At the start of this exercise I had it in mind that I would pick four of the ales for the final, but I have five or six from the first batch of ten. I'm gonna have to limit it to eight in total and then run four semis to bring it down to an acceptable final of four. Anyhoo, on with the drinking - it's the cross I have to bear...
Brown Paper Bag Project Big Red 33cl 8.0% abv - €3.29
Pours a deep red, almost brown. With lots of head, thick and creamy. Sweet strong and tasty. The only beer so far with sediment and it's also the only beer of this strength in the field.
Galway Bay Bay Ale 50cl 4.4% abv - €3.29
Classic classic classic red ale. Perfectly fine, drinkable but nothing special.
8Degrees Sunburnt Irish Red 33cl 5.0% abv - €3.79
Deep amber, frothy head. A bit of caramel up front, light on the finish. Not bad but a bit expensive for what it is,
McGargles Granny Mary's Red Ale 4.4% abv - €2.00
Very dark red, small head, got better as it got warmer. Full flavour, nice rich finish.
Whitewater Clotworthy Dobbin 50 cl 5.0% abv - €2.99
Deep red, not bad, a little fruit, some bitterness. Decent All rounder
Hilden Halt Irish Red Ale 50 cl 6.1% abv - €3.49
Deep amber, thick head which dispersed quickly. Slightly sweet but with a sharp unpleasant aftertaste. Can't get over that aftertaste, down the sink with it.
Whitewater Belfast Ale 50 cl 4.5% abv - €2.99
Reddy brown with a thin but creamy head. Nice bitterness throughout, good mouthfeel, solid finish. It's not earth shattering but it's well balanced and reasonably priced. I like it.
Kenmare Irish Red Ale 50 cl 4.3% abv - €3.70
Reddy brown with a decent head. Nice fruity nose and a good start, but there's no body and it has a thin finish. Not for me, this one.
That's it! Now the difficult task of picking the eight semi finalists. Back soon.