Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Speckled Ghost - Borealis Fermentery

Not Rated.
Speckled GhostSpeckled Ghost

Educational use only; do not reuse.
no score

Awaiting 10 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 6
Hads: 18
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Borealis Fermentery visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: feloniousmonk on 06-19-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (14) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 6 | Hads: 18
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first taste of this was a day after hearing of the brewery's existence (though they had been promoted a bit on mnbeer.com, weeks earlier,apparently on a day I forgot to visit the site), on tap at a coffee shop in West Duluth. Smitten with this brew, my friend and I vowed to find bottles for sale before we left the North Shore, and were successful.

Dark crimson coloring under a slim, cream-toned head, soon to disappear.

Aromatics: lovely. Sweet and spicy. Special B malts, and caramel malts, too? Some raisin, figs, toffee, vanilla, cream. A treat for the nose, a sumptuous olfactory delight.

Now, to drink the danged thing: Bam! It hits from the start, not meek or shy in the least, blasting dark fruit flavor, laced with spice. Pepper and plum aplenty. Juicy malt is the forward flavor, with spicy Belgian yeast added extra character. I have a word for this, and it is Yum.

Mighty fine consumability, also, …not too heavy, not too slight, juuust right. Hits all the right notes.

Not quite as dark, rich, and deep as I'd prefer a dubbel to be, but there's no quarreling with the taste, or the quality. Excellent stuff. There's the cherry version awaiting in the fridge, and I'll have to wait a bit for the others, I guess, (a wit and another wheat, their website says) but if they're as nice as this…keep 'em coming.

Let's look at the label gobbledygook: "At the Borealis Fermentery, our beers are craft brewed in small individual batches on Minnesota's beautiful North Shore using pure artesian water and the freshest ingredients available. Our beers are unfiltered and bottle conditioned. Please pour carefully decanting the beer into your glass while keeping the yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

Speckled ghost is an ode to the elusive trout. A Belgian style abbey ale that melds hop balance, sweetness, and a hint of maltiness.

Chill before serving, pour into your favorite glass, and enjoy this beer while dreaming of the perfect day wading in the river.

We hope you enjoy our handcrafted beer.

Enjoy responsibly, The Borealis Fermentery,
Big Lake, Big Beer."

I did enjoy it, but, damn it once again, a beer label tried to tell me what I should do while drinking it! (Shades of The Lost Abbey.) I did not think once of wading in a river, or about fish. I was re-watching this season's Mad Men, and also listening to Clifford Jordan's "Night of the Mark VII." And I'd do it again!

 2,408 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mlbottle purchased in Duluth,MN

A- pours a mostly clear garnet color with a thin tan head slight lacing on glass

S- dark fruit ,bananas spice roasted malts

T- follows the nose dark fruits first boy not overbearing notes of plum and fig followed with spice and roasted malts hops are present in a floral way 9% ABV nowhere detected

M- was sweet with a belgian yeast funk

O- very tasty and smooth light on the fruit will try this on tap next visit and buy another bottle

 477 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mount Riyal Bottle Shop - Duluth, MN

A fairly recent trip to Duluth found me in possession of another couple Borealis Fermentery beers. So here I drink. Speckled Ghost pours with all the vigor of its highly esteemed Belgian counterparts. A tight bubbled frothiness easily forms and shows no signs of dissipating. The foam is bright white and amazingly sticky along the glass. Underneath sits a tarnished bronze body with some russet highlights and stunning clarity that helps the background light glow. This is a great looking beer!

The nose is vibrant dark fruity, spicy, and alcoholic while remaining clean. Prune starts the journey with a touch of dried apricots and a handful of dates. A huge fig sweetness hits the middle with all sorts of depth. The spice comes in the form of rock sugar, cardamom, and coriander. AN immensely clean alcoholic bite adds some white peppery notes. This beer makes me want to dive right in.

While the flavor can't quite live up to the nose it's not far off either. Prune and plum lead the way with the dates popping up mid-palate. Figs play throughout while the spice stays even handed on the backend. Again, there's some rock sugar, Belgian candi I'm guessing, a little exotic softly smokey cardamom, and fruity coriander. Alcohol is soft, but noticeable, on the finish along with mild orchard fruits.

The mouthfeel is where Borealis has done an amazing job. I'm drinking a 9% beer but it's luxuriously frothy and soft. The body feels light and airy. Not many American brewers out there can can pull off that feat. The drinkability is surprisingly high thanks zero residual sugars and a dry finish. Really well done in this department.

Borealis really nailed it with Speckled Ghost. The look and feel are that of the best Belgians on the planet while the flavor is right up there. There's great depth and complexity with a drinkability of the charts. A really great beer all around and I'm not really a fan of dubbels. Certainly worth buying. Great job!

 2,011 characters

Photo of dmadsen
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer in a large bottle at New Scenic Cafe. Have had Borealis beers at ABR but was not impressed. Likely was a spent palate and temperature.

I ordered a Ommegang beligian that was on the menu. Waiter informed me they had this, though it was not on the menu. Served in a appropriate glassware. Wonderful look, feel, flavor. I am not a Belgian expert. That said, this beer was amazing. It was lighter but had great body and rounded complex flavor, floral, had a great balance, nice tracing. After coming off the Gunflint it was a welcome surprise and paired well with a full multi-course meal

If I can get my hands on it again, I will.

 644 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip Glass; Picked up from Cape Superior Bottle Shop

Appearance - Dark Brown with a strong haze. Pours a white 2 finger head with sparse lacing.

Smell - Plums, Figs, Caramel, Cloves and Malts. Pretty sweet smelling Dubbel, a bit too boozy for my senses though.

Taste - Caramelized Malts, Plums, Cloves, Figs and a slight spice. The first sip comes off as very boozy but if you let it sit and warm up, that's when the flavors become very vibrant and well balanced!

Mouthfeel - Heavy bodied with a chewy feel to it. Not much in terms of carbonation but it's heavy bodied and thickness make this a sipper.

Overall - I was very surprised by this beer. I've been by the brewery before and it is probably the last place I expected to see a Dubbel from, especially on the North Shore. It's really awesome to see what the Duluth Area beer scene can deliver. It's not perfect but it's worth checking out simply because it goes to show that the least likely of places can turn out the most unexpected surprises.

 1,021 characters

Photo of kdpark
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had with dinner at the New Scenic Cafe. Was really taken with this beer.

Amber, frothy white head, highly carbonated. Aroma is mostly bananas and a touch of alcohol. Doesn't have as much fruity malt as most Dubbels, which I like. The flavors are a perfect mix, spicy, bitter, malty, fruity, toasty. Mouthfeel is right in the sweet spot. Drank the whole bottle, then found out it was 9%.

Will definitely seek out Borealis again, really well done.

 448 characters

Speckled Ghost from Borealis Fermentery
- out of 100 based on 6 ratings.