Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Irish Beers!

I'm always happy to see new Irish breweries/beers and the three below represent two new breweries (to me) Brehon & St Mel's. The Kinnegar Black Rye IPA was on draught at the recent Craft Beer fest, but I declined to avail of it as I was feeling a bit full (and jarred).

Brehon Brewhouse Killany Red   50cl 4.5% abv €2.99 link
A darkish cloudy reddish brown in the glass, white persistent head. First taste is fruit followed by a light malty but lingering finish. I like it. It's only 4.5% but it tastes a bit bigger.

Kinnegar (Special)  Black Bucket Black Rye IPA 50cl 6.5% abv €3.99 link
Yummy. This was big and bold. Lots of hops, lots of toasty roasted malt and a nice hoppy lingering finish. I like the standard Rustbucket Rye Ale a lot (although it ain't cheap  €7-50 for a bottle in Kelly's Rosslare) and this

St Mel's Pale Ale 50cl 4.8% abv €3.99 link
Sorry - I don't like this, it's got that really sharp bitterness that I can't abide, and that I have found in a few beers, Dungarvan Comeragh Challenger for one. Down the sink.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weird Beard Beers

I found a selection of beers from Weird Beers in Molloys on my last visit there, so I bought them all as an experiment, like. They are a London Brewery and seem to make a wide variety of ales. Link 

Five O'Clock Shadow - American IPA 33cl 7.0% abv €3.49
This is more like it. Big, bold, hoppy, malty. Like it a lot and will buy again

Hit The Lights  - Mixed Up IPA 50cl 5.9% abv €4.39
Hmmm. Crisp, light, not masses of hops. Orange flavours (like those effervescent vitamin tablets). A little bitterness at the finish. Maybe needs food. A summer ale I think. Expensive though as priced.

Fade To Black - Black IPA 33cl 6.3% abv €3.49
While this is nominally an IPA, it's not really. I've had a few black IPAs and while they have some nice coffee/chocolate and roasted notes, they are, at heart, hoppy IPAs. This is the opposite; a thick, rich, chunky porter with a little bit of hops at the margins. I shouldn't complain, because it is rather good. There is an extraordinary breadth of complex flavours on show here. I don't tend to drink much in the way of bottled stouts/porters but I will definitely buy this again.
**Update ** I bought it again and gave it to Herself and she loved it, a cracker.

Little Things That Kill 50cl 3.0% abv €3.99
A violently hoppy little beer. Smells nice. Its very fizzy - lots of big bubbles and a pale slightly cloudy hue in the glass. Reminds of Brewdog Dead Pony Club, low abv, no malt and lots of hops. I don't tend to like weak beers but this is a tasty session ale, I'd miss the malt though.

Mariana Trench - Transpacific Pale Ale 33cl 5.2% abv €3.29
First time around I had this with some hot chilli crisps and couldn't really taste it, so I decided to give it another try. so I liked it but didn't love it. It's well balanced, with some nice tropical fruits and a touch of malt, and its very drinkable. One for those who don't like their Pale Ales too big or hoppy, with perhaps a little subtlety.

Black Perle 50cl 3.8% abv €3.99
A Coffee Milk Stout. This is different; sweet, like milky mocha. Not sure I really like it though. It's a milk stout which is traditionally made with lactose to sweeten it. It resembles cold sugary coffee with a hint of vanilla. It is actually made with coffee - here's a blog post from the brewer on the history of this ale. Hmmmmm, worth a try for the experience but not one I'd buy again.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Scottish Play (Beer)

Some more beers that I picked in Molloys on the Ballyogan road. They have upped their game recently and now have a very very good range of craft beers. The three below were new to me and  were available for a bargain €9 price, sweet.

Drygate Galdeye IPA 50cl 5.5% abv €3.99* link
Like this. Full bodied with lots of malt. Not a huge amount of hops, so if that's your bag, look elsewhere, but it worked for me. Would I buy it ahead of my favourite American IPAs? Probably not but I'd still recommend it.

