Spooks Ale
Shepherd Neame Ltd

Spooks AleSpooks Ale
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Winter Warmer
Ranked #260
Ranked #43,505
3.43 | pDev: 13.7%
Shepherd Neame Ltd
England, United Kingdom
Spooks AleSpooks Ale
View: Beers
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 40 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of flyingpig
1.84/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

500ml bottle from Morrisons supermarket (£1):
Terrible, that’s about all I can say to sum up the taste of this beer really. It started okay when I first poured it, sitting well in the glass but instantly things deteriorated when I smelt and tried the beer with little more than some caramel malts and too much bitterness coming through. The beer was a real struggle to finish and I ended up giving up close to the end, it was that bad.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
3.64/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml seasonal bottle picked up and served cold into an Innis & Gunn glass. Purchased for about $4 CDN.

Appearance - dark brown color, slightly hazy with a frothy little wisp on top. A half finger of off white head is poured initially and has decent retention.

Smell - toffee, caramel and Christmas time desserts. Some dates and prunes maybe and a touch of spice. Not the biggest nose out there but certainly improves as it warms.

Taste - toffee, caramel and butterscotch, finished off my a mocha like flavor. Definitely a malt bomb, but not overstated. Moderate but restrained bitterness throughout.

Mouthfeel - smooth, light feel, and a slightly spritzy body.

Overall - a good winter warmer with a fine blend of sweets counterbalanced by a coffee bitterness. Definitely worth arty, and this may even be a repeat purchase.

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Photo of BGDrock
3/5  rDev -12.5%

Appearance: deep, deep amber body, clear and sharp like a jewel; fine head gives way to a film quickly

Aroma: dark caramel and toffee, touch of chocolate, light overall

Taste & Mouthfeel: simple caramel malt flavours and unassertive hops are less exciting than the name suggests, nothing supernatural here; there is a touch of nutmeg; minerally and metallic at times

Overall: pretty to look at, but no real substance; skip it

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a clear brown color ale with a rather large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of light dry biscuit malt with some light bitter notes. Taste is dominated by dry biscuit malt with light roasted malt notes with some light dry bitter hops notes also noticeable. Body is about average with good carbonation. Enjoyable but a little bit too much toasted malt notes for my taste.

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Photo of TerryW
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Best thing about this beer is how it looks. Clear red chestnut with a fairly substantial and long lived head. Leaves lots of good looking lace. Presents handsomely.

Nose is malty with a whiff of hops. Bread and metal as well. Pretty classic English ale profile, sweet malt followed by bitter hops in quick succession. Drinks gentle and mild overall. However, distractingly metallic character as well.

I'd like this a whole lot more if not for the metal.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
3.42/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

bottlede and sadly clear glass bottle but thankfully no skunking
Poures a dark copper coloured body with a frothy white head.
The aroma is caramel toffee malt light red berry fruit that is lightly apparent in the flavour

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Photo of biegaman
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Spooks Ale has an absolutely ravishing auburn-amber tone. If People magazine put out an issue of its most beautiful beers, this would certainly make the list. Its clear complexion shimmers like tinsel and while its head is paper-thin it nonetheless envelopes the glass in sudsy cobwebs.

It took some time, but eventually faint notes of clove and assorted spice reach the nose (or maybe I just wished hard enough for it, the aroma started off so painfully plain). Esters also came with warmth and lent subtle cues of orchard fruit. It smells like a classic English ale.

The beer's maltiness has wholesome flavours reminiscent of bread and biscuits, but they're hard to appreciate because of the water's exceptionally high mineral content. There's so much copper taste that you'd think it was fermented in a change jar.

The trace of spice and moderate sweetness aren't enough to distract from the metallic, penny-like flavour. The hard water profile is clipping enough to enhance bitterness and bulks up the weight and muscle. It's quite a substantial pint.

Spooks Ale is a fine ale but tis not the "brew for all hallows". There's nothing particularly autumn appropriate about this recipe; I honestly can't understand why this is billed as a Halloween-time tipple. In that regard, this one is more trick than treat.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.37/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $3.50

Appearance - Clear reddish brown colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, metallic, caramel, an earthiness

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and woody hops. There is also a bit of a metallic/plastic type flavour and some light biscuit/chocolate.

Overall - Something about the taste is a little off, but it is still a fairly decent beer. If you like malty biscuity type beers give this a shot. I don't taste the citrusy hops advertised on the bottle though. Not something I'd pick up again.

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Photo of bark
3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The liquid is clear, the colour red-amber (25 EBC). The finger thick off-white head is compact. It sinks slowly leaving very little lacing.

The strong smell got malty notes of caramel, biscuits, hay, sweet malt, dried apples and apricots. Some toffee and cream candy.

The taste is dry and malty with some red berries. Clan bitter flavours. Lightly roasted flavours, nuts and mild spices. Biscuits and hints of müsli. Medium body. The aftertaste is malty with a slowly growing flowery and somewhat chemical bitterness. More nuts and a mild sweetness. The finish is quite bitter with dry caramel flavours.

The carbonation is strong, the many fresh bubbles mid-sized. The liquid is dry.

A very malty brew with lots of caramel malt. Some off-flavours in the bitterness lowers the rating a bit.

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Photo of rarbring
3.31/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A clear dark brown amber, a warm off-white head, good lacing. Some curtains.

Smelling mostly butter, a metallic hint.

Butter, butter scotch, dark bread, orange marmalade peel.

Little carbonation, soft with a medium body, a dry finish.

Not spooky, no trick, no real treat.

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Photo of Zimbo
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Immediate rip raw red nose in the bottle this effortlessly gives a dense smooth half inch very light magnolia head. Dark hazy loudy reddish brown colour with lines of orangy sparkle.

Lips to liquid you're initiallly hit by the scenty of light smoke followed by a firm dry earthy light but sweet citric juice. INteresting array of flavours though they don't quite merge as effortlessly as they could. Ends with a nice lightly malty smoothness.

A litte bit haunty and about as frightening as an episode of Scooby Doo.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2012. Brewed for Halloween - better late than never! Label mentions a blend of three malts and citrus hops.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear coppery-amber hue with medium carbonation. Yields a small head of frothy off-white foam that subsides after a minute or so. Aroma of roasted malt; plenty of burnt grain and hints of coffee, with bready undertones. No hops to speak of.

Tastes of roasted malt with a bitter finish. Notes of coffee accompanied by faint cocoa and caramel. A whisper of citrus. Stewed hops upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is rather thin with prickly carbonation. Quite astringent. Aftertaste of bitter roasted malt.

Actually, the flavour is pretty good for one of Shepherd Neame's seasonals. Plenty of roasted malt with a nice bitter finish. The citrus notes are exceptionally faint though, and the mouthfeel is watery - could be thicker and creamier for a winter ale. Still, not a bad effort.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.93/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml Brown bottle, best before Aug 2012, poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard in Oct 2011.

Looks really good, lovely red hue to its chestnut brown body a full, deep slighlty off-white head sat on top.

Hops in the aroma, was expecting a maltier smell because of the colour: the rear label does mention 'a particularly fruity hop' being added at four different stages of the brewing process. That'll be the reason I could smell a citrusy hop presence then!

The taste however is maltier than the hops, with a roasted biscuity, toasted brown bread feel to it. There is a sharper, bitter finish after the initial malt taste, those hop obviously finding their feet towards the end of the gulps I was taking.

I was hoping for a more creamy, richer body to be honest, but it wasn't a bad beer in any way, just not as smooth as I'd hoped for.

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Spooks Ale from Shepherd Neame Ltd
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 40 ratings