Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

915 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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Reviews: 915 | Ratings: 2,603
Photo of CaptDavyJones
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with the freshness date and ABV on the label. Deep blood red color; not too much of a head, good carbonation. Aroma is an unique blend of sweet caramel with pine, unlike any I have had so far. The taste is truly exceptional, the hops hit you right away, but the finish is malty/sweet. The ABV is masked very well amongst the bevy of flavors that hit your palate. Drinkability is very good, too bad it is a seasonal beer. Highly recommended, anyone and everyone who appreciates beer MUST have the Nosferatu. I don't know how they do it, but Great Lakes is another brewery that keeps churning, well brewing, one solid beer after another.... Cheers!!!

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Photo of KellyScottMad
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was very impressed with this red. I thought this was an imperial red. It sure tasted like one and is a wonderful beer. The color is a beautiful red, and the aroma in the glass matches the season of fall. The taste is crisp and smooth with hardly an aftertaste. Great smooth beer for the fall months.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks dakkon54 for sending me 4 of these!

Pours a translucent amber color with an inch white head. Suspended particles float around in the body making this blood colored beer really stand out.

The smell is the classic Great Lakes malt bill with a piney, citrus hops mixed in somewhere.

The first thing I can say about the taste is, "Holy shit, this thing is all-around." The malt bill is exactly what I expect from a GL brew. Grainy, except this one has a touch of sweetness on the back end of the malt bill which really rounds out the beer overall. The malt has a slight roast to it, reminiscent of their Conway's Irish Ale. The hop flavors really come out with bitter straight away. The hops kind of mingle around the malt bill to make a nice interplay. After the bitterness goes away, the slightly sweet malt takes over leaving a slightly chewy malt that still fights with the hops for a place on your palate. There is a subtle dryness that I didnt get from the first 2 bottles, but its definitely there.

The best part about this beer is the ABV--its hidden. At 8%, you would think you'd feel it somewhere, but then youd be wrong. I cant find it anywhere, and I really like it. Sits light on the tongue, but still battles on your tongue as the flavors fade. The nice thing is that Great Lakes didnt over-do themselves on this one. They went massive, and they did it. Then again, they didnt go overboard. Too many beers try to go extreme with no balance, but Nosferatu has all the ingredients there. They all have a say, but all are in agreement with each other. None try to overpower the other, and each has its place.

Second only to Lake Erie Monster in terms of GL beers. Get at least a 4 pack and when thats gone, find more.

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Photo of Amish_Ambush
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on: 09-15-2006

Notes: Medium off-white head. Deep reddish brown in color. Strong hop and grapefruit notes. The tasting notes are intensified grapefruit and hops with figs and a bit of malt present in a pleasing, bitter aftertaste here. I am going to guess they poured a bunch of Chinook hops into this beer. I may be wrong but it is fun to guess. Nosferatu boasts a medium body that becomes quite creamy when you allow it to warm up a bit.

Last night a friend and I did a taste test between this ale and the Stone "Arrogant Bastard" ale. We were sure that we would like the Stone ale better. But we found to our surprise that AB was quite muted in flavor and body when compared to Great Lakes Nosferatu. Great Lakes Brewing company has something special with this beer.

One of my favorite seasonal beers.

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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 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 OldFrothingSlosh
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

64oz. growler courtesy of AKSmokedPorter and his recent trip to Cleveland.

For the first time in a L-O-N-G time, a different serving type has just blown me away compared to a bottle. Fresh Nos on tap is such a beer. The previous times I'd had it in bottles (thanks to Blatzman, TwelveVoltMan, and PhantomVoDoo!) it was good. damn near perfect.

