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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,299 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,299
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 227
Gots: 267 | 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: 2,299 | Reviews: 855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brew33
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Nosferatu
This is one of my all time favorite brews.

The color is a bright crimson, totally clear. 1 finger, foamy head. The aroma is subdued but great. Citrusy hops and faint grain. The flavor is spectacular. The sweet malts play perfectly with the citrusy hops (Cascade if I had to guess) and a rather fruity yeast note. The balance is incredible. Alcohol is well hidden. Incredibly drinkable for 8%. Nice body and mouthfeel. Lighter and more carbonated than a lot of Strong Ales but I find it to be a perfect match.

Another truly World Class beer from Great Lakes. A big win.

Photo of sitarist
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with orange hues in the light; blood red in poor light. Lazy bubbles rise up to two fingers of light khaki head that last awhile before falling. there is all kinds of lacing sticking to my glass.

I really believe they are going for blood. The aroma is earthy, sweet and metallic; I smell cherries, liver, and dog food. I know it sounds bad but its not.

The flavors follow the nose with even more earthy elements. Its like breathing in deep through your mouth while standing in a humid pine forest. Almost like chewing a chunk of pine?

Nice creamy full body, as it dries it starts to bite just a bit.

Another well made beer from CLBC. Its a late night beer! Its a beer that Id consume as fresh as possible; I had this last year, and after 2 months it wasnt this good.

Photo of rlshep
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this 4-pack the day it hit store shelves and drank about a week later.

Aroma: Citrusy grapefruit aroma.

Appearance: Large thick, foamy, biege head. Slow to dissipate. Color is dark amber to a deep red. Some malt not sure what it is it seems brighter than crystal. Lots of lacing. Very clear.

Flavor: Grapefruit and a little bit of pine hit you up front. There is a ripe dark fruit flavor coming from malt along the lines of dates and plums. A mild chocolate flavor punches through at end and lingers on tongue. Bitterness is firm.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is strong and warming but not solventy. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy. Some sweetness coats lips, expected for this big of a beer, not coyingly.

Overall: Well done balanced strong beer. The hops fruit and sweetness take you on a journey. The American citrus hops mix in with the chocolate almost tasting like a chocolate covered orange candy. I'm a big fan of Great Lakes and this beer just impresses me further.

Photo of nova009
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a dark ruby red, almost blood like which is fitting for the name, a one finger light tan head appears and slowly dissipates, pretty nice lacing is left on the glass

S- interesting smell, its has an almost smokey feeling to the nose, dark malts, alcohol, im picking up on some slightly sweet notes as well although i cant tell what they are

T- not exactly what i was expecting from the smell, dark roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate are pretty apparent, it has a fairly large amount of hop flavor giving it a dry finish, almost earthy

M- medium body, attacks the palate pretty hard, carbonation isn't bad, nothing overly impressive

D- not the easiest to take down, could probably only have one of these every once in awhile, overall not a bad beer however for the flavors that come out of this i would much rather have a good stout

Photo of thecarster1
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one fingers worth of light tan head, deep hazy amber brown coloring, nice lacing mix, awesome label artwork.

s- nice, hints of vanilla, slight smoke, deep complex malt, and chocolate.

t- interesting, the malts here are very complex and taste, nice roast, loads of chocolate, and lastly some hops 'bite' into the backend. ohh yes, pun intended.

m- medium bodied and slick.

d- really great, i enjoyed this beer alot and was happy to have had the chance to try it. i would drink again for sure.

Photo of beerdrifter
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan for hooking me up with this beer. Clear copper pour with a quickly fading head and not much lacing. This one is all malt in the nose. Lots of caramel and brown sugar with a really earthy side to it. The taste is malty sweet initially, but is soon dominated by the earthiness. The hops were absent in the nose, but they show up with lots of bitterness on the palate. The toasted malt gives decent balance, but that bitter hop bite lingers and overpowers for the most part. It's a bit too earthy to be very drinkable for me. Would have liked to have seen more balance, but not a bad beer.

