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 pumarocks
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nosferatu will bite you on the neck and damn your soul for all eternity. He will not let up. His hop bite is strong from start to finish. The color is blood red. You won't see your reflection in his thick creamy head. The smell is earthy not unlike a cold dark crypt in Transylvania. Give this creature of the night a shot next time you see him.

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Photo of sommersb
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted On: 10-20-2011
Freshness: Best by 11-15-2011
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Single from Chuck's, Bowling Green, KY

The label says this is an Imperial Red Ale.

A: Dark orange beer that is initially hazy but clears later. The head is off-white, 2 and a half fingers, with good lacing and a fair retention.

S: Big hop aromas, mostly of pine and also some citrus. Little in the way of malt aromas.

T: Taste is much like the aroma, with the hops taking center stage. Prickly citrus notes in the forefront of this very hoppy beer. Mostly dry, with some alcohol warmth. As the beer gets to room temperature, some malts are apparent in the flavors.

M: Medium amount of carbonation, with a full body. Aftertaste is primarily of the bittering hops.

O: The label says that this beer has a bite and that's why its named after a vampire. I'd have to agree that it does feature quite a bitterness bite to it. Not a favorite of mine, however.

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Photo of jcook
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This abides by German purity law, yet somehow has a slightly sprucy flavor to it (chinook hops?). Great taste and mouthfeel make it a worthwhile pour. Tends to linger pleasantly on the palate, so savoring it makes the experience better. Gotta love the label artwork.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I just came across a few notes that I made from reviews at Great Lakes Brewing Company this winter. Here we go.

Appearance: It initially was poured with a 1/2" head of off white bubbles. The bubbles stayed on top of this dark reddish beer for a few minutes and ended up as a thick lacing around the glass after it finally gave up.

Aroma: Sweet toasty malts are the key player in this beers aroma. In the background there are some citrusy American hops. There is a mild spiciness that becomes much more apparent as it warms.

Taste: Initially smacked up-side the head with some really assertive hopping that wasn't apparent in the aroma for some reason. The second sip is a little more forgiving, but still the bitterness is a big player and leads all the way into the finish. Some sweetness and a little dark cherry linger on the palate after the finish, but this is the main contribution of the malt.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. It is closer to a Barley Wine in flavor and finish than it is an Old Ale. But still, it says that it is an Old Ale. Regardless, it is a pretty good high octane beer. As far as Old Ales go, I would take numerous others over this one, but as a Barley Wine, it is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. 2010 and 2011 tasted side by side. Review is from 2011 version. Thanks to readbaron for bringing the 2010 and bauermj for the 2011.

Appearance: Nosferatu pours a translucent copper color with a light cherry tint. A very creamy cap rests gently on top with enough stubbornness to stick around for the whole glass.

Smell: Lots of sweet caramel malt in the forefront, with a light spiciness and a generous dose of hops. Grapefruit, orange, and a bit of pine are noticeable.

Taste: The flavor starts with a full caramel malt sweetness that persists throughout each sip. The flavor turns to grapefruit, orange, and apricot hops, with some spicy fine bitterness to close out the sip.

Mouthfeel: As they normally do, Great Lakes produces a beer with a great mouthfeel. It never feels overly light or heavy, and the creamy carbonation matches very well with the flavor. The beginning of the sip is sweet and sticky, and the end leaves a resiny prickle on the tongue.

Overall: This is a beer that I had been anticipating for a while, and now I feel a little bit let down. Compared to the bottle from 2011, the 2010 bottle is significantly different. Nearly no hop presence, with a cloudy color and an increased sweetness. This bottle did not blow me away either, however.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean deep amber-ish color with a light tan head. Aromas of a dry fruitiness and a hint of hops. In the taste, a dry fruitiness and a small hop bitterness, and a bit alcoholic. A watery mouthfeel and a dry hoppy aftertaste. A nice fall into winter beer. Nice hop presence and smooth, yet a small abrasiveness.

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Photo of brdc
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small bottle poured into a snifter, starts well, copper colored with a nice amber highlight, but the yellowish head is short lasting and leaves very little lacing.
Aroma is surprisingly malty in the beginning, mostly caramel, but it is quickly balanced by a grassy hoppiness. Not overly complex nose, but pleasant and well balanced.
Interestingly, it is only medium bodied, and the balance suggested by the aroma is just not here. There are some caramelized malts, but the grassy and grapefruit-like hoppiness dominates and eventually hides all maltiness.
Perhaps it is just me, but there is some balance lacking here. Still pleasant.

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Photo of BierFan
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: One finger of light tan foam from a rather hard pour. Great head retention. Rusty brown body. Great lacing.

Smell: Decently hoppy with some toffee.

Taste: Not alot of hop flavor but the bitterness is definitely present and dominates much of the flavor. Toffee and caramel as well.

Mouthfeel: Substantial feel to this one. Thick and chewy.

Drinkability: Thick mouthfeel and sweetness would stop me from consuming to many in an evening. But it's still real tasty.

American strong ale is kind of a catch all category. If I had to get more descriptive with the style I would call it an imperial amber ale.

