Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,341 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,341
Reviews: 862
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 241
Gots: 293 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

Imperial Red Ale
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,341 | Reviews: 862
Reviews by inhoc00:
Photo of inhoc00
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow. This beer started delicious then went to annoying and then finished with pretty good.

A - Almost October, big Vampire on the label with great reviews as a fall seasonal - just had to try this one. Not as red as I thought. Labeled as a stock ale. Let's be honest. This is a double IPA.

S - Initially, wow! Pine tree, but somehow a more pure pine scent then a standard IPA.

T - Started really unique but eventually all I was tasting was this overpowering pine taste. Took a break and it kind of mellowed out.

M - Lower carbonation, moderate creamy and a confirmation to the tasting notes of "a bit of a bight"

D - Lets be honest here. Its a seasonal beer, right? Comes in a four pack so I figure one for every weekend of October. Any more and I wouldn't be able to tolerate having a Xmas tree in my house come December.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This Nosferatu doesn't hide from the light - it embraces it. Glowing ruby - or are they blood red? - highlights abound from this clear but very deep coloured Amber Ale. Its head is no bigger than the foam you'd skim off a simmering bone broth but impressively manages to cling to the glass.

This bouquet is downright dazzling. It magnificently manages to cram herbal, piny, and citrus hop elements into a tall order of malt that smacks of caramelly confections. It is a sizable and rich aroma with enough depth and dimension to leave you smelling it for hours.

Vampires are often portrayed as possessing some kind of seductive allure - this beer definitely has it. This 4-pack left me wanting to drive the 5 hours it takes back to the brewery and buy as much as my credit card will allow. Toothsome flavours of toffee brittle and apple butter are contrasted against tastes of roasted peaches, grapefruit zest, and pine resin. Delicious.

Nosferatu definitely has some bite - and that's not just a bad pun on my part. All this hoppiness provides an especially spicy and herbal brand of bitterness that brings that most abused of beer terms - "crisp" - to new levels. It has a clipping, dry finish which is a welcomed balance to the initial waves of toffee-ish sweetness brought on by such an ample malt bill.

Nosferatu has long been one of my favourite seasonals. Many a Halloween it has sucked my wallet dry. But so far as I'm concerned this hearty combination of sweet malt and multifaceted hops is a gustatory masterpiece. The fact that it's so irresistibly drinkable even at 8% alcohol tells you something about just how much flavour it offers. Here's hoping this fall release is eternal.

Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had the pleasure of sampling this a few times in the past and had a pint last night on tap, this had been sitting for a few weeks waiting to be drank here at home.Poured into a impy pint glass a nice clear copper/amber color with a tight 1/2 finger light reddish tinted head that left a nice ring as it settled,aromas of roasted nuts,dark fruit and a real noticable leafy hop presence wich I found more profound out of the bottle than on tap.Big fruity profile on the palate up front with notes of brown sugar with that leafy,piney hop presence coming thru into the finish as well a light alcohol zing.I like a good American strong ale and this is another top notch one in my book it has alot of different flavors and character going on.

Photo of RoyalT
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This was one of the most beautiful heads that I’ve ever seen. It was an off off-white, more like a creamy not quite yellowish-white, and seemed a mile thick. It left wonderful lacing on the inside of my Chimay glass and little quarter-sized pits of foam on top of the liquid.

The beer itself was a thick, hazy orange tinted with brown. I mean, I wanted to take a picture of this thing and frame it up on my wall.

Smell – The sharp, rank malts are like a Barley Wine. They are pungent and very exciting to whiff. The sharp sweet aroma is hard core sugar, most like table and cane. There are also some serious hops in here that I missed at the smell. It’s like BW in the day time and IPA at night.

Taste – This is like a good BW but with a strong malt backbone. The sugar is pure cane now. Together this is raw, kind of winey malts with big, harsh sugars.

Mouthfeel – This ASA is medium-bodied with little sense of alcohol. It’s actually bitter in back of the tongue and has a nice, gliding feel on the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is dangerous it’s so good. That’s the fasted I’ve ever drank a Strong Ale.

Comments – Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sending me the Nosferatu. This beer “bites”.

Photo of tectactoe
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper, burnt amber color with a light tan head, small and receding leaving the smallest amount of lacing along the sides of the glass. Aroma was sweet and malty - lots of heavily toasted caramel malts, giving a nice backing sweetness and toasty feeling, along with a decent sized handful of hops, floral and lightly peppery around the edges, adding a bit to the sweetness but more to the herbal and bitter side of the aromatics. Nosferatu has a pretty powerful nose; strong and robust, but not fear-inducing or overly abrasive.

