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.

1,873 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,873
Reviews: 828
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 166
Gots: 96 | FT: 6
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Nosferatu Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,873 | Reviews: 828 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


4/5  rDev -2.2%

11-15-2011 00:38:30 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from mcallister, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a ruby red color with a short foamy off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich with dark fruit (raspberry & plum?) and hops along with some caramelized malt.

T: Decent hops burst up front, then the balance of malt sweetness, which makes you think this beer is an IPA, but the flavor of the sweetness contains dark fruits instead of citrus. The hops bitterness returns in the after-taste along with a touch of sweetness.

M: Crisp & smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, not very filling, good kick and has the type of interesting flavor that makes it well-worth drinking for a while. I could see myself knocking back a sixer of this one with ease.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 02:32:58 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very slightly fogged brown amber with a yellow/tannish head. It slowly falls and leaves a fairly large amount of lacing on the way down. Nose is malty caramel with a minor earthy edge and also a minor alcohol tone as well. Flavor is unusually dry. It almost seems like this is wood aged. Just loads upon loads of wood. Barely noticeable alcohol. Feel is fairly full bodied on the liquid and has a bit of a biting carbonation as well. For being so high in abv and also being "the beer with bite", this one goes down very smooth.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 02:09:54 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MasterSki


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a vintage Nosferatu at Lush - best before December 5th, 2007. Poured into my trusty Surly pint glass.

A - Transparent reddish-brown color with two-fingered head that dissipates slowly and leaves lots of lacing. Bubbles lazily rise to the top. It looks terrific, although it'd have to be blood-red for me to give it a perfect score. =)

S - Wow - there's still some citrus-y hop flavor here, largely ripe grapefuit and a little bit of pine, along with a strong malt backbone. There's also some caramel and woodiness (oak?). This is pretty surprising considering the age of the bottle - I thought we'd be on Old Ale/Barleywine country by now. The smell doesn't leap out of the glass, but it's still pretty strong.

T - Wow - again it's still pretty bitter to start - citrus hops and smokiness. Finishes fairly sweet with strong malt and caramel flavors, but leaves a bitter lemony American IPA kind of aftertaste. I remember this beer was really hoppy on-tap, and it's surprisingly retained a lot of that character. I'm really curious where this will go in future years.

M - There's a gritty character that complements the wood/smoke flavors, and the beer is surprisingly flat considering the visible carbonation and generous foam. Creamy and full-bodied, which I quite like. It's also a little warming and leaves a resinous feeling.

D - Feels exactly as strong as it is. This bottle is going down pretty fast, but I don't feel myself running to the fridge for another when I'm done.

Great Lakes always blows my mind - they get such remarkable richness, depth, and diversity, while still observing the Bavarian Purity Law. I'd recommend this brew - even significantly after the "best before" date.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 04:41:21 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Jason


4/5  rDev -2.2%

02-19-2013 02:36:48 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've gotten so bored with the Satan-themed beers, that it's a warm welcome to find a good, old-fashioned vampire-inspired ale! Here's to more in the future...Bela Lugosi's Red, anyone? But, on with the brew...
A hue as hot as Hades, full and fierce crimson, shadily hazy, with numerous floatillas, under a respectable raft of creamy beige-toned foam.
Yeast starts the nose, malt is next, and we feel like we're basking in new-baked cookies, at first, then...then a soft, citrus scent comes in, light spice, banana cream pie whispers in, zesty, alert, and lively...just-so delicious!
Jet-fueled entry on the palate, a blazingly friendly touchdown on the tongue, hoppy, and happy, bursting with an urgent appeal of flavor, bold, bright, and potent. Dark fruits are first in the taste, bread, biscuits, light citric zest, and a blast of spice on the side...this is all perceived in the flavor, but I don't mean to imply it is contained in the recipe. Yum, I keep on thinking, as the mouthfeel gets thicker, the finish near impenetrable, and my admiration grows. This is an upstanding nightcap here, a cool, mellow, but undeniably big ol' beast in the mouth...the kind of ale that clubs as it caresses...a cool thing to do. I'd be happy with a case of this, to tide the winter-time away!
Until that happens, so much thanks to cokes for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 08:21:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of drabmuh


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ruby red and clear with a thin off white head of tiny bubbles that breaks and leaves lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is malty and nice, overall its a little light.

