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Great Lakes Nosferatu - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

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856 Reviews

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Reviews: 856
Hads: 2,347
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 5.17%
Wants: 246
Gots: 298 | 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 alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (743 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (927 characters)

Photo of hobbes2112
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (472 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
3.41/5  rDev -16%
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. (1,073 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (1,075 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (365 characters)

Photo of nortmand
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of Ahhdball
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (860 characters)

Photo of marc77
4.06/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,144 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (665 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (517 characters)

Photo of smitty1080
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (299 characters)

Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (500 characters)

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (1,248 characters)

Photo of andyo
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
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! (583 characters)

Photo of Skidz
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a red color with a small head and leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy with hints of some caramel and malts underneath. Well balanced flavor: Hoppy, but has some sweet malts there to bring it back. Caramel as well. This reminds me of a larger version of another of their beers, but I can't think of the name right now. Very good beer. (363 characters)

Photo of budsboy
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a blood-stained amber with a full tan sticky head.

Smell is bready, fruity with an overtone of piney hops and an almost cinnamon quality.

This beer is highly-hopped, so says the bottle, and the tounge agrees. Balance is not achieved here. It's hoppier than many IPAs. Bitter one, this. Starts bitter, bitterness subsides, bitterness awakens again at the end, stronger than before. Alcohol is hidden.

What begins as an oily feels ends up being and dry-oily. Fairly large, full.

Very drinkable for those who like the bitter stuff. This is one I will have again. (578 characters)

Photo of SamAdams
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very impressed with this one. It kind of remindes me of a combo of two other Great Lakes beer. It has the hops flavor of the Burning River Pale Ale, and the malt from Conway's Irish Ale. A easy one to drink and packs a little punch too. A good one for Halloween.
Cheers (270 characters)

Photo of profzoom
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, Great Lakes. This fine brewery, which also happens to be from my native state of Ohio, has never failed me in the past. And it certainly continues its grand trend with this excellent brew. A whiff of this ale, which pours a deep reddish gold, just screams "hops!" at you. The taste is very spicy and tangy, and reminds me quite a bit of some of my favorite IPAs. All in all a great beer, and one that makes me proud to be an Ohioan. (436 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fine beer from one of my favorite brewers. This fall special pours out a dark copper but with virtually no head and no lace. The nose is awesome giving strong hints of both caramel and the rich hops content. The flavor is well balanced but erring on the side of the caramel sweetness. There is also a strong grain sense - almost bready in character. Fine mouthfeel from the medium body. Good drinkability to be sure.

One of these is on its way to you Gus! (466 characters)

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

It has arrived. A frightening beer for the autumn season. On the label is a picture of a wide-eyed, snarling man with pointy teeth and pointy ears. He has his head turned with a glaring look like we just snuck-up behind him and sent a shock of fear down his spine. The background has a picture of a sky-scraper pointed at an eclipsed sun. I find the vampire much more frightening than the gargoyle.

Appearance: Translucent amber. Strong lacing with a creamy beige head speckled with medium sized bubbles.

Smell: Hops, a little vanilla/caramel oak along with the over-ripe fruit/ raison thing.

Taste: Great balance between the malt and hops. Rich complex flavor with lots to pull out from the abundance of hops. Starts off bitter when served cold but becomes very pleasant after it warms. A creamy aspect emerges with the change in temperature. Not the nitro-can creamy but the savory flavor kind of creamy. The 8.0% abv is hidden. Be careful you don’t have too many or you may be overcome with vampire like cravings for more beer.

Mouthfeel: Fine. I didn’t have any problems biting into this voluptuous ale.

Drinkability: Top notch. I sampled this on a Saturday afternoon while watching The local college team teach a lesson to some kids from a Carolina (again, way to go Nuge.) I finished the four-pack with ease and craved for more. Great Lakes Nosferatu is an incredibly balanced, smooth, strong ale. (1,423 characters)

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