Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

912 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: 912 | Ratings: 2,599
Photo of JiminKY
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I came across two 4-packs on the "outdated, breakage and returns" shelf, in the storeroom of my local Liquor Barn, while heading for the restroom.

Knowing that these beers could take some age, I convinced the beer manager to let me purchase them. The result is my first taste of an "aged" version of a beer I count as a favorite, when fresh.

These bottles are labeled "Please enjoy by: DEC O7/O6." My understanding is that Great Lakes, at the time, put expiration dates at six months past bottling date, so I am assuming these are just short of two years old. And though Nosferatu is a "Fall" seasonal, this cool, rainy Spring day seems a great time to enjoy a couple.

The color remains identical to the blood-red hue of the fresh version I remember. The quickly-diminishing head still scatters across the top of the beer and laces lastingly along the snifter sides.

The smell is somewhat more subdued than that I recall of the fresh version. When fresh, I remember merely sniffing it for a good ten minutes before taking a sip. I can't really say what it is I smell, now, but it is still very pleasant, if a bit sweeter.

As is apparently the norm with aged brews, the hops character has softened, considerably, from what I experienced with the fresh version. That softening, however, blended wonderfully with the overall profile of the beer. The taste seems to go through clearer stages, now, beginning with the sweetness of the malt and finishing, distictly, with a refined hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel remains soft and enveloping in this aged version, just as I remember it in the fresher one. The tongue and palate are coated with a sticky, lasting impression of spectacular taste.

As with Great Lakes' other "big" beers, this is dangerously drinkable. It takes tremendous restraint to drink this beer at the "respectable" pace it deserves (and probably requires, considering its 8% abv).

I hope you get the chance to enjoy your own bottle of Nosferatu--whether fresh or aged. I truly think it is one of the best beers made by an American brewery.

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Photo of Bogforce
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Love this beer. Had it for the first time recently and would definitely drink this every week. Could be my favorite beer.

A: Dark Reddish brown color, that has a on finger head. Sticks around for a little bit..

T: Bold but not too bold, has an amazing flavor.

D: I could drink this beer all day every day

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Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep dark clear coppery auburn color. Hmmm...remindes me of the color of that cleansing/prep liquid the surgeons use just before cutting you open. Coincidence? Castle-on-a-hill towering, fluffy, kinda crunchy topping of lightly parched yellow foam sits for eternity. Lots of big moth-holed sheeting lace is plastered like cob webs all over the glass. Some in the shape of bats!?

Aroma is a hop hum dandy of toasted candy caramel, toasted grains, leafy crisp hops and a delicate natured little squeeze of grapefruity pine resin. And dare I say a bit of dampness of thick forest air seems to be lurking underneath. Must be the pine?

Taste is yum, yum, suck the flavor from my tongue. Great hoppy taste with a finely bittered tone and snappy crunch to it. Bright, brittle, leafy, citrusy grapefruitified and resin loaded with light piney parchments. Wow! Quite a fun ride of goodness. The flavors really pop and are bright with a intensity of a vampires' eyes. Just a bit of the toasted stuff makes its way through the fog of hops. As the hops play their part drenchingly deep of uncontested mastery and well-balanced, high toned, flavor sucking, palate quenching goodness!

Body of the beer is crisp, lasting, and bright. Nothing a caped casket dweller would prefer, but damn suiting none-the-less as it fits the profile immaculately! Crunchy, snappy, hoppy, and superbly balanaced in the way a nice IPA would be. Surprising. Super clean finish with a dryish pine, citric, toastified fluffy bite on the palate. No turtle neck or stake needed here as its creamy, slick and oily backing is so drenchingly satisfying.

If this were the nectar I needed to survive by sucking the necks of beautiful women or big brown bottles the world round then let it be so. This stuff's better then blood any day, or night. Mmmaaaawww...HaaaaHaaa...

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Photo of Brew33
4.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Nosferatu
This is one of my all time favorite brews.

The color is a bright crimson, totally clear. 1 finger, foamy head. The aroma is subdued but great. Citrusy hops and faint grain. The flavor is spectacular. The sweet malts play perfectly with the citrusy hops (Cascade if I had to guess) and a rather fruity yeast note. The balance is incredible. Alcohol is well hidden. Incredibly drinkable for 8%. Nice body and mouthfeel. Lighter and more carbonated than a lot of Strong Ales but I find it to be a perfect match.

Another truly World Class beer from Great Lakes. A big win.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. Much different than I was expecting, but I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Very good stuff.

The beer pours to a deep, yet clear amber red. Like diluted blood with a thin film of head atop.

