Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Exciting Times Ahead

The growth of the the craft brewing scene in Ireland has gained great momentum over the last few years. The launch of Trouble Brewing last year, and the recent launch of their second beer, Dark Arts, has shown that like minded people with a passion about good beer can overcome the bureaucracy inherent in the Irish system to launch a brewery to better serve a growing craft beer consuming demographic in Ireland.

Next week this momentum will be maintained by the official launch of Metalman Brewing. Metalman Brewing is the culmination of many years of experimentation and hard work by Grainne and Tim, two fellow members of Beoir who have achieved what we home brewers all dream of, making the leap to commercial brewing. Metalman's first brew will be a pale ale that they will officially launch in the Bull & Castle in Dublin next week. I for one am looking forward to trying their first commercial brew, having had the pleasure of sampling many of the home brew versions of their pale ale, based on my experience of these, I have no doubt that Metalman Pale Ale will be a great success.

I look forward to reviewing Metalman Brewing Beers for a long time to come and will report back shortly on the first offering to hit the market.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Isolation Ale

Still slowly but surely making my way through my Christmas hamper of beer. Next on the list is a seasonal offering from Odell Brewing, Isolation Ale.

Described as a traditional winter ale, Isolation Ale pours a light Amber colour with a thin off white creamy head. Nice combination of malt and hops on the nose. The malt is to the fore with a nice hint of spicy and fruity hops. On the light side of medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. The taste is more hop forward than I would have expected from a winter beer, the hops are a nice balance of spicy and piney, with the merest hint of citrus. The finish has a very subtle bitterness.

Not what I would consider a traditional winter ale, for that I would have expected a very malty beer with a spicy hop profile, the malts in this beer are quite understated with the hops taking the driving seat. However as the beer warms up you get the malts more and more. Hints of chocolate and caramel raise their head and give this beer an altogether more wintry profile. Altogether this is a very nice beer and at 6.1% and not too heavy, I could see myself having a few of these. Definitely worth picking up a bottle or two.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reason for Existence

Dogfish Head do some unusual beers. Their Raison D'être is a case in point, first brewed in 1998, it is not your usual American brown ale. First of all it is strong at 8%, secondly it uses some unusual ingredients including beet sugar and green raisons.
Pours a lovely deep red colour with a thin off white head. The aroma is spicy with an underlying sweetness, the green raisons are very apparent on the nose. Medium to heavy bodied with a nice light level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is slightly cloying, coating your mouth and throat.

The taste is quite far away from what I would consider a brown ale to be, it tastes more like a strong Amber ale. The flavour is very malty with plenty of caramel and toffee in the middle, put I have to say the start and end of this beer, normally where the hops do their thing, is pretty disappointing. Being a hop focussed beer guy, my disappointment is a little unfair on this beer. This beer is tasty with a lovely depth of flavour in the malt profile and this is really what this beer is all about.

If you enjoy malt heavy ales, then you should certainly pick up a bottle of this, let it warm up and enjoy it's subtleties, just don't be expecting the usual Dogfish hop hit.