JesSayan (9) - USA - JAN 18, 2007 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Opaque. Slightly darker than milk chocolate brown. The head is tan and fizzy. It’s pretty, but nothing special, right? Lemon, straw, earthy funk then a mildly obscured fruit cocktail then leather then that tart, earthy funk again, then some more leather then the fruit jumps out... what the hell is going on? There’s a definite spice... I’ll call it white pepper. This nose is incredible, and it simply won’t stand still. When is crosses your toungue, it’s thinner in body than you’d expect, but it’s not watery. It’s bubbly enough, easy to sip. So unnassuming. How do I describe the taste? Like the scent, it seems to change seamlessly from one shape to the next. At first, there’s a lemony tartness with root celler must and funk. Then there’s spicy white pepper, followed with chardonnay. It has some leather, and some strange, sundrenched flavor that I have no words to explain. Now it’s Pumpernickel. One constant is the dark, musty aspect. If I was a ghost, I’d hang out in cellars as well. When it finishes, it’s Chardonnay with lemon zest in a root cellar. Next, it pretends that it’s going back to that spicy white pepper but no, a moment later your mouth is filled with nutty cocoa powder. That taste hangs on your tounge forever.
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - JUL 21, 2004
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Poured out from a corked green 750 bottle as a caramel brown, heady from the get go, settles one thickly murked glass of eerie fogged dark opaque brown; what the hell is this stuff? Wow! Taller then an inch or so of smooth creamy and dense wet sandy brown colored crown. Settles down whimsically to a thin collar and fine skim; lacing in big spots mostly dripping back in slowly.
Aroma has a nice dark toffee/candied sense to it, earthy, lovely dusting of fresh and flakey/dusty bakers chocolate. There’s a candy I can’t quite place in there; black licorice maybe, or perhaps even those root beer barrels; what ever it is, it adds a funny but pleasing little candied spice. An interestingly complex and subtle nose that’s really fun to take in.
Flavors are wonderful here, graceful, delicate, smooth, full , round, tangy, dark but not eagerly so, candyish but not sweetly so. A perfect melange of dark tanged roast and candy sweet malts. The chocolate dusting in the finish is absolutely outstanding. This is perfect in every regards of complex subtle layers in my mind. It’s mind boggling; its seemingly simple, but as you dig in and start to enjoy; more and more things begin to wrok their way through and making the wonderment of complexities grow. Licorice notes make their way around the tangy darkish malts, bits of phenols float into the nose late which mix with a deep but lightly peppered cherry cough drop-like alcohol. Real late upon the mix makes some darker fruits of chewy fig and raisin. Drys out some in the finish with a semi-coffee roast, chocolatey dusted, phenolic whispers and more candyish things kinda tingling/singeing/burning. Again, that chocolatey dusting is fabulous!
Feel is undescribable, it has it all, and never less or never more then one thing or another. It’s perfect! Full, tangy, sweet, spicy, alcoholic, creamy, smooth, round, dry, earthy, roasty, bold, sharp, and brash. Drinkable? You bet your ass it is! Also seems to have more then 8% -Yikes. Great stuff!
burcusabrews (106) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - AUG 24, 2004
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Wonderful beer! Pours dark brown into the glass with a thick lingering mocha colored head. Aroma of sour cherries, almost identical to New Glarus Belgian Red in aroma! Flavors though deceive the palate with barnyard and dark chocolate standing out. Some tartness, but the malt really comes out here.
mj23 (63) - south holland, Illinois, USA - MAY 22, 2005
4.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Complex taste. Great dark color with good lacing. Lots of spice, a toasted kind of flavor. Finished very well. Overall a very interesting beer.
detroiter (958) - Euphoria, Minnesota, USA - JAN 13, 2007
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep brown, with tints of soft ruby when held to the light, capped by an inch of creamy tan foam. Moderate lace slides down in the glass to rejoin the beer after each sip. A tart, lambic-like aroma reached my nose as soon as the cork was popped. A bold aroma of chocolate malt, wild plum, raisin, and merlot beckons.
