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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,794 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1794
Reviews: 829
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%


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:
Imperial Red Ale

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,794 | Reviews: 829 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones

New York

5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with the freshness date and ABV on the label. Deep blood red color; not too much of a head, good carbonation. Aroma is an unique blend of sweet caramel with pine, unlike any I have had so far. The taste is truly exceptional, the hops hit you right away, but the finish is malty/sweet. The ABV is masked very well amongst the bevy of flavors that hit your palate. Drinkability is very good, too bad it is a seasonal beer. Highly recommended, anyone and everyone who appreciates beer MUST have the Nosferatu. I don't know how they do it, but Great Lakes is another brewery that keeps churning, well brewing, one solid beer after another.... Cheers!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 04:37:01 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Amish_Ambush
Amish_Ambush

Tennessee

4.98/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on: 09-15-2006

Notes: Medium off-white head. Deep reddish brown in color. Strong hop and grapefruit notes. The tasting notes are intensified grapefruit and hops with figs and a bit of malt present in a pleasing, bitter aftertaste here. I am going to guess they poured a bunch of Chinook hops into this beer. I may be wrong but it is fun to guess. Nosferatu boasts a medium body that becomes quite creamy when you allow it to warm up a bit.

Last night a friend and I did a taste test between this ale and the Stone "Arrogant Bastard" ale. We were sure that we would like the Stone ale better. But we found to our surprise that AB was quite muted in flavor and body when compared to Great Lakes Nosferatu. Great Lakes Brewing company has something special with this beer.

One of my favorite seasonal beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 02:06:08 | More by Amish_Ambush
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.97/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks dakkon54 for sending me 4 of these!

Pours a translucent amber color with an inch white head. Suspended particles float around in the body making this blood colored beer really stand out.

The smell is the classic Great Lakes malt bill with a piney, citrus hops mixed in somewhere.

The first thing I can say about the taste is, "Holy shit, this thing is all-around." The malt bill is exactly what I expect from a GL brew. Grainy, except this one has a touch of sweetness on the back end of the malt bill which really rounds out the beer overall. The malt has a slight roast to it, reminiscent of their Conway's Irish Ale. The hop flavors really come out with bitter straight away. The hops kind of mingle around the malt bill to make a nice interplay. After the bitterness goes away, the slightly sweet malt takes over leaving a slightly chewy malt that still fights with the hops for a place on your palate. There is a subtle dryness that I didnt get from the first 2 bottles, but its definitely there.

The best part about this beer is the ABV--its hidden. At 8%, you would think you'd feel it somewhere, but then youd be wrong. I cant find it anywhere, and I really like it. Sits light on the tongue, but still battles on your tongue as the flavors fade. The nice thing is that Great Lakes didnt over-do themselves on this one. They went massive, and they did it. Then again, they didnt go overboard. Too many beers try to go extreme with no balance, but Nosferatu has all the ingredients there. They all have a say, but all are in agreement with each other. None try to overpower the other, and each has its place.

Second only to Lake Erie Monster in terms of GL beers. Get at least a 4 pack and when thats gone, find more.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 23:48:01 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cherrywood appearance. It glows. The haze is slight. The head is eggshell colored. And creamy. The lace is adequate. The aroma is sweet and malty and fruity. Hell, the taste is sweet and malty and fruity. Great fruit tones. Passion fruits. Some bready malt tones that ooze caramel from their pores. Alcohol is hidden very nicely beneath all the complexities here. The mouthfeel is like a dimestore hooker...smooth, curvy and easy. And the drinkability?? Out of this world.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Great Lakes makes the most drinkable and tasty beverages across the board out of any brewery I know. Whether they be low alcohol session brews or high alcohol sippers like this, they are the one brewery that impesses me the most in all facets of the game.

Thank you cokes for the scary looking bottle (and the contents inside).

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2005 05:19:42 | More by Bighuge
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
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. This....is 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.

Serving type: growler

08-13-2005 01:35:09 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of Jaycase
Jaycase

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: dark copper. Opaque. Noticeable carbonation.

s: nice blend of citrusy hops and toasted malt

t: similar to the aroma, a perfect blend of citrusy (some pine too) hops and toasted caramel malt. A nice kick of bitterness to give it that oomph.

m: medium body and carbonation. Crisp with a dry finish.

o: one of my favorite beers. A release I look forward to every fall and it never disappoints. Well done Great Lakes!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 02:04:11 | More by Jaycase
Photo of BeerFink
BeerFink

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just when I had given up hope of finding this until the next release, I find a 4 pack on my first visit to a new store.

