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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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906 Reviews
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Imperial Red Ale

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 906 | Ratings: 2,573
Photo of DenisKolkin
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served cool into a pint glass. Purchased while visiting in the US. Best before November 15, 2016.

Appearance - clear, dark red or amber in color with a big fluffy off-white head. Loads of lacing left at the sides of the gals and head retention coalesces into a rocky terrain of foam.

Smell - lots of leafy hops with some earthiness, roasted caramel and a gentle grain aroma. However the leafy hops are the star of the aroma.

Taste - initially some grain, then leafy hops with some bitterness followed by a transition to a sweetened green tea. Herbal like characteristics. Finishes with some orchard fruits and some honey. Hops not as assertive as I'd imagined, but it is a little older.

Mouthfeel - smooth, slick, moderately bodied and alcohol is superbly hidden.

Overall - nosferatu is just one of those beers which while the individual components are very good the sum of the beer is even greater. One of the best red ales I've had and certainly one of the best of the imperial variety. Certainly worth a try as any beer lover won't be disappointed.

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Photo of BergBeer
3.37/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Look: Transparent red-amber with a thick cream colored head. Sticky lacing on the glass as it goes down. Moderate activity.

Smell: Bready malt, pine and floral hops, light toffee, cereal grains. Semi sweet.

Taste: Bready sweet malt. Like a slice of whole grain bread with honey. Then a huge bitter piney hop envelopes the palate leaving little room for a small flash of toffee as it finishes.

Feel: Medium - big bodied. Light alcohol on the finish. Leaves the palate like scorched earth with floral and pine hop bitter. Bone dry finish.

Overall: I really enjoyed the malt profile of this beer but the hops are just too aggressive. The malt and high ABV are excellent. Now if only the hops had been dialed back just a bit. The whole body of the beer is blown out in bitter pine.

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Photo of thebeers
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber red with two fingers of dense and lasting foam head that leaves heavy lacing. Big caramel malts in the aroma with earthy, piney hops and a spicy tinge behind. Similar tasting, with a strong hop bitterness that's cut by the even stronger malt profile. Medium bodied with a somewhat spicy kick to the mouthfeel. Great beer that lives up to the name.

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

Appearance - Pours relatively clear and deep, ruby brown with a tan, quarter-finger width head that dies off quickly, revealing a mostly barren surface. Not much for lacing outside a rare spot or two.

Smell - Lots of caramel on the nose with lesser hints of floral and citrus hop.

Taste - Hops come out to play on the tongue, though flavor is slightly skewed toward malt dominance. Caramel and a touch of toasty bread upfront. Hops come through shortly after with a bit of floral character, spice and a touch of citrus. Earthiness emerges near the finish. Aftertaste rings with a touch of grain, honey and some citrus pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - On the fuller side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall - A good, solid imperial amber, but nothing particularly amazing. For the price, probably not worth another purchase.

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

From a 12 oz bottle in a snifter via A friend from work---Thanks Randy!
This nice red ale pours a bright and clear reddish mahogany with a moderate
head of white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and features light
lacing. Nose of toasted malts, honey, and floral notes with a touch of pine.
Flavors follow the nose with nice toasted biscuit and honey awash in light
pine notes with a touch of citrus in there as well with a sweet moderately
piney aftertaste. Very nice mouth feel, smooth, lightly crisp, and lightly dry on the
finish. A solid imperial red.


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Photo of trygelski1
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Lagerheads in California PA poured into a pint glass:

Look: Pours a nice dark ruby red color with about an inch of head and some lacing present.

Smell: Huge notes of malt with a slight sense of some hops.

Taste: Taste follows the nose with tons of malt present that provides a great amount of sweetness. Very small amount of hops and pine coming thru as well.

Feel: Medium bodied.

Overall: Decent red ale that I wish had more of a hop bite. I guess I am a bigger fan of the India red ales than this style. This is still a solid offering from Great Lakes that I might revisit next fall to give it another shot. I think the price point of this one is also a tad high.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Single, twelve ounce bottle copped from Total Wine and More in West Orange. Pours a ruddy, amber hue with ample frothing. Caramel and malt sweetness on the nose with a very similar flavor profile well balanced by no shortage of hops.

