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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,001 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,001
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Wants: 191
Gots: 147 | FT: 7
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: 2,001 | Reviews: 843 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleazo
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Monsone for this in the 7-8-9-10 BIF

A-Pours a medium clear chestnut with a slow but steady stream of bubbles. the head is one finger at first, cream coloured and dissipates fairly quickly. Sheets of lace adhere at first but retreat quickly.

S-Sweet carmelized brown sugar and hints of pine and grapefruit hops.

T-Hoppier than expected. You get a good blast of caramel at first. This is followe dup by a nice dose of piney hops. There are hints of pepper and cola in the follow through. Very nice and somewhat unexpected. It becomes sweeter as it warms which adds to the overall balance. Hints of plums come through as well.

M-Medium bodied with a slightly above avg carbonation. Pushes around the flavours nicely.

D-This is a nicely balanced strong ale. It drinks easily without being insufficient. A good flavour without being heavy or syrupy.

sleazo, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of joekfsu
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a reddish amber, 1 cm tan head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma is hop dominated, citrus and a little spice. Initial taste is balanced between bitter hops and some indistinguishable malt flavors. Closing taste and aftertaste are both bitter with the amount of hops involved. Medium bodied, almost no carbonation. Hidden alcohol and drinkable. Might be the best offering from Great Lakes.

joekfsu, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of chilidog
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

OK, Beer with a bite. Oh yes it dose!

Had this on the heals of a great halloween party, complete with all the spooks. Out comes the Nosferatu. Its a great looking beer at pour. Deep mahogany amber. Tannish one inch head, good ring-like lace.

The aroma is of floral hop, citric and pine.

The taste, a quick malty, toffee hint then the fangs come out. The bite comes quick and sticks around to suck out any prior taste on your palate. Its good, but alot of hop blast. Im not a big hop guy so after awhile this was all I could do, was sip. Yes this does remind me of Sam Adams Imperial or Stones AB. Im glad Great Lakes is making this hoppy offering. More me I just sip these beers.
I did pick up hints of citric grapefruit, pine like earthiness and some strong hop oil laced with a slight toffee.

The mouth remains laced with that slick hop oil while a slight dryness is felt with hints of a hoppy vapor.

Since hop drives this brew, it stays with you awhile, for that reason, my drinkability score shows it.

chilidog, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to unclejedi for this monster. Enjoyed this one while watching a Halloween themed flick. Slither, a movie that many have overlooked.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear deep chesnut with a full two finger off-white head that slowly dies down to a nice layer. Stickiness is a web of goodness, very attractive beer to look at. Smell is of earthy hop deliciousness with a sublte caramel malt background. A slight hint of evergreen nectar tingles the nose as well. Taste is a wonderful blend of malt and hop. Up front is a leaf-like autumn hop profile with some toasted barley and sweet caramel. Aftertaste is nutty wood flavor that has a tingle of grapefruit. Slick medium bobied mouthfeel with mild carbonation. Wow, this is my new Fall seasonal beer for sure. Pumpkin Ales?...no thanks. Marzens?...I'll pass. Oktoberfests'?...um, nope. Nosferatu?...More please!!! I gotta get more of this stuff before the snow starts falling.

BeerTruth, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of Thanby
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears very rich, clear mahogany with a massive, tan, creamy head that fades slowly and leaves nice, thick lacing. Small amount of fine, lazy carbonation.

Smells of toasted malt, some pear, pineapple, pine, a little caramel, some apple, and permeated by a smooth hoppiness.

Deceptively mild for the first second, then the flavor hits like a freight train. Reminiscent of the Edmund Fitzgerald porter in its smokiness. Strong roasted malt, hints of caramel and citrus, potent but not overbearing hops on the sides. There is also a subtle sheen of pine over everything. Hoppy aftertaste, no esters or phenols to speak of.

Mouthfeel is medium body, rich, engages all parts of the tongue with their own lineup of flavors. Very good balance, nothing is overpowering. Not much carbonation, but I think that works to help make it smooth and full. There's plenty of spiciness in the malt already.

Overall it's fighting Arrogant Bastard for my favorite American Strong Ale, and could quite possibly be my favorite Great Lakes beer.

