Adnams Ghost Ship | Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery

very good
29 Reviews
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Adnams Ghost ShipAdnams Ghost Ship

Brewed by:
Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by wl0307 on 11-14-2010

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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 108
Photo of Umbriel
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

The somewhat cheesy label makes you think this is another pale ale in a sea of beers. But this one is particularly good and I came across it as a random buy. It's so well balanced and not too hoppy, too sweet or too bitter but has a lovely, very subtle burnt ash flavour. It exudes balance and it goes down very smoothly indeed. Recommended.

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Photo of Spike
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From a 500ml bottle. A dark gold with an orange tinge. A thin, white head with open bubbles around the rim.

Smells strongly of tangerine, honeysuckle, and pine. Not subtle at all.

Flavour is citrus and pine. But there's a metallic note as well. Tastes like an large-scale brewery poured in an artificial flavour labeled 'New World Hops'. Not convincing.

Medium to thin mouthfeel with some carbonation and a hoppy astringency.

Looks ok. Bitterness is good. Not sure about everything else. I like hop-forward, american-style pale ales but this is such a weird, unauthentic, unbalanced offering.

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Photo of vinicole
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pale amber. No head but plenty of rising bubbles.
Aroma of citrus hops tinged with malt.
Taste reflects the smell with a touch of sweetness counterbalanced by a tannic astringency.
Moderate feel.

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Photo of bark
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cask @ Charlie’s Pub, Copenhagen Denmark.

Clear liquid, copper colour. The low head is cool white.

The bitter-hoppy smooth smell is somewhat sour, some floral notes.

The taste got distinct bitter flavours, but in a very English way. Citric fruits and ditto peels, orange squash. Medium body. The aftertaste is a bit harsh with lemon peels and dried flowers. The finish is a bit harsh.

Medium carbonation, stronger than expected from a cask ale. Smooth liquid.

A bit too harsh, I get the expression that this is an English bitter with too much modern world hops, not an APA with an English twist. Still, a quite nice beer.

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Photo of drmeto
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

-pours a slightly hazy golden-amber with a medium to big,foamy,white head
-medium to high carbonation visible
-Follows the nose plus a bready finish
-low to medium bitterniss
-medium carbonation
-light body
Good,refreshing Ale.
Somewhere between an English Bitter and SNPA

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Photo of charlatan
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber coloured beer with onion and tangerine oil in the nose. Sugests interesting hops and indeed the beer is pretty hoppy for an English pale ale. The hops are pretty spciy and astringent. I was less keen on the dry feel.

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Photo of captaincoffee
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sadly, the bottled, not cask version. Adnams seems to always do a good job at putting out solid beer without ever being amazing. Ghost ship seems to keep that tradition alive and well. Pours a clear bronze with a low head and very little lacing. Nose has some nice fresh hop aroma, falling somewhere between grassy and piney. Flavor is somewhere between a UK and US pale ale...reasonable hop/bitterness levels, solid malt backbone. However, it is certainly short of exciting. Could pound back a few without any complaints thought.

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Photo of ChinaskiWMA
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I spent a week this summer in Southwold, drinking this from the bottle and on tap from the Red Lion (the Lord Nelson was packed). This beer is the perfect blending of the subtle and balanced characteristics of an English Ale with the juicy, citrusy qualities of American IPAs (but no bitterness). Not surprisingly it's brewed with Citra hops.
The look is amber and clear. I would love to taste it unfiltered. The nose gives you toasted bread, yeast, and some citrusy fruit. Initially, very thirst quenching and mild flavor of English ale yeast and malty biscuit, giving way to mild grapefruit citrus. Soft flavor upfront, and soft finish. I can drink this all day.

