Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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2,341 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,341
Reviews: 862
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 241
Gots: 292 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,341 | Reviews: 862
Photo of frazbri
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear ruby body with dense cream color head and good lacing. Big bold piney hop nose. Carmel sweetnes and pruce hoppiness with a bitter backbone. Modest carbonation and full body.

Another good brew from Great Lakes. Very sprucelike hops flavor balanced with sweetness. The hops aren't overbearing, balance is the word on this one.

Photo of pezoids
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the label on this beer. I mean, how many beers have an evil bloodsucker on the label?

This was just slightly hazy, with an amber/orangey appearance. Small carbonation with a thin filmy head of foam. The aroma yields buttery notes, spicy alcohol and a fresh “doughiness” that seems to smell like freshly baked soft pretzels. (It’s a Philly thing)

The taste is bitter and tangy with a strong fruity maltiness. A lingering bitterness remains on the tongue. Detected are: bitter apples and a floral tannic spiciness that appears with a gentle subtleness. No mistaking that this is a powerful beer. It has a lot of flavor and hides a deep and mysterious bitterness that emerges from the depths of the bottle and bites you on the neck (well, throat...).

Just like the count himself!

Thanks, PhantomVoodoo.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours an attractive auburn orange, one finger of stiff foam, receding unevenly/ Leaves a mass of lacing in ints wake.

Aroma - biscuity nose with strong pine and citrus aromas. Has an ESBish note to it as well.

Taste - some quality malts in here, but find 'em fast. The hops hit almost immediately, bold and resinous. How shall your soul survive this encounter, the bite of Nosferatu?? Once the hops have thoroughly invaded your senses they ease up a little, allowing some roasty malt character through. Finishes dry, with grapefruit and residual toastiness.

Mouthfeel - very smooth, carbonation is right on, just a little over average. Appropriately thick and some chewiness.

Drinkability - high abv, but tasty and sure to be at next year's Halloween party.

Photo of Mitchster
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed with Harrington 2-row, Crystal 77, and Special Roast. Hopped with Simcoe and Cascade.

8.0% ABV, 85 IBU (new website says 70), OG=18P. GLBC calls this an "imperial red ale".

I have been anticipating this one for a while, and was surprised to find it locally. With a Great Lakes brew, you just can't go wrong.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep garnet with orange accents, forming a large soapy and creamy beige head with superior retention and gorgeous sheets of sticky, thick lacing. A wonderful looking brew. The aroma is great...lots of well-balanced resinous, citric and floral hops with residual sugars (i.e-not in the ilk as a DIPA, but smooth and wholesome). Swirling pulls out vanilla and honey. Nice. Carbonation is just where I like it, slightly less than moderate. The mouthfeel is as smooth as silk with a nice bite towards the end and a very rounded finish. Medium-dense body and lightly syrupy. Decadent mouthfeel. Taste begins with an abundance of sweetly floral and resinous hops which is followed by a balanced, thick malt body with smooth residual sugars, vanilla, and honey...stinging pine appears towards the end with a medium-strong intensity of resinous bitterness. Alcohol is barely detectable but certainly doesn't detract from the brew. Finish is moderately hop astringent. Distant sweet grain husk hangs in the aftertaste. Expertly fermented with no off-flavors.

Somewhere in-between an IPA and a Barley Wine, this is an absolute treat and is best enjoyed slowly while savoring.. it goes down just as easy in larger quantities. The Midwest's answer to Arrogant Bastard, but infinitely more drinkable, as the bitterness is just right and not caustic like it's bretheren. I will definitely be stocking up on this one. What a great beer.

