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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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905 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: 905 | Ratings: 2,571
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

A little fruit cake on the nose joined by minty hops, spicy malt, fresh grain. Pours brilliant garnet tinted amber under a 2” very light tan tinted finely bubbled off-white persistent foam cap that marks each drink with a fine line. Provides a rich spicy malt palate with a hint of anise, a does of bread crust and a well rounded, drying bitter finish. Creamy with a medium body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish amber color into a pint. Has a large-bubbled head, slightly creamy with good retention and sticky lacing. The strong aroma is of spicy hops, malt, and yeast, with hints of citrus and grass.

The taste consists of citrus, a flash of berry, spciy malt, bitter hops, and a bit of creamy caramel. The mouth is wonderfully complex, light and bright on the front, bitter and dry, cut with a slight creaminess, on the back, but delightfully well-balanced throughout.

I could drink this year-round in copius amounts, though it's a sesonal brew. Let it warm considerably for the bitterness to mellow a bit. Another great beer from GLBC.

The label is one of the best in beer as well, featuring Max Schreck as Count Orlaf from the film. Drinking a four-pack of the beer while watching the film would be a truly illuminating experience, I think--or at least gratifying on all sense planes.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Dilly Deli in Cincinatti. Best by Sept 23 2005 ink jet labeled on the fron label. Pours a beautiful copper/amber with a sticky layer of tan bubbles. Sticky sugary hop aroma. This same come through in the taste with a strong pine, citrus and grassy hops. They are sharp, yet smooth. The syrupy sugaryness takes over and leaves it pretty heavy medium in the mouth. I think you could drink this one all night.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a nearly clear, deep burgandy color with an off-white , 2 finger frothy head with nice lacing throughout.

Smells of slightly citrus but mostly piney hops.

Taste quite the same it smells with a strong kick. A great beer.

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Photo of EPseja
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle in a Duvel tulip at cellar temperature.

A - Deep chestnut with brick red highlights. Luscious, light sand colored head pushes up to a full two inches in height. Head is dense and creamy, settling very slowly and leaving sheets of tacky lacing behind.

S - Fresh, chilly hoppiness dripping with sticky sweet candied citrus fruits. Mellow, but pervasive maltiness forms a sturdy foundation upon which the honeyed flower aroma grows.

T - For as sweet as this ale smells, it is not plagued by sugar overkill. *whew*! Starts with a subdued caramel and fruity candy sugar maltiness which rounds out in the middle of the tongue to become just sweet enough to battle the forthcoming hoppiness. Also noticed are some over-ripened fruity musty notes that add an air of "oldness". The hops are very well integrated into the mix and present a great balance in the end. The finish is moderately dry, and the aftertaste is pleasantly bitter.

M - Carbination is just a smidge above optimal (for my tastes). Swells up to a creamy froth in the mouth after just a moment, and slides effortlessly down the gullet. Afterglow is warm and comfy.

D - Sure Arrogant Bastard may be considered the King of this style, but if that's the case, Nosferatu is the Prince. This beer is only slightly aggressive, and completely balanced with almost no trace of alcohol to throw anything off. Highly recommended!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew from JohnTravolta21 for having the halftime score winning numbers in SNF squares week 5, Thanks Sara!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear red/orange/amber color with a creamy beige head that left lots of sticky lacing.

S - citrus hops and malty sweetness with a slight hint of alcohol as it warmed.

T - balanced flavor, tasty citrus hop bitterness with a solid sweet malt backbone.

F - medium bodied with a smooth feel.

D - this is a very easy drinking strong ale, watch out for the higher abv.

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Photo of Blueribbon666
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes
Pours a reddish mahogany color into Blackout Stout pint glass with about a quarter inch of head. Smells of crisp hops and a biscuit like malts and a bit of rye like grain.
Taste/Mouthfeel; Full and hearty in the front having a crisp burst of hops that warms from the alcohol on the back end as it goes down finishing crisp and clean with a nice hop taste that almost seems like it has a bit of rye in the mix. The abv is warming and not boozy in the least. Overall, another solid offering from Great Lakes, well done would certainly recommend and get again in future seasons to come.

