Five for St. Patty's
March 15, 2013
John J Kelly’s “Traditional Irish Hard Cider"
From: Dublin, Ireland (Bottled in Melbourne, Florida)
Style: Traditional Apple Cider
The Cider: Imported in bulk from Ireland and bottled in the USA, Kelly's Traditional Irish Cider is a crisp light dry cider made from traditional bittersweet cider apple juice. There are no artificial colors or sweeteners. Kelly's has been awarded 4 Gold Medals by the North American Brewers Association as well as several Silver Medals.
Wexford Irish Style Crème Ale
From: Suffolk, England
Style: Irish Red Ale
The Beer: This is one of our favorite Irish ales. First, it comes in a can with a widget, which releases nitrogen when the beer is opened. Nitrogen is usually reserved for stouts, but we are glad that Wexford uses it — it gives this beer creaminess and a long lasting, thick head that's complemented by a soft orange tint and a caramelized, toffee like nose. This beer should be savored so as to enjoy the sweet and fruity aspects, which are more prevalent here than in most examples of the style. Additionally, the hop profile is very low and almost nonexistent in terms of bitterness. We're proud to call Wexford the easiest drinking beer we tasted this week.
O’hara’s “Irish Red”
From: Carlow, Ireland
Style: Irish Red Ale
The Beer: “Brewed true to its heritage, the O’Hara family have gone back to basics and brew this fine Irish ale as it used to be brewed — with natural ingredients and no artificial additives”. Formerly known as Moling’s Red Ale and now carrying the family name of the brewery founders, this full-bodied Irish red, ruby in color, is fruity and aromatic with a distinctive hop character balanced with a generous blend of sweet malts and has a distinctive roast finish.
There is an unmistakable fruity and almost herbal quality to the aroma due to the late addition of Mt. Hood hops. A traditional light hop flavor balances the sweet malty caramel taste which finishes with a distinctive roast bite. The addition of a pinch of roast barley during the brewing process lends a distinctive bite which is balanced by a crisp medium bitterness.
Pairs well with any roast dishes or barbequed food.
O’hara’s “Irish Stout”
From: Carlow, Ireland
Style: Dry Irish Stout
The Beer: Think of Irish beers and you think of Stout! Drink an O’Hara’s and you are drinking a “True Irish Stout”! Carrying the family name of the brewery founders, this multi-award winning traditional dry Irish stout, deep black color with a reddish hue when held to the light, pours with a thick creamy head that is almost tan in color. The Irish Times wrote of O’Hara’s, “...anyone with a stout memory will find that the crispness and lucidity of O’Hara’s evokes the pleasures of nostalgia almost as much as the pleasure of drinking. This award-winning full-bodied and luxuriously smooth dry Irish Stout brings one back to how Irish stouts used to taste”. (Irish Times quote from 2000)
On the nose the drinker experiences a rich and complex coffee aroma with light liquorice notes. This Stout has a robust roast flavor with a full bodied and smooth mouth feel. The roast flavors lead to a dry espresso like finish. A generous addition of Fuggles hops lead to a tart bitterness which mingles with the roast espresso flavors on the tongue. Excellent with Seafood particularly shellfish and smoked salmon. Also pairs well with strong flavored cheeses and dry cured meats such as Parma ham.
Brooklyn “Dry Irish Stout”
From: Utica, New York
Style: Irish Dry Stout
The Beer: The Irish Stout beer style was once produced by dozens of breweries in Ireland. These days it is only produced by three major breweries in Ireland, none of them Irish-owned, though several small breweries and brewpubs make stout as well. People are often surprised to hear that Irish stouts are among the lightest beers on draft, both in alcohol and in calories. These beers were originally designed as “session pints”, a term denoting beers that one can stick with for a long evening. These days, the major producers of Irish Stout dissolve nitrogen into the beer to produce the trademark head, a practice that started in 1960.
Brooklyn Irish Stout is brewed the old-fashioned way, without the nitrogen addition. A large portion of the grain is roasted like coffee beans, developing the typical color and flavor of this beer. Aside from British pale malts, the beer includes caramel malts, black patent malt, unmalted black barley and a proportion of flaked raw barley, which helps the beer develop a beautiful, thick natural head. The famous East Kent Golding hop lends to the earthy aroma. The beer is neither filtered, nor fined and has a light, brisk carbonation. The blend of grains gives the beer an espresso-like bite, followed by coffee and chocolate flavors. At 4.7% ABV, this is among the lightest beers we make, and one of our favorites. Be sure to serve it with “two fingers” of foam, and enjoy the flavor of Brooklyn Irish Stout. Slainte!