Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Educational use only; do not reuse.

872 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 872
Hads: 2,397
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 254
Gots: 325 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Nosferatu Alström Bros
Reviews: 872 | Hads: 2,397
Photo of beagle75
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a goblet.

A: Clear, medium amber color with less than one finger of diminishing parchment-tinted foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Aggressively toasted and grainy, this beer's smell is similar to undiluted malt extract. Some dark fruits--raisin and cherry--are also detectable, though they remain subordinate to the more overt malt qualities. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with dark estery fruit and husky crystal malt. Acidity is restrained into the middle where notable cherry fruit and vinous tannic qualities combine to make a very rich sensory profile for a pale ale. The finish reveals some late piney hops flavors and unexpected wood smoke, while bitterness is fairly mild for the overall size of this beer. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium viscosity, creamy and slightly syrupy on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a malt-forward red ale that appears even bigger than its 8% ABV would suggest. It retains just enough American hops influence to keep it from being mistaken for an old ale. This beer promises to pair with food in versatile fashion, all while remaining assertive in the face of other strong flavors.

 1,204 characters

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this on tap out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with a frothy white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Malty caramel aroma with a mild hop aroma.

T: Similar to the smell there is a nice caramel malt flavor and slight hop background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation

O: Excellent brew – worthy of a try.

 331 characters

Photo of ac22rush
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep amber, minimal head even after a few swirls only a thin light khaki head appears.

Once brought to the nose a lovely aroma of peach, currant, orange liqueur, some floral notes from the hops and toasted grain. I love the nose the first thing that comes to mind for me when I see an Imperial red is tons of hops but this has a lot of great sweet aromas.

Getting into the beer first sip is all sweetness with lots of fruit, some carmel and toasted grain then come the hops not to be left behind good amount of bitterness but not overpowering. Towards the end the hop profile comes to fruition with/grassy/ floral notes maybe a twang of ruby fruit.

Carbonation is consistent and is appealing could definitely enjoy one over the course of a meal.

Great winter beer as the 8% warms the soul. Nothing really stands out to me specifically I think overall this is a well balanced offering from Bells definitely lives up to their reputation of making really good beers. Cheers!

 994 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.04/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with great freaky label art and branded silver pry-off pressure cap acquired at Zipp's Liquor in Minneapolis, MN and served into a stem-tulip. Expectations are high given the brewery as well as this beer's current ratings (92/91). Reviewed live. "A handcrafted stock ale." 8.0% ABV confirmed. Enjoy by: 11/29/13. Reviewed as a stock ale.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour and nice even consistency. Okay thickness, but subpar for a stock ale. Not much creaminess or frothiness. Retention is average - about 2 minutes. Even lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a rich clear translucent amber-red. Has an attractive understated glow. Refined. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance and I'm eager to try it, but it's not unique or special. No egregious flaws.

Sm: Faint caramel and toffee. Bready/crusty malts. Amber malts. Any hop character is barely coming through here. Clean, refined, and inviting, but not alive. Fruity.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A pleasant aroma of average strength.

T: Caramel, toffee, amber malts, bready malts, bread crust. Hop character is quite faint and shallow: floral notes and generic fruity tones are all I find. It's a shockingly reticent flavour profile all around. Just not that accessible.

Balanced, sure, but there's surprisingly little going on here. It's painfully simple for a stock ale. Cohesive and enjoyable, but not gestalt, complex, subtle, or intricate. I will say it has nuance.

There's some faint alcohol presence. Clean, without any real yeast character.

Average depth and duration of flavour. Below average intensity of flavour.

What I like about it is it doesn't feel like a half-assed English barleywine. But it just lacks the mastery of the best beers in the style.

Mf: Smooth, wet, well-carbonated, nicely thick, and full-bodied. Suits the flavour profile well. Nice unobtrusive presence on the palate.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: Drinkable, but honestly I expected better. It isn't much of a stock ale. I'm really disappointed giving this is coming from Great Lakes. I wouldn't buy it again, and I can't see it cellaring well. I wouldn't recommend this to friends, but I'll enjoy finishing it. I wouldn't want more than one in a night.