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Photo of The_Blodge
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A: Served from a bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a crystal clear bright red color with a one finger head. nice lacing down the glass as the head slowly dissipates into a thin film. Love the redness of this one.

S: Fruity notes with bright citrus hop character. Orange and grapefruit. Malty undertones but blend well with the bright hop character in the nose. Not picking up a lot of alcohol. Very subtle. This one will bite.

T: Bitter up front like an IPA. Pleasant hoppiness with a hearty, malty finish. Fruit notes. Delicious!

M: Big bodied beer with a chewy mouthfeel. Creamy texture. Tight carbonation. Somewhat over carbonated in my opinion.

O: One of my favorite beers this time of year. This is a dangerous beer. It will sneak up and bite you...for real.

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Photo of hrockefeller
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

4 pack of 12 oz. bottles purchased at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield. The wife "convinced" me to drive her to IKEA in Cincy in exchange for a beer run. Been waiting to try this beer for a long time, as I've had a few of GL's other offerings and have never been disappointed.

Taken out of fridge and allowed to warm somewhat, poured into tulip glass.

A: Wonderful deep bronze color, thin (1/2 inch) layer of head that leaves lacing through the whole session.

S: Heavy caramel and toffee notes, some hop aroma, alcohol is well hidden in the nose.

T: Starts off sweet, followed by a hard punch of citrus from the hops, mellows out slightly and leaves a long aftertaste of citrus/pine.

M: Excellent mouthfeel. Very silky, not too thin and slightly creamy.

D: I could drink these all night. It took approx. 1/2 hour to finish off the glass, and I had to force myself to take time to savor.

Oh, if only I had easier access to this wonderful beer. Luckily we may be making a return trip to IKEA in the next month or so. I will almost surely be stopping back into buy more of this brew. Will definitely be saving a few of these for a while.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had the opportunity to try this gem on tap at Fries Café last night.

A: Dark amber to brown body with a tasty 1 finger off-white soap sud-style head.

S: Simcoe (catpiss) hops? Hops are all over the place. They are running ramped in the streets! I never thought my mouth would water when smelling cat urine mixed with green "kind" buds, but I guess there's a first for everything.

T: Bitter, yet citrus, yet grassy hops take the front seat (YUM!) , followed by a solid base of sweet caramel and trades of other sweets.

M: Thick, chewy and assertive. This beer is not for the hop-hating or Bud Light crowd. Medium to Thick bodied (but mostly heavy!) and resinous.

D: This beer was very enjoyable to me. "Non-extreme" beers tend to bore me this time of year though... I wish I could get this in keg format all year long!

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Photo of loren01
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured amber color, 1 finger width head, good lacing
S: Very malty, biscut scent very present. Also grassy hop scent.
T: Very well balanced, nice maltiness up front with a fresh hoppiness in the back, slight alcohol taste as well.
M: A little too much carbonation
D: Very well balanced, very tasty. Would for sure get this one again if it were available in my area. Recieved this in a trade from nlmartin a long time ago, held up very well, thanks for the awesome brew!!

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Photo of sliverX
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Since I've liked every other Great Lakes brew I've purchased thought I'd try this one based off the name and the time of year. Has a strong bitter taste with hints of peach that become more prominent as the beer warms. I really need to make a better habit of checking ABV %s before I have a couple. Found the beer for its strength very easy to drink and very pleasant and am certain to look for it in the future.

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Photo of Ty1erC
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

*12 oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.*

a: this beer looks simply awesome. its color is a dark reddish-copper, and the head is thick with good retention. great lacing.

s: smells of caramel, citrus and pine.

t: the taste is mostly hops, with a complex maltiness hiding underneath. the presence of the hops grows more intense in the finish.

m: medium to full-bodied, with just enough carbonation.

d: nosferatu is exceptionally drinkable. it's a great example of my favorite style of beer. i just wish it wasn't seasonal!

