I think I’m starting to get the hang of this beer blogging malarkey. I let my mind wander during both my waking hours and the slightly abstract portal of my dream-state. What seems to be a trend for me at the moment is thinking up tenuous film links with beer and for this I apologise, it’s probably just a phase I’ll grow out of.
Coincidentally, and not on his part I’m sure, I have been gifted with a bottle of beer homebrewed by a ghostly apparition and its human henchman, just in time for the Festival of the Dead. He’s thoughtful like that.
For someone with no physical form and therefore a distinct disadvantage when it comes to the ability to hold anything, it’s hardly a surprise that the Ghost Drinker is systematically selecting human hosts to see his plans through to fruition. He is what you might call a cuckoo brewer… a dead cuckoo brewer. He calls this practice “collaboration“, whereas the living know this better as a haunting. But don’t worry, if he comes a’knocking he’s more Casper than Krueger. On this occasion he selected Matt Lovatt or @Braukerl if you Tweet. Nobody knows what happened to his last possession.
At 6.66% abv this amber ale could not be called anything but a name like Poltergeist. It looks the genuine article and the artwork reminds of the lift doors at the Overlook Hotel, aka that spooky hotel in The Shining. What’s more, the bottle has been sealed with black wax which makes me wonder whether he is trying to keep something else other than the beer from getting out?
Upon opening the seal there is not so much a pfft as more of a presence in the room. There are immediate aromas of peach, mango and candy, along with what I imagine is the yeast profile, a fruity, earthiness that gives it real depth.
From the dark bottle and predominantly black and white exterior comes a vibrant red beer, it’s murky appearance hiding what lies beneath. It pours with a decent sized head which relaxes back to a thin covering before the first sip. The bitterness hits you immediately and spares no part of your tongue. The bitterness doesn’t really fade but there is just enough room for the fruits to come forward and balance things a little before the sweet malts come into play. As someone who has brewed a couple of beers, I can picture Ghosty and Matt tasting the sweet wort as it ran from the copper and knowing it was going to be a good one. As far as the bitterness goes, having taken a look a the hop bill and with an expected IBU of 77, I’m fairly sure they have achieved exactly what they set out to do. The mouth-feel is thick and syrupy and it feels to cling to your mouth with the bitterness refusing to let you go. It’s an extremely satisfying beer for those that like a hop kick! I took my time with this beer and really appreciated receiving the chance to try it, cheers guys, I hope to brew something half as tasty and share the wealth. On the basis of this beer and many others I’ve had the pleasure of trying of late, the homebrewing scene is alive and kicking out some quality, even when it’s brewed by the dead.
The write-up of their brewday and recipe is posted here.