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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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905 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: 905 | Ratings: 2,571
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 ABV...it'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 system...to 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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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass very, very slightly hasy copper with a yellow and low lasting head which worked to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with an aged American "C" hop character and a slight alcohol aromatic. The malty aroma contained a sizeable caramel aspect along with a floral and fruity component. Also present in the background was a bready aroma.

The flavor was malty yet well bittered with a strong, very strong, caramel flavor. The hops were American and well muted, not bright or overpowering. The malt hop balance was malty at first on the palate which slowly dried into a bitter and lasting experience.

The finish was dry with a lasting resinous hop character into the aftertaste. The body was almost full and nicely done. A nice strong ale for warming the soul.

12 ounce bottle. Thanks AKSmokedPorter for the wedding present! Enjoy by Sept 23 05 on label.

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

A very good ale, a nice introduction to the stronger ale types without going overboard, gets your feet wet!

Pours a deep chestnut in color, slightly hazy with obvious carbonation and a tight head that left swirls in the glass after fizzling out. Nose is unmistakably hoppy, quite piney and slightly floral. Wafts of brown sugar as well. Taste is fairly complex, not so much as say an old ale or barleywine, but there are definate levels here of rich caramel malts, dark fruits and the bitter hop layer as well. Quite easy drinking to boot. Doesn't really inspire awe as such and one is more than enough in a sitting for me however, maybe just not particular cup o' tea, or pint of ale as it were.


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

Bright mahogany pour with a dense, thick head that retains well and leaves delicate trails of lace.

Aroma is at first malty, with hints of caramel and brown sugar. It warms up with some sweet citrus and floral notes. Traces of chocolate and coffee.

Flavor is nicely balanced between chewy malt notes and citrus and piney hops. There are some warm notes of chocolate and light coffee. Hoppier as it warms, it never gives a clue that it's 8%. It has moderate complexity and is somewhere between a brown ale and an English barleywine.

Body just shy of big with a soft and creamy mouthfeel. Awesome drinkability, I could suck these down all night.

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Photo of OldSock
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 12 oz bottle from Sam’s in Chicago. Poured into my pint glass it is a deep, clear gold/orange with a 2 finger creamy white head. In addition the retention is good and lacing is coating.

Smell – Pungent catty hops with some toasted malt and pistachio.

Taste – Spicy hops and alcohol upfront with a great sweet toasted malt backbone. The bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue for a few seconds after each sip. Well balanced, with bitter and sweet intermingling, not canceling one another out. Hints of chocolate appear every once in awhile.

Mouthfeel – A slightly slick medium-full body with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – Great strong ale, full and complex with loads of hop and malt flavor. I like a beer in this strength area, powerful enough to have a lot of flavor and complexity, but not so much as to become cumbersome to drink.

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

12oz. bottle that I found for only $1.50 a piece. Good Deal! The bottle has a cool picture of the vampire (Nosferatu) that appeared in F.W. Murnau's 1922 film "Nosferatu."

Appearance: Poured a clear reddish amber color with an small off- white head of foam that dissipated fast but left some rings around the glass.

Smell: The aroma was that of strong hops, some malt, and plenty of citrus fruits (mostly grapefruit) in the background.

Taste: Had a nice complex taste of: sweet malts, wheat, citrus fruits, that all ended with a very pleasant dry hoppy bitterness. Not too bitter that would ruin it, but very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated and medium bodied. Although it says 8% ABV, I surly didn't fell it. Is Great Lakes sure that this is 8%? :)

Drinkability: This is another must try from Great Lakes. It's too bad that this fine beer is seasonal. It's a good thing I got another one left. If you like Strong Ales, this one will not disappoint your palate. Keep up the good work Great Lakes!

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Photo of pentathlete
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bigern for including this in the "monster" package for GPBS '05. Here is one that I would love to cellar.

Pours a gorgeous red amber with a small stubborn head. Lacing, rings, islands and tiny-bubbled carbonation round out a handsome look. Smell is bread, alcohol, cherries, and zest. The taste starts with a high octane hit of malts then changes character completely to finish with a bitter hop bite. If these flavors were blended a bit more it would improve things, as I am sure will happen with age. The mouthfeel is medium with the carbonic bite preventing it from feeling full. This brew clocks in at 8% ABV which prevents it from being a simple quaff. The alcohol hit will mellow with age. This is a keeper.

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

from the hudson acme

almost exactly the same color as the goose island octoberfest i just had: reddish amber. tight head, pinky width, drops to a solid film
hearty brew, with a big malty chord. i think i get some munich in there
big hop, too, with a piney finish

great balance. very complex. aroma could have been stronger
gives arrogant bastard a run for its money, and the best brew in GLBC's arsenal that i've tasted

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

Thanks yet again to Knuckes for having this on hand for me when I was visiting seattle the other day. Brought it back to the east coast with me and now I'm trying it for the first time while watching game 5 of the ALCS.

Pours a beautiful deep dark amber. I'd mistake it for a good maertzen if I hadn't seen the bottle. Very nice head of small white bubbles eases down fluffily into a splotchy misty layer across the top. Lots of grip in the lacing leaves a perfect white coating where the head used to be.

Nose is big and complex. Nice balance of malty sweetness and hops. Spicy with some slight ripe fruit notes. I'm getting all squirmy over here - time to drink!

Malty bigness is slowly and subtly evened out by a dark hop bite after a couple seconds. It moves slowly through a range of flavors. Some spice is there, some sweetness, a deep slow bitterness. I know this is going to sound totally stupid, but this beer is really mysterious and dark. Very aptly named. I love it. Somebody turn The Cure on, please. I've all of a sudden got a craving to hear Disintegration.

Mouthfeel is smooth and soft. Feels bigger than a regular ale, and so it is.

A really remarkable beer. Complex and subtle. Just a delight to drink.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone beer glass. Clear orange color with beautiful white pillowy head (about 1/2 inch thick and lasting).

Smells very strongly of hops. But a little more animal aroma (horse?) mixed in rather than the straight hoppy smell of an IPA.

Taste is also intensely hoppy. Kind of like a (more) hopped up Arrogant Bastard in my opinion.

Very nice stuff, it makes me happy at Halloween-time.

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Photo of karst
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear copper red with a rocky 3 fingers of light tan head slowly falling with a little lingering lace. Aroma of biscuit and marmalade with caramel.
Flavors are sweet caramel malts balanced by grapefruit hops. Bitter aftertaste to dry out the sweetness. A great choice for the hop lovers. Medium body although sweet not slick and dextrinous. A little alcohol in nose and flavor as it warms

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,571 ratings.
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