Photo of granger10
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in the bottle a couple of times but also on-tap last night at Logan's Alley. It pours a brilliant, shiny auburn red color, not much head but a thin white layer across the top. Smell is really hoppy with some alcohol notes and maybe some caramelly undertones. Taste has more hop bitterness but its not quite the punch of hops I get in the aroma which suggests its dry-hopped. The alcohol, however, is much stronger in taste then it was in the nose. There's also a fruity estery flavor in the mix with the alcohol. The sweetness comes from a caramel/butterscotch maltiness. Honey seems to appear towards the finish, which is drawn out. This is a good beer, nothing less nothing more, maybe with time it will improve.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a slightly hazy orangish-amber color with two fingers of head. There is a decent amount of lacing. The smell sorta seems malty at first, but there's also a good amount of hops in there as well. The taste has just that little bit of maltiness, but holy shit watch out for the hops! Really citrusy hops, with lots of alpha acid bitterness on the finish. Could be Arrogant Bastard's twin brother, just with a little less grapefruit. The body is thick and heavy, coating the mouth well. The drinkability is great for a beer of this magnitude. Great stuff.

Photo of alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this one! Very cool label on the bottle.
Rich, medium-dark copper body with a dense, light creamy-tan head that slathers rabidly against the sides of the glass.
Sweetish caramel and toffee malts fill up the nose; backed by a solid piney, spicy hop presence.
Sweetened toffee and butterscotch malt flavors kick off the palate. Chewy and delicious. Hints brown-sugar crusted fruit appear and biscuit settle in, until a substantial wave of pine needles and spicy hops take over and carry into the finish. Finish is warming and bitter, with lingering sticky sweetness. Full-bodied and chewy, but not too thick. I'm a big fan of this style and this example doesn't let me down in the least. Another great Great Lakes beer.

Photo of meathookjones
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Interesting label on this beer with a picture good old Nosferatu looking in desperate need of some beer. This poured out with a rich copper body with about three fingers worth of off white head slowly forming. The head stayed are for a bit as it laced the glass in rings of foam. Aroma was a mix of earthy hop and equal part sweet caramel malt with a touch of alcohol in the background to complete it. Very tasty smelling beer overall that had a good strong aroma. Taste starts off with a malty sweetness with a touch of molasses and a bit of earthiness to it. This finishes with a bitter after taste that has a lingering warmth to it. Mouthfeel is just about full with a syrupy sticky feel to it. Drinkability is damn good as this has enough hops that they add to the taste and keep this from being overly sweet. One I would definitely make a regular if it was around here. Thanks again to garthwaite for another awesome beer.

Photo of hobbes2112
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Had this one while in Ohio for a wedding. Poured a dark redish brown with small white head. Nose is huge on the hops, floral and pine with some carmel in there too. Taste is malty up front and all dry hops in the end. This is so close to Arrogant Bastard to me that is would be hard to tell them apart unless it was a side by side test. This one seemed a little creamier than the AB though.

Great beer, gives any beer in this style a run for its money.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.41/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very appealing dark tan with red hues evident, with a nice white head sitting on top, thin, but appealing nonetheless while the scent is mainly hops, and soft floral tones.

Flavour, a hoppier beginning than I was expecting, it start out strong, fades back a bit, and then sets up shop on the back of the tongue. There are some definite floral tones hanging around, and a hint of caramel before before it finishes with a strong hop smash, and then dryness. I didn't know quite what to expect when I picked this up, but this definitely wasn't it...sort of a mongrel IPA mix with an ESB, and not a very satisfying one.

Mouthfeel was quite good, carbonated, some coating, full enough for the flavour to be sure while drinkability was a shade above average for me, but I'm not a huge fan of high hop profile beers, so that definitely makes for a negative impact.

Overall, one of the few Great Lakes beers that I would think twice about before buying again. Tries to break new ground, but instead comes across as a dilution of the styles it tries to borrow from.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.6/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer departs the bottle a very nice semi-opaque amber color. The nose is nice and piney with hop, with a hint of caramel mats in the background. The flavor is a nice hop bitter upfront that fades nicely to sweet caramel. The feel on this one is moderate to thick, with a good residual coating of my mouth. Drinkability is very good on this one. I really like the balance. This is a fine beer from a fine brewery.

Photo of nomad
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright orange amber with a typically thick pillowy head. Color is strong though a bit rusty for my tastes.

Smells of maples, oranges, and English hops at an intense degree, with floral and earthy accents that come close to the American sense of piney hops. Recedes, though, and never teases my nose with much anything interest. Smells like a concentrated special bitter.

