A Quart of Ale± #107. On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Kinnegar, Wicklow Wolf, Mescan, Larkin's

A Quart of Ale± #107

On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Kinnegar, Wicklow Wolf, Mescan, Larkin's 


Third Barrel Some Dance To Remember Extra Pale Ale 4.8%, 

440 ml can Bradleys

Beautiful gold/amber colour, hazy of course, with a soft head that takes its time to say goodbye. Exotic fruit as expected in the aroma with Mango and Passion Fruit leading the dank charge. Those flavours also feature on the well-balanced palate along with the tart gooseberry from the Nelson. Another excellent well-executed beer, a slam-dunk, from the Third Barrel crew.

They say: We're kicking off the slamming season with an absolute slammer of a pale ale. This little beauty was brewed with our favourite hops. Strata and Nelson Sauvin.. All this, with a simplified malt bill leaves a crisp and fruit forward extra slammable extra pale ale.

Who are Third Barrel? Initially formed in 2016 as a collaboration between two gypsy brands who wanted their own space. Third Barrel has now grown to be one of the most respected brands in Irish craft beer. Brewing everything from the most wholesome Pils to Triple IPAs and everything in-between. “Our one and only passion in life is making savage beer and we love sharing that passion with you.”


Some Dance to Forget is the name of a companion to this one - it takes two to tango. “Big, Bold and in your Face is how we describe this beer. A Triple IPA brewed with 25g/l of Mosaic and Idaho 7. With a trimmed back malt bill to let the hops shine. You can expect a HUGE punch of Grapefruit, Pineapple with a touch of fruit candy.”

Kinnegar Brewers at Play 23 Mango Gose 4.3%, 440ml can Bradleys

This Mango Gose from Kinnegar Brewery comes in a hazy lemon robe with a head that is something of a shrinking violet.  Aromas indicate the expected sourness, mango in the background, yeasty hints too.  The mango gets its chance to shine on the palate, where the beer is now confirmed as tart and refreshing. No big finish but the refreshment came earlier.

Kinnegar say: “Brewers at Play presents new beers designed to keep our brewers on their toes and our customers on their tenterhooks. .No 23 in the series, Mango Gose does pretty much what it says on the tin…If this tart refreshing beer balanced with bright mango doesn’t herald the arrival of Spring, surely nothing will.”

Spring has started but this well balanced gose, with gentle salt and mild sourness, and its refreshing tartness, will also shine during the summer.

Ingredients: water, barley, wheat, oats, mango, hops, yeast. 

This once-off comes in a 440ml can with an ABV of 4.3%. 

Wicklow Wolf Mescan Wit or Without You Belgian Wit 5.0%, 440 ml can Bradleys

For the latest in the brewery’s Crossbreed Series, Wicklow Wolf collaborated, very successfully as it turned out, with Mayo’s Mescan Brewery:

“We are delighted to welcome our good friends from Mescan to brew something special. Cillian is a wizard (he even looks like one) when it comes to brewing Belgian inspired Irish beers, so when we discussed brewing a beer together, it was always going to be a Belgian style. Wit or Witout you is a perfect summer beer.” 

This is indeed a light and refreshing Belgian style Witbier and pours a hazy lemon with a white head that soon sinks. Of course you’ll immediately note that banana heads up the aromatics. The palate is more complex, the banana still there along with traces of the fresh orange peel and herbal notes as well. A very pleasant beer indeed with a touch of sweetness evident, low carbonation and light with a malty sweetness and excellent flavour. A big thumbs up!

This unfiltered and unpasteurised natural beer contains Indian C coriander, orange zest, and black peppercorn. No banana!

Larkins with Dot Brew American Breakfast Stout 8.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

Billed as “Our north American interpretation of their breakfast stout classic, with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup”. They named it, well, American Breakfast Stout.

It is black, so far so good. The off-white head vanishes quickly. And coffee heads up the aromatics. As you drink, the coffee continues in the aromas while the Maple Syrup (and vanilla to a lesser degree) get showtime on the palate. Sweet for sure, no denying that, but there is something of a balance here, something of a saving grace but hardly a stairway to beer heaven.

At least I can finish this one, one of a trio Larkins produced in collaboration with Dot Brew. But I should have paid much more attention to the labels when buying, especially the list of ingredients: Barley, Lactose, Coffee, Oats, Hops, Water, Yeast, Maple Syrup and Vanilla. American yes but not the Full Irish!