Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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896 Reviews
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

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: 896 | Ratings: 2,538
Photo of mvanaskie13
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass: color is amber, transparent; head is light tan, fine and dense bubbles, head lingers and laces the glass with those fine bubbles.

Smell is nicely subdued, but as it warms become a prescursor to the great flavors - malt aroma is toast, caramel, then a lighter nutty and earthy presence; hops are earthy as well, grass and light pine.

Taste is where this beer exemplifies a great imperial amber ale: big malt presence, not overly caramel, lighter toast and more pronounced nuttiness than the aroma. Lighter chocolate and toffee like flavors present. Hops are also just touch more pronounced, nice grassiness with pine like flavors overtaking.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, but also where some of the strength starts to present: nice full tongue and cheek presence at first, then transitions to a sharpness on the tongue but also some nice lingering sweetness. They complement and seem to keep the flavor going long after finish.

Overall, this is an exceptional beer, great presentation, aroma and wonderful flavor.

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Photo of diablo14
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gorgeous deep amber color, plenty of head and lacing. Nose has elements of malt, spice and floral hops. Generous malt characters, balanced with sweetness, some fruit and spice, and piney hops that linger in the finish. Has quite a resinous feel to it.

Really nice beer that gets better as it warms.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piney and delicious. The added booz really put the Imperial in this beer. I liked the amount of hops as well. Sometimes breweries can over hop their red and amber Ales to where they are more like Red IPAS. This one was a nice balance.

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Photo of gcasher
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Massive malt backbone, sweet floral hops in the aroma and sweet and dank hops in the taste. Creamy body with a white one finger head that lingers. Fantastic imperial red ale.

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Photo of gopens44
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks good, deep red with a quickly dissipating head that leaves behind moderate lacing. Nose is rich and sweet with a sugary thing happening. Taste is similar but obviously we have a more apparent everything. Get past an odd meaty first impression, you discover under an nondescript bitterness is that sweetness, like sugar until hints of caramel rise up. Finish is a touch sweet but mostly a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of VikingBeer
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into Dark Horse tulip. Pretty, strawberry-amber color. Nice head, dissipates within a minute or two, but leaves nice, persistent lacing. The nose is piney hops, grapefruit, red-wheat bread, pepper (white and black), hint of cinnamon.

Rich, spicy, nutty malts, akin to red-headed bread per the nose, and grapefruit-rind-laden, piney hops are neck-in-neck on the first sip, followed by pepper, a hint of booze, hints of cinnamon, roasted-nut flavors chestnuts, pecans), a touch of bready yeast, a hint of coriander, and a slight mineral, flinty element that tantalizes. Finish is dry and nutty, with a lingering bitterness of grapefruit and pine, peppery spiciness, and that same hint of flinty minerality. A medium body and good carbonation level strike a nice balance between drinkability and heft. A superlative beer indeed.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.39/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Outstanding looking beer. Clear amber color, the lacing really stood out, as good as it gets. The hops jump out in the aroma but not so much in the taste which is perfect. There is the traditional amber taste with some nice sweet that is balanced very well by the hop bitter. The bitter does not linger on the tongue, very tasty. A beer I would love to have again, wish I had bought the 4 pack rather than just the single.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle good by 11/29/15 poured into a tulip glass.

A - Dark ruby red, mainly clear, with a one finger head that moves quick to a thin bubbly lace.

S - Strong hop flavor of resinous dank and grapefruit, not picking up much malt in the nose, other than hints of dark fruit and berries near the end.

T - In-ter-esting. Great balance. Some hops hit first followed by the traditional red ale flavor and some finish twang.

M - Full, but light, carbonation is a notch above medium.

O - A well made offering from GL. In the vein of Nugget Nectar and Lagunitas Imperial Red, but with its own unique hop profile.

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Photo of SaltofOH
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft. 5 oz. sample glass. Don't know what category to use in rating, so just rating on how much I liked it.

A: Dark red with I finger sandy head, streaming effervescence. Exceptional lacing.

S: Redolent with floral, vaguely citrusy hoppiness. Some toasty caramel malt, but not as sweet as I'd expect on the nose.

T: This is killer. Sweet, fruity, resinous arrival. Turns to slightly sweet and quite toasty caramel malt, then a pleasant, lingering light pine resin. Still not as sweet as I'd have expected.

M: Surprisingly mid to light bodied, crisp finishing, modest carb. In my memories this was like Nugget Nectar; but having tried that recently, this is way lighter and much cleaner finishing.

O: This really impressed me; I tried this back in 2008 and found it unpleasantly bitter and syrupy. My, how times have changed. Now it strikes me as being extremely hoppy, but very well balanced and dangerously drinkable at 8%. Will definitely buy a 4-pack.

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Photo of AC-Mivsek
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep ruby red color, off-white head about 1.5 fingers
S- Juicy hops, some pine, caramel malts, brown sugar, a bit red fruit in there, cherry or cranberry- perfect blend of hops and sweetness
T- Piney hops seem to dominate which gives it a bitterness up front, the sweetness comes in on the finish, malt breadiness like a cranberry muffin.
M- Medium body, it's not overly heavy, but it isn't a quick drink. Very slick, moderately carbonated. Provides a nice bite that Nosferatu would approve of.
O- I really like this beer. It's well balanced and unique. An easy stand-out in a category that doesn't have a huge amount of offerings.