The first thing that hits the palate is the solid malt infrastructure. It rolls out on the tongue and coats the mouth to hold steady and pave the way for the upcoming flavor rush. Caramel and toffee malts line the walls, along with a grape and plum flavored sweetness that kicks into high gear almost immediately. The malt displays some other characteristics, like toasted bread, sweet and buttery, with a touch of brown sugar and/or molasses. The alcohol is there, but not too strong, and give it that "booze-soaked" dark fruit profile that is common in many strong ales and barleywines.

Don't let the malt fool you, though - the hops are no stranger to Nosferatu. On the nose, they were more detectable as peppery and herbal, but on the palate they come off as more floral and citrusy, as they bring some lighter fruits to the table; grapefruit, apricot, faint oranges. Bitterness remains on the lower side, meaning this doesn't quite resemble an IPA or a DIPA, but the hops still play a huge role in this beer's flavor. Aftertaste finishes with a floral, peppery warmth and a fading, boozy raisin flavor. Medium body, almost on the thick side, just a touch away from being sticky - slightly wet and slick with medium carbonation.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while now, and I'm glad I finally did. Wonderful flavors all around. I've heard this one compared to Arrogant Bastard often. Is it better? Tough call. I think I'll give the edge to AB, because of it's abrasive, yet controlled hop profile and pronounced bitterness while remaining so malty and drinkable. But Nosferatu is still a damn good beer that I wouldn't pass up if given the chance to have again.

Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light copper color with great clarity and a long lasting light-tan head.

S: A rich malty aroma with a moderately-strong citrus and resinous pine hops aroma. The aroma is complex but I get all malt hops and alcohol with little else getting past.

T: A strong grainy malt flavor with a firm hops bitterness complimented by a decent amount of alcohol. There is a moderate citrus hops flavor. The balance is pretty bitter with an off-dry finish and a linger hops bitterness in the the after taste.

M: A lightly creamy, medium-full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. A strong alcohol warmth.

O: I look forward to this Strong warming beer every year with it's solid bitterness and decent hops flavor and aroma it never disappoints.

Photo of sgoodship
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My friend Brian gave me this. Cheers Brian! Already reviewed this on-tap when I visited Great Lakes. I wanted to review the bottle to see how they stack up against each other.

On-tap review I said:
A: Nice dark reddish bronze colored ale. Some ruby redness on the edges against the light. Poured a nice 1 finger white fluffy head that reduced to a nice small cap. Very attractive brew.

Bottle: Not as deep and not as ruby highlights as I remember from the on-tap. Hazy, mysterious and moody - fitting for the name of the drink!

On-tap review I said:
S: Holy smokes - massive hops. Mix of bitter and fruit. Really impressive smell. A more floral note arose toward the end of the drink. You can detect the strength but does not have a strong alcohol smell.

Bottle: Not the impact of on-tap. Rum-like alcohol came across immediately. Hops are there but not that impactful.

On-tap review I said:
T: As you would expect, a touch of caramel malt to keep it grounded but a wallop of hops. Some powerful bitterness with amazingly succulent grapefruit. Really chewy - plenty of interest. The alcohol is there and gives you a nice warming sensation - amazingly well masked.

Bottle: Bigger malt and less hop than the on-tap. Has a cloying sour aftertaste.

On-tap review I said:
M: Medium carbonation gave this quite a bit of life. Was fairly smooth but the finish delivers a bit of an acidic bite.

Bottle: Pretty much the same. Aftertaste is more aggressive and acidic.

On-tap review I said:
D: It's a masterful brew. Really powerful. It would be so easy for it to go off the deep end but it all holds together in a fantastically well coordinated way. The high drinkability and high ABV make this a dangerous brew. It packs a punch.

Bottle: I gave on-tap an A. The bottle falls short. A part of the impact of the on-tap was how big malt and hops were and how well balanced it all was. The lack of hops in the bottle throws off the balance and allows the alcohol to have too much focus. Still a really enjoyable and interesting beer. Like always, once you try on-tap, it's tough to go back to the bottle.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #46 (Nov 2010):

Named after one of the scariest vampires of all time. Deep reddish amber color comes off very clear, and the lacing does a great job of sticking to the glass. Massive toasted biscuity nose, with some sweetness and some hop resin. Smooth malty body, big kiss of sweetness to start but then the malt rails in hard with a pleasing toasted graini- ness, which stays. Some rounded dark caramel adds to the sweetness, as does the dark, fruity alcohol. Hops may not beat this beer down with bitterness, but the oily resin flavor keeps things in check. As the beer warms a little, it unfolds into a lovely sipper; it's easily a mood beer for the cooler months.

Photo of blackearth
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the Market Basket in Brookfield, WI. Pours a dark amber body with an orange tinted off-white head. Aroma of beet sugar and sweet hops. Full bodied with brown sugar sweetness that leads to a hoppy dry finish. Great drinkability, I always want a second when I finish the first one.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber red with a nice sticky fluffy one inch head on top. Toffee caramel with piney citrus aromas. Nice.

