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Space Ghost Imperial Stout - Central Waters Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Space Ghost Imperial StoutSpace Ghost Imperial Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

353 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 353
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 8.31%
Wants: 57
Gots: 95 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gus34 on 11-20-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 353 | Reviews: 59
Reviews by JerUrbans:
Photo of JerUrbans
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Beer pours jet black tar color, with dark caramel 1" head with tiny bubbles that holds on very well. Smells like roast coffee with hints of smokey oak and dark chocolate. Taste is like roasted chocolate on a chili pepper binge. Wow, do I love this. I'm big fan of chili pepper beers and this is excellent. Mouthfeel is great well carbonated and smooth, but with a huge bite and burn from the chili peppers. I have 12 bottles and will be aging some just to see what happens with this beer in a couple years.

Overall, I was so excited when I heard Central Waters was brewing this beer. It has lived up to my expectation and way beyond. I really hope this is not a one and done, because I hope to be drinking this till I'm pushing up daises.

More User Reviews:
Photo of richj1970
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22 oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with 1-2 finger dense mocha colored head. Decent retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Light chocolate, roasted malts, and chilies.

T: Roasted coffee beans, chocolate, and a mix of chilies. The spices are apparent and warming but not overpowering.

M: Full bodied but not thick. Finish has some nice spice heat, but complements the other flavors.

O: Another nice offering from CW. Really well done spiced stout.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%

Bottle shared by Curran, thanks man!

Pours out an inky, opaque black, with a small filmy head, and no lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, slight alcohol, pepper heat, and chocolate.

Time may have mellowed the likely intense ghost pepper flavors, but this one still has a bite to it. The pepper bite varies in intensity sip to sip. Some sips I barely get anything, other sips I get the full singe factor. The heat lingers a little bit on the lips. Other than the titular ghost pepper flavors, there's some good cocoa powder and Hershey's syrup flavors. It's not quite as roasty as I'd like, and not very bitter. There's some vanilla cream flavors as well.

As with many Central Waters stouts, it's a little thin, but not to the point where it's a detriment. It certainly would be helped by a beefier body, though. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and keeps the beer very drinkable.

A most excellent pepper stout from Central Waters- it's not quite at the level of Huna/Abraxas/Bomb, but I think it's better than Mexican Cake personally.

Photo of martyl1000
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 4/19/15:
I'm upgrading my rating from earlier this year (4.34). I just love this. It's not for everyone, certainly. But for me, this is my favorite double stout of the year. What might be a bit overly sweet gets dried out perfectly by the pepper spice.

PS: Don't be discouraged by the first sip or two. This brew gets better and better as the night wears on. That's probably the slow buildup of the pepper burn. It's genius that the chili spice pulls together and perfects the traditional beer flavors.
-------
Oh, my f-ing word, this is good. I'm heading right back to the store to get more.

(Days later...)
I'm always astonished when a beer presents as discrete levels of disparate flavor in rapid (or not so rapid) succession. Here, the stepwise stages of intensity start in the spacey (yuk-yuk) realm of brandy-laced chocolate. Cold black coffee insists on recognition next, but can't shake the "ghost" of the indeterminate pepper burn that rides in on its back. A red wine fruitiness cools things down. That seems to be it. Until it isn't. And the turnaround experience, the strongly identifiable next flavor, comes as quiet yet surprisingly forthright Wonder Bread grain, all the more interesting that it's carried by mere saliva at that point.

So, I mean, whoa? How did that just all happen? It's like my palate had just been taken over by this unruly parade of flavors (or was it a party in my mouth?) Whatever. I just love it.

Photo of IMFletcher
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Amazing. Great body and flavor from the imperial stout, with a serious, but underlying pepper burn that never overpowers, but definitely builds some heat as you sip.

Photo of joe1510
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

22oz Bomber
$7.99
Discount Liquors - Milwaukee

After the initial glug from the bottle into the glass I swear this beer is one of the blackest I have ever seen. There's no hope of peeking through the body. Not much foam formed but what's there is swirling and menacing. a thin cap on top of the black hole. A few striations of lacing is left behind.

