Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The one in which I go mad for the hops

I got all  of the above in Baggot St Wines, apart from the Big Job, which I think came from Tesco, cos that's where I have previously purchased its little brother - Proper Job. The only new brewery to me here is Founders Brewery, from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Founders All Day IPA 4.7% abv  €2.99
Pours a deep amber colour. Wow! surprisingly big and hoppy; and delicious with it. Not sure I'd drink it all day but it's a solid entry in the Pale Ale pantheon. Probably one for those who dig American style IPAs, I reckon. 

Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale 5.4% abv  €2.99
Well this is totally different. Subtle citrus hop flavours and a little malt to balance it out. To be honest, it's not doing a lot for me. I thought dry hopping added hoppiness but this seems a bit gentle for my rough and ready palate. 

St Austell Big Job 7.2% abv  €??
I really wanted to like this; I've had their Proper Job and it's OK, nothing special. Unfortunately this tasted like a slightly stronger version of the Proper Job, which is to say it didn't taste of a whole heck of a lot. Not offensive but a bit bland. 

Mountain Man Hairy Goat  4.5% abv  €2.69
I bought this because , although I liked their Green Bullet, I found it a bit delicate. The Goat is a bit beefier, a bit more flavoursome and I liked it too. Again, not an ale if you want a hop-bomb, but perfect when you want an Irish ale that's a touch subtle. 

BrewDog Dog Wired Imperial Pilsener 6.8% abv €4.39
This was a bit of a curates egg. A strong Pilsner with lots of atypical hops (Nelson Sauvin and Montueka). It wasn't unpleasant but it didn't work for me. Your mileage may vary.

Odell St Lupulin Extra Pale Ale 6.5% abv  €4.15
Perfectly fine but nothing to write home about. Some tasty hoppiness and good mouthfeel but there wasn't enough oomph for me, which I tend to expect from strong Odell ales. I had their IPA again recently and it is just divine.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Three new Irish Pale Ales

I bought these three pretties in Baggot Street Wines last week and am only getting around to trying them now. Herself is out, the boy is in bed and Moonrise Kingdom in on the telly.

I'm starting with the weakest in strength, which seems to me to be the logical and indeed the fairest approach. I'll freely admit that for me with IPAs, stronger is better. Not by definition, but historically I tend to prefer stronger IPAs to their weaker cousins.

Mountain Man Green Bullet 4% abv €2.69
With the above admission I'm not holding out much hope for this ale. However, I'm enjoying this. It's delicate but well balanced. The blurb on the bottle mentions "subtle notes of pine and lemon", and I'll buy that. It's not a beer for those who want a big hoppy citrus bomb (see previous posts) , but could be a welcome change of pace when something lighter is required. I must try their Hairy Goat which is an English style IPA, at a decent 4.5% abv and with hindsight would have made a better match for the two ales below.  

Kinnegar Limeburner Pale Ale 4.9% abv €3.99
M'colleague and I tried a couple of Kinnegar's beers at the recent Craft Beer fest and loved their Amber and Rye ales respectively. As expected, the extra alcohol gives this a little kick. It's slightly sweet, the fruit is understated; the hops, present and correct, but not bitter. I like it, it's light and refreshing but, if I had the choice I'd go for their Rustbucket Rye ale. 

Black's Kinsale Pale Ale 5% abv €2.69
Wow, lots of tropical fruit on the nose, and not a little on the palate, unsurprisingly. I like this style of pale ale (like Thornbidge Kipling and Kona Big Wave), but it may be too fruity for some.