Taste is fruity but bitterly balanced with hop flavor through out. Has a good light-caramel base with a general overlay of ESB flavors, like strong lemony hops flavors and earthy and intense floral accents. Again, this beer comes across as a super extra strong bitter, and as such is a bit much though Great Lakes skillful construction is evident as usual (despite what I think of the results).

With fruity esters, caramel malts, and English hops taking to the nth degree, this beer doesn't coalesce into anything I ever wish to return. Not the beer I expected, even after a four-pack of adjustment. Not really an ESB, not really a Strong ale, not really something I'll touch ever again.

Photo of crookedhalo
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lighter copper color with a foamy light beige colored head. Caramel and crystal malt notes and some piney hop aromas. Pretty smooth and balanced. Just as much sweet as it is hoppy and dry. Light astringency in the finish and tannins. Carbonation is a little low, but it's OK. Pretty solid seasonal from Great Lakes. I, personally, like it better on-draught.

Photo of nortmand
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber red, with some off-white head, which leaves some lace behind.
Citrusy, pine nose, with a supporting sweetness. WOW!
Sweet initial flavor, with a cloying, sticky sweetness and resiny background. Also somewhat metallic. Sharply bitter aftertase, maybe the Nosferatu part?
Smooth mouthfeel with a sharp carbonation, pretty good.
Considering the number of flavors and the strength, this is quite a drinkable brew.

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

Score another top selection from GLBC! I had this bottled ($10 / 4 pack - ouch) and then on tap the next night at a local pub favorite of mine.
Served in a siffter and even though the light was low I could see the bright ruby red color and a small vague head. Giant hop nose, but not overbearing chilled out smoothly by sweet malts. The taste is outstanding. Generous hop fangs suck all other flavors out of the mouth (Over the top?). Malt sweetness finishes off the selection gently with a decent caramel flavoring. An alcohol finish warms the soul, not huge but nicely placed. Mouthfeel is heavy and slick leaving residual malt around for memories. Loved this and have no problem ordering a few more.

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

Nosferatu: an extremely mellow extreme ale? Perhaps. Copper penny brownish-red brew with a good dosage of piney hop aromas with a smattering of sweet maple syrup. Straightforward. A kind of obvious beer, the flavor is similarly parcelled out neatly into two compartments: a malty chunk full of caramel, syrupy, sweet flavors and a hoppy chunk oozing with pine bitterness. This is in many respects absurdly hopped, but to their credit, they do a good job of maintaining a sense of balance. A lot of the potential nuance in this may be lost, but I doubt they were going for that anyhow. A fine example of a strong, hoppy ale maintaining some drinkable, balanced character. Not as thick and full bodied as some others in the style, and that lends to a sort of crispness that this style requires to stay drinkable. Better than some of its more aggressive brothers.

Photo of marc77
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Brilliantly clear light ruby hue, covered by a one fingered, ivory white, loosely packed head. Meandering lace remains. Notions of warm candied orange peel, biscuit and marmalade dominate the aroma. Secondary are hints of red licorice and light toffee. Understated and well rounded aromawise. In flavor, upfront is a gentle combination of caramel sweetness and notes of juicy pink grapefruit flesh. Bitterness sharpens mid palate and becomes slightly rindlike, but is adequately offset by balmy tones of maple syrup drizzled toast, complete with a just a smigden of butter. Despite the continental breakfast flavor theme, the flavor profile retains an elegant dryness that faciliates effortless sipping. This is both an asset and a fault, since there is a slight lack of dextrins and resulting viscosity. As the brew breathes, hints of roasted pecan add a savory, slightly salty twang that adds additional depth. Finishes clean, with quickly fleeting notes of butterscotch and mimosa. Quite a tasty brew that grew on me. Tasteful and agreeably understated for an American strong. Insanely drinkable.

Thanks to WVbeergeek for the opportunity.

