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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.

2,248 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,248
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 213
Gots: 230 | 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: 2,248 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sarahspat
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a ton of fast-rising tan foam, about an inch and a half at the end of the pour. My pint glass is filled to the brim. Dissipates relatively quickly leaving considerable amounts of lacing behind. The color is a dark amber red; not cloudy.

The aroma is rich; very strong sweet caramel, toffee and cocoa attributes. Smells delicious!

The taste is very hoppy and bitter up front, with deep floral and fruit (candied pear with a bit of fresh blackberries and grapefruit) notes, mmm! This might be one of the best examples of floral hops flavor that I have ever tasted in a beer. However, delicious caramel, toffee and nutty malt flavors are not to be outdone. One thing's for sure, there is no lack of flavor in this beer; very complex flavor. The predominant flavors for me are floral and caramel, and they complement each other very well. Nosferatu should be bitter enough to satisfy any hophead. Nice creamy, chewy mouthfeel with good carbonation. The drinkability is better than most beers with this ABV. No sign of alcohol in the flavor.

This is one tasty, tasty brew. I drank one of these about a year ago without knowing what it was beforehand and I was very impressed then. It remains one of my all time favorite beers and definitely my favorite from Great Lakes, which is a fantastic brewery in general, if you ask me. I love this beer and can't wait for my next!

sarahspat, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of tittymcj
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a dark hazy brown, with light head and little lacing.

Smells like deep fruits, and some sweetness also. A little bit grainy as well.

Taste is very wooden. Some fruits as well in there, primarily some grape or plum flavor, but its not heavy nor is it pronounced.

Mouthfeel is light, bubbly, and goes down smoothly. Leaves behind a little bit of a coating of hop residue.

Very drinkable beer, nice and light and flavorful, which makes it a delight to drink.

tittymcj, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle, poured to a snifter. Not sure what to make of the note/stamp: 'for freshest taste, please enjoy by: 11/16/08'...we'll see what a few months age does. Thanks to Chris/Yetiman420 for sending recently.

A: Pours a tawny chestnut, but shows a deep ruby/cherry when held to light. A fine, almost imperceptible, silty haze is cut by lazy random bubbles, slowly creeping streams up the sides. Head crests at less than a finger: a creamy light khaki that falls to sticky ring and papery film, interrupted by a few bubble clusters. Very fine lace, a tightly-knit webbing.

S: Poured a little cold, didn't get much aroma at first. As it warmed a dirty/pungent hopping crept in, enveloping a fruit-candy sweetness. As it grows warmer still, the fruit aromas (dark berries) and woody tang make a move.

T: Strapping jolt of bitterness: earthy and pithy hops and a rich, almost dark chocolate/coffee bean roast. Chewy toffee, ripe berries, zesty orange and a grape/raisin-like vinous sweetness. A little nutty/grainy sugar-smack, too.

M: Not quite velvety, but certainly a cream-like consistency. Feel is smooth, but with a short-lived bittering and a finish that hints at malt-sweet stickiness, without ever really crossing the line. Medium body, bordering on something thicker, more syrupy. Alcohol warms a little but doesn't dominate. Just gets better and better as it warms.

D: It's a good beer, deep flavors, well-crafted. Doesn't entirely fit with my taste leanings, but that's ok. My second bottle (had once before - a year or so ago, didn't review), would have a third. Next time I should have one in the fall, right after release, just to compare.

msubulldog25, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz single purchased for me by a friend from Jungle Jim's in Ohio. Poured into a Sierra Nevada Hop Tulip glass.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with amber tints. It has a two finger thick head that settles down to about half an inch. It leaves nice lacing on the glass.

S: A very rich aroma that is dominated by an intense caramel malt flavor. There is a bit of a fruity hop aroma mixed in with it. Very interesting but nothing out of the ordinary.

T: A nice rich caramel malt flavor matches the nose. There is nice dark fruit flavors mixed in with the malt flavor. I am not really picking up much in the way of hop flavor, but the flavor is balanced in the finish so there must be a decent amount of hops since the initial flavor is so sweet.

M: This one is nice and thick. Almost syrup like. The carbonation helps to make it creamy smooth.

D: For the style and ABV this one goes down easier than I expected. A little more hops would have helped balance this one out from being quite as sweet. That would have helped the drinkability for me.

GatorBeerNerd, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of spokeydonkey
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into an 8 oz snifter. Best by date: 12/22/08, putting this one a few months past. Aside from its high IBUs, this ale seems to have a lot in common with Old Ales (rich malt flavor, relatively sweet/high final gravity). Since one of the desirable characteristics in Old Ales is an oxidized, aged character, I'll try to hold on to a few of these past-dated bottles for when next year's batch comes out in order to do a side-by-side tasting.

