Spooks Ale by Shepherd Neame
Spooks Ale is Shepherd Neame's Halloween Ale. A beer that is bound to scare you with it's intense, zesty flavours.
Brewery: Shepherd Neame
Spooks Ale is Shepherd Neame Brewery's Seasonal Ale for, yes, you guessed it, Halloween. Shepherd Neame produce quite a large range of different Ales, so it will be quite interesting what they come up with here.
On the nose, you get a mellow yeasty aroma with a slight hoppiness following close behind. There's a little bit of sweetness there, that resembles toffee, settling underneath the yeast aroma.
Pouring into the bottle, the first thing you notice is a lot of carbonation, like you're opening a bottle of pop! The head itself is only around half a finger, however, the bubbles in the head are very fine. The colour of Spooks Ale is a reddish brown. Looking closely, you can see how lively the carbonation is... I can't remember the last time I saw a beer with so much insane carbonation as this!
Tasting Spooks Ale, the first thing I quickly noticed is how spicy it is! The flavours are quite intense on the palate. You could almost say the flavours are 'tart'. There's this roasted element here that I'm surprised that it's in a Ale from Shepherd Neame. I don't usually associate intense, deep, roasted flavours, but it's quickly apparent that Shepherd Neame have decided to stick their neck out here and try something different for Halloween. If you like powerful, roasted flavours, that closely gets to that strong Espresso flavours, then Spooks Ale could be for you.
Scoring Spooks Ale, is a difficult one, or maybe not. I definitely applaud Shepherd Neame for stepping out of their comfort zone, but the roasted, spiciness is just too 'out there' for me. If you are going to go crazy, I guess Halloween would be the best time of the year to do so. But I doubt I would be buying Spooks Ale again.
See: Red Brown, Ruby
Smell: Bread, Yeast
Taste: Zesty, Burnt, Toast