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Red, dark brown. 1 inch creamy head, nice lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit, pineapple, some grapes, rye and spices. A little mix of fig and raisin.

Taste - First sip is a really nice mix of a hoppy ipa and a Belgium strong ale. Grapefruit and pine mixed with some rye, spices and a toasted light malt backbone. There is a underlying flavor of toasted malt, raisin and rye. A citric note rounds out this amazing beer.

Mouthfeel - The hops, spices and toasty malts all coat the tongue. Palate gets more pineapple, grapefruit, raisin and a nice citric blast. The aftertaste is toasty malts, pineapple, grapefruit and rye.

Drinkabilty - I love this beer, loads of flavor, lots of multiple flavors. Balanced, has a great mix of west coast ipa flavors and Belgium spices mixed with some rye and great lakes unique twist of ingredients to create a truly great beer. This has to be my favorite release by them, world class and so good to drink and enjoy for the month of September.

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Photo of sarahspat
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is a ton of fast-rising tan foam, about an inch and a half at the end of the pour. My pint glass is filled to the brim. Dissipates relatively quickly leaving considerable amounts of lacing behind. The color is a dark amber red; not cloudy.

The aroma is rich; very strong sweet caramel, toffee and cocoa attributes. Smells delicious!

The taste is very hoppy and bitter up front, with deep floral and fruit (candied pear with a bit of fresh blackberries and grapefruit) notes, mmm! This might be one of the best examples of floral hops flavor that I have ever tasted in a beer. However, delicious caramel, toffee and nutty malt flavors are not to be outdone. One thing's for sure, there is no lack of flavor in this beer; very complex flavor. The predominant flavors for me are floral and caramel, and they complement each other very well. Nosferatu should be bitter enough to satisfy any hophead. Nice creamy, chewy mouthfeel with good carbonation. The drinkability is better than most beers with this ABV. No sign of alcohol in the flavor.

This is one tasty, tasty brew. I drank one of these about a year ago without knowing what it was beforehand and I was very impressed then. It remains one of my all time favorite beers and definitely my favorite from Great Lakes, which is a fantastic brewery in general, if you ask me. I love this beer and can't wait for my next!

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Photo of brewnic
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark gold color and head retention. Aroma has a lot of hops and almost get that fresh hop smell with some malts . Really like this beer good amount of hops as well as malt so no matter what you are looking for this seems to hit the spot. Again like the other ales from GLB it has a lot of body with it. This one I'm sad that it would be hard to find at home.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a somewhat hazy, glowing orange-red color. The tall, robust head has a mild orange tint and a very dense, frothy texture. Retention is pretty impressive, and a lattice of lacing sticks to the glass attractively.

S: Some biscuity, honeyish, and caramel malt aroma is accompanied by a big load of citric hop notes. Orange zest and citrus pulp are predominant. A spicy, yeasty character is also present. I have to strain to detect any alcohol; impressive for 8% abv.

T: A primarily biscuity and honey-flavored malt profile, with some noticeable caramel as well. Citric hop flavors are vibrant and very well-rounded, with orange zest and grapefruit pith providing juicy flavor and a bold bittering bite that carries into the finish. A slight touch of alcohol lets you know that this is a big beer, in case you hadn't noticed already.

M: A full, creamy, chewy mouthfeel here. Carbonation is ideal, providing a pleasant perkiness to what is otherwise a very robust beer. A resiny, hoppy dry finish makes itself comfortable as the beer lingers on the palate. Very impressive.

D: This is a wonderful beer from Great Lakes. Beautiful to look at, beautiful to drink, and worth seeking out. I'm equal parts impressed and surprised that the hops are still so fresh and robust after a few months. If you didn't catch it this year, be sure to pick it up the next time around.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every year at this time this special seasonal treat comes around. As the name implies, there is plenty of bite here. Also a stale blood color!

