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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,300 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,300
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 226
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: 2,300 | Reviews: 855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hosehead83
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Dark copper/amber in color, with big, two-inch head of foam
Aroma-Some sweet malt and citrus hop notes
Taste-Rich malt, nice backbone of citrussy hops-well balanced and very drinkable for the strength

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

Great Lakes Nosferatu has an orangish red body and about one finger of off-white head. That head thick and creamy with some good retention. Some pretty good sheets of lacing are left behind also.

The aroma has a bid dose of caramel malt, a bunch of hops, and some slight fruitiness.

The flavor seems to have lots of everything. The malt is big and sweet, with noticeable caramel characteristics. The hops are bitter with lots of grapefruit. At this point I would say that they hops are a little more pronounced than the malt. Underneath both of these is a less pronounced but substantial fruitiness. What fruits you say? Well, I can't really say, but they are light, sweet, and pretty good.

Moderate, slightly oily feeling body with moderate carbonation; nothing special.

This is a good beer, especially on tap. I expect the malt and hops to be big, but the fruit notes are a pleasant surprise (ok, I realize it tells me that on the bottle and I've had this a few years in a row, but still).

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

Thanks to thebouch01 for this one! I have been really curious about this one ever since I opened my box up!

Poured into Rare Vos Glass

An american strong ale... oh how I love this category... here it goes

Pours 1 finger of light tan head. Good retention and really nice lace walls. Color is a robust barrel copper brown.

Aroma: This smells more like DIPA to me than a 'strong' ale. Huge floral hop aroma. Notes of caramel, toffee, and citrus. Very pleasant.

Taste: Hmm, this is very interesting. The amount of toffee that sticks out here is heavily. I get some vanilla notes with caramel. A huge floral hop taste. A big blend of citrus doesn't leave the mouth either. Very strong and fairly boozy.

Mouthfeel: Very bitter and boozy. Medium bodied with medium amount of carbonation. Ends with a big floral hop, boozy flavored aftertaste. Not saying that I enjoy it, but it fits the style and nothing I really didn't expect.

Overall, it a pretty decent beer, definitely not what I expected. It kind of reminded me of a big DIPA, but with more malts and a nice toffee profile. I am glad I got to try this one. For 8%, this is drinking fine.

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

Had this at Great Lakes Brewery on 10-27-09 during the initial release of Christmas Ale for the year. Had a sample glass and found myself wondering why I was drinking the Christmas Ale. Great American Strong Ale in all aspects. S-A-S-M-D were all very well. This beer will bite you with its 8.0 ABV. May have to start stocking up on this one. Price is about 10 bucks for a four pack.

Photo of ClevoPiwo
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep and rich blood-red color. Perhaps a dark amber or burgundy; whatever the exact color, its a beautiful beer to behold. A nice thick and billowing head clings to the sides of the glass as it dissipates down to a patchy froth coating.

The smell is pleasant, increasingly so as the beer warms. The initial impression is sweet and malty. Nutty and grainy characters combine with a rich dark fruit, nearly caramel-like, sweetness to give this beer a huge malt backbone. Meanwhile, piney and fruity hops come through as well - a foreshadowing of the alleged 'bite' to come.

Big, big flavors in the taste. Initially the palate is coated with a very full bodied and bold malt sweetness. Dark fruits, grains, perhaps even some caramel notes make for a complex backbone which is promptly surmounted by the 'bite' of the hops. Tons of citrus, grapefruit and pine come through with a pleasant amount of flavor to compliment the bitterness. The finish is dry, but still exhibits lingering hop flavor and a touch of malt sweetness.

Overall, this is an old stock ale with a huge kick of hops! Very complex, definitely a sipping beer to be enjoyed on a quiet autumn night. Cheers!

Photo of sweemzander
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

120z. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Enjoy by 12/04/09.

(A)- Pours a red amber color that produced an ample billowy white head that is sticking to all the sides of the glass as it very slowly dissiiptes; great retention.

(S)- Initially very dry pine with a heavy wood accent. Some lime and lemon citrus.

(T)- Sweet maple & nutty malts supplemented with a light lemon lime citrus. Finishes incredibly dry and piney. Complex.

(M)- Great carbonation level. Has a good balance plus some nice complexities. Not overpowering or partial to any direction, just a solid drinking beer.

