CorkBillyBeers #26. Craft Beer Fruit and Nut. And Honey. With Galway Hooker, Clancy's Cans, Lough Gill and Bacchus
Craft Beer Fruit and Nut. And Honey. With Galway Hooker, Clancy's Cans, Lough Gill and Bacchus
Galway Hooker Honey Beer, 5.3% ABV, 500ml bottle
This Galway Hooker Honey Beer comes in an amber colour with a slightly off-white head, a soft one. The aromas are more like those of a lager, grassy and floral and just a little hint of honey. The honey does come in a wee bit stronger on the palate, adding a little sweetness but nothing over the top. Well balanced overall and quite a crisp refreshing finish.
This unique beer is a collaboration between the brewery and locally based Leahy Beekeeping “to bring you a special taste of the West of Ireland.” And it certainly does.
By the way, the ABV is given as 4.1% on the website but it is 5.3% on the bottle. IBU is 25.
No matter the figures, this is an excellent beer and is Very Highly Recommended. Indeed, I think you may like it whether you like honey or not! And a big thank you to Dermott of the Pantry and Corkscrew Restaurant in Westport for introducing me to this one!
"Both lagers and ales can be brewed with honey. Some brewers will choose to experiment with ingredients, while others will add honey to traditional styles. Overall the character of honey should be evident but not totally overwhelming. A wide variety of honey beers are available. U.S. brewers may add honey to the boil kettle (as a sugar source) or post-boil (to preserve more volatile aromatics)."
Clancy's Cans #11 Maple & Pecan Brown Ale, 7.5% ABV, 440ml can CraftCentral
Surprise, surprise. This brown ale pours into the glass and it is brown, though you might see the odd “flash” of ruby. The head is a bubbly one with a tan shade. A mild chocolate, mild caramel too and a toasty touch feature in the initial aromatics and get stronger on the palate along with a fleeting in and out sweet input from the roasted pecans (not so much from the syrup). Quite complex and long-lasting on the finish. That fresh sweet-sour taste is, the producers say, typical for this type of beer.
And you come across that too in Ballykilcavan's highly regarded Bambrick's Brown Ale. This is, after all, the Export strength version of Bambrick’s.
Oddly enough, I’ve scoured the Ballykilcavan site for a mention of Clancy’s Cans but nary a sign. Why? I wonder. The label comes to the rescue with some info: “a limited edition series of cans. We’ve called them Clancy’s Cans, in recognition of the five generations of the Clancy family who have worked and continue to work on the farm."
The label sums it up: “Dark chocolate and burnt toffee meets sweet nutty sweetness.” And advises to enjoy it between 7 and 11 degrees.
Yes, Maple essence and Pecans are included in the ingredients list.
It has much the same ABV as Old Brown, a dark beer from Mayo’s Mescan with a mild sourness, of the type that has been brewed in West Flanders since the 17th century. Enjoyed one of those a month or so back in that superb Westport restaurant The Pantry and Corkscrew. The Mescan, which is matured in oak barrels for more than two years, is somewhat ahead of this one.
Lough Gill Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, 5.5%, 440ml can Bradleys
Lough Gill emphasise that “This Brown Ale is brewed with real Macadamia nuts, roasted in our own kitchen, along with top quality malts and hops for a rich nutty flavour and luxurious dark brown colour.”
It has been around for a while and is definitely a favourite here. Colour is a rich dark brown with hints of red leaking through occasionally. Aromas are from the roasted nuts, mostly. And lead to a decadent sweet and roasty flavour on the luxurious palate and note that outstandingly smooth texture. No need to change my opinion on this one, a winner every single time.
Very Highly Recommended.
Attention to detail has paid off for Lough Gill. “Things were getting a bit squirrely over here; it must be the trays upon trays of macadamia nuts we hand-roasted for this beer. Some would say we’ve gone nuts – but taking our time over each and every step is part of what makes every one of our craft brews unique.”
Bacchus Kriekenbier (Cherry Beer), 5.8% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys
Looking for a refreshing fruit beer? This is one.
Cheery cherry beers are quite the thing in Belgium. This one comes in a dark robe but there’s a red glow off it. The off-white head doesn’t stay around for long. No mistaking the cherries in the aromas or on the palate either. In the mouth though there is quite a bit of tart acidity which results in a sweet and sour taste. Quite a thirst quencher! Serve at about 5 degrees.
The name tells you this is a beer with cherries. And the ingredients list names cherry juice, cherries, and cherry flavour.
They say: The basis for this surprising cherry beer is Bacchus Vlaams Oud Bruin (Bacchus Flemish Old Brown). During the brewing process, the brewer adds roasted malts to this Flemish red-brown beer. By the way, we enjoyed a bottle of that Old Brown recently
Some Other Belgian Krieks:
Kriek De Ranke;
Mort Subite Kriek;