What's in a Beer Name?
A Review of Eliot Ness Amber Lager by Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Posted on 10/25/2012 by Chops
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a beer that calls itself the Eliot Ness. This was the American Prohibition agent who was famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago. He was also the leader of the fearless and incorruptible law enforcement outfit nicknamed ''The Untouchables''. So what am I to think about a beer named after perhaps the most unapologetic anti-beer cop in history? Well, this is a beer crafted by the Great Lakes Brewing Company. These guys are very well known for creating world-class nectar. So, I'm pretty sure the brew plan went something like this: ''We're going to make an amber lager so damn delicious that even Eliot Ness would drink it!'' And that they certainly did.

In the glass, this beer has a beautiful coppery amber coloration with a slight reddish tint. It comes with a frothy white head that has dissipates at a normal pace. On the nose, a clean toasted malt set up shop as the dominant trait. It had a slight candied vibe as well as a mild spiciness. Vienna Lagers are generally simple brews and are often viewed as lighter versions of Oktoberfest Lagers (they are members of the same style family). Eliot Ness fits this bill perfectly. I couldn't have asked for a better introduction.

All it takes is one sip to understand that Eliot Ness is a world-class beer. Fantastic flavor, superb mouthfeel, perfection in a bottle. The toasted malt provides a savory bready base for the hops and spice notes to rest upon. There is a grainy character to the malt that reminds me of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds. The spice notes beautifully compliment the malt by adding a tangy quality similar to black pepper. The Noble hop profile rounds out the mix by adding a mild herbal touch. The beer has a solid medium body, drinks easily and feels very clean. The finish is slightly sticky with a malty bitter aftertaste.

Overall, the Great Lakes Eliot Ness Amber Lager is a fantastic brew. I was most surprised by its complexity since Vienna Lagers tend to be rarely memorable. To be perfectly honest, this is the first version I have ever come across that I would place on a mantle beside any world-class Oktoberfest. Needless to say, I can recommend this beer to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will be unable to deny this beer's impeccable quality. Novices will be blown away by the savory flavors and silky smooth body. Eliot Ness is a game changing brew that demands respect. That being said, the name choice makes much more sense.

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Eliot Ness Amber Lager by Great Lakes Brewing Co.
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