The nose is packed with depth. Overripe berries galore, mostly black and blue, sit over the top of dark chocolate with an intensely high cocoa content. The pepper aspect adds both fruitiness and a leathery earthiness that works very well. A touch of lactic sweetness and some coffee roast make for a big, robust, mouthwatering aroma.

The pepper translates slightly different to the flavor profile than the nose. It's slightly vegetal but still has that leathery, earthy quality the nose suggested. Dark chocolate is king of the castle with a large impression. Dark berries come through mid-palate through the finish with a touch of fruity sweetness. Coffee style roast finishes it off along with a faint heat from the peppers. Delicious!

Weight is hard for me to pinpoint. It's toward the top of the spectrum, not necessarily full but not far off either. The finish dries up fairly fast leaving behind a soft roasty bitterness and pepper heat that eventually grows to moderate. The feel is soft and velvety.

Pepper beers, with me at least, are love or hate. I'm a big fan of Space Ghost. While the heat grows, as it should, the base stout is expertly done like most of Central Waters big beers. It's roasty, softly sweet and bitter with the heat adding depth. I wish I had more of these in the fridge, good beer, go buy you some.

Photo of McThulhu
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not a beer that needs a lot of explaining. Solid imperial stout with the great smooth heat of ghost peppers. not overwhelming, not even sweat inducing, but very flavorful. would buy again! Great beer for under 10 a bottle.

Photo of don1481
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bomber poured into snifter.

Appearance: Jet black with a chocolate head that dissipates rapidly.

Smell: coffee, chocolate. No sign of peppers.

Taste: ... and THERE IT IS. Starts like a smooth drinking imperial stout and then... BAM. The peppers balance against the stout taste nicely.

Mouthfeel: crisp, clean.

Overall: I have two more bottles of this aging. Looking forward to seeing how this goes.

Photo of MattyG85
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice glass.

Appearance: Pours an oily pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of tan head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet aroma with good hints of chocolate, coffee, and some pepper. Dark roasted barley malts with hints of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee roast, toasted bread, biscuit, caramel, toffee, grains, nuts, yeast, and slight smoke. Sweet hints of molasses and burnt brown sugar. Slight anise hints. The scent of chili peppers is kind of subtle but noticeable. Light hints of dark fruit. Light backing hints of hops. A pretty solid stout aroma.

Taste: Like the roasty aroma, but with a much stronger presence of chili peppers. Dark roasted barley malts with upfront notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee beans, burnt toast, biscuit, grains, caramel, toffee, yeast, nuts, and a little smoke. Big taste of chili peppers with a nicely biting but not overwhelming spice. Sweet taste of molasses and some brown sugar. Some anise licorice notes as well. Subtle undertones of dark fruit with notes of dark cherry, raisin, fig, and prune. Light presence of earthy hops in the background. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat slick, and very spicy. Alcohol heat is masked by the pepper heat.

Overall: A very good twist on an Imperial Stout. Great roasty chocolate and coffee flavor with a good dose of spice from the peppers.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 22oz. bomber into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a moderately thick, .5 finger mocha colored head with low retention. Beer is a dense, slick, opaque black. Lacing is spotty and stringy with little stick and thin legs. Just above average.

Nose is fudge, cocoa powder, chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. Very rich and dense but no real pepper spiciness to speak of. Still nice though.

Opens cocoa powder, fudge, chocolate, soy sauce and spice. Some roast and more fudge sweetness and bakers chocolate in the middle with a building heat that really peaks at the end. Finishes mellow and soft with more spice. Sweet finish with a heat that lingers well after the beer is gone.

Full bodied with low carbonation. Dense and rich in the mouth and goes down spicy. Finishes soft with a sticky, messy aftertaste. Finish and aftertaste are a bit weird but the body is fantastic.

There are a bunch of chile-infused stouts out there but this is the spiciest one that I've come across by a large margin. Worth trying if you're into that kind of thing, but otherwise this beer is also quite complex.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.19/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Black body. Small khaki head. Medium collar.

