Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,285 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,285
Reviews: 853
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 219
Gots: 248 | 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: 2,285 | Reviews: 853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TaddyPorter
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
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
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
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
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%
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
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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's warming, well-balanced, and delicious all around.

Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
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
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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

A: A copper red color, very nice cream colored head that lasts a while.

S: Very Hoppy, grassy, slight citrus, but mostly grass.

T: Hoppy.. but with a nice well rounded body. Not so much hops that I am put off of it. Very nice.

M: Medium bodied and creamy smooth.

D: Very nice. A good beer for the upcoming fall season, a good transition beer from the light wheats of summer, to the bigger bolder styles of the coming cooler season.

Photo of WesWes
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an excellent mix of burnt toffee and hops. It has a stiff bitterness laid over roasted and caramel malts; yum. The taste is perfect! Wow, what a hop bite this one has. It's citrousy yet well balanced with a wonderfully complex malt bill. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a quaffable 8% beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. I need to pick up a case of this.

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

Reviewed on Friday, September 25, 2009. Fall is here and I am happy.

A: 12oz bottle poured into Sam Adams tulip glass. Color is a dark, rusty red. Only a shadow of my hand can be seen on the other side of the glass. Thick, fluffy caramel-colored head sits atop the brew and hangs around for a while. Decent amount of lacing.
S: Sweet malts and black cherries. Bit of alcohol as well.
T: This is a complex brew. Biscuit malt is the dominant flavor but the hop bitterness can be detected on the back end. Very nice balance. Alcohol is well hidden.
M: Mouthfeel is fairly thick. Well suited for the style.

Overall, this is a perfect style for the fall season. Warming and comforting on chilly autumn evenings. Not overly sessionable, but that's probably a good thing considering the ABV.

Photo of endincolorado
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Deep red amber with a thick reddish-tan head that recedes slowly. Nice sticky lace.

Smell- Big, hoppy nose with citrus and pine- backed by a great, caramel malt.

Taste- Drinks like a DIPA with a great malt backbone. Again, lots of hop-bitterness and the perfect balance of caramelly, bready malt. Some alcoholic bite.

Mouthfeel- Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Sticky and satisfying. Great carbonation.

Drinkability- If not for that alcoholic bite, this would be a really solid drinker.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: On the darker side of amber, with nice bubbles floating to the top and mocha-colored head with some fluffy whiteness happening in there too. Nice raucous rings and drippings of foam.

Smell: Big caramel, toffee sweetness and mocha, roasted malt chocolate aromas initially come off the nose. Deep whiffs bring out the malty fruit estery backbone with some dark cherries, and then there's the rind-like and earthy citrus hop rootiness happening.

Taste: This certainly needs to warm up to nearly room temperature if not to that point to get everything going on and the layers of all the flavors. I like how the big chocolate and roasted malt flavors are balanced with coffee notes, estery dark cherries, maybe toward the realm of chocolate-covered cherries, and yet there's a good grapefruit-ring and citrus bitterness happening at the end that keeps everything in check. It seems like a rich dessert beer, yet there's so much hops to keep things balanced that it keeps rollicking in layers of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Rich and medium-bodied, with a good thickness and carbonation, yet it doesn't seem to reach heights of stickiness or a cloying nature.

Drinkability: I could easily, and dangerously, make this a session beer. It's big, but it's got enough flavor and drinkability and balance that's not overwhelming, and it drinks like a beer, to me, that's not 8% ABV. Another winner, not surprisingly, from Great Lakes.

Photo of beertooth
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's rainy, dark, and dreary out tonight. I'm about to put on some old scary movies and I thought this beer would fit nicely. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large goblet, MuAh, Ah, Ah!!.

This beer is a dark ruby liquid with a big two fingers of tan head that leaves thick globs of laces down the sides of the glass. Quite the inviting looking beer.

The nose is a bit muted, which I find is common with Great Lakes beers. There is some pine, a little citrus and some sweet strawberry jam on warm toast aroma which is also something that I get from Great Lakes malt bills, not that it's a bad thing.

The first gulp hits me with bitter piney hops, some of that strawberry jam on toast from the malts, some pineapple rind also mingles on the end. There's a resiny, bitter finish that lasts until the next sip. Quite a tasty beer, but nothing is really blowing me away here. It's a little warming with no trace of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation.

This beer goes down fairly quickly and I wouldn't mind finishing the rest of the four pack tonight. I'm sure I'll pick up a few more this season. Like most of the Great Lakes beers, Nosferatu doesn't push the envolope, but it is a solid example of the style they were going for.

Photo of beerman207
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying this one on the recommendation of Bamadog. Apparently, this is one of Kels favorites so here goes.

A: 12 oz. bottle, poured to a snifter. Leaves little head and zero lacing but has a nice skim on the glass once it settles down. A deep red color.

S: Smells like hops and fruit candy. Has a bit of woodiness or earthiness to it as well as some dark fruit.

T: Punch in the mouth of bitter along chocolate and a bitter coffee. Is there orange in there? Sure tastes like it in the back. Very complex flavor with some raisins as well as some type of woodiness in the taste. There's also a maltiness to it.

M: My feeling of the mouthfeel here is thick and almost a bit chewy.

D: I'm not sure how I feel about this one in the end. It's a good beer but I can't say if I'd have another. It's complex but I'm not sure how the bitterness sits with me along with the malt. I prefer to have less malt with so much bitterness in the beer.

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

Served cool in a pint glass. First time trying this beer.

A: This is one good looking beer. Red with a cream colored head. Leaves good lacing throughout. No haze or sediment. Few tiny bubbles seen.

S: Lots of floral hops on the nose. Some malty aromas evident but not very prominent. Becomes stronger as the beer warms.

