Great Lakes Nosferatu | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

913 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: 913 | Ratings: 2,600
Photo of aforbes10
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle picked up at Capone's in PA. Haven't had this in a while since Great Lakes stopped distribution into Indiana. Pours beautifully crimson and clear with a white head and super sticky lacing. Sweet robitussin, hop and caramel/sugar odor. Taste is very bitter and hoppy. Some sweet demerera and alcohol. Tastes, IMO, very much like Arrogant Bastard. Hoppiness lingers. Extremely syrupy and full bodied. A nice big bold hopped up ale. Get it if you see it.

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

Dark Amber beer with soft fluffy off white head. Nose of hops that is pretty intense upon the first whiffs.

Pleasantly hoppy with a malt back bone. Interesting Strong Ale. I was surprised how the malty complexity was nicely balanced and often overpowered by the hops.

A great beer to drink while watching and Evening with Kevin Smith.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.69/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is all over the place for a red ale. The aroma is fruity and grainy, like that of freshly cut wheat or barley. Appearance is a brownish red color, clear and filtered, with a minimal amount of off-white/dark cream colored head.

The taste hardly masks the 8% ABV and alcohol notes pull through as it warms. Not a detriment to the ale, but other flavors (malt and vanilla?) seem to be overpowered. Hops is big on the palate and finishes through strong as well. Like the vampire on the bottle cover, it has a HUGE hops bite, yet it is appealingly dry and smooth. A bit too dry perhaps? For me, yes, which takes away from its drinkability. I can't imagine going through more than one bottle.

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Photo of Cresant
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a nonic. Bottled in November 2006. Body was a clear, dark amber color with one finger of head.

Smell was rich sweet malts with a secondary hops presentation.

Taste was of grainy bread. Pleasantly hoppy. Caramel malts. Very drinkable and not cloying as some sweeter/malty beers are for me.

Mouthfeel was smooth and medium bodied.

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

This beer poured red amber, a real nice color. Small but nice head that fell as I wrote this, real nice cascading lace

Smells of hops and sweet bready malts, not increadilby strong though

Tastes nice green and medicinal hops hit 1st. sweet malts hit next, they are almost like a sweet grain bread, you know the kind with the little sunflower sedds in it. There is also some carmel malt in there. This beer gets better and more comlex as it warms. There is a big bitter hop finish

Creamy medium body, carbonation is spot on and doesn't run the creamy texture

Drinkability could get dangerous given that the 8% is well hidden by the depth of flavor.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves a one finger tan head with excellent retention and excellent lacing. Body is a clear deep copper. Looks great.

Smell -malt bread, figs, and spicy hops. Hint of alcohol.

Taste - piney and spicy hops washing over plums, figs, and malt bread, with spicy alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel - full and slick, yet somewhat semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale, but the high abv holds down sessionability.

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

Appearance- The best red garnet/ruby ue I've seen in a red ale. It became quickly apparent that this beer was brewed to look a lot loike blood. This is a mystifying color red for a beer. Ver ligt bubbles and a small head recedes to make this beer look like bloody cognac in my snifter.

Smell- Very earthy hop presence with some very medium to deep malt character in the sweetness.

Taste- The earthy malts mix with the hops once the beer warms a little to give the taste of light mixed veggies and caramel and amber malts. Plus the floral hops.

Mouthfeel- Bold, and strong in its different flavors. Nice and complex and warming.

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Photo of mjc410
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour into my Grimbergen glass raises a creamy half finger light tan head that fades quickly to a glass ring, with pretty thick lacing. The beer's body is a bright golden red. The nose smells a lot like Arrogant Bastard, but with less caramel sweetness. Definite pine tar odor, with a bit of citrus, but not overpowering. The taste is very fruity, with a candy apple flavor. The hop flavor is muted, and there's not too much bitterness, just an underlying pineyness. Not too sweet, though: there's enough bitterness to keep it in check. The mouth is medium, with almost non-existent carbonation. A nice strong one, but not too special.

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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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Great Lakes Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.07 out of 5 based on 2,600 ratings.
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