The smell is amazing. Like a sweet, fruity red wine with a ton of american hops. Lots of grapefruity citric aroma. The taste is very similar. Very interesting. Lots of fruits, such as grapes, cherries, rasberries, and of course the whole host of citric fruits associated with the hops. Huge spicy herbal bitterness in finish, along with a strong mineral flavor. My roommate suggested it tasted like blood on his first tasting, and I could see the comparison due to the mineral finish with a sharp bitterness. It is very possible that this was the route they were trying to go with for the Nosferatu; and I, for one, think it is a very interesting route to take.

As delicious as I find this brew to be, it is hard to drink more than a few considering that it is 1.) high in alcohol 2.) has a sharp, bitter, mineral finish 3.) the blood comparison probably wouldn't go over well if I was intoxicated.

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Photo of WesWes
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an excellent mix of burnt toffee and hops. It has a stiff bitterness laid over roasted and caramel malts; yum. The taste is perfect! Wow, what a hop bite this one has. It's citrousy yet well balanced with a wonderfully complex malt bill. The alcohol is well hidden. This is a quaffable 8% beer. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an exceptional beer. I need to pick up a case of this.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.66/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: A deep amber with a ruby red hint.
Aroma: So complex, I can't quite describe, but wow, need to get a grasp on these aromas
Taste: Sweet with a slightly bitter finish
Feel: Feel is light bodied, low carbonation.
Overall: The aroma is out of this world, Fantastic taste. Love that this comes out once a year.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a German pilsner glass

A - ruby red color, small tan head

S - citrus fruit, malt, and floral hops. The hop smell predominates

T - Amazing. A fruity malty flavor with a long, bitter hoppiness and some alcohol

M - a little undercarbonated. I think this was an old bottle. The date on the side wasn't readable.

D - The alcohol wasn't really that noticeable. I don't think I'd drink a bunch of these because of the amount of hops, but man, I wish this was made year round.

This is the first truly hoppy beer I ever had and to it, I owe my new found interest in IPAs. It's definitely a gateway brew in my opinion.

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Photo of DanThomas
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Deep red with some copper/amber hues. Good head retention.

S- Rich caramel malts, earthy hops, and a faint whiff of alcohol.

T- Toast/dry biscuit type malt flavor; subtle caramel sweetness, but the malt flavor on this one is mostly dry. The "bite" finish isn't just a pun--earthy/piney hops take over towards the end, finishing crisp, bitter, and refreshing. It's amazing how so much flavor can end so cleanly, and the hops and the malts are perfectly balanced. Great Lakes does balance like no one else.

M- Very full-bodied, refreshingly low carbonation. It's like you're chewing this beer, which is fine by me.

D- No alcohol whatsoever on the taste, meaning watch out. I could throw back 4 or 5 of these if I didn't know the alcohol.

Tremendous beer from Great Lakes!

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nosferatu has a rich, golden red appearance. It has a thick head.

Smell is bright and floral, with caramel and citrus.

It has a smooth hop flavor with malt, caramel, and citrus. It has very little bitterness, and a toasty finish.

The mouthfeel has great balance; very drinkable despite its high ABV and hops. The carbonation is subtle.

Overall, Nosferatu is awesome. It has a very smooth hop flavor with a lot of bright characters; balanced all the way through

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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 Deuane
4.64/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brewpub and at Melt in Lakewood, OH.

A-Dark, reddish tinged, coppery brown body with a medium off-white that reduced to a thin cap and left decent lace.

S-A nose blast full of delightful, juicy, massive grapefruit citrus. This is a sheer pleasure to sniff. Much more aromatic than I remember than in years past. Oh yea, a bit of backing sweet malt comes through in the end.

T-Delicious, almost chewy, grapefruit hop goodness. Well supported by a solid foundation of sweet, but not overly so, caramel malt. This is without all about the hops!

M-Medium-heavy and resinous. Super smooth bordering on syrupy.

D-A healthy dose of Simcoe and other citrus inducing hops I am sure....bring it on! This years version, 2008, is without question the finest I have had the pleasure of imbibing. Drink it up and drink it fresh, those hops aren't going to last!

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Photo of JamesS
4.64/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice mid-copper color with some good initial head and a bit of nice lacing. Excellent scent, heavy and thick; malty; wonderful powdered cocoa aroma. Great taste, thick and malty with a nice hint of chocolate and a nice bit of floral hops. Goes down smooth, with a bit of thickness and just a bit of alcohol in it. Great beer.