Photo of coldmeat23
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
Thanks to normyk for this one

Pours a medium shade of copper with mild red tinting. A thin beige head sits on top. The lacing is very abundant and quite sticky.

This nose is full of rich notes of butterey caramels and brown sugars. Very malty, just like I like it. Very light traces of honey, figs and raisins. A nice earthy hop presence and a good bread-like quality.

Taste follows the nose, with a bigger presence of toasted maltiness and the hops come forward quite a bit more. The finish has the most prevelant hop notes, with some resinous, sap-like, betterness which lingers for quite a while.
Personally, I don't expect an Old Ale to have this much hop presence. This is veering perilously close to American Barleywine territory.

The body is medium with a mild level of carbonation, which leaves this one too thin for it's style. No real creaminess to the smoothness here.

I'll put this on my list of beers to come back to and try again, at a later date. Right now, it's not impressing me, at all. This saddens me, because I've heard such good things about it and I love Old Ales, as a style.
I'll update this review if my next experience goes better.

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle sampled in season late 2009. Review from notes.

Color is a beautiful, menacing amber red. Smell is of rich earthy malts, but also a bit metallic. Mouth feel is smooth, taste is a two-tone sweetness, finished off with over-ripe citrus notes for the hops. Very clean. All in all, for such a bad-ass beer, this one is pleasant in a dark/light sort of way. The label conjures up thoughts that otherwise sway opinion. It is not the monster it is made out to be.. it's actually quite pleasant. The best Great Lakes seasonal 4-pack so far..

Photo of alcstradamus
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red/brown with a finger of persistent head and some lacing.

The aroma is rich bready maltiness. A bit of sweet caramel and raisin as well. Some floral hoppiness. Pretty nice.

The flavor is an extension of the aroma with a bigger emphasis on the hops. Bitter, pine resiny hops burst out and nearly cover up the nice malt bill underneath. Despite this reversal of dominance, there is still enough balance there to make this nicely drinkable. This is nearly as much of an American Barleywine as it is an Old Ale.

The body is medium and carbonation is a bit prickly but good overall.

This is definitely a finely crafted beer and one I will revisit in the future.

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

Got this one in trade from Auslander! Always a pleasure, thanks again man!

Consumed 4/27/2010- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- A hazy orange tinged brown topped off by a chunky one finger tan head that hung around a bit. Some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet caramel malts, a little woody element, maybe some dark fruit but I'm not sure. Very earthy.

T- Similar to the nose with the addition of a light bread flavor mixed in. A little more hop presence.

M- Medium to heavy bodied, full and a little chewy. A little hop bite.

D- Very easy drinker, I would have said it was more of an altbier though. Now that GL is distributed by me I'm looking forward to picking up some more.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a cloudy ruddy brown with a small light brown head that quickly fades away with some nice thin lacing. Nose is very nice, similar to a marzen almost - biscuit and hop notes with some fruity esters.

Let this warm up - my first sip just a couple minuets out of the fridge was way too cold. Hops are present here but take a back seat to the very nice and complex malt base. Very sweet and toasty it leaves my lips a bit sticky. The mouthfeel is very nice, carbonations is a bit high but not offensive at all. Overall a great beer although I don't know if I'd call it an Old Ale.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Red pour. About a finger of tan foam doesn't retain very well. Nice lacing on the glass, though.

Sweet malt and bitter hops in the aroma. Good bit of citrus and pine, to go with loads of caramel.

Flavor follows. Sweet caramel up front, followed by loads of hoppy bitterness. Lasting resinous bitterness.

Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Slick, smooth feel. Fairly easy drinker, though the finish is a bit harsh.

Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pint glass at 50 Degrees. Received this bottle from a BIF, thank you.

Appearance: A medium tan head that's a half finger with retention.

Color: is medium mahogany with red and orange copper highlights.

Clarity of the beer is hazy with yeast particles. There is effervescence coming from the bottom of the glass.

Nose: A rich toasted malt with caramel, biscuit, and wood aromas. The undertones are citrus, floral bouquet, and phenols.

