Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold


This is the second do-over review for me in as many weeks. Dan Harper, AKA http://youtube.com/TheEndosymbiosis sent me a bottle of this a few months back when we did a trade. Unfortunately, the bottle he sent was expired and even though I tried to review it, it was undrinkable. We don't get Great Lakes here in Albany, but Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie does, so when I saw a fresh bottle there a few weeks ago I decided to pick it up and give it a shot to make up for the one Dan sent.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, USA - OCT 26, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Darker than your average lager with an amber/orange color; crystal clear; massive carbonation visible. Forms a large, white, frothy head which retains and laces very well.

Smell: Typical clean-style, Bavarian Purity Law-conforming lager. No adjuncts; slight grassy hops; hints of lemon peel.

Taste: Beers like Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold are the most difficult beers to review. It’s lager in its purest form - fairly mild palate with few distinct flavors and the one that are there are subtle. Few craft beer enthusiasts are lager enthusiasts and I’m certainly not one of them. The beer is so named for all the awards it has garnered, yet nothing stands out to me about the palate here that is noteworthy. At the same time there is absolutely nothing that turns me off, either.

The palate is difficult to describe. Fairly generic lager flavor throughout. The difference between this and one of the big boys is there’s not obvious presence of adjuncts. I get a slight hop spice and minor cracker-like maltiness but it’s not a beer I would describe as being bitter or sweet. It finishes clean and is very refreshing. Does that make it a great beer? Not by my standards since I don’t grade to style, but if you like it - more power to you.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin (although I’ve had thinner); fizzy, wet, clean with no aftertaste.

Drinkability: If there’s one thing this beer has going for it, it’s the drinkability. The mild palate is thirst-quenching and the clean finish makes it a beer you don’t have to think about. I certainly never would’ve guessed this is a pretty hefty 5.8% ABV from the palate and body since it seems so light on its toes. Sessionable to be sure, and an ideal beer with finger foods - but not the kind of thing I’d seek out for the taste alone.

Grade: 6/10