I'm not sure what I'm missing that other reviewers are finding, but I found this lacking.

Low C+

 2,676 characters

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received in a trade from MWolverines66

Poured into a DFH tulip , Best by date 11-30-13

A - Ruby red in color with a frothy lacing sticking to the side of the glass. Starts with a 1/2" head, but recedes to a white ring. Great clarity with light carbonation is visible throughout the glass.

S - Hints of caramel, touches of booze, hops, some medicinal notes, grass, but very pleasant nonetheless.

T - Taste of wet hops (think Celebration), bread on the back end, hints of toffee, a good complexity.

M - Clean with a lingering finish of bread and caramel. Lightly carbonated on the palate. Light notes of spice and fruit.

O - This is one of the best red ales I've ever had! For me, it's more complex and balanced that G'Knight and would pick this every time. I'm glad I have another!

 790 characters

Photo of 57md
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear reddish copper with a finger of fluffy head. Most of the head dissipated quickly, but some nice lacing was left behind on the glass. The nose was definitively hoppy. The malt profile could stand to be more pronounced, but the hop finish is outstanding.

The alcohol is hidden well in this one. That combined with the relatively light body makes for one dangerous and easy drinking imperial red.

 408 characters

Photo of keithmurray
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - bright ruby red/crimson color with beige head

Smell - toffee, grapefruit, orange peel

Taste - caramel, toffee, butterscotch, orange peel, grapefruit, pine

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweet upfront, hop bitterness in the back , slightly sticky, hearty beverage

Overall - very nice imperial amber ale. This beer screams "autumn"

 362 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from jbwimer. Dated 12/1/13, poured 11/20/13. Pours a deep red to amber color with a small cream colored ring of head. Aroma of sweet fruits, dirt, grass, caramel malts. Flavor follows with a grassy fruit flavor, massive malt bill, just a tinge of earthy hops, with a lingering bready malt on the palate. Slick mouthfeel, lowish carbonation. Very crisp pleasant finish, very easy drinking. Cannot believe this is 8%. Nothing especially complex in the flavors here, just a nicely crafted brew. Yum.

 504 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark orange with a one-finger off white head. Nice amount of thin lacing.

S - Sweet - toffee and caramel - with some pine and grapefruit hops.

T - Just like the nose with big sweet toffee and caramel. Good amount of pine and citrus creates a nice balance.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O - Very fun and complex beer. Very smooth and easy drinking. Alcohol is well hidden.

 410 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle; enjoy by 12/10/13
A - nice red ale, frothy beige head holds excellent retention, lacing coats the glass well
S - malty aroma with toasted grain, caramel, and sweet fruity hops
T - superb balance of malt and hops with notes of caramel, toasted grain, brown sugar, bread, fruity, juicy hops provide bitterness with grapefruit, pine, and some tropical overtones
M - creamy medium body, semi-dry with a fairly bitter finish
O - definitely a fall must-have. This beer is phenomenal and a favorite of mine.

 513 characters

Photo of Qbdoo
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely brick red. Scent is unremarkable but the taste is a wonderful balance of hops and malt. The hops provide the backbone here to the malt that is a bit of caramel and a touch of cinnamon and spice. A beautiful, well-balanced, highly quaffable beverage. Perhaps the perfect fall beer.

 295 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep red amber body, orange highlights, topped by an oatmeal colored two finger head.

Deep malty aroma. Big bakery. Hint of candy. Tropical fruits.

Deep, deep semi-sweet malt. Massive foundation. Juicy tropical fruit. Big bitter bite. Bigness all around.

Full mouthfeel with hoppy bumpiness.

A big, big imperial red. Heartily recommended. Bloody good.

 356 characters

Photo of TheStig
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours clear reddish amber with a fast-dissolving head. Ok, it's not BLOOD RED, but it's close enough!

Smells of yeast, toasted bread, a few bitter herbal notes floating around.

Tastes most prominent: juniper, oak, bitters and a healthy base of a dark fruit sweetness. Cherry perhaps.

