a nice thick, foamy beige head of about 2 inches. When held up to the light, the liquid had a garnet reddish tint to it. Carbonation was quite vigorous. The aroma was that of lightly toasted malts.

The first sip was absolutely great. It had a medium mouthfeel and that typical light roasty flavor that distinguishes a porter from a stout. The beer was surprisingly easy to drink, the dark malt flavors didn’t attack the palate. Each sip left behind a little bit of stickiness in the back of the throat. Hop presence in virtually nonexistent. It’s a roasted malt game here.

I’m not going to bore readers with the differences in the porter styles. There’s Baltic, English style brown and robust. (Also smoked and imperial but this doesn’t qualify.) And, quite frankly (pfft!) I don’t really know the differences and I don’t care. As long as the porter I’m drinking tasted like the one at hand, I’d be a happy man.

The beer weighs in as a light welterweight as far as alcohol in general is concerned but it’s at the upper end for the style. With a taste like this, it doesn’t really need to be anything else. The taste of Edmund is it’s forte and it’s delicious. Slight notes of coffee and chocolate hide and then peek out during each sip. There was a slight sweetness at the beginning which soon got overwhelmed by the lightly roasted malts.

The beer has nothing going for it other than its taste and that, in itself, is what makes this beer special. It’s a porter by the numbers. The true definition of the style. A perfect example.

Fitz glass

This beer is ideal for weather like we’ve been having. I could see tossing back a few of these during a Sunday football game and still have room for supper.

If you really want to treat your taste buds, grab some Edmund Fitzgerald. It’s a real treat.

THE-GREAT-LAKES-BREWING-CO.-EDMUND-FITZGERALDThe SixPackTech summary for Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter:

Style: Porter
Taste: Dark and a slight bit roasty. Very pleasant.
Smoothness: Really easy going down.
Drinkability: Keep ‘em coming ’til spring gets here.
Bang for the buck: Great price for a great taste.
Amount paid: $9.99 for six 12-ounce bottles.
Get it again? I probably will if the stouts don’t burn me out.
ABV: 6%
Brewer’s website
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sip) This is dry, bitter. (sip) Burnt coffee. I don’t like those dark ones. (She made some sounds I couldn’t spell.)

2009 Review of this beer.

Wikipedia link to the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

A little more info.

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald [6:38]



This entry was posted in beer, Brew Review, opinion. Bookmark the permalink.