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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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908 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 908 | Ratings: 2,589
Photo of becktone
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nosferatu pours a beautiful deep ruby red color. Color can also be described as cherry colored wood. The beer is crystal clear and looks very appetizing as it sits in my glass. Initially the head pours to just a bit under two fingers, would be nice if it were just a tad bigger. As it receedes it leaves a wall of lace along the sides of the glass. I've seen better retention in other American Strong Ales. Overall nice appearance, though better head retention would be welcomed.

No doubt about it, the aroma of this beer is magnificant. I don't think that I've ever smelled a beer that had the potentcy and alluring aroma that this beer displays. To the nose crystal/caramel malts and aromas are clearly evident. In addition to that I can detect some aromatic malts, dark munich malts, and perhaps even some german wheat. Ohh this beer smells wonderful. I can't describe in words. I think that this one alone is worth buying just for the smell.

The taste of this beer is also great. Hops are a big part of this beer. They easily stand out in the taste of this beer. The hop flavor is very aggressive. In my opinion it takes the foreground in this beer's flavor profile. The wonderful aromas are behind the hops in this beer; as should be expected with an American Strong Ale-Hopheads describes Americans pretty well. However, the aroma compounds can still be detected in the flavor. Its just that the hops appear at the front of the taste. Nicely balanced.

This beer is full bodied and heavy on the palate, carbonation does not interfere with the flavor and is at a level which seems appropriate. This is a beer that I wish were offered year round. Probably one of my favorites from what Great Lakes has to offer. Will definitley be buying this one again.

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

Appearance- A dark red almost blood red. :)

Smell- Not a very strong beer in terms of aroma a light hoppy smell though

Taste- Hops from start to finish. With a piney and citrus flavor hiding in the

Mouthfeel- Was not overpowering considering the ABV.

Drinkability- Take your time and enjoy this one, it's worth it. One of my seasonal favorites.

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

A: Solid amber red in color with thin, slightly off white, almost tannish head that sticks as a thin layer. Great lacing. A nice looking brew.
S: Aromatic herbal and hop scents backed by a layer of slightly sweet malt and some extremely slight dark fruit (cherry) scents. Some grapefuirt and citrus pulp scents in there throughout.
T: Piney, herbal, slightly spicy, and big pulp flavored hops throughout. The piney and grapefruit/citrus pulp flavors are dominant up front with a nice balancing sweet malt near the middle and end. Finishes nice and bitter with hops again! Great balance. Tatse like a hybrid of an IPA, an Imperial Amber, and an APA. Great flavor profile and balance.
MF: Medium with a nice finish.
Overall: A delightful brew that was a nice surprise. Another classic from Great Lakes. Definitely get as much as possible. This one should drink nicely throughout the cold months.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The label describes this beer as "highly hopped and rich with flavor, yet remarkably balanced frin start to finish," and I agree. This red ale reminds me of Founder's Red Rye (of which, I am a big fan). It is an extremely nice balance of significant hop presence, light citrus notes, and moderate maltiness. It is a substantial (and substantially pleasant!) beer. I'm guessing I would probably not want to drink more than three at a sitting...and it's sold in a four pack, so I'm guessing I'm not alone in that opinion.

The Great Lakes Brewing website says Nosferatu is only available September-October. It seems like I really only review beers I enjoy on this site, and consequently end-up recommending everything. Nosferatu deserves a stronger endorsement than that; I'll definitely be purchasing this beer again before Halloween.

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Photo of stouty1
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Small thin creamy head laced around the rim with a sticky spider web. Transparent deep amber red in color with a clearn pour.

S: Hoppy, hoppy , hoppy! Sweet and grassy with a maly backing.

T: Sweet start with a tremendously good bitterness. Is this an IPA? More hops and bitterness than anything else, but according to the bottle, they achieved exactly what they were attempting.

M: I almost feel like I am eating the grassy hops soaked in water. If this beer wasn't so clear I would think there were leaves in there!

D: I am not sure what the ABV is on this but I am assuming it's up there. I could get tanked on these and enjoy it!

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

I had this beer on tap at the Parlour.The color was deep ruby red and clear.An off white creamy head,good retention and lacing the glass.
The aroma was complex,it was sweet,malty,caramelly,chocolatly and friuty with pine and citrus hop notes.
Taste was citrusry,grapefruity,piney,a bit grassy,a presence of alcohol.
It tasted smooth,velvet like,lively on the palate,a syrupy,cloying mouthfeel with a very nice bitter hop finish.
It was fairly drinkable for the style,well balanced,very tastey,a very enjoyable beer.Recomended drinking,would love to drink this beer again.

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

Thanks to Tyrawlings for the bottle.

