1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,931 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,931
Reviews: 832
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 181
Gots: 115 | FT: 7
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Nosferatu Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,931 | Reviews: 832 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

12oz bottle, pours a crystal clear ruby/amber with glints of orange, a two fingered light tan head foams to the top in luxurious volume, leaves thin rings of lace down the glass.

Nose is thick with caramel sweetness, topped off with a generous dose of bittering and piney hops. Strong ale or English style DIPA (if such a thing existed).

Thick, sticky caramel, bread and toffee, hint of earthy twang, hint of hazelnut, nice piney hop blast with smaller notes of floral and citrus. This is a hoppy strong ale! Wasn't expecting the hops and they take me by surprise. Thick, sticky malts with lots of hops - sounds like a recipe for a DIPA but with the malt taking prominence, no fear of mistaking it for that - barleywine lite perhaps. Plenty of sweetness to go around, a light alcohol burn in the back. Sparkly carb.

Terrific ale and I am rethinking my plan to age a couple, I quite enjoy the hop bite to balance the malt!

11-07-2009 02:40:27 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of ppoitras


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" light beige head over the slightly murky amber brew. Head fights the good fight, and lasts for a long time, esp for the style, and lacing is good. Aroma is of malty husks, slight dark fruits, and tinges of alcohol. Taste is follows the nose, except alcohol notes at the swallow seem more pronounced, and warming is obvious. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great for the style. This is one vampire I'll try to revisit...

01-02-2005 20:28:37 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Spider889


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

This is a beer I look forward to every year. As soon as I took a sip I was taken back to past years grilling in the last weeks before snow, Halloween parties, etc. It's getting pretty cold in Ohio already, this beer came out just in time!

Deep red/burgundy color. The head is the color of newly hewn oak. The head is light and bubbly, and it leaves gooey legs of thick lace.

Smells of earthy deep hops. Plenty of nice malty undertones, sweet caramel notes with an almost woody/peaty bite to it.

Very rich flavor here. Tons of acidic piney hops bite you off the bat. They are really up front and fighting out for the win over the other flavors. (This is in the top 2-3 most bitter beers that GLBC makes annually for retail sale.) All of the hoppiness is followed by sweet amber malts, a light sherry-like character, with some rye on the finish.

This beer is relatively smooth, very dry, with a medium bodied mouthfeel.

The drinkability is average. While the alcohol is not too overpowering, the hops can be over the course of the bottle. I could drink two, but by the end my palate would need a bit of a rest. However, I have a feeling that I'll be craving this with increasing zeal as the weather grows ever colder.

10-06-2010 04:50:16 | More by Spider889
Photo of nlmartin


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass. The date on the bottle is 9/23/05.

Appearance: The beer pours a very nice ruby to deep copper coloration. The head is massive almost two inches white and fluffy. The beer leaves crazy amounts of lacing down the glass.

Smell: The beer has a massive amount of malty sweetness on the intial smell. There is a very big hoppy grassy, woody character in the smell.

Taste: The beer leads with hoppy grassy, woodyness. Then the beer goes sweetly malty caramel. Then finishes as a combination of sweet and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a slick oil texture to the mouth. The beer is light bodied.

Drinkability: This beer is a very well balanced malty hoppy beer. Very easy to drink. Oh Yeah!

12-21-2005 04:46:36 | More by nlmartin
Photo of BierStein711


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Served from the tap at the pub, three finger head in a ten ounce goblet

Appearance, deep copper amber, like a Full metal jacket

Smells of hop, malt, and perhaps a coarse, burnt oak

Tastes of oak, hop, and warm malts

Mouthfeel: Creamy and luxiourious

Overall, this Imperial Red is well worth your time. Have a go! I don't think you'll find this in a six pack though.

If I had the chance though, I'd put it in my fridge.

This is my favorite red ale.

11-24-2012 05:27:19 | More by BierStein711
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep crimson with a thin eggshell head that settles quickly to a thin film. Carbonation is mild, but lacing sticks to the glass with ease.