Smell - Milk chocolate. Light peppers. A little coconut and vanilla. That could be left over from the Floyd D'Rue I drank previously.

Taste - Chocolate. Between dark and milk chocolate. Peppers build quickly. Sharp spiciness. Finishes with a nutty caramel malt.

Mouthfeel - Very spicy. Medium carbonation and medium body.

Overall - The pepper doesn't bother me so much, the way I thought it might. It's really just the stout that isn't very impressive.

Photo of Austin32
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in January, I opened the bottle in March, still very strong chili pepper taste. After snifter number two a decent heat had built up on the tongue....and I loved it.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark opaque brown. The head is weak with little retention.

I'm surprised that I can't perceive the peppers in the nose, even in a vegetal state. It's heavy on the cocoa and roasted malt, not much else.

The taste is cocoa, roast, and a pleasant heat that's left on the tongue and back of throat. It doesn't have a lot of depth but I appreciate what was accomplished with the integration of the cocoa and ghost peppers. The play between the two is a seamless sweet to heat transition. Long peppery finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Low carbonation. It works well for the sweet aspect of it.

I really enjoy the use of chiles in stouts when it's done right, and this is one of those times. Where it lacks depth and complexity it makes up on execution.

Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enter into this beer with trepidation. I love chiles and chiles in my beers, especially dark beers, but Ghost chile is an abomination. Horrible flavor and with heat that only causes pain and misery.

Pours dark black and dense with two fingers of mocha colored head that was slow to settle to a very dense, thick cap. Heavy lacing is left down the glass. A very attractive stout.

Impressive aroma that features several components. Get the rich malty stout smells along with a sweet, fruity chile hint. Notes of roasted, smoky, mocha malt. Probably the best aroma from Ghost chile that I have smelled. Actually smells good with some fruity hints.

There is heat in the beer but not excessive and it comes right in the middle of the taste experience and does not linger for long. The chile is not harsh or dominate the flavor. Must of used it very conservatively. Still pick up the dirty, earthy flavor of the Ghost. Good stout base that gives up good roasted, mocha, and smokey flavors. Definitely more sweet than bitter on the scale. Alcohol is well disguised for the massive ABV.

The stout feels like a big one. Full bodied, rich, smooth, and creamy. Excellent job here.

In the end an outstanding stout and not gimmicky. I would of preferred Ancho, Chiptotle, or Habanero chiles as they lend outstanding flavor to go with the heat, but the Ghost was not as bad as I thought it would be in this case at these levels. The heat from Ghost usually builds and builds until a person will do almost anything to put the fire out, but that character is not evident in the beer.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Central Waters tulip.
12% ABV

A - Inky black, my tall pour of Space Ghost generated a massive and slow-to-leave dense mocha head that leaves heavy lace clinging to the glass wholeheartedly!

S - Space Ghost exhibits a rather transparent aroma of faint dark chocolate and notes of a green pepper's spice but neither attribute emerges with conviction. Instead, Space Ghost suggests what it might be like to try and smell a piece of Mayan chocolate; difficult. Given time to warm, chili pepper spice becomes victorious as the leading aroma.

T - Robust chocolate malt creates a heavy presence immediately, much more so than the nose. It's blend of bitter cocoa and smooth milk chocolate balance each other out while spicy chili peppers appear through the chocolate haze in the background. Mild and frankly tame at first, the chili pepper flavor opens up as the beer warms, integrating itself with the chocolate flavor for a cohesive spice profile.

M - Central Waters' imperial stouts seem to have a reputation for being 'thin' though I would disagree. With that said, I can say with confidence that Space Ghost is Central Waters' fullest-bodied beer I've experienced; rich, throat-coating, and it sits in the stomach like a brick. Chili pepper spice seems absent the first few sips but as the beer warms, a lingering heat sensation builds, first in the stomach, then in the throat. Space Ghost isn't quite as assertive as it's Great Taste debut (at least, how I remember it) but the slow burn catches up, balancing the big malt sweetness very nicely.

