Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,287 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,287
Reviews: 853
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 222
Gots: 249 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

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

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,287 | Reviews: 853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dcloeren
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Great Lakes Brewing Co. Pub at the Cleveland Airport

Poured a transparent copper with a finger of creamy offshore head. Spotty lacing

Smell is somewhat subdued (I think due to temp...) bit picking up some caramel malt, dark fruit and pine hops above all else

Taste follows the nose but not quite as subdued. Bold pine hops, sweet caramel malt and dark fruits. Could be a bigger beer... But still tasty.

Medium to full body with just the right amount of carbonation. Drying hop aftertaste... Hop dragon breath for sure!

Overall, I'm pretty happy I got a pint of this. Bold beer but could definitely be bolder. Great taste, and the mouthfeel was spot on. Worth getting for sure.

Photo of raznug
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nosferatu is a clear garnet color with ½ inch of head that dissipates quickly to a thin layer of varying size bubbles.
Smell: There is a nice blend of malt in the foreground followed by hops to follow.
Taste: It has the hoppy flavor that I didn't really expect but still has the slight malt background to keep the hops from overpowering the brew. Very tasty strong ale rather complex.
Mouthfeel: It has a smooth easy drinking texture to it that still let’s the flavor last.

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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter. 11/22/11 stamped on label.

A- Clear, deep red/amber. Pours with ~1 finger of tan head, which fades to an island of bubbles.

S- Sweet dark fruits, caramel malts, piny/citrusy hops, and a feint hint of booziness.

T- Sweet, slightly roasty, caramel malt, & dark fruits. A slightly piny hop effect that adds a solid amount of bitterness to balance the sweetness.

M- Slightly low carbonation with a medium feel. Slightly syrupy.

D- Good. Solid on all fronts and easy drinking for it's 8% ABV.

Future outlook: This beer didn't "wow" me, but it's another rock solid offering from GL's...I'm sure we'll meet again someday.

Photo of smakawhat
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally re-reviewing and getting hands on a recent one. Good and fresh.

Appearance is identical to previous review.

Nose though is considerably hoppier masking much of the toast aroma in the past. Hints of thick malt and barleywine sense alcohol, maybe some cherry. Definitely a "hot" sense.

Taste is much more hop pronounced. Piney and woody like hop finish, masking much of the malt body of an aged one. Perhaps some cherry fruit sense on this, but a beefy thick malt body but stinging hop vampire bite.

I still really enjoy this, but I think I like it more when it's been aged!

-- Old review originaly published 01-23-2011

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle past its prime. Dated December 8th 2010 for freshness we're about a month and a half late but there still was no issues. Paid 75 cents for this single bottle... best seventy five cents I've ever spent in my entire life I must say.

Appears a clear body with no easily visible carbonation on a dark red/brown. The head is a cream color with a size of two fingers. Excellent retention and uniform bubbles with a nice cap. Huge lacing and stickiness leaves a good collared sized puck throughout drinking that never goes away.

Bouquet is that great toasty Great Lakes aroma I associate with their Pale Ale. Also a big malty nose as well. Sugary powderness going with the toast makes me think literally of French Toast. Even some butter. Just flat out fantastic.

Taste is that great toasty crisp sweetness in the front finishing with a bitterish hop bite. Just like the beer says a vampire with bite. WOW color me highly impressed with this one making drinkability superlative.

4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4, 5

Photo of JCaweinstein
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best buy date 11/22/11

Deep amber in color, clear and with a two finger off white & rocky head that dissipates rather quickly.
subtle hint of grapefruit, toasty malt, I have to work rather hard to draw out the aromas
Citrus, grapefruit again to be exact, bitter hops, followed by toasty, bready malts
Strong up front mostly from carbonation, faint hop taste lingers but not for too long.
A solid seasonal with good flavor, well balanced. I would pick this up again considering it's not overally expensive at 9.99 at 4 pk

Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

deep copper with a nice inch high head. very creamy with great lacing.

light citrus hops, sweet malt, and a bit of booze.

hoppy through out. lots of citrus with a nice sweet malty body. some hints of pine and resin.

nice moderate carbonation with a hint of chew in the body. slightly resin like feeling on the tongue

this is a favorite that has eluded me for years. so happy to find this.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a reddish-amber color with small, finger head that dissipates pretty quickly, but leaves some lacing along the side.