Beer is very caramelly. Beer has a medium body and finishes cleanly. Overall its a little light on flavor. I guess strong ale I want it to be maltier or heavier. Drinkability is good but its too light.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 04:09:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby caramel hue with a nice sized off white vanilla beige head leaves full webbed lacing blotches around my glass. Aroma: Strong pine presence with a bready mild malt sweetness touches of caramel and nuts but more stand outish is the alcohol presence. Taste: A dominant piney hop flavor flows throughout this becoming a bit one dimensional at times and overbearing on the palate seems very concentrated and not as balanced as some of the prior batches I've tasted of this big brew. There is still a spiciness beneath the hop flavor along with a tone of syrupy rich caramel malts with alcohol backing all of this that's going on. Mouthfeel: Medium to full body range doesn't sit heavy on the stomach but the flavor would probably become somewhat abrasive after multiple bottles of this brew. Slight syrup and touch of an oily quality about it from the hops 85 IBUs, definitely the bigger brother of the Burning River. Drinkability: Nice treat definitely an old ale in my eyes, when is Great Lakes going to start bottle conditioning their brews b/c this one was released in September and the bottle says it only supposed to be best by November 20, 2004 I'm sure it will last a bit longer with the alcohol and massive dose of hops it has.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2004 21:55:13 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Kegatron


3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear muddy amber with a decent sized creamy off-white head that left some nice lacing down the glass. Aroma of sticky citrus and piney hoppiness with a oh so sweet caramel backing. Very nice!

The taste matches the bite of the aroma. Hops dominate up front but is nicely balanced by that thick caramel and chocolate backbone and ends nicely with a dry hop bitterness and some lasting sweet maltiness. The mouthfull is fairly thick and seems about right for a Strong Ale. A slight heat crops up in the end but that 8% ABV seems fairly well hidden.

Wow, this beer certainly does have bite! It reminds me alot of some hoppy ambers I've had but that thick mouthfull and punched up ABV certainly bump it up into the Strong Ale area. Definitely not a beer I would have more than one of in a sitting but rather one to savor and warm up with during those cold Fall evenings.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2007 12:01:49 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Slatetank


4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to brewdlyhooked13 for this -poured just cooler than cellar temp into my La Fin Du Monde Tulip

A - A beautiful flame red/orange w/ more than two fingers of dense tan head comprised of tiny bubbles. The beer is hazed lightly from hops and chill, but has a resplendent glow and with the rocky cream on the surface it simply beckons for a s smell as the lace collects on the glass

S - Fruity with tangerine, clementine and lemon zest. The hops really give the nose dimension w/ a fragrant citrus as the malt and mild ale yeast esters give the aroma a substantial full scent w/ a mild malt sweetness and subtle pine notes

M - A crisp carbonation w/ mild citrus bitterness and simple sweet malt/hop combination w/ a quite clean finish and residual sappy smooth edge.

T - As the beer hits the tongue it is mainly citrus rind flavored w/ a nice caramel malt flavor allowing for the hop bitterness and citrus flavor to be balanced and sweet. The subtle bready flavor combines w/ a tangerine, valencia orange, ruby red and mild spiced notes. The slight pine sap flavor comes in the background w/ a mild smooth taste/texture. A red fruit taste resonates w/ a bit of berry and mild crystal malt comes forward as it warms. There is a honeyed lemon flavor and malty toasted flavors coming out with nice round edges and hints of yeast noted in the last sips

D - A phenomenal strong ale - great synergy and just doesn't taste like 8%. This is something I could drink year round - the hoppy red style, like an IPA is one I can't seem to tire of and I consider this to be one of the best in the pack.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 22:26:20 | More by Slatetank
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a ruby red color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an excellent mix of burnt toffee and hops. It has a stiff bitterness laid over roasted and caramel malts; yum. The taste is perfect! Wow, what a hop bite this one has. It's citrousy yet well balanced with a wonderfully complex malt bill. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a quaffable 8% beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. I need to pick up a case of this.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 21:03:38 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros


4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerhan for this interesting looking beer.