S: Piney hop nose, with fruity notes lingering in the backround. Malt gives aromas of caramel and toast.

T: Hops blast the palate with pine, spring flowers, and citrus notes, while at the same time being balanced out with caramel and cereal flavors. The finish is dry and robust, yet very clean.

Notes: This beer has great flavor and depth, but it lacks a bit in body for the style. Overall, Nosferatu is a medium bodied brew that's tasty as Hell, and very easy to drink.

10-03-2010 04:51:51 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Enjoyed in celebration of Halloween 2007.

A deep and rich ruby coloured beer. A polished body and gleaming clarity. Copper-white head to which swirling only produces more. An absolute pleasure to observe.

The aroma has a metallic-toned bouquet of hops. If it is rich in one thing it certainly hops. Amber malts are also prevalent. The aroma is understated despite the big hops. I might ask a little more of it to really be impressed, in all honesty. Although I'd be lying if I said it didn't please me as it is...

The mouthfeel is perfectly balanced. With no alcohol detected, each sip begins with a crisp bitterness, delving then into a rich and silky texture only before finishing a sweet and lasting note of caramel. Only a wild note of alcohol is ever sensed. It has weight, it has texture, it has some understated strength. This makes for a wonderfully drinking ale, rather delicious. A now must have for my yearly Halloween treats!

10-31-2007 05:50:15 | More by biegaman
Photo of Hibernator


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Great Lakes Nosferatu
12 oz brown bottle
Freshness date clearly labeled for 12/16/10
Served in a wonderful Smuttynose 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a deep chestnut brown with khaki colored highlights.

This beer is a pure delight. Major malt flavors with brown sugar, apple cider, caramel and malty goodness.

Flavorful with a hoppy punch on the finish. Strikes a successful balance of malty and hoppy.

A wonderful, highly hopped malt special. Tasty and complex with a super malty/hoppy combo.

10-15-2010 01:50:47 | More by Hibernator
Photo of JDK


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Poured a dark amber color with a 1 finger head.
medium lacing throughout
The smell is very lite, nothing really stands out.
Good carbonation that leaves the palette clean with hops.
8% alcohol but you'd never know it (unless you drink it on an empty stomach!
Tastes mostly of hops, very pronounced with a lite taste of malt.
Very good American Ale and deifiantely worth a try.

09-14-2008 18:00:02 | More by JDK
Photo of CrellMoset


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

Bottle courtesy of JohnTravolta 21 - thanks!! Great extra. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber. Great, gorgeous clarity on this one, with some faint trails of bubbles streaming upwards towards the initially-two-finger off-white head. Head has slightly above-average retention, eventually settling down into an even slick of foam. Lacing is gorgeous - huge, sticky, bubbly, like swiss cheese all over the glass. Very good start.

Aroma: Hops ahoy!! If only all old ales should be this well hopped. Tons of great citrus notes - orange zest, grapefruit, tropical fruits, strawberries - and a lot of sweet, fruity, lightly spicy notes that meld well with a pleasant alcohol presence. There's some malt here, sure, lots of roasted, sugary notes - sweet brown sugar, blackstrap molasses - as there should be in any stock ale, but at least while fresh, the nose on this puppy is dominated by hops!

Taste: Interesting and pleasant, if not as unique and enjoyable as the nose. First, there's still tons of hop notes - citrus, but also a healthy dose of leafy cone notes, lighter floral notes, and a surprisingly large amount of bitterness. It's a smooth bitterness, though, and doesn't leave much of an afterburn. The malt profile is similarly dense, though dominated by a strong caramelly, bready note, with flourishes of both less roasted, sweeter notes and more highly roasted, almost faintly coffee-esque notes that meld well with the citric and grassy hop notes and bitterness. Very DIPA-like.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy - I started to actually chomp on it at points - with a medium-sized, even, and creamy bubble-profile and a syrupy afterfeel, though the body itself isn't so thick as to be syrupy - the prickly carbonation does a good job of keeping the cloyingness to a minimum, while simultaneously enhancing the bitterness. Good show.