O - On one hand Central Waters' Space Ghost walks the line of being too approachable for a chili beer with it's somewhat tame chili pepper spiciness but, on the other hand, it's the most full, robust beer Central Waters' has released. Heavy chocolate flavor goes down like a liquified Hershey's bar with Anaheim pepper-like spiciness finishing out; spicy but under control. It's a great imperial stout with chilis but as a fan of both spicy food and chili beer, I yearn for just a little more eyeball sweat-inducing heat on the back end.

Photo of jegross2
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing Space Ghost from Central Waters Brewing Company out of Amherst, Wisconsin.

Score: 95

November 2013 vintage bottle. Served in a Hopslam snifter and enjoyed on 02/03/13.

Appearance: Black body. Pours a finger and a half of khaki head that settles down to a nice ring around the glass. Awesome lacing and retention. Really gorgeous stout. 5/5

Smell: Huge milk chocolate notes here. I could smell lots of chocolate from the moment I removed the bottle cap. Mild roast, a little bit of what can only be described as a vanilla cake like aroma, and spicy pepper notes too. Some dark fruit comes out as it warms up. Dark chocolate and burnt brown sugar too. Everything melds so wonderfully here. 4.75/5

Taste: Loads of milk chocolate and notes of dark chocolate, followed by the ghost pepper. This beer has a nice and bold spicy kick that dances on the tongue and lingers, either gradually fading or layering in intensity depending on how you space your sips. More dark fruit is present in the taste than it was in the nose, but the dark fruit character is still pretty muted overall. A touch of roast too. As the beer warms up, it gains a little more complexity - notes of caramel, coffee, and more dark chocolate come through towards the finish. No vanilla or vanilla cake flavor, which is a little bit of a let down after being teased a promise of such by the nose. All the complexities mix nicely. I particularly like how the dark chocolate comes through and plays with the spiciness in the finish as it warms; it reminds me of the high percentage cacao chocolates with chili peppers that I enjoy eating. There is also a touch of alcohol heat that is well-masked by the chili heat. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Sadly, like many Central Waters stouts other than 1414 (which is bizarre, considering that 1414 is barrel aged Satin Solstice), the body on this one lacks the heft it demands and deserves. Medium-light bodied, good carbonation. A little creamy, a little slick. Lightly dry towards the finish. Excellent spiciness. 3.5/5

Overall: But for the fact that this beer lacks a mouthfeel that is as substantial as its aroma and taste, it would be better than Hunahpu's. While I thought the tap version was marginally better than the bottle due to a seemingly better mouthfeel, I did not think that the bottle fell substantially short of the tap version of this beer unlike others claimed. Maybe there is some bottle variation at play? Either way, at $7 for a 22 oz bottle, you can't go wrong. If you like chocolate with peppers or are seeking a chili stout with more spiciness than Hunahpu's or Mexican Cake, then this is your beer. I really hope Central Waters brews this one again (and again and again and again)!

Cost: $7 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: naturally, black-bodied, shiny and opaque, with a finger of dark mocha foam

S: roasted malt chocolates and espresso, suggestions of molasses and hints of hot chili

T: luscious bittersweet dark chocolate flavor undercut with coffee and spiked with tingly stings of ghost pepper magic... minor notes of something herbal and hoppy round off the approach

M: smooth and full-bodied, rich and satisfying, and all a-tingle with the chili pepper heat

O: a very nice Imperial stout with an appropriate amount of heat - assuming you enjoy the heat of chili peppers in beer - I do - for the style (chili stout), a sure-fire winner. Recommended.

Photo of buschbeer
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

1 PINT 6FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a snifter

It is as dark as the ace of spades. It is capped with an inch of mocha head that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is of dark fruit, cocoa, molasses, plum, fig, anise, and coffee.

The taste is deep and rich. I get some intense roasted malt featuring dark chocolate and anise with a slight burnt flavor. The chili peppers tingle my tongue but are not hot.

It is thick and full on the mouthfeel.

