Showing posts with label Carry Out Killarney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Carry Out Killarney. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #42. Craft with four of the best: White Hag, Heaney, Wicklow Wolf and Dupont

CorkBillyBeers #42

Craft with four of the best: White Hag, Heaney, Wicklow Wolf and Dupont.

Session. Saison. Pale Ale. Stout.


White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA 4.2% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

I’ve come across Little Fawn quite a bit over the last few years on draught across the country and I’m always glad to see it, always glad to see any White Hag beer in a pub or restaurant. Its wide availability confirms its status as a classic Indian pale ale and, also because of its lower-than-usual ABV, as a go-to session beer.

The White Hag are rightly proud of its modern independent craft brewery from Sligo, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. “We brew innovative and groundbreaking beers, inspired by ancient and classic styles.”

They certainly hit, and continue to hit, the bull’s eye with this one, an easy-to-drink American-style session IPA. Brewed with 100% Irish malt for a pale, very clean base.

An easy-to-drink American-style session IPA. Brewed with 100% Irish malt for a pale and layered with Mosaic hops, famous for their ever-changing fruity aroma. The colour is a light gold with a slight haze. No shortage of bubbles rising to a soft white head. Citrus-y in the aromas with a hint of something softer as well. The flavour is fruity hops with aromas of blueberry, passionfruit, grapefruit and more. Well balanced, with a mild lingering bitter finish. Lip-smacking stuff!

Very Highly Recommended.

They use ancient tales in selling their many and varied beers including this Little Fawn yarn. He was discovered “as a child on the slopes of Ben Bulben by Bran & Sceolan, this young and sprightly warrior spent his summers foraging and hunting the mountains and woodlands. These local flavours are reflected in the taste experience.”


Heaney Notifications Off DDH Nelson Sauvin Pale Ale 4.7%, 440 ml can Carry Out Killarney

“Switch off and enjoy this double dry-hopped pale ale, bursting with grapefruit, gooseberry and tropical fruit, brewed and canned by Heaney Farmhouse Brewery at The Wood, Bellaghy. Co. Derry.”, exhort the Heaneys.

They are talking about their relatively new Pale Ale, crammed with Nelson Sauvin Hops from New Zealand, “Tradition refreshed.”

The colour is a weak orange, quite murky, almost opaque, with a fluffy white head. Aromas are fruity and their tropical nature bursts out as the liquid roams the palate before a lip-smacking finish. 

The Nelson Sauvin hop has been regularly compared to the superb local wines made from Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand, and there are similarities. That hint of gooseberry is one (grape and passion fruit are other characteristics of the hop) and there’s a bracing acidity as well. The beer is perfectly balanced, quite a thirst quencher on sunny days and also on not-so-sunny ones.

Very Highly Recommended. Another good one from the Heaney brewery.


Wicklow Wolf Apex Oatmeal Stout 6.5% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“A full-flavoured stout that will leave you wanting more.” That’s the message from Wicklow Wolf.

The stout is black with a coffee-coloured head. Coffee in the aromatics as well. And also on the palate, intense stuff with a slightly sweet creamy smoothness. And yes, more is the request!

Apex champions a heavy malt bill, brewed with only the best flaked Irish Oats, specialty chocolate and coffee malts. No wonder this stout is the base for quite a few Wicklow Wolf variations.

Very Highly Recommended

Geek Bits

Hops: Bravo

Malts: Pale, Chocolate, Roast Crystal, Brown, Carafa, Oat, Cara


Saison Dupont 6.5% ABV, 33 cl bottle Bradleys

A Standard. A Classic. The Best.

I’ve been enjoying it every summer for the past six years. I've enjoyed quite a few others as well but none comes near. If there were a Saison World Cup, then the Dupont team would be favourites and would win. As Michael Creedon of Bradley’s told me a few years back “if you don’t like this, you don’t like saison”.

Beer has been brewed here in Belgium’s Hainaut for centuries, though it is only in the last 20 years or so that the Dupont Brewery has become a global reference for saison. 