Decants a very nice looking deep copper color with dark red tinting. A healthy looking off-white heads rises to the occasion. Impressive head retention and good sticky lacing make for an outstanding appearance. The nose is very inviting. Citrous and piney hops complement caramel and malt. Some spiciness is also kicked up in the aroma. Taste is wonderfully rich and creamy. Lots of sweet malt form a strong backbone for this 75 IBU ale. Hops hit hard with orange peel and pine, but are very well balanced by caramel and smooth malt. A little spice and some roasty character add complexity. Malt and hops duke it out til the bitter end. The finish is a little sweet, a little hoppy, and just a touch of alcohol. A big and creamy mouthfeel will make you remember this one. Finish is remarkably subtle, leading to excellent drinkability.

Yes, this beer was worth the search. I shall stock up when this is brewed again.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2005 00:01:59 | More by BeerFink
Photo of Strategery
Strategery

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first review! This has always been one of my favorites so here goes...

A-beautiful red color, as close to "blood" red as I've ever seen in a beer.

S-Floral hops, piney, citrus-orange zest, grapefruit, very fresh and grassy.

T-Where do I start?! A wonderful initial hop bite, with a clean sweet malt finish. Nothing is overpowering, and every flavor reaches a perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Almost like a more balanced version of Arrogant Bastard.

M-Great carbonation, goes down smooth as silk.

D-I could drink this all night and then wake up the next morning in my neighbor's bushes. Seeing as how I live in an apartment complex that might not be the best idea.

Overall-My favorite Great Lakes brew along with the blackout stout. A beer I could enjoy every day of the week!

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 03:48:19 | More by Strategery
Photo of GoodKnight1220
GoodKnight1220

Ohio

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Pours a nice deep red and copper, with little to no head and some slight lacing throughout.

Smells of heavy floral hops. Has the slightest undertone hint of sweet caramel malt.

Very good a slightly complex tatse, tough for me to pinpoint. I taste the perfect amount of hops and sweet finish. The heavy alcohol(8%) is masked very well.

Very crisp and a nice dry finish, very good carbonation.

Could drink several of these, often. Another excellent brew from the best brewrey in America.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 01:59:04 | More by GoodKnight1220
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby red with some orange and lots of rising bubbles. Big six finger off white head with great retention and pretty good lacing. Label is also very cool.

Smell: Toasty caramel malts with some wheat grains and toffee. Lots of citrus hops with grapefruit and orange. Also a big pine hop presence. Very hoppy and bready. Quite a combination of hops and malts.

Taste: Like the smell, lots of bready and mildly sweet caramel malts with some toffee and biscuit. Strong taste of grapefruit citrus hops with some orange and a bit of mango. An equally strong presence of pine resin hops is also present. Very hop forward but a very bold malt presence gives a perfect balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp, chewy, and smooth. Slightly dry in the finish.

Overall: An incredible red ale from Great Lakes. Very bold with the hops and malts. Great balance. One of my favorite beers period.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 21:51:01 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Maestro
Maestro

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable. This beer is the best offering I have had from Great Lakes and I have liked everything before it. I didn't know that had this little secret waiting for me. The beer has a great malt profile that is matched with an awesome amount of fruity hops. The nose is hoppy, like a big IPA. The taste is a great balance of malts and hops. Biscuits and bread come to mind, as well as a smoky hop backbone that carries this beer above the rest; full-bodied and tasty. Drink-able.

Would you believe it if I told you my local watering hole was pouring 20oz. pints for $3. Yowzers!

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2006 18:53:24 | More by Maestro
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.83/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip "For Saints and Sinners Alike"
Broke out the good glass for this one!

The Mrs and I planned a trip to Cleveland last year to do the touristy stuff. Heard about Great Lakes through some digging around (before any real interest in craft brews) Planned to go to the Great Lakes Brewery for some beers. Showed up and the place was closed. Not only was it they're one day to close but it was also Memorial Day weekend... Now I have to schedule another trip. Poor me.

Wasn't aware of this beer until a couple months ago through random searching and was glad to see such high regard for it at the same time as the release which was also the same time I had family heading into the states for a couple days. Everything is just looking peachy now!

A- Deep ruby/amber clear pour. Two fingers cream/off white head. Carbonation is fumfering around, taking its time getting to the top of the glass. Lacing is just sheeting the sides of the glass.

S- Bright citrusy hops. Sweet strawberries, faint caramel tones. Grapefruit, mandarin and lemon zest. Back to candied sugar and honey. Fresh and vibrant. Almost like a hop flavored jolly rancher.

T- Candied sugar right off the bat. Strawberries and citrus fruits follow with floral hops right on it's heels. Back to sweet again with caramel and vanilla. The most flavors I've had going at my palate at one time. Absolutely magnificent. Faint bitter aftertaste.

M- Sweet on the lips. Juicy with a quick dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2010 03:21:41 | More by korguy123
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops

New York

4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, now this looks like a brew to get you ready for Halloween!