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Photo of MUTINY
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Pours a clear, vibrant deep (dare I say blood?) red. 1" khaki head recedes quickly. Retention & lacing are kind of poor.

S: Bready malt & a subtle hop undertone. Very subtle caramel sweetness. I'm just not getting much else here.

T: Comes on with a large bready malt character balanced by some spice, cinnamon & nutmeg jump out. Mid palate is a nice balance of bittering hops & just off-sweet malty caramel tones. Finishes nicely bitter with a lingering resinous quality. Love it.

M: Just-below-moderate carb married to a slick, not too dense malty body. Rather surprisingly crisp finish.

O: Despite it's early shortcomings, this brew really delivers in terms of flavor & overall balance. I'm impressed.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L - Nice, deep burgundy with a thick, long-lasting head that leaves a nice spider-web like lace as it goes down

S - Smelled fantastic. A perfect blend of malts and rich hops with a bit of an alcoholic sting

T - Follows the nose to an absolute tee. Usually I go into a fair amount of detail on what I'm drinking but this one leaves me perplexed. A perfect roasty-ness in unison with a heavy, but not too heavy hop explosion. this is delicious.

F - Sits well with light carbonation, leaves a warming feeling as swallowed.

O - I looked over this one for year every time I used to go to my local craft beer shop. Glad I got this on tap. It is a definite favorite, and even non-craft drinking friends enjoyed it.

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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 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 captaincoffee
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful beer...probably what you expect from the name. Ruby pour with plent of sticky lace. Nose and flavor was subdued for me compared to what others describe. Malty, sure, but no big flavors hit me like the ABV would suggest. Mild sweetness and alcohol warmth. Overall good, but not special IMHO.

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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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Photo of SierraFlight
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour. Interesting clear orange/brown color with a head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma has strong caramel and biscuit notes with citrus hop as well. Sweet nutty flavors up front with earthy, resinous, and caramel elements. Palate includes creamy textures, with a little fizz and a medium body.

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Photo of biegaman
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a rich copper color with a thin head that trails the glass. The smell was a little boozy but had great smells of malt and a little bit of pine from the hops. The taste was a bit more mellow than I thought it would be considering the smell but still very nice. The taste had toasted malts with some hops, and then a bit of burn on the end. I liked it quite a lot.

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Photo of SebD
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice hazy copper/amber color to it. It has a nice thick beige head that dies down moderately and leaves lovely lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of biscuity malts, sweet caramel, toffee, bitter pine resins and some earthy hops.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some biscuity malts, sweet caramel, light toffee, some pine resins and an earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. A good hoppy Amber Ale!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber, with nice thick and tan colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong aroma of hops bitterness. There is some citrus and herb aromas as well that make for an interesting aroma.

Taste: A nice mix of citrus, hops, and herbs in the flavor, that make for an interesting and complex ale, but it is dominate with the hops. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex ale. I prefer the brewery's Eliot Ness over this ale though.

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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 scotorum
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

(Best by) 11/13/14, so a little past its prime. Bought about three weeks ago on a trip through Pennsylvania.

But why such a gross label graphic? Scary for Halloween, but unappetizing and seemingly sophomoric. Are they trying to give Stone a run for their graphics money?

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Lawson's tulip.

a: Clear ruby/copper with a finger thick tan head which receded to patchy surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild caramel malt.

t: Smooth muted caramel malt with slight fruit notes and just enough hop bite for good balance. Dry finish. High ABV super well covered.

m: Medium, very smooth, good amount of carbonation tingle.

o; An enjoyable red, probably the best of this style I have had, perhaps with more hop presence when fresh but nicely balanced now. Would buy more if GL was available in my state.

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Photo of hail_seitan
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A - A garnet colored body supports a thin off-white head that quickly dissipates into lacing along the glass.

S - Orange rind, raisins, pine, and a crisp earthiness. A spectral aroma of boozy esters waft from the glass, too.

T - A splendid blend of hops of malt. Orange rind, pine sap, toffee, and earthy spice meld together in perfect harmony. The finish is moderately dry, a tad bitter, with a hint of caramel sweetness.

M - Splendid - a fairly low carbonation pairs with moderate, slightly sticky body.

O - A autumnal favorite and a welcome reprieve from the onslaught of pumpkin beers. A brew to make Count Orlok proud.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(best by 11/15/14 - poured into a tulip pint)

L: crystal-clear, dark, fiery orange liquid... two-finger width, rocky, dimpled, creme-colored foam with a tinge of orange

S: flowery Cascade, a bit of spice in the back, fighting hard with the almost Oktoberfest-like toasty, semi-candy sweet malts... I can detect a bit of fade on the brightness of the hops, which seems to allow more of the slightly citrusy alcohol to poke through the middle

T: oooh... if I was afraid of this tasting dead - not so! - maybe half-zombie... it's almost like one of those jell-o red Belgian Noel beers, with a sort of Scottish ale woody-toasty edge, with a weeping-willow hang of hops swaying to-and-fro through the malts... those hops have a flower stem and dried orange peel like quality... not all that bad... get the feeling some spice may have existed...

F: polished smoothness in its medium, malty body... fine balance from the static tannins, dries it out a touch, though one could tell the malt bill and brewing process expertly crafted a fine, clean malty ale even without the hops

O: a nice, bold, hoppy red ale... i would love to see them ditch the Cascade in favor of a British hop, give it some character... I'll have to jump on a bottle as soon as it's released next time

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 896 ratings.
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