Friday, 22 January 2016

Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale

Being known to your friends and family as a beer geek has its advantages. My recent natal day was spent hosting a beer and cheese party and receiving numerous beery gifts. One of these, flipped my way by the unsinkable M.T., was Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale, brewed by Cleveland's own Great Lakes Brewing Co. At a spine-tingling 8% and 70 IBUs, these strong red ale wasn't fooling around. Sold in 12oz bottles with a menacing vampiric label, this beer poured with a healthy, ruddy hue and a less than lustrous cream head. In my dark backyard, the stuff looked ominous, but held to a light, it was actually quite a luminous ruby ale.

Nosferatu had a warm, metallic aroma with some sweet fruity and malty notes. That's how the taste started out, too, before veering alarmingly toward bitter and hoptastic. From the nose, I was unsure how this beer could possibly contain such a high percentage and bitterness rating, but that was quickly made apparent with my first sip. While less bombastic than a double IPA or other hop monsters, this stuff had some life to it.

Despite the wicked handle, Nosferatu Imperial Red Ale proved to be a refined villain, more suave than evil. I found it very enjoyable. A bit more emphasis on the malty front end to match the scent would have been nice, but this was an otherwise outstanding brew.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.

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