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades... wait it doesn't fade at all just sits there waiting for instructions. Nice lacing starts to form on the sides as I swirl and move the beer around. The beer itself is a hazy yeast chunked bright cranberry blood red color.

Nose is nice but a bit too light, nice malts with a juicy reddish malt, nice caramel and even a bit of vanilla. There are nice hops that push their way to the front fairly quickly, with a floral grassy Hallertau like hop aroma.

Taste starts interesting and different a bit, some copper malts and a slight coppery like flavor (not the bad kind from lager, just a coppery malt flavor). Then reddish malts again, earthy slight biscuit reddish malts, with plenty of caramel and a slight sweetness, but thick and rich, as thick as blood one might say. A juicy malt like flavor fades as the hops come out slightly but not much. Some floral and spicy earthy hop flavors come out not strong but enough to let you know they are there. As it finishes it dries even more and smack come the spicy hops, it gets quite bitter but not over the top, like I chewed on a hop pellet a few minutes ago. A slight caramel malt flavor lingers as well.

Mouth is thick almost syrupy but more sloshy, like blood even which I'm guessing they were aiming for, with decent carb, and a slight hint of warming booze.

Overall it's nice. Good malts, decent hops, booze is almost there but drinks well. A nice blood thickness and almost chewy. Balanced and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 01:11:53 | More by jlindros
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 10/22/10 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC last night.

a - Pours a nice amber color with two inches of creamy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smells of caramel malts, citrus hops, fruity malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes mostly of citrus hops and caramel malts again. Also a decent amount of alcohol in the taste and hints of fruit.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent enough red/strong ale, but nothing really stood out about it. I enjoyed the caramel malts and citrus hops, but would have liked more out of it. Would drink it again but wouldn't seek it out annd it wouldn't be my first choice.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2010 21:04:28 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73


3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Capones, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful ruby amber with a finger of off white head and some good lacing.

Smell: Some malt sweetness, pine and citrus hops dominate.

Taste: Citrus peel hops dominate with an herbal flavor in the background. There is a good amount of malt to balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought the alcohol was hidden well in this beer. There was a strong bitterness in the finish that wasn't totally pleasant. I'm not sure that I'll have this one aga.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2011 13:56:33 | More by oline73
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an imperial red ale, pours more copper in color with a nice thick head. smells a little sweet like a red, with a round hop profile as well. a little funky in the sense that the alcohol in cohorts with the malts is off a little to me. new maybe, not gross. taste quite large, malt driven for sure, but more balanced than the smell. dont think i could drink more than one pint of this as it was filling and strong. heavy mouthfeel and intoxicating. my first big beer from great lakes, not wowed

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2011 02:58:04 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of jwc215


4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this!

Pours mahogany with a thin tan head. Dotted lacing, then lines of lacing, stick.

The smell is of caramelish/amber grainy maltiness mixes with a background of pine and citrus.

The taste is of toffee/caramel sweetness that turns to a bitter, woody dryness. It has a perceptive, though not too harsh, warming alcohol.

Full-bodied with a creamy texture.

It has a strong, yet "drinkable", pleasing, well-balanced character. Malty with a bitter touch in the finish that keeps the malt flavor in the aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 01:17:39 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +22.2%

11-24-2011 14:31:09 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a reddish copper color with a short wispy head.

