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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

894 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 894 | Ratings: 2,534
Photo of Telix
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours a nice clear reddish-brown that is a beautiful garnet when held to the light. A moderate dense, slightly beige head forms and slowly disappears.

S: The aroma is mild but is primarily malty, not very sweet at all, and some noble hop notes jump up.

T: A slightly watery initial taste quickly subsides as thicker, slightly sweet malt flavors take over. There is little to no fruitiness in Nosferatu, and it's actually kind of boring. A somewhat "fizzy" bitter taste lingers on the tongue and subsides into baking soda on the finish. It's a weird combination that doesn't seem well integrated.

M: Perfectly good to above average. It's got a nice texture and carbonation and supports the beer style well.

D: It's not super boozy or anything, but I don't enjoy it enough to want to drink it very much.

I know I'm definitely rating this beer below most people, but I just don't think it's that well-crafted. C+

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Photo of jmeyers78
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into RR snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber with a thin head that disappears quickly

S - Hops, alcohol. Roasted malts

T - Roasted malt first followed by some biting hops and finishes with a bitter bite.

M - Pretty standard for GLBC....smooth, creamy, solid

O - One of my favorites this time of year. A really solid red ale that is one of my go to beers on the weekend

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Photo of Nick_Lucas
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good tasting imperial red ale. Mildly bitter but easily tolerable. Very drinkable but most certainly best as a cool fall day brew. Alcohol packs a decent punch but isn't noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of ClearDog
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is colored cloudless red, with a one finger, dirty-white head. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of my imperial pint glass. The beer looks very bright when held up to sunlight.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, burnt sugar, and fruit bread. Hops are dominant upfront, however the malty sweetness is far more pronounced as the beer warms.

Tastes of bitter hops, followed by a delicate malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is just right. Not too light, not too heavy.

This beer is extremely quaffable. Were it not for its seasonality, this one would find itself in my regular rotation.

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3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle labeled with a best by date of 11/16/08 into my antique soda pint.

A ~ Pours a dark, clear ruby, amber color. A substantial buttery khaki colored head with perforated sticky lace dripping down the glass.
Pretty beer~

S ~ WOW! Hop forward. Hops & Fresh cut grapefruit with an underlying whiff of malt & bready grains.

T ~ Flavorful & tart with a sharp bitter front. Grapefruit pith or rind rounds out the hop finish with a malty backbone. Citrusy hops with a piney, oily resin that lingers on the lips & tongue. Strong but not at all disturbing. There's a little alcohol heat on the swallow.
*The smell and the taste were definitely more pronounced as the beer warmed. Hops are all over this beer! Front to back.

M ~ Medium body with a scrubbing, astringent carbonation and an oily, piney hop resin on the tongue. A lingering, citrusy, bitter aftertaste.

D ~ BIG BEER! with a BIG BITE. The drinkability is ONLY diminished by the ABV. Worth seeking out if you're willing to venture into the night. Make sure you bring a wooden stake & load up on silver bullets.

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Photo of DanThomas
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep red with some copper/amber hues. Good head retention.

S- Rich caramel malts, earthy hops, and a faint whiff of alcohol.

T- Toast/dry biscuit type malt flavor; subtle caramel sweetness, but the malt flavor on this one is mostly dry. The "bite" finish isn't just a pun--earthy/piney hops take over towards the end, finishing crisp, bitter, and refreshing. It's amazing how so much flavor can end so cleanly, and the hops and the malts are perfectly balanced. Great Lakes does balance like no one else.

M- Very full-bodied, refreshingly low carbonation. It's like you're chewing this beer, which is fine by me.

D- No alcohol whatsoever on the taste, meaning watch out. I could throw back 4 or 5 of these if I didn't know the alcohol.

Tremendous beer from Great Lakes!

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Photo of rka758
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 brewing poured into SA perfect pint.
Purchased Whole Foods @ $12/4 pack.