Same clear blood-tinged ruby darkness. Hefty layer of off-white lace. All sorts of lovely rings of lace paste the sides of the glass. Aromas are swirling with hoppy fruit and citrus notes battle with a swarm of malt sweetness. Reminds me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Worthy praise, indeed. Flavor is off the charts. Whatever brashness I experienced with the bottle is smoothed out in the tapped form. But make no mistake, there is a TON of flavor in this beer. Up front assault of citrus and fruity hops, followed by a crescendo of sweetness of caramel, maybe a twinge of honey, and some choco-toffee notes. Ends with a smile- and burp-inducing bitterness on the palate that is not quite piercing, but certainly monstrous in size and long-lasting. Definitely smoother than the bottled version. Stupidly/laughable/amazingly/insanely/superbly/etc. drinkable. 64oz. is not enough for me. This is a "call AKSmokedPorter and drive up to Cleveland with him to get more of this" beer.

Flash...I owe you big time for this. Simply wonderful. GLBC shows yet again why they are my favorite brewery.

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Photo of Jaycase
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: dark copper. Opaque. Noticeable carbonation.

s: nice blend of citrusy hops and toasted malt

t: similar to the aroma, a perfect blend of citrusy (some pine too) hops and toasted caramel malt. A nice kick of bitterness to give it that oomph.

m: medium body and carbonation. Crisp with a dry finish.

o: one of my favorite beers. A release I look forward to every fall and it never disappoints. Well done Great Lakes!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby red with some orange and lots of rising bubbles. Big six finger off white head with great retention and pretty good lacing. Label is also very cool.

Smell: Toasty caramel malts with some wheat grains and toffee. Lots of citrus hops with grapefruit and orange. Also a big pine hop presence. Very hoppy and bready. Quite a combination of hops and malts.

Taste: Like the smell, lots of bready and mildly sweet caramel malts with some toffee and biscuit. Strong taste of grapefruit citrus hops with some orange and a bit of mango. An equally strong presence of pine resin hops is also present. Very hop forward but a very bold malt presence gives a perfect balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Crisp, chewy, and smooth. Slightly dry in the finish.

Overall: An incredible red ale from Great Lakes. Very bold with the hops and malts. Great balance. One of my favorite beers period.

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Pours a nice deep red and copper, with little to no head and some slight lacing throughout.

Smells of heavy floral hops. Has the slightest undertone hint of sweet caramel malt.

Very good a slightly complex tatse, tough for me to pinpoint. I taste the perfect amount of hops and sweet finish. The heavy alcohol(8%) is masked very well.

Very crisp and a nice dry finish, very good carbonation.

Could drink several of these, often. Another excellent brew from the best brewrey in America.

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Photo of Strategery
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first review! This has always been one of my favorites so here goes...

A-beautiful red color, as close to "blood" red as I've ever seen in a beer.

S-Floral hops, piney, citrus-orange zest, grapefruit, very fresh and grassy.

T-Where do I start?! A wonderful initial hop bite, with a clean sweet malt finish. Nothing is overpowering, and every flavor reaches a perfect balance between sweet and bitter. Almost like a more balanced version of Arrogant Bastard.

M-Great carbonation, goes down smooth as silk.

D-I could drink this all night and then wake up the next morning in my neighbor's bushes. Seeing as how I live in an apartment complex that might not be the best idea.

Overall-My favorite Great Lakes brew along with the blackout stout. A beer I could enjoy every day of the week!

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Photo of BeerFink
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just when I had given up hope of finding this until the next release, I find a 4 pack on my first visit to a new store.

Decants a very nice looking deep copper color with dark red tinting. A healthy looking off-white heads rises to the occasion. Impressive head retention and good sticky lacing make for an outstanding appearance. The nose is very inviting. Citrous and piney hops complement caramel and malt. Some spiciness is also kicked up in the aroma. Taste is wonderfully rich and creamy. Lots of sweet malt form a strong backbone for this 75 IBU ale. Hops hit hard with orange peel and pine, but are very well balanced by caramel and smooth malt. A little spice and some roasty character add complexity. Malt and hops duke it out til the bitter end. The finish is a little sweet, a little hoppy, and just a touch of alcohol. A big and creamy mouthfeel will make you remember this one. Finish is remarkably subtle, leading to excellent drinkability.

Yes, this beer was worth the search. I shall stock up when this is brewed again.