Drinkability: What an outstanding beer, and a definite winner from Great Lakes. Almost a DIPA in many ways, the alcohol is not only average for the style but expertly hidden, it's balanced, tasty, interesting, and complex - mark this one as highly recommended. Shame it's a seasonal, too - stock up while you can. I'm sure this one would turn into a whole different beer with a little bit of age on it.

10-28-2008 01:21:52 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

12oz bottle poured into a goblet (it's what I had clean at the time).

A: Pours a clear, rich, and dark reddish amber brown and topped with a half inch of soapy off white head. The loosly packed head fades into a thin cap but I think this is more a result of the glass the beer was poured into rather than the beer itself, as it still manages to muster up some pretty sticky lacing throughout the drinking session.

S: Sweet and fruity malt, mild citrus (grapefruit mixed with a bit of pine resin) with a healthy dose of doughy caramel thrown in to the mix as well.

T/MF: Very sweet on the inital sip then backed up by a decently bitter grapefruit and pine, towards the middle and back end. Subsequent sips reveal a nice complex bouqet of flavors that run the gammut between that good old standby of grapefruit and pine, to sweeter characters of caramel graininess and a sweet alcoholic warmth that does not so much contribute to the overall taste of the beer as it does the feel. Speaking of which, the body of this beer is something to behold. Full bodied and at once smooth, yet dry, sticky yet smooth. As complex as this beer's flavor is, its mouthfeel could give it a run for its money.

D: Any easy sipper at 8% ABV, not incredibly bitter, or sweet. A very balanced, decently complex beer that is worthy of accolades.

09-27-2008 19:42:32 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of dstc


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a deep coppery red with a decent tan head. Head falls to almost nothing. Pretty decent lace.

Nice hop aroma with malts hurried deep. Herbal smell is nice.

Great hop taste with a nice malt backbone. Sweet yet delightfully bitter, oily hop finish.

Medium bodied and slick it the mouth.

Very nice brew. Another great beer from Great Lakes.

01-03-2010 19:36:46 | More by dstc
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Thanks to orfteu for this beer!
Poured a gorgeous reddish-amber with 2 fingers of glisteny beige head. Aroma of...malty leather? Taste was nice and layered with a big hoppy flavor, slighty nutty and very clean. Sharp hop bitterness in the mouth along with a sweet toffee malt flavor.
I'd love to do a blind tasting of this along with Big Hoppy Monster, Lagunitas Impy Red and Hop Rod Rye.

01-15-2008 23:17:50 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of sulldaddy


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a bright clear amber color with a fluffy eggshell white head of 3 cm foaming up very easily.
Aroma is piney hops and some caramel and I get a bit of brown sugar. I get a bit of soap and I only use hot water on my beer glasses. This draws back on the nose a bit. The head fades slowly to a sturdy surface layer leaving tight lattice as it recedes
First sip reveals a smooth, silky, yet slightly oily texture. Carbonation is mild and rolling across my palate.
Flavor starts with a bit of piney hops and a bit of general bite, but rolls to some caramel and brown sugar. This seems a bit reversed in flavor flow, with most brews starting sweet and lingering hops, but it works in this beer. The brown sugar hangs out for a bit and even is a little roasty and then fades. There is no hint of alcohol anywhere and the brew slides down very easily.
This is a very drinkable beer and the 8.0% could easily sneak up on you if you werent careful.
Give it a shot for sure, if it was available in CT I would buy it regularly.

04-13-2006 00:31:11 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of tittymcj


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured out a dark hazy brown, with light head and little lacing.

Smells like deep fruits, and some sweetness also. A little bit grainy as well.

Taste is very wooden. Some fruits as well in there, primarily some grape or plum flavor, but its not heavy nor is it pronounced.