(D)- An interesting beer that catches you off guard. Has a good feel & balance to it. Another winner from Great Lakes. One of my top favorite fall beers thus far including Oktoberfests & wet hopped brews

Photo of younger35
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew from the all mighty BeerTruth not so long ago. I've seen this beer many times in the stores but just never snagged one (back when I could get Great Lakes). Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Appearance- Pours a blood reddish ruby with a nice one finger fluffy cream colored head. A decent collar remains with a small spotty cap and really no lacing to speak of.
Smell- Deeply malty with some rich caramel notes that are toasty and lightly grainy. Loads of dark fruits including raisins and figs all make their way forward before a fairly surprising blast of citrus hits the nostrils. Lemon peel and even some grapefruit ooze out, letting me know the hops are more than abundant here.
Taste- Starts with a rich toffee maltiness that is lightly metallic and way more intense than I expected. A surprising bit of bitterness (well maybe not, the nose gave me fair warning) with a nice rush of lemon and some raw dandelion stems. A great balance between sweet and bitter here although the beer never gets cloying or out of whack. The alcohol is hidden fairly well too.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a big full feel and very light carbonation.
Drinkability- The beer is surprisingly rich and big. It's like a mini old ale and honestly I wasn't expecting it in the least. Really, I wasn't 100% sure what kind of brew it was and this turned out nicely. Thanks much Adam!

Photo of alkemy
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear dark amber/ruby with a finger of rich off-white head leavings lots of lacing. Mine kinda did the Guinness thing where it left a distinct ring at each level I took a drink. Grapefruity hops really come through in the smell and the taste. Also get some pine. Pretty strong caramel malt sweetness balancing things out. Does give the feel of being somewhat thick (maybe more of a sticky feel.) I thought the alcohol was really well hidden...this one could most definitely get me in trouble. Great Lakes comes through again!

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

20 oz imperial pint poured from 1/6 barrel keg, from Cleveland, Ohio beer pub.
One inch white head covers ruby-red liquid, impressive Belgian lace throughout.
Fruity, grapefruit, intense hop aroma. First sip does not disappoint: hops predominate with a nice smooth flavor balanced with a modest amount of malt.
Alcohol well blended and does disguise the full potency of this brew. Not for those expecting a usual ale blend.
Too bad it's a seasonal.

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

This is a translucent ruby red color.. fizzy with about half an inch of head when poured into a tulip glass.

The smell has a definite hop presence, lots of citrus, and potentially rye. Flavor is very citrus like: orange, grapefruit, and bitter but balanced with caramel flavors. Medium bodied and fairly well carbonated.. alcohol is masked pretty well and this a decent drinkable beer.

Photo of ltjska04
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter this beer appears a murky brown with small head that settles quickly around the glass. But when held up to the light Nosferatu is an appropriately-colored blood red. The glow it casts on to my hand is eerily beautiful. The smell is strong, hoppy, and rich and reminds me of a "RyePA". The flavor starts off similar to a bold IPA but finishes more subtlety with smooth malt. The mouthfeel is great and drinkability high with no noticeable presence of alcohol. For some reason this beer strikes me as a good one to sip around a fireplace in a plush robe while pondering the universe with good friends. Definitely a winner and one of my favorites from Great Lakes.

Photo of BB1313
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of Great Lakes best seasonals! I've had this beer the past few seasons but this is the best batch I've had of this brew. This is a very hoppy beer. There's a brutal bitterness going on here. Lots of pine and lemon zest. Maybe some rye, because it's pretty spicy. There's a touch of caramel malt, but it's pretty subtle. It drinks like an IPA/DIPA or an Imperial Red. It's very well balanced and tastes amazing. I love it! Definitely be careful, the 8% can creep on you.

I would recommend this beer to anyone, especially if you're a hophead.

Photo of BrianOhio
4.11/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really nice deep copper color. Looks great in the glass. Aroma is not overwhelming citrus hops, but it's there in a subtle way that still told me I was going to enjoy this beer.

This is one of the more drinkable, strong ales I have sampled. I recently had Stone IPA and found that too harsh for my taste...but this is completely different. Initially sweet citrus, smooths out quickly, and then a really nice finish.

I'm not one that is going to get into all of the various fruits and breads I am detecting here, but I will tell you that for my taste, this is an outstanding beer. There were also some comments on price, but I have no issue paying $9.99 for a 4-pack of something of this quality.

Great Lakes is having a great fall, with this plus their Oktoberfest.

Photo of JamesS
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice mid-copper color with some good initial head and a bit of nice lacing. Excellent scent, heavy and thick; malty; wonderful powdered cocoa aroma. Great taste, thick and malty with a nice hint of chocolate and a nice bit of floral hops. Goes down smooth, with a bit of thickness and just a bit of alcohol in it. Great beer.