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Photo of korguy123
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Lost Abbey Tulip "For Saints and Sinners Alike"
Broke out the good glass for this one!

The Mrs and I planned a trip to Cleveland last year to do the touristy stuff. Heard about Great Lakes through some digging around (before any real interest in craft brews) Planned to go to the Great Lakes Brewery for some beers. Showed up and the place was closed. Not only was it they're one day to close but it was also Memorial Day weekend... Now I have to schedule another trip. Poor me.

Wasn't aware of this beer until a couple months ago through random searching and was glad to see such high regard for it at the same time as the release which was also the same time I had family heading into the states for a couple days. Everything is just looking peachy now!

A- Deep ruby/amber clear pour. Two fingers cream/off white head. Carbonation is fumfering around, taking its time getting to the top of the glass. Lacing is just sheeting the sides of the glass.

S- Bright citrusy hops. Sweet strawberries, faint caramel tones. Grapefruit, mandarin and lemon zest. Back to candied sugar and honey. Fresh and vibrant. Almost like a hop flavored jolly rancher.

T- Candied sugar right off the bat. Strawberries and citrus fruits follow with floral hops right on it's heels. Back to sweet again with caramel and vanilla. The most flavors I've had going at my palate at one time. Absolutely magnificent. Faint bitter aftertaste.

M- Sweet on the lips. Juicy with a quick dry finish.

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Photo of Maestro
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable. This beer is the best offering I have had from Great Lakes and I have liked everything before it. I didn't know that had this little secret waiting for me. The beer has a great malt profile that is matched with an awesome amount of fruity hops. The nose is hoppy, like a big IPA. The taste is a great balance of malts and hops. Biscuits and bread come to mind, as well as a smoky hop backbone that carries this beer above the rest; full-bodied and tasty. Drink-able.

Would you believe it if I told you my local watering hole was pouring 20oz. pints for $3. Yowzers!

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Photo of lovindahops
4.79/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, now this looks like a brew to get you ready for Halloween!

A- pours a reddish amber body with a fair head of foam. The color completely contributes to the american strong ale appearance

S- off the charts! An unprecedented balance of malt and grapefruit hops. There is no question that the brew is completely uplifting in the hops and malt department. Again, fantastic balance

T- Nosferatu is a repeat offender! The taste is a PERFECT mingle of hops and malt. I don't this I have even tasted this balance before in a beer. It's almost like it's its own unique style because of the balance. So dang tasty

M- great big beer carbonated flavor. Slightly syrupy at the end. Very impressive

D- Great Lakes continues to impress me with their brews. Nosferatu has completely drinkable and delicious properties. This will be a beer that I will forever keep going back to. I will grab a case of this for a Halloween get together no doubt!

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Photo of Shawn_Sins
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


serving type: bottle

appearance: red, dense, beautiful

smell: complex, getting sweetness, maltiness, light hopiness, smells amazing

taste: mild sweetness from "red malts" up front followed by a prominent bitterness that lingers. highly complex and perfect.

mouthfeel: moderate to high carbonation. perfect consistency in my opinion.

overall: ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. this is the best GLBC beer i have had so far, in front of the lake erie monster and the EF Porter (i have not been lucky enough to try Alchemy hour yet). To me this could be classified as a Red IPA. The hopiness is very prominent. The flavor as very complex. This has been compared to Stone's Arrogant bastard. To me it is a more refined version, but to the keen taster i believe you will find more complexity and flavors in this one.

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Photo of bobhits
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I hate the term strong american ale as it just leaves so much to the imagination. This beer is like a strong ale meets an IPA and they had a kid. This is by far my favorite beer by great lakes (why do I always like the expensive beers?). I really don't feel like I can put words to how great this beer is.

For taste I wish I were better at explaining different hops but the hops come through as just bitter. You don't get that awful grape fruit flavor that many IPA's are using today. This is mixed with a strong ale (reminds me a bit of third coast ale) instead of the normal strong malt finish of say 90 minute you get a nice crisp yet sweet finish with a nice bit of alcohol backing it. For a beer of this size and strength the mouthfeel and drink ability match it perfectly. You can easily drink 2-3 of these without realizing it yet even on the first you know that you probably shouldn't keep drinking them all day.

