Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

915 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: 915 | Ratings: 2,603
Photo of bigman147
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Orangish/reddish hue. Pours a thin creamy tan head that fades quickly to a slight lacing. The reddish color plays up the vampire theme on the bottle.

Aroma: Sweet caramel malts. Slightly herbal hop notes with a fresh bready/yeasty character. Dark dried fruits like figs or prune (possible apricot)

Tastes: A sharp carbonation note with a good herbal hop bitterness. Reminiscent of Honkers Ale with a mild iced type character. Full bodied with slightly sweet malty finish. A touch of alcohol burn in the throat.
M: Soft and silky smooth. Moderate carbonation. Warm and Dry.

D: Very tasty combination with lots of flavor. Probably not the best beer for drinking a lot of on a hot summer day. Definitely a success in both flavor and packaging as I feel that Nosferatu has that vampire type bite with a dark side.

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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 Bones54
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it on tap at the brewery....

Appearance-dark copper color, thin lasting head.

Smell-Faint hoppy aroma.

Taste-Very rich, 8.0% abv us not overpowerig at all.

Mouthfeel-hops, hops, hops!!!

Drinkability-This ones not exactly a sipper, but you'll want to take your time and enjoy it anyway.

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Photo of tkarsies
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cool in a pint glass. First time trying this beer.

A: This is one good looking beer. Red with a cream colored head. Leaves good lacing throughout. No haze or sediment. Few tiny bubbles seen.

S: Lots of floral hops on the nose. Some malty aromas evident but not very prominent. Becomes stronger as the beer warms.

T: Taste is similar to the nose, with floral and citrus hops. The sweet malt backbone is stronger in the taste than it was in the smell. Ends with bitterness and some citrus flavor.

M: Light carbonation, sticky in the mouth. Pretty smooth mouthfeel.

D: The alcohol is not apparent in the taste but I did start to feel the effects. This has nice balance. Although the hops are the star, the malt provides a nice contrast that makes this fairly drinkable for the strength. I am excited to have the rest of a 4-pack left to drink and definitely made the right decision to pick this up.

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Photo of adrock7309
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a fresh cold bottle into a Bells tulip and was surpised by all the pale peachy colored head. Had to pour into the glass in steps.

Aroma was heavy on the malt and piney hop resin. Was picking up some vanilla and brown sugar in flavor on top of the sweetness. I also noted a bit of a metallic tinge on my tongue but not enough to make the beer unappealing.

Overall a great beer but I would prefer third coast ale over this anyday.

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Photo of gueuzer
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to snifter.

App- Reddish copper. Little head with lacy cling.

Sm- Sweet caramel and molasses. Lots of hops.

Ta- Heavy bittering hops. A bit harsh. Sweet malts tasting like caramel and toffee.

DR- Hops just don't blend well with the rest of the flavors. The alcohol is fairly well hidden though.

Will put the rest of the 6 pack in the cellar to let the hops fade a bit.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a deep brownish garnet color with a nice finger of tan head that left sticky lace on the sides of the tulip glass. The aroma was sweet caramel malt and citrus hop spiciness with a hint of rasin. The taste was sweet malts balanced nicely with citrus and piney hops. There is also a nice dark fruit flavor and canned pear profile that is present with almost a spicey oak hint. I have to say that it's well balance again, sweet and complex with sorta dry finish. Has a medium to full bodied mouthfeel and is very drinkable, the 8% ABV is well masked here. I've had this on tap and bottle and they're both very very good. Another well done, well balanced and complex beer from Great Lakes.

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Photo of therobot
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber in color, light head

S: Relatively mild smell, earthy and hoppy

T: Hoppiness throughout the taste, somewhat citrus, hoppiness lingers

M: Fairly carbonated, nice hearty substance to the beer

D:Highly drinkable, can almost finish the bottle while finishing this review.

Highly enjoyable.