First sip is caramel apple toffee mixed with a lovely citric pine hop flavor. Nicely balanced and bursting with flavor. A bit of fresh baked bread in there as well...nice biterness on the back of the palate. Damn good.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with great chewy body...leaves some nice lacing down my glass as well. A tasty, easy to drink brew that works well on a cold night...I like it! Thanks to kmpitz2 for hooking me up with the bottle.

Photo of blitz134
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark red, caramel. Small khaki head on the pour that reduced to the thinnest of layers and a ring around the glass.

Aroma is loaded with sweet malts, caramel and some sweet bread, raw sugar with a bit of bubblegum. Floral and some citrus hops blend in nicely. A dash of alcohol with a hint of fusalness compliments well. A bit of peppery spice as well.

Flavor is quite a bit hoppier and finishes with a touch of bitterness. Balance is superb though. Hops have a citrus and piney edge. Flavor is again caramel and some raw sugar. A touch of alcohol as well, but still quite hidden.

This is super easy to drink. A bit like a large IPA with its balance, not an overhopped DIPA. Good medium to full bodied mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation to add a touch of crispness.

Photo of generallee
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter glass. The bottle has a best by date of 11-09-09 and it was sampled on 10-24-2009.

Appearance: It had a deep copper amber body with some reddish highlights and good clarity. The head is tall and fluffy, light beige in color and has nice retention. On the glass it makes cool sticky lacing.

Smell: There is a full nose of fresh bready malt, light roasted notes, hints of toffee and mixed nuts. The aroma is sweet and yet balanced by solid notes of citrus like hops.

Taste/Palate: The flavor has sweet caramel, bready and nutty maltiness with well balanced citrus/pine hops. The 8% abv is mild and adds some more subtle warmth and character. The finish is slow with some pleasant hop bitterness. It has a solid medium to full body with mellow carbonation and a smooth texture.

Notes: This was a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of Duster72
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very deep red-amber with little head that dissipates down into a ring around the glass. Aroma is dark fruits and some sweet breadiness. Taste is a woody maltiness with a nice smoky flavor cleared off by mild citrus and dominant pine hops. Hops overpower the malts and make it a touch too bitter for my taste. Dry finish and refreshing.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%

Well-balanced and enjoyable until the finish. Tasty toasted malts with some caramel paired with citrus hops share the stage. Finishing hops of bitter dried herbs and a touch of pine spoil the party at the end.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass, Nosferatu pours a hazy orange body with a one inch beige head. Good head retention and some island chain lacing. Lots of active carbonation on view in the glass. Aroma has toffee and caramel for the malt profile, citrusy hops with a pine accent for the hops. Hops also lend a grassy and herbal note. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, nicely carbonated, with a mild bite of alcohol. Taste features a bigtime malt influence of toffee and caramel. The hops are quite assertive, as well, more pine cone than citrus, with some grassiness for good measure. Some honey drenched apple and pear flavors are noted in the middle, and the malt veers toward buttered bread with toffee toward the finish. Pine resin adds a bitterness to the finish, and the aftertaste winds up smooth and evenly balanced. Alcohol is well concealed inside the assertive hops and malts. Lots going on in this one. Some barleywine and double IPA character are present. Very nicely constructed, and one that I would have again. Thanks to brewedlyhooked for the bottle.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 inch head, cloudy, amber in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: big pine hops, toffee, and chocolate

Taste: pine hops, tree bark, toffee, caramel, and a touch of tea

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweetish start--with a dry bitter finish

Drinkability: I like the caramel and pine hops mix. The sweet and bitter mix nicely. I could have a couple of these if it were available around here.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.85/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

64oz. growler courtesy of AKSmokedPorter and his recent trip to Cleveland.

For the first time in a L-O-N-G time, a different serving type has just blown me away compared to a bottle. Fresh Nos on tap is such a beer. The previous times I'd had it in bottles (thanks to Blatzman, TwelveVoltMan, and PhantomVoDoo!) it was good. damn near perfect.

Same clear blood-tinged ruby darkness. Hefty layer of off-white lace. All sorts of lovely rings of lace paste the sides of the glass. Aromas are swirling with hoppy fruit and citrus notes battle with a swarm of malt sweetness. Reminds me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Worthy praise, indeed. Flavor is off the charts. Whatever brashness I experienced with the bottle is smoothed out in the tapped form. But make no mistake, there is a TON of flavor in this beer. Up front assault of citrus and fruity hops, followed by a crescendo of sweetness of caramel, maybe a twinge of honey, and some choco-toffee notes. Ends with a smile- and burp-inducing bitterness on the palate that is not quite piercing, but certainly monstrous in size and long-lasting. Definitely smoother than the bottled version. Stupidly/laughable/amazingly/insanely/superbly/etc. drinkable. 64oz. is not enough for me. This is a "call AKSmokedPorter and drive up to Cleveland with him to get more of this" beer.

