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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,800 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1800
Reviews: 829
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%

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: 1,800 | Reviews: 829 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of dar482

New York

3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The beer comes in a reddish ruby amber color.

The aroma has tons of caramel malt along with a herbal, piney hop profile.

The flavor follows with tons of hops and that caramel malt sweetness. It has grass and floral notes and then a strong bitterness of pine on the end. This is a very bitter beer with a large amount of pine.

A good imperial, though for those into pine and a really stiff bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2013 04:32:13 | More by dar482
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a very clean amber, almost ruby red in color with a finger of off-white head, slow dissipation and great sticky lacing. smells bready, light citrus on the nose - almost fruity (like strawberry jam). the flavor is a lot like an ESB in profile, nutty hints, biscuity, bready.. not getting much hop character - tastes a lot like an octoberfest in general, with a different yeasty flavor. medium in body, medium carbonation - quite refreshing and goes down smooth for the abv.

well, i was really looking forward to trying this one as my first great lakes beer - mainly because nosferatu is one of my favorite characters from old sci-fi horror stuff.. the beer, well, it was sub par.. not bad, but not as mind blowing as i heard it was.. as far as having this be my first great lakes brew, i'll give them another shot - i hear the ipa's and stouts are good so i'll shoot for those next. overall, not a terrible beer but nothing out of the ordinary either.. at least it's got a bad ass label!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2013 16:36:01 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of GJ40

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle with enjoy by date of 11/22/13. Thanks surge1311.

A - Reddish copper with great clarity and a small beige head. Good lacing.

S - A mix of floral and citrusy hops with bready malts.

T - Nice malts up front with more citrusy hops at the back. Clean and crisp with a good lingering bitterness.

M - A little on the thin side with a moderate carbonation of fine bubbles.

O - Flavorful and interesting. Well worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 09:13:48 | More by GJ40
Photo of ONUMello


4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle best by 11/30/13 poured into a pint glass
A: Pretty reddish hue with a two-finger head
S: Caramel, hops, a touch herbal
T: More hop-forward than the nose but good balance with caramel, a hint of fig and spice
M: Medium-bodied with a bit of bite from the hops/spice notes
O: The sum is more than the total of its parts- always a seasonal favorite

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2013 02:36:18 | More by ONUMello
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Look carefully at the color. It's amber meets blood red. 1 inch off white head, fades, laces. But for my bottle, the head completely disappears and there's not much carbonation if you sip this.

S - Needs to warm a bit, the smell is laid back compared to the taste. Caramel, biscuity first, followed by bitter sweet grasses, flowers, pepper, citrus. Good spice notes

T - All of the smell x 10. Beautiful back and forth balance of sweet and spice. A see saw between caramel coated malty cookies vs pepper, spice, nasturtium.
Grassy, flowery (in a peppery way), complex, many faceted. Totally a meditation beer. The taste is awesome. Church-like, old wooden seriousness.

F - medium weight with oil and blood. Low carbonation.

O - Compares well with G-Knight from Oskar or the best from Stone (oaked arrogant bastard). A must try .

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 01:14:46 | More by Act25
Photo of KFBR392


4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with a light to medium bodied thickness. A thin head on the pour and was not really present while drinking. An average amount of active carbonation while drinking. Dark red/brown color to this brew.

Smell: Bright front of molasses, caramel, cloves, and some hop bitterness. Leafy greens and sugary tones continue to ride throughout the aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, the sweetness hits you right away from the caramel and leafy greens. The body opens up the hop profile and has some very bitter hops. The front of this beer is really heavy on the palate and lightens up slightly but no doubt take you for a ride. The finish is lingering earthy hops with molasses sweetness hanging around.

Mouthfeel: Heavy sugary tones and very bitter hops. Pretty smooth feeling on the carbonation from though.

Overall: A really good strong ale. The sweetness brings you in and the hop knock you out. Great Lakes always bring great beer and this one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2013 00:53:29 | More by KFBR392
Photo of weller1js

West Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear, deep maroon-red, with a very-slight orange hue, lightly carbonated, with antique white, finger-thick, bubbly foam that leaves a beady-bubbly lacing.

S: delightful yet balanced, essences of tangy-sweet hops, light yeast, and subdued malt notes masked by the strength of the alcohol.

T: begins notably clean, changing rather quickly as tangy-pine hops envelop the palate; robust and bold, the medium-body of the malts is overtoned by the strong alcohol and lighter yeast attributes; the effects of the pine-tanginess and alcohol linger for a strong yet pleasant finish.

