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

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Reviews: 905 | Ratings: 2,571
Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo hooked me up with this one. thanks eric!

pours a nice reddish amber colour with a big tan head. drops slowly and leaves some lace behind.

aroma is great. rich malt. bready. slightly sweet. nice hop presence. some alcohol noticeable. vinous.

taste is great. good bitterness level. resiny and slightly piney hops. bitterness is maybe a little higher than i think it should be, but it still works. nice bready malt. feels a bit flat. i thought there would be more going on in the taste. as it warms it gets a little better and the malt comes through more.

mouthfeel is good. good body, nice moderate carbonation level.

drinkability is ok. the bitterness feels a little too high. would probably be great with a little time.

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

Ahhh, Nosferatu!
I look forward to this beer's release every year and was scared I might not be able to get my grubby mitts on it this year because GL no longer distributes in Indy.

But I did, and that makes me happy.

The beer pours a dark ruby red. I'm tempted to say 'blood red' in keeping with the theme of this beer, but no, it was somewhere between garnet and ruby. Truly a breathtaking beer to behold. The head forms a small ring around the beer which lasts until the beer is finished, always an appreciated effort!

Mmmmm, it smells of intoxicating malts. A strong nutty base mixed with strong notes of caramel and toffee. The alcohol is also quite pronounced, but it seems to act as a carrier for the malt much like a parfum. There is also a noticable hop presence in the aroma, a wonderful earthy note mixed with pine that rounds off the experience.

The taste follows the smell, but better. The hops are more pronounced and balance the malt out nicely with the alcohol being present, but not cloying.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich without being cloying. The alcohol is perhaps a bit too pronounced, having a slight drying effect.

Drinkability? This beer is amazing!

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark Brownish Red, Lots of red and orange hues shining though. It poured up thick with malt and good carbonation. The head is one finger tan and leaves a mild amount of lace.

The smell is strong, you get your first sniff as the top pops off. Lots of earthy and citrus hop notes, plus big malt sweetness.

The taste follows, Man is this enjoyable. Big malt coupled with a strong hopy flavor profile. Yum Yum!

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, a nice and full body with good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good. This beer is just about excellent. among the best of it's type. Prosit MK

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Tpaliga: Poured a medium amber color ale with a small dirty white foamy head with average retention. Aroma of sweet malt with some bitter hops is interesting. Taste of sweet malt is easily shadowed by the citrus and bitter hops. Body is a bit light and lighter filtration would have been preferred. Alcohol is not dominant and well controlled. Good take on a style that I do not enjoyed particularly but that is always interesting to try.

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

12oz single, Steve's on University I believe, best by 12/1/06

somehow I have neglected to try this the last 2 falls

appearance: pours into a snifter...gorgeous clear garnet body, creamy beige head with decent lacing left behind...ruby tinted copper

smell: I was suprised to find this so hop-driven but I guess that just means I didnt know what Nosferatu was all about...strong grapefruit-citrus hop bite hits the nose with a punch, a mysteriously 'holiday' aroma pleasantly greets me, moderately spiced, sweet fruity tones, nice malt structure

taste: This is a pretty nice beer from great lakes...i love the strong hopping - potent ruby red grapefruit, nice citrus bite, dripping pine. bitterness level is rather high, a little spicy followthrough, mild alcohol presence...all in all, this is a pretty nice beer. I approve.

mouthfeel: lightly boozy, strong bitterness, active

drinkability: decent

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Gorgeous garnett hue, kicks like pomegranite seeds get. Light tan, small but creamy head rests on top of the body.

S: Toasted grains, stewed veggies, slightly blood like malt aroma and some citrus hops.

T: When someone mentions red fruit in a beer, this is the flavor they are talking about...loads of roasted malty flavors. Very bready with a pronounced biscuit nature and a hint of chocolate malt. As these malty flavors mingle, the hops blossom and begin to take shape. These are fruity hops with a quality blend of predominantly orange then grapefruit rind and lymon. Finishes with a medium bitterness and a cooked caraml quality.

M: Medium body with a hard water quality to it.

D: The bitter red ale is always a hit. Or is it a malty IPA? How ever you categorize it as, its an enjoyable beer. Not a profoundly deep beer but very nice taste.

