Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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872 Reviews

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Reviews: 872
Hads: 2,401
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 254
Gots: 326 | 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: 872 | Hads: 2,401
Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cherrywood appearance. It glows. The haze is slight. The head is eggshell colored. And creamy. The lace is adequate. The aroma is sweet and malty and fruity. Hell, the taste is sweet and malty and fruity. Great fruit tones. Passion fruits. Some bready malt tones that ooze caramel from their pores. Alcohol is hidden very nicely beneath all the complexities here. The mouthfeel is like a dimestore hooker...smooth, curvy and easy. And the drinkability?? Out of this world.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Great Lakes makes the most drinkable and tasty beverages across the board out of any brewery I know. Whether they be low alcohol session brews or high alcohol sippers like this, they are the one brewery that impesses me the most in all facets of the game.

Thank you cokes for the scary looking bottle (and the contents inside).

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Photo of frank4sail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich deeper red look in the goblet with a nice off beige head on the pour. Head settles quite quickly to a persistant thickish sticky sheen. Hoppy caramel nose with strong notes. Big malt backbone with nice pine hoppy tastes upfront. This is a beer with a backbone. The brew rounded more and became sweeter (Caramel). A nice sippin' beer.

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Photo of isubsmith
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Incredible bronze reddish orange color.Hazy/cloudy body. 1/2" head from initial pour, most of which dissipated quickly, but a small 1/8" or so of head remained.

Nose: Similar to an IPA. Very hoppy, subtle fruit tones.

Taste: Malty start quickly overtaken by the citrusy hops and ending with bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Big, yet still smooth. No hint that this is a 7+% ABV beer.

Pretty good. Very similar to an IPA in taste, but many subtle nuances. I'm not a big IPA person, but this was still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hemorrhagic orange-bronze beneath a dense cap of pale orangish caramel; a wonderfully complimentary color scheme. The richly creamy cap oozes quality and should hang around for quite a while. I'm a little disappointed at the relative lack of lace, but given the ABV, I guess it isn't fair to expect a dazzling display. In the end, there are small, thick sheets sporting intermittent puncture marks.

The nose is deep and powerful with a bewitching mixture of heavily caramelized malt and citric hops. It smells like fermented orchard fruit drizzled with caramel sauce and flecked with shredded hop cones. Amazingly, there's no hint of alcohol.

Nosferatu tastes quite a bit like a DIPA (in the same vein at least). The rock solid malt backbone is colossally caramel-like, but not to the extent that it overwhelms the hops. I'd like to see at least a 50% increase in hops, but that's just me. The flavor profile, in addition to caramel, consists of apricots macerated in brandy, candied grapefruit flesh and Curacao. Although alcohol isn't quite as well-masked on the palate, it gives the beer a power and a presence that it wouldn't otherwise possess.

The finish is a long, lingering affair that showcases citric hops; wonderfully hoppy burps are an added bonus. I'm overjoyed to see that the body/mouthfeel is typical Great Lakes; that is, full, chewy and velvety smooth. Stealth carbonation lightens what could have been a syrupy feel and turns each mouthful into pure drinking pleasure.

Nosferatu isn't much of a vampire since it definitely doesn't bite; nor does it suck. It is bloody good beer though. Okay I'm done. It has been my fervent hope that Great Lakes would eventually bless the faithful (of which I am unabashedly, unashamedly, one) with a highly hopped IPA or DIPA. This isn't quite what I had in mind, but it is a worthy substitute until they brew the real thing. Year-round please.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" light beige head over the slightly murky amber brew. Head fights the good fight, and lasts for a long time, esp for the style, and lacing is good. Aroma is of malty husks, slight dark fruits, and tinges of alcohol. Taste is follows the nose, except alcohol notes at the swallow seem more pronounced, and warming is obvious. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great for the style. This is one vampire I'll try to revisit...

