Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beavertown Pale Ales

Another horizontal tasting, this time from Beavertown, who I thought were American (mostly from the can designs) but are actually from London, innit. I had the Neck Oil once, late at night and quite liked it, so I decide to try all three Pale Ales at once. All in cans and all from O'Briens - link

Neck Oil Session IPA 33cl 4.3% 45 IBU €3.49
There is an uncomfortable looking cloudy and pale colour in the glass but has some lovely citrus fruits on the nose. It's a tough one, making an IPA that's high on flavour but low on alcohol. By god, this pulls it off. Lots of grapefruit, a decently bitter finish; it obviously doesn't have the malty sweetness you get from the higher abv. Fits the definition of  session ale and would be great on a hot summer day.

Gamma Ray American Pale Ale 33cl 5.4% 55 IBU €3.89
A more golden colour in the glass, bit more body, nice touch of malt. Not bad at all, but pricey for 330m, IMNSHO.

8 Ball Rye IPA 33cl 6.2% 65 IBU €4.09
Red (natch) and cloudy in the glass, really liked this, a pinch of spice and a lovely long bitter finish.

New (Posh) Irish beers

Independent Brewing Whiskey Stout 50cl 7.0% abv €6.19 link
Liked this a lot but wouldn't drink more than one, as with all of these very strong stouts, they tend to be a touch sweet. Two marks against this stout, one - I didn't get any whiskey notes, two - it was bleedin' expensive at something north of six notes. 

CloughMore Granite Lager  50cl 4.5% abv €3.59 link
Apparently this come from Whitewater Brewery, about whom I have had mixed things to say over the last while. But this I liked. Crisp, clean and moreish.

9 White Deer Brewery Stag Ban  50cl 4.5% abv €4.29 link
It doesn't say on the bottle what style of beer this is and I guess it's a golden ale and for once I've found an Irish Golden Ale, that I really liked. This was crisp, light, refreshing and delicious. Slightly more of a summer drink but my real problem is that it's very dear for what it is. I can just about justify paying €4+ for a dynamite IPA, but I'd find it hard to pay that for a light ale, just my opinion though.

White Gypsy Yule ├ôl 50cl 6.0% abv €4.29 link
Oh yes, this is the ticket. A deep ruby colour in the glass. It's got a wonderful full, rich flavour of "toffee and coffee" per the label, and I'll go along with that. It's almost porter-like in it's rich chocolately-ness. I've had a few White Gypsy beers on draught and these guys know what they are doing. Shame about the label, it's skew-whiff.

Wicked Wolf IPA 50cl 6.3% abv €4.49
It's not bad, its got some nice fruity hops, a bunch of pine, but not a lot going on in the malt stakes. It's a bit of a hop bomb and it's certainly decent, especially as this appears to be a first effort from this new Bray based brewery. I like to buy Irish but there's better IPAs out there for the money (8 Degrees make quite a number.); €4.50 is a lot to pay for IPA that you don't absolutely love. 

Wicked Wolf American Brown Kentucky Common 50cl 4.8% abv €3.99  link
Well, this was a brown ale, I'm not a huge fan of brown ales, I find them a bit...meh. This was ok; there was a little sweetness, some maltiness and a touch of fruit but nothing that would bring me back for more. Sorry.

12th Abbey Altered Amber 50cl 4.2% abv €3.99 link
Dark red, light maybe a bit watery initially? Got better as it warmed up  - not bad, developed some nice taste. Decent overall especially as its only 4.2%. Not cheap tho'.

12th Abbey Irish Pale Ale 50cl 4.8% abv €3.99
It was late when I drank this and I didn't take many notes but I liked it. Bit of malt, bit of hops; not dissimilar to a number of other solid Irish IPAs and that's not a bad thing.

Last one from O'Briens, this time...
12 Acres Pale Ale 50cl 4.6% abv €3.79 link
My first beer from Laois, I think.
Ugh - nasty, bitter. Don't like this at all, down the sink.  I've come across this style/taste(?) of beer a lot recently (if it's a style and not a fault) in a number of ales and I just hate it, sorry. I suspect it could be me and if so I apologise to the numerous producers.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More Aldi Beers

Wychwood Brewery Bah Humbug 50cl 5.0% abv €2.49 link
Didn't like this at all. The cinnamon just didn't work for me and I found it sickly sweet and spicy. Down the sink.

O'Shea's Traditional Irish Ale 50cl 5.0% abv €1.99
I don't know why I'm surprised, but  this is pretty good. Rich in flavour with some nice caramel notes. It's supposably made by Carlow Brewing, who make O'Hara's. I'd have to taste it against O'Haras red but I reckon they're fairly similar, and I really like O'Haras red. Priced to move...

Bateman's Rosey Nosey 50cl 4.7% abv €2.49 link
Based on the label alone I wasn't hopeful but this is a decent red ale. Nice bit of malt, caramel and a hint of fruit. Not bad at all. 50c more than the O'Shea's though, and that's Irish.

