Ghost River Midnight Magic Black Ale

From Memphis, this is the second beer from Ghost River that I've tried. The first was pretty good until it started to warm, and then it took a nasty turn. Still, I liked it enough to give it a 2.5/5, and that is right in the middle of my scale, so it wasn't that bad. This one should be better, as I have been on a bit of a kick with dark beers of late.

It's not midnight black. Instead, it is a deep ruby with an off-white head that fizzles its way down to a vapor thin cap and leaves no lacing. The aroma is fairly faint, but it is roasted chocolate chunks. It's a little chilly today, and this is the kind of beer that would be meaty and enjoyable on a cool spring/fall evening.

First sip is earth, wood and smoke. I don't taste any of the chocolate that I smelled, and the effect of the sip is that it reminds me of a campfire in the middle of the woods. It almost makes me wish I had some marshmallows to toast and compliment this beer the right way. But, I'm an adult now, so let's drink like an adult.

Tip-in is very carbonated all over (which seems strange) and just the smokey malt. It's a good enough start, but the middle comes in to compliment with earth and the charred oak. It's enjoyable, but I sense something coming down the road for the finish that might take a turn. Sure enough, the finish arrives with a bitterquake and a less pleasing tartness.

Bottom Line: It has promise, but it didn't get to where it needed to go.



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