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a deep red, copperish color that leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Nice subdued hop smell. Taste like a proper, well crafted ale. Hop presence and flavor is upfront, but not harsh. Finishes easy, with carmel like sweetness.

Very smooth, with the right amount of carbonation.

At 8.0, this beer is extremely sessionable. Very drinkinable, and becomes even more flavorable as it warms. Nosferatu is the perfect name for this beer as the more you drink, becomes like lifes blood. Very wine like.

Bottom line, this is an amazing beer and perfect for the season. The perfect setting for this beer would be around a fire in a desolate cabin deep in the woods. Excellent beer from an excellent brewery.

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

Bought a case to have through October. Poured in to a snifter, nice copper red color. The smell was hoppy with a citrus malt tone. I had an aroma that was quite different but very tempting. The beer was not cloudy at all but deep in color. Just the right amount of carbonation, and you taste that this is a higher alchohol beer. Nice bitter tone. Highly reccomended. I also had it from the tap which was very good.

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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 challenja
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured On Tap at Big Hunt Dupont Circle

A: A dark amber orange with a thin lace of white cream head that sticks to the glass like melted marshmallow cum.

S: Sweet Amber with Raisin fig caramel with a candied Raspberry Puree. Awesome!

T: Nice Simoce hops, sweet caramel, bready heavy yeast with a nice candied caramel backbone. Very tasty!

M. There is a nice thickness to this ASA, with a slight creamy feel and an amazing hop backbite that lingers well beyond a normal ASA should. The back of my throat was really enjoying the lingering yeast body.

O: This is a real winner of a beer. I am a huge Imperial IPA fan but this was a really nice change of pace that will soon be repeated by buying these bad boys again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What is the best way to get rid of the Monday's???? NOSFERATU!!!! Will certainly scare away your blues!!! This beer is a amber/red clear color with very thin white head. The smell has hop and malt characters which transcends into a wonderful tasting ale. I am really starting to like hopped up red ales and lagers! The hop and malt help to balance the higher ABV of this beer. I would be in serious...I mean SERIOUS trouble if I had alot of this in my fridge! This beer is definitely worth a sample....if not a SESSION!!!!

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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 gimmehead
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy reddish copper with a frothy two finger head that coats the glass. Big floral and citric hop aroma over a subtantial malt base. A little biscuity with some marshmallow sweetness and a little alcohol kick. Taste is mostly malt dominant, caramel sweetness, with a good smattering of citric hops thrown in. Subtle fruity esters and a soft breadiness, with some alcohol in the finish. My bottle sat on the shelf awhile so the hops may have been a little subdued compared to a fresh batch. Mouthcoating full body. Hugely drinkable for such an agressive beer. I'll go out of my way to get a fresh sample.

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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 Baileyuk
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow what a beer. Appeaance is top notch with a light brown color with a sloghtly reddish tint. Head was great that retained somewhat throughout. Lacing was one of the best I have ever seen.

Smell had a sweet smell of fruit. Again one of the best smelling beers outside of an ipa's.

Taste has an upfront taste of peach. After a few sips this fades to offer a great balance of hops and malts. Again excellent.

Well carbonated beer makes it easier to drink than you would normally find with this abv. Not a session beer but mainly because you would be on the floor. I really wanted another though.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to unclejedi for this monster. Enjoyed this one while watching a Halloween themed flick. Slither, a movie that many have overlooked.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear deep chesnut with a full two finger off-white head that slowly dies down to a nice layer. Stickiness is a web of goodness, very attractive beer to look at. Smell is of earthy hop deliciousness with a sublte caramel malt background. A slight hint of evergreen nectar tingles the nose as well. Taste is a wonderful blend of malt and hop. Up front is a leaf-like autumn hop profile with some toasted barley and sweet caramel. Aftertaste is nutty wood flavor that has a tingle of grapefruit. Slick medium bobied mouthfeel with mild carbonation. Wow, this is my new Fall seasonal beer for sure. Pumpkin Ales? thanks. Marzens?...I'll pass. Oktoberfests'?, nope. Nosferatu?...More please!!! I gotta get more of this stuff before the snow starts falling.

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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 BrewMaven
4.59/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked these up at a Syacuse, NY supermarket.

Pours a deep clear bronze and is topped by a thin cap of caramel colored foam.

Smell is of sweet, ripe dark fruits. Pretty strong and appealing aroma that surprised me with my usually weak sniffer.

Taste is similar to the smell with sweetness, some spice and a little hoppiness coming in toward the semi-dry finish. Fairly full bodied and mild carbonation.

I really enjoyed being bitten by Nosferatu!!

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,599 ratings.
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