Ghosttown - Brasseur De Montréal

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75 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 27.39%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasseur De Montréal visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jneiswender on 06-08-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 39
Reviews by Lawl3ss:
Photo of Lawl3ss
3.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 341 ml bottle into shaker pint. No visible bottling date.

Look- A vigorous pour leaves me with half a glass of yoohoo-colored head so dense I'd swear it was a milkshake. Clear dark, dark brown; near black. Good retention, very nice lacing.

Smell- As soon as the bottle was open I got a rich waft of milk chocolate and nougat. After the pour I get strong date and licorice. Taking a second look at the bottle reveals the phrase "with the flavour of absinthe, herbs, and roots.", so I guess the licorice makes sense. Man, how'd I miss that one at the store? I didn't realize this was a spiced stout, and while I usually like licorice/anise, it's actually a bit too bold in this case. As it warms, it takes on a more toffee-vanilla aroma, but the black licorice aroma dominates.

Taste- Similar to the aroma, very, very anise-y with a dry herbed coffee undercurrent. A little sweet to start, but overall pretty balanced. Finishes with more licorice and a bit of char. After-aftertaste is of toasted marshmallow.

Mouthfeel- Drier than expected, something of a dusty, grainy feel after the swallow. Otherwise very mellow, medium body, soft carbonation with a bit of prickle on the swallow

Overall- Pretty unique, but I'd like to see a little more stick, a little more cocoa flavor, and a little less licorice. Absolutely worth trying, but I probably wouldn't get it again. This would be a very interesting beer to pair something with.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
2.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in snifter

LOOK (3.5/5) - the look was quite nice. It poured a deep black which was very opaque. The head was good, it rose up to about two fingers of an interesting light tan color with a hint of purple to it. It fell at a normal pace with some good lacing.

SMELL (2.5/5) - I'm not a huge fan of black licorice and this really get off of a strong aroma of star anise. even despite my personal, I'm not at all satisfied because the anise blots out a lot of the stout aroma. I get a bit batlic-porter-like coffee malt on the finish, but it is really outweighed by the licorice. The main problem with this isn't the play of flavors, but the fact that there is a lack of balance.

FLAVOR (2.5/5) - The flavor is a bit more balanced than the aroma. It leads in with that star anise flavor strongly again, but the finish has a the bitter and burnt flavors of black patent and coffee malt on the finish. Actually, the flavors play pretty nicely off each other; however, it was still quite unbalanced toward the anise. Just less than the smell.

FEEL (3.5/5) - medium heavy body and lighter carbonation. Standard fair for a stout, if not a bit on the light side.

To me, this beer was a bit of a fail. I like the idea behind it and, despite the fact that I generally dislike black licorice, I could see that they had something good in mind. However, the problem here was about two or three times too much wormword or anise or whatever that black licorice comes from. Also, I think it would have played better with a baltic porter than a stout, with a bit more of a dry character and burnt character.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.76/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this brew because I was intrigued by their sampler pack I enjoyed earlier this year, and for the fact that this seemed like a fitting Hallowe'en brew. Wasn't until I got it home that I realized the brew was flavored with absinthe...anything that smacks of black licorice, sambuca or absinthe is not something I tend to enjoy. But I'll still give this a try. Please keep my personal preferences in mind!

Poured into an oversized wine glass. Inky, silky black, with about a half inch of off white head, and nice lace patterns.

Nose is roasted malt, marshmallow, coffee and an unmistakeably strong whiff of licorice.

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't put a brave face on this. The absinthe was simply too unwelcome of a flavor for me to endure. I might have done better if the flavor was toned down a bit, allowing the roasted coffee flavor to get some attention, but this was not to be. The end product was oversweet, overspiced, and unpleasant. Thick bodied, coats well, but a bit syrupy.

Points for the effort - I really do respect them for trying. The fact that the brew's dominant spice is not to my personal taste is no fault of Bras. de Montreal. However, the brew itself was not without its faults either - it was too one dimensional, sweet and the body felt a bit off. Appreciate the effort, but I couldn't even finish this one.

