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 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 Raime
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 porter_collie
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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Photo of majorbase2
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber with a small light brown head, dissipates quickly. A little bit of light lacing around the edges. A little bit murky. Aroma is citrusy with sweet caramel malts, and a tiny bit of pine. Reminds me of a very subtle barleywine, minus the booziness. Not quite what you'd expect from a Red. Taste is a little subdued....very lightly toasted malts, with some sweet caramel. A bit of pine. As it warms, the sweet caramel comes through a bit more, and bitterness starts to linger on the tongue. This one is thin, but starts to get a sticky resinous as it warms. Pretty easy to put down for a 8%er. Overall one of the more tasty red ales you'll find.

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Photo of TooGood
3.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with minimal head, lacing is nice but short lived. Smell is muted, not picking up much of anything, some hops and sweet malt. Taste is almost an equal sweet/bitter combo but no flavor jumps out. Feel is fabulous, it coats your mouth and tongue and is velvety smooth.

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Photo of Samp01
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy amber with a medium beige head with light lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, yeast and fruity notes. Taste is a strong caramel malt and toffee flavor, yeast with a good dose of earthy hops for balance on the end. A medium body, smooth mouth feel with good carbonation. The finish is sweet caramel malt, yeast and fruity, some toffee notes and earthy hops bitterness. This brew goes down smooth considering the bitterness and alcohol. Overall a very good tasty brew.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

I really like the malt in Red IPAs. It's like a tart caramel, almost cherryish. Then toss in the West Coast
citrus hops up front, and you have a winner. This style needs its own category, and Nosferatu
is a leader in it's class...

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Photo of Bone53
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45 degrees Fahrenheit

Appearance (4.5): A beautiful amber color with a two finger tan head

Smell (4.25): Caramel malts and pine hops

Taste (4): Toasted caramel malts upfront that fades into earthy and citrus hop notes

Mouthfeel (4): Medium body and a bit lighter than the abv suggests; Bitterness is spot on.

Overall (4): Although good, there are a few other red ales i prefer. Its a little rough around the edges and could be cleaner overall. Its definitely a superb fall seasonal that beats the hell out of all the pumpkin beers

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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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