Farm beers of this type – light, rather dry but fruity – were traditionally brewed during the winter, ready to quench the thirst of the seasonal field workers (saisoniers) during the summer to follow.

It is a cloudy mid-amber, with fountains of micro-bubbles. Aromas of citrus. Light and fruity, zesty and refreshing, yet no shortage of hearty flavour. Reckon any labourer, even a keyboard one, would be happy with this impeccable beer. Superb finish also with the bitterness now at the forefront. Nothing quirky, nothing extreme other than extremely good.

They say: Saison Dupont was first brewed in 1844. This copper-blond beer yields amazingly delicate aromas paired with pronounced hop bitterness. The house yeast and the local hard water, drawn from a well, play an important role in the creation of this beer. An in-bottle refermentation makes a major contribution to the development of this complex and highly aromatic beer.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #41. Craft Journey with Red Ales by McGill's, Wicklow Wolf and Killarney Brewing

CorkBillyBeers #41

Craft Journey with Red Ales by McGill's, Wicklow Wolf and Killarney Brewing.


Is Red Ale really an Irish style? In the 1970s, famous beer writer Michael Jackson was credited with giving the tag to Smithwicks. According to World Atlas of Beer, American beer competitions started awarding prizes for the category and smaller Irish breweries started to “launch highly-hopped higher strength or even barrel-aged versions”. 

Wikipedia says Irish red ale, also known as red ale or Irish ale, is a style of pale ale that is brewed using a moderate amount of kilned malts and roasted barley that gives the beer its red colour.


McGill’s Maude Delap Irish Red Ale 5.0% ABV, 500ml bottle Centra Waterville

Red is the colour, for sure, of McGill’s Maude Delap Irish Red Ale, red with a soft tan head. After that, it is mostly about the lovely caramel flavours, just about perfect, neither too strong nor too weak. Nice job, Mr McGill!

Very Highly Recommended.

This traditional Irish Red Ale is named in honour of Maude Delap. Originally from Donegal, Maude came to live on Valentia Island (until her death in 1953). A self-taught marine biologist, she was known for being the first person to breed jellyfish in captivity and thus observed their full life cycle for the first time. She was also involved in an extensive study of plankton from the coasts of the island. More on Maude here .


Wicklow Wolf Wildfire Hoppy Red Ale, 4.6% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“Not your typical red – Wildfire is a modern hoppy red ale.” That’s the claim from brewers Wicklow Wolf.

Appearances seem to be in the classic mould, fairly deep red body and an off-white head. 

Malt plus a sniff of coffee and caramel in the aromatics and the same combo, with a stronger showing from the coffee, on the palate. Here too, the Sorachi Ace hops also figure, rather mildly though. A creamy, herbal finish with hints of malty sweetness. Not quite traditional then. Not sure though that it is an improvement on the old style. Perhaps a summer rather than a winter red.

Indeed, “mild” is perhaps the most apt descriptor, though not in a pejorative manner. Touted as a modern red ale, I’m well pleased with it (nothing to do with its modernity or otherwise) and would love to try it in a direct joust with other reds like Roaring Ruby (from West Cork Brewing), Kinnegar’s Devil’s Backbone, Copper Coast (from Dungarvan Brewing), Sullivan’s Maltings, White Gypsy’s Ruby Red, Costello’s Red Ale and more (including Velvet Red by the Cotton Ball and the others in this post). Could be a long session. And I’d need food as well!

Highly Recommended

Geek Bits

IBUs 28

Hops: Sorachi Ace

Malts: Pale, Cara Ruby, Melano, Oats, Roasted, Crystal Rye

The Wicklow Wolf craft brewery was co-founded by Quincey Fennelly and Simon Lynch in 2014. The location then was in Bray. Now, in the new facility, near NewtownmountKennedy, there is a team of five brewers working under two ex Brewdog employees, John the production manager, and head brewer Andrew. The total number employed is 27. More on our recent visit here.