S - Some dark fruits, caramel, bready malt. Some notes of floral and citrusy hops, ever so faint.

T - Good balance here. The first taste is sweet and caramely, some raisin hits the tongue before fading into a floral hop bitterness that finishes a bit bready with some more caramel. The aftertaste that lingers reminds you of the hops.

M - Lots of carbonation, leaves the mouth feeling quite a bit dry, a little sticky in the back of the throat.

Overall - A solid beer. "Reds" often leave me disappointed, but this brought the right amount of balance to the beer and left me wanting more. There was nothing that particularly stood out to me, but I think GL has brewed another solid brew.

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

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/9/11
*From notes

A: Rich reddish hue. A decent pour yields a 1.75 finger head and nice enough lacing.

S: Large quantities of alcohol esters fill my nose, and as I breath in a bit deeper, a touch of grainy breadiness hit my nostrils too.

T: Fairly hot and somewhat sweet from the alcohol. It's also quite bitter from a generous hopping. The grain bill is all over this beer, which tends to be a common theme with all of Great Lake's suds.

M: Pretty on point. It's thick enough for the cooler weather, yet something I can drink without needing to nurse it for an entire night.

O: Great Lakes Nosferatu is a pretty good beer from a top notch brewery. All of their higher gravity offerings (sans stouts) tend to be a little too hot (see: Lake Erie Monster). With a bit more finesse, this could really be something special. As it currently stands, I look forward to enjoying the rest of my four-pack, and have no problem recommending it to you.

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with another fabulous GLBC logo. This was poured into a Standard GLBC pint glass.

A - A deep red. Think of a black cherry. Almost a blood red color which goes well with the name and logo of this brew. A nice somewhat creamy off white head with good lace.

S - an aroma of both hops and malts. Strong toasty biscuit aroma. Big whiffs of caramel and a good amount of floral notes as well as citrusy smells. Hints of orange and grapefruit. Has a spiciness about it throughout.

T - caramel taste is wonderful and plentiful. Very sweet at the start then the spices and ginger tastes kick in. Still fairly sweet all the way through. Nice citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and some pear paired with a good amount of dark fruits all connect just before the finish. Slightly bitter in the end, but it's just right. A variety of flavors that all go together quite nice.

M - almost full in body. Excellent carbonation. Definitely an imperial style beer and somewhat strong at 8.0% ABV. However it's still a very smooth beer and the thickness it provides make it a craft brew almost all craft drinkers will enjoy.

O - a very well balanced beer with loads of different flavors and smells. A unique flavored brew and is a good change of pace on this cool night in front of the camp fire. I will buy a few more of these without question. Good quality and class as always from GLBC.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of dorianmarley
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nosferatu has a rich, golden red appearance. It has a thick head.

Smell is bright and floral, with caramel and citrus.

It has a smooth hop flavor with malt, caramel, and citrus. It has very little bitterness, and a toasty finish.

The mouthfeel has great balance; very drinkable despite its high ABV and hops. The carbonation is subtle.

Overall, Nosferatu is awesome. It has a very smooth hop flavor with a lot of bright characters; balanced all the way through

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. 2010 and 2011 tasted side by side. Review is from 2011 version. Thanks to readbaron for bringing the 2010 and bauermj for the 2011.

Appearance: Nosferatu pours a translucent copper color with a light cherry tint. A very creamy cap rests gently on top with enough stubbornness to stick around for the whole glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel malt in the forefront, with a light spiciness and a generous dose of hops. Grapefruit, orange, and a bit of pine are noticeable.