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Photo of cokes
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blurry rubied brass. The head is quick and beige.
Nose full of spruce and other things green...grass, stems..whatever. Backed with a floured dinner roll maltiness.
First off, the malt spine is interesting. It's big enough to carry this beer, and probably to parade it as something much smaller than it actually is. Very full in its yeasty, bready, sourdough leanings. All full of flour and fresh seeming (despite being well past its ridiculous "best by" dating). Tiny squeals of dry toffee provide the only form of sweetness. This is about as unsweet as a big of this girth gets.
Hops are huge as well, bringing all sorts of conifer, resin, and, pollen. Nods of honey arise now. It lingers with bitter herb and fleeting gin and tonic suggestions.
Balanced in a bit of a different manner than most American Strong Ales. This boasts a breadiness most akin to a standard Pale Ale, but amplified to handle the hop load. It's bold without being forced. If there was ever a "double pale ale", this is it. But these fuckers can be put back like they were meant as a session brew.
Full bodied, but tight with its bubbles, and drinkable far beyond its packaged 4 bottles.
Looking out for my sobriety, Great Lakes? Thanks, but lets see this in 6ers next time.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a clear brown/dark amber body, topped with a creamy white head. Nice lace trails. Scentwise, big malty with a slight metallic tone. Thick caramel malt front, bitter hop in the back; well blended and big. Spice from the alcohol, which warms your heart. Slight citrus tones. Full bodied. Yum.

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

Pours a light clear amber color with about a finger head that slowly dissapated and some lacing left on glass.

Scent is of sweet malts, citrus zest, dark fruits, sugary candy sweetness.

Taste is of dark fruits, sweet baked biscuity goodness, citrus hop flavor ever so slight, then it hits you in the finish harder, but it doesn't end there, the sweet malts are the final product of this taste explosion.

Mouthfeel is almost sticky, medium to full bodied but oddly refreshing. The carbination is perfect for this beer.

Drinkability is good for this beer. I'd like to think I could put a bunch of theseaway at once, but the ABV just wouldn't allow it.

A very nice beer from Great Lakes. I will be buying this one again.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've gotten so bored with the Satan-themed beers, that it's a warm welcome to find a good, old-fashioned vampire-inspired ale! Here's to more in the future...Bela Lugosi's Red, anyone? But, on with the brew...
A hue as hot as Hades, full and fierce crimson, shadily hazy, with numerous floatillas, under a respectable raft of creamy beige-toned foam.
Yeast starts the nose, malt is next, and we feel like we're basking in new-baked cookies, at first, then...then a soft, citrus scent comes in, light spice, banana cream pie whispers in, zesty, alert, and lively...just-so delicious!
Jet-fueled entry on the palate, a blazingly friendly touchdown on the tongue, hoppy, and happy, bursting with an urgent appeal of flavor, bold, bright, and potent. Dark fruits are first in the taste, bread, biscuits, light citric zest, and a blast of spice on the side...this is all perceived in the flavor, but I don't mean to imply it is contained in the recipe. Yum, I keep on thinking, as the mouthfeel gets thicker, the finish near impenetrable, and my admiration grows. This is an upstanding nightcap here, a cool, mellow, but undeniably big ol' beast in the mouth...the kind of ale that clubs as it caresses...a cool thing to do. I'd be happy with a case of this, to tide the winter-time away!
Until that happens, so much thanks to cokes for the bottle!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber red with a nice sticky fluffy one inch head on top. Toffee caramel with piney citrus aromas. Nice.

First sip is caramel apple toffee mixed with a lovely citric pine hop flavor. Nicely balanced and bursting with flavor. A bit of fresh baked bread in there as well...nice biterness on the back of the palate. Damn good.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with great chewy body...leaves some nice lacing down my glass as well. A tasty, easy to drink brew that works well on a cold night...I like it! Thanks to kmpitz2 for hooking me up with the bottle.

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Photo of frazbri
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of pezoids
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of granger10
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.6/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of hobbes2112
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.6/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of nomad
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of nortmand
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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