Tuesday, May 9, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #23. Craft Pale Ale with Whiplash, 9 White Deer, West Kerry and Dungarvan Brewing

CorkBillyBeers #23

Craft Pale Ale with Whiplash, 9 White Deer, West Kerry and Dungarvan Brewing


Dungarvan Brewing Mine Head American Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV, 500ml bottle The Local, Dungarvan

Here we have a classic West Coast style American Pale Ale from the south coast of Ireland. Dungarvan say: This is a classic American style pale ale made using only cascade hops, and also dry hopped with Cascade to impart fresh hop aromas. Released in summer 2014, this is now a full time part of of our core range and available in keg, bottle and .. in can year round.

The dry hopped process means adding whole leaf hops into the fermenter. This gives more of a hop aroma to the beer, and a fresh initial hit of the hop flavours.

And it is citrus all the balanced way, a teeny touch of marmalade sweetness later on and nothing really bitter at that stage. A pleasant and harmonious bottle indeed, enjoyed at The Local in Dungarvan itself. 

Best served lightly chilled, from 8-12°C, and you’ll find it versatile at the table,  working well with lighter fish or with earthy meats such as lamb or beef. Also excellent with spicy Thai or Vietnamese food, or keep it American with a burger! Great with a creamy camembert-style cheese or a tart sheeps cheese.

Highly Recommended

Geek Bits - 

Style: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Hops: Cascade

IBUs: 38


Whiplash Under Ground DDZ Pale Ale, 5.4% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

DDZ means Double Dry Zested. And the Whiplash crew mean it. Lemon zest is one of the ingredients. And then there’s Lemondrop hops. The producers say: Lemondrop hops offer strong citrus, floral, fruity, herbal, lemon, mint, green tea, light melon aromas.

Colour is pale, a slightly hazy lemon. Aromas are not overly strong at all but lemon does seep through. It is a velvety presence in the mouth, much smoother than anticipated (thanks in some measure to the oats). While the lemon doesn’t dominate the palate it is quite the lead act, a very pleasant one, velvety with no sharp edges. Quite a lip-smacking thirst quencher at the end.

Here’s what the brewers say: When we say DDZ we mean it, it's packed with delicious, refreshing lemon zest that cuts through beautifully. The base comes from Pilsner, oat and wheat for some very velvety vibes, backed up with additions of Cascade and Lemondrop.

Geeks Bits

Malts - Pilsner, Oat, and Wheat

Hops - Cascade, Lemon Drop, Lemon Zest.

Adjunct - Lemon zest.


Highly Recommended

9 White Deer Stag Bán 4.5% ABV, 500ml bottle

I’ll let the brewers introduce this pale ale themselves:

This classic pale ale was our very first beer and we remain extremely proud of it. We wanted to brew something that felt uncomplicated, direct and true .

But there’s a real subtlety to it - and unlike some other pale ales, Bán is never bland. As with our entire range, it’s also EU certified gluten.

It has a beautiful gold colour, a myriad of tiny bubbles rising towards the top. There are moderately intense aromas, slightly malty. And the palate is along the same lines. It is crisp and refreshing, even lip-smacking, with a gentle spice and mild citrus influence from the hops.And a satisfactory clean finish.

Another excellent beer from the Ballyvourney brewery. 

Highly Recommended.


West Kerry Béal Bán Golden Ale, 5.0% ABV, 500ml bottle, Carry Out Killarney

A dark, slightly hazy gold is the colour of this magical ale from West Kerry. Creamy rather than crisp (hinted at by the malty aromas), yet light and refreshing with malt prominent earlier on, the hops making a show at the finish. A distinctive beer indeed, very impressive. One to be sipped and savoured, no rush.

I drank this in 2012 at Blair’s Inn and also during a visit to Tigh Bhric where the brewery is based. It was then being described as a pale English style bitter. It was then, still is, a light and refreshing golden ale with a slight malty sweetness and a bitter finish, imparted by a generous helping of hops. Indeed, one could see why an English aficionado would feel at home here.

My last encounter got me spouting lyrical, maybe doggerel.

You savour the minutes you spend drinking this Golden Ale. It’s the languid time in summer: you have a glass in your hand and the sun is going down. Not quite there yet. Hanging on. Between pale and dark. Those golden moments. When the Blaskets and its seagulls are in silhouette. 

Sip and savour and put your arm around his or her shoulder. And whisper: “This is the best golden ale in the world”. And, if she or he is sipping the same paradisiacal beer, there’ll be no argument. For what you both are enjoying in these magic peaceful twilight minutes is truly the umami conjured up by the goddess from the Ballydavid brewery of the wild peninsula. Béal Bán, an beoir órga is fearr ar domhain. Draíocht an Daingin.

Béal Bán is one of their core range and like the others, Carraig Dubh (porter) and Cúl Dorcha (red ale), is called after local place names.

Very Highly Recommended.


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