Showing posts with label Aldi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aldi. Show all posts

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 Mhichíl, 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.

Monday, May 15, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #25. Craft Stout and Porter with Kinnegar, Tom Crean, West Kerry and Dot Brew

CorkBillyBeers #25

Craft Stout and Porter with Kinnegar, Tom Crean, West Kerry and Dot Brew


Kinnegar Yannaroddy Porter 4.8%, 440ml can Bradleys Cork

Black, more like a Ford Model T than a ripe blackberry on the briar, is the colour here with a tan head that doesn’t hang about. Smells roasty. And the palate is full of those traditional dark roasted malt flavours and, eventually, there is a touch, a sweet one, of the coconut, which is actually listed in the ingredients. 

But it all returns to the more traditional porter characteristics as the long and very satisfactory finish progresses. For me, it is velvety smooth with good acidity on the way to a lip-smacking finish. That smoothness is quite amazing and no nitro was harmed while it was achieved.

Very Highly Recommended 

By the way, the Yannaroddy (based on European hops) is the 2019 Brussels Beer Challenge gold medal winner “whose surprisingly light profile delivers rich and complex flavours”.

Where did they get the name? Sounds Australian to me. But no, they found it in their own little corner of Donegal where they get all the names for their beers. A stone’s throw from the brewery is a field with the intriguing name Yannaroddy.


Tom Crean Six Magpies Stout, 4.5% ABV, 440ml can, Carry Out Killarney

Magpie black is the colour of our Six Magpies Stout from Tom Crean, Kenmare’s independent brewery, and it has a soft tan head. Gentle coffee notes from the aromas. And that coffee streak runs through the palate with the hops also doing their subtle bit.  Excellent mouthfeel and a fine dry finish as well. 

I’m inclined to think this is the best of the Crean beers, at least is the one that has made the best impression on me. Of course, I’m not the only one, as it won gold in its category at the Blas na h-Éireann awards in 2002.

The brewery: A combination of 6 grain types, but that’s not where the name comes from! A traditional Irish stout, triple hopped and reminiscent of stouts before the addition of nitrogen. Subtle hop presence, perfect mouthfeel and classic combination of grains.

So where did the name come from? Brewer Bill was trying to settle on a name when he heard an almighty racket overhead. Looking up to the trees, he saw a bunch of magpies, six in all. (Brewers are sticklers for detail). He was aware of the old saying about the noisy bird: One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.

Suitably inspired, the brewer christened the beer Six Magpies. And, of course, it went on and won gold!

Very Highly Recommended. The beer, that is, not counting magpies!


West Kerry Carraig Dubh Porter, 6.0% ABV, 500ml bottle, Carry Out Killarney

This is the brewery’s take: A rich luxurious porter brewed with bags of chocolate malt. This bold heavy porter is laden with coffee and chocolate tones. 

Enjoyed this previously over the Christmas and see little reason to change my notes. Black as you’d expect and it comes with a quickly vanishing head. Aromas coming from the malt are coffee and caramel. The roasted flavours are on the bold side, and really wake up those taste buds. Lots of chocolate malt here but there is also a balance and it never gets too sweet, just spot on. The aromas and flavours continue to make this a superb experience right through to the finalé. They also do a barrel aged version - must sometime try that (as Yoda might put it)!

Their original beer was Cúl Dorcha, a red ale (great with oysters, I’m told); then came Carraig Dhubh a porter “because we like the sound of the word as opposed to stout!” Hard for us amateurs to describe the difference between stout and porter if the professionals chose to call this one porter on the basis of how it sounds!

But agree we can (again Yoda) that this is quite a beer. Smooth, seductive, chocolate-y and there is no letting go as the lingering finish is along the same lines. One to sip and savour, arís is arís. Superb beers like this are making me think I may soon be drinking exclusively on the dark side.

It is bottle conditioned and made from malted barley, hops, yeast and spring water “from our own spring”. Traditional, yes. A bottle (or two) would go down well at the threshings I remember - but not too many threshings on farms anymore. 