Killarney Rutting Irish Red Ale, 4.5% ABV, 440ml can, Carry Out Killarney

This Irish Red Ale from Kerry ”pays homage to Ireland’s last herd of native red deer. Each autumn, during a ritual known as The Rut their clashing antlers and bellowing roars echo through the majestic amphitheatre that is the Killarney National Park” say the producers. One such spectacular duel, at the waters’ edge, was brilliantly captured by the David Attenborough series Wild Isles and shown a few months back on the BBC.

The beer, based on the traditional Golding’s hops, has a ruby hued colour, and aromas of caramel and toffee. And that malty combo continues on to the palate, pleasing, lively and refreshing. Should be good with food, as most red ales are. 

The website says that “discerning beer drinkers will appreciate Rutting Red’s rugged flavour which values the intensity of our wild stags.” I can understand the writer’s enthusiasm but rugged is not a word I’d associate with this pretty fine and well-made beer. I’d be thinking more of the friendly red setter (supple, restrained and eager to please) like the dog that greets guests in Kerry’s Sneem Hotel.

Highly Recommended.


Monday, August 28, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #40. Craft IPA with Torc Brewing, White Hag, Brú and O Brother.

CorkBillyBeers #40

Craft IPA with Torc Brewing, White Hag, Brú and O Brother.


Torc Kerry Natterjack IPA 5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Carry Out Killarney

In Castlegregory, County Kerry, there is a bar/restaurant called Natterjacks. It is named after the toads in the county. Both the bar and the toad can be happily noisy occasionally. This IPA is named for the toad who has a very loud and distinctive mating call amplified by the single vocal sac found under the chin of the male.

The toad has a yellow line down the middle of the back. The Torc beer is more orange than yellow with a soft white head. It is fairly hazy but you can just about see the fountains of bubbles rising towards the top.

Aromas are fairly delicate, mostly floral and resinous with a touch of citrus also. Flavours are piney and fresh, with a refreshing punch to it, and an excellent balance between malts and hops (bitterness is mid-range). If you want an IPA with a difference, this is well worth trying.

Very Highly Recommended.

Torc says: Our IPA packs a flavour punch, brewed using Irish Pale Ale Malt, Irish Wheat, and speciality Caramunich Malt. This blend, combined with select hops, results in a well-balanced India Pale Ale…. Ideal food pairings include pork, steak, BBQ, and spicy dishes.

And about those natterjacks? Well, the label tells us they are an endangered species in Ireland.  Their natural range is restricted to the coastal zones around Castlemaine Harbour and Castlegregory in Co Kerry. In Spring, when the male is most active, the loud croaking call can be heard from as much as one kilometre away.”

Geek Bits

SRM: 4.3 • IBU: 83 • ABV: 5%
Style: Indian Pale Ale • Released: 2023

Malts: Irish Pale Ale Malt, Irish Wheat, and speciality Caramunich Malt


White Hag Atlantean NEIPA 5.4% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This hazy pale orange ale comes with a white foamy crown that soon dissipates. It is, of course, meant to be cloudy as that is part and parcel of a New England IPA. Aromas are of the tropics, nothing too strong though.

“Drink the beer as fresh as possible, when all the Alpha & Beta oils from the hops are the most powerful.” And I did just that and got a creamy rush of refreshment, a velvet glove equipped with a big, juicy, fruit punch. I’ll take a count and go again.

The White Hag has expended “copious amounts’ of American hops in this one. But the bitterness you might have had expected has been subdued by the use of oats and lactose that add a rich creaminess. It is not that unusual for New England IPAs to exhibit a tropical, juicy sweetness rather than the classic bitter.

  • The ABV is 5.4%, which is on the lower end for a NEIPA. This makes it a bit more sessionable.
  • The beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized.
  • The beer is best enjoyed fresh, as the hop flavours will fade over time.

Very Highly Recommended.

Breweries can come up with amazing yarns. This is the one on the Atlantean label: Atlantean is inspired by mythological sea journeys that took curious voyagers beyond the ninth wave in search of the magical Otherworlds and the secret treasures they held. For this IPA our inspiration has travelled back from the other lands of New England across the cloudy foam of the Atlantic.

