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Spooky | Goose Island Beer Co.

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Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States

Style: American Black Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Spooky 8% ABV, 80 IBUs (Black Imperial IPA). One of the newest styles on the beer scene, this Black Imperial IPA is loaded with Pale, Caramel, and Wheat malts then topped off with Debittered black malt for color. The hop bill is loaded with Cascade, Simcoe, and Chinook hops to provide a prominent and assertive hop presence.

Added by OttoBomb on 07-22-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 6
Photo of AgentZero
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has had a number of name changes, previously known as 'Spooky Black.' I drank it on-tap when it was unfortunately monikered 'Shady Black.'

A - Black beer with a tan head that left some decent lace down the sides.

S - Smell of chocolate, roasted malts, some resiny hops, grapefruit, and citrus. Smells fine for the style.

T - Chocolate malts, some roasted notes, citrus and floral hops along with a slightly resiny bittering finish. It tastes quite good for a Black IPA.

M - Good carbonation, yet manages to be fairly smooth. Medium bodied.

O - Pretty nice black IPA, other than the name, I would have said it was a winner. Thankfully someone came to their senses on this one.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Goose Island Clybourn (Chicago, IL) on 8/7/10. 12 oz pour served in a snifter. Originally called "Imperial Black IPA" on the board, I believe that this was renamed "Spooky" just in time for this year's Great Taste of the Midwest.

Pours a dense black, with a thin covering of (surprisingly) light mocha colored head. This mostly retains with some foaminess around the edges, which leaves a decent looking smattering of spotty lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral and a little spicy and resinous; with the Simcoe hops in particular giving this some sharp notes of earth and dank citrus. There's a flush of crunchy roast and coffee across the back, along with some dark smelling sweetness.

The blackness of this shows itself first in the taste, with a nice burnt roastiness that is backed with bitter chocolate and sweeter notes of caramel that hang on the edges. That mix of Cascade and Simcoe really packs a hoppy punch however, with an aggressive presence of pine, spicy earth, and most of all bitter fruit, which is what probably lingers the hardest in the finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a sharp crispness to it that expands the flavors here out into the mouth. Some oily slickness glides underneath and helps move some of the more beefy aspects of the body along. There is some warmth present but for the most part any kind of alcohol heat is kept to a minimum.

Pretty good take on the Black IPA here, with the hops really getting to shine but I was also pleased to find that the darker aspects of the style had their fair share of the limelight as well. Alcohol was also well hid, helping keep this a steady sipper. Not sure this was quite worth the $8 a snifter they were charging but I'll try not to hold that against it.

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Photo of beerhan
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being a huge fan of both stouts and IPAs I was very excited to try this tasty cask treat. Served to me in a 12 oz snifter this beauty is one of GI's finest. However it almost seems like a mix between 1 parts night stalker and maybe 2 parts green line or ipa. Nonetheless this has a lot of body to it. Colossal amounts of flavor come together to make this one hoppy dark IPA that goes down very smooth. I was very impressed but at the same time not really worth the 8 dollar price tag.

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Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at GI-Clybourn

Pours a light layer of khaki white head. Color is a dark brown.

Aroma: Tons of fresh hops. Floral and citrus notes. Caramel malts show which add a very nice layer to this. Very sweet, but bitter.

Taste: Big floral hop profile with lots of citrus, grapefruit in particular. Bready/biscuit flavored malts with the malts as well. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, but smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky and hoppy.

Overall, a very solid BIPA. Big and hoppy . One of the better beers I have had in the style. Easy drinking as well.

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Photo of OttoBomb
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 12 oz. snifter at Goose Island - Clybourn (July 22, 2010).

Black IPAs area fairly new style and seem to be the item of interest these days. I'm not sure the style is a drastic departure from existing styles, as we already have some very hoppy dark beers like GI's Nightstalker. However, nothing seem to market like slapping the term "IPA" on a beer, and so now we have Black IPAs, and this is an Imperial version no less. The GI beer menu's description: "One of the newer styles that many brewers are loving to create. Ours is brewed with caramel, pale, wheat, and Debitter Black malts and then packed with over 30 lbs of Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe hops."

Eyes: The liquid is a dark black, with a thinnish consistency when swirled. Its visibly more viscous that most stouts which adhere to the sides of a glass a bit more. A thin layer of thick, fluffy brown head covers the surface.

Nose: The nose is quite hoppy, akin to an IPA, but the profile seems to be muted by a rich toasty malt character. The Cascades seem to take the forefront here.

Tongue: Much more malty overall than the nose, but the hopp presence is still robust. Toasty, roasty, and even a bit savory despite the hops, which provide a decent bitterness and piney presence.

Mouth: This has the smooth, light consistency of a typical Schwarzbier, but obviously much more hoppy, though not enough to strip the palate.

Libation: I'm not entirely sure why this is considered an "Imperial" IPA. There are a good amount of hopps throughout, but they don't push through enough to be considered an IPA or even a strong APA. Nomenclature aside, this is a very flavorful and pleasant beer, which goes down very easy even with it's 8% ABV. As for this Black IPA trend,...I'm not sure if I'd really come back to this style all that often. I will continue to go to Stouts for my rich malt craving and stick to IPAs for my thirsty hop tooth. For all it's flavor, a Black IPA doesn't seem to cover either craving completely.

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Spooky from Goose Island Beer Co.
4.06 out of 5 based on 6 ratings.
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