Spooks Ale

Rating: 1.85

This one is a beer that I picked up alongside the bottle of Pumpking from the Wychwood brewery that I recently reviewed here, the reason for this one was because it was also on special offer when I popped into the shop so I thought I may as well give it a try as well. Another Halloween themed season, this one was first introduced by Shepherd Neame in 2011 and will be the ninth beer from the brewery that I will have tried, although a few of those have been contract brewed there so the true number is probably a couple less than that. The beer is not one I was aware Shepherd Neame brewed up until I bought the bottle which may go some way to explaining why it was on special in the run up to Halloween rather than after October. Despite this, the beer is one I’m looking forward to trying as it has been a while since I tried this still of beer, hopefully it will be a good reintroduction to the genre.

Spooks Ale

Appearance (3/5): A slightly darker than normal caramel amber colour with very good clarity and a half centimetre tall head on top that is a creamy looking texture. Retention of the head is fairly average with it settling as a thin lacing that completely covers the surface around thirty seconds after it was poured; nice but nothing to write home about really.
Aroma (4/10): The beer is semi-bitter on the nose and starts off with some nice caramel notes with a touch of toffee backing it up. There is a few sugars coming through early on alongside an earthy smell that hints at some nuttiness too. I could detect some moderate strength biscuit malts, a few background fruits but nothing too strong and finally some bread on the nose before further bitterness appeared at the end.
Taste (2/10): Biscuit and caramel malts kick things off here with some earthy flavours and a touch of bread backing things up; there is a few earthy hops in there as well but nothing too pronounced. The taste is nothing much to speak of really, it’s pretty poor if truth be told with some faint sugars in there but the biscuit flavours are the ones the dominate.
Palate (2/5): Light-medium bodied with a few grains coming through but the balance wasn’t really great with this one with too much bitterness coming through. There wasn’t much in the way of carbonation and the aftertaste was a lingering one.

Overall (5/20): Terrible, that’s about all I can say to sum up the taste of this beer really. It started okay when I first poured it, sitting well in the glass but instantly things deteriorated when I smelt and tried the beer with little more than some caramel malts and too much bitterness coming through. The beer was a real struggle to finish and I ended up giving up close to the end, it was that bad.

Brewed In: Faversham, Kent, England
Brewery: Shepherd Neame Ltd.
First Brewed: 2011
Type: Winter Warmer / ESB
Abv: 4.7%
Serving: Bottle (500ml)
Purchased: Morrisons
Price: £1.00

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