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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.

2,280 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,280
Reviews: 853
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 219
Gots: 244 | 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: 2,280 | Reviews: 853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of association330
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
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
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
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
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of hoppymcgee
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 11/16/08 into a new Bruery tulip.

A: Deep amber hue with a foamy head that dissipates and sticks to the side of the glass on the way down into a swirly coating on top o' the beer.

S: I pick up white raisins, wheat, and banana peel.

T: Sips similar to an aged DIPA. Notes of lavender, coriander, and a Honey Nut Cheerios.

M: Nice work here. Carbonation works well with the beer. Smooth.

D: The best feature of this beer. I really don't notice the 8% ABV at all. As a matter of fact I could have just as much of this as I could the Gumballhead I had last night.

Overall, nothing too standout-ish here from GL, but again, an excellent representation of the style like usual.

Photo of pasdachuri
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, served in a tulip glass. Pours a reddish copper color with a good, frothy, off-white head, lacing throughout.

Nice aroma. Sweet caramelized malt and grassy hops are strong up front. Citric hops aroma sits just behind.

Big and sweet malty taste upfront, with noticeable caramel characteristics. The hops are bitter with lots of grapefruit and more pronounced than the malt. Also a nice fruity undertone to this one. Very nice.

The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some light carbonation.

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

A: Mahogany red beer, very clear, and little to no active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom. The head is a light beige with an intese density of small bubbles and a creamy creamy top. It has decent longevity but not much lacing. This is really more than I would like to see in a strong ale though for carbonation, but it is a very good looking beer.

S: Although this beer has sat in my cellar now for a little over a month, and at the store before that it still has remarkably fresh hops to it. HA the best buy date is actually from before I got it. Just goes to show Great Lakes takes freshness seriously. But the hops, which are citrusy mostly, are too strong. It's almost like a Double IPA. I tried to age that off, but it just wouldn't go. Still there are hints of bread and caramel malts.

T: Still rather hoppy, though I get more pine than citrus, maybe citrus zest if anything. But there's malt there, particularly biscuit and something slightly roasted? The bottle describes this as a highly hopped red stock (strong) ale and I can see that. I'd say that nails it, I'm just not as in love with it as a 5.

M: Dense and superbly creamy. This is where the malt backbone really shines, even these hops can bite it off.

D: A superbly drinkable, though highly hopped, strong ale, not something I would expect to be 8% alcohol. Something I would love to see stuck in a barrel for a few months.

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

Thanks for a couple bottles of these Rich.

A: Poured into a pint glass (all the other glassware seems to be dirty or broken) and immediately this beer yields a fluffly swiss cheese looking head. The beer is amber in color and looks warm in bright lights. Chunky lacing.

S: This beer at first had the nose of an citrus infused sweet IPA, but there is more. A heavy dose of caramel malt and some bready brown ale characteristics shine through.

T: This beer masks the 8.0% ABV and managed to throw up a spectrum of hop flavors that are more resinous and grapefruit/orange peel tasting. The malt pushes it's way through the hops and works it's way into the finish of the beer. The end of the beer is bitter and hardly dull, as the toasted caramel sweetness shows itself.

M: Rather big bodied with a big silky tootsie roll chewiness.

D: The ABV would kill me after a while, but this IPAeque beer is vibrant and full of flavor. Hardly a dull offering from Great Lakes.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 11/29/09
Best before 12/17//09

A - Dense & robust crimson color. ¼ inch head dissipates quickly leaving a thin layer of bubbles. Swirling revives & leaves modest retention. Spotty lacing

S - Somewhat restrained nose. Roasted malts with hints of caramel & baked bread. Earthy notes with a faint hop spiciness. Brown sugar undertones as it warms.

T - Spicy hop kick upfront gives way to more robust flavors. Pine & earthy hops blend with a toasted malt backdrop. Notes of sweet bread, caramel, brown sugar & candied malts.

M - Full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, though it still has some bite. Decent amount of resinous grit & an ever-so-slight boozy slickness. Spicy bitterness lingers on the finish.

