Dead Pony Club, Brewdog. This says it’s a Californian pale ale. Not entirely sure what that is. It smells of juicy sweet citrus hops. On tasting its all about the hops but they’re kept kind of in check. I quite like that it’s not complete hop juice. There isn’t really any malt here maybe a little touch of biscuit base. It has nice carbonation too. Actually I really rather like this and I wasn’t expecting to.
Tom Crean’s Premium Irish Lager. All the way from Dingle comes this bottle of polar lager. A slightly sweet nose with a hint of green hop spice, just a hint though. On tasting there is a short burst of flavour on the front of the palate and then you wait for the rest of it and…. nothing. It’s a bit odd there’s no mouthfeel or after taste at all here. It’s odd and there’s just not much going on. I suppose at least I don’t taste any obvious flaws but maybe in the quest to brew a clean lager they have gone too far and lost all the flavour too.
White Gypsy Yule Ól. This is the seasonal winter offering from White Gypsy and over the years I’ve loved stopping in to Mssrs Maguire in Dublin for a glass of it. This is the first year I’ve seen it in bottled form. I still love it. It’s a big dark beer but its not a stout which is exactly the sort of dark beer I like. It’s perfect with Christmas pudding and cream and has a lot of flavours to complement it. Sadly I have no pudding tonight so the beer will have to do. Aroma is sweet and rich with sour cherries. A good mouthfeel, light on carbonation. I like it as its not too heavy for a strong beer. It tastes of raisins and coffee and maybe a touch of caramel. Perfect warming for a frosty night
Adnams Sole Star. I really like this. Great taste at only 2.7% abv. English breweries are great at this class of thing. Lovely fresh citrus hops and a good malt base.
Cock O’ The Walk. Scottish red ale from Williams Bros. Williams Bros is probably my favourite brewery. They never make bad beer and this is no exception.
It pours a brown ruby colour with a cream head. The aroma is full of citrus hops with a nice sweet background. It tastes great. It’s not a full bodied beer and doesn’t have much mouthfeel but here that’s good as it makes it easy to drink. There’s some great sweet malt balanced well by those citrus hops. Another great beer by Williams Bros.
Masi Valpolicella 2009. Our Italian friend brought us this wine. I love this wine, it tastes of cherries. I love cherries so this wine is a win. It reminds me of a cherry lambic beer in some ways. I’ll be requesting he brings back more!
Beerlao. My brother in law brought back this beer from Laos. I’m having a small sup of it. It’s a generic lager and it’s not all bad actually. If you were sweltering in the heat of Laos I’m sure this would be a welcome drink. I’d drink it if I was on holidays.
Sullivan’s Traditional Irish Ginger Beer. Traditional? Has anyone else heard of Irish people being fond of ginger beer? I haven’t. The label claims that at the end of the 19th century every large town in Ireland had a ginger beer factory. I wonder if that’s true. Was it common to even find ginger here back then? I must figure out how to do comments for this blog so some history buffs can tell me.
It’s made with water, sugar, ginger, lime and yeast. It’s 2% alcohol. We all tasted it but sadly nobody was too enthusiastic about it. It’s fine but could use a little more fire from the ginger or maybe some more citrus from the lime or perhaps some lemon. The tastes of all the ingredients are pretty separate. Maybe more fizz might hold it together a little better.
Whitewater Copperhead. Try as might I’m not getting much aroma. Maybe that comes as the beer heats up. As it heats up the aroma is better. It tastes of green spicy hops with a nice malty undertone. A nice dry finish. No great amount of body. The malt is taking a backseat and the hops are in charge here but it’s no bad thing. Not an outstanding hoppy pale ale but not bad all the same.
Everards Beacon Bitter. An amber ale. I’m not very keen on this for some reason. As I first drank it there was a rather harsh hoppy taste. It’s now mellowed and is a bit better. There’s still something about it that’s not quite right to my taste. I’d have liked a little more balance with a bit of biscuity malt.