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Photo of gutbucket2
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

5 litre cask bought from brewery. (contains yeast). Strong sweet citrus and toffee aroma. Taste the same. Mouthfeel: this is where the beer scores highly. Terrific lengthy taste of citrus hop and malt including rye. Overall: a stunning ale from Adnams. Chewy texture, unusual in a 4.5% beer. I recommend buying cask-conditioned. Bottled version does not contain yeast.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On to Adnams and their nautically-themed beers, this time Ghost Ship, a ghostly Pale Ale (their words). Now I quite enjoyed their Broadside, an English Special Bitter-cum-Old Ale, so I was a teeny bit excited to give this a go, with a sense of apprehension at the low 4.5% ABV (low ABVs generally go hand in hand with muted flavours)... after reviewing the HUGE disappointment of a Pale Ale that is Matilda Bay’s Lazy Yak I’m not holding my breath on this blowing my socks off.

Poured from a 440ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Presents a clear amber body with a fluffy 1 cm white-with-a-hint-of-beige head that soon settles to a thin covering leaving spiderweb lace on the side of the glass - a good sign indeed mateys (I’m continuing the nautical themes in my review). 7/10.

S: Melon and stone fruit characters lead the nose followed by a nice earthy & herbaceous note and some toasted biscuit malts. There are touches of bread yeast in the background as well... this is one ship shape brew, ahoy! 7/10.

T: At first the flavour is mild and unassuming, like a cool summers sea breeze wafting over Portsmouth. Then we get some slight citric acidity, a light and sweet malt toasted malt base, and a touch of tea-leaf tannin and citric bitterness in the finish... No stormy seas here, just smooth sailing. Any negatives in the flavour department? Well it’s the same issue I, personally, have with any beer below the 6% ABV mark - it could benefit from a little more flavour intensity. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light, slightly dense bubbled, almost English pub (but a little bit more active) carbonation, better than a tankard of grog. 8/10.

D: Sessionable? Very, and for the price it is even better than most craft beers on the Australian market at a downright reasonable $13 a 4-pack (that’s nearly 2 litres of a half-decent Pale Ale). Recently I’ve found myself keeping good English Ales in the fridge alongside Torpedo cans and FBS bottles - and this is a great go-to option for when Plonk runs out of Tanglefoot cans (which they’re selling for $14 a 4-pack), overall I’m impressed by this easy-drinking EPA with hints of APA and will definitely get it again in future... weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen me mateys! 8/10.

Food match: The overall fruitiness and herbaceous character of this atypical English Pale Ale would work well with fresh asian cuisines such as Vietnamese or Korean.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I thought the nose on this -- heck the palate too -- was like a perfect synthesis of American vs English takes on the use of hops/malt. It has a really prominent floral nose, which evoked American pale ales, but the palate doesn't shy away from some malt sweetness. There's enough bitterness to tie it all together too. Enjoyable pint, served in good condition at the Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden.

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Photo of Lemreway16
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I like Adnam's Beers and was keen to try this. It is an excellent beer with along with its hoppy taste many hints of citrus fruit melons et al. Trouble is for my taste buds its too fruity - I prefer the old fashioned tastes of hops and malt but that's me and I can recognise a good beer. What I will say its an ideal beer for a lager drinker seeking to convert to real beer to try. Its not too heavy and light in flavour.

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Photo of FLima
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thin head with short retention, but leaving some laces.
Lemony aroma with hints of lemongrass, mild pine, musk and some English earthiness. I am not sure why it reminded me a bit of sorachi hops used on one of the versions of Duvel Tripel hop.
Bitter and citrus flavor with notes of lemon-lime, herbal and earthy hops, caramel and biscuit malt, citrus fruit like peel, English yeast, mild spices or rye, some pine drops, musk and tea with lychees. Dry aftertaste with a rounded bitterness.
Light towards medium body with perfect carbonation.
Refreshing English Pale Ale with a predominant lemon citrusy. Although they use American hops, naming Citra for example, it feels very different from a traditional APA. I guess the little blessed guys are the culprit again to still make this very English.

