Ulster Black Sparkles in Irish-Belgian Beer Session
Brehon Ulster Black Oatmeal Stout, 5.0%, 500ml bottle
This stout is black (you knew that!), black as a wet sod of turf on a rainy day in the bog, and the fleeting head is coffee coloured. Aromas also from the dark side: coffee and dark chocolate. And that theme continues on the palate. But it is not exactly like other oatmeal stouts, not over-richly smooth. There is a balance, a harmony that lifts this stout about the normal. All before a lip-smacking finish. Try it out for yourself! Best served around 8 to 10 degrees.
The brewers say it is “Ideal with game or strong red meat, smoked meats and hearty stews, desserts with chocolate, caramel or dark fruits.” I reckon they’ve tried them all! Me, I’d say it goes best with another one.
“Our small brewery is housed on the farm, just a short distance from the old homestead.We are set amongst the rolling drumlins of County Monaghan, just a few miles from the birthplace of Patrick Kavanagh, the inspiration for our India Pale Ale – Stony Grey IPA.
Our aim is to create distinct beers that are brewed with care and affection. Our brewer has created a range of well balanced and flavoursome ales that reflect the changing face of the beer market in Ireland.”
Chouffe Cherry Beer, 8%, 330ml bottle
Dark cherry is the (not unexpected) colour. Cherries all the way, really, even though there seems to be something sweetish in the aromas (Port is mentioned). And the aroma characters follow through on the palate, cherries again, and hints of sweet and sour. Nicely rounded and soft, it is rather nice and balanced, enough acidity there to do the trick.
They say: “delights the gourmands among us” and recommend pairing with tomatoes, red peppers, red cabbage and fennel, oysters too, duck breast and stewed game dishes and in addition almond, raspberries, cherries and strawberries.
Very different indeed, an amazing beer, and I must try it with Bushy’s Strawberries next time! Or Skeaghanore Duck Breast. Not the kind of beer you’ll be drinking all night.
Always enjoy visiting the Chouffe website - they enjoy a laugh. Check it out yourself at https://chouffe.com/en/discover-our-brews/
Huyghe Delirium Argentum IPA, 7.0%, 330ml bottle
Amber’s the colour here with quite a large white head that does linger. Spice and citrus on the nose. Full of flavour, soft citrus the main element, complex though yet pleasantly fresh with a long hoppy finish. Combining softness and character, this Hopped Amber IPA is yet another superb beer this evening.
Brewing beer is a centuries-old tradition at the site of the Appelhoek in Melle. The earliest evidence of brewing comes from 1654. In 1904 Léon Huyghe started working at the local brewery.
They say: ”Delirium tremens" was brewed for the first time on December 26, 1988. The brewing team produced this blond beer (Alc. 8.5% Vol) at the insistence of Italy. The uniqueness of Delirium is in addition to its 3 different yeasts, its very original packaging that reminds you of Cologne pottery. The label portrays the different phases of the delirium in an original way.
It was amazingly popular, the pink elephant was born and a series of Delirium began and this Argentum in its silver wrap, is one, a very good indeed.
Today, Alain De Laet, the fourth Huyghe generation, stirs the brew kettles. The little elephant that was born in 1989 has grown into an international icon.
Sierra Nevada “Hazy Little Thing” IPA 4.6%, 355ml can
Not to sure how this American got in but we enjoyed having it.
It has a cloudy, lemonade colour. Hoppy aromas. Hoppy on the palate too with citrus fruits. Easy drinking “session edition”, tropical and citrus fruits, pretty flawless really and a very welcome addition to the category. It’s the little sister to the normal Hazy Little Thing (6.7). This version is slightly lighter but not less intense.
They say: The low alcohol content and heavy-handed hopping in this unfiltered session IPA required some brewing finesse to achieve a pleasant balance. Never one to back down from a challenge, we were able to coax just the right amount of body from the malt to support the bold American hops. Hazy in appearance and golden in color, this easy-drinking ale is loaded with piney citrus notes, quenching your thirst without sacrificing flavor.