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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,312 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,312
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 231
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: 2,312 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccahoon22
3.34/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer pours a reddish copper color with a good head.

S - There is a definite ale smell. You can also smell the alcohol combined with a hint of sweetness, but not too a very strong smell.

T - Very smooth taste without any distinct flavors aside from the standard ale taste. Definite hop taste with some bitterness. Overall good beer but lacks the character of other ales.

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

My first of the year! Got it at The Andersons in Toledo in a mixer-6er. THE BEER WITH BITE.

Appearance- Brilliant, deep copper with a nice and tight, lingering light beige head. Lovely ringlets of lace with each sip.

Aroma- Leafy, herbal, slightly pungent, grapefruity hops with undertones of burnt sugar and rich caramel. Subtle kiss of roasted maltiness.

Flavor- Big hops straight off the bat- pungent, resinous herbal bitterness bear hugs the tongue and doesnt let go until well after you swallow. Some faint maltiness up front that really opens up in the middle to notes of burnt sugar and sweet caramel. Slight roastiness ties together with assertive resinous hop bitterness to definitely give the finish a bite, that lingers! Slight alcoholic strength noticeable in the finish, but quickly overpowered by hop pungency.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied, moderate-high CO2 adds a bit of a carbonic bite, moderate residual sugars provide some stickiness. Mouthcoating bitterness and moderate residual sugars make for a palate punching brew. Sticky sweetness and resinous hops. Decent balance but definitely a hop-leaning brew.

Overall- Damn drinkable for an 8% brew! Really excellent to drink at the turning of the seasons. Sweet but bitter as hell. One of my favorite seasonals when I lived in Cleveland and definitely worth seeking this beauty out!

Photo of Spider889
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a beer I look forward to every year. As soon as I took a sip I was taken back to past years grilling in the last weeks before snow, Halloween parties, etc. It's getting pretty cold in Ohio already, this beer came out just in time!

Deep red/burgundy color. The head is the color of newly hewn oak. The head is light and bubbly, and it leaves gooey legs of thick lace.

Smells of earthy deep hops. Plenty of nice malty undertones, sweet caramel notes with an almost woody/peaty bite to it.

Very rich flavor here. Tons of acidic piney hops bite you off the bat. They are really up front and fighting out for the win over the other flavors. (This is in the top 2-3 most bitter beers that GLBC makes annually for retail sale.) All of the hoppiness is followed by sweet amber malts, a light sherry-like character, with some rye on the finish.

This beer is relatively smooth, very dry, with a medium bodied mouthfeel.

The drinkability is average. While the alcohol is not too overpowering, the hops can be over the course of the bottle. I could drink two, but by the end my palate would need a bit of a rest. However, I have a feeling that I'll be craving this with increasing zeal as the weather grows ever colder.

Photo of Sneers
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I love how Great Lakes names their beers, and this one is named after one of my favorite movies of all time.

Pours a brilliant translucent red with orange-amber edges and a thick tan-white head that leaves lots of lacing; lacing is almost a misnomer, this is more like a sheet.

Nosferatu is listed as an American Strong Ale, but the nose so far says IPA: bright citrus aroma with some candied pineapple sweetness. The taste confirms my suspicion; blind tasted, I'd peg this as a DIPA. Highly hopped, citrus flavor and bitterness. The malt is just enough to balance out the hops and add a moderate caramel sweetness, but the hops really dominate. I'd like to see a more aggressive malt on this one; otherwise, I don't see quite as much that sets it apart from Commodore Perry or Lake Erie Monster. The alcohol comes through on the finish a little strong.

Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth. The citrus flavor is a bit too bright for me, so the drinkability suffers a bit, but otherwise pretty good.

Photo of bsp77
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Slightly hazy reddish-amber with cream colored head that leaves a persistent thin line and slight lacing.

Smell: Orange, grapefruit & pine hops, caramel, and a spicy bread-like quality that reminds me of rye.

Taste: Great balance of American hops (orange, grapefruit, pine) and semi-sweet caramel and fruity malts. Ends spicy and bitter. It still reminds me a little of a ramped up Rye IPA/Red Ale.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, very smooth, oily and full body. Dry and warming finish.

Drinkability: Just a stellar beer. Seems like a Double IPA with a slightly different malt base. This has more than redeemed my faith in Great Lakes after my sub-par opinion of their Octoberfest.

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

Taken from notes, consumed at ABR saturday, also have a bottle here to refresh my memory.

Poured a burnt dark red, transparent, some deep copper highlights. An inch of off white head. Settling to leave a thin cap and generous collar.
Spicy earthy onion laced mustard seed hop aroma. light roasted grains, some nuttiness and malt.
Taste is very good, reflecting aroma to a T. More hop strength in taste, earthy and floral with some citric sweetness, becoming dank with some welcome bittering. Bitters work together though and help to balance the large malt presence and burnt caramel. Rich and delicious. This beer is in harmony with all flavors.
Mouthfeel has a fuller feel with medium amounts of carbonation.

This could be one of the better, if not best ASA's I've had. Things I really enjoyed in this beer were the color, hop combo is stellar, and malty balance between bitterness. I would love to know what the hop combo was too, it is scrumdiddlyumptios (Ned Flanders) Heat is nowhere to be found, making it a dangerous brew to consume in multiples. Very easy to drink.

Witty bottle label humor makes me lol

"Vampire pro: They live without lights, which really helps to conserve energy" Vampires are earth friendly with green in mind.