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Photo of Chestertonian82
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Dark amber that turns to a beautiful ruby when held up to light. Plenty of creamy head.
S: Nice fragrance of roasted malt.
T: Goosebump-inducing. Lovely, creamy flavor of roasted malt. Sharp but not harsh in the least. As dangerous and seductive as Bela Lugosi's Dracula!
F: Despite the temptation to drink this fast (it is that creamy and smooth despite its sharpness), this is truly a beer to be savored. The perfect companion beer to a chilly autumn evening, and perhaps an old horror movie as well.
O: This was even better than I remembered it being! I always look forward to its seasonal release. This may well be my favorite beer by Great Lakes.

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The appearance is a nice dark amber with a pretty white head.
The aroma is a big caramel malt sweetness, citrus, and pine.
The taste is similar with a big malt sweetness at first with the hoppy pine and citrus bite coming through.
Has a nice medium plus palate with a good lingering sweetness.
Overall this is a really good imperial red that I would love to pick up a 4 pack of.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.09/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gives those mixes of brown and red colors, nighttime and crimson, definitely the vampire look.

The smell was big alcohol notes.

Taste didn't impart the hops like the label described, kept getting lots of alcohol, sometimes it was quad like from the dark fruit notes, sometimes it was just old barleywine. There's bitterness there from both some hops, malt and yeast giving the dark fruit aspect. More of a maltier strong beer to me.

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Photo of Bt0rbeer
4.88/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a four pack from local store for $15. (Bit too high). Poured into a pint glass.

Look: Rich ruby red, solid foamy head that stuck around for awhile.

Smell: Toasty, piney, maybe some cinnamon .

Taste: Initial spice and sweetness quickly replaced by medium bitter hops at the end. Alcohol is well masked.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, average carbonation.

Overall: First time trying a Imperial Red Ale, very impressed. Another quality selection from Great Lakes. Goes down easy and has a great taste that changes as the beer warms up a bit. Will be looking for more imperial red ales in the future.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark red with some head that dissipated quickly. Smell is of malts and hops and some citrus as well. Taste is strong, with the finish showing off the alcohol and the fruit hops. Feel is very full bodied for this type beer. Very good drinkability.

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Photo of EMH73
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish amber color with minimal head and no retention. Smells of malts and floral notes. Tastes is slightly sweet, honey and or cherries, malts and finishes with a bitter hoppiness. Moderately carbonated, goes down smooth, very drinkable.

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Photo of rjd722
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Pour House in North Wales.

Look: Beautiful deep ruby red with a small tan foam head, not much retention and decent lacing.

Aroma: Toasted malts up front with slight hops and cherry (some earthy notes). As it warms I'm starting to get some honey as well.

Taste: The toasted malts come through again at first followed by a big hoppy bitterness. Cherry notes are a constant and add a nice lightness.

Feel: Great balance with the hops and malt, medium-high carbonation. Nice earthy, roasted mouthfeel. Easy drinking and masks any alcohol. Doesn't disappoint!

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 8% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep ruby red with frothy two finger light tan head. Opaque.

Smell- Barley, floury dough, lightly toasted bread.

Taste- Sweet at first, ripe semi dark fruit meet the palate such as apple with a pronounced sweet malt. Sugary alchohol with a semi sharp bitter kick. Lightly toasted grain goes through to the finish. Retains the mildly bitter grapefruit hop kick to the finish, just how a red ale should.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- Spot on for a heavy style of red ale. Complex sweet malt with ample hop flavors yet not overdone. Well crafted.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Spiegelau ipa glass. Enjoy by 11.29.15. Consumed 11.23.15.

A: Dark coppery exit from the bottle, is a dark ruby ice tea coloring in the vessel with a dense nature and slow isolated instances of macro-effervesce. Dark walnut toned head is creamy at .5 inches with an average rate of retention. Minimal speckled lacing.

S: Nose is lightly flowery orange and spicy citrus and grapefruit. Toasted grains with hints of fresh pine resins with a light-medium delivery and short duration. Nice combo, just wish it had more emphasis. Was near its end of enjoy by may have been a factor.

T: Malty flavor, deep toasted grain spiciness of sharp citrus and grapefruit hops zing the tongue. Flowery hops, good strength, dry pine, with a background of peppery dry apple skin. Dry lingering citrus-peppery fade, sticky malt and alcohol warmth stays with you. Alcohol and toasted frutiness (cherries, apples) becomes more dominate upon warming.

M: Crisp malt forward mouthful, medium-full body, spicy and malty feel.

O: A red with a deep lush body, toasted malt background with a good zing of spicy citric hops. Fullfilling drinkability, outstanding quality.

