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 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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Photo of Osiris9588
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish amber color into a pint. Has a large-bubbled head, slightly creamy with good retention and sticky lacing. The strong aroma is of spicy hops, malt, and yeast, with hints of citrus and grass.

The taste consists of citrus, a flash of berry, spciy malt, bitter hops, and a bit of creamy caramel. The mouth is wonderfully complex, light and bright on the front, bitter and dry, cut with a slight creaminess, on the back, but delightfully well-balanced throughout.

I could drink this year-round in copius amounts, though it's a sesonal brew. Let it warm considerably for the bitterness to mellow a bit. Another great beer from GLBC.

The label is one of the best in beer as well, featuring Max Schreck as Count Orlaf from the film. Drinking a four-pack of the beer while watching the film would be a truly illuminating experience, I think--or at least gratifying on all sense planes.

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Photo of Raymond69
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz best before nov23 2006.

Redish color , decent head. Not bottle conditioned.

Smell is slightly citrusy.

Taste is hoppy with a good balance , malty sweet finish.

Mouthfeel is a little heavy, good carbonation.

Drinkabitly of this beer is very good considering the ABV.

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

Deep mahogany/amber. Great Lakes lists it as a Red Ale. Does show red bricking hues. Poured hard with a tan/off white head that was pretty small. Some very thin lace remains.

Piney hops hit the nose first but it's quickly overwhelmed with thick chewy toffee malt aromas. Fig and some dried berries also show through.

What balance and complexity this beer projects. Very bold and masculine brew. Thick toffee malt, the malt is in layers engulf the tongue for over 50 seconds on the finish. But on that finish is a large amount of impeccably balanced pine hops and thick fig fruit paste. Very good and drinkable. Mouthfeel is thick and entrenching and leaves a coat of hop resin and malt on your tongue for maybe the longest finish I've ever witnessed in a beer.

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

A - Deep crystal clear amber/copper color with a nice tan head that leaves a lot of lace.

S - It has a lot of deep piney and citrusy hop aromaas going on. There is a also a background of.... some what a cinnamony caramelish malt flavor. I recently found some strong fruity-like aromas, such as some plum and/or raisin. Also has sort of an oaky aroma

T - A deep, slightly oak tinged heavy toasted malt flavor. All of this is encompased by strong flavors of hops. Those fruit aromas kind of transfer over. THe plum like character is very nice. Very sweet.

M - The first initial hit of the tounge brings the carbination bite, but is muffed out by the heavy mouthfeel of this monster. The alcohol warms the mouth and coats it, but then ends dry.

D - For this style, I believe it to be top notch. Just be carefull of the'll creep up and bite you. (note: the biting comment was not intended to be a bad vampire joke)

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Photo of weeare138
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this.
Freshness date of 9/23/05 but aged and enjoyed on 6/6/06...
Appears a copper toned amber with a frothy off white head that slowly dies down into a mild cap and collar. Tons of chunky streaks of lacing are all over the glass. Mild streams of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of biscuits and caramel up front with a sugar cookie yeastiness followed by pine and sugar filled grapefruit hops.
Taste is of the same aromas with a nice sugary malt & piney blend the comes together nicely.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, very chewy, with palate bouncing, lip smacking sugary hops that lead to a bitter but sugary, semi-dry finish.
Reminds me a little bit of Legacy's Hedonism for some reason but more balanced and a bit more drinkable.

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Photo of SethB2
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish cloudy color with a small head and a huge amount of lacing. Smell is of grapefruit and piney hops, followed by a coying sweetness and a whiff of toasted malts. Taste is very good. Starts out like an IPA but the malt profile is full and outstanding. It starts out bitter then moves into a sticky sweet burnt maltiness, and finishes out with more hops and a dry mouthfeel. Full bodied and thick, almost syrupy which really works well for this beer. Drinkability is also good

Very well crafted brew.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am sampling a room temp bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a bright clear amber color with a fluffy eggshell white head of 3 cm foaming up very easily.
Aroma is piney hops and some caramel and I get a bit of brown sugar. I get a bit of soap and I only use hot water on my beer glasses. This draws back on the nose a bit. The head fades slowly to a sturdy surface layer leaving tight lattice as it recedes
First sip reveals a smooth, silky, yet slightly oily texture. Carbonation is mild and rolling across my palate.
Flavor starts with a bit of piney hops and a bit of general bite, but rolls to some caramel and brown sugar. This seems a bit reversed in flavor flow, with most brews starting sweet and lingering hops, but it works in this beer. The brown sugar hangs out for a bit and even is a little roasty and then fades. There is no hint of alcohol anywhere and the brew slides down very easily.
This is a very drinkable beer and the 8.0% could easily sneak up on you if you werent careful.
Give it a shot for sure, if it was available in CT I would buy it regularly.

