Happy Monday folks, happy snowy Monday. I didn’t quite anticipate the amount of snow we’d get today, but I am thankful that its visit doesn’t appear to be a long one. I’ve taken a reach on todays selection, I know you’re not supposed to read a book by its cover, but with all the chaotic and diverse labels out there today the simplicity of this one made it an easy “yes” for my purchase. Simple clean lines, a simple color palate, no fuss. For as simple as the label is I am hopeful that the beer inside is just as direct and delicious.

Ghost Runners is located in Vancouver, WA on Minnehaha Street about equidistant from  I5, I205, and 500, roughly 15 miles NE from downtown Portland. Founded in 2012 and utilizing a 10 barrel system they aim for detailed attention to consistency and quality, with a fun twist giving each beer a running-based name to “celebrate the fun, joy, and excitement of running.” I have no idea what a phantom rojo is, perhaps it is a running term I am unfamiliar with, I think we’re more concerned with what the beer inside is about.

Phantom Rojo is a Washington Beer Award Silver Medal winning Imperial Red ale, a somewhat seldom brewed style they are typically unapologetically hoppy but balanced upon a sturdy malt foundation. Think of a hoppy & boozy Irish Red for a lowest common denominator comparison.

Brewery — Ghost Runners (Vancouver, WA)

Beer — Phantom Rojo (Imperial Red Ale)

ABV | IBU — 7.8% | 65

Price | Size $6.49 | 22 oz @ Elizabeth Station

Appearance (3|3) — A deep red ruby hue with a subtle lack of clarity. A nice amber colored head sits on top and is quite tall, leaving behind some nice spots of lacing with each sip.

Aroma ( 8|12 ) — Bready and malt focused with notes of fresh baked rye bread and gingerbread. A subtle grassy hop character takes stage as well, some piney, earthy notes help to balance out the sweet malt base.

Flavor (14|20) — Starts malty and slightly grainy with leather and tobacco notes, quite dry and bready. Does lead into some nice earthy and herbal hop character with bitter botanic notes of pine and resin.

Mouthfeel (3|5) — Medium bodied with ample carbonation and a somewhat warming and lingering finish. Alcohol presence comes across a bit warmer than the 7.8% on the label, a bit of a sweet and heavy overtone.

Overall (7|10) — Nice overall, an earthy well balanced red with a bit of a kick. This would be a fantastic food beer, throw some in a stew, enjoy a glass with a burger, or sip it on its own, the choice is yours, cheers!