A Quart of Ale± #88
On the craft journey with a session of Whiplash, Brehon, Porterhouse and Journeyman
Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel 5.2%, 440ml can Whiplash Online
“Dry The Rain sees us lightly decoct a more complex grain bill to produce our first Dunkel Lager.” Maybe not my favourite Whiplash lager but a good one.
Highlight here is the beautifully balanced bitterness towards the end.
At first glance, it is black but look longer and closer and there is an amber in there (from the Munich Malt) with a short-lived tan head. The aromas are modest, a sweet caramel and bread. And there’s more caramel on the palate, right through to the finish.
They say: We .. incorporate a traditional double stage decoction to produce a natural melanoiden that lends a rich dry and mellow caramel flavour throughout and binds this beautiful wort together. Hopped in kettle exclusively with German Magnum for a soft and unobtrusive bitter balance; this wort is cast off to meet our house German Lager yeast WLP833 in tank and is lovingly cold matured for over a month before packing - and your enjoyment.
Artwork by @izzyrosegrange
Malts: MUNICH MALT; CARA BOHEMIAN
Brehon Brewhouse Red Right Hand Barley Wine Beer 11%, 500ml bottle Bradleys
The Red Right Hand, a bourbon-aged barley wine, has a dark red, close to black, colour and is crowned with a coffee coloured soft head. Despite the high abv, it is rather gentle and easy to drink, clean, mellow and smooth.
Really good but this bourbon-aged beer, earthy and sweet, good and all as it is, isn’t quite at the same level that their Oak & Mirrors Cask Aged Imperial Porter reaches, perhaps because the bourbon influence is very very subtle here.
Brehon have made a name for themselves with barrel-aged beers, beginning with their Crann Beatha barrel-aged stout. This one is well up to standard and, by the way, is a terrific match with Christmas pudding, with the Dunnes Stores Simply Better 12 month matured in particular. Yum on the double.
They say: The red right hand is symbolic of the historic clans of Ulster. It embodies strength, unity and character just like our Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine.
Porterhouse Renegade New England IPA 5.3%, 440ml can O’Briens Wine
Lots of hops here in the Porterhouse’s take of a New England IPA. So no shortage of flavours such as passionfruit, mango and peach, plus hints of resin. Still, in the end it is not very hoppy at all, underlined by an IBU count of 10.
It is a light orange colour, a fairly dense hazy one, with a soft white head that sinks slowly enough. Aromas are modest, citrus notes showing. It feels quite soft on the palate. The straightforward fruit flavours are pleasant enough as is the finish. Very drinkable, even more so if you’re not too pushed about the lack of hop bitterness towards the end (and that could apply to quite a lot of us).
They say: Renegade is our take on a NEIPA. With an extended whirlpool at lower temperature for a smooth soft finish. Unfiltered and heavily dry hopped with Amarillo, Galaxy & Mosaic… This NEIPA is fermented on traditional East Coast yeast.
Journeyman India Pale Lager 5.2%, 500ml bottle, X-Mas present
I like the amber colour of this hybrid and the bubbly head that hangs around for a bit. Aromas break out with citrus, a hint of pine too. Citrus also plus tropical flavours feature on the palate where the hybrid features show themselves, the refreshing lager crispness and the punch of the new world hops. The lip-smacking lager style refreshment is the welcome quality here.
Journeyman is one of the beers made by the Pearse Lyons Brewery in Dundalk. The brewery is known as the Station Works and is one of the largest in the country. It produces beers under different brand names - Foxes Rock is another one - for various supermarkets.
Malts: Ale, Oats, Cara, Wheat
Hops: Magnum, Galaxy (passionfruit, peach, citrus), Mosaic (tropical, berry, stone), Amarillo (grapefruit, peach, resinous)