Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
902 Reviews
Great Lakes NosferatuGreat Lakes Nosferatu
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
902
Ratings:
2,556
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
17.69%
 
 
Wants:
274
Gots:
406
For Trade:
7
User Reviews
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Reviews: 902 | Ratings: 2,556
Photo of Karnivool1
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a fantastic brew. Best amber beer out there, it's a tad on the sweet side, but it still has slight hop bitterness. Thick, dark red, and highly drinkable. I thought Chillwave was GL best brew, but this might be it.

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Photo of hman43
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours dark amber with a white head. It has aromas of floral hops, roasted malts, some pine, and citrus fruits. It has a pleasant mixture of floral hops and smoky malt elements with a moderate bitter kick on the palate.

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Photo of musicsherlock
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice creamy, thick tan head a top a red-brown elixir. A good mix of bready malts and earthy hops in the nose. Similar taste with sweet bread up front and bitterness in back. Good amount of carbonation, good for me as I like the lager mouthful but possibly not creamy enough for an ale. Overall very good, will revisit.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

pours a red/brown with a solid white head. it is neither red nor brown, a nice mixture of both.

smells like earthy pine some sweetness to it.

tastes like a standard double but has a nice alcohol warmth to it. very full tasting beer. it is definitely a red ale, that is for sure. has a nice full taste, good hop notes as well.

goes down smooth, a very good beer. this beer is not perfect but it is damn solid. a nice seasonal offering for sure. glad i picked up 2 4-packs. Very creamy for a red ale, it's a nice addition to this kind of beer.

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Photo of slusk
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear red with little head

S: Balance of piney hop with a bit of brown sugar and cherry.

T: Bitter bite up front balanced with sweet, bready malt. A bit of oak and dark cherry with some earthy pine. A bit boozy. Finishes semi dry.

F: Medium body, low carbonation somewhat chewy.

O: A very nice warmer. The bitterness balances the big malt profile creating a nice warmer. Well done brew.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice fluffy lightly reddish head that takes awhile to dissipate. The beer itself is a very attractive clear blood red. There really is no other way to describe and it's good to see that Great Lakes decided to go all the way with the vampire theme.

The smell and taste are good even if they are a little subdued (Although, the taste has much more stronger notes than the smell). The hop notes seem to be of a few varieties: earthy, a tiny bit of pine and some grass. However, the hops are buried heavily beneath a very sweet malt note. The malt note has notes of caramel and a tiny bit of toffee. The taste in particular also happens to have a creamy vanilla note to it.

The feel is a bit heavy bodied and is very smooth. It definitely felt nice and different from any other Imperial Red Ale.

Overall, a pretty good and very different amber ale.

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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.

 415 characters

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
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft. 5 oz. sample glass. [re: review, bottle best by 11/06/16 DFH tulip.] 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. [not as carbonated, lacing is good, not great].

S: Redolent with floral, vaguely citrusy hoppiness. Some toasty caramel malt, but not as sweet as I'd expect on the nose. [from the bottle, not getting citrus at all. A plummy, dried fruit maltiness. Kind of like Lagunitas Brown Shugga; kind of like that municipal IPA.

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. [Easy drinking strong ale. Slightly fruity full on malt assault on the arrival; quite sweet to start; slight citrus becomes evident in the middle, with sweetness disappearing, and ending on a surprisingly clean and lighter bitterness than you might expect. a touch of alcohol. Certainly less bitter or medicinal/Resiny than Brown Shugga.]

M: Surprisingly mid [to full bodied, lighter than you'd expect;] 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. [still very true; similar to Seventh Son Am. Strong Ale, too, but that is fruitier and more tropical.]

O: This really impressed me; I tried this back in 2008 and found it unpleasantly bitter and syrupy. My, how times have changed. [I think 2015 was better than 2016, but this is decent]. Now it strikes me as being extremely hoppy, but very well balanced and dangerously drinkable at 8% [8.8%]. Will definitely buy a 4-pack. [well, I didn't, and glad I didn't. It's good, but not great.]

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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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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,556 ratings.
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