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my new Duck-Rabbit snifter.

A. Pours a milk chocolate brown that turns very ruby (almost fake blood) red when held up to the light. A half finger of off white foamy head rises up and dissipates to small islands of foam topping.

S. Caramel with citrus and pine hops and a hazy cinnamon undertone.

T. Caramel with lots of citrus and pine alongside spicy hop flavor.

M. Medium with a medium carbonation level.

D. Not bad, but not what I expected. I went in expecting a malt bomb and ended up with a fairly hoppy strong/amber ale. A fairly good beer that I'll probably pick up again next year (knowing what to expect).

I'm also giving .5 extra points to the appearance for the concept of the beer: great Nosferatu on the label with a bloody looking beer that has biting hop flavor.

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Photo of sleuthdog
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by: 11/25/12
Poured into tulip

Appearance: A hazy gannet red looking beer with a two fingers worth of off white head. Head settles to a film on top of the beer and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Dank hops is what comes to mind first mixed with a sweet dark fruit character. I pick up on a sweetness from brown sugar?

Taste: Sweet up front with qualities of caramel and bread and quite malty. Hops come in slightly mid to late palate but ever so slightly in the form of an earthy dank character. I have to note as the beer warmed up I'm getting a nutty note in the aftertaste especially.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer with a nice amount of carbonation. Creamy and smooth and where's "the bite" described on the beers label?

Overall: Pretty good offering. Not a standout but enjoyable at the same time.

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Photo of PJSnydz
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Samuel Adams "Perfect Glass"

Appearance: Pours a very pretty red copper color, a finger and a half of head that eventually diminishes.

Smell: Smells of hops, grapefruit, with a hint of malt.

Taste: Balanced, no taste overpowers or outshines the others. Bitterness of hops is not overwhelming. Does not taste like it has 8% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Certainly carbonated, on the dry side, with lingering bitterness.

Overall: This beer was certainly enjoyable, yet the price is something to be considered being a little steep for the end result. No regrets trying this beer, it was a good experience, it just isn't something that I would seek out or wait for each Fall.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a recent BIF. 12oz bottle best before 12/09/10...

A: A deep copper / red hue which is perfectly clear. A small tan head that fades to a murky lace atop the brew. Good.

S: I get some floral earthy hops with a nice sweet malt blended in. Some nice caramel hidden in the middle. Some breadiness on the backend. Good.

T: Super bitter dry hop blended with a breadiness quickly followed. Some sweet malt in the middle with a strange metallic tinge blended in. Some faint port notes hidden in the back. Decent.

M: Medium body with a heavy carbonation. Kind of a metallic finish. Ok.

D: Once you get past the metallic taste, this is Decent.

All in all, this is an ok beer. Not perfect, but decent. I wouldn't bother trying unless you have access of want to try the GL lineup. Otherwise, many better beers in the style.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep caramel amber with a nice thick head and good lacing. Looks astonishingly similar to the homebrewed Cal Common I just had in this glass. Aroma is.. wtf.. hops.. malt.. and brett? You get a faint trace of fruity hops and some crystal malt but along with an almost overwhelming funkyness. Not really sure what to think. A little raisiny but it also smells like a sewer. Maybe the taste will clear this up. Strong on the alcohol at first with a good raisin character. Finishes very dry with a slight lingering hop bitterness and acidity from the alcohol. Maybe some honey or candy sugar in the front too. Has some Belgian qualities to it.. but to me that just mean it tastes a little like windex. Exceptionally smooth. By now the head has given way to the alcohol. I'd say this beer turned me off at first but I grew to like it quickly. An interesting and daring take on an American Strong Ale. They don't go overboard in any one direction but definition create something very definitive and unique.

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Photo of NODAK
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose has a good mix of pine hops and some sweet, caramel malt as an undercurrent.

Pours a deep red in the glass; decent head.

Taste is of pretty strong pine cone hops, resonating in an oily way along with some grapefruit. Then near the finish a somewhat sweet and caramelly malt presence comes in with a little hint of sweet biscuit, but make no mistake that the hops rule this one. They linger a while after the swallow.

Reminds me of another famous beer of this style (AB), but hoppier.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours: A realy deep chestnut color, with a ton of carbonation and everlasting head that kept me in awe.

Scent: This was verry hoppy, with maybee some fresh brown sugar and possible pine.

Taste: Nice and malty with caramel goodness,followed by a complex mix of hops,herbs,pine and with just a hint of citrus for some semblence of balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but still smooth going down.

Drinkability: This is a good all around beer with complexity but yet can still be handled by the most common of swill guzzling folk and still be enjoyed. I am realy starting to like the Great lakes Brewing Co.