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Photo of MacDomer
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear, deep ruby color with hints of brown. Minimal light tan head which quickly recedes, leaving a small band circling the glass.

S - Opens with flowery hops, some grapefruit and pineapple, a touch of caramel and sweet cherries.

T - Lots of big, falvorful hops up front, citrus mostly. Then comes some pale and caramel malts but they don't quite balance this one out. A bit of candied orange peel. Finishes dry with grapefruit hops.

M - The medium body coats the mouth. Moderate carbonation helps it flow smoothly.

D - Alcohol is very well hidden - tastes and feels like a 6% to me. I could have 3 or 4 of these in a session. Really like it!

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Photo of GreenJetta912
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great deep red amber color. half finger of head. great lacing and average retention

Nice hoppy aroma, floral and citrus. dreat carmely notes. maybe some brown sugary/molassasy shit going on. Hops however are the main event. great hop complexity in the nose.

Great smooth flavor. Drinkability is top notch. "No way this is 8%abv?!?" Great Irish red character with hints of alcohol and great balanced hoppiness. A bit of darkness rounds out the hops. Not sure of IBUs but i perceive about 60 or so (perceived can be way different from actual). A hint of American oak character whether it was aged on it or not there's a woody oak note.

Great Irish Red Ale type finish that's on the hoppy side. a little dry. Great balance throughout. Not too hoppy to taste the rest of the flavors but hoppy enough for a hop head like me

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Photo of kbanks13
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to Kaare for sending this to me as an extra in a trade.

Reviewing from notes:

Poured into a tulip with a ruddy brown body, color like rust, with a size-able frothy white head. Smelled very hoppy, mostly floral/piney hops, sweet biscuity and fruity smells. Almost like a hoppy rum cake (sounds weird, but its good, I'm not doing it justice). Taste reminds me of an American Barleywine. Sweet, but not cloying or dry, with an assertive, but not overwhelming, hop profile. Sticky, oily hops mixed with a raisin and caramel background. Not boozy though, not surprisingly, and somewhat spicy. Feels lighter than a barleywine, though still somewhat viscous. Not that highly carbonated, but not flat. I liked this brew a good deal, so much so that my notes weren't taken as well this time because I was too busy just enjoying the beer. Definitely a good thing. I will be sure to be ISO this come next fall.

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Photo of Swill5786
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish-amber with minimal head. Should have been more aggressive on the pour. Nose is primarily piney hops, some grapefruit, malt sweetness lingering in the background. Bitter from start to finish. Hoppy to the extreme with faint caramel malt. Pine and grapefruit are overt in this wet finish. Hints of an imperial IPA, but not as assertive. Mouthfeel is lightish, drinkability moderate.

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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 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 littlekidlover
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured my bottle of Nosferatu into my beer tasting wine glass. The appearence is a very interesting red. Nice off white head with decent retention and lacing. The aroma is hop forward with evidence of well rounded malt. The taste is difficult to distinguish in my memory from Great Lake's Burning River, but there is more warming alcohol. Theres some citrus hops, some smooth rounded slightly caramel malt. Nice medium body, coats the tongue with a bit of lingering bitterness. This could be a wild one, with it's high alcohol and relative easy drinkability you're gonna need a ride home.

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Photo of BasterdInABasket
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 0z. bottle poured into Duvel Tulip, Enjoy by date: 11/22/12
A- Deep amber-ruby in color, clean and vibrant, pours slightly off white one finger head
S- Rich caramel malts, hops, citrus, grapefruit, great balance in the nose
T- More of the same, great balance of citric hop bitterness and sweet maltiness, nice fruit notes, especially cherry
M- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, flavors linger on in the mouth which is great
O- Great name and great artwork. Oh yeah and a great beer as well, very impressive balance and the fruit and cherry on top of this make this a fall favorite for me

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Photo of billyzoom666
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A fast pour resulted in a big creamy head that dissipates into some nice lacing. The color is dark amber, and the carbonation is nice and even throughout the beer. The main scent is a big, strong malt with some nice fruity smell underneath. It reminded me of dried apricots. The fruit flavor explodes in your mouth and, according to my wife, is almost too much if you don't know it's coming. Personally, I thought it was a nice treat. The sweetness causes the drinkability to be a little lower then normal, but it packs a punch so you probably shouldn't sit and slam them all day anyway.

