Showing posts with label Dot Brew. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dot Brew. 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.

Monday, December 5, 2022

Beer of the Year 2022. The Final Selection (16 of the best)

Beer of the Year 2022. The Final Sixteen


Beer of the Year 

The Final Selection (16 of the best)

November: Kinnegar Rustbucket Rye IPA 

October: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale 

September: Bradleys with Dot Nice One IPA 

August: 12 Acres Pale Ale 

July: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Summer 2022 Foraged Elderflower Saison 

June: Wicklow Wolf Mescan Wit or Without You Belgian Wit 

May: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Spring 2022 Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale 

April: Whiplash True Love Waits Dry Hopped Pils 

March: Lineman Schadenfreude Schwarzbier 

February: Wicklow Wolf  “Apex Cherry” Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout. 

January: Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel 

December 2021: Lough Gill Mac Nutty Macadamia Nut 



Amber Lager: Hope Limited Edition 26 Born To Be Free


 Pale Ale: Whitefield “Eastwood” 


 Belgian Pale Ale: Wide Street Spéciale 


IPA: Lough Gill If I was in LA Californian IPA


November Short List

Rye IPA: Kinnegar Rustbucket Rye IPA

IPA: Lough Gill If I was in LA Californian IPA

Belgian Pale Ale: Wide Street Spéciale 

Session: Third Barrel Day Drinkin 111 Revenge of the Hops Session IPA

Stout: Sullivan’s Black Marble Stout.   

Black IPA: Wicklow Wolf Sirius Black IPA

IPA: Blacks Stratasbeer Intergalactic IPA. 

Marzen: Kinnegar Leaf Kicker 2022 Marzen

Export Stout: Whiplash The Wake Export Stout, 7.0% 

Red Ale: Galway Bay Bay Ale Red Ale


Sunday, October 30, 2022

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022 Announcing the October winner. Wide Street Coolship.

My Favourite Beers of the Year 2022

Announcing the October winner: 

Wide Street Coolship

Contenders to end of October:

October: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

September: Bradleys (with Dot Brew) Nice One IPA

August:12 Acres Pale Ale

July: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Summer 2022 Foraged Elderflower Saison

June: Wicklow Wolf Mescan Wit or Without You Belgian Wit

May: Wicklow Wolf Locavore Spring 2022 Barrel Aged Farmhouse Ale

April: Whiplash True Love Waits Dry Hopped Pils

March: Lineman Schadenfreude Schwarzbier

February: Wicklow Wolf  “Apex Cherry” Black Cherry Oatmeal Stout.

January: Whiplash Dry the Rain Double Decoction Dunkel

December: Lough Gill Mac Nutty Macadamia Nut

October. The Final List

Spon: Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale

Stout:Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter

Red Ale: Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale

Session: Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%

Pils: Farringtons Bohemian

October Short List


White Hag Little Fawn Session IPA 4.2% 

Outer Place Mini Mini Session Disco IPA, 4.4% ABV 

Farringtons Clever Plucker Session NEIPA, 4.5% 

DOT Brew Spin Off Series Session IPA, 3.2% 

Lineman Group Therapy Session IPA, 4.6%


White Hag West Coast to West Coast. 

Blacks Pineapple & El Dorado 


Brehon Shanco Dubh Porter, 7.7%


Farringtons Bohemian Pils 


Wide Street Coolship Spontaneously Fermented Ale  

Red Ale: 

Sullivan’s Maltings Irish Ale, 5%

Craft on Draught:

The Maritime, Bantry: 9 White Deer Kölsch

The Lake, Killarney: Ale and Lager by Killarney Brewing Co.

Merry’s, Dungarvan: Wicklow Wolf Ale and more

The Shelbourne, Cork: Beamish and more

The Cotton Ball, Cork: Lynch’s Stout, Indian Summer and more

Mellet’s Emporium, Swinford: Reel Deel Jack the Lad, Mescan Seven Virtues Lager.

Keenan’s, Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon: White Hag Little Fawn; Kinnegar’s Scraggy Bay.

Finín’s Midleton: Black’s KPA

Franciscan Well: Original 7 Weisse and more

Elbow Lane: Angel Stout and more

The Mad Monk by Quinlan’s, Killarney: Killarney’s Casey Brothers Extra Stout and Golden Spear Blonde

Castlerosse Hotel Bar, Killarney:  Killarney’s Golden Spear Blonde

Celtic Whiskey & Larder, Killarney: Tom Crean St Brigid’s Lager and Rascals Black Horse Stout 4.4% and more

Café Pigalle Cork: White Hag’s Atlantean NEIPA (also White Hag lager)

Spooky Beers??

Black Donkey Have You Covered.

"Samhain Season is upon us ,

It is a time for welcoming the harvest and ushering in the dark half of the year. Samhain holds a special place in our memories as our Underworld series was born from this darkness.

The Underworld series of native Irish beers was born out of our quest for adventure, our sense of history and our respect for tradition. If you haven't tried the three Underworld beers yet, you are missing out on Ireland's only beers fermented with a native Irish yeast.

On October 31st, 2017, we embarked upon the Wild Yeast Chase and harvested a yeast we named Morrigan from Oweynagat cave. The cave is considered to be the “Gate to Hell” or entrance to the Underworld and the origin of Samhain. You have been warned!

Sergeant Jimmy 2022 is on its way, scheduled for a late November release. 
And something sour, barrel conditioned and special this way comes in the next month or less, stay tuned!

Forever and always, we ask you to support local wherever you can. This support helps small independent brewers like ourselves to keep brewing."


Rye River Celebrate Again

World's Best Helles/Münchner!

Celebrations are in order! Our Bidin' Time Irish Lager has been officially named the 'World's Best Helles/Münchner' at the World Beer Awards 2022. Yes, that's right, the world's best! And it didn’t stop there. We picked up a further 40 awards to be named the World's Most Decorated Brewery for the 3rd consecutive year.