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Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

894 Reviews

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

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: 894 | Ratings: 2,534
Photo of carln26
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep copper to amber color with a thick, rich tan colored head. A nice lace was left on the side of the chalice as the head receded into the beer. Grassy and floral hop character balanced by a little grapefruit rind all found in the aroma. Taste is surprisingly light. It has the grapefruit and the hop flower, but it is much sweeter than I expected. Toffee/caramel and a bit of fig provides the sweetness. Thin mouth feel, but still very drinkable.

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

( Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a brownish-red clear body with a very gentle carbonation and a nice smooth tan head.

S-This beer has a nice fragrant lightly toasted malt nose with some green hop spiciness. A light note of biscuit malt is also in the nose.

T- The taste is very complex with some toasted malt and biscuit malt blended with an alcohol warmth and some hop spiciness.

M-This beer has a full creamy mouthfeel with some alcohol warmth that finishes nicely.

D- This is a very interesting beer. It has a good complex flavor with spicy hops, toasted malts and a nice alcohol warmth to pull it all together.

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

Appearance: Ruddy amber with a small white head and light carbonation. Scattered spots of lacing. Very clear, with little haze or particulate matter.

Smell: Toasty and biscuity. Warm bread crusts. Nice malty backdrop, with a caramelized sugar tone. Hops seemed sharp initially, but lose force quickly.

Taste: Smooth in the mouth. Nicely hopped, with a nice mix of citrus and herbal flavors. Sweet and sticky malts fight the hops for attention in the middle, but are cast away once again in the end by a peppery alcohol kick and lemon zest and pith. Dry and citrusy in the finish, and quite drinkable.

Very interesting, and extremely enjoyable. I really enjoyed this one, and it's all thanks to cmaruschak!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the evil bottle with a vindictive clear amber brown hue topped with a despotic beige wafer thin head cap.

Dark fruit grimmace scents o cherry and malty spicy iced tea.

First swigs: Vermouth malts meet orange. Quite the tricky sipper here. Raw grain unbridled oatmeal wheatena malts front the flavor barage, backed with citrus hops. A gitty dirty little mess that is fun to sip.

Medium bodied brew complimented by a lingering non-stop aftertaste of spice wafer.

Last swigs: Seven grain waffle malt meets cherry coke. What an azz kicker. Lingering buiscuit that just won't die. Not a great beer, but a fun beer to try if the chance arises.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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

12oz best before Oct 7 05 poured into a pint.

Bright copper with an off white head that is 2 fingers plus, has good retention and leaves lots of wispy lace.

Piney hops balanced with sweet almost sugary, malt make up the nose. Alcohol barely registers. Smells a lot like an American BW.

Very citric hops upfront and throughout the ride. Orange peel with a little pine sap. Starts off piney and then changes to citrus before it turns into a dry finish. Just enough malty body to give it balance. Moderate to full mouthfeel is slightly oily. I could drink a lot of these over the course of one evening. Too bad it only comes in four packs.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

64oz. growler courtesy of AKSmokedPorter and his recent trip to Cleveland.

For the first time in a L-O-N-G time, a different serving type has just blown me away compared to a bottle. Fresh Nos on tap is such a beer. The previous times I'd had it in bottles (thanks to Blatzman, TwelveVoltMan, and PhantomVoDoo!) it was good. This....is damn near perfect.

Same clear blood-tinged ruby darkness. Hefty layer of off-white lace. All sorts of lovely rings of lace paste the sides of the glass. Aromas are swirling with hoppy fruit and citrus notes battle with a swarm of malt sweetness. Reminds me of Stone's Arrogant Bastard. Worthy praise, indeed. Flavor is off the charts. Whatever brashness I experienced with the bottle is smoothed out in the tapped form. But make no mistake, there is a TON of flavor in this beer. Up front assault of citrus and fruity hops, followed by a crescendo of sweetness of caramel, maybe a twinge of honey, and some choco-toffee notes. Ends with a smile- and burp-inducing bitterness on the palate that is not quite piercing, but certainly monstrous in size and long-lasting. Definitely smoother than the bottled version. Stupidly/laughable/amazingly/insanely/superbly/etc. drinkable. 64oz. is not enough for me. This is a "call AKSmokedPorter and drive up to Cleveland with him to get more of this" beer.

