Was Eliot Ness an alcoholic? For those of you unaware of the exploits of Eliot Ness (and have never seen The Untouchables starring Kevin Costner), he was a prohibition agent set out to enforce the law and headed up a highly successful unit. In the movie, a reporter asks Eliot Ness what he would do if the prohibition laws were lifted. Ness responds, “I think I’ll have a drink.”
When I was pouring the glass in the picture above, my wife mentioned that it looked exactly like Coca-Cola. I too was quite surprised by the amount of carbonation lifting from the bottom of the glass. The pour is a beautiful red-brown color with loads of bubbles rushing to the surface. The head is thin and dissipates quickly. At first, Eliot Ness tastes malty and sweet (like honey) and then this flavor is taken over by a moderate bitterness like orange or lemon rind. There are clearly different levels of hops used in this beer, but there isn’t any kind of overpowering hop flavor that steals the show. Eliot Ness is fresh tasting and finishes clean.
Elliot Ness is sophisticated beer without being fussy. I think this beer would pair nicely with any kind of barbecue, deli sandwiches, or with a crisp serving of fish and chips. At 6.2% ABV, this has a little more kick than other red ales I’ve tasted, but you would never know it. Elliot Ness (and most of the Great Lakes line) sells for around $9 per six pack and can be found on draft. I couldn’t see myself downing several of these in one sitting, but this is a beer that I certainly will keep in the rotation. I’m pretty sure that if Great Lakes Brewing Company had been around in Eliot’s time, this would have been a top choice for that first legal drink.