A - Dark amber, with a very light white head that dissipates quickly. Slightly cloudy.

S - Grapes and almost apple-cider smells up front, along with raisin and portlike notes. Some malty sweet notes as well. Very little hop aroma. There's a lot of complexity here.

T - Very sweet and very bitter at the same time. Tastes of sweet raisin/apple up front. Finishes bitter, with citrus hop bite. The bitterness is enough of a wallop to keep it from becoming overly syrupy sweet.

M - Heavy bodied and syrupy. Low carbonation. Definitely a heavy beer that's best suite for sipping.

D - A good sipping. I've had a couple of these in a sitting, but it's very rich, very bitter, and has an 8% ABV. As far as sipping goes, it's top notch: very complex and well-balanced.

spokeydonkey, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of LumpyGuitar
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My store recently started carrying Great Lakes brews, this one piqued my interest.

Poured a beautiful red with a finger of tan frothy head. Head retention is weak, lacing is minor.

Smells of sweet malt and dry hop with a bit of mild sweet spiciness in the back.

Taste is very balanced. Smooth slightly sweet biscuity malt up front, some mid body light spice, and a dry hop finish. The hop isn't as strong as I thought it would be but it's very good.

Mouthfeel is lightbodied and smooth, carbonation is moderate and the beer is very balanced.

Drinkability is good. The flavor can be a bit strong after a bottle, and as such I wouldn't reccomend it for sessions. Otherwise, throw this back with a nice barbecue dinner.

LumpyGuitar, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of pumarocks
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nosferatu will bite you on the neck and damn your soul for all eternity. He will not let up. His hop bite is strong from start to finish. The color is blood red. You won't see your reflection in his thick creamy head. The smell is earthy not unlike a cold dark crypt in Transylvania. Give this creature of the night a shot next time you see him.

pumarocks, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured into snifter...a clear reddish-copper amber w/nice 1/2-finger off-white head, and good lacing.

S-Citrus hops dominate, light rustic earthiness, faint floral hops, rich sweet malt, caramel, toast, and faint esters.

T-Sweet malt w/rich, full toasty character. Grapefruit rind takes over and dominates into the finish. There is also a slight smokiness.

M-Rich and supple mouthfeel w/mild but ample carbonation. Balance tips toward the hops, but the overall experience is harmonious.

D-Pleasant and warming. A satisfying, clean ale.

BoitSansSoif, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark, clear copper with a huge rocky tan head that shows great staying power and leaves lots of lacing.

Aroma has an interesting mix of the citrus and floral hops and a huge heavy caramel malt base with lots of dark fruits and molasses. Some vanilla as well.

The taste has the same citrus hops up front with some grapefruit before the big sweet caramel malt base takes over. The finish swings back in the hop direction with a prickly bitterness.

The mouthfeel is sticky sweet, smooth and velvety. Soft carbonation is present but not overdone.

A very nice beer with lots of complexity but still drinkable.

gford217, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 12oz thanks to Seth at BP-Clough in Cincy.

Poured a dark amber with large off-white head that lasted with good lacing. Good aroma of brown sugar. Medium to full body with a smooth texture. Complex flavor of hops and malt with a small bitter finish.

Another very good brew from GREAT LAKES.

tmoneyba, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic.

Pours a dark mahogony red with a nice receding head that leaves webs of lace. Bottle says best by 11/16/08, hops may be a bit muted as a result.

Aroma is light hops and roasty malt. A sweetness is there that make this aroma somewhat candy like.

Taste is roasted malt upfront with a hops flavor that is surprisingly FRESH. This is weird, the last beer I had with hops that had this fresh of a flavor was Ale Asylum Hopaliscious on tap, at the brewery. Only hop flavor that I can describe as grapefruit, which a lot of reviewers do. This flavor is really well done. Hops and malt in perfect harmony, the malt is roasty and a bit smokey, with a perfect roast, this is well done. I am enjoying every quaff.

Mouthfeel is medium and perfect for a strong ale.

I would seek out and buy this again, glad I have three more.

wheatyweiss, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a. Darker brown with some head. Tightly carbonated, looks like a heavy hitter.

s. Strong hop aromas fill the room, also some fruity esters.

T. Very bitter grapefruit hops steal this show. A light malt backing provides some smoothness, light whiskey barrel also apparent in taste.

m. Medium bodied and smooth,.

D. Pretty good for an ale of such strength. More bitter than anticipated. A bit more roasted malt flavor could do to balance this, also more some brown sugar too?

Stinkypuss, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the label on this one!

Pours a clean, dark amber color. Lots of bubble action and about a half finger of head that quickly turns to lacing on the top of my glass.