Apearance: Brown-crimson body, head is small from th pour, and only leaves a little lace.

Smell: Very sweet malts in the nose, brown sugar, caramel, and a nice hint of citrus hops in the background. A little grassy, too.

Taste: Wow, that is a strong taste. Hops are up front and create a wall of flavor. Very sharp on the backside, there is also a big amount of roasted malt, caramely. A little earthy, a fine example of a free style strong ale, good experimentation.

Drinkability: I will enjoy this beer to the last drop. Sharp and strong, but good for a cold October day.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Thin off white head, clear darker red. Looks very nice.

S Some citrus mixed with grassy floral hops, big malt balance in it also, reminds me of a lighter Arrogant Bastard.

T A lighter floral Arrogant Bastard. Still has the big citrus hop taste just has grassy hops added in.
To follow the Arrogant Bastard it has the same strong bitterness and flavor bitterness.

M Medium to full body, light carbonation, smooth

D It is very good I would just prefer a Arrogant Bastard but if I didn't have that on hand all the time this would be a 2nd choice to it.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber red and clear with a small cream colored head. Aroma is a light citrus hoppiness including grapefruit and sweet oranges. A solid citrusy hop bite shows up in the taste as well along with a nice chewy maltiness and a fairly dry finish. This beer is incredibly balanced, no alcohol was evident in the aroma or taste, I felt like it was more of a strong ipa with a large malt bill. Very nice display of citrusy hops and incredibly easy to drink.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 oz bottle with a 12/1/06 best-by date. Poured a clear, reddish color. Tall head with great retention. Smells of hops, a little sweet and smoky. Tastes mainly of the hops. Not a huge fan of the aftertaste, but there's a nice balance of sweet and hoppiness. Good creaminess in the mouthfeel complements the flavors. Overall, one of my favorites from Great Lakes!

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Photo of foureyedgeek
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an incredibly clear reddish brown, and while not looking like a vampire's drink of choice, you can get the allusion. Tall off white head that recedes to a mellow topper, clinging to the sides of the glass. I'm expecting good lacing on this one too.

Smells of malty sweetness and stong hops. Fruits in there too, though I'd be hard pressed to list them.

Wow this has an interesting taste. The hops on the end of this are huge, but its balanced out nicely with the sweet, fruit-like malts on the front. For an 8%er you'd expect more of an alcohol pressence, but I think the balance hides it well enough, its there, but not going to overwhelm. This is a sipper though, for certain.

Pretty thick in the mouth, as you'd expect for the style. Certainly quite drinkable as well, but you best pace yourself with this one.

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

Oh, I like this!
Poured a nice clear, dark red with a full finger tan head that melted to a sticky lacing.
Aroma is mostly citrus hops...very clean and fresh smelling.
Taste is a wonderful balance between sweet malt and citrus peel hops going to grapefruit and back to malt....neither sweet nor bitter can take total control but rather seem to share seperate but equal time on the stage. Just a beautiful balance. Hints of dark, bittersweet chocolate keep coming in and out of the flavors. Wonderful mysterious balance.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and surprisingly not sticky at all considering how wonderfully sweet the malts taste.
Aftertaste is a nice drying citrus peel hop with just a hint or memory of the malt sweetness and the bittersweet dark chocolate.
I really like this beer...it is very balanced and very complex and very drinkable. Pity I only have one.
I now have eight...and am drinking my second of this elixer.
Still great...I love it.

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Photo of silenius
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by 11-23-06, 8% abv

Pours a clear and dark ruby color with a nice off-white head that leaves some nice lacing in the glass. Small sparse bubbles rise to the top of the glass. The name of the beer and its appearance are well-matched.

Smell is abundantly hoppy with marshmallow-y malt notes in the background.

Taste is on the hoppy side of the scale, but not all that unbalanced. I just wouldn't say that this beer is very balanced. Perhaps with some aging it will appear more balanced. Long after the initial hoppy taste is gone, the malt sticks around in the shadows.

Mouthfeel is slick at first followed by a nice dryness.

Very drinkable even at 8% abv.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a damn good beer. Much different than I was expecting, but I couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. Very good stuff.

The beer pours to a deep, yet clear amber red. Like diluted blood with a thin film of head atop.

The smell is amazing. Like a sweet, fruity red wine with a ton of american hops. Lots of grapefruity citric aroma. The taste is very similar. Very interesting. Lots of fruits, such as grapes, cherries, rasberries, and of course the whole host of citric fruits associated with the hops. Huge spicy herbal bitterness in finish, along with a strong mineral flavor. My roommate suggested it tasted like blood on his first tasting, and I could see the comparison due to the mineral finish with a sharp bitterness. It is very possible that this was the route they were trying to go with for the Nosferatu; and I, for one, think it is a very interesting route to take.