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

appearance: The pour produces a .5", slightly off white head that is somewhat slow to recede, and never completely does. The beer is a slightly hazy burnished copper color.

smell: There seems to be a little more balance on the nose than on the tongue. The floral Northwest hop aroma blends very well with the caramel malt smell. Hints of candied light fruits, light spice, and baked sweets are found. Moderate ethanol aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, yet seems lower at first due to the smooth nature of the tiny bubbles. The body is on the thinner end of the heavy range.

taste: Fresh, green hops upfront on the tongue...definately of the PacNW variety. Behind that is a moderate caramel malt sweetness, and the sweet fruity hints usually associated. A considerable bitterness in the finish builds as I sip. Good tasting strong ale, just nothing special about it to push the score above 4.0.

drinkability: Easily drinkable. The alcohol is well hidden on the tongue, but shows itself some on the nose.

Received in BCG-BiF from Zorro, and cellared for a few months since then. A best by date of September 23, 2005 is printed on the label.

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

Poured from a12oz. bottle into an oversized wine glass.
Freshness date Oct. 7, 2005. Label states 8%abv.
Found this one in the back of the fridge. Its been in there awhile, so lets see how it tastes.

Glowing golden copper color, crystal clear, with a small white, fluffy head. A little bit of lacing. Smells of citrusy fruits, hops and malts. Another brew that reminds me of bitter tea, quite tasty. Some citrus flavors up front, semi sweet, and then finishes with some big hop flavor and bitterness. Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy with lots of carbonation. A nice treat from Great Lakes and looking foward to their next release of Nosferatu.

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Photo of DrJay
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber, honey colour with a dark cream, almost yellow head. Good retention and some lacing resulted while emptying my glass. Great hop aroma - powdery, resinous, citrus. Also light breadiness and caramel in the nose. Solid malt flavour with caramel balancing a moderate to strong bitterness and a bit of orange hop flavour. The finish has a mild alcohol warmth as well. Creamy texture and medium bodied, the carbonation was a little on the low side. A highly drinkable beer and another strong offering from Great Lakes.

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

Pours with a slight haze, red/orange in colour, big loose off white head forms, good retention and nice lace rings around the glass. Smell is caramel and dates up front, very malty, but chocolate and citrus/floral makes it way into the nose. Taste is very sweet and malty up front, but with a clean caramel and citrus middle, floral and raisins, little vanilla in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Amazingly balanced, doesn't give away its 8% and 75 IBU status. Fantastic example of an American stock ale, thanks DrJay!!

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

honeyish colour, lots of light lace. Medium to full mouthfeel, hoppy and scotchy and honey aroma. Rich bitterness, citrussy,lace cushioning tongue. Carmel for some balance. Very drinkable. Very good old ale. Variety of hops UK and American in here. Thanks Doc Jay.

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

12oz. bottle compliments of kmpitz2.

Pours a rather clear deep copper color with a thin but creamy white head. Thick lacing on the glass.

Mild aroma of sweet malt and piney hops.

Taste is sweet and malty upfront followed by a solid flavor of piney hops with a slight bitter bite. Finishes with a mesh of sweet malt and hops and a slight alcohol aftertaste.

Decent body, mild carbonation.

Decent drinkability, another solid brew from Great Lakes.

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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 whartontallboy
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one into my Delirium Tremens glass, slightly-cloudy orange with an enormous tightly-packed head of little bubbles that slides back into a generous coating of lace. Very nice.

Smell is piney hops and citric hops, but very little malt. If there's malt in the scent, my nose isn't working.