Smells sweet with a nice hoppiness that follows. I'm thinking that might dissipate when I cellar a few of these. Some maple syrup smells as well. Great aromas in this pour, I wish I had a snifter for it.

Taste is a great combination of malty sweetness and bitter hops. It is a bit drying but the 8% alcohol is not noticed whatsoever.

Another quality brew from GLBC. Love the label and love this beer. I'll be putting a few aside for sometime next year. This should mellow out nicely.

indiapaleale, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of bowersdm
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a German pilsner glass

A - ruby red color, small tan head

S - citrus fruit, malt, and floral hops. The hop smell predominates

T - Amazing. A fruity malty flavor with a long, bitter hoppiness and some alcohol

M - a little undercarbonated. I think this was an old bottle. The date on the side wasn't readable.

D - The alcohol wasn't really that noticeable. I don't think I'd drink a bunch of these because of the amount of hops, but man, I wish this was made year round.

This is the first truly hoppy beer I ever had and to it, I owe my new found interest in IPAs. It's definitely a gateway brew in my opinion.

bowersdm, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of MasterSki
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a vintage Nosferatu at Lush - best before December 5th, 2007. Poured into my trusty Surly pint glass.

A - Transparent reddish-brown color with two-fingered head that dissipates slowly and leaves lots of lacing. Bubbles lazily rise to the top. It looks terrific, although it'd have to be blood-red for me to give it a perfect score. =)

S - Wow - there's still some citrus-y hop flavor here, largely ripe grapefuit and a little bit of pine, along with a strong malt backbone. There's also some caramel and woodiness (oak?). This is pretty surprising considering the age of the bottle - I thought we'd be on Old Ale/Barleywine country by now. The smell doesn't leap out of the glass, but it's still pretty strong.

T - Wow - again it's still pretty bitter to start - citrus hops and smokiness. Finishes fairly sweet with strong malt and caramel flavors, but leaves a bitter lemony American IPA kind of aftertaste. I remember this beer was really hoppy on-tap, and it's surprisingly retained a lot of that character. I'm really curious where this will go in future years.

M - There's a gritty character that complements the wood/smoke flavors, and the beer is surprisingly flat considering the visible carbonation and generous foam. Creamy and full-bodied, which I quite like. It's also a little warming and leaves a resinous feeling.

D - Feels exactly as strong as it is. This bottle is going down pretty fast, but I don't feel myself running to the fridge for another when I'm done.

Great Lakes always blows my mind - they get such remarkable richness, depth, and diversity, while still observing the Bavarian Purity Law. I'd recommend this brew - even significantly after the "best before" date.

MasterSki, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of wiseguy142
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep caramel amber with a nice thick head and good lacing. Looks astonishingly similar to the homebrewed Cal Common I just had in this glass. Aroma is.. wtf.. hops.. malt.. and brett? You get a faint trace of fruity hops and some crystal malt but along with an almost overwhelming funkyness. Not really sure what to think. A little raisiny but it also smells like a sewer. Maybe the taste will clear this up. Strong on the alcohol at first with a good raisin character. Finishes very dry with a slight lingering hop bitterness and acidity from the alcohol. Maybe some honey or candy sugar in the front too. Has some Belgian qualities to it.. but to me that just mean it tastes a little like windex. Exceptionally smooth. By now the head has given way to the alcohol. I'd say this beer turned me off at first but I grew to like it quickly. An interesting and daring take on an American Strong Ale. They don't go overboard in any one direction but definition create something very definitive and unique.

wiseguy142, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of WakeandBake
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes Nov 1 2008
Pours a hazy deep amber color with a slight head but the head remains as well as a great sticky lace. Nose is surprisingly sweet malty and quite hoppy with a smoked quality.Great body and mouthfeel, silky and smooth. Roasted malt,caramel,and piny hop taste . I deem this stuff ''The Bomb'' Malty goodness with a bite.

WakeandBake, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to cooncat for providing this in a recent trade. (Great trader)

What a great looking beer. The head was creamy, 2 fingers thick and demonstrated excellent retention. The beer itself was a deep amber color with ruby red highlights. Some nice lacing clung to the inside of the glass. Wonderful visual beer. Just a scant touch of visible carbonation...

Aroma was a nice as the visual. Surprisingly hoppy with floral and citrus notes. It's reminding me a bit of Arrogant Bastard at this point. Just for clarity, that's quite a compliment coming from me... Some nice toasted malt or dark bread notes as well.. Some ripe pineapple perhaps.

Flavor is bold, smooth and very inviting. Moment of malt sweetness right up front then moves through some nice fruit flavors. Bang, at this point the citrus hops kick in and the grapefruit comes to town. As this fades some nice malt notes (crusty bread) come out and play.... Then off to the lingering hop bitterness that more resembles some pine notes.