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Photo of Gauss
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Nice dark red color into a 14oz Stange glass
S: Not too keen on smell, espeacially below average for GLB
T: A little bitter, a little sweet and overall amazing for an Imperial
F: Wow. This is Smoooooth
O: Would have again, 100%. Only downside is the price!

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

APP- Deep ruby with low tan head that quickly dissipates, no legs, no lace. Good clarity, but with some noticeable particulate mater in suspension.

Aroma - rich deep caramel malt, creamy, light notes of sherry and leather, moderate herbal hop, some black currant and golden raisin notes, plum flesh, faint candied orange and pinion notes, faint alcohol, very complex but uncluttered, balanced, no aroma is above moderate except caramel malt aroma. Excellent.

Flavor - rich but not overtly sweet malt base with distinct plum skin character and a touch of earthiness, golden raisin is back, rose, sandalwood, blackcurrant hop character with lightly catty bitterness lingering in a long bitter finish. Peppery alcohol is detectable, but enhances mouth feel along with creamy vanilla character. Very faint orange rind.

MF- Lush and creamy, medium carbonation, some alcohol pepper, long, drying, nearly astringent hop finish.

Overall - Rewarding for those willing to pay attention. One of those you could also just let slide down without a thought, though the bitter finish does hurt that quality a little. Very pretty and surprisingly complex strong ale.

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Photo of ajm5108
2.84/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium bodied malt flavot, mostly caramel malt, with a big dose of medicinal hops at the end, very bitter and resinous. Never felt hefty malt reds mixed well with over-the-top hops & this doesn't change that.

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Photo of Bodi
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Love this beer, pours red with nice head very refreshing, easy to drink, perhaps the best red ale I've had ever. I had out of 4 pack bottled, would love to try on tap when I go home to Cleveland.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into pint glass. The color is a rich, reddish-amber with a nice, thick, milk-covered head and some serious lacing. The smell is mostly pine and hops with a faint cherry. The first thing I taste is a touch of caramel and malt that is quickly eclipsed by a hoppy bitterness, and finishing with a sweet cherry. It's a roller coaster of a taste experience. To me, the strength of this ale is its taste and its mouthfeel. The 8% ABV is perfect: it's substantially but easy drinking and refreshing. It's a really nice ale.

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Photo of NoFishsticks
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured beautifully with a full head that lasts and lasts. Poured into a 16oz Pilsner glass (unsure if that makes a difference or not) but the 2" foam head and color of this Imperial Red Ale was gorgeous. Not very hoppy but a great, easy drinking flavor that - even with 8% ABV - makes you want another! I don't like that it is sold in four packs - that would be the main downside - but this baby is a real treat and makes me want to explore additional Imperial Reds... You will not be sorry!!

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Photo of fscottkey
2.63/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: [4.25] Beer is a deep ruby red. It pours out with a thin head that looks off white. The head is pretty underwhelming. The bottle lists the IBU (70) ABV (8.0%) and the best by (11/19/15).

S: [1.75] initially I got some caramel but then it was all beets. That is my best descriptor - cooked beets.

T: [2.75] Does not follow the nose exactly (The beets are still int he background). In the front I am getting bitter, metallic.

M: [3.00] The mouthfeel is acceptable along with the carbonation. There is a slight lingering bitter on this one.

O: [2.75] I am rarely this black and white but - I do not like this beer. The nose is actually offensive to me. The taste is slightly better. I really like Great Lakes - but this is just a huge miss. I would not drink this for free if I was thirsty.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had at Bocktown in Robinson with Leah. Beautiful amber color. Nicely balanced between barley and hops! A very drinkable selection. Always enjoy the brews from Great Lashes Brewery!

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Photo of beergoot
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle info: BEST BY 11/29/15

Reddish-orange body; thick, dense, creamy head; sticky lacing all down the glass. Malty, slightly spicy aroma; cherries and cinnamon. Gently toasted grain flavor with a mild, almost fruity edge; mellow hop bitterness. Heavy yet smooth and gentle mouthfeel; warm; good balance of sweetness and dryness throughout.

A very pleasurable, well-balanced beer combining a rich malty depth and a soft, nicely counterbalancing hop bitterness. It hides its relatively high ABV quite well and lets the sweetness of the grain bill really shine. A big beer that delivers excellent flavors and mouthfeel while remaining very approachable.

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,573 ratings.
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