Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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856 Reviews

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Reviews: 856
Hads: 2,347
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 245
Gots: 295 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

Imperial Red Ale
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 856 | Hads: 2,347
Photo of DeFaz
4.14/5  rDev +2%
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. (678 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (873 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense, resiny, off-white head that has excellent persistence and laces wonderfully. A wonderful, sweet, nectar-like aroma that has a really nice citric hop aspect to it. Just lovely to smell. Stunning, alizarin crimson color. Starts with a surprising, bold hop bitterness that is nice and spicy with citrus rind. Peaks at a medium bitterness. Wonderful biscuit and hop spice. Floral, spicy hops lingering over biscuit.

I really, really like this one. A soft, lovely smell belied by an assertive hoppiness. I love how that spooky apparition bites ;) (557 characters)

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The bottle advises me to enjoy by 11/21/13.

A finger, I always pour to a finger of head. Every review. Well here we go, I poured a finger of light tan head over this one. Body is a vibrant red/brown color. Top retains a frothy ring, lacing is slight and slides back in quickly.

It smells rich and malty. Caramel is also present. Hop aromas are piney and floral.

A hint of sugar up front cascades into caramel, malt and eventually a decent mix of pine and grapefruit. Ends up with a juicy grapefruit/caramel/grain mix that sounds weird but definitely works.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. It leaves a little residue on the middle of the tongue, and finishes dry.

I haven't drank this in 6 years or so. The first time I did, I was not all about "heavy" craft beers, preferring to stick with light American lagers and the occasional dortmunder. I'm glad I came back to visit this one, because it is solid. (908 characters)

Photo of haschauer
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip

A - Great dark amber color with light off white head.

S - Caramel, citrus/grapefruit hoppiness. Smell is refreshing but not overly complex.

T - The caramel and toffee came through first for me then the hop hit on the backbone. As it warms it helps the complexity.

M - Nice and smooth. Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

O - Definitely worth picking up. Great beer for the incoming autumn weather. Na zdravi!

Serving type: bottle (455 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Amber color is absent of a richness I prefer but the head was significantly robust with a nice thick layer and tremendous lacing.

The aromas are hop-centric with some fruity citrus like grapefruit and lemon. There's a barley malt that supports the overall aroma but it's slightly buried.

I really like the balance here with a floral and citrus hop profile melding with a caramel and barley malt. It melds so well that you know the flavors are there but it's not as easy to pick them out individually.

The feel is slightly astringent and a little too bitter on the tongue. It's also a wee bit thin but the overall beer is quite good. (639 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.26/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful burnt red color. The head is typical for the style: about one fingers worth, with an off-white shade. It fades away slowly leaving nice ring of lacing on the glass.

S: This is dominant in burnt caramel. Touches of piny, herbal hops blend well within all the caramel the nose provides. Slightly bready, too, almost like pumpernickel in a way. I could use a touch more hops, but I doubt it's the freshest bottle.

T: It pretty much tastes just like it smells. Plenty of burnt caramel and toffee malt start this one off, with a pleasant balancing hop quality (mostly piny, not much citrus). I like the aftertaste and it's mild nuttiness. Fairly balanced and mellow, almost to a fault - no one note really sticks out.

M: The general feel is bit sharper than I'd like, both in carbonation (pokes through the body somewhat excessively) and actual texture (it's rather coarse). Aside from those two niggles, the dry finish helps it go down easily.

O: Not my favorite beer, but neither is it my favorite style. It's quite well made though - there are definitely others out there who will enjoy it more than I did. (1,162 characters)

Photo of fitrock2112
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured Nosferatu into a Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours a dark clear amber with one finger of off white head.

S - Getting some grapefruit, light pine, light hops in there.

T - Very nice, smooth rich malts with grapefruit, pine, some light citrus in there mid palate. It has some toffee and carmel in there as well. Much better flavor than the aroma.

M - Again very smooth, medium carbonation, with medium mouthfeel.

O - Nice offerring from Great Lakes. Recommended ! Cheers! (472 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Red, dark brown. 1 inch creamy head, nice lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit, pineapple, some grapes, rye and spices. A little mix of fig and raisin.