Mouth feel is just shy of creamy. Medium to full bodied and silky smooth. Carbonation is slight and this really works.

Damn it, I only have one bottle!!! = Yes, very drinkable.

Excellent brew and I am very happy to have gotten the opportunity to try it.

Seek this out.

Reagan1984, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark caramel color with a frothy head and tons of carbonation. Not much to report about smell, very minimal and more toward to earthy side.

Sip. High alcohol noticeable from the get go. Nice on the pallet, and finished clean, with an aftertaste of a typical strong ale.

Not really a beer that I would have in a session, but could be done if you had the time. I recommend for a nice cap on a winters day/night.

BuffaloTapHugger, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to brewdlyhooked13 for this -poured just cooler than cellar temp into my La Fin Du Monde Tulip

A - A beautiful flame red/orange w/ more than two fingers of dense tan head comprised of tiny bubbles. The beer is hazed lightly from hops and chill, but has a resplendent glow and with the rocky cream on the surface it simply beckons for a s smell as the lace collects on the glass

S - Fruity with tangerine, clementine and lemon zest. The hops really give the nose dimension w/ a fragrant citrus as the malt and mild ale yeast esters give the aroma a substantial full scent w/ a mild malt sweetness and subtle pine notes

M - A crisp carbonation w/ mild citrus bitterness and simple sweet malt/hop combination w/ a quite clean finish and residual sappy smooth edge.

T - As the beer hits the tongue it is mainly citrus rind flavored w/ a nice caramel malt flavor allowing for the hop bitterness and citrus flavor to be balanced and sweet. The subtle bready flavor combines w/ a tangerine, valencia orange, ruby red and mild spiced notes. The slight pine sap flavor comes in the background w/ a mild smooth taste/texture. A red fruit taste resonates w/ a bit of berry and mild crystal malt comes forward as it warms. There is a honeyed lemon flavor and malty toasted flavors coming out with nice round edges and hints of yeast noted in the last sips

D - A phenomenal strong ale - great synergy and just doesn't taste like 8%. This is something I could drink year round - the hoppy red style, like an IPA is one I can't seem to tire of and I consider this to be one of the best in the pack.

Slatetank, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of sonicdescent
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks and smells like a spiked Iced tea. The smell is fairly weak.

Taste actually has some of that tea characteristic but first hits you with a blast of hops that is well balanced and doesn't leave you too bitter. Rather enjoyable and masks it's alcohol content well. Medium body and low carbonation.

sonicdescent, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of beeristhefuture
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a fine example of a good red ale. It's flavorful, with lots of strong hop taste (more than cascade!), and the caramel and crystal malts buck up the typically thin mouthfeel Great Lakes beers tend to have. It's a shame this brew's only a seasonal; it'd be one I'd have readily available otherwise. It should be noted that because of the high sugar levels and thin mouthfeel I can't give it superlative ratings. It is a great beer, though.

beeristhefuture, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of curasowa
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a 12oz bottle out of a 4-pac, best before date of 12/22.

Poured a cloudy, amber color with just a 1/4" head that lingered quite a while. The smell was slightly sweet, maybe a bit of brown sugar and a hint of floral in there too. Very full bodied, almost syrupy with some nice bitterness and a slightly lingering finish. Some roasted flavor is in there as well, showing up more in the finish.

Overall a pretty good beer, but not what I was expecting from a stock ale. I would call this more of a strong American craft ale than anything else.

curasowa, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of jwinship83
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from this year consumed just after the best by date.

A- clear deep red colored body under a solid finger and a half of creamy off white head that quickly reduces to a film over the top of the glass. a solid wall of lacing is left along the sides of the glass.

S- very hoppy. lots of citrus and pine notes. alot of sweet caramel malt to back it up.

T- this one tastes almost the same as it smells. lots of sweet caramel malt upfront followed by a blast of citrus and piny hops. very well balanced. not a trace of alcohol.

M- light to medium bodied with ample carbonation.

D- i could easily have several of these in a sitting. a great hoppy amber. too bad this one is only a seasonal. check it out if you havnt had it yet.

jwinship83, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received in a trade from GbvDave- thanks again!

bottle dated "Drink by 12/5/07"- oops!

Poured into DFH snifter forming a 1 finger head. Upon swirling, Released a somewhat piney-aroma forming a larger, creamy, light caramel colored head on top of a dark amber colored brew. How does this still have any hop characteristics?

The body was mostly malty though, nice caramel, toffee, maybe a bit nutty but overall pretty rich, creamy and slightly sweet. I enjoyed this brew. Glad I got two of them, I'll let the other one go for a little longer and see what happens. It was definitely a solid brew, even at this age, with a nice label to boot.

Ineedabeerhere, Dec 16, 2008
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,248 ratings.