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Space Ghost Imperial Stout | Central Waters Brewing Co.

71 Reviews
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Space Ghost Imperial StoutSpace Ghost Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Central Waters Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gus34 on 11-20-2013

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Reviews: 71 | Ratings: 439
Photo of JerUrbans
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

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Photo of DersOne
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

A-Pours dark black, small dark tan head with some lacing and small lingering bubbles.

S-Mild, faint roasted malts and chocolate, the spice reminds me of mexican chocolate cookies with the hint of pepper. Not overly impressive but still pleasant, more like CW's Satin Solstice with a kick.

T-Hits you with spice right away, my nose got tingly, which slowly moved to my lips and throat. Very heat forward but it blends slowly and quite deliciously to chocolate malts and a bit of hop bitterness. Spice isn't overwhelming, it is very complimentary to the underlying beer.

M-A bit thin but that may be due to the pepper oils. Otherwise it's like a typical imperial stout, a bit dry.

O-One of the better spice beers I've had but the underlying elements aren't anything radically different from the other standard CW stouts. Not a bad thing, but was hoping for something a bit different overall.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of jegross2
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Short lived mocha head. Dark brown/black body. Thin collar. Minimal splotchy lacing.

Sweet chili aroma.

Very balanced on the forefront then dives into some sharp but not overpowering chili heat. For reason I sense raspberries in here? Would guess around 10%abv

Big chewy mouthfeel, medium carbonation. They nailed it.

Very nicely done ghost pepper impy stout. Don't know if I would be able to finish a bomber by myself but would be great to share. Thanks for the share TATURBO.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Fire House in Eau Claire into a snifter.

As someone who loves stouts and chiles, somehow these are two great things that I don't enjoy all that much together. That said, Space Ghost surprised me in a good way. Carries a nice body for a CW stout...enter beaten dead horse...and a mild vanilla and coffee presence. The ghost peppers just tickle the tongue at the start and then wallop the back of the tongue and permeates the throat and chest. Big spicy peppery heat that is really well integrated and memorable. The pepper heat is a very noticeable build up that's an enjoyable ride.

My biggest suggestion is to end your night with this beer, as the peppers hang joyously along the palate and creeps into everything else that follows. A unique take on a chile stout and a take I enjoyed more than most.

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Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours out black as night with a nice two finger light brown head, Smell is malty. Really smells like a beer that is not as dark. Smells a little sweet with maybe a little peppers but I'm just guessing cause I know it's supposed to have peppers in it. Otherwise I wouldn't think peppers. Taste.is dark malts, dark fruits, and a decent amount of peppers although not overwhelming. Compared to say Huna it seems to have more peppers. It's really not that much hotter but the choice of peppers seems to be such that it just doesn't meld with the stout as well as I would have hoped although it's still OK but not too great. Mouthfeel is medium to a little thin for what I would expect but the peppers are kicking in, Overall the beer is a decent stout with a little too much pepper for my taste but others may love it. I'm just over the hot pepper thing. Not to say it is really hot but just a little too much for the beer as it becomes a little too much than the beet can handle,

After drinking more it seems like they didn't pick the right peppers for taste and a little too hot for my taste. The peppers just don't add to the taste and really make the beer taste worse. Poor choice of peppers.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a pitch black color with a decent brown head. Despite the description, the aroma is mostly just malty with no noticeable scent of peppers. The taste is bold and robust like any stout with a tingly spice taste that makes an interesting taste without being spicy hot.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and slight chile pepper aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and chile flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and chile heat on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice chile presence that is not all that intense and works well with the base beer.

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Photo of morimech
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.41/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of mothman
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light layer of tan head. Color is a deep black.

Flavor profile: Rich chocolate. Lightly roasted malts. It has some kind of a burnt candy sweetness to it that I really enjoy. Caramel with some coffee. Raisins, lots of molasses. Fairly sweet. A lot of spicy peppers near the end. Not overly hot, but it shows.

Mouthfeel: Rich, sweet, and creamy. Full bodied. Nice amount of carbonation. Ends with a nice spice.

