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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,234 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,234
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 209
Gots: 225 | 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: 2,234 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billyzoom666
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A fast pour resulted in a big creamy head that dissipates into some nice lacing. The color is dark amber, and the carbonation is nice and even throughout the beer. The main scent is a big, strong malt with some nice fruity smell underneath. It reminded me of dried apricots. The fruit flavor explodes in your mouth and, according to my wife, is almost too much if you don't know it's coming. Personally, I thought it was a nice treat. The sweetness causes the drinkability to be a little lower then normal, but it packs a punch so you probably shouldn't sit and slam them all day anyway.

billyzoom666, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of hrockefeller
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4 pack of 12 oz. bottles purchased at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. The wife "convinced" me to drive her to IKEA in Cincy in exchange for a beer run. Been waiting to try this beer for a long time, as I've had a few of GL's other offerings and have never been disappointed.

Taken out of fridge and allowed to warm somewhat, poured into tulip glass.

A: Wonderful deep bronze color, thin (1/2 inch) layer of head that leaves lacing through the whole session.

S: Heavy caramel and toffee notes, some hop aroma, alcohol is well hidden in the nose.

T: Starts off sweet, followed by a hard punch of citrus from the hops, mellows out slightly and leaves a long aftertaste of citrus/pine.

M: Excellent mouthfeel. Very silky, not too thin and slightly creamy.

D: I could drink these all night. It took approx. 1/2 hour to finish off the glass, and I had to force myself to take time to savor.

Oh, if only I had easier access to this wonderful beer. Luckily we may be making a return trip to IKEA in the next month or so. I will almost surely be stopping back into buy more of this brew. Will definitely be saving a few of these for a while.

hrockefeller, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a brownish cherry red with an inch of beige head. Tiny flakes of lace are left behind after a brief wait.

The aroma is sugary candied fruit right off the bat. Some malt and citrus fruits can be picked out as well but mostly candy apples.

The flavor is a bit less impressive then the nose. Dry, candied fruit and malt are the major players. Some light hops are there but not much. A sparkling apple cider feeling for sure.

Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall a decent beer. Not real sure what a strong ale is "supposed" to taste like but a drinkable beer nonetheless.

beerwolf77, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of cavedave
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best by 12-14-09

It pours a beautiful, clear, red amber, capped thinly by a dark beige cap of foam that quickly dissipates to a few floating amoebae, and a persistent ring. Light refracts unevenly through the thick brew, giving it a shimmering, alive look.

The smell is strong, redolent, thick with yeast and estery notes of dark fruits. Dark caramel malty goodness joins. A subtle edge of citrus, and a muted note of bitter are wafted into the nose by strong and sweet warmth of alcohol. Fine nose, I want to keep sniffing, but it is too tempting.

It is cellar temp., I guess around the 50 deg. the label recommends. Gimme a few sips for a first imp. Wow drinks pretty light, it's full of flavor, somewhat unlike what I expected from smell. It starts sweet, yeasty, dark fruity, dark caramel, but not in a heavy way. This quickly gains company from delicious dark roasty notes, some unsweetened chocolate, leading into an herbal, bitter finish only hinted at in the bouquet. It has warmed more, the glass is empty of the first six ounces. The flavors have gained life as my mouth learns them. This is a very well crafted beer, delicious, interesting, and complex.

Despite the look of it at first, it has plenty of carb. to sustain and showcase the flavor of this. A touch more carb. might have been even better, but low carb. is an asset to many beers in this cat. It is medium side of thick for the style, pretty viscous, a bit of a cloy towards the end of the glass. Probably the least excellent feature of this beer.

Compared to other American Strongs this is extremely drinkable.

Impression: The alcohol was more present in the nose than the flavor, nice. The bitter was much more prevalent in the taste, nice surprise. I will get this again for sure.

cavedave, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of botham
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. pours a beautiful fiery red color with two fingers of light orange/tan head that is quite dense and sticks around for the duration. looks great in the glass.

aroma is of spiced hops with a base of grain and some bready malts. nicely balanced with a hearty quality and a solid and rich character.

taste is malty with a balancing spiced hop character that acts as the spike to the smooth malts. this is a solid strong ale that has no evidence of the alcohol, along with a smooth and rich character that goes down with a warming character after the fact.

mouthfeel is full bodied and rich with a smooth and warming character that is very satisfying on the palate. solid.

drinkability is good. this is a heavy and full flavored beer that goes down smooth and brings the warm character on the back end. very well done, and the hops hold up quite well for a couple months after brewing. cheers!

botham, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of trbergman
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pours a deep red-orange with a half inch of rocky taupe head.