Very Highly Recommended


Dot Brew Spin off Series Dark Side Stout, 4.2%, 440ml can Aldi only

Colour is black, no surprise and the soft tan head reduces rather quickly. There’s a moderate chocolate and vanilla aroma, (the head has vanished by now as I type that). The liquid in the mouth is roasty and chocolate smooth, and a hint of vanilla towards the end which is dry and refreshing. All this at an Aldi price. How bad!


Their Instagram says its an approachable stout with a medium body. “Built with Irish pale barley / caraffa special II / pale wheat / flaked oats / carapils / chocolate malt, fermented with a not so traditional low rider yeast, Willamette hops to the hot side with an addition of natural vanilla post fermentation.” 

Yes, vanilla is listed in the ingredients.

Highly Recommended.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

A Quart of Ale± #130. On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Bradleys, Sullivan's, Wicklow Wolf, O'Shea's, Aldi, Bullhouse, Whiplash, Crew, Kinnegar,


A Quart of Ale± #130

On the craft journey with Third Barrel, Bradleys, Sullivan's, Wicklow Wolf, O'Shea's, Aldi, O'Briens, Bullhouse

Third Barrel Day Drinkin 111 Revenge of the Hops Session IPA, 4% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Third Barrel are busy these days: “The UK are going through Prime Ministers like we go through beer specials..”

Like their previous two Day Drinkin beers, this Revenge of the Hops weighs in at just four per cent, and is aimed at the session drinker though I’m sure quite a few other beer drinkers would enjoy it.

It has a pale orange colour and it’s murky in there. The label “forecasts” aromas of grapefruit, raspberry and sweet candy. Grapefruit yes but I’ve found the others elusive! It is pretty big and bold in the mouth where the grapefruit also leads the refreshing charge along with peach and banana.

A duo of hops boot this on. One is HBC 630, an experimental hop from the Yakima Valley. It is recommended for Wheat Ale, Golden Ale, American style lagers, Pale Ales, India Pale Lager (IPL), India Pale Ale (IPA), Session IPA, New England IPA, Hazy IPA, Imperial IPA. The other hop listed is the well-known Mosaic, a contributor to the tropical notes. 

The carbon produced in the making of this beer has been offset by planting native Irish trees.

Our reviews on the other Day Drinkin beers

Part Deux Citra Strata Session IPA 

Third Barrel Day Drinkin Simcoe Session IPA  

Sullivan’s Black Marble Stout, 5.1%, 500ml bottle O’Brien Wines

Enjoy the true taste of traditional bottled Irish stout. Brewed with roast barley, chocolate and wheat malts, and choicest hops. A generous stout with extra depth of flavour.

That is the encouragement on the bottle’s label, so let's have a taste… Black as Kilkenny marble for sure and with a soft floppy tan head that sinks rather slowly. Light coffee aromas and fruity notes also rise from the glass. And they get to tango on the palate, a melange of dancing flavours and sharp acidity waking up the taste buds, and keeping the show going, generously throwing in an encore or two at the finale. If the O’Shea’s (below) is mid-table, this neighbouring stout is championship material.

The hops used are Admiral, Magnum, Goldings and Sullivan’s say it is delicious with roasts and cheese dishes.

Did you know that Sullivan’s were brewing in Kilkenny before Smithwick’s? And then the two got intertwined?

Here’s the timeline, from the O’Sullivan website:

1702 Sullivan’s Brewing Company is established, and grows to be biggest in the area 

1827 The Smithwick name is launched as a beer brand in Kilkenny

1918 Smithwick’s acquires the Sullivan’s brewing brand after it is forced to close

1965 Guinness (now Diageo) takes control of Smithwick’s, buying the family interest 

2014 Diageo relocates Smithwick’s to Dublin, marking the first time in 800 years that Kilkenny is without a commercial brewery 

2016 Smithwick family relaunches the Sullivan’s brand in Kilkenny; brewery launches its North American market entry via Buffalo, NY.

