Monday, March 27, 2017

McGargles IPAs (All of them) - **Updated**

Francis' Big Bangin IPA 7.1%
Cousin Rosie's Pale Ale 4.5%
Knock Knock Ned's IPA 6.5%

McGargles, eh? I quite liked them when they came out, especially the lager. By my reckoning (and after a two year absence) they have re-branded and (as I discovered tonight) they appear to have re-branded again (see below*).  From the picture I think that the Francis' Big Bangin IPA is the original branding, with the other two bearing the Mk2 branding. I bought these all in Dunnes but I've lost the receipt, so no idea how much they are.

Anyhoo, onto the IPAs. Let's do the honourable thing and start with the weakest first, Cousin Rosie's Pale Ale. It's...decent. Tastes like a lot of other Irish IPAs of medium (<5%) strength, not a huge amount of hops, decent mouthfeel and a piney, resiny finish. Perfectly fine overall, but I wouldn't pay premium craft beer prices for it; but it's a perfect supermarket pick-up.

Next up is the mid strength IPA -  Knock Knock Ned's IPA. Hmmmmm, it's definitely stronger, that much is obvious from first sip. The flavour profile is very similar though, quite bitter and resiney but not enough fruit to offset it, IMHO.

Lastly, in this batch, and certainly not least, at a torrefied 7.1%. is  Francis' Big Bangin IPA. This is much better, strong but with a hint of tropical fruit on the nose and a solid core of fruit to balance the pine. It really reminds me of Grafters IPA (also available from Dunnes), which I like. No surprises there as Rye River brews them both. I would say this is more like an American pale ale. Careful with this one, it goes down very easy.

Mk3 McGargles ales... 

Little Bangin IPA 3.8% - €3.00*
Double Bangin IPA 8% - €3.79*

Not sure what I was expecting with these two, the double IPA probably a big piney unsubtle beast, and the Little fella probably underwhelming and weak. Lets start with the Double Bangin' IPA. Wow, this is really good, a super balance of fruit and bitterness, without the overly sugary sweetness you sometime get with double IPAs. I'm even getting a hint of liquorice. I'll buy this again.

Lastly the Little Bangin IPA, limping in at a weedy 3.8%. I suspect this part of the current vogue for session IPAs, so let's see. Hmmmmm - probably should have started with this. Still, it's not bad. Light in flavour but what's there is tasty; a hint if citrus along with the standard bitterness. This isn't an IPA for the die-hard but I could see it being a nice drink for a warm summer's evening.

*Bought in Tesco

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New Irish* IPAs - Part 2

All of the beers tasted below were purchased in O'Brien's, who have a pretty decent selection of craft beers, and apologies for the length of time it has taken to post this second post after my resurrection. I thought I had my full mojo back, but it appears it has not fully regrown, yet.

All beers were tasted with Herself on this occasion and she concurred with my opinions.

Fourpure American Pale Ale 5% abv 33cl €2.75
Yes! this is lovely. Definitely in the American style, it's slightly lighter at 5% then a big beeft APA but the core flavours are present and correct. Im getting some nice citrusy notes and the merest suggestion of tropical fruit. Personally I'd love to try this at 6%, but they have got the American Pale ale spot on, which is no mean feat and something very few Irish* breweries have done.
*For some reason I thought this was Irish, not sure why as a quick glance at the can and indeed their website, clearly shows they are London based. I had already written the above, so screw it.

Rascals Wunderbar IPA 6% abv 33cl €2.90
Hmmm, tasted straight after the fourpure this lacks complexity. Its strong and it has ample piney flavours but that's about it.

Jack Cody's Lazy Eye 6.3% abv 50cl €3.55
Dark and lightly carbonated. quite fruity in a red ale way. not a citrussy way. Tasty though, herself likes it.

Hope Handsome Jack  6.6% abv 33cl €2.90
By contrast this is quite bubbly and looks like a lager in the glass. That likeness is dispelled the moment the glass approaches the nose though, as there is a big whiff of tropical fruit.  On the palate the fruit is again dominant, but there's something missing, some tiny depth in the flavour. It's not lacking in alcohol, weighing in at a muscular 6.6%, but for me it's a near miss, just slightly too light for me. Although, as it warms up, it's clawing back the fullness, so what do I know. If you like your beers tropical this is one for you.

Wicklow Wolf IPA 6.3% abv 50cl €4.00
To be honest, this beer is a sure thing. I love it in bottles and and the rare occasion when I have had it on draft, I love it even more. There is no dominant flavour as such, just a very nicely balanced beer. There's some pine, some grapefruit and a lingering, full finish.