S - Toffee, biscuit, orange, some fresh pine. Aroma a tad subdued.

T - Bready, biscuit-like malt blends with flavors of toffee, figs, and dried apple. There is a sharp, hoppy counterpoint with notes of pine, orange zest, and grapefruit. By the finish, there's a tasty synthesis and also a slight hint of oxidation. Nicely put together.

M - Medium-full body with delicate carbonation.

D - I think that dialing back the hop bitterness a notch would make this a better beer, but otherwise the execution is fine. Nosferatu is still good when you want something with the bite of an IPA but with more body and malt.

trbergman, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of billab914
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my perfect pint glass. Dark red in color with a thin off white head that laced nicely down the glass. Aroma has a lot of citrusness to it along with some sweetness. Taste is hoppy as well, some nice citrusness and nicely balanced with the sweetness and bitterness. Nice carbonation and mouthfeel as well. Another solid beer from Great Lakes that I would gladly drink again.

billab914, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of craftaholic
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz into a standard pint it had a nice translucent amber hue with a big frothy finger length head nesting on top.

Smell: Primarily the aroma consists of herbaceous hops and a zesty citrus hop with just a pinch of sweet caramelized malt.

Taste: The taste follows the nose like the fruit loops saying and it really was a great foreshadowing because it is comprised of lots of herbaceous piney hops and a melody of citric and grapefruit as well. There is a bit of malt but nothing too sweet and doesn't really make a claim that its there.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied a crisp amount of carbonation that leaves a resinous bitter oil behind in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Easily could quaff throughout the night but the lack of complexities would wear thin.

Overall: Nosferatu is an interesting name for this one, sparks images of the old german villain but this surely isnt a german brew nor does it have much of a bite. It does have a nice bit of flavor but overall it isn't really something that would be my go to for the style.

craftaholic, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of buschbeer
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured into a pint to a good helping of beige head. It is redish orange in color. It has a defined hop presence. It is an acquired taste. I will have to drink the remaining 4 to see if I acquire a taste for it. This is not my favorite style but I am still an acolyte so I have years of research to do.

buschbeer, Nov 29, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not the greatest beer, especially coming from Great Lakes, a good Midwest brewery.

The look is good for the beer, a mix of brown, red etc. . . definitely looks like whatever a "vampire" beer would look like I guess. It looks goth.

Smellwise, I just really caught the whiff of alcohol. Taste was just kind of blase, nothing stood out. Not well hopped despite what some suggest. Its very bitter, but the hop taste profile gets lost. Seemed more of a maltbomb IMHO.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial Pint. No month on the poorly printed date/9/09, 8% ABV, Best served at 50 degrees F.

Thanks to both Beerwolf77 and Sweemzander for giving me bottles of this!

A - Slightly tinted red, as if a small vial of blood has been added, the amber color is totally clear. The head only rises to one finger on the pour. Decently retained, it leaves thick lacing clinging to the glass as it lowers.

S - A woody, musky hop nose comes out right away with a dry leaf and grass-clippings aroma. A funky sweet nose follows up with some hearty malts behind. Old smelling, but a good old smell.

T - This is much hoppier than I had anticipated before and even after the aroma. It has an initial burst of very bitter floral, grassy hops with a musky flavor that lingers for quite a while. The robust toasted malts and malty sweetness are pushed back and matched with intensity but the warm, slightly spicy alcohol. Lots going on in this complex beer.

M - The finish is very bitter and dry despite the initial sweetness that lingers in the back. Soft feeling and medium-bodied.

D - Not something I'd want very often but it certainly has it's place. A well crafted and complex brew that touches on a lot of flavors. Between the alcohol and near-brutal bitterness of this beer, it's not all that drinkable to me.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of brow1901
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved as an extra, thanks Dave!

A- Crystal clear dark red color. Nice one finger off white head, real creamy head. Very pretty lacing and great retention.

S- Intense toasted malt smells. Nice alcohol presense. No hops, just malt.

T- This is a malt bomb, and a real good one. Beers like this can expand the horizons for hop lovers like me. The toasty and roasted flavors borders on burnt, in a magnificent complex way. The alcohol is just barley noticable, just the way I like it.

