Great Lakes BC Kills Another One

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by CaptCleveland, Oct 18, 2013.

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  1. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Because you have an old label on a new bottle. Here's a picture to pair up with yours.
  2. opwog

    opwog Zealot (565) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    That is odd, because I know that I bought this beer years ago as a stock ale. But I actually did not care for it at all, most likely because it wasn't at all what I was expecting. I actually don't even recall this beer, but maybe it was always far closer to an imperial red and they finally just fixed it. I do remember one thing, which was thinking that it definitely didn't seem like a stock ale. And the funny thing is, if they only changed the style on the label/site, that it says that it only has a shelf life of 90 days, when the whole idea of a stock ale was to cellar it.
  3. opwog

    opwog Zealot (565) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Referring back to my last post on the subject, but doesn't it seem a bit ridiculous to have an enjoy by date of just a couple of months out AND be calling it a stock ale? The style itself is meant to be cellared (by the brewery) and should be fine to sit on for much more than 90 days, by the consumer.

    But does anybody actually think that this beer is a stock ale in any way? Their website makes no mention of a cellaring process, it has a short "enjoy by" window and tastes nothing at all like a stock ale.
  4. opwog

    opwog Zealot (565) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    You ought to rethink the idea that beers that have been entered into databases like this site, were entered "wrong" at the time. In 2001, I would be surprised if there was an "imperial red" option on BA. You go back another ten years and most American beers that were in the 8% range were being off handedly called barleywines, which years later were more appropriately categorized into these categories that developed under imperials or doubles of one sort or another. BAs who may have entered beers on here a dozen years ago were not wrong in how they entered them, they may not have had the same options that you see available today.
    cjgiant likes this.
  5. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    "...or because the information has since changed and nobody has corrected the original classification...."

    I've seen both errors in the database and changes in the classification occur over the years.
    cjgiant likes this.
  6. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Devotee (480) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    If you read Bonis' post, he specifically said "I don't think the bottle has said "Stock Ale" for at least a couple of years." Hence my post.

    I'm sure they might possibly have put old labels on new bottles but it seems odd that they wouldn't catch a quality control issue like that. Also, I have a different 4 pack purchased at a different store in a different city with a different "enjoy by" date (11/24/2013) and it also says "handcrafted stock ale."
  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    True, I didn't realize you were picking nits with Boris.

    As for quality control, perhaps it was deliberate and they just decided to use up a batch someone found sitting around the back room and figured nobody would notice. BB1313 reports a 4 pack with the new designation on the label.
  8. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Are you quoting Heavy Metal, the cartoon film ?
  9. jman005

    jman005 Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2013 Kentucky

    I tried this not long after its release this year and while malty, it still tasted nice and hoppy imo. pine and grapefruit.
    creal92 likes this.
  10. bobhits

    bobhits Meyvn (1,158) Oct 31, 2006 Kentucky

    I hate these "beer is different" threads but I've had similar thoughts on this one. I'm not sure it's less hoppy but it just isn't the same. Then again I love me some IPA's so maybe my taste as changed.

    Agree it's a weird label.
  11. JAramini

    JAramini Initiate (0) Jun 5, 2005 New York

    Cross anyone's mind that it may be referred to as a red ale because it literally pours red in color (Nosferatu, blood, etc) and not because it fits the style of "red ale"?
  12. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Don't know about anyone else, but I never thought much about it at all until reading the brewery's own description of the beer. Profile Nosferatu 2012.pdf
  13. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Devotee (480) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    With all this speculatin' going on, I decided to e-mail Great Lakes about the raging controversy. Here's the reply I got:

    "Thank you for your inquiry! We have not changed the recipe for our Nosferatu. As for the name, we decided to change it as a marketing decision..."

    And the rest of the e-mail was thanks for the inquiry etc etc yadayada.
    utopiajane likes this.
  14. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    Well, there we have it. I guess the change was in palates and not recipes.
    Still wish they had kept the 'stock ale' moniker.
  15. CaptCleveland

    CaptCleveland Crusader (718) Jun 18, 2003 Ohio

    Nosferatu time again. Still a 90 rated brew, but not as hoppy as the original. Found an old review of the brew listing 75 IBUs not the current 70 IBUs. So the recipe is the same per GLBC (as posted above) but the IBUs HAVE changed. I'm not a brewer, but is this a lie or fudging the truth? And why not admit that the brew is different?
  16. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Did you know that IBUs can be different without the recipe being different? E.g., One might have been estimated, the other actually lab tested.
  17. CaptCleveland

    CaptCleveland Crusader (718) Jun 18, 2003 Ohio

    No, thanks. Seems odd that GLBC would estimate prior to distro.
  18. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,489) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Many breweries use estimated numbers. Lab tests can be expensive. Some have been found have results even further apart between the two methods,which is why I suggested the possibility.
  19. Dupage25

    Dupage25 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2013 Antarctica

    Goose Island---one of the largest craft breweries before they joined AB-Inbev---didn't lab test the abv on the Bourbon County lineup until just last year, two years after they were bought out. While abv is not necessarily required to be listed on the label, since some states have abv caps on beer they still are required to "know" the alcohol content of their beer. Nonetheless, one of the largest American breweries still used estimated abv for some time even after they got a large cash infusion from the AB-inbev buyout. They definitely could have afforded lab tests.