This is the boldest Great Lakes ale I've had. Biting hops go along with the perfect aroma (and help create it) and the perfect color, and perfect smell. You get the idea. This is a craft brew in every aspect.

I love the comment on the label about vampires being green - they live without lights, conserving energy (the Great Lakes folks are real tree-huggers).

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Photo of evanackerman
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I was pretty excited to try something i've never had from Great Lakes.

Nosferatu pours a deep ruby with a huge beige head and leaves thick lacing.

aroma is a huge blast of citrusy hops followed by intesne malt sweetness.

taste is remarkable, a very well-balanced brew. There is an abundance of citrusy and bitter hops followed by a substantial sweet malt backbone. very well done!

mouthfeel is full bodied with a hint of astringency from the alcohol.

drinkability is pretty high despite the 8% ABV.

overall, another winner from Great Lakes, God I love this brewery!

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Photo of malty
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best before Nov. 30 '06. Been in my fridge for the past 4 months, so it's fine. Served at 55F.

Pours a brilliantly clear russet orange with a 1/2" loose light tan colored head. Sparse visible carbonation. Perfect rings of thick lace all the way down.

Fruity notes of pears and apples with a faint cinnamon-like spiciness. The hops are cutting through the caramel malt scents with a brightness and rawness, which is making me salivate.

Ahhh, the rindy grapefruit flavors from the hops are met with a lightly toasted sweetness form the malts and dance beautifully together. The spiciness I smelled a couple minutes ago transfers well into the flavors, giving-off a very muted but still perceived taste of cayenne pepper (the flavor, not the heat). The lingering dryness of this ale is stunning. After my last swallow (3-4 minutes ago) my tongue is still tingling from the hops and the spiciness is right there with it - quite interesting and lovely.

Mouthfeel is like a goose down feather blanket, oh so soft and fluffy. Ultra fine carbonation is that of a fine Trappist - seriously. Medium bodied with a long dry and spicy finish (as stated above).

Drinkability is through the roof. No wonder I travel annually to get this stuff fresh from the tap.

Overall a spectacular ale. The spicy grittiness reminds me of awesome Rye IPAs (RIPA) I've tried. Take everything I stated above as gospel for this great beer. Truly unique, bold and friendly for having such a creepy lore and label. Hats-off again to GLBC!

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Photo of MilkMan126
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I like the bottle graphic. It sets the mood for what's to come.
Taste: GLB hops to start, burnt bread and nutty malt following. Tastes grainy. Some sweetness. Taste dark fruit and maybe a fall spice. Hops continue with an herbal twinge. Much of this is present in the aroma. Mouth feel is dark with robust structure. Medium body.

I am a huge fan of this beer. It's balanced with a unique complexity. It really represents what makes GLBC such a solid choice.

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Photo of Risser09
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep brown color with orange highlights and an off white head. there is plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass. No apparent carboantion fromt he bottom of the glass.
Smell: Whoa hops. i let this beer warm to close to room temperature before even smelling it. Grapefruit and orange peel are dominant.
Taste: Built on hops, this beer is much like a double IPA. I hope that is what the brewer is intending. Not much of an American Strong Ale to me. Grapefruit is way out in front, followed by cherry and pine is picking up the rear. complex and strong.
Mouthfeel: Bitter with hops and grapefruit feel. Medium body and an alcohol burn in the end. Creamy and smoothe.
Drinkability: Awesome for a beer of this strength. seek it out and you won't be disappointed. cheers!

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Photo of NitroGen
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from DaveLikesAle who pulled this one from his cellar in another lopsided trade.
Thank you Dave!

P:12 oz. bottle 2007 batch

A: Pours into a Sam Adams glass a crystal clear reddish amber with a ½ inch of intense light brown foam that slowly lowers to a scantcover and ring with lots of carbonation rising from the bottom. Minimal lacing while drinking.