Mouthfeel is light, bubbly, and goes down smoothly. Leaves behind a little bit of a coating of hop residue.

Very drinkable beer, nice and light and flavorful, which makes it a delight to drink.

03-25-2009 00:58:31 | More by tittymcj
Photo of SupaCelt


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Inviting orange copper colour. Slightly hazy, but permitting vision to pass through. Nice, dense and foamy light tan plume. Lacing in sheets, then splotches, then none. A small cap of head remains throughout most of the excursion. Modest carbonation fizzles up through the murky thickness. Looks appealing.

The smell is not as pungent as I had expected. There is a caramel sweetness exhibited which stands out the most. A bit of toastiness and brown sugar flutter in here and there. A definite hop presence is notable as well, although the aforementioned malt sweetness gets top billing. Alcohol vapors are there, but not distastefully so.

The taste is bitter right off the bat. The sweet flavors rush in to counteract the bitter for mere moments before both call a truce and fade into a bittersweet symphony. This brew is an example of flavor balance that is nearly perfected. I say nearly because at odd times throughout the glass, the alcohol steps out from behind the flavor curtain to proclaim its presence and intentions. I can handle it, but I wish the delicious malt and hop harmony were not thrown into temporary dischord by the alcohol flashes that pop up intermittently. Hey, it's an 8% concoction I know, but we have to have goals for continuous improvement. Other brews have succeeded in completely veiling their alcohol contents ( some at higher abv's ) and I just wish the same for this otherwise extraordinary brew. This is delicious and satisfying nonetheless. It remains highly consumable. Superb even. I most certainly will buy again and again. And again.

03-29-2005 02:54:38 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of ac22rush


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a lovely deep amber, minimal head even after a few swirls only a thin light khaki head appears.

Once brought to the nose a lovely aroma of peach, currant, orange liqueur, some floral notes from the hops and toasted grain. I love the nose the first thing that comes to mind for me when I see an Imperial red is tons of hops but this has a lot of great sweet aromas.

Getting into the beer first sip is all sweetness with lots of fruit, some carmel and toasted grain then come the hops not to be left behind good amount of bitterness but not overpowering. Towards the end the hop profile comes to fruition with/grassy/ floral notes maybe a twang of ruby fruit.

Carbonation is consistent and is appealing could definitely enjoy one over the course of a meal.

Great winter beer as the 8% warms the soul. Nothing really stands out to me specifically I think overall this is a well balanced offering from Bells definitely lives up to their reputation of making really good beers. Cheers!

12-03-2013 03:55:54 | More by ac22rush
Photo of PhxHorn


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

This one pours a medium red with a quarter inch of white head. Smells mildly of caramel and malt. A pretty mild aroma, though--I had to really snort to smell anything. Tasted a malt, caramel, cinnamon, with an overall slightly sweet aftertaste. A great flavor. Carbonation was just right, and the 8% ABV was barely noticeable. I'm not really sure what a stock ale is, but this is a fine beer whatever the category.

08-27-2009 05:47:06 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of UA8


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

A- Ruby Red hue with a a huge slowly fading beige head

S- Lots of piny as well as a touch of citrus hops along with a hearty malt scent

T- Lots of flavor even in the bottle version although the tap version was even better. Lead with soft roasted malts and finishes with resinous herbal hops.

M- Very silky and luxurious. On tap easily a 1/2 point higher

This is probably my favorite strong ale so far. It has a really nicely hopped profile with good balance and great red color. I would however recommend trying this at the brewery if you can since I this it would easily qualify as exceptional.

09-18-2008 00:43:58 | More by UA8
Photo of AwYeh


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

A: Pours a beautiful ruby/amber color, similar to the shading of the picture on the bottle. Nice one finger head of off-white head tops it all off.

S: Scent is of caramel, hops, hops, and more hops (mostly pine). This is how a strong ale ought to smell.

