Tuesday, April 4, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #19. Craft IPA with 9 White Deer, Hope, Ballykilcavan and Torc

CorkBillyBeers #19

Craft IPA with 9 White Deer, Hope, Ballykilcavan and Torc


9 White Deer Stag IPA 5.00% ABV, 500ml bottle

I know it comes with a red/orange label but wasn’t really expecting this Stag IPA to have such a deep red/orange colour, with a slightly off-white head. 

You’ll get fruit and floral notes in the aromas but malt is quite a factor also. Really big flavours on the palate. Very supple, quite a heavyweight actually, with a well balanced aspect, even if hops have the edge in the final stretch. After all, the sub-title on the front label indicates this is a hoppy pale ale and so it is. A very good American style IPA at that.

They say: A Classic IPA, using vast quantities of new age hops, this gluten free IPA is full of flavour. Hop usage is late in the boil which gives big flavours and aroma without big bitterness. IPAs never serviced the gluten free market but that is now changed, and what a beer to change it with. A well balanced quaffable IPA bursting with flavour and aroma.

By the way, 9 White Deer take that little bit longer to mature all their beers. Feel the labels in bottles and even here, you get the “premierisation” effect. And I think you also get it in spades when you taste these well-made beers from Ballyvourney. No rush in this brewery. “We create superior brews by being respectful to our ingredients and maturing process, which results in exceptional beers that are also gluten free.” Their dedication and patience pays off in beers like this IPA.

Very Highly Recommended

Recent post on 9 White Deer here


Hope Limited Edition No. 28 Double Rye IPA 8.5%, 400ml can

This big Rye IPA comes in an attractive amber/orange colour and is quite hazy. The spice of the Rye and the citrus of the Centennial feature in the aromas. And you also meet them on the palate where the interaction is absolutely outstanding. Very impressive.

Hope brewers balanced the strong influence of the malted rye firstly by “a mountain of Centennial, the classic American citrus hop, which we use in the kettle, whirlpool, and in two dry hop additions”.

They also used CryoPop, a new product from Yakima Chief, that

blends various Cryo Hops.

“The result,” they say, “is a huge IPA, which combines the spicy malt flavours of Rye, with the orange and grapefruit flavours of Centennial, all lifted by the tropical fruit flavours of Cryo-Pop hops”. Well worth checking out. 

But take your time and enjoy this a sip at a time as it is very easy-drinking for a beer that packs an 8.5% ABV. You’ll find that a sip of this excellent beer will also go a long way, so why hurry?

Geek Bits

Serving Temperature: 8-10 degrees

Bitterness: 70 IBU

Alcohol: 8.5%

Colour: 18.5 EBC

Very Highly Recommended

Recent post on Ballykilcavan here


Ballykilcavan Long Meadow IPA, 5.0% ABV, 440ml can CraftCentral

This IPA from Laois, named after a 300 years old field on the farm, has a gold colour, with quite a wash of red onboard as well, all under a slightly off-white soft head. The malt plays a role in the aromatics with the hops, Azacca and Amarillo, contributing tropical and citrus. The palate is well loaded with the tropical fruit flavours, and there’s a hint of pith in its pleasingly bitterness. Again, the biscuity malt anchors it all well and the balance is good. The finish to this Long Meadow ale is quite satisfactory indeed.

By the way, if you'd like to visit the farm and have a look at the brewery, they'd love to show you around. “You'll hear the family stories from the more than 380 years that we've been at Ballykilcavan, and see the 18th century farmyard behind the brewery. Weather permitting, we'll bring you to the old stable yard, the champion black walnut tree of Ireland and the remains of the walled garden. Then we'll bring you into the brewery itself to find out how we make our beers.” Check the website here. 

Highly Recommended


Torc Kingdom IPA, 5.0% ABV, 500ml bottle, Carry Out Killarney (Muckross Rd)

Torc Brewing has been brewing and delivering local Irish craft beer to the people of Killarney since 2014. This is their “smooth and full bodied Indian Pale Ale. Made with Irish malted barley and balanced with European hops for a traditional style IPA.”

One thing struck me though as I looked at the list of ingredients. Traditional, or any other, IPA that I’ve come across doesn’t include lactose and sugar in the ingredients as this one does. The other ingredients by the way are more usual: Wheat, Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water.

It has a hazy pale gold colour and a short-lived white head. Hops are not overly prominent though there seems some citrus (grapefruit) about on the palate as well as sweetness. Decent enough body and satisfactory finish. Torc’s traditional style seems to be a toned down sweeter version of the modern American IPA.



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