I’m up in Manchester today for a change, so I made a point of seeking out some of the local beers. This one is from a tiny craft brewery in Stockport called Cryptic Ales. Judging by the offer to sell their brewing equipment and space via Twitter, I suspect it’ll be getting a whole lot tinier very soon.
The Ghost is a mild beer, which very much narrowed down what I was expecting – mild is typically very dark and smooth, and this is no exception. Its aroma is certainly ghost-like in its absence, though that may be more due to the solid wall of head rather than anything else.
The taste is complex, and it takes me a few sips to fully work out what’s going on. At first it’s overwhelmingly smoky, almost ashy, a bit like the smell left on your fingers after washing out an ashtray (second only to spilling Guinness on a customer’s white jeans in the lowlights of my time working in a pub). There’s a bit more to Ghost, though. Hints of fruits come through as you take the fourth and fifth sip – raspberry, perhaps, maybe even cola?
For all its subtlety, I find digging through all the smoke to find those hints of flavour to be too much work. I won’t be trying this beer again. 1/5
You can find out more about Cryptic Ales from their Twitter account at https://twitter.com/CrypticAles