Taste - First sip is a really nice mix of a hoppy ipa and a Belgium strong ale. Grapefruit and pine mixed with some rye, spices and a toasted light malt backbone. There is a underlying flavor of toasted malt, raisin and rye. A citric note rounds out this amazing beer.

Mouthfeel - The hops, spices and toasty malts all coat the tongue. Palate gets more pineapple, grapefruit, raisin and a nice citric blast. The aftertaste is toasty malts, pineapple, grapefruit and rye.

Drinkabilty - I love this beer, loads of flavor, lots of multiple flavors. Balanced, has a great mix of west coast ipa flavors and Belgium spices mixed with some rye and great lakes unique twist of ingredients to create a truly great beer. This has to be my favorite release by them, world class and so good to drink and enjoy for the month of September. (1,008 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased from Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark orange, almost red, fairly clear, with a one inch head, and lots of lacing.

Smells like caramel malt, pine, grapefruit, and a little bit of booze.

The taste is similar. This is basically a Double Amber IPA, in the vein of Nugget Nectar, but with more emphasis on malt than NN. Big malt backbone, bready and toasty, with tastes of drizzled caramel, along with a huge hop blast, grapefruit and pine at the forefront, with some lemon as well. The booze is luckily not noticeable in the taste.

Medium bodied, crisp, fairly dry mouthfeel. There is a medium amount of carbonation- this one is very drinkable.

Great Lakes does well again, this is a great beer. (730 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a 2011 vintage on tap at tap and mallet in Rochester ny. Poured a hazy deep amber into snifter with thin white lacing. Sharp alcohol aromas with a sweet base malt background. Smells "hot"
Taste is awesome. Sweet malts ...sugary and honey with some mellow hops. Nice tart malt note. Its dry and sweet...easy drinker but a sipper...very interesting brew and did Ikea mention delicious? !
Really an amazing brew. Glad to try the 2 year vintage on tap. (457 characters)

Photo of mscudder
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter.

A - Deep amber hue with a large ivory head. Head reminds me of a Belgian Quad and leaves fair lacing.

S - Warm hops, light booze, caramel, pepper and some grapefruit.

T - Warmth from the booze throughout, hop bitterness is high for a red while other flavors are overshadowed by the presence of pepper. Finishes dry.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - Reminds me of a tamed, slightly thin, Arrogant Bastard. Not a huge fan of either brew. (475 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from tasting notes.

Pour was amber red with a nice cap of foam and great lace. Smell was biscuits with a heap of earthy rye spice, some minor citrus elements. Layered. Similarly the taste was complex with layers earthy spice, rye, citrus pith, bitterness, dark fruit, ensconced in a toasty biscuit package. Medium velvety body. Drinks heavier than it really is. Nice ale, was enjoyable. (394 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear copper with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like wild honey and copper hops, with some raisin and dried apricot.
T: It tasted like copper and waxy hops and wild honey, with some sugary apricot and raisin. It had a clean and bittersweet aftertaste with some alcohol warming.
M: It was somewhat thick with a little carbonation. Slick body.
D: This was reminiscent of Flying Mouflan, with similar scent and taste, which is a good thing. The body was decent, but the finish was a bit rough. Age may help mellow. Fresh was solid, but not quite mind blowing. (578 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I would have to say this is one of my oldest "Wants" of all time. I remember surfing this website 3-4 years ago and saw how this was one of the higher rated Strong Ales at the time and I have always loved Nosferatu by Murnau. Finally having it, no idea on freshness.

A- A murky dark amber beer pours from a bottle into my pint glass. A one finger off-white head foams up but falls pretty soon after to just a small ring and some random thin clouds atop the beer. The heads texture was bubbly and foamy and what is left of it leaves spotty but persistent lacing.

S- Some deep caramel malts like an Old Ale with the grains also contributing biscuit, toast and nutty hints. Fruit aromas come as well, with some citrus from hops and darker red fruit from the yeast. Balanced but on the maltier side at this point (age details below).

T- Definitely has that "Strong Ale" feel which to me lies somewhere between hoppy Barleywine, Old Ale and Brown Ale. Strong malts give notes of caramel, toast, biscuits, roast nuts and cracked grains. Hops less effected by age here than in the aroma, citrus peel is big as well as pine and herbal hints. Some yeast bread, spice and dark fruits to round it all off.