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Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice brandy color with some orange-golden highlights. Smallish sandy head that fades quickly. Getting some chocolate, a bit of caramel, and some vegetal aroma that I'm not sure I like. Taste kicks you a bit, big malt flavors bookended with some herbal and floral hops. Hops linger with some herbal and piney notes. MF is a nice medium body, a bit of a dry finish, decent carbonation. Good drinkability, though I'm not sure that the taste is really what I'm looking for. Definitely more in the vein of a strong ale than an old ale. There are some really great parts of this beer, but then also some parts that I don't like so much.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 10/22/10 notes. Had on tap at the Big Hunt in DC last night.

a - Pours a nice amber color with two inches of creamy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smells of caramel malts, citrus hops, fruity malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes mostly of citrus hops and caramel malts again. Also a decent amount of alcohol in the taste and hints of fruit.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent enough red/strong ale, but nothing really stood out about it. I enjoyed the caramel malts and citrus hops, but would have liked more out of it. Would drink it again but wouldn't seek it out annd it wouldn't be my first choice.

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Photo of Holland
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear reddish copper color with one finger of just off white head. Lacing and decent layer of foam stay for the duration.

S: smells deeply of grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and bitter hops. Some malty smell. These are great smells, but there was a tiny something that was a little bit off.

T: tastes first of the citrus and pineapple, then some malt followed by pine and bitterness at the finish.

M: bitterness is brought out by the carbonation, but it has a medium body to balance it.

O: Solid beer, don't know what I paid for it but it was good. Not really my favorite ever, but decent.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

had this on-tap tonight at Bocktown

A- A nice reddish-amber body that pours with a 1 finger foamy white head. Head slowly fades to a thick collar and traces of lacing are left all the way down the glass.

S- Nose is somewhat subtle but consists primarily of grassy/herbal hops, and hints of hop bitterness and alcohol.

T- Herbal and grassy hop flavors upfront with a subtle barley backbone. A big dose of hop bitterness comes in for the finish as well as some piny hop flavor. A medium residual bitterness lingers on the palate.

M- Medium carbonation and smooth somewhat oily body.

D- This is a very hoppy, borderline DIPA strong ale. I tried it last year and could not tolerate it at all but find it pretty good and refreshing this year. Decent beer overall...if you like unearthly or that grassy/herbal hop presence over citrus then this beer is for you.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Red pour. About a finger of tan foam doesn't retain very well. Nice lacing on the glass, though.

Sweet malt and bitter hops in the aroma. Good bit of citrus and pine, to go with loads of caramel.

Flavor follows. Sweet caramel up front, followed by loads of hoppy bitterness. Lasting resinous bitterness.

Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Slick, smooth feel. Fairly easy drinker, though the finish is a bit harsh.

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Photo of atuite
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with best by date of 12/05/07.
Poured with less head then others have eluded to but the head did not completely dissipate- a copper, red color. smell is rather pleasant and there is a strong fruity scent- somewhere between grapfruit and grape as pointed out by others. taste was not as pleasant as expected. strong hops flavor but much less of the fruit suggested by the scent- the alcohol content is not well hidden- i've had worse but i've had much better,even at 9-10%. mouthfeel is average and the beer is easiy drinkable but i'd stop after a couple. wondering what it tastes like on tap . . .

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
Thanks to normyk for this one

Pours a medium shade of copper with mild red tinting. A thin beige head sits on top. The lacing is very abundant and quite sticky.

This nose is full of rich notes of butterey caramels and brown sugars. Very malty, just like I like it. Very light traces of honey, figs and raisins. A nice earthy hop presence and a good bread-like quality.

Taste follows the nose, with a bigger presence of toasted maltiness and the hops come forward quite a bit more. The finish has the most prevelant hop notes, with some resinous, sap-like, betterness which lingers for quite a while.
Personally, I don't expect an Old Ale to have this much hop presence. This is veering perilously close to American Barleywine territory.

The body is medium with a mild level of carbonation, which leaves this one too thin for it's style. No real creaminess to the smoothness here.

I'll put this on my list of beers to come back to and try again, at a later date. Right now, it's not impressing me, at all. This saddens me, because I've heard such good things about it and I love Old Ales, as a style.
I'll update this review if my next experience goes better.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Poured a reddish color wuth a foamy head that disolved later on.

smell - Malt, pine, hops.

taste - Has a malt and a pine taste with some hops are present at then end.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Not a bad beer from this company.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Mad Mex. Bartender said this was a worthwhile brew to try. Appears amberish in color with nice lacing clinging to the pint glass in ring set sequences. Smells mostly hoppy with pine, citrus, and peppery notes. Tastes mostly hoppy with a subdued malt backbone that's hidden behind this abundance of hops. Should this be an IPA? The strong ale label complexes me. Either way, it's a slow drinking hoppy beer with bitter mouthfeel and dry then sweet mouthfeel. Sees like a sipper to me.

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Photo of mchegash
3.54/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Been storing this bottle sideways for months, so not sure exactly how this will affect thing. Also, drank this while watching the movie, Nosferatu (tip: it's not a great movie)

Appearance - 3.75/5
Deep red orange brown. Fairly hazy, fair amount of particles in the beer.

Smell - 3.5/5
Pine-citrus hops, some malt smell as well

Taste - 3.5/5
Quite sweet, fairly hoppy, but not too much so. Good balance between sweet malts and hops.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Crisp, medium bodied, moderate amount of carbonation. Slightly bitter, but still easily drinkable.

Overall - 3.5/5
This is an okay brew, nothing special, nothing fantastic.

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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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