Flash...I owe you big time for this. Simply wonderful. GLBC shows yet again why they are my favorite brewery.

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

With a huge burst of hop flavor and bitterness, this Imperial Red-type of ale deviates from the malt focus to allow for a heightened celebration of the bitter cones- pushing it into an American strong ale where larger than life malts are met with equally stated hops.

This deep amber ale meets the fall season with bright clarity and garnet low lights. A formitable creamy deep ivory head caps the beer but then sucumbs to the malty and alcoholic weight while reducing to a thin sheet that skirts the surface, leaving broken rings of lace behind. A great looking beer, but wishing the head character shows more persistence.

Rich malt aromas of sun kissed barley malt, toffee, and peanut brittle are met with a balance of grasses, pine, and citrus for an overal balanced scent that's richer IPAs and American Reds but have characteristics of both.

Devilishly delicious with a very rich malt base of toffee, slightly burnt caramel, bready sweetness, and the nutty flavor of light scorched barley malt all shape the fortified malt flavors. A counterpart of hop resins follow with the growing intensity of white grapefruit, orange pith, pine and spruce, with a grassy, leafy flavor that morphs into a biting bitterness that's needed to balance the bold malts.

Medium-full in body, the malt flavors give the impression of robust nature that's probably over stating the early creaminess. When the hop flavor and bitterness take over, the beer turns toward dryness to culminate in a malty-dry finish with pronounced alcohol warmth and a linger of both hops and malt.

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

On tap at the Great Lakes Brewery's restaurant just off 25th Street in Cleveland on a hot and humid Friday afternoon. The brick sidewalk patio was filled with people drinking good beers in the sun under the tress. The beer was ordered on tap and served in a 10 oz. pedestal/goblet style glass.
The beer was very nice finger of white, foamy head that stuck to the glass as I drank the beer. The beer was a deep reddish amber color. The taste was of a hoppy bitterness with a sweetness balanced well with the alcohol. This is not a session beer, but still something to drink again and again when the mood strikes. I almost wish I had saved this one for September or October, but I'll have to make way with it July. Really a good beer, another solid brew from GLBC.

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

A highly-hopped red ale that ventures into double IPA territory. Swift tang of hops in the aroma with some mild herbal notes. Hops storm in on the first sip and take over with a slightly sweet malt barely hanging on for the ride. Finish is sharp with a heavy-handed bittering that lingers. Some citrus aromatics come to life at the end. Not quite as malty as I would have expected given the red ale chosen for the hops delivery vehicle, seemed to strain under the load. An enjoyable beer for the hops-inclined.

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

Not much changes with the bottled version of this gem. I notice that the hop profile isn't nearly as fresh and it takes on more of a hoppy barleywine characteristic here which is different than what we had from the tap. Reminds me very much of Bigfoot or Doggie Claws in terms of the hop profile, alcohol presence, and bigger body. That being said, those are some of my favorite barleywines. This is a great beer and from the tap or from the bottle, it's a winner for me!

Thanks to cmaruschak for heading up north and snagging me some bottles.

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

Pour a crystal clear reddish orange with a thin ivory head. Very lacy. Smell is rich malt and pervasive hoppiness.

Taste is also rich and malty with a generous level of bitter herbal hops. Piney. Caramel and vanilla too. Long bitterness and a light sweetness in the finish. Tasty though. A good one.

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

2005 summer edition
Hop Devil on steriods, was my first thought. Piny, IPA feel for sure; a
90 minute IPA crossed with citrus and a nice oktoberfest lager. Pretty
saturated orange red appearance. Sipper, enjoy this limited edition
while you can. Hunt this vampyre down!

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/20/04, consumed (and enjoyed!) 12/30/04. One of a four pack for about $9 bucks/4. The fourth of four consumed (for research)

Golden amber, with a puffy half-inch head, that receeded to an even, but thin, coating. Very clear.

Cruel hops, citrusy, but mostly piny. Fruity, with apples and plums.

Swirling fruits and hops, crisp and dry finish, refreshing, the cheek pucker lingers for a while after the beer is gone.

Smooth and medium bodied, this is a great sipper, pleasing and refreshing. Can't wait until next fall when it reappears.

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

Pours a nice amber color with a small cream colored head that does lace well.