Roasted grains, mild chocolate, subtle coffee, prominent stone fruit, walnut, and a hint of rye swirl around your mouth. These flavors blend and then melt into a spicy and ever so slightly dry finish, with notes of nutmeg, anise, leather, rum, and just a hint of white pepper. Stunning.
The beer is thick enough to coat the tongue and the roof of the mouth with a slick oily floral sweetness. Full bodied and gently carbonated. Even after the very first sip, I can feel a warming sensation in my belly. It doesn’t feel like a ’normal’ alcohol warmth, instead it is more like the warmth of a hot hearty meal on a cold day. A warmth that you would be content just to carry around for a while, and then maybe snooze in front of the fire.
patrickfannon (1172) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 28, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle. This beer is EPIC. Pours almost solid black with a thick, brownish head. Aroma is fruity, with hints of berries and maybe a bit of spice. The flavor is outrageous, and the body is almost as strong as a stout, Kick-ass beer for a kick ass time.
unclebleen (620) - California, USA - MAY 28, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours a dark/caramel color with a huge off-white and creamy almost tan head. Lacing is excellent. Aroma is spicy and wet hay. sour notes also evident. Smells nutty. Flavor is not as sour as expected but it works and is balanced well. Barnyard, hay, wood and cherry. The nutmeg and barnyard aftertaste makes me think of christmas. Body and mouthfeel is basically perfect. An excellent bere we have here.
igel (196) - New Mexico, USA - OCT 25, 2004
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Pours a deep caramel brown with a light brown, rocky, head. Retention is low, but provides a fine creamy layer and a sticky lace. Aroma is of malt, caramel, spices, and is lightly tart. Flavor has a caramel sweetness with dark fruits chocolate, pepper and an unexpected tartness. The finish sneaks up and has a nice surprising dryness. Palate is medium bodied, peppery, light effervescence and creaminess and a lingering hop bite. Black Ghost evolves and changes character, aroma and flavors throughout. A well-balanced yet complex beer without heavy, intense flavors and palate.
MikeF (538) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - SEP 30, 2007
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
One of my favorite beers. A beer near the pinnacle of beer complexity. Numerous bold and subtle earthy flavors that defy description. Once a fan of this beer style you may have a hard time turning back - beware.
notalush (4172) - Denver, Colorado, USA - JUN 21, 2004
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
There was quite a spectacle surrounding this bottle at brewtopia - the guy from specialty beer took the cap off and was about to get a corkscrew when he noticed the cork was slowly working its way out of the bottle on its own - a small group of us stared at it in anticipation - some salivating for the beer, others just gathered to witness the secret, explosive power of bottled yeast byproducts - "it’s gonna go," he said - the corked slid up seductively, like a stripper slowly rolling a stocking off of her leg - "it’s totally gonna go" - [insert tasteless sexual similies about "building up" and "exploding from the shaft of the bottle" here] - and sure enough, BOOM, the cork rocketed the approx. 60 feet to the ceiling of the auditorium, bouncing off of it and landing somewhere behind the lonely Saranac booth a few brewers down (I could almost hear the Saranac rep mutter "maybe if we made cool beer like that I wouldn’t have to sit here with my thumb up my ass all day") - oh, and yea, the beer was really good, too - in fact, this is quite possibly my favorite of the fest - naturally, the carbonation was immense, and the body was a dark ruby, wine-like color - lots of spice and must and wood in the aroma - exceptionally smooth and seductive, with a full, creamy mouthfeel (even with the high carbonation) - lots of berry, chocolate and caramel, with a touch of spices, but I didn’t really detect any sourness at all in this - it was really more sweet than tart - chocolate aspects linger in the finish an amazing length of time - this is by far the best non-trappist Belgian ale I’ve ever had.