    Given that example (as well as numerous examples of BS alcohol contents from popular breweries) I would be completely unsurprised if 95% of brewers estimate IBU levels. IBU levels are not required to be measured by any state or (as far as I'm aware) country the way abv sometimes is, and brewers still estimate abv even when they are legally required to have precise data on ethanol percentage. Even large, fairly rich brewers with high profit margins.
  20. miketd

    miketd Devotee (498) Mar 2, 2006 Ohio

    Never did like Nosferatu or most Great Lakes beers out of the bottle; draft is a different story. But if Great Lakes did do something different with Nosferatu, it wouldn't be the first time. Lake Erie Monster and Christmas Ale are both much different than they were originally. In Christmas Ale's case, the abv has dropped by a fair margin.
  21. EricTKole

    EricTKole Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2014 Michigan

    Good call. My bro in law is a kent state lifer so I visit the brew pub annually. Chillwave when it was Alchemy Hour was so much better on draft and fresh at the source. I'm not usually one to accuse a brewer of changing a recipe but that beer was different this year for sure.
  22. glass_house

    glass_house Zealot (551) Jan 10, 2014 Ohio

    Nosferatu is one of the very few beers I look forward to buying a whole case of each fall. I did so again last week, and have not been disappointed in the least. It's rich and malty. Just like it's always been. It's plenty hoppy. Just like it's always been...
  23. MostlyNorwegian

    MostlyNorwegian Devotee (482) Feb 5, 2013 Illinois

    From a homebrewer to a drinker. Why not learn that hops can and do change from year to year, and those changes will show up in the ibu's. To, why not discover that brewers can and do tweak the recipe from time to time to make it taste more like what their original idea for it was.
    Beer is a living vessel, and brewers have to open to that. As do you, the drinker.
    5thOhio, fmccormi and elektrikjester like this.
  24. SixThousandDollars

    SixThousandDollars Initiate (0) Jul 1, 2012 Florida

    Confirmed on a brewery tour over the summer that the stock ale labels used last year were just leftovers. Not a mistake, just using them up.

    @CaptCleveland If you think this beer has changed drastically, its probably your taste that has evolved. What used to taste as a super hoppy beer to you is now much more balanced and enjoyable for style instead of just being the hoppiest beer youve had up until that point.


    Beer is drinking fantastic this year out of bottles and kegs. Just remember to drink this beer Fresh (probably before 11/1)
  25. Fasnic

    Fasnic Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2011 Ohio

    Well, I sat in a bar with about 4 other people (3 of them worked there) and we all had samples of this and thought the keg was bad. The Rep came in and tried it and said it was fine. It's a different beer than at least the last 2yrs that I've been having it.
  26. BeerZar

    BeerZar Initiate (71) Apr 30, 2014 Ohio

    This thread made me really want one. It is my second of the year from the case purchase and I am just as happy with it as I have been in previous years. It has a great balance of malt and hops and I really don't remember it being any different. Everybody has different tastes and of course they change over time.....definitely from year to year. I can't say for sure if they have or have not changed the recipe in any way shape or form, but in my opinion this is still one of the best beers they make and I'm looking forward to having many more through the fall season. Cheers!
    5thOhio and glass_house like this.
  27. EricTKole

    EricTKole Initiate (0) Jan 4, 2014 Michigan

    I hate when that happens. A year or two ago my buddy and I had the exact same thing happen with a keg of New Holland Golden Cap. It was undrinkable to us but several bartenders and the manager thought it was fine. Thankfully they let us swap out our beers.
    Fasnic likes this.
  28. Fasnic

    Fasnic Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2011 Ohio

    Yeah, was odd. I'll probably buy a bottle or two and see how it tastes. I never thought it was a hop bomb, but was a bit more hoppy than a typical red ale. I like malty, so I can't really complain. It just does drink differently this year, which happens. Not like it was a favorite I waited for yearly, so it really doesn't bother me.
    EricTKole likes this.
  29. AlienSwineFlu

    AlienSwineFlu Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2012 Ohio

    I'm still fond of it. I'm chalking up my own perceived differences to palate changes.
  30. humuloner22

    humuloner22 Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 North Carolina

    I have not had the opportunity to drink that many of these beers over the years. But, I had my first one in Feb. 2011, on the high recommendation of one of my friends. I tried Eliot Ness and Dortmunder and felt then that they were way to malty. Then I tried Eliot Ness and Burning River, once again too malty. Then Oktoberfest this year. I know, that style is not a hoppy style to begin with, but I wasn't crazy about it either. So, thus far, I have not been impressed with this brewery the times I have tried it. I haven't had Nos but I doubt I will. Maybe this brewery has changed something from when it got such high acclaim. But Im not a fan.
    DWheeler379 likes this.

    ODYSEYY Initiate (134) Jul 30, 2013 Ohio

    I enjoyed Nosferatu more this year than in years past. I'm man enough to admit that MY tastes changed.
    5thOhio likes this.
  32. CheapHysterics

    CheapHysterics Aspirant (203) Apr 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Technically I think he's been undead.
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  33. 5thOhio

    5thOhio Devotee (480) May 13, 2007 South Carolina

    Beers are always better fresh on tap. Did you e-mail GL and ask if they changed the recipe? I don't want to be the only one doing that.

    Did you ask the rep if the recipe had changed from last year, when I was told it hadn't changed from the year before?
  34. chefkevlar

    chefkevlar Aspirant (278) Apr 17, 2010 South Carolina

    No beer is ever as good as it was in previous vintages, this is a well known universal law.
    Handle likes this.
  35. LMT

    LMT Initiate (0) Oct 15, 2009 Virginia

    This was one of those brews that somehow, I just never grabbed in the past (I'm sure most of us has a few of those).

    Well I finally bought a 4-pack last week and I am really impressed. Reasonable abv, solid malt backbone but with noticeable hoppiness.

    In a weird sort of way, it reminds me a bit of GL Oktoberfest (a really hoopy marzen).
  36. DWheeler379

    DWheeler379 Initiate (186) Jun 15, 2012 Colorado

    All their beers taste too sweet for me. Not a huge fan. At least you know what to expect.
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