O: the attributes of an imperial red are there and remarkable; malts could come off to others as more to be desired, but overall--strong, balanced, and very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 00:53:23 | More by weller1js
Photo of gr0g

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish-brown with high clarity. A two finger head shows nice retention and lace formation. Aroma shows the dichotomy of a hoppy red. Citrusy notes of grapefruit and a touch of pineapple. Sweet toffee malt backbone is present as well.

Nice hop bite up front. Bitterness mellows out a bit after that, but it remains a hoppy, American ale through and through. As such, Nosferatu doesn't have any features that make it a stand-out, but it's a very good take on the style. A touch of alcohol on the finish to show its strength. Good balance, with the scales tipped a bit toward the hoppy side.

A solid, hoppy red ale. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 00:27:48 | More by gr0g
Photo of gillagorilla


3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: A beautiful deep red/amber. Pours with a nice rich head and leaves excellent lacing.

S: Interesting. Not what I was expecting, but this is probably the cleanest, most direct smell of chocolate I have ever gotten. It smells like those dark chocolate bars with cocoa nibs or coffee nuts in it. I think I might have lost the scent. My friend said she didn't smell chocolate. Caramel and black coffee/espresso.

T: It's good, but it just seems like a standard imperial red ale. Not sure I would call this a strong ale. Different, but not my cup of ale. Straight malts with just a hint of a strong ale in there. Not very interesting but well constructed.

M: Nice and smooth. No coarseness, but it feels bumpy in a good way.

O: This is a beautiful looking beer and it has some interesting scents.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 22:01:27 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a lighter mahogany for with 3 fingers of caramel head. Good retention, great lacing.

S - lots of sweet caramel, some toffee and earthy hops. Minimal citrus notes.

T - great combination of bitter hops and slightly rosary toffee and caramel malts. Quite toasty. Finish is earthy hops and rich toffee. Aftertaste add minimal amounts of citrus.

M - medium bodied, good carb. Decently drinkable.

O - Good, simple flavor. Decent hop bitterness with a good sweet caramel and toasted toffee flavor. Hints of lemon come through at the end. Flavor is a little disproportionate in my opinion, aging for another month or two may improve the balance

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 18:49:41 | More by MacQ32
Photo of Lordquackingstic

New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a mini snifter.

A: Deep mahogany blood red with a bone white head. Lacing is super, super sticky.

S: Caramel, sugary malts, molasses, burnt pine needles.

T: Caramel malts, burnt oranges, light pine, with an herbal bitterness.

M: A little below medium carbonation with a pleasantly long herbal bitter aftertaste that lingers for minutes. Seriously killer mouthfeel.

O: This is a seriously tasty beer. I can see why it's perfect for the fall months; it fits my seasonal taste buds flawlessly. I personally greatly dislike red ales, but I somehow find myself trying a new one every now and then. This one puts all the others to shame. Definitely a great October beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 18:52:50 | More by Lordquackingstic
Photo of utopiajane

New York

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with great clarity, a medium amber color with a blood orange hue. Fat head of foam that fell to a thin cap and ring and left good lace. Nose is toasted malt and biscuit. Earthy rye with a bit of pepper, pine grapefruit and resin. Floral hops and no alcohol on the nose. The taste is amber. It's a liquid malt sweetness with a very bitter pine that literally bites you amidst all the sweetness. Grapefruit keeps it flowing and the mouthfeel is sticky and medium heavy with good carbonation. The malt is so deep and rich it's just shy of chewy. It cascades over the palate and leaves with a nice sweetly bitter aftertaste. There is no alcohol on the palate just a nice little warmth after a few sips.

Great Lakes has made a terrific beer here. I love the rich malt character of this. The hop resin coats the palate and brings out the toasty malt and the sweetness perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 18:34:40 | More by utopiajane
Photo of tillmac62

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark ruby amber with a nice head and lacing. Nice nose of caramel malt with a touch of noble hops. An excellent ale that I wish was available all year. Very well balanced with a medium mouthfeel that is also slick. Well carbonated. This is an example of how to properly hop a beer. The hop flavor is pronounced but without a harsh bitterness against a full caramel background. The taste lingers of fresh hop resin. Increase the malt bill a bit and this becomes a Gold Medal exceptional ale. While medium bodied with a slick mouthfeel, the finish is crisp from the carbonation leaving you with a slightly sweet aftertaste over a noble hop bitterness with a touch of smoke.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 20:09:56 | More by tillmac62
Photo of mfnmbvp


4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with best before date 11/21/2013 printed on the label. Ahh yes, the almighty Nosferatu once again. I haven't drank this beer since it was released last year, but I remember loving it then, so I am excited to have it again.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a bronze / ruby tinted burnt orange color with pretty decent clarity and one finger of tan froth that settles to some fat bubbles quickly.