MF- Fairly creamy body which is not extremely thick but does carry its weight to support the big flavors. Bitterness still in tact in the finish at a moderate level. Carbonation is smooth and helps the beer drink very easily.

Judging from the Great Lakes website, it seems like this is somewhere around 5 months old and it holds up well. It says 90 day shelf life, hopefully I can get some fresh in September 2013 and re-review it but I will leave this up as I consider it a pretty positive review. This beer brings it all, a nice hop profile (even after months), big malts and a good yeast influence. Balanced and an easy drinker for 8%. (1,838 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear amber hue with a half a finger white head that fades quickly to leave light, light wisps.

S - Not much for hops at all here. Must be pretty old as there are light pine notes but for the most part its malts.

T - Light pine and malts here with a strong bitter finish. Just rather average here.

M - Mouthfeel is solid. Nicely carbonated but with a lingering bitter finish.

O - Overall not a bad beer, just perhaps not as fresh. Really kind of muddled. (545 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper, burnt amber color with a light tan head, small and receding leaving the smallest amount of lacing along the sides of the glass. Aroma was sweet and malty - lots of heavily toasted caramel malts, giving a nice backing sweetness and toasty feeling, along with a decent sized handful of hops, floral and lightly peppery around the edges, adding a bit to the sweetness but more to the herbal and bitter side of the aromatics. Nosferatu has a pretty powerful nose; strong and robust, but not fear-inducing or overly abrasive.

The first thing that hits the palate is the solid malt infrastructure. It rolls out on the tongue and coats the mouth to hold steady and pave the way for the upcoming flavor rush. Caramel and toffee malts line the walls, along with a grape and plum flavored sweetness that kicks into high gear almost immediately. The malt displays some other characteristics, like toasted bread, sweet and buttery, with a touch of brown sugar and/or molasses. The alcohol is there, but not too strong, and give it that "booze-soaked" dark fruit profile that is common in many strong ales and barleywines.

Don't let the malt fool you, though - the hops are no stranger to Nosferatu. On the nose, they were more detectable as peppery and herbal, but on the palate they come off as more floral and citrusy, as they bring some lighter fruits to the table; grapefruit, apricot, faint oranges. Bitterness remains on the lower side, meaning this doesn't quite resemble an IPA or a DIPA, but the hops still play a huge role in this beer's flavor. Aftertaste finishes with a floral, peppery warmth and a fading, boozy raisin flavor. Medium body, almost on the thick side, just a touch away from being sticky - slightly wet and slick with medium carbonation.

I've been wanting to try this one for a while now, and I'm glad I finally did. Wonderful flavors all around. I've heard this one compared to Arrogant Bastard often. Is it better? Tough call. I think I'll give the edge to AB, because of it's abrasive, yet controlled hop profile and pronounced bitterness while remaining so malty and drinkable. But Nosferatu is still a damn good beer that I wouldn't pass up if given the chance to have again. (2,222 characters)

Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on: 09-15-2006

Notes: Medium off-white head. Deep reddish brown in color. Strong hop and grapefruit notes. The tasting notes are intensified grapefruit and hops with figs and a bit of malt present in a pleasing, bitter aftertaste here. I am going to guess they poured a bunch of Chinook hops into this beer. I may be wrong but it is fun to guess. Nosferatu boasts a medium body that becomes quite creamy when you allow it to warm up a bit.

Last night a friend and I did a taste test between this ale and the Stone "Arrogant Bastard" ale. We were sure that we would like the Stone ale better. But we found to our surprise that AB was quite muted in flavor and body when compared to Great Lakes Nosferatu. Great Lakes Brewing company has something special with this beer.

One of my favorite seasonal beers. (816 characters)

Photo of emyers
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 11/12/12. 12 oz bottle - best by date 11/25/12 - poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Deep clear red with a thick fluffy off-white head. Good head retention, leaves a nice lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: Deep, rich toffee, lightly toasted grains, figs, plum, raisins. Really not much hop aroma to this one, which is unusual when compared to a lot of the newer imperial reds out there, but very nice.

Taste: The toffee and raisins are back in the forefront with biscuity malt and a big dose of bittering hops on the finish. The hops are very present, but in bittering only - not much hop flavor. This is a welcome change from many imperial reds out there. I can't speak enough about how perfect the balance of this beer is - lots of layers of toffee/caramel flavor from the malt but it's held in check wonderfully by the bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally smooth and silky. Pretty light-bodied as far as imperial reds go, which works very well with the flavor profile. Perfect carbonation level. Nearly flawless.

