Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Beer Review: Dungarvan Copper Coast Red Ale

I have really enjoyed the two beers from Dungarvan brewing that I have tried so far (Black Rock Stout and Helvic Gold). Next up was Dungarvan's take on the traditional Irish Red Ale.
Irish Red Ale, not a style I
can get excited about

The beer pours a rusty red colour with a thin off-white head. Aroma is subdued with sweet malts being the only dominant aroma. Medium bodied with a nice level of carbonation. A nice beer, however it does not provide any standout characteristics. The hops are very subdued, almost invisible (which many will say is in keeping with the style), while the malts are there but don't offer enough of a punch. Also I discerned a very slight metallic aftertaste which didn't help.

Overall very dissapointing after I really enjoyed their stout and blonde beers.

To me, Irish Red Ale is just not a style of beer that you can get excited about. A nice change would be for some of the Irish brewers to go more the route of an American Amber Ale crossed with an Irish Red, this would provide you with the chewy malty background but then also give a nice hop punch that would balance everything out.


The Beer Nut said...

That sounds a bit like Three Floyds Brian Boru: lovely beer, hopped up beautifully like no Irish red is.

Séan had some ideas for re-inventing Irish red here.

Mark (Halite) said...

Good article by Sean, I think I need to brew the beer I described and see how it turns out.

The Beer Nut said...

Ah, but can it be done using European hops?

Mark (Halite) said...

Using European hops would be tricky. Not sure if the noble hops would do the trick as they would normally suit a crisper, sharper body and if you used English hops you would probably just end up with a Scottish Ale.

Would hops from Australia / NZ be allowed?, you could then argue that it wasn't just an American Amber ale.

The Beer Nut said...

Well, not that I'm into making up arbitrary rules or anything, but if you're going to claim this is somehow a development of Irish red ale then it seems to me it should be done with Irish-style hops. Which, in practice, means English hops.

True you'll get something like a Scottish ale. But with American hops you'll get something like an Amber Ale, won't you?

All further proof that "Irish red ale" isn't a distinct beer style, IMO.

Mark (Halite) said...

Very true. I think what I should try is a Red Ale, with an Irish Red Malt Bill and an American Amber hop profile. I think that is essentially what I am looking for.

I'll call it "Diaspora Red Ale".