Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Red Ale - Imperial
Ranked #7
Ranked #4,122
4.09 | pDev: 10.51%
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States
Notes: Don’t be afraid of things that go hop in the night! Rich roasted malt flavors haunt the shadows of our Imperial Red Ale’s bitter teeth.
Reviews: 963 | Ratings: 2,768 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TBarJr:
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TBarJr from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

Sep 20, 2014
More User Reviews:
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Evilyak from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i would drink this with max schreck and buck dharma.

that's red. like really red. almost blood-like.

smells floral and piney, with some earthiness. flowers on a pine box being lowered into a hole 6 feet deep. i get it.

sweet, too. almost cherry-like, with a bitterness to it. i can't really get the whole dracula thing to work with the taste.

mouthfeel is slightly viscous and coats my mouth. definitely thicker than water.

that's a damned good beer for october.

Oct 08, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This Nosferatu doesn't hide from the light - it embraces it. Glowing ruby - or are they blood red? - highlights abound from this clear but very deep coloured Amber Ale. Its head is no bigger than the foam you'd skim off a simmering bone broth but impressively manages to cling to the glass.

This bouquet is downright dazzling. It magnificently manages to cram herbal, piny, and citrus hop elements into a tall order of malt that smacks of caramelly confections. It is a sizable and rich aroma with enough depth and dimension to leave you smelling it for hours.

Vampires are often portrayed as possessing some kind of seductive allure - this beer definitely has it. This 4-pack left me wanting to drive the 5 hours it takes back to the brewery and buy as much as my credit card will allow. Toothsome flavours of toffee brittle and apple butter are contrasted against tastes of roasted peaches, grapefruit zest, and pine resin. Delicious.

Nosferatu definitely has some bite - and that's not just a bad pun on my part. All this hoppiness provides an especially spicy and herbal brand of bitterness that brings that most abused of beer terms - "crisp" - to new levels. It has a clipping, dry finish which is a welcomed balance to the initial waves of toffee-ish sweetness brought on by such an ample malt bill.

Nosferatu has long been one of my favourite seasonals. Many a Halloween it has sucked my wallet dry. But so far as I'm concerned this hearty combination of sweet malt and multifaceted hops is a gustatory masterpiece. The fact that it's so irresistibly drinkable even at 8% alcohol tells you something about just how much flavour it offers. Here's hoping this fall release is eternal.

Jan 10, 2015
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cdclark81 from Pennsylvania

2.97/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer is a filtered, very deep red. The head dissipated rather quickly and leaves behind a little lacing. Strong hop bit on the nose. Very hoppy on the tongue as well. I'm not getting much more than hop out of this. Personally, I don't like IPAs, and I know this is a red/amber, but it has that bug spray, IPA taste. Not a fan.

Sep 16, 2017
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Dec 04, 2015
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at The Wooden Keg in Minersville, PA Saturday night.

Arrived in a standard pint glass, reddish vienna lager coloring with decent white head, leaving very good lacing.

Kind of a bittersweet aroma, mixed malt, caramel, and hops.

Taste is quite aggressive. The sweetness wins out. there is a pineyness to it as well, with a slight pepper hit. Fairly hot. Overall, pretty tasty brew.

Sweet and sharp on the tongue ,well above medium on the mouth.

Overall, glad to find this one on tap, would have again.

Nov 06, 2017
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Jacobier10 from New Jersey

4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ Circle Bowl in Ledgewood, NJ.

Clear and ruby in color with a pillowy off-white head that leaves behind sticky patches of lacing. Grapefruit and pine jump from the glass, backed by biscuit and toasted malt. Sharp pine and citrus hop bite in the flavor with some rye added in for good measure. Sticky feel and medium bodied. Full of flavor and clean. This is a delicious brew. Potent yet light and balanced enough to have more than one.

Oct 29, 2017
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Manos from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 summer edition
Hop Devil on steriods, was my first thought. Piny, IPA feel for sure; a
90 minute IPA crossed with citrus and a nice oktoberfest lager. Pretty
saturated orange red appearance. Sipper, enjoy this limited edition
while you can. Hunt this vampyre down!