Aroma is rich caramel malt with some fruity hops oranges and grape like, mix with piney hops and some candy like sweetness. Taste like aroma its malty caramel mixed with light fruitiness underneath, nice zesty carbonation. Finishes with a combination citrus and piney hops that leave a lingering bitterness behind.

Mouthfeel is medium, the feel is enhanced by the carbonation present. Drinkability is good a decent strong ale. Thanks go to merlin48 for this sample.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy reddish copper with a frothy two finger head that coats the glass. Big floral and citric hop aroma over a subtantial malt base. A little biscuity with some marshmallow sweetness and a little alcohol kick. Taste is mostly malt dominant, caramel sweetness, with a good smattering of citric hops thrown in. Subtle fruity esters and a soft breadiness, with some alcohol in the finish. My bottle sat on the shelf awhile so the hops may have been a little subdued compared to a fresh batch. Mouthcoating full body. Hugely drinkable for such an agressive beer. I'll go out of my way to get a fresh sample.

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

Appearance – This was one of the most beautiful heads that I’ve ever seen. It was an off off-white, more like a creamy not quite yellowish-white, and seemed a mile thick. It left wonderful lacing on the inside of my Chimay glass and little quarter-sized pits of foam on top of the liquid.

The beer itself was a thick, hazy orange tinted with brown. I mean, I wanted to take a picture of this thing and frame it up on my wall.

Smell – The sharp, rank malts are like a Barley Wine. They are pungent and very exciting to whiff. The sharp sweet aroma is hard core sugar, most like table and cane. There are also some serious hops in here that I missed at the smell. It’s like BW in the day time and IPA at night.

Taste – This is like a good BW but with a strong malt backbone. The sugar is pure cane now. Together this is raw, kind of winey malts with big, harsh sugars.

Mouthfeel – This ASA is medium-bodied with little sense of alcohol. It’s actually bitter in back of the tongue and has a nice, gliding feel on the cheeks.

Drinkability – This is dangerous it’s so good. That’s the fasted I’ve ever drank a Strong Ale.

Comments – Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sending me the Nosferatu. This beer “bites”.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just when I had given up hope of finding this until the next release, I find a 4 pack on my first visit to a new store.

Decants a very nice looking deep copper color with dark red tinting. A healthy looking off-white heads rises to the occasion. Impressive head retention and good sticky lacing make for an outstanding appearance. The nose is very inviting. Citrous and piney hops complement caramel and malt. Some spiciness is also kicked up in the aroma. Taste is wonderfully rich and creamy. Lots of sweet malt form a strong backbone for this 75 IBU ale. Hops hit hard with orange peel and pine, but are very well balanced by caramel and smooth malt. A little spice and some roasty character add complexity. Malt and hops duke it out til the bitter end. The finish is a little sweet, a little hoppy, and just a touch of alcohol. A big and creamy mouthfeel will make you remember this one. Finish is remarkably subtle, leading to excellent drinkability.

Yes, this beer was worth the search. I shall stock up when this is brewed again.

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

Inviting orange copper colour. Slightly hazy, but permitting vision to pass through. Nice, dense and foamy light tan plume. Lacing in sheets, then splotches, then none. A small cap of head remains throughout most of the excursion. Modest carbonation fizzles up through the murky thickness. Looks appealing.

The smell is not as pungent as I had expected. There is a caramel sweetness exhibited which stands out the most. A bit of toastiness and brown sugar flutter in here and there. A definite hop presence is notable as well, although the aforementioned malt sweetness gets top billing. Alcohol vapors are there, but not distastefully so.

The taste is bitter right off the bat. The sweet flavors rush in to counteract the bitter for mere moments before both call a truce and fade into a bittersweet symphony. This brew is an example of flavor balance that is nearly perfected. I say nearly because at odd times throughout the glass, the alcohol steps out from behind the flavor curtain to proclaim its presence and intentions. I can handle it, but I wish the delicious malt and hop harmony were not thrown into temporary dischord by the alcohol flashes that pop up intermittently. Hey, it's an 8% concoction I know, but we have to have goals for continuous improvement. Other brews have succeeded in completely veiling their alcohol contents ( some at higher abv's ) and I just wish the same for this otherwise extraordinary brew. This is delicious and satisfying nonetheless. It remains highly consumable. Superb even. I most certainly will buy again and again. And again.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served into a tulip glass, Nosferatu pours a hazy orange body with a one inch beige head. Good head retention and some island chain lacing. Lots of active carbonation on view in the glass. Aroma has toffee and caramel for the malt profile, citrusy hops with a pine accent for the hops. Hops also lend a grassy and herbal note. Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied, nicely carbonated, with a mild bite of alcohol. Taste features a bigtime malt influence of toffee and caramel. The hops are quite assertive, as well, more pine cone than citrus, with some grassiness for good measure. Some honey drenched apple and pear flavors are noted in the middle, and the malt veers toward buttered bread with toffee toward the finish. Pine resin adds a bitterness to the finish, and the aftertaste winds up smooth and evenly balanced. Alcohol is well concealed inside the assertive hops and malts. Lots going on in this one. Some barleywine and double IPA character are present. Very nicely constructed, and one that I would have again. Thanks to brewedlyhooked for the bottle.