T: Taste is similar to the nose, with floral and citrus hops. The sweet malt backbone is stronger in the taste than it was in the smell. Ends with bitterness and some citrus flavor.

M: Light carbonation, sticky in the mouth. Pretty smooth mouthfeel.

D: The alcohol is not apparent in the taste but I did start to feel the effects. This has nice balance. Although the hops are the star, the malt provides a nice contrast that makes this fairly drinkable for the strength. I am excited to have the rest of a 4-pack left to drink and definitely made the right decision to pick this up.

Photo of dpodratsky3
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brought to me by way of another great trade (BEERchitect). I was not expecting this beer and it was an awesome surprise as it was one of the GL's I wanted to try most.

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Brownish amber with a thick, slow falling, two finger, light tan head. Not much lace as the glass is emptied, but it is 8%.

S: Smells delicious. Great hops, spicy and floral at the same time. Grapefruit aroma too.

T: Very well balanced, especially for what I was expecting after the hoppy smell. Has nice sweet malt and a bitter hop hit at the same time. The bitterness lingers on a little longer than the hops. Can't taste the alcohol at all.

M: Really good and smooth. Not bitey or too crisp like a pale ale. Has a medium mouthfeel too that adds nice texture over the typical ale.

D: Good drinkability. That little bit of lingering sweetness combined with the lingering bitterness is the only think not making me give it a 5.

Notes: Definitely lived up the my expectations. One of my favorite new beers. A great combination of ale and malty lager flavors. If I could drink this every day I would. And you gotta love the theme. Nosferatu is a classic and this beer lives up the that reputation.

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

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Two fingers of tight beige head nestled atop tarnished amber hued brew.

S: Floral and spicy hops, grapefruit!

T: Sweet malt, citrus hops, virtually no alcohol detectable even though it is 8% abv. Sweet start and bitter finish.

M: Lager smooth, medium bodied ale.

D: Can't tell its high abv until you finish!

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

This brew is a beautiful deep red with a slow but steady cascade effect on the pour. A stiff, dense head sits at three fingers for some time, only eventually dissipating to a thick foam when it reaches about halfway down the glass. Patches and rings of thick lacing are all over the glass to the very bottom.
There are lots of hops in the nose with a malt presence accompanying. Deep underneath is a bright citrus that appears to be distinct from the grapefruit of the hops. It's simple, and there's an exceptional purity to it.
Huge grapefruit hops is the flavor in this one, with a balance of malt and just a slight sweetness underneath. There's a grassy and earthy note in a lingering dry finish.
The mouthfeel is a very nice balance of creamy and crisp. The body is medium to full.
This is a beautiful brew, fantastically pure, clean, bright and exceptionally well-crafted.

Photo of TheViolator666
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A Cleveland classic - "The beer with the bite."

Couldn't get enough of this beer when I had it for the first time last fall.

A: Pours a nice ruby red color with great two-finger off-white head that leaves layered sticky lacing all the way down.

S: Hop blast! Very citrusy hops, piney and very bitter. A hint of caramel sweet malt in the background.

T: Similar to the smell. Grapefruit citrus hops certainly "bite" the tongue but are well balanced by the malty aftertaste, which also leaves a lemony/grapefruit zest bitterness. Not much alcohol is detectable. Truly exceptional.

M/D: Medium-full body with enough carbonation to keep this one refreshing. Alcohol is hidden very well.

Photo of wyattshotmaker
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a a snifter,deep red color with a nice head.nose is slight dark fruit and bitter hop aroma.upfront hop bitterness dominates,with slight dark fruit esters and a bit of malt sweetness in the finish.

mouthfeel is slightly heavier than medium bodied i suppose,nice sipper.probably my favorite GLBC bottled beer.

Photo of schoolboy
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every year at this time this special seasonal treat comes around. As the name implies, there is plenty of bite here. Also a stale blood color!

This is the boldest Great Lakes ale I've had. Biting hops go along with the perfect aroma (and help create it) and the perfect color, and perfect smell. You get the idea. This is a craft brew in every aspect.

I love the comment on the label about vampires being green - they live without lights, conserving energy (the Great Lakes folks are real tree-huggers).

Photo of bamadog
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Been waiting a while to try this one again - I tried it about a year ago when I was first really getting into some hoppy beers and it proved to be too much, but now I think I'm up to the challenge. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a beautiful deep copper and ruby color; comes with a nice 1 and 1/2 finger slightly tan head that is especially foamy and leaves a full curtain of sticky lacing down the sides of the glass; body is perfectly clear and shows moderate carbonation feeding the head.

Smell: Hops, big time bitter hops, right up front that smell sticky, piney and grassy. Smell is very forward and it takes no effort to pull the scents out - a true bomb.

Taste: Pure, bitter hoppy goodness all around with this - I can see though why I thought it was too much a year ago as the bitter hop profile is very intense, definitely more intense than other beers that get that description (i.e., Nugget Nectar...); hop flavors are very grassy and piney.

Mouthfeel: Sticky resin is left coating the mouth and I feel a warm fuzzy tingling from the 8% ABV - also warms the throat, chest and stomach as it goes down.

Drinkability: Moderate - it's a great tasting beer, but it's a sipper and one you kind of want to drink slow and enjoy and savor the intense bitterness; the ABV is a tad high to want more than one in a sitting as well.

Photo of PhxHorn
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a medium red with a quarter inch of white head. Smells mildly of caramel and malt. A pretty mild aroma, though--I had to really snort to smell anything. Tasted a malt, caramel, cinnamon, with an overall slightly sweet aftertaste. A great flavor. Carbonation was just right, and the 8% ABV was barely noticeable. I'm not really sure what a stock ale is, but this is a fine beer whatever the category.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,285 ratings.