Ingredients: water, lactose, barley, wheat, oats, yeast, hops


Brú Urban Jungle Citrus IPA 5.5% ABV,

“Amarillo, a pioneer of American hops, is blended with Ekuanot. This mix has created a vortex of fresh fruity flavours, above all the citrus side with a hint of pineapple sweetness.” That’s the intro to this IPA from Brú.

Colour is mid-gold, slightly hazy with a soft white head. The aromatics are moderate, mostly on the Citra side: lemon, orange and lime. The two hops combine well and give a complex mix on the palate, that “vortex of fresh fruit flavours” according to the brewery. Above all, it is refreshing, with a decent bittering at the finish.

Fruity and refreshing then and Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Hops: Amarillo, Ekuanot

Malts: Carapils, Golden Promise, Oat Flakes, Pale

Brú is proud to champion local ingredients. “We’re engaged with our community, working alongside local producers to bring our customers the best examples of Irish food and drink.

As an Irish company, we’re committed to supporting local charities and the communities around us. In brewing, our Irish partners include:

• Loughran Family Malt
• Wicklow Hops Company
• Malting Company of Ireland"

Brú, established in 2013 in County Meath, nowadays offer two core ranges “driven by the same brewing spirit”: BRÚ core and Urban Jungle. “BRÚ Brewery brews beer for all tastes, whether you’re a seasoned craft beer drinker, or just looking for a familiar quality pint.” The beers are widely available and well worth checking out.


O Brother Ikigai Oat Cream IPA 6.1% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

Some similarities between this and the Atlantean above. Colour is common, a hazy pale orange, though Ikigai has a larger head, soft and longer lasting. Aromas are subtle, citrus, grassy and grapefruit. These along with citrusy, spicy and herbal notes follow through just about to the palate, with hints of sweetness thanks to the lactose, and the expected creamy feel (from the oats) barely materialises as the beer seems to lose its way.

They say: “Ikigai is your true purpose in life or reason for being. We know what gets us up in the morning and keeps us going through the challenging times: Finding new and exciting ways to make delicious beer, meeting and working with like-minded independent souls who are pushing the boundaries of their fields and bringing it all together to create an elevated beer experience for all our thirsty beer drinkers. Beer is our Ikigai.”

Geek Bits

Label: Citra, Comet

Ingredients - Water, Malted Barley, Oats, Lactose, Hops, Yeast

Friday, August 4, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #37 Stronger Craft Beers with Mescan and Hope

CorkBillyBeers #37 

Stronger Craft Beers with Mescan and Hope


Mescan Westport Extra, 8.5% ABV, 330 ml bottle

Mescan Westport Extra has an attractive golden colour with a white head and no shortage of bubbles rising. Spicy yeast notes and fruity esters are prominent. 

The first impression from the palate is sweet malt but soon the promised hop bitterness is confirmed and becomes even more pronounced as the first sip flows fully and gently across the mouth on the way to a long lingering finish. A superbly balanced beer, the high alcohol is smoothly controlled.

Very Highly Recommended. Exceptional.

A Belgian-style beer from Westport and well up there with the best of the Trappists. One of the best of the style and consistently one of the best brews in this country.

A lot of work and time goes into the production of this beauty. It takes almost a year from when it is brewed before this strong, well-carbonated golden ale will be ready for punters to sip and savour. 

Indeed, Mescan take their time with all their beers. Co-founder and brewer Cillian Ó Móráin: ”Our outstanding USP, which is genuinely unique to Mescan, is the long maturation process with a minimum of 3 months (up to 9 months with the stronger beers), between brewing and packaging. This unhurried process allows time for the flavours to develop, much like maturing a wine. These long conditioning times make the beers more expensive to produce but add greatly to the quality. The resulting depth and range of flavour make them particularly well suited to pairing with food."

“Enjoy with white meats or seafood,  and fruity, nutty desserts.” This robust beer is a real treat, and its warming alcohol is the perfect antidote to a bad weather day! Just musing on it there and am beginning to think this strong, dry, well-carbonated golden ale would be perfect with rabbit. Serving temperature: 3-6 °C 


Mescan Special Reserve Dark Beer, 8.4% ABV, 330 ml bottle

Colour of this Mescan Special Reserve is dark, not deep black, but a deep ruby with some flashes of red in its depths. The aromatics feature caramel, mostly. And the palate is a five-star show of fruitiness (dates, figs), the malt still in evidence as this Mayo star maintains its amazing experience right to the finalé.