Overall, a really enjoyable beer for a really good price. $7 for a bomber really can't be beat. I'd easily drink more of this.

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Photo of maximum12
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Honestly, when I saw the 6.19 price tag on this bomber, I about choked on my own spittle. From a world-class brewery a probably great, big stout? One of many reasons I love CW. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife.

My eleven year old professionally pours this dark stout, moderate carbonation. Nose betrays there might be chile of some type in the beer: sweet milk chocolate & mild chile heat comes up the middle. Just what I was hoping for.

Space Ghost cries out for a late-boil addition of Pepto-Bismol. First impression: this is thicker, smarmier than any of Central Waters' beers (excepting the Anniversary brews), Good BWCA mud thick. Taste mimics the nose: chiles take the top of the heap though & suck most of the oxygen out of the beer. Mild sweet malts, milk chocolate, mostly drowned roast. But chile is the story here, & it's mostly felt right in the fundus. The richness of the base makes is a pleasure to suck down.

Hard to judge, because I believe the ghost peppers are masking a lot of what the base beer might bring to the House Party. Very good, but I'm going to stick one of these away & revisit in 6-9 months. I've bet it's better then.

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Photo of d5001986
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dense, dark tan head with bier bubbling through the head. Head has great retention. Toasted malt in the nose. Black. Starts with toasted malt and slight acidity. Toasted, roasted chiles build in intensity. Heat crawls up from below and reaches a nice low-medium heat (about a Jalapeno). Finish is roasted chiles and toasted malt.

Overall, pretty nice. The heat is nice, but I would like more (as someone who eats chiles daily).

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer was one of the pleasant surprises for me at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2013 so I was very excited when Central Waters decided to bottle this interesting beer. CW is by far my favorite brewery so often times I feel like I overrate their beers but I do think they really do produce some world-class beers.

When you tell someone about Space Ghost, their inclination is to think that it is going to be an overly spicy beer but that is not the case. The ghost peppers offer a spicy but subtle warmth as an aftertaste to what is a solid but not spectacular stout.

I am not sure what the base beer is for this? It is posted on BA as being 12% abv which I cannot believe as it does not seem like high. I can believe though that a decent amount of malts were needed to balance out the spicy peppers. Another hit from Central Waters!

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Photo of Powderhornphil
4.06/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a touch thicker than most CW stouts. Black with a couple fingers khaki head with a slight reddish tint.

Aroma is enticing. Milky Chocolate malts, a bit of sugary sweetness and a subtle pepper note.

The taste is chocolate malts supported by a unique tingling spicyness. Not terriblely complex beyond those two flavors. I don't find the spice to be particular hot. Just a lingering warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium but creamy and coating. Medium carbonation.

Overall a very nice beer. Exceptional value at about $6, and the ghost chilis are well integrated.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle opened up by Shaun at our latest tasting 11/26/2013. Poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

Review #301.

Pours a dark black body with a mocha head with good retention. Decent lacing, more bubbly than anything else. It really looks just like the CW Bourbon Barrel Stout that I poured into my other glass alongside it.

Smells very vegetal and peppery; not much in terms of the base malts. It's quite interesting that there may be some bottle variation with this given that you'd imagine the chili peppers would sink to the bottom of the tank. But it smells spicy and peppery on top of the freshly-sliced bell pepper smell. Its very interesting; even Hunahpu and Mexican Cake are not this peppery.

Very solid flavour profile, not complex but very nicely done. Nice roast malts give a bit of a chocolate and faint black coffee background that does a good job of cutting through the peppers. There is the vegetal flavour as well, and there is a nice peppery kick on the back end that burns a bit, but isn't incredibly spicy by any means.

Very full bodied, good carbonation with a nice creaminess to it. Reminds me a lot of Brewhouse Coffee, but obviously without the coffee. A good peppery kick on the backend keeps you awake.

Very interesting beer, Central Waters is doing good things with this base imperial stout. I think they should just bottle the base beer and call it Satin Solitude, but that's just me. In any case, this is definitely a beer that is worth trying if you like spicy peppers at all.

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Photo of Gus34
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

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Space Ghost Imperial Stout from Central Waters Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.
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