Friday, February 7, 2014

Random Ales

So I went looking in O'Brien's wines in Carrickmines for some Irish Craft Lagers, for the upcoming Irish Craft Lager Challenge. This was a hopeful aspiration; the Beacon store has a much better beer selection but is not on my way home from work. I was hoping to find a Porterhouse lager but no joy; I can't actually recall if I've seen any of their lagers in bottles.

Anyway, I couldn't possibly enter an off-licence with the intention to buy beer and leave empty handed, perhaps it's the high functioning alcoholic in me, so I decided to buy some ale(s).

To be honest there's no rhyme or reason to my choices, I just picked a bunch of ales I hadn't tried before, except the Brainblasta, which I think I had one night, but I suspect I may have been a bit jarred cos I have no memory of it, whatsoever. Having said that, the breweries behind the winners of the first two IPA competitions (ODells and Rogue) are represented here, so if pedigree counts for anything...

Left to right they are...

Rogue Dead Guy Ale 6.6% abv 355ml €3.49
When is an ale not an ale? When it's a Dead Guy apparently... According to the Rogue site  - "In the style of a German Maibock, using our proprietary Pacman ale yeast.". A German Maibock is a lager, according to Wikipedia,  "and, despite the name, Rogue Ales Dead Guy Ale." I don't know if this is a lager, an ale or a lager brewed with Ale yeast. It's bloody good though. It had a unique flavour, caramel, fruit a tiny hint of hops, very smooth and balanced. Delicious. I's say that the nearest comparison would be Anchor's Liberty Ale, which I like a lot, but this is better...

Black Sheep Ale 4.4% abv 500ml €3.19
Hmm - wasn't sure about this - 4.4%..but I like it. Some nice toffee front and a little bitterness. I wouldn't have sniffed at another percent or so alcohol, but it's a good solid ale.

Odells 90 Shilling 5.3% abv 355ml €3.59
Yummy. Rich and full flavoured. not sure aboot the Scottish pedigree but I'll give it a pass. One to buy again I think.

Fuller's ESB 5.9% abv 500ml €3.79
Very English, this ale and a keeper methinks. It belies it's strength with its subtlety. A step up in quality from London Pride which I also like.

Porterhouse Brainblasta 7% 330ml abv €2.19
This is strong. Not just in alcohol, this has a big hoppy tone with some caramel underpinnings. Not for the fainthearted, though.

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