Overall: To me this beer embodies fall. Nothing beats it on a cool autumn day. It doesn't punch you in the face with hops like some of the newer imperial reds coming out (Pipeworks Blood of the Unicorn and Bells This One Goes to 11 come to mind), but I prefer this beer to those due to its malt profile and impeccable balance. (1,389 characters)

Photo of jcook
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This abides by German purity law, yet somehow has a slightly sprucy flavor to it (chinook hops?). Great taste and mouthfeel make it a worthwhile pour. Tends to linger pleasantly on the palate, so savoring it makes the experience better. Gotta love the label artwork. (266 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into CBS snifter. Served chilled, but enjoyed slowly to room temperature.

A) This is a really nice red brew. Kind of a cranberry copper color. An aggressive pour provided a full finger of head, which was well maintained. Nice lacing...

S) Plenty of caramel maltiness, there was also a light scent of fresh pineapple chunks. Light grass and citrus shavings.

T) Again, a good amount of caramel maltiness, a little roast too. The pineapple I found on the nose is not prominent on the flavor front. There is light citrus peel. I would have like a bit more of the tropical fruit and citrus to come through. This finishes up grassy and bitter. The 8% ABV stays well hidden.

M) Medium body with decent carbonation. It has a nice smooth mouthfeel out of the gate, but this gives way to a mouth coating bitterness, which is primarily citrus rind, with a touch of grass.

O) This is a very good imperial red... It really comes down to what you enjoy most, and I would have preferred this to have more of a tropical fruit/citrus hop presence, kind of like a Lucky 13 or Brian Boru. Glad I finally gave it a try, and have no regrets. (1,150 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light copper color with great clarity and a long lasting light-tan head.

S: A rich malty aroma with a moderately-strong citrus and resinous pine hops aroma. The aroma is complex but I get all malt hops and alcohol with little else getting past.

T: A strong grainy malt flavor with a firm hops bitterness complimented by a decent amount of alcohol. There is a moderate citrus hops flavor. The balance is pretty bitter with an off-dry finish and a linger hops bitterness in the the after taste.

M: A lightly creamy, medium-full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. A strong alcohol warmth.

O: I look forward to this Strong warming beer every year with it's solid bitterness and decent hops flavor and aroma it never disappoints. (739 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, reddish-amber color with a medium sized frothy, off-white head that recedes to leave some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with the hops consisting of grassy, grapefruit and spicy pepper. Then you get more citrus and biting grapefruit. As it warms you get some of the malt base with a a toasted biscuity maltiness and emerging alcohol.

The tastes begin with the toasted biscuit maltiness a bit of caramel sweetness. Then the grassy, leafy hops combined with freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice which adds a ton of bitterness. The finish has some spicy alcohol and spicy hop character as well.

The mouthfeel medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is thin, brash and biting.

Overall this was a miss for me. For how much I love great lakes lagers and darker beers, I have found their IPA line-up to be quite underwhelming. There is too much alcohol, brash hops and a thin mouthfeel which just doesn't work for me. As a big fan of Amber Ales (imperial or generic), I cannot recommend this. (1,005 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Amber with a thick finger slightly brown head. Clear with slight carbonation. It leaves a thick ring of lacing down the glass.

S: Nice bubblegum, spicy hops, orange, malt.

T: Lots of hops up front join with a bit of bread in the middle followed by a nice mellow hoppy, spicy, slight caramel note finish.

M: Medium.

O: Sweet, spicy, then dry, Nosferatu is a mellow gem. It gets better as it warms, smoother and balanced despite the heavy hop presence. A must try and one of those few beers I would buy on a regular basis. (566 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single finger head with decent retention and excellent lacing on a hazy copper body. Aroma of syrup, caramel malts, resins but overall mild. Flavors are pretty tough to handle at first. Very boozy and tart/sharp. Mosty mollases caramel, red apple, fig and tart grapefruit. Medium body and moderate carbonation. This one may have been infected. A little too funky. Also the booze were hard to get used to verging into barleywine realm. (434 characters)

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 856 ratings.