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep darker amber color which had nice red highlights in it when held up to the light. I only got a 1/2 finger off white head when I poured mine but I wasn't giving it a hard pour either. What lacing it did have was sticking to the sides rather nicely the entire beer.

S- Big pine scent right off the bat. I've read reviews where people say it was faint but I split this bottle with two of my employees and we were all surprised as to how piney this beer aroma was. Under that you had a nice big malty caramel scent. There was a slight spicey scent to this as well...allspice maybe? Some light citrus hop overtones come up here and there along with a medicine style alcohol scent. Interesting aroma for a strong ale I think.

T- Big piney resiny bitter hops on the forefront of this beer. Almost made me pucker as I was not expecting something like this at all. Middle of the beer was sweet malts all the way with some toasted character to it. Almost a burnt sourdough taste comes into play here I think before ending one a light bitter biscuty taste. I didn't expect this at all from this beer and it was a pleasant suprise.

M- Medium-heavy mouthfeel to this. Beer was a little too chewy for my liking in the style. Carbonation was a little off for me and I would have liked to see a little more just a very little. Seemed to hit on the palate and made no effort to move till you did. Left bitter resiny piney hops all over the teeth and tongue. Big wrecking train in that aspect. Bitter biscuty aftertaste.

D- This is a two pint beer before I move on to something else. I will be sticking a couple of these in the cellar to see how they age. Good strong ale in my opinion but with so many other options out there I will have a couple before I run. Would recommend to someone who hasn't had it before. It will suprise you!

Photo of projectflam86
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep amber color with a medium sized off white foam head. Nice clingy lace left along the sides.

S- Very balanced aroma of caramel malt and floral/citrus hops. A bit of grain and alcohol.

T- Huge wave of pine/floral bitterness initially. A rather large amount of malt sweetness and caramel are present in the finish. There is a slight sourdough flavor with some apples and a decent alcohol bite.

M- Medium/full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Lingering sour/bitter hop flavor.

D- Balanced with lots of hop AND malt flavor. Reminded me a bit of a more balanced Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of TaddyPorter
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

October 6, 2009
Serving type: 12 oz. bottle into a snifter

Jen H. had been talking up the virtues of this brew on Facebook, putting it in her top five along with Torpedo, Ruination, Choklat, and 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage. Figured it had to at least be worth giving another go. And boy was she (and I) right! This is a powerhouse of a beer defined in the slippery realm of the stock ale. It is deep and robust and beautifully balanced.

A dark golden mahogany hue picks up light but is dark enough to obscure a bit as well. A frothy one-finger head quickly dissipates to a few loose bubbles around the edges. Overall the color is a bit dull, not revealing of the delicious drink within. Appearance is not its strongest quality--it doesn't look like the magic potion that it is.

First time I ever accidentally snorted a beer was just now. Having taken an extra-deep whiff, I can say that some of its most salient qualities come through in its maltiness--particularly some hazelnut paper scent that reminds of me of the Dogfish Head 60 Minute (a very good thing) and roasted nuttiness prevails. It really, really smells good. It subtly evokes fall leaves and autumn, finishing with a leafy and natural hoppiness.

A beautiful example of balance in a nonetheless bold and flavorful beer, an essay in balance. Somewhat contrary to the way the scent hits the nose, with the taste the hops prevail first, boldly coming through in a bitter wave of piney, resiny depth. Afterward the malt character settles in, dry dark pumpernickel toast dominating the middle. Finishes with a bit of light biscuitiness.

Smooth, almost chewy. Definitely has significant carbonation that helps consolidate the flavors, but leaves the tongue with a silky smoothness to enjoy the malt and hop combination.

Rebecca was feeling the alcohol after just one sip. She mentioned she'd like to drink this beer in a rustic cabin in the wintertime while making a stew. It has a farmhouse respectability somehow, it's not trendy but it's solid and robust, worth every penny and delivering on each sip. A proud but not pompous beer that I would probably welcome into my snifter just about any night of the week.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber color, a little deeper in the red category. Off white head, moderate lacing.

Heavy caramel malt nose with a slight hint of pine hops. For a strong ale, the scent is weak.

The taste is more pronounced than the smell and the malt is almost too syrupy. I also pick up a buttery flavor that's common among a couple of the Great Lakes brews that I've tried. The hops add a slight bitterness, but I wish there was more and the malt throws this a little out of whack.

Decent carbonation, heavy body, but a bit boozy for 8% abv.