Flash...I owe you big time for this. Simply wonderful. GLBC shows yet again why they are my favorite brewery.

Photo of bsp77
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy reddish-amber with cream colored head that leaves a persistent thin line and slight lacing.

Smell: Orange, grapefruit & pine hops, caramel, and a spicy bread-like quality that reminds me of rye.

Taste: Great balance of American hops (orange, grapefruit, pine) and semi-sweet caramel and fruity malts. Ends spicy and bitter. It still reminds me a little of a ramped up Rye IPA/Red Ale.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, very smooth, oily and full body. Dry and warming finish.

Drinkability: Just a stellar beer. Seems like a Double IPA with a slightly different malt base. This has more than redeemed my faith in Great Lakes after my sub-par opinion of their Octoberfest.

Photo of Stonebreaker
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep, dark red, amber. The head was a little flimsy and the lacing wasn't there.

Smell: Very aromatic hops, with just a touch of malt, sweet fruity hop oils.

Taste: Why isn't this and Lagunitas 13 called what they are; a DIPA? This is a delicious hoppy brew with enough malt sweetness up front to stand up to all those ibu's but as delicious as it is there are several others I can think of that are in the same league.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy.

Drinkability: Not a session beer but a very solid brew that should fit in any night of drinking.

Photo of amidabha
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vigorous pour into a sam adams perfect pint gave this an inch plus head with an intense lacing and aromatics and a perfectly clear deep amber color lays beneath.

there is a slightly bitter aftertaste that the malt doesn't quite catch up with but the hops leave a nice dance on the tongue. slightly hoppy just the way i like it.

this is a great beer and i like the whole experience of drinking it from the smell to the taste and after. the growler has a slightly lighter mouthfeel than a bottle which only makes it feel fresher to me somehow.

at $7.49 a growler at DEP's i'm glad they have another keg on the way when this one runs out. a great beer for when the nights turn colder.

Photo of jcdiflorio
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the Parlour.The color was deep ruby red and clear.An off white creamy head,good retention and lacing the glass.
The aroma was complex,it was sweet,malty,caramelly,chocolatly and friuty with pine and citrus hop notes.
Taste was citrusry,grapefruity,piney,a bit grassy,a presence of alcohol.
It tasted smooth,velvet like,lively on the palate,a syrupy,cloying mouthfeel with a very nice bitter hop finish.
It was fairly drinkable for the style,well balanced,very tastey,a very enjoyable beer.Recomended drinking,would love to drink this beer again.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a cloudy ruddy brown with a small light brown head that quickly fades away with some nice thin lacing. Nose is very nice, similar to a marzen almost - biscuit and hop notes with some fruity esters.

Let this warm up - my first sip just a couple minuets out of the fridge was way too cold. Hops are present here but take a back seat to the very nice and complex malt base. Very sweet and toasty it leaves my lips a bit sticky. The mouthfeel is very nice, carbonations is a bit high but not offensive at all. Overall a great beer although I don't know if I'd call it an Old Ale.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

A little fruit cake on the nose joined by minty hops, spicy malt, fresh grain. Pours brilliant garnet tinted amber under a 2” very light tan tinted finely bubbled off-white persistent foam cap that marks each drink with a fine line. Provides a rich spicy malt palate with a hint of anise, a does of bread crust and a well rounded, drying bitter finish. Creamy with a medium body and medium carbonation.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish amber color into a pint. Has a large-bubbled head, slightly creamy with good retention and sticky lacing. The strong aroma is of spicy hops, malt, and yeast, with hints of citrus and grass.

The taste consists of citrus, a flash of berry, spciy malt, bitter hops, and a bit of creamy caramel. The mouth is wonderfully complex, light and bright on the front, bitter and dry, cut with a slight creaminess, on the back, but delightfully well-balanced throughout.

I could drink this year-round in copius amounts, though it's a sesonal brew. Let it warm considerably for the bitterness to mellow a bit. Another great beer from GLBC.

The label is one of the best in beer as well, featuring Max Schreck as Count Orlaf from the film. Drinking a four-pack of the beer while watching the film would be a truly illuminating experience, I think--or at least gratifying on all sense planes.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes.

pours out of my growler into a standard pint glass. big biege head with lots of sticky lace, and great head retention. reddish chestnut like color.

in the aroma, raw, piney, pellet hops balanced by a biscuity toasty malt.

great balance. great tasting biscuits toasted caramel malt, piney, citrus pellet hops. bits of tropical fruity hops.

smooth creamy feel. hops are felt on the palate. good feeling carb.

even with the higher than average abv, one growler is no problem. i definatly recommend this and ill be sure to revisit this one soon.

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,341 ratings.