M- Smooth and creamy, real slick in the throat. I like the mouthfeel, other strong ales I've had have seemed flat not the case with this vampire of a beer.

D- This beer is kinda a sipper, and any of the boozey flavors wear on my taste buds. I could have a few of these any day though, especially on a chilly night.

brow1901, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of bobsy
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle in Buffalo because Great Lakes are yet to disappoint me, and have staked their claim to being my favourite brewery. Pours a rich blood orange with a large creamy tan head that leaves generous lace and exhibits great retention. Caramel and pine greet the nose, mixed in with a peppery earthiness. There's no standard definition for what a strong ale is supposed to smell like, but this one sure is appetising. It smells like a fine balance has been achieved - one that takes lots of one thing and balances it with lots of another.

One sip proves this to be the case. The flavour is surprisingly sweet and bready, but it needs to be to balance out the aggressive salvo of piny hops that assault the tongue. There's also a pleasant earthiness to the beer that puts me in mind of one of my local favourites, and this helps to add a bit more depth to what is essentially a stalemate between the hops and malt bill. The bitterness delivers on the level of an IPA, and the sweetness makes this one a sipper, and reins in its drinkability somewhat. The alcohol provided some light warmth, but for the most part, is skillfully hidden. Its almost like a lighter version of an American Barleywine, with its prominent hops and sticky malt base. Great Lakes always nail the mouthfeel, and while this one does not impress me as much as their other offerings, its still very well done. The medium body seems bulked up with sugars, and the spritzy carbonation certainly helps to prevent things from becoming too cloying. They never fail in this category.

This is far from my favourite beer from this brewery, but its yet another damn fine offering. The hops surprised me!

bobsy, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of grayburn
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had two of these from a recent trip to PA, definitely worth the 2.25 that I paid for them. Pours a dark red with a nice tan cap that sticks quite nicely and lasts through the glass.

The smell and taste are both dominated by some candied fruits and brandy notes. A bit boozy, but nice. Hops are noticable, but really play into a well rounded brew.

The mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, with decent carbonation. Easy drinking, I had to drink them both. Very nice.

grayburn, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce pint bottle into a pint glass. This is a brew I have drank each fall for the last few years. Ruby reddish color with a small head that leaves a sticky cob web like lacing on the glass. The Nosferatu has a slightly heavy mouth feel, the alcohol is somewhat noticable in the aftertaste. Pine, citrus, hops profile are tasty. But there is a good amount of malts that make this very balanced in my mind. I really enjoy this beer each year when it is released.

mtnbikerpa, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sharp Edge Creekhouse

A-Ruby red, crystal clear with a thin tan head and a nice sheet of lacing.

S-Caramelly and nutty with some hops in the background./

T-Nutty with a rich caramel malt and a light sweetness with a nice caramel finish and a little bit of hops.

M-Medium bodied, leaves a light coating on the tongue.

D-Very tasty and drinkable.


sholland119, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of TheTrevor
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a dark reddish amber with a big two-finger head. The smell is a mix of some lightly toasted malts with a bit of fruitness and a hint of the hops to come. The taste starts off with some lightly toasted toffee malt that is quickly overtaken by some fairly aggressive piney hops that clear away as quickly as they came on. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some light carbonation The heavy use of hop bitterness hurts the drinkability a bit. This is a really good beer, but not really what I expected from the label.

TheTrevor, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark red/orange in color with a thina light tan head and average carbonation

S - butter based candy aromas, like toffee and caramel, some ripe dark fruits like plums or dates, some roasted coffee bean aromas too, all the results of some definite high quality malts

T - the taste is hoppier than the aroma indicated, a definite piney hop profile balances the roasted malts, malts which lend similar elements to the flavor as they did to the aroma, ripe dark fruits, and vanilla/butter sweets

M&D - a well rounded flavor, well balanced and with quality flavors, a medium body and smooth beer that is quite easy to drink, ive been on the lookout for this for a while and it did not disappoint

sinstaineddemon, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: One finger of light tan foam from a rather hard pour. Great head retention. Rusty brown body. Great lacing.

Smell: Decently hoppy with some toffee.

Taste: Not alot of hop flavor but the bitterness is definitely present and dominates much of the flavor. Toffee and caramel as well.

Mouthfeel: Substantial feel to this one. Thick and chewy.

Drinkability: Thick mouthfeel and sweetness would stop me from consuming to many in an evening. But it's still real tasty.