S: Crisp dry earthy grains, piney hops, sweet toffee and malt balls with a backdrop of alcohol. 8.0% ABV.

T: Deep and full bodied sweetness of a myriad of roasted grains explodes in the mouth then quickly overtaken with extremely dry and earthy hops without any discernable citrus 'type' ...just really dry.

M: The high amount of carbonation really helps to fill the entire mouth with the flavors. Really enjoyable to taste as I find it to be a taste 'shifter' that continually changes from start to finish. Although it is 8% ABV it is really well hidden as the alcohol is in the background of each taste but does not come close to being overpowering or inhibiting in the taste.

D: Extremely enjoyable one to drink very slowly, as it deserves to be savored and appreciated as it warms in the glass.
I would recommend highly to anyone who wants a great tasting experience of a really well crafted beer.

Thank you again Dave!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hemorrhagic orange-bronze beneath a dense cap of pale orangish caramel; a wonderfully complimentary color scheme. The richly creamy cap oozes quality and should hang around for quite a while. I'm a little disappointed at the relative lack of lace, but given the ABV, I guess it isn't fair to expect a dazzling display. In the end, there are small, thick sheets sporting intermittent puncture marks.

The nose is deep and powerful with a bewitching mixture of heavily caramelized malt and citric hops. It smells like fermented orchard fruit drizzled with caramel sauce and flecked with shredded hop cones. Amazingly, there's no hint of alcohol.

Nosferatu tastes quite a bit like a DIPA (in the same vein at least). The rock solid malt backbone is colossally caramel-like, but not to the extent that it overwhelms the hops. I'd like to see at least a 50% increase in hops, but that's just me. The flavor profile, in addition to caramel, consists of apricots macerated in brandy, candied grapefruit flesh and Curacao. Although alcohol isn't quite as well-masked on the palate, it gives the beer a power and a presence that it wouldn't otherwise possess.

The finish is a long, lingering affair that showcases citric hops; wonderfully hoppy burps are an added bonus. I'm overjoyed to see that the body/mouthfeel is typical Great Lakes; that is, full, chewy and velvety smooth. Stealth carbonation lightens what could have been a syrupy feel and turns each mouthful into pure drinking pleasure.

Nosferatu isn't much of a vampire since it definitely doesn't bite; nor does it suck. It is bloody good beer though. Okay I'm done. It has been my fervent hope that Great Lakes would eventually bless the faithful (of which I am unabashedly, unashamedly, one) with a highly hopped IPA or DIPA. This isn't quite what I had in mind, but it is a worthy substitute until they brew the real thing. Year-round please.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've gotten so bored with the Satan-themed beers, that it's a warm welcome to find a good, old-fashioned vampire-inspired ale! Here's to more in the future...Bela Lugosi's Red, anyone? But, on with the brew...
A hue as hot as Hades, full and fierce crimson, shadily hazy, with numerous floatillas, under a respectable raft of creamy beige-toned foam.
Yeast starts the nose, malt is next, and we feel like we're basking in new-baked cookies, at first, then...then a soft, citrus scent comes in, light spice, banana cream pie whispers in, zesty, alert, and lively...just-so delicious!
Jet-fueled entry on the palate, a blazingly friendly touchdown on the tongue, hoppy, and happy, bursting with an urgent appeal of flavor, bold, bright, and potent. Dark fruits are first in the taste, bread, biscuits, light citric zest, and a blast of spice on the side...this is all perceived in the flavor, but I don't mean to imply it is contained in the recipe. Yum, I keep on thinking, as the mouthfeel gets thicker, the finish near impenetrable, and my admiration grows. This is an upstanding nightcap here, a cool, mellow, but undeniably big ol' beast in the mouth...the kind of ale that clubs as it caresses...a cool thing to do. I'd be happy with a case of this, to tide the winter-time away!
Until that happens, so much thanks to cokes for the bottle!

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,571 ratings.
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