It is a pretty damn tasty imperial stout. I feel this style seems to do best with peppers being added. The roasted flavors and heat make for a great combination. Endorphins released!

Photo of ThickNStout
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from Powderhornphil (thanks!). No bottling information but released 11/13. Served in my Phish snifter.

Pours night black with a finger and a half deep tan head. The foam fades slowly, leaving only specks of lace.

Aromas of chocolate syrup, soy sauce, vanilla and brown sugar with some pepper nasal burn on the back end. Intriguing.

Taste follows the nose in the best ways. Dark chocolate and espresso are fairly dominate with layers of brown sugar, chili pepper, vanilla, roasty malts, faint smoke, molasses and a sort of dark fruit jam. A nice, hot chili pepper burn remains present throughout without distracting or being over bearing. There are so many positive flavors at work that the substantial alcohol bill is nearly invisible, making this dangerously easy to drink. Excellent.

Syrupy, medium heavy body with subtle carbonation. A lingering heat remains during the sweet mochaccino and brown sugar finish.

I admit a certain apprehension when approaching a beer brewed with ghost peppers but this is great. Fantastic use of chili pepper heat to complement a delicious base beer. A big brew that goes down incredibly easily while providing tons of flavor. Really glad to have tried this.

Photo of CraigP83
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Typically stout look/smell just a hint of chili powder. The heat is not over powering.

Photo of Boccu
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done just not my style definitely get the chili peppers at the end

Photo of GeezLynn
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: black with a modest tan head. Decent retention and easily revived.
S: not particularly strong – I get black patent malt and some bittersweet chocolate.
T: starts with roasted/black malt combo, followed by a sharp spicyness. A moderate sweetness cuts into the spice a bit and as it warms some smokeyness becomes apparent - not sure if it is malt or chile. Spice lingers on the finish.
M: body is thick with heavy fine carbonation.

I like a good chile beer, but as a stout this one had a bit too much pepper for me. The stout underneath didn’t do that much for me either. Not bad, but not something I’d buy again.

Photo of Gus34
4.44/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This just came in and I was lucky enough to grab a bottle. Apparently my local bottle store only got 3 cases (36 bombers). You can only buy one per-person, so this is going to be a hard one to find, especially if you don't live in Portage County. This beer is labeled as an Imperial Stout brewed with chili peppers, which I heard includes ghost peppers. A guy at the brewery told me this is 12% ABV, but I'm not completely sure on that. Anyways, let's get to the beer.

A: It pours a beautiful black color with a hint of dark red in it. It forms a nice head with a reddish lacing. It's a great looking beer.

S: I was not picking up much from the smell. I just got your standard roasted malts, chocolate and coffee smell that comes pretty much standard with any imperial stout. Really couldn't make out anything that smelled like chili peppers.

T: Wow! This thing has a lot going on. You get a very nice stout taste which includes dark chocolates and coffee at the beginning with a significant bitter hop platform towards the middle. Then it ends with a pretty significant tingly spicy sensation. The spice definitely lingers in your mouth after you take a drink, but it's not too overpowering. It's just about perfect. Some people may find it a little too hot for their personal taste though.

M: It's a pretty full bodied beer. As it warms up you get the spice even more.

O: This was a really awesome experiment by one of my favorite breweries. This is definitely a very unique beer that any stout, or chile beer fan should take the time and try if they can get a hold of one. It has a lot to offer and is very affordable to boot!

Photo of d5001986
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into tulip glass.

Pours deep dark brown with very small tan head.

Smell is mostly chocolate with toasted malt. Slight pepper detected.

Taste is slightly bitter. Heavy chocolate, sweet toasted malt, and yes the chili peppers. There is a slight tingling heat that builds after a little while.

A heavy bodied beer accompanied by a tingly sensation from the incorporated pepper.

Overall I quite enjoyed this one. This is my first experience with a peppered stout and I think it's great.

Photo of Jlabs
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Soild pepper stout..wish there was some vanilla and/or cinnamon yo balance the chili heat

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Space Ghost Imperial Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.