Tonsure

New Jersey
United States
Tonsure, Ghost Hawk Brewing
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
87
Aroma:
19 / 24
Flavor:
37 / 40
Appearance:
5 / 6
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20
Description 

Brewed with Pilsner malt, Belgian candy syrup and a special strain of yeast, this special ale was aged for five weeks before release. It’s packed with notes of banana, pear, plums and candied spice. The strength is deceptive so enjoy in moderation lest you awake in a monastery with a funny looking haircut.

Profile

ABV: 
10.0%
IBUs: 
17
Served at: 
45º F
Malts: 
Pilsner
Judges Review 
Rick Franckhauser's picture
Judges Rating:
87
Aroma:
19 / 24
Appearance:
5 / 6
Flavor:
37 / 40
Mouthfeel:
9 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

Tonsure by Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. was judged as BJCP category 26C, Belgian Tripel.

The aroma opens with floral hops that are then overtaken by bubblegum phenolics and banana esters. Some spicy pepper comes in that seems to come from alcohol that is pleasant, not hot or fusel. A low-level bready malt impression and a touch of honey malt raises as the beer warms as do the levels of bubblegum and banana - a little too much so for the latter. Golden and slightly too hazy but topped off by a thick mousse-like white head that holds up and provides some lacing. Billions of tiny bubbles ascending. The spice notes are prominent in the flavor, pepper and a touch of clove as well as alcohol spice character. The banana esters are more subdued in the flavor but are joined by some pear. A touch of honey with smooth soft wheat malts come through mid-palate. A little white bread is noted but the beer manages to finish moderately dry but there is still somewhat of a sweet impression from the malt and esters. The banana makes another appearance in the finish. Increased hop flavor and bitterness would be welcome. Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation levels that could be increased. A touch of alcohol warmth is noted, it’s not hot just a little elevated. Classic examples are sneakier.

This is a really nice Tripel with a complex combo of phenolics, esters and malt. It just didn’t seem to meld all the elements together in a cohesive manner. Stylistically, it could have an increased hop presence and bitterness and a drier finish with higher carbonation levels. I would prefer less bubblegum and more citrus esters as well. Having said that, Tonsure is an enjoyable beer and I’m always happy to see American craft brewers seeking the lofty goal of brewing classic Belgian-style beers.

Brewery Introduction

Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. is a collaborative effort between two Clifton natives - Tom Rachelski and Steve Bauer. Born from a passion for delicious beer, and escaping the mundane routines of everyday life, this project took nearly two years to get off the ground. Inception to opening day was roughly... Read More

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