See October review on Sullivan’s “Maltings” Irish Ale here.   

Wicklow Wolf Sirius Black IPA, 6.0%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Not too sure if the Sirius of the name refers to Sirius the brightest star in the night sky or to Sirius Black a character in Harry Potter. Probably not after the famous steamship Sirius, well-known in Cork in the 19th century and the first of its kind to cross the Atlantic.

In any case, the beer is black, black as night, with a tan head.  Aromas are quiet, just some faint floral and even fainter spice notes coming through. It is much more assertive in the mouth though,  with a backbone of milk chocolate, coffee and roast malt flavours. There’s a posse of malts in this one. 

No shortage of hops either with no less than four, all from the USA, employed combining to give flavours of passion fruit, subtle orange and an earthy resinous bitterness. One to make those taste buds sit up and take notice.

They say: “A magical Black IPA, Sirius was brewed with a robust malt bill to provide strong depth of flavour and colour to the beer. This robust malt bill gives the beer a dark opaque appearance… .Sirius is a West Coast style Black IPA that was double dry hopped with a massive amount of Amarillo, Simcoe and Strata hops.”

"The endangered species brews are a series of small batch, limited edition crafted beers. These beers are so rare that only a lucky few will get to experience them in the wild before they become extinct." This is #34

Geek Bits:

Hops - Bravo, Simcoe, Amarillo, Strata

Malts - Pale Malt, Carafa Special Type 1, Carafa Special Type 3, Caramalt, Dark Malt, T50

O’Shea’s Cold Dark Stout, 4.5%, 500ml bottle Aldi

Seldom easy to find detailed info on supermarket beers and this is no exception. But you’ll read this line on the neck: Traditional Dry Irish Stout bursting with flavours of coffee and chocolate.

Okay. Pours out into the glass as black as midnight with a tan head (short-lived). That coffee and chocolate seep out of the glass and there’s a toasty note as well.

While named O’Shea’s, it is made by Carlow Brewing who also make O’Hara's beers (including some really excellent stouts). It could be a bit more full-bodied, more robust, on the palate and it continues to a reasonably dry if shortish finish.  That coffee/chocolate duet persists to the end but it needs a bit more to shift it out of mid-table.


Whiplash: Few Riddlers, be grand.

After a brief hiatus on the webshop, Body Riddle is freshly canned and ready to go! Grab it in a Big Huge Slab or in a 6-pack Mixtape with other styles. Scroll on to see more ⏬

New to Body Riddle? It's our interpretation of an American Pale Ale, weighing in at 4.5% and in a 330ml can, it's perfect for suppin'. It has a really bright hop bill with loads of Lemondrop, Galaxy, Simcoe, and Ekuanot leaving us with notes of passionfruit, lemon rind, grapefruit juice and some piney goodness.

Shop Body Riddle


Bullhouse Brew Co : Modest Beer & Cheese Night

Beer and Cheese at Bullhouse East.

Join us on Tuesday 8th November for an intimate beer and cheese pairing with Chris Morris, owner and head brewer of Modest Beer.

These intimate tastings are limited to 20 tickets per tasting and include a guided talk on 5 different beers paired with 5 excellent local cheeses.

The event kicks off sharply at 7:30pm and we ask you to be there for 7pm.



Crew's Irish Night...

Irish Night in Limerick
Every Thursday, 8PM

Irish Night happens every Thursday from 8PM. It’s a great chance to use your cúpla focail in a supportive environment. Any level of the Irish language is welcome, from total beginners to fluent speakers. It's been said that it's easier the more pints you've had!


Kinnegar New Beers Alert

There are no fewer than five new beers jostling for position in the release queue. First to burst out of the holding pen was our 2022 Barleywine which will appear in just a few weeks wearing its smart BAP28 uniform.

Not yet packaged but next in line for canning and first in line for release is BAP27, a Black Lager that Rick was curious to try as part of our Brewers at Play series. This is the first of our lagers to go over to the dark side so we’re pretty excited about tasting it in its finished form.

And there's more to follow...