Thanby, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of witster18
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While this isn't my favorite of the GLB's...it is certainly a good choice. If you like Arrogant bastard but are looking for better drinkability...this is it. Chocolate and bitter up front. Huge head that retains well. Deep red color. Starts off very piney but finishes smoother than any 8%rrr I've ever had. This at 8% and the Oktoberfest at 6.5ish...now there's two beers that can get you in trouble because of the high abv and the extremely high drinkability. Nice florals in the aftertaste and the sweetness lasts much longer than many other reds. moderate carbonation. seems about right. Something gives it a little bit of a metallicness....something I've not experienced with their other offerings....GooD...But Not Spectacular.

witster18, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of Homerbag
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep transparent red, not blood red, but still good looking. Good head that dissipates to a gently lacing cover.
Smells of malt and some piney hops. Interesting blend of the two.
This is a good red. Malt hits the front with the piney hops cover the back. Any presence of alcohol is barely detectable, which at 8% is impressive.
Feels good on the tounge, leaves a nice dry piney taste.
I would drink this again. One of the better red beers out there.

Homerbag, Oct 16, 2007
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.

Kegatron, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of kajerm
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours red-tinged brown and opaque. The cloudy, chocolaty color looks more like a Belgian Dark Ale than a hoppy American beer (I refuse to use the term "American Strong Ale.") There is a thin rignt of carbonation and a healthy spattering of lacing. Some large soap bubbles cluster in the center, with a few hanging out at the edges.

The aroma is a mixture of malt and slightly citric hops. The malts have an almost imperceptibly roasted quality to them.

The flavor opens up with mixed malts and some flavor hopping, and ends with bitterness; strong caramel malts take the edge off the alpha bitterness. The flavor profile is surprisingly short.

The beer is somewhat light on the palate for the malt and alcohol content. Excellent carbonation, but a little watery.

Drinkability is good.

kajerm, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep dark clear coppery auburn color. Hmmm...remindes me of the color of that cleansing/prep liquid the surgeons use just before cutting you open. Coincidence? Castle-on-a-hill towering, fluffy, kinda crunchy topping of lightly parched yellow foam sits for eternity. Lots of big moth-holed sheeting lace is plastered like cob webs all over the glass. Some in the shape of bats!?

Aroma is a hop hum dandy of toasted candy caramel, toasted grains, leafy crisp hops and a delicate natured little squeeze of grapefruity pine resin. And dare I say a bit of dampness of thick forest air seems to be lurking underneath. Must be the pine?

Taste is yum, yum, suck the flavor from my tongue. Great hoppy taste with a finely bittered tone and snappy crunch to it. Bright, brittle, leafy, citrusy grapefruitified and resin loaded with light piney parchments. Wow! Quite a fun ride of goodness. The flavors really pop and are bright with a intensity of a vampires' eyes. Just a bit of the toasted stuff makes its way through the fog of hops. As the hops play their part drenchingly deep of uncontested mastery and well-balanced, high toned, flavor sucking, palate quenching goodness!

Body of the beer is crisp, lasting, and bright. Nothing a caped casket dweller would prefer, but damn suiting none-the-less as it fits the profile immaculately! Crunchy, snappy, hoppy, and superbly balanaced in the way a nice IPA would be. Surprising. Super clean finish with a dryish pine, citric, toastified fluffy bite on the palate. No turtle neck or stake needed here as its creamy, slick and oily backing is so drenchingly satisfying.

If this were the nectar I needed to survive by sucking the necks of beautiful women or big brown bottles the world round then let it be so. This stuff's better then blood any day, or night. Mmmaaaawww...HaaaaHaaa...

tavernjef, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean deep amber-ish color with a light tan head. Aromas of a dry fruitiness and a hint of hops. In the taste, a dry fruitiness and a small hop bitterness, and a bit alcoholic. A watery mouthfeel and a dry hoppy aftertaste. A nice fall into winter beer. Nice hop presence and smooth, yet a small abrasiveness.