As delicious as I find this brew to be, it is hard to drink more than a few considering that it is 1.) high in alcohol 2.) has a sharp, bitter, mineral finish 3.) the blood comparison probably wouldn't go over well if I was intoxicated.

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

2006 bottling.

Beautiful clear garnet body with a 1 finger or so head that is very thick and frothy. Looks nice. Amazing aroma of sweet grapefruit and orange peel hops. A little alcohol in there also. Smells delish.

Very solid malt profile despite the aroma. Hops are dominant however. Grapefruit and a bit of orange zest, just like in the aroma. Malt tastes a little like rye. Perhaps they use some? Very very smooth and warming. Alcohol isn't present in the least. This is a world class tasting brew. Nice hop-bitter aftertaste.

Nice and carbonated but not too much. Medium-full body is perfect for this one. Very easy drinking too despite the tastebud destroying hops.

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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 kirok1999
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first bottle of the 06. Not as wild and musky as on tap. Seemed a much tamer beer.

A- Dark redish brown, moderate head that laces somewhat.

S- Nice malt notes at first, sweet toffee, dark fruit balanced by hop bitterness.

T- Much mellower than on tap. Smooth, dark, and malty. Well balanced with the hops. Sweet malt notes at first with a definite alcohol body. Hops come through in the end and leave a slight bitter aftertaste, not a bad one at all.

D- I like the tap version better, just because it's a wilder animal than the bottle. All in all this a very nice rendition of a strong ale, hearty and refreshing on a cool night.

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Photo of cproioi
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep reddish brown hue with an off white head that stuck around for a decent amount of time for they style and little carbonation present. Has a sticky malt aroma with a citrus zesty hops notes. The taste is highly hopped with the same zesty notes that where present in the smell. The midtaste was a sticky toasty hops. The body was thick with a slight alcoohol warming sensation to it. The beer was nice but would of been better as an after dinner drink on a cold night.

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Photo of malcontent
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haha! I love the name now that I see it poured; blood/ cranberry red when poured into a pint glass. Nice looking head with great lacing. Good hops smell but that takes a back seat to vanilla, blackberry, wheat, port...I need to drink this now!

Hmm, not what I was expecting but I'm very pleased/surprised. Hoppy bitterness with rye bread notes then malty sweetness & then a hop finish. Interesting, like a boxing combo almost. The sweetness isn't strictly malt-driven, however, as there are fruit tastes, cranberry or gooseberry, that give it a good tart/sweet balance.

Texture is exactly as an American Strong should be; not overly chewy but not carbonated like soda. Man, I am totally into this beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from mcallister, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a ruby red color with a short foamy off-white head that fades at a decent rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is rich with dark fruit (raspberry & plum?) and hops along with some caramelized malt.

T: Decent hops burst up front, then the balance of malt sweetness, which makes you think this beer is an IPA, but the flavor of the sweetness contains dark fruits instead of citrus. The hops bitterness returns in the after-taste along with a touch of sweetness.

M: Crisp & smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry but slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, not very filling, good kick and has the type of interesting flavor that makes it well-worth drinking for a while. I could see myself knocking back a sixer of this one with ease.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours reddish/brown (more red than brown) with a small off-white head. It smells like grapefruit, hops, and there's a peppery spicyness too, but grapefruit is the main aroma I can smell. The taste is a good mix of sweet and bitter. It starts with a hoppy bitterness and ends with a malty sweetness, and the aftertaste lingers a long time. It tastes like citrusy hops, spicy flavors, pepper, and raisins. The mouthfeel is creamy, and it goes down smooth. The ABV catches up to you after a while, but you can't really taste it much in the beer itself. Overall this is a very good beer, another great offering from Great Lakes.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Deep red pour with minimal head. Typical clear GLBC body.

S: Lots of spice and deep dark fruits. Pepper and maybe cloves? Some big sweet malt and some hops too. A lot going on here.

T: Big hop profile balanced out nicely by the huge sweet malts. Still a slight bit of spice. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

M: Maybe a bit thin for the style. My only complaint though.

D: Definently a palate-wrecker, but very smooth and tasty.

GLBC can do no wrong it seems. A nice seasonal.

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

Pours deep reddish amber. The head dissipates and lingerers only around the edges. Sents of plum, beets, grapes, mild spices, hops and hints of raisons. Taste is clean and refreshing, definitely an american ale. The fruit comes up front and then is followed by bitter hops that linger mildly, a little piney and sticky. This is a very well balance beer I normally stray from amber beer, but recently I have found a couple I like like this one. This is a great offering from Great lakes brewery.

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,589 ratings.
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