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Photo of jcnd9803
3.16/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A nice amber color, actually almost purely red. A half a finger of head.

S: Hops and caramel. Faint malts.

T: Starts with much more of a bitter taste than I was expecting. I smelled hops, but not this much. It then strangely transitions into heavy malts with a syrupy finish. Also some fruit in the end.

M: It's flavorful, I'll give it that. I really got an almost tart malt taste.

D: It's not bad, just not my favorite for the style.

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Photo of Telix
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams sensory glass.

A: Pours a nice clear reddish-brown that is a beautiful garnet when held to the light. A moderate dense, slightly beige head forms and slowly disappears.

S: The aroma is mild but is primarily malty, not very sweet at all, and some noble hop notes jump up.

T: A slightly watery initial taste quickly subsides as thicker, slightly sweet malt flavors take over. There is little to no fruitiness in Nosferatu, and it's actually kind of boring. A somewhat "fizzy" bitter taste lingers on the tongue and subsides into baking soda on the finish. It's a weird combination that doesn't seem well integrated.

M: Perfectly good to above average. It's got a nice texture and carbonation and supports the beer style well.

D: It's not super boozy or anything, but I don't enjoy it enough to want to drink it very much.

I know I'm definitely rating this beer below most people, but I just don't think it's that well-crafted. C+

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Photo of jmeyers78
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into RR snifter.

A - Pours a deep amber with a thin head that disappears quickly

S - Hops, alcohol. Roasted malts

T - Roasted malt first followed by some biting hops and finishes with a bitter bite.

M - Pretty standard for GLBC....smooth, creamy, solid

O - One of my favorites this time of year. A really solid red ale that is one of my go to beers on the weekend

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Photo of Nick_Lucas
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good tasting imperial red ale. Mildly bitter but easily tolerable. Very drinkable but most certainly best as a cool fall day brew. Alcohol packs a decent punch but isn't noticeable in the taste.

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Photo of ClearDog
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is colored cloudless red, with a one finger, dirty-white head. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of my imperial pint glass. The beer looks very bright when held up to sunlight.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, burnt sugar, and fruit bread. Hops are dominant upfront, however the malty sweetness is far more pronounced as the beer warms.

Tastes of bitter hops, followed by a delicate malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is just right. Not too light, not too heavy.

This beer is extremely quaffable. Were it not for its seasonality, this one would find itself in my regular rotation.

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3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle labeled with a best by date of 11/16/08 into my antique soda pint.

A ~ Pours a dark, clear ruby, amber color. A substantial buttery khaki colored head with perforated sticky lace dripping down the glass.
Pretty beer~

S ~ WOW! Hop forward. Hops & Fresh cut grapefruit with an underlying whiff of malt & bready grains.

T ~ Flavorful & tart with a sharp bitter front. Grapefruit pith or rind rounds out the hop finish with a malty backbone. Citrusy hops with a piney, oily resin that lingers on the lips & tongue. Strong but not at all disturbing. There's a little alcohol heat on the swallow.
*The smell and the taste were definitely more pronounced as the beer warmed. Hops are all over this beer! Front to back.

M ~ Medium body with a scrubbing, astringent carbonation and an oily, piney hop resin on the tongue. A lingering, citrusy, bitter aftertaste.

D ~ BIG BEER! with a BIG BITE. The drinkability is ONLY diminished by the ABV. Worth seeking out if you're willing to venture into the night. Make sure you bring a wooden stake & load up on silver bullets.

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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 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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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,603 ratings.
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