Photo of DannyBaldoni
4/5  rDev +32%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

good, strong taste of anis, if you like that

Photo of BGDrock
3.21/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:

Appearance: so dark it's almost pitch black; beautiful creamy head with thick lace; looks like espresso

Aroma: anise jumps out, but more on the chocolate side than licorice; hint of something else, possibly the mentioned herbs or coffee

Taste & Mouthfeel: anise flavour is now leaning towards coffee; slightly tart in the way of bad espresso, but kind of nice here; mouthfeel is similar to a lambic; some burnt flavour

Overall: interesting, but the bitter burnt coffee flavour get tiring; not as absinth flavoured as expected, but fantastic to look at

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gimmicky stout, yet a good one! Pours black with a small retained head. Absinth clearly in smell, we know it, we get it and it works. A nice diversion, though the stout behind it is basic. Worth seeking out.Average mouthfeel. AVerage stout but above average spiced beer.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.89/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big props to Andrenaline for including this in a trade. I've had absinthe in Prague, and obviously I love beer, so i'm intrigued
A - thick oily black stoutness, short head didn't last, some lacing
S - a very strong minty/herbal aroma with a chocolate note which always work well together, roasty with some vanilla
T - a definitely mysterious herbal flavour, along with big licorice root, rich chocolate, roasted coffee and malty flavours
M - a thick stouty start with the herbal nature sticking in the back of the throat, with a spicy licorice flavour
O - this definitely has that mystical herbal essence of absinthe, the big presence of licorice is a nice match, one of the most unique stouts i've come across, and because of that I can understand the wide range of reviews on this

Photo of heebes
2.06/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with two fingers of dark tan head. Nose is black licorice, anise, subtle roasted malt. Taste is light cocoa malts, major black licorice flavour and absinthe. Leaves much to be desired. Mouthfeel is light medium, watery, low carbonation.
Overall, a unique stout that left me yearning for a hoppy IPA to get rid of the black licorice aftertaste. Not reccommended in my opinion.

Photo of jbonapar
1.27/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Tried this Beer on tap while enjoying other fantastic Quebec Beers.

Without a doubt, the most undrinkable beer i've ever tasted.

Tasted like a dry stout with 2 shots of Absinthe. Awfull. I just can't get past the absinthe in this beer. It completely overpowers the stout that may actually be a nice beer. its difficult to review as the black licorice flavor is just overpowering.

I am surprised this company has actually released this beer as they have some fantastic brews.

I hate to say this, but it is probably one of the only beers i actually couldn't drink. One person who bought one with me couldn't even drink any more beer for the rest of the night! So be warned :)

Photo of cragus
3.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a pitch black with touch of tan head that dissipates rapidly leaving very minor lacing.

S-The aroma is dominated by the smell of spicy liquorice to the point that I cannot detect any other notes with any confidence.

T-The taste is very similar to the smell-dominated by licorice. However, coffee is also noticeable, particularly in the finish. Overall, the taste reminded me of a spicy root beer.

M-Velvety without some carbonation. A little thicker than the average ale, but not in the territory of the thicker IRSs.

O-I enjoyed the beer although I wouldn't recommend it to most people. While I found it tasty, I am a big fan of arak (unsweetened anise liquor), and this was almost like a stout equivalent. In the end, feel that the strength of the spice makes this a very polarizing beer, and I happen to like it (although I would not get it regularly).

Photo of DaveBar
3.67/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for just under $3.00 for a 341ml bottle. Served at 8deg C in a tulip

A- Opens well and pour a good brown head that films out in a minute. Super dark.

S- Oodles of malt and chocolate. Tons of peppermint.

T- Absinth galore. You can't miss this peppermint bomb. The coffee and chocolate just smacks you in the mouth. Good blend but very powerful

M- Nice stout. Creamy

O- Not bad. I like it but it does have an absinth kick to it. If you don't like grappa and the like you won't like this one.

Food Pairing

This nice little beer went well with..... a T-bone steak.


Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a super large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of spices and absinth is well mix between some roasted malt with light note of lactose. Taste is also very smooth with a nice mix of herbs and spices with some clear notes of absinth and a quite sweet lactose finish. Body is quite creamy and full with OK carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well brewed with nice balance between the different ingredients.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
1.77/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured in to Founder's tulip glass.

A -Dark black with half a finger of espresso coloured head that receded very quickly.

S - A heavy dose of anise up front that distracts the nose from any other aroma. There is a faint roasted malt presence in the background but you really need to look for it to find it. I generally don't like licorice and find this nose very unpleasant.

T - Anise up front followed by roasted malts with the licorice returning in the finish. The licorice doesn't dominate the palate the way it did the nose but it is still the most noticeable flavour and is very distracting. The anise flavour lingers in the finish as well.

M - Medium body, light to moderate carbonation.

O - I am admittedly not a fan of licorice but Stone managed to impress with with their Belgo Anise imperial stout, so it can be done. This was a drain pour.

Photo of mrnobody
3.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a pitch black with half a finger of espresso foam head; lack of retention/lacing.

S: Smell is the usual stout components (coffee, chocolate) but the overwhelming aspect is black licorice, also there is a vegetal component as well.