Williams Joker IPA 50cl 5.0% abv €3.99* link
For something with such a great name this IPA was a tad underwhelming, especially for something that trumpets "wickedly hoppy" on the bottle. There was nothing wrong with this ale but I found it desperately bland. Not a lot of hops, malt or much else, I'm afraid. It could be that I'm holding it to too high a standard, but that's the great thing about a blog - it's my nickel.

Drygate Bearface Lager 50cl 4.4% abv €3.99* link
Let's also review this lager based on the claims on the label. This says "heavy on the hops light on the tongue clean and crisp citrus hints lager...". Heavy on the hops - there certainly some hops, more than you get in a normal lager; Light on the tongue clean and crisp - yep, it's light , clean and quite crisp; citrus hints - yes, this too.  So far so good, but how does it all work in toto?
Well enough IMHO, a fine summer drink but I'd need a little more; more alcohol, more malt, more something, to round out the flavour. If you like those light Italian lagers thsi will probably work well for you...

Just picked up the Drygate Outaspace (sic) Apple Ale 4.7% €3.99  link  and a Harviestoun The Ridge Pale Ale link 5.0% €2.69

The apple ale didn't work for me (or Herself btw), it was a bit of a curates egg to be honest. The Harviestoun was OK, a bit bland but drinkable. I used to love their Schiehallion but the last time I tried it I really didn't care for it, whaddya know?

Here are some other random capsule reviews that never made a post...

Rogue Brutal IPA 66cl €7.79 5.8% link
Underwhelming. Not bad but for nearly eight notes I'd expect to have my socks (or something else) blown (off). Perfectly drinkable but not patch on their Yellow Snow IPA.

Independent Pale Ale 50 cl 6.0% abv - €3.99 - link
Liked this a lot, cloudy amber in the glass, lots of tasty citrussy  hops at the back of the palate and a long lingering finish. Definitely will buy this again, Their Red Ale is pretty damn good too.

Kenmare Irish Pale Ale 50 cl 5.0% abv - €3.70 - link
Disappointing - not a huge amount of flavour.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Autumn Ales from Molloys

Buxton Axe Edge India Pale Ale 33cl 6.8% abv €3.79 link
Yummy, yummy, yummy. A perfect balance of citrus bitterness and malty sweetness. Very similar to all those US IPAs that I bang on about (blogs passim)

Tiny Rebel Urban IPA 33cl 5.5% abv €3.19 link
Pine freshness and lots of it. I'm drinking thsi straight after the Axe Edge and it's coming off second best. Not bad, decent long finish but doesn't have the magic balance of the above. 

Mariana Trench - Transpacific Pale Ale 33cl 5.2% abv €3.29
Reviewing this as part of a separate Weird Beers post.

Beavertown Neck Oil Session IPA 33cl (can) 4.3% abv €3.49 link
Loved this. Loads of hops, malt full of big flavours. Very impressed that this level of flavour was present in  4.3% ABV ale. Would expect this level of flavour in a big 6%+ US ale 

Trouble Brewing Whistle Blower IPA 50cl 7.6% abv €3.99 link (seasonal)
I just went to get this bottle out of my beer fridge and it wasn't there. I'm getting a flashback to last Friday and a poker game in Naas. I think I enjoyed this but it's all a bit hazy, perhaps because this beers comes in at a whopping 7.6%, sorry.

Blackstairs Ruby Red IPA 50cl 5% abv €4.35  link
I tried this at the Craft Beer Fest this year and didn't like it, at all. But it was late I was jarred, my glass could have been dirty, yadda yadda yadda...I saw it in the shelf and decided I'd give it another shot. I'm glad I did, it's quite good. It's a deep reddy brown in the glass with a decent, healthy head. It reminds me of Kinnegar Rustbucket Rye which is quite a compliment. It's got lots of nice hoppy bitterness and a smattering of sweetness. If this is their first effort, bravo.