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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,311 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,311
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 230
Gots: 276 | FT: 10
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

Imperial Red Ale
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,311 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmccallum86
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with a large creamy off white head.

Smell is of big biscuit malts

Taste is big and malty up front with a sweet creamy finish. Very interesting beer.

Mouthfeel is rich, smooth, and creamy. Quite nice.

Good drinkability, very interesting and unique beer.

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

Thanks to korguy123 for this bottle.
Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Dark amber colour with half a finger of thick, white head with nice lacing.

S - Sweet malt nose up front. Dark caramel, toffee, biscuit and some light dark fruit. Some floral hops balance this one out a little bit but overall this is very malt forward.

T - Follows the nose. A nice sweetness with biscuit, toffee and dark caramel. A good hop bitterness rounds this one out and it is more prevalent than the nose indicated.

M - Medium body, slight chew, lightly carbonated.

Photo of tewaris
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Imperial Red Ale on brewer's website
70 IBUs
OG: 18° Plato
12 oz bottle with a best by date of 12/30/2010 poured into a 25 oz snifter on 12/01/2010 at room temperature.

Poured clear, ruby colored, with a good white head, medium head retention and lacing. Aroma was mostly hops with some complex malt notes but overall weak. I got a lot of CO2 in the aroma as well and I think I might have poured this beer a little too warm.

Flavorful bitterness from hops complemented by aromatic sweetness of dark caramel and toffee. Warming with a medium finish and a long, bitter aftertaste. The body was thinner for my preference and drinkability was alright.

For the purpose of scores, I compared this beer to Arrogant Bastard and it doesn't come close. Frankly, I don't see much potential in "red" ales, imperial or otherwise.

Photo of cratez
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased from Wolverine Market in Port Huron, Michigan. Pours a deep ruby red with a thick cream white cap and globs of lace on the tulip. Smell is cherry cookie, molasses, strawberry cake, sugary malts, cocoa powder, candy apple, and resiny hops. Flavour is toffee, caramel, dried fruit sweetness, toasty biscuit, dark grapes, burnt sugar, dates, piny and citric bitterness, warming booze in the throat. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy-smooth, fuller than medium, lasting bitter astringency, wet and biting finish. A stand-up American Strong Ale that seems better suited as a winter release rather than a fall seasonal. The taste is equal parts barley wine, imperial amber, and winter warmer, which makes this one hell of a unique brew. An excellent offering from Great Lakes Ohio.

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

Picked up a bottle of this tasty brew at Fatheads in Pittsburgh as a nightcap.

Appearance: Poured into a rather inappropriate glass, the beer is a clear, fizzy amber color. There's only about a cm worth of creamy, off-white head atop this brew, and it doesn't last too long. It does, however, leave behind some nice lacing.

Smell: Some nice, light fruit overtones with just the right amount of bitterness from the hops. Pretty refreshing, actually.

Taste: Light and fruity, which is surprising considering the relatively high ABV. The hops aren't as pronounced as I would have thought given their presence in the nose, but they are there and they do compliment the beer nicely.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, nice light to medium body, very refreshing.

Drinkability: A very tasty and drinkable brew. Perfect choice for ending a great day on the town. Definetely recommend.

Photo of IPAescotch
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

lacing coats the glass, moderate head. very clear and amber

very fruity. almost a salmon, fish quality to it. in a way it reminds me of a saison.

Strong stinging hop bitterness followed by a soothing maltiness, again, reminiscent of a saison. develops throughout the sip with a strange spice finish at the end i can not place. cinnamon? nutmeg? very festive, good holiday beer (glad todays thanksgiving)

Quite cream, not quite chewy

Wouldnt want to drink more than one of these at a time. that said it was a good experience

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

reviewed from notes.

pours out of my growler into a standard pint glass. big biege head with lots of sticky lace, and great head retention. reddish chestnut like color.

in the aroma, raw, piney, pellet hops balanced by a biscuity toasty malt.

great balance. great tasting biscuits toasted caramel malt, piney, citrus pellet hops. bits of tropical fruity hops.

smooth creamy feel. hops are felt on the palate. good feeling carb.

even with the higher than average abv, one growler is no problem. i definatly recommend this and ill be sure to revisit this one soon.

Photo of ewright
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (best by 12/29/2010) poured into a snifter. Coincidentally, this is the second 8% American Strong Ale I've tried tonight.

The color is dark amber crowned with a surprisingly thin ring of lace. What little head formed disappeared too quickly. Muted citrus notes in the aroma, but little else... disappointing.

The taste makes up for the low aroma. Moderate bitterness, enough to give it a bit of bite, but muted enough to let the malt through as well. A bit of mint and a bit of apricot blend well together.

