Friday, July 17, 2015

Road Trippin

To celebrate their 20th anniversary in business the good people at Mc Hughs have teamed up Kinnegar to release a special beer. Road Trip a 6.2% American inspired pale ale. I am a big fan of Kinnegar, their Black IPA is one of the best around.  Therefore, I had high expectations of this beer and the early word was this was a beer to try.

 Colour:  Amber in the glass with a good firm head.  Its darker than most pale ales, but it is a big field to play in anyway. A little hazy, but you are warned of that on the label and in my experience it a help hold some of the more delicate hop aromas. 

Aroma: Big hit of perfumery hops with a touch of an herbal note to it. Underpinning this was candy/caramel sweetness with a dash of maltiness. All rounded off with a very pleasant dank/ piney C hop finish. Very American centric so far as one would expect as the hop listed are Chinook, Summit, Cascade, Simcoe, Centennial and then dry-hopped with a healthy dose of Amarillo, Centennial, and Citra!!

Taste: What hit me initially was the sherbet and grapefruit pith along stick hop oils, that all played very well together.  Bringing up the rear was malt backbone. That did not overplay its hand and overpower the hop flavours. A good but not over carbonation helped meld these entire things together. All in all, a well brewed beer. One I really enjoyed tasting and I would love to see re-brewed again.  Let’s us hope this is just the start of a beautiful relationship between Kinnignar and Mc Hughs. For disclosure, Cathal McHugh very kindly offered to send me a bottle for me to review. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Great Woods, Blanchy Spoons

Yesterday saw the opening of the third pub in the latests instalment in the Irish portfolio of JW Wetherspoons. The name that was chosen via a reader pole in the Northside people was “The Great Wood”. The Great Scaldwood is the woods proper title and was old rements of old growth Irish forest. Part of the forest would have been in the area of where the Blanchardstown centre now resides. The old Irish forest that was maintained by the local lords till the coming of Cromwell. With the removal of the local gentry wolfs proliferated, which became a danger to man and beast Which resulted in great cull in 1652. 

While I was out for a walk I decided I would pop along and check it out. The site that was chosen was a form night club. Pure drinking establishment in the Blanchardstown area have not fared to well over the years. But I suppose if anyone can make a go of it, it’s probably Wetherspoons. Targeting the pub, cafe/coffee shop, restaurant and general leisure spend. The same day of the opening of  The Great Wood. Wetherspoons in Ireland decide to increases price, somewhere around 33% on selected products. But that didn't appear to put the punters of, the place was packed on both floors. Even with the price increase it’s still cheaper than any pub in the area as far as I am aware of. Although this increase was not applied to any real ale product’s and remained at 2.50 per pint. But that maybe down Tim Martins tipple of choice. The choices currently are all English real ale Hobgoblin, Doom bar, Ghostship etc. I am hoping over time that we will get to see some Irish micro’s getting some space on the beer engines. I wasn't eating but the  food orders did appear appeared to be moving. There is a good bottle selection of Irish craft beer from 8 degreesBru and McGraths. Given the proliferation of pubs offering Cute hoor and Hop house as their "craft "options in the area. An as I was told in one new local pub "that's what Diageo/Heineken offered"! The spoons offering is possibly one of the largest selection of Irish craft beer in the area. But why did it take an English pup chain for this to happen?

Adnams Ghost ship (cask): 

Amber in the glass with a good head and lacing.  From been served though a sparkler as God intended. The aroma was mildly hoppy with citrus lemon and finishing with some lemongrass. Taste wise it started with bready malt, citrus fruit and with a very nice tang hop bitter finish. A beer in very good condition and easy drinker to boot. Its great see some cask ale available in the local area and hopefully some from Irish brewery in the not to distant future.