Tonight I’m reviewing two highly regarded midwest Porters. The first one is a long time favorite of mine and a beer some consider to be the quintessential Ohio beer, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter by Great Lakes Brewing. Edmund Fitzgerald occupies the #7 slot in the RateBeer.com top 50 Porters in the world. To lend further validity to Eddie Fitz’s claim to be the flagship beer of Ohio, check out the Six-pack project hosted on Bryan Roth’s “This is Why I’m Drunk” blog. In this interesting series, beer bloggers are asked to pick 6 beers that best represent their state, and Tom Aguero from the Queen City Drinks blog does the honors for Ohio. Tom uses his #1 pick on Edmund Fitzgerald.
- Brewery: Great Lakes (Cleveland, OH)
- Style: American Porter
- ABV: 5.8%
- IBUs: 37
- Price: $8.99 per 6 pack
Edmund Fitzgerald has a deep dark brown color, but if you hold it up to the light a few ruby colored photons make it through. Initially it has 1-2 fingers of creamy, beige colored head. Dark roasted chocolate malts dominate both the smell and the taste of this beer, although if you search for other flavors long enough you can find a hint of cola and coffee in the background. There is a lingering bitterness on the finish. The flavor description on the Great Lakes website is pretty accurate—Bittersweet chocolate-coffee taste and bold hop presence. I would add the qualifier that the hops (Northern Brewer, Willamette and Cascade) only make their presence known at the finish.
This beer earns its high accolades. The centerpiece is the lovely, dark roasted chocolate malts that go down smooth and never come across as being burnt. The liberal use of hops adds complexity and keeps the chocolate tastes from overstaying their welcome. Not to mention this beer is available year round for a great price. I’ve been analyzing the statistics of beer ratings and beer prices to find the best beers for the best value (I call this Beer Sabermetrics). As a preview I can tell you that Edmund Fitzgerald comes in at the #2 spot out of 76 beers. This is a classic must-try beer.
Rating = 7.5
Rating scale: 10 = perfection, 9 = excellent, one of the top beers in the world, 8 = very good, one of the top beers in its style category, 7 = good, a solid beer I’m happy to be drinking, 6 = average, not bad but not something I’m likely to buy again, 5 = below average, 3-4 = poor, should be avoided, 1-2 drainpour.