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Photo of magpieken
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

440ml can. 31 Jan 15. Pours a bright, pale gold/light amber colour with a large frothy white head which settled down to a couple of millimetres, leaving minimal lacing. Big hop aroma along the lines of an American Pale Ale: pine, resin and citrus; but also some underlying bready maltiness. Quite bitter but not excessively & some gentle sweetness but it’s the bitterness that dominates. Light to medium body, quite thin texture, low carbonation and a lingering bitter finish. 7.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%

A: Copper body. Almost no head.
S: Perfumy tropical hops.
T: Earthy/rindy with a likeness to elderflower. Dry, with some tea leaves. Not very bitter at all, which is refreshing for an American hopped ale. As it warms it gets even earthier and I get burned toast.
O: Better than I was expecting.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A 440ml can with a BB of Nov 2014. Purchased from the Adnams webshop a little while back.

A: Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of sharp fruity hops with hints of grapefruit, citrus, mild peel, white fruit, grass/hay, caramel malt and ale yeast. Lovely.

T: Tastes of fruity aromatic hops with a tangy bitter finish. Notes of grapefruit, orange peel, citrus, white grape, mild melon, grass/hay, caramel malt, ale yeast and subtle stewed hops. Slightly sweet, followed by an appreciable hoppy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with spritzy carbonation and good body. Slightly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of bitter aromatic hops, stewed leaves and ale yeast.

O: A fantastic pale ale and a recent favourite of mine. Looks good, while the aroma and flavour have a robust hop presence underpinned by subtle caramel malt. Fruity notes abound! Body is OK. An ale with excellent balance and delicious hoppiness. Very drinkable and well worth sampling if you come across it.

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Photo of DiUr
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

440ml can. Orange amber colour with good looking two finger head which leaves a pretty good lacing. Smell of floral hops, passion fruit and mango, even a hint of marihuana? The taste follows the aroma, with some added maltiness. The hops and tropical flavours grow at the end and it finishes dry, leaving a slightly metallic after taste. Medium body and light carbonation.

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Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Deep golden colur, small head that fades oon. Smell of damp earth, with floral notes, citrus and fruits. Medium body, good carbonation. Taste is a bit dry, hops, spices, sour.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Can: a large, 440mL blue can with an old schooner on it. Decent, though I still have an issue (unreasonable or not) with cans.

Appearance: pours a slightly orange amber colour with sporadic carbonation. A half-finger off-white head hangs about for a time before dropping to a thick ring. Little lacing.

Aroma: smells of bread malts, with a touch of caramel and some floral hops. That traditionally English earthen aroma also - refreshing.

Taste: fairly close to the aroma, but with that earthen flavour bigger in the mouth. Definite bread malts and floral notes. Pretty good.

Aftertaste: the earth drops away somewhat to be replaced with that caramel sweetness on the nose. Lovely.

Mouth feel: a moderate body with moderate carbonation also. I think that is what makes this a better pale ale than most that come out of England - it has a decent amount of carbonation - it doesn't feel as flat as a lot of others.

Overall: quite a decent English Pale Ale, and for an incredible price. Where most of these are well over $80 - $100 for a case, this one was AU$55 for a case of 24 x 440mL (2014), putting it in the same price range as a standard Aussie lager. A good beer for a great price.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed 12 oz. on tap at Beer Revolution in Calgary. Bright golden yellow with a small quantity of white head, I am immediately struck by the tropical hop aroma, starfruit, watermelon, and tangerine with an unexpected smokiness. Unique "English golden" ale in that the smoke carries over onto the palate (!), thin and fizzy yet with a robust biscuit and nutty maltiness and a hopping regime that delivers robust citrus/tropical fruit flavors, along with the expected English floral/earthy character in the finish. Includes Citra hops and crystal rye malt which could account for these unique attributes.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear amber, thin white fluffy head, nice retention.
Smell is full of biscuit and caramel, with a faint tropical note covered by tasty lime and tangerine.
Taste: grainy biscuity malts, with a nice hoppy fruitiness at first, citrusy tropical as in the smell, a bit toned down. It goes through some pine, quickly to a dry leafy tobacco bitterness in the finish. Slightly salted grains throughout make up the mostly malty taste of the beer.
Smooth medium body and carbonation, refreshing at first but the bitterness piles up quickly, rather dry.
A nice English ale, reallly good in its style.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a tulip pint glass. Best before June 30th 2014.

