Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Irish Pale Ale Challenge - QF1 - On the Mountain

Quarter Final 1*
Mountain Man Green Bullet 4.0% abv 33cl €2.69
Mountain Man Hairy Goat  4.5% abv 33cl €2.69

I reviewed the Green Bullet before and liked it although I did opine that the flavour was quite delicate and that the Hairy Goat might be a better bet for the gentleman (or lady) who prefers a bigger bolder pale ale. Let's see if I was right...

Green Bullet
This ale is quite pale in the glass, a slightly cloudy lager colour.  As before the flavour is subtle but pleasant with some gentle hoppy notes, but the finish is a touch bitter. I suppose this would be a session ale at a light 4% abv and it's probably something you could drink a lot of, if you had a mind to.

Hairy Goat
This presents with a deep amber hue in the glass and there's a lot more going on here. Bigger, hoppier and with a fuller and more integrated hoppy finish. A solid IPA from the Corkmen.

Winner - Hairy Goat
There's not much in this, I have to admit but I'm going to go for the Hairy Goat because I prefer the bigger, beefier ales.

My next task is to assemble the 16 (currently 15) beers into a draw, and attempt to seed a few of my favourites...

*Both beers purchased from Baggot St wines

Friday, November 22, 2013

Irish Pale Ale Challenge - Intro **Updated**

Hola Amigos, I know it's been a while since I rapped at ya but I'm three weeks into a new job and I'm working my ass off and traveling to the farthest reaches of the planet (well Bristol, anyway).

Anyhoo, I've been thinking about another beer competition and given the recent explosion in Irish craft beers (see posts passim), and my love of Pale Ales, it behooves me to make the next contest one for Irish Pale Ales.

I think I'm going to allow multiple entries from one brewery, so where two IPAs are available, I'm going to run them off against each other in the first round. This might mean that one of the favourites, OHara's Irish Pale Ale could be out in the first round!

Note: It's obviously impossible to choose the best Irish pale ale. What I'm really trying to do, I suppose, is to find my favourite Irish pale ale. If your tastes in Pale ales are similar to mine then you should enjoy the journey, if not, well, I don't know what to tell you.

**Update - I've found a 16th Irish Pale Ale  - Boom IPA from the Stone Barrel Brewing company

So far I've got the following, and have provisionally paired them as follows:

Smithwicks Pale Ale 4.5% abv 50cl €2.80
Galway Hooker Irish Pale Ale 4.4% abv 50cl €3.19

Kinnegar Scraggy Bay India Pale Ale 5.3% abv 50cl €3.69
Kinnegar Limeburner Pale Ale 4.7% abv 50cl €3.69

Trouble Brewing Sabotage IPA 5.5% abv 50cl €3-59
Black's Kinsale Pale Ale 5.0% abv 33cl €2.69 

O'Hara's Irish Pale Ale 5.2% abv 50cl €2.99
O'Hara's Double IPA 7.5% abv 50cl €3.89

Whitewater Brewery Hoppelhammer IPA 6% €3.47
Stone Barrel Boom IPA 5.0% abv 50cl €3.59 

Mountain Man Green Bullet 4.0% abv 33cl €2.69 
Mountain Man Hairy Goat  4.5% abv 33cl €2.69

Porterhouse Hop Head 5.0% abv 33cl €2.10
8 Degrees Brewing Howling Gale Ale 5.0% 33cl

Hilden Brewing Co Twisted Hop 4.7% abv 50cl €3.49
Galway Bay Full Sail IPA 5.8% abv 50cl €3.29

Other beers considered/discarded

Metalman Pale Ale (available in bottles?)
Galway Bay Voyager IPA (seasonal?)
Franciscan Well IPA (If I can find it)
Hilden Brewing Co Headless Dog (Is a Pale Ale?)

I'll be drinking them over the next few weeks...