A- pours a reddish amber body with a fair head of foam. The color completely contributes to the american strong ale appearance

S- off the charts! An unprecedented balance of malt and grapefruit hops. There is no question that the brew is completely uplifting in the hops and malt department. Again, fantastic balance

T- Nosferatu is a repeat offender! The taste is a PERFECT mingle of hops and malt. I don't this I have even tasted this balance before in a beer. It's almost like it's its own unique style because of the balance. So dang tasty

M- great big beer carbonated flavor. Slightly syrupy at the end. Very impressive

D- Great Lakes continues to impress me with their brews. Nosferatu has completely drinkable and delicious properties. This will be a beer that I will forever keep going back to. I will grab a case of this for a Halloween get together no doubt!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 15:48:04 | More by lovindahops
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I hate the term strong american ale as it just leaves so much to the imagination. This beer is like a strong ale meets an IPA and they had a kid. This is by far my favorite beer by great lakes (why do I always like the expensive beers?). I really don't feel like I can put words to how great this beer is.

For taste I wish I were better at explaining different hops but the hops come through as just bitter. You don't get that awful grape fruit flavor that many IPA's are using today. This is mixed with a strong ale (reminds me a bit of third coast ale) instead of the normal strong malt finish of say 90 minute you get a nice crisp yet sweet finish with a nice bit of alcohol backing it. For a beer of this size and strength the mouthfeel and drink ability match it perfectly. You can easily drink 2-3 of these without realizing it yet even on the first you know that you probably shouldn't keep drinking them all day.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 10:32:43 | More by bobhits
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2010 02:22:36 | More by bsp77
Photo of Shawn_Sins
Shawn_Sins

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

THIS BEER IS AMAZING. DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS. TRY IT IF YOU CAN.

serving type: bottle

appearance: red, dense, beautiful

smell: complex, getting sweetness, maltiness, light hopiness, smells amazing

taste: mild sweetness from "red malts" up front followed by a prominent bitterness that lingers. highly complex and perfect.

mouthfeel: moderate to high carbonation. perfect consistency in my opinion.

overall: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. this is the best GLBC beer i have had so far, in front of the lake erie monster and the EF Porter (i have not been lucky enough to try Alchemy hour yet). To me this could be classified as a Red IPA. The hopiness is very prominent. The flavor as very complex. This has been compared to Stone's Arrogant bastard. To me it is a more refined version, but to the keen taster i believe you will find more complexity and flavors in this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 02:32:33 | More by Shawn_Sins
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Features an amber color with a great head that sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Caramel aromatics with plenty of grapefruity citrus

Taste: The caramel base that is present up front is quickly subsumed by a building grapefruit flavor; after the swallow, there is a burst of grapefruit that ultimately blends with the caramel to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really fine ale that balances nicely between the malt and the hops

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2007 03:24:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Score another top selection from GLBC! I had this bottled ($10 / 4 pack - ouch) and then on tap the next night at a local pub favorite of mine.
Served in a siffter and even though the light was low I could see the bright ruby red color and a small vague head. Giant hop nose, but not overbearing chilled out smoothly by sweet malts. The taste is outstanding. Generous hop fangs suck all other flavors out of the mouth (Over the top?). Malt sweetness finishes off the selection gently with a decent caramel flavoring. An alcohol finish warms the soul, not huge but nicely placed. Mouthfeel is heavy and slick leaving residual malt around for memories. Loved this and have no problem ordering a few more.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2004 04:04:26 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of hustlemuscle
hustlemuscle

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/20/04, consumed (and enjoyed!) 12/30/04. One of a four pack for about $9 bucks/4. The fourth of four consumed (for research)

Golden amber, with a puffy half-inch head, that receeded to an even, but thin, coating. Very clear.

Cruel hops, citrusy, but mostly piny. Fruity, with apples and plums.

Swirling fruits and hops, crisp and dry finish, refreshing, the cheek pucker lingers for a while after the beer is gone.

Smooth and medium bodied, this is a great sipper, pleasing and refreshing. Can't wait until next fall when it reappears.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2005 15:51:55 | More by hustlemuscle
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nosferatu pours a beautiful deep ruby red color. Color can also be described as cherry colored wood. The beer is crystal clear and looks very appetizing as it sits in my glass. Initially the head pours to just a bit under two fingers, would be nice if it were just a tad bigger. As it receedes it leaves a wall of lace along the sides of the glass. I've seen better retention in other American Strong Ales. Overall nice appearance, though better head retention would be welcomed.