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Photo of Vancer
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow, this one’s really bringing it with the pour and aroma. Deep mahogany oak, stickly lil’ ivory laces. Then TONs of pine and citrus, what a hop bomb smelling brew.

This baby does bite back with the hop monster kick, very crisp and sharp tasting. More of a DIPA than a strong ale, the floral pop is very omni-present. The 8% abv is well hid behind the hops.

The $10 for a 4 pack seems to be pricey, but really its on-line with the $5 bomber prices.

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

Ruby red color with a tan head that reduces to laced ring. The nose is of dark fruit, raisons, and ruby red grapefuit esters. Taste is strong citrusy floral and bitter hops, burnt caramel, and faint cranberry notes. The overwhelming hop addition creates a bitter spiciness and warm in the back palate and finish. Medium body and carbonated well for a fizzy mouth. Dry hops spice, heavy alcohol, and a little yeasty all make for a warm finish. Balanced with a sweet brown suger, oak barrel, malt character.

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label says to enjoy by 23/06?

Appearance: Certainly lives up to its name, this beer is almost blood red. Maybe a little lighter than blood, but a strong red none the less. Pours with very little head; this quickly settles into a slight coating of foam.

Smell: Almost a malty sourness, a distinct smell I have gotten in many of the cask conditioned ales I have had. In the background is floral hops and a slight sweetness.

Taste: Initially a decent bite from the CO2, followed by a hint of sourness. Finally, the hops hit, floral at first, but then with a level of bittereness.

Mouthfeel: Above average level of carbonation. I really think this beer would be better with a much lower carbonation level.

Drinkability: Hey, I'm not a college kid anymore and drinking multiple beers at 8% won't work well with getting up at 5 AM the next day, so while this is a good brew, this is not a session beer.

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Photo of mwalters
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a case to have through October. Poured in to a snifter, nice copper red color. The smell was hoppy with a citrus malt tone. I had an aroma that was quite different but very tempting. The beer was not cloudy at all but deep in color. Just the right amount of carbonation, and you taste that this is a higher alchohol beer. Nice bitter tone. Highly reccomended. I also had it from the tap which was very good.

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Photo of eze153
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have heard much hype over this beer and now I got to try a draft, needless to say I was not as thoroughly impressed as the others who hyped this beer up.

The restaurant I was in was pretty dark so it was hard to really judge the appearance of the beer, but it looked good to me. the smell was good, could def small the hops and some other spices mixed in. the taste was strong in hops, which I really don't like at all, but I'll have to say it;s much better than say an extremely hoppy beer, I could at least drink one of these again.

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Photo of Winter
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nosferatu pours a gorgeous clear copper with a thin tan head. Aroma of caramel, malt and piney hops dominate. Then there's a peach-like fruitiness to it, followed by a brown sugar scent. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and somewhat sticky. Flavor starts off with a rich malt front, followed by caramel with a slight nuttiness to it. A piney hop bitterness arrives midway and lingers into the finish. The alcohol is hidden well for being 8.0% (as listed on the bottle's label). It sort of sneaks up on you though. A bottle of Nosferatu is a good way to start... or end the night.

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sent by MABZ.... Thanks!

Pours deep red, with active light tan head. Nose is very hoppy, floral and citrusy. Enticing...

Taste is a bit harsher and acidic initially than expected, quickly turning very bitter as hops dominate this in all categories. Grapefruit is probably a good descriptor for this beer.

aftertaste remains bitter, reminds me of an english bitter.

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4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of a trade with bleeng. Thank you!

A - 1/2" yellow-beige head. Retains well at 1/4" and then a cap. Light lacing. The beer itself is a nice garnet / chestnut color with good clarity.

S - Grain bed. Fruit. Caramel. Thick malt.

T - Dark fruit ~ raisin (old ale). Brown sugar. Some chocolate. Quick citrus twang in the middle. Bitter piney finish that lingers.

M - Thin body - especially for 8% ABV. Medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability. Reminds me of an old ale or Arrogant Bastard or maybe a cross between them. Nice beer with layers of flavor and nice complexity.

