On to Adnams and their nautically-themed beers, this time Ghost Ship, a ghostly Pale Ale (their words). Now I quite enjoyed their Broadside, an English Special Bitter-cum-Old Ale, so I was a teeny bit excited to give this a go, with a sense of apprehension at the low 4.5% ABV (low ABVs generally go hand in hand with muted flavours)… after reviewing the HUGE disappointment of a Pale Ale that is Matilda Bay’s Lazy Yak I’m not holding my breath on this blowing my socks off.
Poured from a 440ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Presents a clear amber body with a fluffy 1 cm white-with-a-hint-of-beige head that soon settles to a thin covering leaving spiderweb lace on the side of the glass – a good sign indeed mateys (I’m continuing the nautical themes in my review). 7/10.
S: Melon and stone fruit characters lead the nose followed by a nice earthy & herbaceous note and some toasted biscuit malts. There are touches of bread yeast in the background as well… this is one ship shape brew, ahoy! 7/10.
T: At first the flavour is mild and unassuming, like a cool summers sea breeze wafting over Portsmouth. Then we get some slight citric acidity, a light and sweet malt toasted malt base, and a touch of tea-leaf tannin and citric bitterness in the finish… No stormy seas here, just smooth sailing. Any negatives in the flavour department? Well it’s the same issue I, personally, have with any beer below the 6% ABV mark – it could benefit from a little more flavour intensity. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a light, slightly dense bubbled, almost English pub (but a little bit more active) carbonation, better than a tankard of grog. 8/10.
D: Sessionable? Very, and for the price it is even better than most craft beers on the Australian market at a downright reasonable $13 a 4-pack (that’s nearly 2 litres of a half-decent Pale Ale). Recently I’ve found myself keeping good English Ales in the fridge alongside Torpedo cans and FBS bottles – and this is a great go-to option for when Plonk runs out of Tanglefoot cans (which they’re selling for $14 a 4-pack), overall I’m impressed by this easy-drinking EPA with hints of APA and will definitely get it again in future… weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen me mateys! 8/10.
Food match: The overall fruitiness and herbaceous character of this atypical English Pale Ale would work well with fresh asian cuisines such as Vietnamese or Korean.