S - Smell is of lots of toasted biscuit malts, red / amber malt, earthiness, some peppery rye, and a resinous pine / grapefruit / blood orange hop profile.

T - Taste follows the nose. Biscuit malt, red / amber malt, bitter pine / grapefruit hop resins, rye, & white pepper. The malts and the hops are in good harmony together here. Nicely balanced.

M - Feel is sticky, bitter, piney, and resinous. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, not as impressive as I had remembered, but it is still another great beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co. Listed on BeerAdvocate as an American strong ale, I would liken this more to a red IPA or a rye IPA. High 8.00% abv is well-masked; this is quite the easy drinker. A delicious Halloween treat that I will continue to look forward to yearly.

Great Lakes Nosferatu ---4/5

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 00:32:13 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Shawn_Sins


4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


serving type: bottle

appearance: red, dense, beautiful

smell: complex, getting sweetness, maltiness, light hopiness, smells amazing

taste: mild sweetness from "red malts" up front followed by a prominent bitterness that lingers. highly complex and perfect.

mouthfeel: moderate to high carbonation. perfect consistency in my opinion.

overall: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. this is the best GLBC beer i have had so far, in front of the lake erie monster and the EF Porter (i have not been lucky enough to try Alchemy hour yet). To me this could be classified as a Red IPA. The hopiness is very prominent. The flavor as very complex. This has been compared to Stone's Arrogant bastard. To me it is a more refined version, but to the keen taster i believe you will find more complexity and flavors in this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 02:32:33 | More by Shawn_Sins
Photo of maxcoinage


3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle (best by 11.21.13) into tulip glass with a nice 3 in whitish tan head that took it's time to settle down and left some good lacing on the glass.

Color - dark reddish brown

Aroma - resinous hops, bready for sure

Taste - slightly citrus, pine, a bit of malty sweetness, bread, bitter finish

Moutfeel - good body and medium carb, easy drinking

Overall - Nothing too special but nice and enjoyable to have with a meal

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 23:16:23 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of JWU


3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A- Beer rarely looks THIS good. Deep amber/red color, perfect clarity, with a huge two fingers of off-white/tan head. Amazing, sticky lacing.

S- An very complex nose. Toasted bready malts, a touch of caramel and toffee are there. Earthy, floral hops with a touch of orange rind.

T- A brief, moderate bitterness starts it, the toasted, bready malts are there quickly, a balancing sweetness comes in, some orange rind as well to round it out.

M- Slicker and creamier than an IPA, but need to expect that with the increase on the malt bill. A bit dry on the finish, maybe a touch over the top.

O- A must try for the fan of hoppy red's. Well done, per usual for GLBC.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2013 00:57:10 | More by JWU
Photo of Stevedore


4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with a best by date of 11/29/2013. Pulled out of the beer fridge at 55F and poured into a Founders' snifter today, 10/5/2013. I will note that I've had this several times previously, as I've been offered bottles when visiting friends and co-workers, but this is the first time I have a bottle to sit down and to review.

Review #220.

Absolutely stunning beer. Pours a clear but rather dark amber colour. It's rather reddish, but also has some orange hues. It really brings out that Founders' logo on the glass so well. It comes with a nice fluffy 1cm white head that drops into a thick collar that leaves lacing all over the glass. I can't recall any red ale that looks as good as this one.

Lots of clean malts in the nose. Toffee, some caramel, a lot of bread. And finishes with a nice clean floral hop scent.. I suppose I could call it earthy, but I'm going to go more with floral and a bit of oranges. Not an overpowering nose by any means, but a very pleasing one.

I really like how clean the flavour components are. In the beginning, there is a nice citrus presence which is more oranges and tangerines rather than grapefruit or passion fruit like Citra hops would have. It's a more subdued citrus flavour, but no less hoppy. Then there's that nice clean bready malt flavour and that ubiquitous GLBC yeast spice in the middle of the palate.. not for long though. End-palate comes with a nice, semi-earthy but very floral hoppiness that switches to a nice earthy bitter finish. It's a clean tasting beer that doesn't make me work too hard to suss out what's what, and that helps me enjoy this beer a lot while reviewing it.

The feel on this is medium bodied, not full nor thin for the style. Its got the right amount of carbonation and certainly feels refreshing on the palate, not drying at all. That earthy bitter aftertaste lingers quite a while, which somehow doesn't stop me from quaffing more of this brew. Its funny how quickly this one disappears after being poured into my glass.