No doubt about it, the aroma of this beer is magnificant. I don't think that I've ever smelled a beer that had the potentcy and alluring aroma that this beer displays. To the nose crystal/caramel malts and aromas are clearly evident. In addition to that I can detect some aromatic malts, dark munich malts, and perhaps even some german wheat. Ohh this beer smells wonderful. I can't describe in words. I think that this one alone is worth buying just for the smell.

The taste of this beer is also great. Hops are a big part of this beer. They easily stand out in the taste of this beer. The hop flavor is very aggressive. In my opinion it takes the foreground in this beer's flavor profile. The wonderful aromas are behind the hops in this beer; as should be expected with an American Strong Ale-Hopheads describes Americans pretty well. However, the aroma compounds can still be detected in the flavor. Its just that the hops appear at the front of the taste. Nicely balanced.

This beer is full bodied and heavy on the palate, carbonation does not interfere with the flavor and is at a level which seems appropriate. This is a beer that I wish were offered year round. Probably one of my favorites from what Great Lakes has to offer. Will definitley be buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2006 17:16:43 | More by becktone
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

as near to perfection for my palate! poured nice from the bottle. some light persistant carbonation. excellent lace throughout. the aroma is very pleasing with hop and sweet malt. the flava is excellent. i am afraid i could sit and have about 5 or 6 of these in a row! that would likely knock me socks off since it is a 8%abv.

top 5 beers that i have ever had!

suckem up and movem out!

giblet

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 13:23:44 | More by giblet
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Nosferatu
This is one of my all time favorite brews.

The color is a bright crimson, totally clear. 1 finger, foamy head. The aroma is subdued but great. Citrusy hops and faint grain. The flavor is spectacular. The sweet malts play perfectly with the citrusy hops (Cascade if I had to guess) and a rather fruity yeast note. The balance is incredible. Alcohol is well hidden. Incredibly drinkable for 8%. Nice body and mouthfeel. Lighter and more carbonated than a lot of Strong Ales but I find it to be a perfect match.

Another truly World Class beer from Great Lakes. A big win.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 12:41:39 | More by Brew33
Photo of Bogforce
Bogforce

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. Had it for the first time recently and would definitely drink this every week. Could be my favorite beer.

A: Dark Reddish brown color, that has a on finger head. Sticks around for a little bit..

T: Bold but not too bold, has an amazing flavor.

D: I could drink this beer all day every day

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 05:40:50 | More by Bogforce
Photo of Valmor88
Valmor88

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Coppery to red color. Three fingers of pale amber head that reduces to a nice foamy cream.

S: Very hoppy aroma with mild alcohol hints. Slightly floral, spicy and citrusy.

T: Caramel and spices are predominant. Citrusy (grapefruit?) throughout, with a bitter hoppy finish that lingers in the mouth.

M: Medium-full bodied and medium carbonation. Very smooth.

O: Really liked this one. I feel like they could have gotten away with 9% and still done well, but still really enjoyed. I love strong ales, and the red color adds to the overall theme here. I highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 05:46:25 | More by Valmor88
Photo of JiminKY
JiminKY

Kentucky

4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I came across two 4-packs on the "outdated, breakage and returns" shelf, in the storeroom of my local Liquor Barn, while heading for the restroom.

Knowing that these beers could take some age, I convinced the beer manager to let me purchase them. The result is my first taste of an "aged" version of a beer I count as a favorite, when fresh.

These bottles are labeled "Please enjoy by: DEC O7/O6." My understanding is that Great Lakes, at the time, put expiration dates at six months past bottling date, so I am assuming these are just short of two years old. And though Nosferatu is a "Fall" seasonal, this cool, rainy Spring day seems a great time to enjoy a couple.

The color remains identical to the blood-red hue of the fresh version I remember. The quickly-diminishing head still scatters across the top of the beer and laces lastingly along the snifter sides.

The smell is somewhat more subdued than that I recall of the fresh version. When fresh, I remember merely sniffing it for a good ten minutes before taking a sip. I can't really say what it is I smell, now, but it is still very pleasant, if a bit sweeter.

As is apparently the norm with aged brews, the hops character has softened, considerably, from what I experienced with the fresh version. That softening, however, blended wonderfully with the overall profile of the beer. The taste seems to go through clearer stages, now, beginning with the sweetness of the malt and finishing, distictly, with a refined hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel remains soft and enveloping in this aged version, just as I remember it in the fresher one. The tongue and palate are coated with a sticky, lasting impression of spectacular taste.

As with Great Lakes' other "big" beers, this is dangerously drinkable. It takes tremendous restraint to drink this beer at the "respectable" pace it deserves (and probably requires, considering its 8% abv).

I hope you get the chance to enjoy your own bottle of Nosferatu--whether fresh or aged. I truly think it is one of the best beers made by an American brewery.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2008 18:59:43 | More by JiminKY
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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.