Moderately carbonated, but leaving a modicum of coating on the tongue and roof of the mouth. It's not exactly cloying, but a bit clingy. A good sipper that is better when it warms up just a bit ... but not too much.

Photo of steve8robin
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a recent BIF. 12oz bottle best before 12/09/10...

A: A deep copper / red hue which is perfectly clear. A small tan head that fades to a murky lace atop the brew. Good.

S: I get some floral earthy hops with a nice sweet malt blended in. Some nice caramel hidden in the middle. Some breadiness on the backend. Good.

T: Super bitter dry hop blended with a breadiness quickly followed. Some sweet malt in the middle with a strange metallic tinge blended in. Some faint port notes hidden in the back. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. Kind of a metallic finish. Ok.

D: Once you get past the metallic taste, this is Decent.

All in all, this is an ok beer. Not perfect, but decent. I wouldn't bother trying unless you have access of want to try the GL lineup. Otherwise, many better beers in the style.

Photo of BBP
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep amber/copper with good carbonation and a full creamy head. Nice lacing.

S- Piney hops. Not a ton of malt to pick up. A little bit of caramel to it. Some Fruitiness.

T- Some floral hops with decent bittering, but not much of a bite. More of an earthy taste. Makes a nice foundation for some of the caramel malt on top of it and some of the herbal notes. Some roasted malts with candied fruit in this as well. To simplify it subtle but bitter hops, caramel, and considerably herbal.

M- Medium/full body. Quite creamy. Good carbonation as well.

D- Stupidly drinkable for 8%. There's probably less Alcohol heat in this than the average sessionable brew. I understand how this fits into the Strong Ale category as it's a "catch all" but I wouldn't describe this beer as a "Strong Ale"; it was clean and crisp, but the flavor wasn't all that intense. Still a good brew.

All in all a good beer.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with good sized head and leaves lace patches. A nutty, sweet caramel malt aroma along w/ breadiness or toffee and some tea-like hop bitterness. Medium to heavy body with slick sweetness of caramel malt along with bread and toffee or roasted malts (what is w/ me and this toffee?) for a dry edge to the beer. Has a light citric, floral hops balance for a dry finish w/ well-hidden ABV for proper balance. Not overly strong like some of these ales but thoroughly enjoyable and a must try.

Photo of RJBeverage
2.91/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A red/amber possibly attempting to be blood colored beer. A bit hoppy, slightly bitter, with a citrusy tang, a bit of grapefruitish taste. It's a pleasant taste, but with a bit too much bitter aftertaste for me. The mouthfeel is a robust, carbonated feel.

The 8% abv doesn't show up in the smell, or the taste.

If you like a hoppier beer you might like this, it's not bad just not what I would come back to.

Photo of halo21
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: This beer poured a nice striking ruby blood red with a half inch thick white head with fine carbonation that left beautiful lacing all the way down; this is a beer with legs.

Smell: Candied apples up front, moving to a sweet toasty malt. There is a bit of earthy hops and yeast/alcohol esters.

Taste: A full flavored toasty malt beer. Reminds me of a bold/imperial Oktoberfest, with a bit more roast. A nice hop appears at the end of the sip, and leaves a dry toasted malt sweetness. As it warms, more yeast comes through, moving to nice fruit esters with a little brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: The creamy head gives this medium to full bodied brew a nice flow; active carbonation is a nice touch.

Drinkability: Medium to low. A potent brew that sneaks up on you.

Notes: A great Halloween beer - it seems to be a red, imperial oktoberfest. Very enjoyable. Look forward to one again next year. I have never found a less than stellar beer from Great Lakes; keep them coming!

Photo of DanThomas
4.65/5  rDev +14%
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!

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

Had this in my college town on tap... they always have some interesting great lakes brew and i'm always willing to try what they put out.

A - Pretty standard appearance, dark/reddish brown with nice lacing and a decent head retention

S - Nice, earthy and hoppy. Not shockingly piney or citrusy, but subtle and balanced.

T - Similar to the smell, with a great earthy, drying bite to it that I've never experience with any other beers. Exceptional taste, I couldn't stop going back for another sip just to figure out what I was tasting! Great stock ale that has a really original taste.

M - Smooth, and a nice dry finish with the perfect amount of hop bite.

D - Pretty strong, I was starting to get a good buzz and am still feeling this one to be honest (: ... I'd get it again, but i'm not sure how many i could drink in a night

Overall, this is a great beer I'd suggest anyone to try... very different and very unique. Great Lakes always has a knack for surprising me. Bravo!

Photo of 321jeff
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish amber with a finger of off white head that slowly fades, leaving some nice lacing.

Aroma is sweet caramel malts and some piney and grassy hops, but they're not particularly fragrant like in an IPA or something like that. I also get some hints of dough, but the sweet malt is dominant.