A: Pours an "orangy brown," or so my girlfriend says, I say copper. Good carbonation with a 2-finger head that sticks around.
S: Picking up on rich, velvet like smells of caramel and vanilla.
T: I first get the malt flavors and then the hops come on at the end.
M: Really nice texture, with lively carbonation.
D: This is one of my favority Great Lakes brews, if not my #1. I feel like its the perfect beer for me to transition from my warm weather IPAs to my cold weather stouts. A great ale and at 8% I don't think you could go wrong.

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Photo of inhoc00
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

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Photo of andyo
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah yes, I've been anxious to try this beer for a while!

I sampled this at Barley's Smokehouse on draft. Nice copper/brown appearance with a slight off-white head. This beer had a nice spicy aroma, just barely hinting at what is in store for me. First taste- whoa! This beer is highly spicy..then sweet...then very bitter. An onslaught of big, bold, green hops attacks my palate. This beer was a delight to drink, but lowers my drinkability rating ever so slightly because after one of these bad boys, my tastebuds could not handle another.

Real good offering from Great Lakes!

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Photo of TheStig
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours clear reddish amber with a fast-dissolving head. Ok, it's not BLOOD RED, but it's close enough!

Smells of yeast, toasted bread, a few bitter herbal notes floating around.

Tastes most prominent: juniper, oak, bitters and a healthy base of a dark fruit sweetness. Cherry perhaps.

Gentle carbonation, smooth finish. Crisp.

This should be the level to which other Halloween-themed beers aspire to-- there's no hokey pumpkin fetishism to be found, the flavors come from the beer and not from syrup or flavorants added later and it's as near to blood red as one can get.

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Photo of jpalarchio
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

[4724CE | Enjoy by 11/16/08]

The label tells the truth on this beer; "The Beer With The Bite" is a perfect description.

You get two bites with this beer, one from the hops and one from the alcohol once you're about 3/4 of the way through it.

Excellent color, head disappeared somewhat quickly but a surprisingly nice bite from the hops.

Overall, very drinkable. Looking forward to comparing to the 2007 bottle that I picked up a while back.

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Photo of JiminKY
4.68/5  rDev +15%
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.

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Photo of Intimidtor
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Great Lakes Brewery on 10-27-09 during the initial release of Christmas Ale for the year. Had a sample glass and found myself wondering why I was drinking the Christmas Ale. Great American Strong Ale in all aspects. S-A-S-M-D were all very well. This beer will bite you with its 8.0 ABV. May have to start stocking up on this one. Price is about 10 bucks for a four pack.

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Photo of shortbus7
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A deep red without any haziness. A very small head and thin lacing around the rim of the glass.

S: Citrus fruit and pine. Some alcohol as well.

T: Much like the smell. Also some dark fruit.

M: Very good. A good amount of carbonation and accents the taste well.

O: A great beer that is very well enjoyed during the cold months.

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Photo of keytown
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy reddish color, with a 1 finger head & nice lacing

S - Smells of biscuity malts, piney & citrus hops with a hint of caramel

T - Very earthy, piney hops & some citrus (grapefruit), subtle sweetness (caramel/toffee)

M - Medium body, with a bitter dry finish

O - Great beer, very easy to drink which could put you in a world of hurt if your not careful!!

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Photo of jtmartino
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark crimson from a bottle into my Bruery snifter. Smell is rich, bready malts...but there's something else I attribute to the tart, fruity hops.

Taste is interesting - big, bold malt sweetness. Caramel, toffee, bold fruit and mild bitterness. Lingering aftertaste of toasted wheat cereal and light astrigent fruit.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied and good carbonation.

This is a good sipper. Nothing too complex or crazy, but a nice winter warmer style. Good on these cold, rainy days.

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Photo of MilkMan126
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I like the bottle graphic. It sets the mood for what's to come.
Taste: GLB hops to start, burnt bread and nutty malt following. Tastes grainy. Some sweetness. Taste dark fruit and maybe a fall spice. Hops continue with an herbal twinge. Much of this is present in the aroma. Mouth feel is dark with robust structure. Medium body.

I am a huge fan of this beer. It's balanced with a unique complexity. It really represents what makes GLBC such a solid choice.