T: Taste starts with a strong bitter flavor from the strong hops, which gives way to brown sugar and caramel, along with a slight cherry flavor and some biscuityness (should be a word). Balance between sweetness and bitterness is great, even if sweetness pulls away on aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is very pleasant; strong bitterness is quite enjoyable, medium body and heavy carbonation makes this great even if sweetness begins to overbear on the aftertaste.

D: High, sweetness and alcohol prevent drinkability from being 5/5 but it's still quite high.

12-21-2010 11:23:05 | More by AwYeh
Photo of TwelveOunces


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

12 Oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Pours super hazy rich amber orange. A one finger of an off white/ sand colored head. Slight alcohol legs.

S- Hop dominant nose. A lot of citrus and pine. A lot of ripened dark fruits. Sugary malts.

T- A slight bitterness up front. A big beer and a touch of alcohol to start. The middle of the beer is malty, some toffee and caramel. A slight bit of dark fruits like raisins and plums. A nice hop profile, with citrus, pine and some onion like herbal notes.

M- This beer has some big feel to it. Some burn from the alcohol. Bitter, chewy and rather silky. A sticky, hoppy, bitter aftertaste and feel.

O- This is a great beer, its like a middle of the country take on Arrogant Bastard. I may age one or 2 to see what happens but its great fresh.

10-08-2012 00:39:48 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of sixerofelixir


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

12 oz bottle sampled in season late 2009. Review from notes.

Color is a beautiful, menacing amber red. Smell is of rich earthy malts, but also a bit metallic. Mouth feel is smooth, taste is a two-tone sweetness, finished off with over-ripe citrus notes for the hops. Very clean. All in all, for such a bad-ass beer, this one is pleasant in a dark/light sort of way. The label conjures up thoughts that otherwise sway opinion. It is not the monster it is made out to be.. it's actually quite pleasant. The best Great Lakes seasonal 4-pack so far..

05-21-2010 05:38:03 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of cpetrone84


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

A-cloudy ruby red, some particles floating around, very light tan head, creamy and thick. The head lingers for quite some time, a long time, thick lace left on the glass

S-sweet caramel and lots of brown sugar onslaught the senses first, a nice citrus hop backbone sets in next. Lots of grapefruit and a touch of apricot

T-the taste is big but not as good as the nose. It brings some caramel and burnt brown sugar up front, some earthy tones and hints of phenol, the finish brings some bitter grapefruit and keeps on coming with bitterness.

M-smooth and creamy, fuller side of medium body, slightly syrupy.

D-big time lingering bitterness at the finish makes this a tough sell for a drinkable beer; but it is quite tasty and very creamy!

02-18-2010 01:55:30 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of surlysober


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

FOURTH TRIAL: I've had this beer a few times before at (what tastes like) varying degrees of freshness. The first few times I've had it, it had a great hop presence, a nice malty backbone, and a bit of rye flavore. However, this time, it was much less hoppy and the malt and alcohol seemed to have taken a more dominant position. It was still good, but not as good as the first few trials. When both are fresh, I slightly prefer Founder's Red's Rye (which tastes quite similar to me), but to me, this beer seems to age a bit better (still rather have it fresh though). Overall, a great beer: great looking, great lacing, great smelling, and great tasting.

03-22-2007 00:30:43 | More by surlysober
Photo of mashedpotatoes


4.15/5  rDev +1.5%

Crazy hop madness, this vampire has just drained me of tastebuds. This stuff is exactly what it says it is - Beer with bite. The hops jump out and scare the sh*t out of you (ok, I'm taking that a bit far). Full bodied and I mean full bodied like a set of D cups, dark red almost bloodlike, the head is pronounced and lacing is quite nice, leaves a level of lacing like the bathtub ring of a child that has been playing in the mud all day. This beer is incredible. Finishes with a bizarre roasted apricot / molasses taste and a very pronounced alcoholic ending. Good but absolutely not worth $10 for a 4 pack. For that reason alone I cannot recommend more than a single serving.

09-26-2008 00:39:44 | More by mashedpotatoes
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,931 ratings.