Smell: biscuit and hop bitterness are strong with some softer fruity tones in the background.

Taste: caramel, biscuit, red apples, plums, strong citrus flavors, and a hearty bitterness makes up a well balanced ale. Alcohol is mildly noticeable here too.

Mouthfeel: medium- heavy in body. Light crispness to start with a smooth slightly dry finish.

Overall: a full flavored malty beer that has a nice strong bitterness. Slow sipping beer but fully satisfying. One could have this as a dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 18:45:33 | More by Gavage
Photo of mendvicdog


3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

12-12-2012 14:38:22 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of kojevergas


3.04/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with great freaky label art and branded silver pry-off pressure cap acquired at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN and served into a stem-tulip. Expectations are high given the brewery as well as this beer's current ratings (92/91). Reviewed live. "A handcrafted stock ale." 8.0% ABV confirmed. Enjoy by: 11/29/13. Reviewed as a stock ale.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour and nice even consistency. Okay thickness, but subpar for a stock ale. Not much creaminess or frothiness. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. Even lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a rich clear translucent amber-red. Has an attractive understated glow. Refined. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance and I'm eager to try it, but it's not unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Faint caramel and toffee. Bready/crusty malts. Amber malts. Any hop character is barely coming through here. Clean, refined, and inviting, but not alive. Fruity.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A pleasant aroma of average strength.

T: Caramel, toffee, amber malts, bready malts, bread crust. Hop character is quite faint and shallow: floral notes and generic fruity tones are all I find. It's a shockingly reticent flavour profile all around. Just not that accessible.

Balanced, sure, but there's surprisingly little going on here. It's painfully simple for a stock ale. Cohesive and enjoyable, but not gestalt, complex, subtle, or intricate. I will say it has nuance.

There's some faint alcohol presence. Clean, without any real yeast character.

Average depth and duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour.

What I like about it is it doesn't feel like a half-assed English barleywine. But it just lacks the mastery of the best beers in the style.

Mf: Smooth, wet, well-carbonated, nicely thick, and full-bodied. Suits the flavour profile well. Nice unobtrusive presence on the palate.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Drinkable, but honestly I expected better. It isn't much of a stock ale. I'm really disappointed giving this is coming from Great Lakes. I wouldn't buy it again, and I can't see it cellaring well. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, but I'll enjoy finishing it. I wouldn't want more than one in a night.

I'm not sure what I'm missing that other reviewers are finding, but I found this lacking.

Low C+

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 06:18:13 | More by kojevergas
Photo of corby112


5/5  rDev +22.2%

11-22-2011 03:44:51 | More by corby112
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev -2.2%

12-18-2012 05:02:11 | More by imperialking
Photo of weeare138


4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this.
Freshness date of 9/23/05 but aged and enjoyed on 6/6/06...
Appears a copper toned amber with a frothy off white head that slowly dies down into a mild cap and collar. Tons of chunky streaks of lacing are all over the glass. Mild streams of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of biscuits and caramel up front with a sugar cookie yeastiness followed by pine and sugar filled grapefruit hops.
Taste is of the same aromas with a nice sugary malt & piney blend the comes together nicely.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, very chewy, with palate bouncing, lip smacking sugary hops that lead to a bitter but sugary, semi-dry finish.
Reminds me a little bit of Legacy's Hedonism for some reason but more balanced and a bit more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 02:34:57 | More by weeare138
Photo of tempest


3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting, like a good strong ale should be. The main elements here are the chocolate biscuit malts and the grassy and citrus hops. The appearance is a dark red with off-white lacing. The aroma focuses on grassy hops with a hit of sharp grapefruit and peel. The hops are interesting and seem to have a celery note. I can't decide if I like how they work with the malt, but like I said, it's interesting. Definitely worth a try if you dig strong ales.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2008 01:15:31 | More by tempest
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +10%

04-28-2014 00:56:27 | More by yourefragile
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,873 ratings.