Berliner Kindl Pils 50cl 4.8% abv €1.49
Very pale in the glass and a bit thin on the palate, I didn't really care for it. This might be OK on a hot day but I wouldn't buy this again even at this cheap price.

So I was back in Aldi to buy more of their delicious Malbec and I noticed that there were some new O'Shea's beers (see above). I'll be reviewing them over the next few days.

O'Shea's Irish Pale Ale 50cl 4.3% abv €1.99
As I mentioned here, I read somewhere that the O'Shea's beers are made for Aldi with the difference on the IPA front is that the Aldi version is not dry hopped. I haven't had the OHara's for a while but there doesn't seem to be a huge difference, i.e. it's pretty good. And I'm sorry to always banging on about price but at €4 per litre, it's competitively priced. 

O'Shea's Irish Stout 50cl 4.5% abv €1.99
Like it, good body, lots of flavour, maybe could be a bit creamier? Goes very well with Knappogue Castle 12 yo, which I got for Xmas, from a generous Kris Kindle.

O'Shea's Irish Golden Ale 50cl 4.1% abv €1.99
I'm not a huge fan of golden ales, for me they often fall between two stools, Lager and IPA, with not enough of either to work for this jaded palate, but this was quite delicious. It was a couple of weeks ago that I drank it (this blog update is way late), but I remember being very impressed. It was light and refreshing with a suggestion of hops that worked for me. If you likes your golden ales, I suspect you won't go wrong here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

8 Degrees: A Very Imperial Winter

Here's the link..all beers €3.09 from my friends at Baggot St Wines.

Belgian Dubbel 33cl 7.2% abv €3.09
Ah yes, it's that Belgian style of beer. I used to love it; Chimay, Duvel, Kwak etc., but for some reason I went completely off it; I found the fruity sweetness cloying,  I'm not sure what I was expecting here, to be honest. I got the Dubbel more for completeness sake, than out of a genuine desire for it. Having said that, now that I'm about half way through it, I think I'm enjoying it. Probably won't but it again but if you like this style of beer then why not buy Irish...

Double Irish Imperial IPA 33cl 9.0% abv €3.09
Another winner in the IPA dept. Strong (natch), hoppy and delicious. These guys can do no wrong at the moment. That's all I can say, if you like big IPAs, buy this. 

Russian Imperial Stout 33cl 9.0% abv €3.09
First off, Herself loved it. I have a curious relationship with Imperial Stouts. All the beer bloggers/purists/nerds bang on about them and I can see what the attraction is. Lots of alcohol and all that chocolate, coffee and whatnot. The problem for me, as a Dublin boy raised from the pram on Guinness, is that I don't like my stout sweet. So while I appreciate the quality, I'm just not convinced this style is for me, apart from an occasional dip in, like a few other things in my life...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

More Random Xmas Beers from Molloys

More new beers that I picked up in Molloy's on the Ballyogan Road. They do have a smashing amount of craft and unusual beers.

Williams Bros   link
I drank the three beers below at the start of a very long and unprofitable poker game, it was early on in the evening so I was still modestly sober.

Caesar Augustus Lager /IPA Hybrid 50cl 4.1% €2.89 - reduced from €3.95
OK. Light and refreshing, more of a summer drink though. 

Seven Giraffes Extraordinary Ale 50cl 5.1% €2.89 - reduced from €3.95
Strange and awful; Josie drank it though.

Cock of The Walk Scottish Red Ale 50cl 4.3% €2.89 - reduced from €3.95
Liked this a lot. Solid, hearty red ale. Not sure I'd pay 4 quid for it though when there's a plethora of good Irish Red Ales for a bit less on sale. But one to try if you like your red ales.

The White Hag link
The White Hag Irish IPA 33cl 7.2% €2.99    
Coloured like an amber ale, at first sip it's clear that this is not an IPA for the faint hearted, although that should be obvious with an abv of 7.2%. Big, sweet and hoppy. It's not dissimilar to the Modus Hoperandi below. Styled like those  American IPAs I love, it's maybe not quite as balanced as them though.

The White Hag Irish Oktoberfest Brew 33cl 6.2% €2.99
Nice. A reddish, strong, fruity ale. It's a Samhain ale, for those Celts among you. Not quite sure why it's called Oktberfest, but I'll bite. These guys (from Sligo) are two for two so I'm delighted to find another Irish Brewery that delivers consistent quality. I've had some shocking Irish beers of late, I'm sorry to say.

Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale 35cl 6.8% €3.69 link 
Amber, almost orange in the glass. Large head. Big and sweet and oh so good. My kind of IPA. Apparently you can get a six pack for about nine dollars in Chicago, blues.

Einstok Icelandic Pale Ale 33cl 5.6% €2.99 link 
Again, orangey in the glass. Pleasant but unremarkable. This is that mild style of Pale Ale that doesn't have masses of hops but is perfectly drinkable nonetheless. Probably won't buy it again though; not my bag, baby.
BrewDog This. is. Lager.  33cl 4.7% €2.89 link