Wednesday, June 14, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #30. Craft Session Time With DOT, McGill's, Lough Gill and Tom Crean.

CorkBillyBeers #30

Craft Session with DOT, McGill's, Lough Gill and Tom Crean.


DOT Brew Spin Off Series Session IPA, 3.2% ABV, 440ml can Aldi

A “tasty dry hop of Centennial & Galaxy” makes its impact in the aromatics in this hazy pale yellow IPA from Dot Brew. It is one of their Spin Off Series which they brew exclusively for Aldi.

Mainly exotic flavours in the mouth as the hops keep it going, yet the body is soft and light and bitterness, while always there, is on the low side. “Perfect all year round drinking” they say and I couldn’t argue with that. It is an easy-drinking East Coast Style, brewed with barley and flaked and malted oats. Suitable for vegans.

Geek Bits

Ingredients: malted barley / pale wheat / flaked & malted oats  /New England style yeast. 

Hops are Centennial (US) and Galaxy (Australia) Suitable for vegans. Exclusive to Aldi.

Very Highly Recommended.


McGill’s Skellig Monk Irish Blonde 4.5% ABV, 500ml bottle Centra Waterville

Golden or blonde ale is easy to like. Its golden colour and fountains of rapidly rising bubbles is attractive. Easy on the eye. Like this one by McGill, easy on the palate too with a good balance of hops and malt. Bread and biscuit flavours and a subtle malt sweetness make it easy drinking.

Our Skellig Monk Irish Blonde is spot on style, is balanced, light, rounded and smooth, with those bread-like malt flavours and citrusy hops and a subtle malty sweetness. As is usual for the style, the finish is not the longest. An excellent accessible beer to try, especially if you are starting off on your craft trail.

Monks have long been associated with beer making. The beer is named for the monks who lived on Sceilig MhichĂ­l, the larger of the two Skellig Islands, 12 kilometres off the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry. Monks founded a monastery on the island at some point between the 6th and 8th century and it remained continuously occupied until it was abandoned in the late 12th century.

Joe McGill suggests matching his blonde with lighter food: such as chicken, salads, salmon, bratwurst, white fish and Monterey Jack Cheese. Sweet tooth? No bother. Joe says try it with Light apricot or mandarin cake, lemon custard tart.

While the Skellig monks may have had beer, I don’t think they enjoyed that kind of diet!

Serving temperature should be in the 4.5–7 ° degrees range. 

Highly Recommended


Lough Gill Cutback New England IPA, 4.5%, 440ml can Bradleys

“Our Cutback Session IPA was developed as the perfect post-surf, summer-BBQ ale with a lightly tropical flavour to put you in mind of warm weather and…if you can’t visit Sligo, let us bring Sligo to you!” That was how Lough Gill introduced their Cutback New England IPA.

It comes in a light, hazy orange/yellow colour with soft foamy head.  With the hops involved, you are expecting tropical and citrus. And they are there but so too is a reasonably stern bitterness that somewhat tames the flavour or perhaps I should say, balances them. For this is a very drinkable NEIPA from the Sligo brewery and, with an ABV of 4.5%, a very sessional one as well.

The hops used are Comet, Azacca and El Dorado, all American as you might expect.

There is rarely any shortage of ideas for brews at Lough Gill. They explain: We are very fortunate to have such a diverse and dynamic team of dedicated staff at our brewery. It is this diversity that gives us a competitive edge. Each morning in Cleveragh, we're greeted with hello's in various languages. Aside from our fellow Sligonians, we have an Italian head brewer, an Argentinian brewer, and our head of sales is French.”

“When drawing up concepts for new beers, we develop different ideas from across the table. The styles are very different in each country. Argentina prefers well-made traditional old school beers. France is following more after the US scene with modern styles, and Italians have been influenced by Belgian styles and enjoy strong beers. It makes for a good mix. We want to brew the best hand-crafted beers using the finest ingredients and, where possible, to add some local indigenous ingredients to the brews.

Highly Recommended.


Tom Crean Scurvy Dog IPA 4.2%, 440 can Carry Out Killarney

Lovely gold colour, soft white head, plenty of bubbles rising. That’s what you see when you pour this low ABV IPA from Tom Crean. 

Scurvy is a disease caused by a significant lack of vitamin C in your diet. Not a name I’d be inclined to give a beer though I understand the mariner connection in that scurvy was a curse for sailors on long voyages in times long past, in Tom Crean’s time I’d say.

The white head has more or less vanished having typed up that first paragraph. Sipping the beer itself now which has citrus aromas,  is crisp and light and very refreshing indeed. 

Highly Recommended and a good fit for the Session category.

If you prefer a hoppier beer, then the Whiplash Rollover (3.8% ABV) is well worth checking out.

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