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Photo of becktone
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nosferatu pours a beautiful deep ruby red color. Color can also be described as cherry colored wood. The beer is crystal clear and looks very appetizing as it sits in my glass. Initially the head pours to just a bit under two fingers, would be nice if it were just a tad bigger. As it receedes it leaves a wall of lace along the sides of the glass. I've seen better retention in other American Strong Ales. Overall nice appearance, though better head retention would be welcomed.

No doubt about it, the aroma of this beer is magnificant. I don't think that I've ever smelled a beer that had the potentcy and alluring aroma that this beer displays. To the nose crystal/caramel malts and aromas are clearly evident. In addition to that I can detect some aromatic malts, dark munich malts, and perhaps even some german wheat. Ohh this beer smells wonderful. I can't describe in words. I think that this one alone is worth buying just for the smell.

The taste of this beer is also great. Hops are a big part of this beer. They easily stand out in the taste of this beer. The hop flavor is very aggressive. In my opinion it takes the foreground in this beer's flavor profile. The wonderful aromas are behind the hops in this beer; as should be expected with an American Strong Ale-Hopheads describes Americans pretty well. However, the aroma compounds can still be detected in the flavor. Its just that the hops appear at the front of the taste. Nicely balanced.

This beer is full bodied and heavy on the palate, carbonation does not interfere with the flavor and is at a level which seems appropriate. This is a beer that I wish were offered year round. Probably one of my favorites from what Great Lakes has to offer. Will definitley be buying this one again.

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Photo of davisrin
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love the way the bitterness comes in as an aftertaste and just stays for awhile. This beer smells so good, too. I am a fussy person about mouth feel, and this has a creamy flow that is nicely balanced.

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Photo of Babalu614
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle to pint glass. Poured a dark red/copper color. A sweet aroma of carmel and hops. Tastes of carmel and piney hops, alcohol was hidden very well for 8%. Very smooth feel with little to no carbonation. A very good beer from Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/20/04, consumed (and enjoyed!) 12/30/04. One of a four pack for about $9 bucks/4. The fourth of four consumed (for research)

Golden amber, with a puffy half-inch head, that receeded to an even, but thin, coating. Very clear.

Cruel hops, citrusy, but mostly piny. Fruity, with apples and plums.

Swirling fruits and hops, crisp and dry finish, refreshing, the cheek pucker lingers for a while after the beer is gone.

Smooth and medium bodied, this is a great sipper, pleasing and refreshing. Can't wait until next fall when it reappears.

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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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Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Features an amber color with a great head that sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Caramel aromatics with plenty of grapefruity citrus

Taste: The caramel base that is present up front is quickly subsumed by a building grapefruit flavor; after the swallow, there is a burst of grapefruit that ultimately blends with the caramel to provide a balanced finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A really fine ale that balances nicely between the malt and the hops

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Photo of giblet
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

as near to perfection for my palate! poured nice from the bottle. some light persistant carbonation. excellent lace throughout. the aroma is very pleasing with hop and sweet malt. the flava is excellent. i am afraid i could sit and have about 5 or 6 of these in a row! that would likely knock me socks off since it is a 8%abv.

top 5 beers that i have ever had!

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of Valmor88
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Coppery to red color. Three fingers of pale amber head that reduces to a nice foamy cream.

S: Very hoppy aroma with mild alcohol hints. Slightly floral, spicy and citrusy.

T: Caramel and spices are predominant. Citrusy (grapefruit?) throughout, with a bitter hoppy finish that lingers in the mouth.

M: Medium-full bodied and medium carbonation. Very smooth.

O: Really liked this one. I feel like they could have gotten away with 9% and still done well, but still really enjoyed. I love strong ales, and the red color adds to the overall theme here. I highly recommend.

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,603 ratings.
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