T: Licorice is all you notice at first; it passes and you get a bit of the underlying stout; the finish mirrors this: strong licorice followed by some chocolate/coffee.

M: Mouthfeel seems fairly light and creamy with fine carbonation.

D: The absinthe certainly could be better integrated. Still, a worthwhile experiment. As for the drinkability, I can't see wanting more than one.

Photo of 2_Shaynez
3.5/5  rDev +15.5%

Really interesting brew from a great microbrewery with a really diverse selection of beers. Black licorice the whole way through but notes of cedar, chocolate, coffee, slightly bitter. Worth trying, but not something I can drink often. Overall it really comes down to if you like black licorice because it's the most dominant flavour here.

Photo of patre_tim
4.03/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown, mostly opaque but with a slight ruby tinge (between a stout and porter in depth) no visible carbonation. The thick 4 finger chocolate milk head leaves a chunky lacing.

S: Coffee, chocolate, licorice, black pipe licorice, slight candy quality, light smokiness like that of pepperoni, cardboard.

T: Dark chocolate, licorice, light meaty smokiness, cigarette butts. Mostly a slightly sweet stout, very little alcohol burn. Notes of cedar. Black licorice comes in again and again.

M: Thick slightly syrupy body, low carbonation.

O: Interesting beer. The licorice and cedar are interesting, and the fact each sip tastes different makes this one really fun. Almost like a new beer every sip, but it repeats in a cycle. Well done! My first from Brasseur Montreal. I see Absinth- herbs and roots written on it, so that must account for the liquorice.

Photo of liamt07
2.23/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 341ml into a tulip.

Poured a very dark brown, bordering on black; several fingers of milk chocolate brown head are formed. Webbed lacing and some solid retention. Nose of sweet anise, black licorice, roasty and almost coffee-like notes. A touch of milk chocolate sits underneath. Quite sweet and liqueur-like. Pleasant if you dig this kind of stuff. Taste goes to shit - burnt bread, roasted coffee beans, and overwhelming licorice and absinthe notes. Heavily herbal and borderline (if not) medicinal. Add some alcohol into the mix. Almost gagged after my second sip. Body is a thinner medium. Excellent pour-down-the-drainability. Would not revisit this. Evidence of a situation where a trashy Euro Strong Lager would've been more pleasant.

Photo of jneiswender
4/5  rDev +32%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Mondial de la biere in Montreal on tap. Drank out of a tasting glass.

A-black walnut body, tan head, loose but present head.

S-sweet malt and definate smell of absinthe.

T-toasted malt, some espresso but the absinthe flavor is quite pronouced here. Strong anise.

M-somewhat dry on the palate, not slick or heavy.

D-I can't say this is something I would drink all night. However, I have had several absinthe beer before and this is by far the best I've had. I hope more breweries take the lead and brew absinthe beers with porters and stouts. Maybe one of the best, lesser known breweries in Montreal.

Photo of SebD
2.61/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: It has a nice fully black color to it. It has a nice dark tan head that dies down slowly and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of chocolate, coffee, black licorice some nice herbal notes.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a dominant black licorice taste witch kind of get's sickening with chocolate and coffee notes.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a serious need of balance adjustment.

Drinkability: It's a smooth drinkable beer accompanied with bland flavors and aromas.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.73/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single regular-sized bottle picked up at the LCBO, served slightly warmer than fridge temp. I thought I was buying a more orthodox stout and didn't notice the 'absinth' part on the label until I brought it home. Honestly though, that just makes it more intriguing to me.

Pours a virtually completely opaque black, topped with one finger of rocky, deep tan-coloured head. It dies down over a few minutes, leaving a thin film and collar on the surface. Plenty of lacing. Aroma is mostly anise and licorice, with some indeterminable roasted malt character underneath. Really though, it's mostly the first two. A very spicy, herbal aroma.

The second I put some of this in my mouth, I really wasn't sure if I liked it, but just after finishing the first sip I'm certain that I do. Lots of sambuca/absinth-type flavours at first, but this leads into dark roasted malts alongside some dark cherry and coffee grinds. Generally a sweet and herbal profile. The anise and licorice flavours reappear on the palate in the aftertaste, which lingers for a bit with some bitterness. Pretty heavy-bodied, with a syrupy mouthfeel and low carbonation. Probably a slow sipper, even though the ABV isn't all that high.

If you don't like black licorice, sambuca, or of course absinth, this is not the beer for you, but if you read the label (unlike me), you will know what you're getting into. Personally though, I think it's pretty good stuff. I do not particularly like or dislike the flavour of anise or black licorice so maybe I'm a fair judge in this case. At the very least it's unique, and worth a try for that alone. I'll keep this one on file and likely get it again next year.