Gentle carbonation, smooth finish. Crisp.

This should be the level to which other Halloween-themed beers aspire to-- there's no hokey pumpkin fetishism to be found, the flavors come from the beer and not from syrup or flavorants added later and it's as near to blood red as one can get.

 574 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, orangish-red with brown running throughout. Solid 1"+ high light tan head. Retention is decent and even, settling at a chunky, thick film. Good lace.
Smell is malt, hops, wood/straw, a hint of caramel. Balance is good.
Taste is better than the nose with notes of malt, floral hops, caramel, some pine as well. Balance is very good, complexity much better than others of the style.
Warming from the first swallow, drying starts before that. Hops are noticeable but not overpowering. Others can reach IPA levels, fortunately this one doesn't.

 556 characters

Photo of cjgiant
3.46/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Re-review on tap 9/22/2014:
This beer looks very good, dark ruby and fairly clear with good head, retention, lacing.

On re-review, I didn't notice much in the nose. What I did get seemed Marie malty in nature than fruity, but my original review had: The smell is mild and a little fruitier than expected. Grainy notes also detected.

Taste is sweet grain up front, brown sugar and light candy/bubblegum notes. This is followed and combined with a mint/pine taste that doesn't quite work for me. This turns into grapefruit rind as the beer finishes. The lingering feel is a bit oily to me.
Original review points:
Taste is also grain-forward, a little more fruit than expected, grapefruit/pomegranate in nature. The bad side of it, for me, was an acidic bite that crept in later, and lingered as a coating on the tongue.

Rated down a bit from original review, but generally agree with point: I think I'd rate it decently higher without that last taste. It had a little more bitterness than an amber, which I liked and enjoyed until the end.

 1,049 characters

Photo of BEEER
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark translucent amber color with medium, light cream colored head that diminishes after a few minutes into just a ring and messy lacing. Aroma is faint, but has nice amber malts and light fruity hop. Tons of flavor, but not too strong or overkill on anything. It's so balanced, the hops and malts work perfectly together. There's no alcohol flavor, medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. For an amber, it's got to be one of the best.

 437 characters

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby amber. Quickly dissipating head.
Smell: Malt, biscuits.
Taste: Pine, alcohol, hop.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, and nicely carbonated.

This is so good. The color is beautiful. The biscuity, sweet smell is complemented with the bitter, piney taste. I will get this again.

 278 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Saw this at Joe Canal's recently and was thrilled that this was available here for the Halloween season. Love the name but thankfully, the beer inside was just as good. Balanced, strong, and flavorful, this was a great example of the Red Ale and the best one I've had this side of the Troegs Nugget Nectar, which is great given that that's not available all year-round either!

Enjoyed the pour to this, with a hue that straddled the line between garnet and almond beautifully with a good head and lacing was visible but not strong enough to last for that long. An awful lot going in the taste here, which was certainly a good thing! Lots of blood orange, baker's chocolate, booze, mildly earthy hops, and herbal tea to be found here. All of them blended wonderfully together with a light mouthfeel and hardly any carbonation to be seen and not much to be felt. Just a hint of tropical fruit and wetness in the back combined with the chocolate malt and mild bitterness in the back, leading me to even wonder if there was even a hint of chili powder in this.

This didn't feel like a beer that was 8.00% ABV and only a hint of the alcohol could be felt in the initial taste of this. It's not often that a beer can be this complex and incredibly smooth at the same time but this fit the bill and on its own, paired with spicy foods, or as a dessert, this would be a great choice. It never warmed me but it never felt weak either and it's not often I find an offering that combines chocolate and fruit flavors so well, without being dark and powerful. Well worth enjoying even though Halloween has passed by for the year!

 1,619 characters

Photo of dar482
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 403 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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!

 987 characters

Photo of GJ40
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 446 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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

 357 characters

Photo of Act25
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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 .

 837 characters

Photo of KFBR392
4.04/5  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.

 975 characters

Photo of weller1js
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 756 characters

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 872 ratings.