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Speckled Ghost | Borealis Fermentery

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Speckled GhostSpeckled Ghost
24 Ratings
Speckled GhostSpeckled Ghost

Brewed by:
Borealis Fermentery
Minnesota, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 06-19-2012

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 9
Photo of DMarlinJ
3.66/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sparx1100
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Metalsnota
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pat61
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours hazy tea brown (SRM 15) producing a 3” sticky light tan cap that lasts 3 minutes.

S: Ripe to over ripe fruit aromas with earthy and woody notes. Mild alcohol aroma, hop aroma medium to medium low, yeast aromas medium to medium high, malt aromas medium.

T: Raisin, fig, hint of prune, fruit and a hint of fruit cake fade to a residual sweetness as moderately bitter hops produce some drying on the finish and a dash of tartness. Mild alcohol flavors – not hot or harsh, moderate hop flavors, good balance between the Belgian yeast, malt and hop flavors.

F: Very creamy, medium to medium light body, medium high carbonation.

O: An enjoyable and very elegant drink.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Speckled Ghost is amber and hazy. It's lighter in color than many dubbels, the first clue that it's a bit different from the norm. Smell and taste are bananas, coriander, malts and Belgian yeast. The feel is creamy, but not heavy. Speckled Ghost doesn't have the darker tones of flavor that I associate with dubbels. It seems closer to me to some tripels or Belgian pale ales. It's a fine beer, one that I really enjoyed, and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've been wanting to try this brewery for several years and a recent trip to Duluth accommodated. Picked up this bottle with anticipation.
Sweet, tart, fruity aroma with a bit of earth and even a bit of funk. Strong phenols not apparent.
Huge head that became rocky and attractive. Lighter amber with hints of red. Rather cloudy.
Lighter body and even a tad thin but some carbonation body's it up a bit. Quite drying in time. A little more fruit, and not dark dried, but lighter fruit with a little tartness. The firm malt based intertwines with the fruit and light funk. And then the long drying finish. A little pepper comes on in time. I expect more changes as I go through this 750.
Atypical for most dubbel's I drink. But I like it. Not sure where the funk came from. It wasn't expected but was enjoyed.

 821 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.21/5  rDev +1%
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!

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Photo of alostplot
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spacecake9
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just cracked open a bottle I bought last fall. Pours a hazy dark golden color. Very good Belgian Dubbel. Would buy again if I could find it.

142 characters

Photo of Kenai4
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KarlHungus
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NathanMilesLund
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Richardbcoffin
4.56/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of socon67
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of indy351
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of olafphysics
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of MNPikey
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of dmadsen
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
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 atone315
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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 gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
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 kdpark
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

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Speckled Ghost from Borealis Fermentery
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 24 ratings
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