Flavor is also quite hoppy, with a real citric bitterness beating on the tongue, but the malt comes through much more clearly in the mouth, with a clear sweetness backing the hops nicely. Alcohol is present and warming, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the hoppiness, in my opinion.

Overall: An interesting Frankenstein of some barleywine and DIPA characteristics, not somethign you'd want to have more than one of.

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

Last sample plucked from my cellar. This one dates back to early 2004.

GLBC has been known to be rather ridiculously over-cautious with their labeling their credit. Whenever you get a GLBC beer you know that it will be up to snuff. I'm curious as to how much research they've done with their own beers to determine the relative merits of aging them. They leave it up to us, I suppose.

Comes out as perfect in appearance as before: foreboding burgundish near-red with snowflakes attached to the snow-globe of the glass.

The nose of this beer instantly conjures to mind 'well-aged Bigfoot'. All of the booziness I mentioned in my prior review has deteriorated, but how has the hop quality. Slightly vanilla-inclined aged hoppiness that has a distinctly 'old' quality to it, even in its relative middle-age. Interesting insane sweetness - gummi bears. Cherry cordial. Fruity licquers. Stands up, though.

What was already seemingly well-integrated and low on the IBU meter has sunk into a butter/velvet/silk ghost that you hear glugging in the glass, watch sliding into your mouth, but cannot grasp. This beer has become a ghost that slinks away into the night. Fruity, velvet malt sweetness with almost no hops is a little much, but still insanely good. Just too drinkable.

So far in the cellar draining experiment I have come to determine:

Nosferatu: clearly better fresh, but has an interesting lightness of being after a few years that might entice the less intense beer drinker. Some of these aged B-Wines/Old Ales become like insanely sweet milk chocolate after a few years.

6000: Totally best fresh...but still impressive after a few years. Amazing that it could change from a hop-head's beer to a malt-heads beer in just a few years.

OG '04: Served best by a year's aging, but i'm in love with 2 years aging too.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass. The date on the bottle is 9/23/05.

Appearance: The beer pours a very nice ruby to deep copper coloration. The head is massive almost two inches white and fluffy. The beer leaves crazy amounts of lacing down the glass.

Smell: The beer has a massive amount of malty sweetness on the intial smell. There is a very big hoppy grassy, woody character in the smell.

Taste: The beer leads with hoppy grassy, woodyness. Then the beer goes sweetly malty caramel. Then finishes as a combination of sweet and hoppy.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a slick oil texture to the mouth. The beer is light bodied.

Drinkability: This beer is a very well balanced malty hoppy beer. Very easy to drink. Oh Yeah!

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

Bottle Inspection: In keeping with the Bavarian Purity Law, 8% abv., recommended serving temp of 45 degrees, and a for freshest taste enjoy by SEP 26/05 (sampled DEC 13/05). Now THAT’S a label. Standard 12 oz brown bottle.

Aroma: Great stuff going on here. Nice firm blend of hop smells. I get a stout-like Northern brewer smell mixed with some grassy citric hops. Malt smells sugar sweet in a nice counter balance.

Appearance: A perfect amber color with both red and yellow edges. Cap is a creamy white and lace is a given. Tide marks note the passing of every eager sip.

Flavor: Stock ale is right! It gives Arrogant Bastard a run for the money! Hops are monstrous and jump right at you, but then the head smack of sticky malt backs them and drives them home, letting them soak into your chops and linger on the palate for about a day. Balanced, but between an elephant and a Mack truck! Very intense
As the beer warmed, the hops really started to take over. The IBU’s have to be off the chart (ok, just 75, but I really experienced an acidic hop bath).

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light body, really a light medium, given the hard core flavor. Texture is slick and oily, and the hops are a bit acidic.

Overall Impression: Wow; it’s got bite alright. All in all, it’s almost too much. Drinkability has to take a hit, there is no way I could drink more than one in a sitting, and it’s the type of beer that once you have one, there’s no forgetting. The oily feel and massive hops are starting to wear me down a bit as well. This is an all out attack of a beer. The brewer has my respect, but I feel like I’ve punched my ticket and won’t be taking another ride soon. Still, happy for the ride.
Many thanks to Rick and Betty for bringing this monster back to Texas with them.

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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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