OWSLEY069, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a brilliant coppery-red, the ivory colered head quickly dropped into a thin haze across the top of the beer. the carbonation has made it self known.
the aroma is malty, bready, hint of hopsack, biscuits.
the flavor is very malty, caramel, hop spice, hint of mint, fading out to lingering orange rind fravor.

plaztikjezuz, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of genog
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an Amber, light brown color with a creamy off white head. Head remains for a long time on this one with a slim amount resting on top. Smell is of citrus and some floral aroma with a biscuit type malt aroma in the background. Taste is sweet with a bitter finish. Some spices are present and a little salty soy sauce flavor is picked up halfway through the session. Thick mouth feeling with a creamy, syrupy and metalic finish.

genog, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddish brown, good clarity. Lots of active carbonation and foam. Sticky tendrils of lacing ring the glass. Aroma is nicely sweet and sticky from the hops, with a slight boozy note.

Lots of caramel malt, earthy dry hops in the finish. Fairly strong, but the carbonation keeps it rolling smoothly. Cerealish malt taste comes through briefly but gets washed over by the large hop load. Aftertaste is dry and herbal, mildly bitter. Tasty and super drinkable, despite the higher abv.

emerge077, Oct 08, 2007
Photo of hustlesworth
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

once again, we're makin it happen in ohio.

A- crystal clear reddish amber with golden highlights. 2in of dense creamy beige head came from a hard pour settling to a clumpy 1/4in then to a soapy ring, turning yellowish and producing creepy trails of lace.

S- lemon peel and grapefruit meat, some bready malt. toasted caramel and over ripe dried fruits come out next followed by a grainy roast turkey/pork aroma and alcohol. salty ham, exotic spices, and pork rinds also come to mind.

T- big initial bang of very crisp clean herbal bitter hops with a metallic edge. meaty salty peanut butter & raw dry cocoa on the backside trails off to grassy mineral water, earhty stone and charred wood. finishes bittersweet and dry, hop aftertaste fades in about 60 sec.

MF- crisp dry and clean feeling despite its sticky hop character. medium on the carbonation, makes me want to eat some food and drink some more.

D- clean and refreshing with a hoppy bite, easily chuggable. but watch out, that 8% abv ain't no joke.

hustlesworth, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of david131
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Perfectly clear and ruby. The slightly off-white head that forms is thick and has some good maintenance.

S- Absolutely dominated by hops. There is so much citrus in this- a blend of grapefruit and orange peel. There is a sweet malt backing to this as well. Smells absolutely delicious.

T- Loads and loads of hop flavor- lots of citrus and some pine. There is a distinct earthiness to the flavor. Very caramelized malt flavor as well.

M- The carbonation is great and there is some stickiness to this as well. Left my mouth watering for more.

D- Way way better than I remember. Delicious and highly recommended. Having this did give me some deja vu of some better times- I love that.

david131, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of waldoiverson
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In September of 2007,I traveled to Cleveland to visit relatives and more importantly to visit Great Lakes to have this beer. I could not get this one in Chicago. Well, it was awesome. Scroll forward three weeks and I can now get it in 4 packs less than a block away from my home. I like this change but it somehow makes me feel a bit bitter for the trip. In any case...on with the show:

appearance - red, clear, tight but minimal head

smell - fruity and grassy hops

taste - delicious is probably not enough so let's try grassy with a punch of grapefruit but with more malt than you might expect. The alcohol is there but doesn't mess with the flavor profile

mouthfeel - smooth and carbonated. More velvety than many of the style

drinkability - I can drink this all night thought its 8% abv does catch up with you. It is frustrating that it is only sold in 4 packs but that is life.

waldoiverson, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of montageman
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

In 1922 F.W. Murnau gave us Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, one of the finest silent films and an excellent horror film to boot. Great Lakes Brewing Company has chosen to use both the name and the image of Murnau's vampire for this beer. Where Nosferatu the film was an innovator, the beer version falls short. By no means a bad beer, Nosferatu just falls short. The color is almost ruby-like with decent head formation but little retention. There is plenty of stickiness and lacing. The smell and the taste are both sweet and fruity. There is a hint of chocolate in the flavor as well. The mouthfeel is not rich enough for this style, which therefore hinders the overall drinkability. A fine strong ale with a marketing gimmick close to my heart. Recommended.

montageman, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of TheBierBand
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The soft-ish pour provided a 3/4" head of light beige foam of tight bubbles. The beer is orange-amber and clear. The head dropped to a thin cap leaving moderate lacing.

The aroma is piney hops with a nice balance of malt.

The taste is GOOD. Nice hop bitterness that is balanced well with full flavor of dried fruit.