This was ok, but I was a bit dissapointed because I had higher expectations. There are much better stong ales out there.

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

poured my bottle of Nosferatu into my beer tasting wine glass. The appearence is a very interesting red. Nice off white head with decent retention and lacing. The aroma is hop forward with evidence of well rounded malt. The taste is difficult to distinguish in my memory from Great Lake's Burning River, but there is more warming alcohol. Theres some citrus hops, some smooth rounded slightly caramel malt. Nice medium body, coats the tongue with a bit of lingering bitterness. This could be a wild one, with it's high alcohol and relative easy drinkability you're gonna need a ride home.

Photo of kegger22
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish brown with a moderate head that just reduced to a collar. The aroma was cotton candy sweet with a backdrop of citrus. The taste was a balanced bittersweet, with an aftertaste leaning toward bitter. The feel was medium bodied with mild carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good. I've been waiting for Nosferatu to come out and I have to say it was good, but not special. The store I purchased it at had 2 cases, so I hurried to sample. Not disappointed, but I won't be rushing back to buy more as the 4 packs are not exactly value priced.

Photo of Spidey13
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nosferatu pours a very nice looking amber/red color with a small off-white head. The nose is very nice, with lots of citrussy hops. Grapefruit and tangerine. Some caramel is also lurking in there.

The flavor starts off a bit harsh for me, with big resinny/piney hop flavors that hit pretty hard. There is some sweetness at the end with a lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice and full.

Overall, I think this beer could be better if the hops were a bit more mellow. Maybe some aging could help? Anyway, a good beer none-the-less.

Photo of Telix
3.28/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours a nice clear reddish-brown that is a beautiful garnet when held to the light. A moderate dense, slightly beige head forms and slowly disappears.

S: The aroma is mild but is primarily malty, not very sweet at all, and some noble hop notes jump up.

T: A slightly watery initial taste quickly subsides as thicker, slightly sweet malt flavors take over. There is little to no fruitiness in Nosferatu, and it's actually kind of boring. A somewhat "fizzy" bitter taste lingers on the tongue and subsides into baking soda on the finish. It's a weird combination that doesn't seem well integrated.

M: Perfectly good to above average. It's got a nice texture and carbonation and supports the beer style well.

D: It's not super boozy or anything, but I don't enjoy it enough to want to drink it very much.

I know I'm definitely rating this beer below most people, but I just don't think it's that well-crafted. C+

Photo of movingtrain
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking a bottle from last year's (2008) lot at cellar temperature. Poured into a Piraat glass.

Pours a reddish-brown color with a pretty solid head that is clinging to the edges of the glass.

Smells of fruit, bready malts, maple syrup, cinnamon, brown sugar, allspice, light chocolate notes, caramel.

Taste is quite good...bitter around the edges, and full of some delicious malt character. Spice is apparent here...some peppery spice, as well as an allspice flavor. There are some syrupy notes here, as well...dried fruit.

Overall, this beer is excellent...a perfect beer for a cold night...it's warming, well-balanced, and delicious all around.

Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a deep red, copperish color that leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Nice subdued hop smell. Taste like a proper, well crafted ale. Hop presence and flavor is upfront, but not harsh. Finishes easy, with carmel like sweetness.

Very smooth, with the right amount of carbonation.

At 8.0, this beer is extremely sessionable. Very drinkinable, and becomes even more flavorable as it warms. Nosferatu is the perfect name for this beer as the more you drink, becomes like lifes blood. Very wine like.

Bottom line, this is an amazing beer and perfect for the season. The perfect setting for this beer would be around a fire in a desolate cabin deep in the woods. Excellent beer from an excellent brewery.

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

12oz brown bottle with clearly marked freshness date. Got to love the label.

A: Pours a coppery hue, with A off white head, head lasts for a bit, lacing is minimal.

S: Smells of hops, with some grassy undertones, but hop is the predominant smell.

T: Well following the nose, we have a big hop bite upfront, but its well balanced and not overly bitter which is nice since I'm no hophead. I also get a slight camelish flavor towards the finish, its not strong but its there.

M: Smooth and medium bodied is a good description.

D: This brew hides its alcohol well and the flavor comes out a bit as it warms, I still sip on it though, and I made one drag out over a movie and it was still tasty after about 1 ½ hours time.

Side Thoughts: I have liked every beer I have tried from Great Lakes and this one did not disappoint either. I like the hops in this beer, since it was not overly bitter. Maybe I am just developing a taste for hops who knows.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,300 ratings.