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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,309 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,309
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 229
Gots: 274 | 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: 2,309 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, pours a crystal clear ruby/amber with glints of orange, a two fingered light tan head foams to the top in luxurious volume, leaves thin rings of lace down the glass.

Nose is thick with caramel sweetness, topped off with a generous dose of bittering and piney hops. Strong ale or English style DIPA (if such a thing existed).

Thick, sticky caramel, bread and toffee, hint of earthy twang, hint of hazelnut, nice piney hop blast with smaller notes of floral and citrus. This is a hoppy strong ale! Wasn't expecting the hops and they take me by surprise. Thick, sticky malts with lots of hops - sounds like a recipe for a DIPA but with the malt taking prominence, no fear of mistaking it for that - barleywine lite perhaps. Plenty of sweetness to go around, a light alcohol burn in the back. Sparkly carb.

Terrific ale and I am rethinking my plan to age a couple, I quite enjoy the hop bite to balance the malt!

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

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter glass. The bottle has a best by date of 11-09-09 and it was sampled on 10-24-2009.

Appearance: It had a deep copper amber body with some reddish highlights and good clarity. The head is tall and fluffy, light beige in color and has nice retention. On the glass it makes cool sticky lacing.

Smell: There is a full nose of fresh bready malt, light roasted notes, hints of toffee and mixed nuts. The aroma is sweet and yet balanced by solid notes of citrus like hops.

Taste/Palate: The flavor has sweet caramel, bready and nutty maltiness with well balanced citrus/pine hops. The 8% abv is mild and adds some more subtle warmth and character. The finish is slow with some pleasant hop bitterness. It has a solid medium to full body with mellow carbonation and a smooth texture.

Notes: This was a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | 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. Aroma is caramel malts, fruits, grapefruit and pine hops. Flavor is sweet, caramel malts, a hint of wood, grapefruit and resin hops, and a hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is dry and bitter. Pretty good beer, very hoppy, I like it.

Photo of nickd717
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade, consumed on Halloween.

Pours an excellent deep blood red color with a creamy beige head that leaves good lacing.

Aroma is somewhat sweet with caramel, earth, citrus, and pine.

Well-balanced and tasty on the flavor, with caramel malt, nuts, roast, wood, spices, and citrus/pine hops. Like a good imperial red ale if anything.

Medium-bodied and smooth yet sticky on the palate with some hop resins.

Drinkability is high. This is good stuff overall. Great Lakes is really solid from what I've seen.

Photo of sjccmd
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep, dark amber with a large fluffy light tan head. Head leaves a nice sticky lacing. The body has ruby and copper highlights. Slightly murky.

Smells of grassy, piney hops, sweet malts, oak, vanilla. The sweetness increases as it warms revealing grapefruit, and honey.

The taste seems oddly muted. There aren't actually bad flavors, but there's a surprisingly lack of flavor on the forefront. After drinking for a while the flavors come out more especially in the aftertaste. Bitter citrus and piney hops. Caramel sweetness, perhaps some bourbon flavors, but the alcohol is well hidden.

I thought the mouthfeel might have been muting the taste, but the texture of this beer seems to be just fine. Decent thickness and medium carbonation.

Once I got past the initially muted taste, this got to be a pretty interesting beer to drink, and despite the high bitterness, it's very drinkable.

Overall, I'm pretty satisfied. Not incredibly unique, but very enjoyable.

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

Honey orange color bordering on the red end of the spectrum. Soft pillowy white head. Decent retention and lacing.

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

Going simply by the flavor this seems to be a hybrid Old Ale/DIPA. Hop presence is strong but not bright or crisp enough to fall into DIPA territory. Malt is strong and sweet. Caramely bready malt flavor provides great balance with the grassy piny hops. Slight fruitiness on the back end but flavors are more subtle.

Medium bodied with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation levels are very appropriate.

Great beer all around. While not my favorite in regards to style it is very enjoyable. Drinks easy, alcohol is well hidden and non obstructive.

Photo of TommyW
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Amber/gold with a pillowy off-white head that sticks nicely to the glass.

S- Fresh floral and slightly piney hops with some subtle notes of alcohol.

T- Not a lot going on up front, some faint notes of caramel malts. This is followed by the floral and piney hops and some notes of alcohol. Leaves a decent lingering bitterness.

M- Medium body with a good carbonation level.

D- Kinda reminds me of Arrogant Bastard, but not really as good. Not a bad beer though; definitely worth trying.

Photo of Rhynes2
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red shade with an off white foamy head. As I drink some, it leaves a slight notch. Not the best lacing ever but decent. The smell is one of my favorite features of this one. Very hop heavy and the taste has lots of bit. The alcohol is a bit too heavy but not really worth mentioning. overall this is a great beer and i can't wait for next year already.

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

Single bottle (11/09/09 date) poured into a pilsner glass. Poured a nice light tan head that died down to 1/4" thick foam across the top of the glass the whole way down. The beer is a very nice dark amber color with shades of coppery-red. Thick wall of foam lacing on the glass as I drank it down.

Smell - its all hops with this one. Some floral hops, but very strong in hops.

Taste - when cold it has a very bitter bite; nothing but strong bitter hops. As it warms up though (closer to the recommended 50 F) the bitterness subsides a lot and you get a bitter start and a milder smoother finish. The hops are so strong that they tend to leave that taste no matter what you do, but the beer is much more palatable when warmer.

Mouthfeel - very tiny bit of carbonation, but coats the tongue and throat nicely for a quenching of thirst.

Drinkability - with the high alcohol and the strong bitterness with this brew (it really is a beer with a bite to it) I have to stop at one. So strong in bitterness that I think it would be best with a meal or something to compliment the bitterness in smaller doses. Not exactly my thing but it grows on me as it warms up.

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.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,309 ratings.