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer disinherits the 12-ounce brown bottle and adopts my glass a luminous copper color with a planetary sized head that is light tan in color and semi-creamy in texture and after its slow demise the lace left over forms a thick sealing blanket upon the glass. Nose has a sweet malt aroma, hints of yeast and maybe some hops, crisp and clean to the senses, start is sweet and rich in malt, the top moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is light to medium in acidity, the hops potent in their spiciness, also a hint of alcohol bitterness in the dry long lasting aftertaste, a belly warmer and a very nice beer for a fall afternoon when the works day is done.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draught at Barley’s Smokehouse. Billed as the big brother to Burning River, I'd also say it is kissin' cousins with Arrogant Bastard. Pours a luminous red color with a medium and creamy light tan head. Thin rings of lacing throughout. The aroma is a nice blend of malt, fruit and hops. Rich and tart with robust bitterness. Hops, malt, fruit and alcohol play nicely together. The finish is nicely bitter hops, with a pinch of citrus and sweet malt. As usual I am impressed with this scary good offering from GLBC.

Photo of smitty1080
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised by the light color of this beer. It's a nice blend of amber and peach.
The aroma is piney and fresh.
The taste is bitter and spicy with a dry somewhat sweet finish.
The mouth feel is rich, slightly sticky with a light carbonation tingle.
Very tasty and a bit to easy to drink.

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light maber with golden and red highlights. Big, neon white head that flattens quickly leaving some waves of lace.
Aroma of caramel and a big grapefruity hop note.
Flavor is a caramel backbone with layers of both resined and fruity hops. Solidly bittter.
Mouthfeel has a spicy front, a biscuit and sweet, sticky caramel mid-point and a grityy, metallic bittering on the finish.
Drinkability is good. Hop heads delight with this one. Very bitter, near over the top but manages to stay tasty.

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

I did not know this beaut existed. Whenever I'm in Ohio, I try to pick up anything by Great Lakes. Gorgeous dark copper color, with thick, quickly dissipating head. Light malt aroma, but oh that taste. It feels like a strong ale, but its body is a bit light, making it VERY drinkable. A person could get awfully intoxicated drinking a few of these. I'm glad I stuck with the 4-pack.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby caramel hue with a nice sized off white vanilla beige head leaves full webbed lacing blotches around my glass. Aroma: Strong pine presence with a bready mild malt sweetness touches of caramel and nuts but more stand outish is the alcohol presence. Taste: A dominant piney hop flavor flows throughout this becoming a bit one dimensional at times and overbearing on the palate seems very concentrated and not as balanced as some of the prior batches I've tasted of this big brew. There is still a spiciness beneath the hop flavor along with a tone of syrupy rich caramel malts with alcohol backing all of this that's going on. Mouthfeel: Medium to full body range doesn't sit heavy on the stomach but the flavor would probably become somewhat abrasive after multiple bottles of this brew. Slight syrup and touch of an oily quality about it from the hops 85 IBUs, definitely the bigger brother of the Burning River. Drinkability: Nice treat definitely an old ale in my eyes, when is Great Lakes going to start bottle conditioning their brews b/c this one was released in September and the bottle says it only supposed to be best by November 20, 2004 I'm sure it will last a bit longer with the alcohol and massive dose of hops it has.

Photo of andyo
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah yes, I've been anxious to try this beer for a while!

I sampled this at Barley's Smokehouse on draft. Nice copper/brown appearance with a slight off-white head. This beer had a nice spicy aroma, just barely hinting at what is in store for me. First taste- whoa! This beer is highly spicy..then sweet...then very bitter. An onslaught of big, bold, green hops attacks my palate. This beer was a delight to drink, but lowers my drinkability rating ever so slightly because after one of these bad boys, my tastebuds could not handle another.

Real good offering from Great Lakes!

Photo of Skidz
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out golden brown and sits a bright copper brown in the glass with a small off-white head.

Smells a great deal of hops, spicy and very aromatic. Light malty background and a bit of pear lingering behind. Grainy overall.

Tastes mildly sweet up front, some citrusy flavors, very mild, come out then a bundle of lush, green hops busts out into your mouth. Quite an herbal assortment of flavors from the hops. Alcohol is barely traceable, well packed withing the hops. Still kind of grainy here too. Finish is well bittered with a lingering flavor of hops, tastes like fresh green beans.

Very smooth and crisp in the mouth, but feels kind of soapy to me. I pick up a lot of residual foam after swallowing. Carbonation is adequate.

Easy to drink, and enjoy. Simple, yet fulfilling.

Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,341 ratings.