D - Despite being rather potent it has very good drinkability. It's a high quality brew from Great Lakes that I'm glad to have access to once a year. Recommended.

Photo of farrago
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice thick finger plus head of mixed bubble sizes, dark tan in color, steadily dissolves, does leave broad streaks of lacing behind. Deep bronze color, translucent and holds the light inside well, more amber orange around the rims. Complex nose of caramel, honey, pine sap, white grapefruit pith, tea leaves, raisin bread, fig fruit, subtle kick from the grains. Medium-bodied, there's more foaminess than expected during the mouth entry, after that the carbonation settles down. While very much in balance, the hops come out ahead by a good bit, grains, pine, pressed flowers and an herbaceous bite evident throughout, especially at the end. That said, the strongest element is the white grapefruit, mandarin orange citrus. Milk chocolate, toffee, honey and clove drift in and out, never truly making it taste sweet at any given moment. Blend of apple, pear, peach, banana, cherry fruit, yet, with minimal sweetness. It's an unusual beer which certainly holds your attention.

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

This bottle has a couple of months on it. Enjoyed in a snifter.

A: Nice beige bubbly head over a caramel and orange ale. Bubbles retain at the edges and there's a tad bit of lace.
S: Heavy sweet malt hitting me in the nose right away at the pour. It's balanced out by a hop presence that has settled over the last few months. Hops are piney. Lots of biscuit and the faint burn of alcohol at the very back. The calm and dark fruitiness of dates is there, too.
T: Flavors similar to the nose, but much spicier than I would have predicted from the aromas. Balancing all of this out is lightly toasted biscuit malt that is prominent in the nose. Dates and prunes are on the palate, and there is a subtle alcohol bite that gets stronger with warmth.
M: Medium body, but slides down and sticks to the tongue like molasses.
D: Strong, warming, and delish. 4s all around.

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

A: Reddish copper color. A hald finger of white head. A little bit of yeast is sitting at the bottom of my Dogfish super glass. Good amount of lacing.

S: Really big nose on this beer. Massive hop nose. Just more bitterness than anything else. Also a massive malt nose. Really well done. Smells like freshly milled grain.

T: Not as bitter as the nose would lead you to believe. A really well balanced slightly malt forward nose. It is amazing how fresh the malt tastes. Almost like a brewpub beer.

M: Different body. Fairly sharp carbonation. Little bit thick but not overbearing.

D: I think this is a great mix between an IPA and a Old Ale. Really never had anything like this before. I would say to not cellar this since the weirdness is part of the fun. Really great and different beer.

Photo of GregSVT
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 11/16/08 into a Brooklyn Snifter

A: Pours a very hazy deep amber almost like a barleywine with a small white head and some lacing.

S: The nose is full of chocolate malt and a piney hop aroma.

T: The taste is sweet chocolate malts, caramel, toffee, and cocoa with a slight earthy hop bitterness on the finish. Good stuff.

M: The feel is medium bodied with a creaminess from the carbonation.

D: This is pretty good and I have another one aging from the same bottling that I hope will be even better after 2 years. The ABV will sneek up on you though.

Although I haven't had one fresh I bet age has done this some wonders to this and toned down the hops considerably allowing the malty/chocolatey flavors to come forward. Thanks to smelleesell for the bottle!

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

Thanks to chcfan for sending this in a completely random gift box. Thanks a bunch Chris!

Pours a slightly hazy deep red color, almost a more ruby mahogany. Has a thin off white head that doesn't have the greatest retention. Does leave some lacing but not much.

The nose is strong on the maltiness, mostly sweet, with a light earthy and piney hop character in the background. Biscuity malts dominate.

Much like the nose, the taste is biscuity and sweet malts balancing light piney hops. I get more citrus hops and fruits in the taste than I did in the nose.

Medium to full bodied with a very creamy and smooth feel. Drinkability is great, alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Overall, a nice strong ale from Great Lakes. It's not my favorite of the style, but it's a good one none the less. I don't think if this was available to me it would be one of my regulars, but it was good and fun to try. Thanks again, Chris.

Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this!

Pours mahogany with a thin tan head. Dotted lacing, then lines of lacing, stick.

The smell is of caramelish/amber grainy maltiness mixes with a background of pine and citrus.

The taste is of toffee/caramel sweetness that turns to a bitter, woody dryness. It has a perceptive, though not too harsh, warming alcohol.

Full-bodied with a creamy texture.

It has a strong, yet "drinkable", pleasing, well-balanced character. Malty with a bitter touch in the finish that keeps the malt flavor in the aftertaste.

Photo of Clydesdale
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a somewhat hazy, glowing orange-red color. The tall, robust head has a mild orange tint and a very dense, frothy texture. Retention is pretty impressive, and a lattice of lacing sticks to the glass attractively.

S: Some biscuity, honeyish, and caramel malt aroma is accompanied by a big load of citric hop notes. Orange zest and citrus pulp are predominant. A spicy, yeasty character is also present. I have to strain to detect any alcohol; impressive for 8% abv.

T: A primarily biscuity and honey-flavored malt profile, with some noticeable caramel as well. Citric hop flavors are vibrant and very well-rounded, with orange zest and grapefruit pith providing juicy flavor and a bold bittering bite that carries into the finish. A slight touch of alcohol lets you know that this is a big beer, in case you hadn't noticed already.

M: A full, creamy, chewy mouthfeel here. Carbonation is ideal, providing a pleasant perkiness to what is otherwise a very robust beer. A resiny, hoppy dry finish makes itself comfortable as the beer lingers on the palate. Very impressive.

D: This is a wonderful beer from Great Lakes. Beautiful to look at, beautiful to drink, and worth seeking out. I'm equal parts impressed and surprised that the hops are still so fresh and robust after a few months. If you didn't catch it this year, be sure to pick it up the next time around.

Photo of dstc
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep coppery red with a decent tan head. Head falls to almost nothing. Pretty decent lace.

Nice hop aroma with malts hurried deep. Herbal smell is nice.

Great hop taste with a nice malt backbone. Sweet yet delightfully bitter, oily hop finish.

Medium bodied and slick it the mouth.

Very nice brew. Another great beer from Great Lakes.

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

Pour produces light mahogany liquid with exceptional clarity, modest off-white head that gradually fades, but not completely, and leaves lacing from the initial surge. It is gorgeous and inviting.

SMELL Rich caramel malty and fruity hops with fairly strong boozy heat. Hard for me to put a finger on some of the inputs, but it works.

TASTE Sweet caramel malty, grainy tea bag, hoppy bitterness and fruity hop flavors all balance well, with a bit of booze also in the mix.

FEEL rich, medium/full body, a touch of alc warming and a bitter finish.

OVERALL a very good beer. Really tasty sipper. Thank you BuckeyeNation for the awesome trade and for providing me the opportunity to enjoy this fine beverage.

Photo of rudylaw
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber with a big frothy head into my new Shoreline pint glass.

Equal parts hops and malt in the nose. Lots of citrus and caramel.

Same taste with additions of pine. Great malty backbone.

Creamy mouthfeel in a medium-bodied brew. Solid drinkability although the aftertaste gets a little troublesome after awhile.

Solid beer from a solid brewery. Great Lakes hardly every raises the bar but they are always in the game.

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

A clear ruby-copper color with a giant fluffy off-white colored head and pretty good chunks lacing the side of the pint glass. The aroma has lots of malty oats and some thick nuttiness. I also pick up a nice peaty yeast, very nice. The flavor jumps out with a curious herbal hop with evergreen and malty evergreen with licorice hilights. But it's mostly a beautiful blend of herbal hops, roasted nuts and peaty malt. Delicious, one of the better stock ales I've had and this is arguably one of my very favorite styles. It's reasonably carbonated, mid-bodied and drinkable enough considering the ABV. Great stuff.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.