Taste: The flavor starts with a full caramel malt sweetness that persists throughout each sip. The flavor turns to grapefruit, orange, and apricot hops, with some spicy fine bitterness to close out the sip.

Mouthfeel: As they normally do, Great Lakes produces a beer with a great mouthfeel. It never feels overly light or heavy, and the creamy carbonation matches very well with the flavor. The beginning of the sip is sweet and sticky, and the end leaves a resiny prickle on the tongue.

Overall: This is a beer that I had been anticipating for a while, and now I feel a little bit let down. Compared to the bottle from 2011, the 2010 bottle is significantly different. Nearly no hop presence, with a cloudy color and an increased sweetness. This bottle did not blow me away either, however.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For me, this beer fits more of the Imperial Red Ale, like a big hoppy red, than a strong ale, though I never really know what that means other than I dont think hops and I think big malts and sweets, usually barrels these days too. This definitely has hops so Imperial Red.

A: This beer has a nice amber to lighter red color that gets darker the closer to the core you get. Nice ring of head some lacing. Good.

S: A very nutty savory smell for the most part with some grassy hops to keep the malt from being the only element of the aroma. Malt has a spicy character that reminds me of their christmas ale- maybe ginger?

T: Taste is great. Very nice grassy and citrus hops play well with the nutty full bodied malts in the brew and as usual with Great Lakes everything is VERY well balanced with nothing being annoying or overpowering. Some spices shine through in a nice way as well but only as a platform for the malt and hops to dance on.

M: As usual with Great lakes, creamy and balanced, nice level of carbonation and a nice bitter dry finish with really convinces me that this is a hoppy red as opposed to a strong ale which usually makes me think of maltier sweeter beers.

Overall a very good beer, one I'll buy each year as a nice seasonal

Photo of zimm421
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a dark amber red with a solid two fingers of off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

Smells strongly of citrus. Lots of grapefruit and nice malt base. The taste starts out fairly sweet, but quickly moves to a nice citrus flavor. Not overly bitter in the finish, but does have a nice touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied with good carbonation levels. Finish is sticky with a nice film left on the inside of your mouth. Overall this is a good brew that isn't extremely bitter but still offers the good citrus flavors that more bitter brews have. Definitely an enjoyable brew.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish amber with a nice head and good lacing. Very floral, IPA-like aroma of citrus and pine.

A very light malty flavor quickly overcome by a dry hop bite. Predominant flavors of grapefruit and lemon overpower the contributions from toasted malt, but there is a noticeably marmalade-like sweetness sort of lingering underneath all that bitterness. I thought this beer was tasty and refreshing, but personally would have preferred a bit more maltiness. I enjoyed it and can suggest it without hesitation, but I probably won't buy it again at this price.

Photo of schwaeh
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep amber almost leaning towards ruby in color. A sizable head faded slowly into some very nice lacing.

S: Fairly sweet smelling beer with lots of malt character, this seems to be the focal point here. Hops are used extensively to keep this from being one-note, and help brighten the smell. Caramel malts are intermixed with a honey sweetness and a piney hop finish.

T: Not quite as sweet as the nose, but its still there. This has a solid caramel malt body, reminiscent of a barleywine. I get a touch of honey and a nice dose of piney and spicy hops, imperial red indeed. Bold and packed with flavor. I can't taste too much alcohol but I know you can feel it after a couple of these.

M: Medium bodied beer with a somewhat syrupy mouthfeel. This has some prickly carbonation but this brew still feels as imperial as they get.

O: Another seasonal I've been waiting on. This is a slight step out from GLBC's uber traditional line-up and I really dig it. A nice in-your-face malt bill and some heavy hopping make this a nice tasty beer. Check this stuff out.