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Photo of profzoom
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, Great Lakes. This fine brewery, which also happens to be from my native state of Ohio, has never failed me in the past. And it certainly continues its grand trend with this excellent brew. A whiff of this ale, which pours a deep reddish gold, just screams "hops!" at you. The taste is very spicy and tangy, and reminds me quite a bit of some of my favorite IPAs. All in all a great beer, and one that makes me proud to be an Ohioan.

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Photo of Valmor88
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of Petrislav
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Two fingers of tight beige head nestled atop tarnished amber hued brew.

S: Floral and spicy hops, grapefruit!

T: Sweet malt, citrus hops, virtually no alcohol detectable even though it is 8% abv. Sweet start and bitter finish.

M: Lager smooth, medium bodied ale.

D: Can't tell its high abv until you finish!

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Photo of Gauss
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Nice dark red color into a 14oz Stange glass
S: Not too keen on smell, espeacially below average for GLB
T: A little bitter, a little sweet and overall amazing for an Imperial
F: Wow. This is Smoooooth
O: Would have again, 100%. Only downside is the price!

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Photo of TaddyPorter
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

October 6, 2009
Serving type: 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Jen H. had been talking up the virtues of this brew on Facebook, putting it in her top five along with Torpedo, Ruination, Choklat, and 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage. Figured it had to at least be worth giving another go. And boy was she (and I) right! This is a powerhouse of a beer defined in the slippery realm of the stock ale. It is deep and robust and beautifully balanced.

A dark golden mahogany hue picks up light but is dark enough to obscure a bit as well. A frothy one-finger head quickly dissipates to a few loose bubbles around the edges. Overall the color is a bit dull, not revealing of the delicious drink within. Appearance is not its strongest quality--it doesn't look like the magic potion that it is.

First time I ever accidentally snorted a beer was just now. Having taken an extra-deep whiff, I can say that some of its most salient qualities come through in its maltiness--particularly some hazelnut paper scent that reminds of me of the Dogfish Head 60 Minute (a very good thing) and roasted nuttiness prevails. It really, really smells good. It subtly evokes fall leaves and autumn, finishing with a leafy and natural hoppiness.

A beautiful example of balance in a nonetheless bold and flavorful beer, an essay in balance. Somewhat contrary to the way the scent hits the nose, with the taste the hops prevail first, boldly coming through in a bitter wave of piney, resiny depth. Afterward the malt character settles in, dry dark pumpernickel toast dominating the middle. Finishes with a bit of light biscuitiness.

Smooth, almost chewy. Definitely has significant carbonation that helps consolidate the flavors, but leaves the tongue with a silky smoothness to enjoy the malt and hop combination.

Rebecca was feeling the alcohol after just one sip. She mentioned she'd like to drink this beer in a rustic cabin in the wintertime while making a stew. It has a farmhouse respectability somehow, it's not trendy but it's solid and robust, worth every penny and delivering on each sip. A proud but not pompous beer that I would probably welcome into my snifter just about any night of the week.

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Photo of BrianOhio
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice deep copper color. Looks great in the glass. Aroma is not overwhelming citrus hops, but it's there in a subtle way that still told me I was going to enjoy this beer.

This is one of the more drinkable, strong ales I have sampled. I recently had Stone IPA and found that too harsh for my taste...but this is completely different. Initially sweet citrus, smooths out quickly, and then a really nice finish.

I'm not one that is going to get into all of the various fruits and breads I am detecting here, but I will tell you that for my taste, this is an outstanding beer. There were also some comments on price, but I have no issue paying $9.99 for a 4-pack of something of this quality.

Great Lakes is having a great fall, with this plus their Oktoberfest.

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Photo of Ty1erC
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.*

a: this beer looks simply awesome. its color is a dark reddish-copper, and the head is thick with good retention. great lacing.

s: smells of caramel, citrus and pine.

t: the taste is mostly hops, with a complex maltiness hiding underneath. the presence of the hops grows more intense in the finish.

m: medium to full-bodied, with just enough carbonation.

d: nosferatu is exceptionally drinkable. it's a great example of my favorite style of beer. i just wish it wasn't seasonal!

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.