Friday, June 17, 2016

Summers here ....

Summers here….

Eight Degrees  Mandarina Bavaria (Single Hop):

From the bottle it pours, bottle amber-orange in the glass with a good head. The aroma starts of with some light fruits that then opens up to candy-citrus orange, ending with a pleasant herbal finish.  A beer I would very much like to try on draught and I suspect one you could easily let slip down while out with a few mates. 

Yellow Belly Beer (collaboration) Castway:

Kettle sours have been on the rise in the Irish craft-brewing scene and something I think they are something to seek out, see Kinnegar Brewing range for example.  I had some rune the castaway collaboration beer with YellowBelly, Hope brewery and Shane smith as something to get hold of.  Aroma was up front this topical fruit leading towards a big passion fruit, ending with a slight sour note. I did not detect any acetic acid on the nose, which is usually and indicator of a good kettle sour.

Taste wise upfront pleasant sourness, following with lots of passion fruit all mixing to give a fruit pastille effect. A very good beer and could well be my beer of 2016. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Through the door: The Open Gate

Through the door: The Open Gate

I was cordially invited to The Open Gates for their Taste of Beer. This event featured a few of the vendors (Shuck London oysters, The Cupcake Bloke, Cúlcow artisan ice cream, The Little Milk Co, Natural bakery, Asian market) that will be at the Taste of Dublin next weekend ( The event was a food and beer pairing with the emphasis on using some of the Open Gate beers in their produce.

Cúlcow artisan ice cream:

A scoop each of the Strawberry porter and Special Export stout ice cream from Cúlcow. Stout ice cream was a first for me, very different but good.  The Strawberry porter was my favorite.

Natural bakery:

Keep with the stout theme, I opted to try there two brown breads that were on offer. With the special ingredient been either the Strawberry porter or Special Export stout. Again like the ice-cream I favored the porter bread over the stout.

The Little Milk Co:

The pairing of cheese and beer is an ancient one and I have yet to find a beer and cheese that did not get along together. However, on their recommendation their blue cheese did really match well with the Special Export stout.

Strawberry Basil Porter:

Interesting beer this, probable best describe the strawberry contribution as subtle. It was there but hard to pick out.  The basil on the other hand was a little more pronounced on the finish.  One that  enjoyed even if the strawberry where a little stage shy. 

Special Export (Belgium version) rum barrel aged:

Much improved on the first version I had and on a visit back before Christmas 2015. Now boasting an extra 4% abv coming that has leached from the rum barrel. A lot of the initial Special export stout flavor had been stripped out buy the barrel, but in its place there was big sherry and rum aromas on the noise. For a 10-11% beer, the alcohol was remarkable well hidden.

Tropical IPA:

A pint at The Open Gate:  Dark golden to amber in color, medium body with a tannic hop finish on the palate.  There look to be a good dose of some sort of dark crystal malt, leaving me to consider it more of an English style IPA or strong bitter. The aroma was of mango-ish hops, which were surprising some of the reviews I have previously heard, also considering it’s filtered and pasteurized to boot. Overall, not in your face hop bomb as one might expect given the name.

At the end of the night, we were present with a growler of it to bring home. It had four day in the fridge before I got around to it.  Sadly, those tropical aromas had departed, reinforcing the suggestion of traditional English ale that one from the US west coast. But  enjoyable no the less.