Last week, I mentioned the arrival of Sweetwater Brewing Company’s latest Dank Tank one-off beer, Ghoulash, to the Augusta market. Seeing as how I pointed everyone to Birmingham Craft Beer Examiner Guillermo Woolfolk‘s introduction to the beer (in case you missed it, you can find it by clicking here), I’ll skip the obligatory introductory information on the brew and cut straight to the exciting news about Ghoulash: Tonight, October 28, the only quarter-barrel keg of the beer to make it to the Augusta area will be on-tap at Rooster’s Beak beginning at 5 o’clock. Believe me, these little half-kegs can go quickly, so be sure to try to make your way down because it most certainly won’t be there tomorrow! (If you aren’t familiar with the wonders that Rooster’s Beak has done for craft beer in Augusta, check out my review of their beer pairing dinner featuring Sweetwater Brewing and my write-up on Augusta’s first cask ale tapping with Highland Brewing Company.)
Of course, if you do have to miss out on the opportunity to try this fine explosion of flavor, you can still pick some up in time for Halloween, as 22-ounce bottles are available at Toast Wine and Beverage in Martinez for just $5.99.
My only word of advice for folks headed down to the Beak tonight for this special tapping: SAVE ME A GLASS! If you care to join me for a couple pints and some beery conversation, I’ll be there around seven. I look forward to seeing some of you there!
Rooster’s Beak is located at 215 10th Street in downtown Augusta.
Style: American-style Black Ale
Alcohol content: 8.5% ABV
Package type: 22-ounce brown glass bottle
Serving vessel: Tulip glass
Serving temperature: ~40 degrees F
Rating: A- (4.13/5)
Appears inky, opaque black, recalling a creepy “true story” horror film from my youth that scared the living crap out of me for years; but when held to the light there are tinges of brown around the fringes. A massive topping of light mocha-hued foam rises tall and settles slowly, grasping firmly to the walls of the vessel and leaving behind fat, splotchy rings and patches of lacing reminiscent of a slimy alien breeding field — rather fitting, and also rather beautiful.
There’s no way to mistake this as being anything other than hop-laden as soon as the beer hits the glass. Huge aromas of citrusy American hops hit the nostrils from two feet away. It’s easy to notice that there are more than a few hop varieties utilized here. Fourteen varieties? Well, it’s impossible to pick them all out, but the result is herbal, floral, citrusy, minty, and a touch pungent.
While the body and mouthfeel are a bit ghostly (read: light and wispy), the flavor is nothing so faint: the palate opens with citrusy hops and semi-sweet orange, meeting with roasty malts and bitter grapefruit rind; mint joins the game somewhere in the middle along with lime and green tea. More coffee-like roastiness and grapefruit citrus fill in the back, and the finish is dry with a lingering character of bitter orange peel and chalk.
There’s something scary about this brew, with its obscene number of hop varieties and bold aroma and flavor, but what’s even more spooky is its level of drinkability — with a light body and full flavor, it goes down way too quickly, allowing the spirit to sneak up in the dark, the 8.5% ABV striking out of nowhere, leaving the drinker feeling faint. This is one frightfully drinkable brew, and one that’ll certainly live on in the ethereal realm for quite some time.