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

Reddish bronze, still and deep, with a modest but densely packed sand-colored head. Rough piney and sweet citrus aromas -- ruby red grapefruit juice and some candyish malts. Big juicy pine sap juice flavor at first, with an unmistakeable alcoholic sharpness all around the palate. This yields to a surprisingly mellow grapefruit acidity and an earthy mineral twang at the finish. Slight alcohol slickness in the mouthfeel, dry tannic finish that lingers as a sticky bittersweet malt character. A very flavorful strong ale, not nearly as rough around the edges as some of its West Coast counterparts, yet still bearing many family resemblances -- just a bit more "refined," perhaps. Glad to finally have this (deservedly) highly reputed ale available in my area now. And, I might add, as good a choice as any on Halloween night!

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Photo of Grundle20
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber into a pint glass with a one finger head. There's decent lacing but little to no head retention.

Caramel malts and hops build this pretty passive smelling beer. It's pleasant just not very potent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Apricoty hops and caramel malts continue to build this beer. There's slight stings of pine in the beer too. It's pretty sweet with an almost syrupy quality. Rolls over my tongue smoothly and finishes with a slight bitterness.

For it being just over 7% this is dangerously refreshing. There's enough body here to pair with dinner and it's a pretty good beer for general drinking purposes.

Bottom Line:
Yet again another good beer from GLBC. If you've had your fill of arrogant bastard and need a slight change of pace look this one up.

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Photo of ahking
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh, what a beer here. Great flavor! Deep red color, like blood! One of the most truly red colored beers I have seen. Nicely hopped, citrus and pine flavors. Sticky hop bitterness sticks to the back of your tongue. Also, incredibly well balanced. Rich caramel maltiness, but not too heavy mouthfeel. Okay, enough typing....more drinking.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear beautiful ruby/mahogany with a thin off white head.

S - Caramel malts with piney and citrus hops. Slight sweetness with the caramel malt up front followed by bitterness. This one is perfectly balanced.

T - Citrus hops with a slight piney character followed by sweet caramel malt. The hops come back into play with a nice dry bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied with enough carbonation to create a nice creaminess.

D - One of my favorite seasonals. A truly fantastic beer.

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

This beer is colored cloudless red, with a one finger, dirty-white head. Sticky lacing clings to the sides of my imperial pint glass. The beer looks very bright when held up to sunlight.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, caramel, burnt sugar, and fruit bread. Hops are dominant upfront, however the malty sweetness is far more pronounced as the beer warms.

Tastes of bitter hops, followed by a delicate malt aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is just right. Not too light, not too heavy.

This beer is extremely quaffable. Were it not for its seasonality, this one would find itself in my regular rotation.

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Photo of Maestro
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Unbelievable. This beer is the best offering I have had from Great Lakes and I have liked everything before it. I didn't know that had this little secret waiting for me. The beer has a great malt profile that is matched with an awesome amount of fruity hops. The nose is hoppy, like a big IPA. The taste is a great balance of malts and hops. Biscuits and bread come to mind, as well as a smoky hop backbone that carries this beer above the rest; full-bodied and tasty. Drink-able.

Would you believe it if I told you my local watering hole was pouring 20oz. pints for $3. Yowzers!

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

Pours deep ruby with a healthy, durable light beige head and streaming, steady carbonation.

Aroma is all fruity hop, with a strong citrus tendency. Notes of grapefruit and almost a lemon-peel zest and pine freshness that slight toasted grain barely invades. Mouthwatering. Medium-full body, with kind of a creamy texture that's offset by potent bitterness; citrus balances with a sort of grape-and-honey sweetness as well, tending more toward grape in aroma and taste as it warms. Apple skin crispness in the finish. A little toasted character pokes through as well, along with a fairly mellow alcohol presence.

I like it. A nice Rust Belt counterpart to Arrogant Bastard, and certainly worth a taste. Has potential to mess you up pretty good if you aren't careful, and it sits on the stomach a bit, but it's easy to enjoy.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had the pleasure of sampling this a few times in the past and had a pint last night on tap, this had been sitting for a few weeks waiting to be drank here at home.Poured into a impy pint glass a nice clear copper/amber color with a tight 1/2 finger light reddish tinted head that left a nice ring as it settled,aromas of roasted nuts,dark fruit and a real noticable leafy hop presence wich I found more profound out of the bottle than on tap.Big fruity profile on the palate up front with notes of brown sugar with that leafy,piney hop presence coming thru into the finish as well a light alcohol zing.I like a good American strong ale and this is another top notch one in my book it has alot of different flavors and character going on.

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