Great Lakes Brewing Company – Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale

Featured Contributor – Nick  @QuickSud

What makes a cult classic? Usually a few key ingredients are involved:

  1. A dedicated fan base
  2. A controversial or hard to find product

It has been said that the 1920s film, Nosferatu, was the very first cult classic movie. The film was certainly quite controversial in its time, being labeled as an unauthorized take on Bram Stoker’s original Dracula. Film makers however never officially obtained rights to the original film, and because of this, the Stokers sued, won and ordered all existing copies of the film to be burned (how fitting). Legend states that one copy of the film survived, was duplicated and distributed around the world thanks to the film’s cult following. Today, almost everyone recognizes the iconic image of Count Orlok climbing upstairs to haunt Ellen Hutter.

Quicksud's adaptation of the iconic scene. In this case Count Orlok simply wants to share a quick brew with Ellen.

With that said, Great Lakes Brewing Company has all the ingredients to make their very own cult classic, with the addition of two more ingredients – hops and barley. Great Lakes already has a dedicated fan base – which has made it one of the 30 largest breweries in the United States. They also produce a very elusive beer – Nosferatu which only appears on shelves in September and October each year.

The beer itself is an Imperial Red Ale, a subset of the American Amber Ale family. Red Ales are usually known for being well-balanced, hosting light hops and caramel notes. As this is an Imperial style, hops and malts have been cranked up, along with the ABV which clocks in at 8%.

Once uncapped, the aroma immediately spills out from the neck. The sweet smells of caramel and orange rind hits your senses, inviting you to pour the beer into proper glassware. Nosferatu pours a deep ruby color which would surely make Count Orlok and Bram Stoker’s Dracula put their differences aside once and for all and salivate simultaneously. The aroma shifts before your first sip, highlighting pine, citrus and all your favorite hoppy scents.

The taste contains a nice blend of caramel, earthy hops and pine. This beer finishes as dry as Dracula would leave his victims. The mouthfeel is medium with a slight carbonation tingle. I certainly see similarities between this style of beer and a hoppy IPA, such as Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo. The taste and scent are certainly similar, but Nosferatu perhaps has just a little extra ‘bite’, so to speak.

Overall, this is a tasty, hoppy beer to enjoy during the fall seasons. I would suggest picking up a four pack in between the slew of pumpkin beers you are surely to be trying. Ironically, Nosferatu pairs well with steak and garlic fries.

You may never be able to see this beer in the mirror, but if you happen to spot Nosferatu on the shelves, do not panic. Instead pick it up and bring it to a friends house. Together we can help this rare beer forever take its place in history as a cult classic amongst craft beer drinkers.

Nick’s Bio:

Craft beer unboxings and reviews. Follow our team of beer experts as they explore the vast environment of everyone’s favorite yeast-fermented malts.

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Nick

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