The Mescan website says this is a robust beer and I’d be loath to disagree. For me, despite the high ABV, this is smooth and quite accessible and well worth seeking out. I took my own advice here, sip not gulp, and my "patience" was amply rewarded.

A complex beer yet the ingredients list is simple enough: Spring water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast. Very Highly Recommended.

This full-bodied beer pairs beautifully with stews and game. Surprisingly, it complements chillies and spicy dishes. Also delicious with chocolate desserts or cheese. Full Mescan food wheel here 


Mescan Westport Red Tripel, 8.0% ABV, 330 ml bottle

During a recent visit to Mescan, outside of Westport, they told us their well-known “secret”: ”Our outstanding USP*, which is genuinely unique to Mescan, is the long maturation process with a minimum of 3 months (up to 9 months with the stronger beers), between brewing and packaging. This unhurried process allows time for the flavours to develop, much like maturing a wine. These long conditioning times make the beers more expensive to produce but add significantly to the quality. The resulting depth and range of flavour make them particularly well suited to pairing with food."


"During our long conditioning process, the yeast settles out naturally, with no need to use finings for clarifying, and making the beers suitable for vegans. Simple, natural ingredients are used to create Mescan beers: spring water, barley, wheat, hops, yeast, spices and nothing else. Our beers are almost exclusively brewed in Belgian styles."

Red is the colour, of course. There’s not that much of a head but it does hang about a bit. Aromas are malty, fruity, nutty. It is smooth and complex on the palate and you know, if you didn’t already, that this is one to sip and savour. To gulp would be greedy, barbaric, showing a lack of respect for the maestros of Mescan.

So, tóg go bog é (take it easy) and enjoy the remarkable nutty and caramel flavours, the warming beer, its malty and fruity qualities, its complex and full-bodied experience on the palate and let it slowly take you to a rewarding finalé.

Very Highly Recommended.

They detail the route to perfection on their website. “This is our take on the strong beers pioneered by the Belgian Trappist monastery breweries. Tripels are strong, complex beers and are traditionally golden in colour. We decided to make ours red and the malts used to achieve this add even more complexity to the flavours on the palate.”


And a few more tips.

Serve 7-10 degrees.

See food pairing here 

Bottle conditioned in the Belgian style beer.

To enjoy the beer clear, store upright and pour into a glass, leaving the yeast sediment in bottle.

* USP - unique selling point.


Hope West Coast IPA 7.4% ABV, 440 ml can Carry Out Killarney

“A classic West Coast IPA, this beer is a nod to the iconic beer style that helped launch the craft beer revolution. It’s brewed with four of the classic “C” hops: Cascade (grapefruit. Floral, Pine), Columbus (Dank, Pepper, PungenT), Centennial  (Blossom, Orange, Resionous) and Chinook (Grapefruit, Pine, Spice). The use of these US hops provides the style-defining flavours of citrus, pine, and resin.”

Hope are obviously happy that they’ve cracked it here!

Hops are used liberally in the kettle and in dry hop additions, giving the beer a robust bitterness and an intense hop aroma and finish. The malt bill is relatively simple. It is designed to balance the bitterness, while also allowing the hop flavours to shine through. This limited edition beer is no. 30 in the series.

The colour is golden/amber with hoppy aromas, citrus, pine and floral amongst them. And the all-American hop line-up, owns the palate, pungent with citrus and pine and a hint of dankness, on the way to a very fine lip-smacking finish. Quite intense, start to finish, yet the relatively simple malt bill has done the business here and the expected bitterness is well balanced, making this quite a beer with barely a hint of the high ABV.

Very Highly Recommended. 

Geek Bits

Hops: Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, Chinook

IBU 75;

Food Pairing: Burger, Tacos, Pizza