Rocking white head, three fingers deep and fluffy retention, filled with island caps and spider thick lacing. Body color is crystal clear brass bronze and shimering with some minimal carbonation. Practically textbook looking.

Nose is interesting. Did I just smell smoke? Smoke ash and some estery fruit bitters with a minimal malt sensing bouquet. Really interesting and different, not sure how I should react but it's neat. Not sure how this translates though on the palate.

Light bodied pale ale with some light caramel sense. Smoke action seems to turn to pine like hop bursts, and some more ashen earthen quality. Light bodied but a simple rich mouthfeel that coats everywhere in the palate. Somewhat chalky quality with this ashen bitterness mixed in.

A real interesting take on an English Pale, but the fruity ester quality doesn't seem to get out or some of the malt sweetness. Still quite delicious and easily drinkable for 4.5%.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cask at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is orange with a small, soapy, white head. The aroma offers citra hops, biscuits, citrus fruit. This beer is a great fit for the cask. Beautiful feel. Bitter and yet smooth. Easy drinking and light on the palate. Good stuff.

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Photo of wl0307
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coming in a slim 500ml brown bottle, BB 30/09/2014, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
A: pours a clear, bright amber colour with a thin light-beige foam, on top of
S: lightly piney notes, sweet lime, passion fruits, savoury prunes, and exotic esters (reminiscent of certain Belgian ales) combine to deliver a light-bodied but pleasantly focused aroma of hops and yeasts against a rather clean profile of pale and mildly caramely malts.
T: on the entry comes a softly sparkling palate of biscuity malts with a bit of starchy feel to it, ensued by a decent and lingering hop bitterness with a surprisingly low level of limey-fruity hop flavour and aroma (as opposed to the impression on the nose). The finish is moderately tannic bitter with good attenuation (i.e. dry-ish) to keep the palate free of burden.
M&O: the mouthfeel is generally clean and lightly carbonated, but not as smooth and creamy as the cask-conditioned version which I had just a week ago. All in all, in this bottle version, the fruity elements and hop profile on the palate both seem to be more subdued, but nonetheless this doesn’t fail to make it a thirst-quenching option if the cask version is not available.

*Cask-Conditioned Version
(Notes of 09/11/2010) Tasted by a half-pint at the John Russell Fox, a JDW pub in Andover, during the chain's beer festival in Autumn 2010; served by a non-sparkler pull. Notes: brewed with Chinook, Citra, Columbus hop varieties.
4.5 A: golden hue, great clarity, low carbonation, a creamy off-white head holds very wlel.
3.5 S: sweet citrus and passion fruits in abundance, semi-sweet pale malts as in most Adnam's ales. Clean, yet reasonably fragrant.
4 T: super-clean on the palate, great tea-ish & malty taste prevalent in most/all Adnam's ales, plus a touch of phenol, leading to a mildly bitter-sweet finish where clean pale malts' biscuitiness and spicy citric tannins intertwine & linger extremely well. Very pleasant hoppy finish with a good tangy feel down the both sides of the tongue.
4 M&4 D: super clean, healthy fizz level, light-bodied but full of flavour. Good balance is achieved, while all in all hoppiness shines through. A very well-crafted Golden Bitter.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On draught at W J Kavanagh, Dublin.

Bright brass with white film that rings.
Fresh white toast on the nose with some ruby red grapefruit and papaya.
Slight toasty toffee biscuit up front but fizzy citrus, lychee and peach hops cut right in.
Pineapple-orange juice and humming pine needle linger.
LIght, crisp, oily, some cling.

Solid bit of Citra that shows the tropical side of that hop. Well-hopped for the strength, though maybe a touch thin. Still, Brits are doing Citra <5% (Oakham, Jarl) better than anyone right now.

2nd tasting, bottle: Plays in the spiced orange deadzone between EKG and something like Chinook. More conventional than last glance, but there are bits of papaya in there. Oakham still sets the Citra bar, or Black's of Kinsale for Ireland.

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Adnams Ghost Ship from Adnams plc, Sole Bay Brewery
3.81 out of 5 based on 108 ratings.
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