The American brewing scene is in rude health. So The Guest Ale has drafted in an English expat to cast her expert eye on the latest trends. In the fourth of her posts, all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Suzanna Lee-Kendall reviews Nosferatu by Great Lakes Brewing.
Anyone familiar with the 1922 German Expressionist horror film “Nosferatu” will have lost some sleep trying to get the chilling image of the vampire Count shakily emerging from that trap door out of their heads. There is such an intense glare in his eyes coupled with those nasty pointed teeth that is utterly haunting. And so, as Halloween season is in full swing here in the States, imagine my curiosity when I found a seasonal bottled beer named “Nosferatu” at my local beer shop in Pennsylvania…
Well, it’s a hand-crafted stock ale produced by The Great Lakes Brewing Company based in Cleveland, Ohio. It boasts a 23-year history of striving to produce fine, high-quality, hand-crafted beers using better raw materials such as malts in the European tradition rather than corn and rice.
The name “Nosferatu” was purposely chosen as this is Great Lakes’ seasonal “beer with the bite”. It is an imperial red ale and it pours with a beautiful rusty hue, albeit the head sticks around for a little longer than I would have liked. It has an almost sickly sweet aroma which is notably strong. The first swig is a punch in the mouth of citrusy flavour, which leaves a strong hoppy aftertaste that is not altogether unpleasant.
In fact, the flavour was so interesting and intense I was eager to continue quaffing. The bitterness comes from the
Simcoe hop, a non-traditional bittering hop. The citrus taste comes from the Cascade hop, which imparts a definitive grapefruit flavour to the ale.
At 8% ABV, it’s quite a high-spirited little devil. The brewery suggests it be paired with soft cheeses and I couldn’t agree more. If I’d been back home in Kent, I’d be half way to the nearest Waitrose by now for a decent sized hunk of French Brie to compliment and offset the extra “hoppiness” it possesses.
In short, it’s a delightfully wicked little brew, if you allow yourself to be charmed by an ale with a bit of a kick to it. Enjoy!Tweet