Jul 04, 2005
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ffejherb from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass on 11/1/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Clear ruby-kissed copper body with moderate carbonation and one-finger burnt beige head that receded into a patchy film of retention and left no lacing.

S - Aroma is heavy on burnt sticky caramel malt with citrus hops and some floral notes. Hints of sweet fruit and mild alcohol are also apparent.

T - Lots of citrus fruit up front with an emphasis on grapefruit. Some floral hops also emerge, but are less prevalent. Malt possesses a burnt caramel character with a bit of sweetness. A mild alcohol presence also emerges as the liquid warmed up a bit.

M - Medium body with a nice moderately carbonated mouthfeel that provides a warm, tingly sensation on the tongue. Finishes with a crisp, lingering hop bitterness on the palate.

D - Tsaty hoppy red ale with quite a bit of citrus character, giving it more of an IPA character overall.

Nov 02, 2008
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hoosier222002 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 13, 2015
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iadler from Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Twisted Spoke.

A- Translucent amber with a one finger head that dissipates fairly quickly with no lacing left behind.

S- Toffee, caramel, bready malt, citrus, floral and piney hops.

T- Sweet at first with toffee, caramel and bready malt followed by grapefruit, orange zest and pine. Very well balanced.

M- Medium carbonation and body. Slightly chewy and finishes dry.

O- My favorite seasonal offering from Great Lakes and may be my favorite overall from them. Very drinkable with the 8% being hidden very well.

Oct 07, 2011
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jmccraney from Washington

4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 16, 2017
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rwilde from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Dec 30, 2013
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WDJersey from Colorado

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Jul 31, 2012
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redbeav from Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Nov 01, 2013
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Craftnscotch from Ohio

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Aug 05, 2014
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Vik777 from Connecticut

4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had it on tap and it was mellow, a bit coffee toned brew with clean finish.

Nov 27, 2018
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Cdriver0414 from Kentucky

4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very malt forward yet refreshingly happy ale with a very nicely balanced bitter finish. A very nice tribute to one of the greatest classic horror movies. Count orlok would be pleased.

Oct 08, 2021
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hoptheology from South Dakota

2.99/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle.
Best by 12/9/20
Into wide mouthed glass.

Predictable yet still stunning fiery red with a predictable off-white egg-foam yellow head of 1 finger, receding to a creamy ring but not before leaving great lacing on the glass.

Aroma is thick caramel malt, with some toasted rye bread, with an odd dill presence, lots of earthy beets, and slight dipping vinegar.

Flavor is bold and full of amber and toasted malt, with some spoiled hops (my fault). But then...some grape sucker...some... dill? Tons of earthy, gross, buttery beets. Yuck.

Feel is starchy from the beginning, with alcohol heat, and moderate carbonation.

Overall, this was not for me, not at all. Blah. GLBC is pretty great usually, but what even was this? Yiiiiick. Drain pour.

Jan 30, 2021
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

( Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a brownish-red clear body with a very gentle carbonation and a nice smooth tan head.

S-This beer has a nice fragrant lightly toasted malt nose with some green hop spiciness. A light note of biscuit malt is also in the nose.

T- The taste is very complex with some toasted malt and biscuit malt blended with an alcohol warmth and some hop spiciness.

M-This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel with some alcohol warmth that finishes nicely.

D- This is a very interesting beer. It has a good complex flavor with spicy hops, toasted malts and a nice alcohol warmth to pull it all together.

Aug 23, 2005
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AndrewK from California

3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Feb 10, 2012
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kkmiller76 from New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.2%

Aug 21, 2014
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jmeyers78 from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into RR snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber with a thin head that disappears quickly

S - Hops, alcohol. Roasted malts

T - Roasted malt first followed by some biting hops and finishes with a bitter bite.

M - Pretty standard for GLBC....smooth, creamy, solid

O - One of my favorites this time of year. A really solid red ale that is one of my go to beers on the weekend

Sep 03, 2011
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Noonan425 from Ohio

5/5  rDev +22.2%

Oct 11, 2013
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HollandTunnels from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Dec 15, 2013
Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2768 ratings