Photo of bryehn
3.21/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Single bottle with no freshness dating pored into a pint glass and let warm about 15 minutes.

Pours a deep, opaque black with a beige head that settles as a thin ring and doesn't leave much lace.

I'm really not sure what to make of this. On one hand, I actually do like the smells of black licorice and anise, both of which are present on the other I can't smell a lick of stout at all because the absinthe smell is overpowering. It has a hard candy feel to the aroma.

It tastes like a shot of sambuca at first and really packs an initial, oddly sour punch. Once that wears off there is a very thick, dark and bitter chocolate. I also get a cherry note and one of orange and a bitter and slightly sour finish.

The mouthfeel is like watered down syrup and has a chalky aftertaste that reminds me of generic antacid tablets.

Herbed / Spiced beers are a funny thing and very much reliant on personal taste. This one, while very off-putting at first, grew on me to the point of having another.

Photo of jrenihan
2.31/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks like a typical stout- black with a fair sized tan head. Retention and lacing both moderate.

Smell is FULL of anise/licorice. I suppose that is the absinth. A very bitter smell. A bit of coffee in the background, and more typical stout scent, but hard to notice in the face of the anise. I guess whether you like the scent of this beer is entirely related to your appreciation for anise. Personally, not one of my favourites.

First taste was not pleasant. Like the smell, the anise is overpowering. Has a bit of a sambuca flavour (which I also do not like very much). Also tastes very leafy/herby- almost feels like there are dried herbs ground up in this beer. Subsequent tastes not getting a lot better. This beer is pretty focused, taste-wise, and it is not a focus I like. Unusual- but not in a good way.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky, moderate to low carbonation. Honestly, pretty hard to get past the taste to say much else.

Definitely not a winner in my book. I will not be finishing this beer- not even close. I imagine it has its virtues, but you have to be a big anise fan to enjoy this one. Otherwise, stay far away.

Photo of andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes...

A - Pours pitch black, finger of mocha head with solid retention and some nice sheeting lacing.

S - Jagrmeister, very medicinal and herbal,, some fresh coffee undertones, musty cocoa and a hint of black licorice.

T - Oddly unique, but a little more bland than implied by then nose. Cocoa and black licorice come through nicely, the medicinal and herbal earthy flavours are prominent. Certainly a different combination of flavours.

M - No problems in this department, good body carbonation and goes down smooth.

O - You need to know what you're getting into for this one in order to appreciate it. Strangely enough, I quite enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable beer. That being said, in terms of drinkability, it would be tough to drink more than one in a sitting. Props to these guys for taking a chance on this one, because IMO they pulled it off nicely.

Photo of angelogarcia3
4.77/5  rDev +57.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This outstanding beer pours dark black with a dark tan head full-bodied head with good lacing on the glass. Aromas of licorice, sambauca and alcohol on the nose. A thick creaminess in the mouth finishes with a hint of bitterness that clears the pallette. Flavors of licorice, sambuca, and hints of chocolate dominate this beer.

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.64/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brasseur de Montréal ("BdM"), a creation of Marc-André Gauvreau and Denise Mérineau, opened its doors on March 7, 2008 in the historic Montréal neighbourhood of Griffintown, located at 1483, Ottawa Street. BdM makes 7 beers that are offered year-round as well as a number of specialty seasonal beers. All are served in BdM's resto-bar adjacent to the brewing facilities, where customers can watch the beer-making process during their meals.

While Bucky was stocking up on stouts and porters for the winter, he noticed and picked up a bottle of BdM's Le Stout Ghosttown ("Ghosttown"). Ghosttown came in a brown 341 ml bottle with no visible 'best before' or production date, and contained absinth, herbs and roots..should be an interesting experience because I have no idea what absinth tastes like! Ghosttown poured an opaque black with a thin mocha coloured head that quickly faded to a thin collar of foam around the glass, leaving behind some minor spotting. Its aroma was a powerful black liquorice with undertones of dark roasted coffee, and an elusive herbal smell that I can't quite pin down (absinth?). Just like the aroma, the beer's taste was dominated by a strong black liquorice up front, giving way to that elusive herbal taste and a dark roasted coffee, slightly bitter finish. The mild dark coffee bitterness lingers as an aftertaste. I'm not a fan of black liquorice, but this isn't bad at all. Ghosttown has a mild carbonation and is relatively light bodied (for a stout) with a smooth mouth feel. The interesting brew to be sure, and even though black liquorice is not a favourite of mine, quite respectable. Ghosttown sells for $2.95 per 341 ml bottle.

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Ghosttown from Brasseur De Montréal
72 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.