On Tuesday 7th February 2012, I was visited in the late hours by a ghost. It wasn’t a revisit of the apparitions from “A Christmas Carol” even though it was or would have been Charles Dickens 200th birthday as it happened, no it was something far more dangerous.

A spook renowned for crazy stunts, crackpot ideas and drunken tomfoolery. A chilling apparition in the guise of “Poltergeist”, a beer brewed by my good friend Ghostdrinker (in collaboration with Matt Lovatt), fellow blogger, home-brewer  and purveyor of all things beery at Beerritz.

Believe it or not but this beer is a home brew.

Just look at the quality of that bottle, dark glass, a hand designed art deco style label featuring Ghosty himself, and finished with a final touch of a dipping into black wax, stunning a bottle you want to look at not open. But was it a ghost in lambs clothing? Lets find out…

After chipping away that waxy top with an ice axe 😉 I poured the contents slowly into a large stemmed glass. The beer is a swirling reddish amber colour unfiltered leaving a murky haze which bothers me not a jot, as it settles a rocky cappuccino head forms which lingers on and on I find to the end of the glass.

Aroma was tricky to pin down, all pleasant but hard to figure for sure. Sweet caramel seemed most prominent, a definite boozy fruit character edging towards the tropical akin to those in big IPA’s but ending in a whiff of caramelised banana.

Taste though was very different, the first thing that hit was a bitter liquorice, softening to treacle toffee, much stronger dark beer flavours than you’d expect a beer of this colour to dictate. There are hints of cherry, coffee and perhaps a poached pear soaked in spirit a real full on alcoholicly warming mouthfeel of delicious flavours. Finally the finish is long, a hoppy bitter chocolate mix that sticks around, not allowing the drinker to forget the visit of a Poltergeist to the taste buds.

Looking back at my notes about this beer and how I’ve relayed them to you above, I have to pinch myself that this was a home-brewed beer and not something borne of years of brewing experience in some far-flung long established brewery. Home brew, looking and tasting like this, it’s amazing!

In closing I have one final thing to say in compliment to the brewers of this beer and in truth it relates to the beer that followed it. I’m not going to mention the name of that mystery brew except to say that it was a highly thought of beer from an exceptional brewery from the South Coast, a beer that I’d waited a long time to taste. I don’t know whether it was the thought of the love and craft that had gone into Poltergeist that swayed me, or the warm boozy glow that followed, but it was definitely better, I’d buy it again tomorrow…

I have to say a massive thanks to Will (aka Ghostdrinker) and Matt for setting this aside for me and of course to Mart Ridge for kindly hauling it all the way from Leeds.

Cheers guys, keep up the good works..