Winter's Warm Welcome

New Jersey
United States
Winter's Warm Welcome, Ghost Hawk Brewing Co.
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
86
Aroma:
20 / 24
Flavor:
34 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20
Description 

The brewmaster’s cat was adopted on the solstice, hence the name. Unlike most cats, he would warmly welcome any visitors including contractors and technicians, plus he loved to be vacuumed! Not a typical cat. My tribute to him is an ale that will warm your heart with notes of strawberry, blueberry and pineapple resulting from Idaho 7 and El Dorado hops adorning 4 types of malt and Belgian Candy Syrup. It will make you feel chill, warm and fuzzy, just like he was!

Profile

ABV: 
8.7%
IBUs: 
16
Served at: 
50 - 55º F
Hops: 
Idaho 7, El Dorado
Judges Review 
Sean Coughlin's picture
Judges Rating:
86
Aroma:
20 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
34 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
16 / 20

Winter's Warm Welcome by Ghost Hawk Brewing Co. is being evaluated as an American Strong Ale (2021 BJCP Guidelines Style 22B).

Hops are dominant in the aroma with new-school tropical/stone fruit characteristics -- ripe cantaloupe is most prominent. Any malt presence is buried beneath the hops so much so that if experiencing this aroma without prior knowledge, one might think they had an IPA in front of them. This beer is a dirty blonde color with excellent clarity and a strong dense white head that you could probably rest a quarter on.

The 2021 BJCP guidelines list this style beginning with medium amber but also list a starting SRM value of 7, which is approximately deep gold making their ranges contradictory so I will not be deducting any points for color. The flavor focuses on hops, which follow the aroma and are delicious but there is not enough bitterness to be representative of the style. Likewise, the malt richness is lacking caramel and/or dark fruit in a significant way, resulting in this beer having more in common with an American IPA than an American strong ale. The alcohol is well-hidden and doesn't contribute any harshness whatsoever to the beer.

American strong ales should resemble something close to a "baby American barleywine" and while this beer is well made and enjoyable it is probably closer to an imperial IPA. 

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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