Photo of jwhancher
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Mad Mex. Bartender said this was a worthwhile brew to try. Appears amberish in color with nice lacing clinging to the pint glass in ring set sequences. Smells mostly hoppy with pine, citrus, and peppery notes. Tastes mostly hoppy with a subdued malt backbone that's hidden behind this abundance of hops. Should this be an IPA? The strong ale label complexes me. Either way, it's a slow drinking hoppy beer with bitter mouthfeel and dry then sweet mouthfeel. Sees like a sipper to me.

Photo of sphmiel
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2010 bottle, thanks to a friend's recent visit to Ohio, as it seldom travels this far in the midwest.

Poured into a NB snifter, dark mahogany body, tan head that quickly dissipates, and laces.
Smell is complex, citrus hops over a toasty, caramel malt, very inviting.
Taste is awesome, combining the upfront Cascade hops, quickly followed by the toasty, caramel maltiness. Nice mouthfeel, with enough carbonation to clear the sweetness, and invites another taste.
The alcohol is well hidden, deceptively so, tempting to treat it as a session beer rather than a sipper.

This is another excellent brew from Great Lakes, and worth seeking out.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep crimson with a thin eggshell head that settles quickly to a thin film. Carbonation is mild, but lacing sticks to the glass with ease.

S: Piney hop nose, with fruity notes lingering in the backround. Malt gives aromas of caramel and toast.

T: Hops blast the palate with pine, spring flowers, and citrus notes, while at the same time being balanced out with caramel and cereal flavors. The finish is dry and robust, yet very clean.

Notes: This beer has great flavor and depth, but it lacks a bit in body for the style. Overall, Nosferatu is a medium bodied brew that's tasty as Hell, and very easy to drink.

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber with a huge fluffy white head which sticks all over the glass.

S - Bready malts come first with strong notes of multigrain crackers and triscuits. This interesting hit of savory is followed by a sweet citrusy hop scent.

T - This stuff tastes like I am eating muligrain bread mixed with hops. That's pretty awesome really. There are hints of caramel and even savory chicken. Odd peppery flavor on the back end.

M - Medium body with a surprising amount of creaminess. The carb seems to be right on and this one sticks around your mouth, nice.

D - Pretty decent at 8%, as I really don't feel much alcohol burn. The astringency from the hops detracts some. I think this should be brewed more regularly and it could be Ohio's own take on a beer like Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of boomer31
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep copper red with a thin beige head. Head sticks to glass.

S - Fruity and piney hop and sweet caramel malt. I really enjoy the hop presence here, smells of an IPA with a nice malt backbone.

T - Up front there is a hint of grapefruit followed by sweet malt then grass. Really enjoyable ale here. Nothing overpowering, well balanced.

M - Rich low carb. Hops seems to stick to your toungue

D - A very nice drinkable fall brew. The hops a very nice, not in your face IPA but balance well with the malt.

Overall a great ale from GL. Can't wait to get my hands on more of their brews. This is balanced and very enjoyable.

Photo of jampics2
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at GLBC for Oktoberfest. Served in a pint glass.

This seasonal offering from GLBC is marketed as a "beer with bite". Available mid-September through October, it arrives just in time for the Halloween season. Let's see if it can live up to it's "scary" good reputation as one of their best brews.

This is a wonderful looking beer, it's firey red and brown with a beautiful white head and nice lace. Just looking at it makes me thirsty. Not thirsty for blood, just great beer!

Nasferatu is hoppy, that's for sure. The hops basically jump out of the glass and attack. There's a ton of Cascade hops, adding their signature grapefruit and citrus notes to the boquet. There's even a touch of pine and woodiness from the Simcoe hops. A sweet caramel and slightly toasted malt base lets everything shine, giving some impressions of toffee and even a touch of tobacco. This is a very good smelling beer, very inviting and bold. Almost too smooth and seductive, let's hope it's not a rouse to lure me in and strike.

The most remarkable thing about the way Nasferatu tastes is the depth and variety of flavors. This is a bold beer but it's not a brute monster as it's label depicts - if anything, it's a deeper, more sophisticated succubus. The most bold flavors are obviously the hops, as they add a lot of pleasant bitterness with pine and citrus flavors. The malt base is also formidable. It comes across as a mixture of sweet caramel (thanks to the crystal malt) and some toasted/biscuit flavors that the secret specialty roasted malts contribute. There's even a touch of chocolate. There's a ton of flavor but a ton of balance as well. A really well formulated beer - something you don't see enough of in the current world of extreme and imperial everything.

Like all other Great Lakes beers, this Stock Ale/Old Ale feels great in my mouth. It's creamy but firm with just enough carbonation to keep things fresh. It's got a nice medium body and some lingering bitterness in the finish along with some toasty malt. Clean and very drinkable.

Nasferatu is a beer that will bite your palate with flavor. But don't fight it, this isn't a monster of the bloodsucking kind. Instead, it's an imperial red ale that's sure to please the palate with rich, sweet, toasty malts and a coffin full of hops. An awesome beer and certainly deserving of all the praise it receives. Great Lakes was making this beer long before Twilight made vampires trendy, and it's (oc)cult following will continue long after the trend has passed.

Photo of Swill5786
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish-amber with minimal head. Should have been more aggressive on the pour. Nose is primarily piney hops, some grapefruit, malt sweetness lingering in the background. Bitter from start to finish. Hoppy to the extreme with faint caramel malt. Pine and grapefruit are overt in this wet finish. Hints of an imperial IPA, but not as assertive. Mouthfeel is lightish, drinkability moderate.

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.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,312 ratings.