American strong ale is kind of a catch all category. If I had to get more descriptive with the style I would call it an imperial amber ale.

BierFan, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a crystal clear medium brown/deep red. Had a two finger light orange/yellowish head that lasted, along with lacing that stuck all the way down the glass.

S - Didn't have a real strong aroma, which is kind of disappointing, but what I did smell I liked a lot. It was mostly grainy/caramel malt with toffee and sweet sugars. It was a little plastic-like towards they end which I didn't quite like.

T - Makes up a lot for the aroma because it starts like a strong red ale and then finishes like an IPA. Wonderful caramel, nutty, malt sugars up front on the palate but as you swallow it leaves behind an earthy bitterness on your palate. The hops are very one-dimensional but that's ok with me seeing that this beer transitions nicely from start to finish.

M/D - Medium-heavy body but is smooth on the palate. Lots of carbonation but combines well with the beer. No signs of alcohol for such a "big" beer but you do get a little warming sensation as you make your way through a glass.

A very unique style of beer with wonderful transitioning characteristics. Would I take it over Eliot Ness...depends on the day, but still a solid beer by Great Lakes.

VaTechHopHead, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of jera1350
3.38/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Great Lakes. Thanks to Sparky44 for this one.

Pours into a snifter a garnet brown color with a tall creamy tan head that leaves lots of sticky lace.

Nose is of earthy hops with some sweet malt. Almost a musty wheat smell from earthiness of the hops.

Taste is pretty average. Some bitter hops with a bit of the earthiness. Grapefruit makes up most of the hop profile and lingers into the aftertaste. Some mild dark fruit- raspberry, blackberry and blueberry. The malt is rather weak here. The taste lacks in any sort of depth or complexity. It's just a hot and hoppy brew.

Really thin for this style. Carbonation is low which lends to a flatness. The lack of body really detracts from the beers depth.

Pretty easy to drink, but not really sure what they are trying to do here. The beer is kind of all over the place and lacks refinement.

jera1350, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a toasted flax-colored head, creamy too, and it sits on top of a liquid somewhere between rust and bronze. A few little lace squiggles on the glass.

Aroma is wonderful--buttery, spicy and resiny in equal measure. The flavor expands on the aroma, animating it, magnifying it and giving it depth. A sharper, hotter candy spice, like cinnamon, appears first, but then comes a hop-driven bitterness and something earthy, grainy and sweet, reminding me of tart fruit in a bowl of oatmeal that's been drowned in cream. I won't even go into the flashes (acid flashbacks?) of seaweed and peanut that I got at various points.

And speaking of creamy, despite the zippy carbonation (which has the illusion of being zippier than it is, because of the spiciness), this bad boy is so unbelievably creamy when it hits the right temperature--which, in this case, if we're being totally unscientific, is about 30 minutes after being taken from the refrigerator. A medium body that even leans on the lighter side keeps this incredibly drinkable.

Nosferatu is super-interesting, sort of like a hugely-hopped, fairly high-gravity red/amber ale. Or, sure, a strong ale, which is a wonderful catch-all for terrific beers like this. I'm glad I've had several of them over the past few weeks before reviewing, because it seems to take several solid meetings to comprehend. Did for me anyway. I love it, and I thank kels for bringing it back from the source. Cheers!

Metalmonk, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of BrewMaven
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked these up at a Syacuse, NY supermarket.

Pours a deep clear bronze and is topped by a thin cap of caramel colored foam.

Smell is of sweet, ripe dark fruits. Pretty strong and appealing aroma that surprised me with my usually weak sniffer.

Taste is similar to the smell with sweetness, some spice and a little hoppiness coming in toward the semi-dry finish. Fairly full bodied and mild carbonation.

I really enjoyed being bitten by Nosferatu!!

BrewMaven, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of samie85
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, consumed 11/06 at The Bad Apple.

A- Pours a reddish copper color with an off-white head.

S- The nose is all hops with this one: pine-y, floral and lemon notes.

T- This is very similar to the nose with a pine-y, bitter slightly citrus(grapefruit) with a bit of a caramel malt backbone.

M- Medium bodied with a pretty decent amount of carbonation.

D- This was pretty easy to drink, given the ABV. It's crisp, clean, somewhat bitter finish leads me to believe I could drink a few of these in a night.

samie85, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

ritzkiss, Nov 07, 2009
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,234 ratings.