Photo of brew3crew
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap are great lakes brew pub

A- hazy red with a llittle bit of head wwhich tapers off

S-great balance of hops and malts

T- follows the nose. Nice bit of hops and a solid malt backbone. Not as good tasting as the nose would ssuggest

M-medium body and smooth

O-very solid brew. Would love to see wwhat some age does to it

Photo of McNealc31
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Seeing as how this beer is called Nosferatu, I expected it to be one of two colors. Dark as night, or blood red. It was neither, rather it was amber. Despite the color being not what I expected, this beer certainly has "bite". They call it an Imperial Red Ale, but it tastes and feels much more like an IPA to me. It has all the familiar characteristics like the dry finish, the huge hoppy, almost piney flavor. It's quite good.

Photo of jmeyers78
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a nicely done red ale, the color of this brew fits the name very really. It's got a deep shade of red with a decent looking white head on top. The smell of the beer has a piney citrus aroma much like some nice IPA's do. The taste of the beer is hoppy with some sweet caramel flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was decent I though, not overly carbonated and had a normal feeling body to it. Overall I loved the name of the beer, and in general I though the beer itself was quite good.

Photo of cagocubs
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into glass from bottle.

Look: Pours a dark amber/hazy orange with thin beige head that leaves minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet for a strong ale; honey, caramel, malt, and some fruits.

Taste: A nice sweet complex. The honey, malt, and caramel that you can smell are present with taste. Aftertaste has hints of fruit. Hops present but not overpowering.

Feel: Good active carbonation and medium body.

Was most surprised with how sweet this was for a Strong Ale. Overall, another good beer from GL.

Photo of afksports
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my sister for bringing this beer home for me. Reviewed from notes.

The appearance is red clear and heady, strong ale bites out at my nose as I start to sniff it. Vampire! Eek! There's biscuity malts, booze, some splash of citrusy hops. The taste is mostly booze. It is a strong ale, after all. At 8%, I wish it were a little tempered, but there still are the familiar hop bitters at the front of the palate and smooth malts in the middle. Just a bit too much alcohol on the back and finish. And in a weird way, it manages to be drying.

It feels a bit watery, too. Maybe a bit too much for my taste and for the alcohol by volume. Overall Nosferatu from Great Lakes is a solid brew, with an excellent name and label, but probably not something I'd return to - both because of style and the beer itself.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Nice medium brown with a thick cream colored head. Some lacing present.

S - woody and sugars.

T - Oak, carmel, brown sugar.

D - Nice carbonation, medium body.

O - The bottle says it has a bite, and it does. Enjoyed this one.

Photo of output01x
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap in a pint glass at the Great Lakes brewpub.

A 1-finger cream-colored creamy head rests atop a clear ruby amber body. The head receds in a couple minutes to a clumpy dusting and thick foam ring. Decent lacing clings to the glass throughout consumption.

Sweet malts with notes of caramel combine with a spicy hop aroma. The nose is pleasent and a little warming, but lacks strength.

Spicy, floral hops flavors flow over the tongue and transition to a bready, caramel malt flavor. Quickly after, the spicy hops return with a lasting bitterness at the back of the tongue and throat. Cinnamon, caramel, plum notes can be found within.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this is a somewhat thick feeling beer. The carbonation helps to prevent this beer from becoming too sticky, but is not enough to give it great drinkability. In all truth, it is a little more than sippable but not much more than that.

Photo of jsanford
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Tulip Glass. Lovin' the name and label, one of my favorite vampire incarnations of all time.

A - Pours a murky orange-brown with a thin bone-colored head that leaves some spotty lacing as it dissipates.
S - Sweet malt, caramel, and honey dominate with some bitter orange peel and pineapple hops. Definitely on the sweeter side, almost like an aged American Barleywine.
T - Taste is pretty similar to the nose, again a very sweet brew, with big honey, maple syrup, sweet malt, and caramel. There's a distinctive graininess right before the aggressive burnt-orange peel and pineapple hops take over.
M - Slick and smooth, with a slightly oily mouth-feel and fairly crisp carbonation. I'm liking the carbonation here, I suppose I expected it to be more on the flat side.
O - Overall, this is a nice, sweet and hoppy sipper. Glad I got to try it.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,287 ratings.