Taste is loaded with sweet caramel offset nicely by the advertised "hop bite." I also get some tea in the finish, but I think that could just be an effect of the hops.

Very full in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth for an 8% strong ale, the hops and malt are so nicely melded, I could easily drink a couple more of these.

Photo of WeedKing4
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, clear red with a good amount of foam. Tastes quite malty with a bitter finish. Hops lingering in slightly too. Makes me wonder if this is an older bottle. The hops seem to have faded a little. Drinks down very smooth though and theres no hint of the 8% alc at all. Its not bad, but I was expecting a bit more from th is.

Photo of portia99
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (enjoy by 12/09/10) generously provided as an extra in a trade with london1o1. Thanks! Poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Pours a beautiful, crystal clear ruby tinged amber color. A short finger of tan colored foam rests briefly and falls reluctantly to a skim coat and a thick, uneven and foamy collar. Multiple beautiful rings of lacing left all around the glass.

S - An underlying base of caramelly and bready malt. Also a solid layer of dirt-like earthiness that somehow works here. On top are some piney hops with a touch of grassiness thrown in for good measure.

T - Nice piney hop presence up front. Underneath is a strong earthiness with some roasty flavors and a ton of bready malt. Lightly sweet on the swallow with caramelly goodness. Overall, very crisp and clean...not exactly what I expected, but definitely not let down at all. Good fall evening flavors.

M - Medium bodied with a middle ground carbonation level too. Crisply bitter taste that lingers far past the swallow. A bit resiny in feel, otherwise clean overall.

D - Scary at 8%...doesn't really show. Well balanced and well blended array of flavors. An interesting take on the stock ale. Very clean tasting...great for the cool, rainy evening I'm experiencing now. Would love to have this again.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Scion.

Poured into a snifter. The color is a murky amber with a short light-tan head that persists for quite some time. The nose is a bit of roasted nuttiness with some caramel and light fruits. A bit of earthy and pine hops. Faint citrus as well. The taste melds things together but is a bit plain. Some slightly-sweet cherry-tasting malt and a bit of light hops. Feel is medium and a bit sweet with a mild bitterness. Some good flavors individually, but I don't quite like how everything comes together in the end.

Photo of rka758
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of Cylinsier
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Pours a clear amber reddish color, moderate off white head with decent retention.

Smells of very faint sweet malts like buttery apples, but mostly of piney wet hops.

The taste is an even greater ration of piney hoppiness to a very subtle sweet malt flavor. Perhaps more of a caramel and bread malt flavor at this point.

Feel is moderate, a bit on the thicker side of right down the middle, with the carbonation hitting more on the back of the tongue and in the cheeks.

Tastey good beer, the strength probably puts it just out of session range for most, but still might be hard to refuse a second one. Or a third.

Photo of Seanibus
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a lively head. The aroma is warm a cherrylike, but with some earthy and grassy quality to it that increases as it warms. The flavor is like a dark chocolate-covered cherry, sweet and rich and bitter, with a delicious spiciness like a fruitcake, with toasty wheat and malt. There is a wonderful deep bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is wonderfully chewy.

Photo of adrock7309
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a fresh cold bottle into a Bells tulip and was surpised by all the pale peachy colored head. Had to pour into the glass in steps.

Aroma was heavy on the malt and piney hop resin. Was picking up some vanilla and brown sugar in flavor on top of the sweetness. I also noted a bit of a metallic tinge on my tongue but not enough to make the beer unappealing.

Overall a great beer but I would prefer third coast ale over this anyday.

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

Appearance -- Pours a deep ruddy amber, high clarity, with one finger of sudsy parchment head. Great color, but poor head retention and minimal lace.

Smell -- Pink grapefruit, caramel malt, apricots, toasted nuts, a little bit of mineral character.

Taste -- Bright grapefruit hops, macerated drupes, pears, pineapple, amber malt, biscuit dough, caramel, mineral water. Mild pine resin bitterness creep in toward the back end. Finish is amber malt, drupes, and pine resin.

Mouthfeel -- medium-full in body, a bit slick, nearly chewy with lively carbonation.

Drinkability -- Quite good. Great Lakes Brewing tends to be a mixed bag for me, but this was my cup of tea. American Barleywine meets English DIPA? It blurs a lot of lines in a good way. Satisfying malt character with citrusy hops make this terribly drinkable. Good on ya, Great Lakes!

Photo of hardy008
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with a two finger light tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma is a nice combination of caramel malt and citrus hops.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Caramel malt combined with citrus hops. Not overly complex, just a nice flavorful beer.

Medium bodied, proper carbonation,and there is a nice combination of sweetness balanced by hop bitterness. I like this beer quite a bit, and will be sure to look for it again.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,311 ratings.