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

Pours a light amber with an orange tint and a thin head that settles to a frothy ring. Aroma is some caramel malt with a fresh addition of fruity hops.

Taste is hoppy up front with a good malt following. Not as wildly hopped as many but strong with a faint flavor of alcohol (my bottle says 8% ABV). Resiny, piney elements but not so far as grapefruity. Start is dry but the finish is on the sweet side with more of a malty end.

Mouthfeel is clean and slightly oily, light for the style -- which I think qualifies as a barleywine. Not much to set this apart but a very good, basic balanced barleywine (which not everyone can make). This could even be an "everyday" barleywine, it is lighter and easier to drink than others in that style. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this bottle.

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Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored with a fat foamy head of off-white meringue. Aroma is a combination of sweet biscuity malt and citrusy hops, neither flavor overpowering the other. Also some sweet fruits and candy, and I do believe some alcohol rising up to the nose as well. Flavor is also well-balanced - many flavors, all a bit understated but definitely making their presence known, and all playing off and with each other very well to create a well-rounded and interesting beer. There's malt, citrusy hops with some piney accents, sweet pear, ripe apple, butterscotch, and caramel. Every sip is a great mix of all of these flavors dancing around the mouth. This one's got some power, but it's highly drinkable because of the interesting flavors.

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

pours out a copper color with a dense creamy layer of foam that slowly subsides. Smell is a balance of malty sweet caramel and citrusy hops. One of the most appealing smells ever. Taste is initally bitter, yet a massive sweetness backs it up. This stuff tastes like a pale ale on steroids with sugar dumped into it. Delicious. The hops taste slightly piney and citrusy. I wish I could try this stuff fresh as this bottle is past its prime date, I am sure the flavor and aroma are that much better out of a fresh keg. Drink this stuff on the warmer side, the flavors come out much more, especially the caramel. I am really jealous of you people who live near this brewery, it is without a doubt one of the best in the country.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cherrywood appearance. It glows. The haze is slight. The head is eggshell colored. And creamy. The lace is adequate. The aroma is sweet and malty and fruity. Hell, the taste is sweet and malty and fruity. Great fruit tones. Passion fruits. Some bready malt tones that ooze caramel from their pores. Alcohol is hidden very nicely beneath all the complexities here. The mouthfeel is like a dimestore hooker...smooth, curvy and easy. And the drinkability?? Out of this world.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Great Lakes makes the most drinkable and tasty beverages across the board out of any brewery I know. Whether they be low alcohol session brews or high alcohol sippers like this, they are the one brewery that impesses me the most in all facets of the game.

Thank you cokes for the scary looking bottle (and the contents inside).

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Photo of frank4sail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich deeper red look in the goblet with a nice off beige head on the pour. Head settles quite quickly to a persistant thickish sticky sheen. Hoppy caramel nose with strong notes. Big malt backbone with nice pine hoppy tastes upfront. This is a beer with a backbone. The brew rounded more and became sweeter (Caramel). A nice sippin' beer.

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

Appearance: Incredible bronze reddish orange color.Hazy/cloudy body. 1/2" head from initial pour, most of which dissipated quickly, but a small 1/8" or so of head remained.

Nose: Similar to an IPA. Very hoppy, subtle fruit tones.

Taste: Malty start quickly overtaken by the citrusy hops and ending with bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Big, yet still smooth. No hint that this is a 7+% ABV beer.

Pretty good. Very similar to an IPA in taste, but many subtle nuances. I'm not a big IPA person, but this was still pretty drinkable.

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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.
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