Taste: toasted malt, biscuits, yeast, bread, pine, grapefruit, floral, solvents and phenols.

Overall: the mouth feel is astringent, dry and robust.

Body: is medium and the finish is full. This is a really good strong ale lots of flavor thanks!

Photo of bierenutz
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Poured into a glass and I was able to muster at most a 1/2 inch head leaving minimal lacing about he glass.
S-Earthy hoppy smell with sweet carmelly afternotes which became more prevalent as the beer warmed.
T-The spicy bitterness of the hops yielded enough to give way to the sugary carmel flavor along with hints of pine and oak.
M-This hop infused brew tingles in the mouth with minimal creaminess. I would not classify this as a sipping beer but it did seem to mellow as it warmed.
D-Overall this is a good, not great beer and I think I'd have to have another to see if it's worth putting on any kind of "wants" list.

Photo of oregonskibum
3.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Bright amber with a little burnt orange or red. Dense 1/2 inch head dissipated slowly.

S: Earthy, spicy hops dominate. Faint caramel smells.

T: First thought, slightly burnt Triscuits. Earthy spiceness carries through from the smell. Getting some leather or tobacco flavors. Definitely a little heat from the alcohol. Quite a bitter finish.

M: Mouth feel is medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Finishes with just a little heaviness on the tongue. Not syrupy, but it definitely coated the tongue.

D: Interesting... I'm glad I traded for two bottles of this because it's hard to decide whether I like this beer or not. It's not bad, but I don't know that it's a beer I would go out of my way to find.

Follow up notes from tasting second bottle on 6/9. Hop flavors had subsided a little, but the result is that the overly sweet caramel malt flavors show up more strongly. I left my score the same, but would not seek this out again.

Photo of jminsc76
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, exhibits a thick and bubbly yellow/grayish head atop an amber body with a slight tinge of purple. The head dies down quickly but reforms well upon agitation.

Aromas of caramel malts, very sweet, with some oak and fruits including candy apple and grapes. A highly intense and wonderful bouquet.

The taste is not on the intensity level of the aromas, and exhibits a strong bitterness, with slight tobacco and a strong earthiness. A little too much heat, however, and the boozy-ness detracts from the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium-strength and slightly juicy.

Overall, this ain't too bad of an old ale/American strong ale, but it could use some more work and refinement. It exhibits the hop bite of a good barleywine, along with some rich fruity flavors, but the heat on the front end drags the general enjoyment of this beer down a notch.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice brandy color with some orange-golden highlights. Smallish sandy head that fades quickly. Getting some chocolate, a bit of caramel, and some vegetal aroma that I'm not sure I like. Taste kicks you a bit, big malt flavors bookended with some herbal and floral hops. Hops linger with some herbal and piney notes. MF is a nice medium body, a bit of a dry finish, decent carbonation. Good drinkability, though I'm not sure that the taste is really what I'm looking for. Definitely more in the vein of a strong ale than an old ale. There are some really great parts of this beer, but then also some parts that I don't like so much.

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

Paid $2.49 for a 12oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. Poured into a large snifter to review.

Quarter inch off white head consistent of medium sized carbonation bubbles. Head dissipates quickly leaving only a minor glistening of white retention in spots. Glowing reddish orange in color; appears as if it was a DIPA. Some lacing.

Aroma is well balanced with a considerate amount of resinous hops and caramel malt. Very clean on the nose with some indication of the above average ABV.

Taste is similar to nose with hops only slightly in the forefront to the malt.

Medium body with nice carbonation. Clean and refreshing. A slight hop lingering into the aftertaste. Great drinkability, especially considering its ABV.

A nice beer; certainly unique to style with this being the hoppiest I've tasted to date.

Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice shade of orange with a tall white head. Head dies to a cap which lasts for the duration. Nice Belgian like sheet lace pattern all the way down the glass.

S: Nice and malty. Caramel and brown sugar for sure. Light hops with a hint of sweet summer fruit.