Mouthfeel: not too much carbonation.... pretty much right where it needs to be. This is a rich and robust quaff.

Drinkability: Recommended. I will search this one out again. I think that I like Arrogant Bastard a bit (just a little) more for an American Strong Ale.

TheBierBand, Sep 28, 2007
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle at fridge temperatures into a Samuel Adams designed beer glass.

A: Pours ruby red and crystal clear, with lots of tight carbonation bubbles rushing to the surface. Head is about an inch, very white, collapsing to a ring and film quickly.

S: Floral hop notes with ripe fruit.

T: Hops flavors hit the tongue: floral, slightly grassy. Yields to a fruitiness: like ripe plums, with a bit of maltiness. Finishes with a dry and lingering bitterness that does not become astringent.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Coats the tongue, but is cleansed by high carbonation.

D: Very drinkable for the style; one or two will do it, but that is not surprising given the alcohol.

Overall: Definitely a very hoppy strong ale, brewed entirely in the American tradition.

MCDuhamel, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of riversider76
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber brown,with a thin white head. Not much in the way of retention,and just a bit of lacing.Aroma is of piney hops and grapefruit. This is a medium bodied beer with some carbionation. Taste is of bitter fruit, earthy,and piney this is a big tasting ale!

riversider76, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of soupyman10
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting for this one to be released since I've been back in the Mid-West. Finally it shows up. Pours a deep amber-brown color with two fingers of tan head on top. Lots of lacing. Looks great. Nose is alcohol, candy, light sweet malt, cranberries. Nice strong aromas coming off of this one. Flavor is similarly interesting and powerful. Lots of grapes and crazy fruits of all varieties, light drying hops, and a touch of alcohol. Solid flavor. Body is full and creamy with perfect carbonation and a nice long aftertaste. This one is a really excellent beer, I'm looking forward to finishing my four-pack.

soupyman10, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of seaoflament
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DavidEddie for this extra!

Pours a dark ruby color with a nice amount of foam which takes its time to settle down, also has some good lacing. Hop aromas of grapefruit, citrus and pine are well represented as well as some dark fruits and sweet cherries. Some caramel and toasted malts support the hoppy profile to make a nice salad of citrus, dark fruits, and biscuit and caramel malts. Taste is similar to the aroma, which is good. I get some dark and ripe fruits with some sweet and malt finish. Hop bite is more subtle than I expected from the aroma. Mouthfeel is just a tad on the thin side but the carbonation is very good and helps to hide the alcohol wickedly well.

seaoflament, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of pwoods
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle from Party Source poured into a standard pint glass at around 50 degrees.

A: Deep Ruby coloring with a brownish tint. Pours with a 1.5 finger off white head. Not getting much lacing.

S: Lotsa hops right up front makes it smell closer to an IPA. Strong grapefruit is dominant with some grilled pineapple undertones. A little bit of the alcohol peeps through as the glass empties.

T/M: Great citrus hoppy punch still making me think IPA, though in no way overpowering. Getting some grapefruit as I hold it in my mouth. Very dry finish with the alcohol coming out. Getting more malts as it warms further, balancing it out very nicely. Nice medium body w/ moderate carbonation. Very smooth going down.

D: With as balanced as this beer is, I could definitely drink a bunch of these. I think if you served at 35 degrees(to dumb down the bite a bit), you could spark new ideas and interest in the bud swindlers. I'll try to convince a friend to buy a 6... because I'm not giving up any of mine :D

pwoods, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of Strategery
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first review! This has always been one of my favorites so here goes...

A-beautiful red color, as close to "blood" red as I've ever seen in a beer.

S-Floral hops, piney, citrus-orange zest, grapefruit, very fresh and grassy.

T-Where do I start?! A wonderful initial hop bite, with a clean sweet malt finish. Nothing is overpowering, and every flavor reaches a perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Almost like a more balanced version of Arrogant Bastard.

M-Great carbonation, goes down smooth as silk.

D-I could drink this all night and then wake up the next morning in my neighbor's bushes. Seeing as how I live in an apartment complex that might not be the best idea.

Overall-My favorite Great Lakes brew along with the blackout stout. A beer I could enjoy every day of the week!

Strategery, Sep 16, 2007
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,001 ratings.