Clean tasting, semi-complex and refreshing brew. You know what, screw pumpkin beers.. This is probably going to be one of the beers I look forward to every fall. It's very enjoyable in that its not difficult to appreciate the nuances of this beer. Trade-off of course is that its not über complex, but you know what, fuck it. I want to enjoy my damn beer, and this one makes it very easy to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 05:49:34 | More by Stevedore
Photo of MilkMan126


4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I like the bottle graphic. It sets the mood for what's to come.
Taste: GLB hops to start, burnt bread and nutty malt following. Tastes grainy. Some sweetness. Taste dark fruit and maybe a fall spice. Hops continue with an herbal twinge. Much of this is present in the aroma. Mouth feel is dark with robust structure. Medium body.

I am a huge fan of this beer. It's balanced with a unique complexity. It really represents what makes GLBC such a solid choice.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 03:34:00 | More by MilkMan126
Photo of portijon


4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of my favorites. Period. Not sure if it's some strange nostalgic effect or what, but I love it to death and wait for it every year. The body is solid, it's an 8% imperial but it's ridiculously smooth and tasty. Hops up front, dark fruits in the middle, and some flowery hops in the finish. A perfect fall beer to throw all the unworthy pumpkins in their graves. They have nothing on Nosferatu. This beer isn't perfect, but it's a great tasting beer that can disguise itself and bite you back after a few.

This beer is one of the reasons that I fell in love with craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 06:15:31 | More by portijon
Photo of screamking


4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Pours dark amber with a thick slightly dark khaki head. GL's beers always look fantastic. Very earthy nose, fresh oranges, grass, dirty grapefruits. The nose fits the style well. The taste has the same earthy tone. Lots of bitter hops at the front of the mouth. Mid palate it's a bit sweeter with some sweet orange cream. Very floral finish with lots of wild flowers. Mouthfeel is mild to medium bodied. ABV is slightly noticeable. I'm not a huge fan of ambers, but this is trying to win me over. GL makes some incredible beers and as far as style goes this fits perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 01:19:35 | More by screamking
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Jeff. Thanks man.

The beer is copper hued with an off-white head. Ample lacing coats the walls of the glass. The aroma offers a sufficient malt bill, pine, hops. A healthy bitterness exists throughout with a mild, bready sweetness. A tasty beer and solid example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 02:22:08 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I guess most true imperial reds would be american strong ales, since BA doesn't have a listing for imperial amber/red ale.
Poured into teku; deep brownish-red with a thick cream-colored head that fades a bit and then sits as a thick puck of foam below a fine coating of lacing.
Smell is a good amount of malt balanced by lots of herbal and earthy hops, with some interesting overtones I can't quite identify, possibly muted pine and citrus.
Taste is very malt-forward; loads of sweet, nutty caramel malt dominate the flavor followed up by herbal, earthy hops with hints of floral, pine and citrus hiding beneath.
Mouthfeel is smooth, medium.
Overall, a very well-balanced and drinkable imperial red. Even a hophead like me can't drink Nugget Nectar all the time; sometimes you want a beer that wants to please your tongue instead of stab it to death.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 04:43:58 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of DeFaz


4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Served as a blood red (not a coincidence) ruby color with a good head that leaves very nice lacing.

Smell: Malt, caramel, pine from the hops, and not much alcohol in the nose despite the ABV. Smells sweet, but not too sweet.

Taste: Much like the smell, the focus is on the malt but the hops add some balance, and the caramel flavor doesn't get out of control. There's some citrus from the hops, and the alcohol is nicely masked.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body with good carbonation. Goes down nicely and is never sticky.

Overall: This is absolutely worth trying. It's not Great Lakes' best offering, but it tastes great and makes for a good sipper or dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2013 00:45:32 | More by DeFaz
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best by 11/29/13.

A: Pours a clear copper ruby with an off white head. Leaves some spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Tiny bubbles of visible carbonation.

S: Aroma is very nice on this. Strong hopping that comes through with earthiness and an herbal quality. Malts add some sweetness but do not overwhelm. Touch of citrus fruitiness from the hop.

T: Flavor is a balanced blend. Hits you with some bitter hop at first before the sweetness of the malt takes over. Hops come back and linger in the aftertaste. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. Finish is smooth with a refreshing feel and surprisingly clean with resinous hop.

Overall glad I waited for a fresh bottle to review. The hop is much more pronounced and it compensates for the serious malt bill. Very tasty and certainly worth picking up.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 02:10:58 | More by CloudStrife
Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 1,800 ratings.