T: Nice flavor as well. Malty start. Caramel, lightly bready up front. Hints of sweet pine in the middle. The finish has a nice hoppy bite. Lightly citrus with a grassy herbal like note.

M: Medium in body, smooth, great carbonation.

D: Good, tasty beer.

Photo of josefnewsong
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a deep scarlet color with two fingers of off-white head leaves some lacing but not too much to speak of
S - spicy hops, alcohol, and a bit of sweet caramel malt
T - tastes like it smells, with hops being more dominant and malts less pronounced than I'd expect from the style. Good but not great.
M - medium-bodied, pretty light for the style, well-carbonated (again a bit different for the style) nice tingly hoppy finish
D - easy to drink, not as much of a sipping beer as other old ales I've had

I thought this was a slightly hopped up barleywine when I tried it. It's a good ale, but Old Ale is a category I've come to expect great things from.

Photo of association330
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, dated 11/09/09

A - Pours dark reddish-brown with a half-pinky of off-white head. Drops to a thin cap with some lace.

S - Nice caramel malt and spicy hop notes. Faint booziness and dark fruit.

T - An earlier reviewer mentioned that their bottle tasted similar to a mellowed/aged DIPA, and mine does too. The rich malt characteristics are more prevalent up front, along with a bit of dark fruit. The swallow is bitter, but refined instead of running wild. Hop bitterness lingers for the finish.

M - Carbonation is moderate, body is on the light side of medium. Slight alcohol warmth.

D - Been wanting to try this one for awhile, and it was pretty good, but not as outstanding as I had hoped. I'd have it again though, and perhaps try a younger bottle next time.

Photo of fastsrt
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle in duvel tulip I bought this 9/09
A: ruby red with a 3 finger head that is tan and tight.

S: spicy, malts, sweat.

T: wow; this is good there is balance there is complexity, spicy rye malts this is a great beer and has aged well and I feel will only improve, the hops have mellowed out from when it was young and had yielded many complex flavors the hops fell back to let the malts and alcohol shine through.

M: carbonation is right on point and the beer has feeling front to back finishing dry, with some spice character, with a good bite.

D: When I first bought them I drank two and decided to age the other ones.. I am going to revisit this one in september and see how it developed and compare to a fresh one.

Photo of jcnd9803
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A nice amber color, actually almost purely red. A half a finger of head.

S: Hops and caramel. Faint malts.

T: Starts with much more of a bitter taste than I was expecting. I smelled hops, but not this much. It then strangely transitions into heavy malts with a syrupy finish. Also some fruit in the end.

M: It's flavorful, I'll give it that. I really got an almost tart malt taste.

D: It's not bad, just not my favorite for the style.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-cloudy ruby red, some particles floating around, very light tan head, creamy and thick. The head lingers for quite some time, a long time, thick lace left on the glass

S-sweet caramel and lots of brown sugar onslaught the senses first, a nice citrus hop backbone sets in next. Lots of grapefruit and a touch of apricot

T-the taste is big but not as good as the nose. It brings some caramel and burnt brown sugar up front, some earthy tones and hints of phenol, the finish brings some bitter grapefruit and keeps on coming with bitterness.

M-smooth and creamy, fuller side of medium body, slightly syrupy.

D-big time lingering bitterness at the finish makes this a tough sell for a drinkable beer; but it is quite tasty and very creamy!

Photo of kbnooshay
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scary vampire guy on the bottle. The label said to drink by 12/14/08. I did not listen. This aged for another year plus a few months.

Poured a gorgeous deep red color with a frothy tan colored head. Body is clear with carbonation slowly rising to the top.

Aroma is of dark fruit, citrus, and hops. There are nice hints of bread and sweet malt.

Flavor is slightly bitey in the back and sides of the mouth from the hops. Nicely floral and citrusy. Hops are moderately strong for an american strong ale. Thought it would have mellowed over the year. Tasty hints of bready goodness. Malt is there in the background.

Feel is prickly from the carbonation but very smooth.

Not balanced because of the hops but this is fairly drinkable.

I want to try a fresh one to compare.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,299 ratings.