Showing posts with label Irish. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Irish. Show all posts

Monday, November 9, 2020

A Quart of Ale± #20. Terrific Irish Ciders. "Lucky to have each of them"

A Quart of Ale± #20

Moving on over to craft.

Terrific Irish Ciders.

"Lucky to have each of them" 

Cider is one of the most ancient of the alcoholic drinks, made wherever apples are grown. Yet some countries, Canada for example, has a law preventing people calling a liquid cider unless it has apples in the ingredients. There is a huge variety of ciders, from dry to sweet, from clear to cloudy. Once at a gite in France, the owner came over with a cloudy bottle, oil to ease a sticking front door we thought, but no it was a delicious homemade cider and there was a basin of strawberries as well!

Normandy and Brittany (where I then was) are well known for their ciders but it is only in recent years that craft cider has hit Irish shelves. And even here now, there is an amazing variety, especially from Munster, Leinster and Ulster. I have just a few examples below, including a non alcoholic gem from Highbank, and they illustrate the variety and quality available.

Con Traas of the Apple Farm, who produces a superb example himself, was asked a few years ago to give his verdict on a couple of the then new ciders, Longueville and Stonewell. He declined, saying we were lucky to have each of them. I feel the same way about the quintet below and others such as those coming from The Cider Mill in Slane, Dan Kelly (also in the Boyne Valley), and others that you can find here at  Cider Ireland .

Stonewell Medium Dry 5.5%, 500ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

This County Cork cider is approaching its 10th birthday and is tasting as well as ever. It was their first and  “remains our most popular cider”. It is a classic, very popular here too, and we often order it in restaurants as it goes well with a variety of dishes.

You’ll know it’s Irish by the eye catching Celtic design on the front. Aromas of the orchard invite you in. Light gold colour and squadrons of little bubbles flying up to the top. Terrific wash of sweet apple flavour on the attack and then you note a balancing acidity before a satisfying finish.

They say: We don’t complicate things by using artificial additives, apple concentrate, glucoses syrup or dilute with water. This carbonated cider is best enjoyed as a refreshing thirst quencher, chilled to 7 degrees (watch the ice – whilst it will maintain the chill it can conceal the full flavour!). 

With winter approaching, you can put this out the back for chilling as an overlong spell in the fridge would also hamper the flavour. This medium dry contains approximately 20% cider apples and 80% eating apples. The cider apples provide the astringency in the cider and the structure on which the full, rounder and more citrus characteristics of the eating apples depend. The cider is made from Irish grown apples and the varieties used are Dabinett, Michelin, Jonagored and Elstar.

Highbank Organic  “Drivers Cider” 0%, 330ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

I’m walking through long rows of apple trees, all in blossom, pink and white abound. The grass between is ankle height, lush and liberally populated with white daisies. Lush, but recently topped. Had I been there a week earlier, I would have seen battalions of dandelions.

I was in Kilkenny, in the healthy heart of Highbank Orchards, an organic farm owned and managed by Rod and Julie Calder-Potts. It is here they grow their apples and make their ciders (and more), including this one.

Made from organic cider apples from the Highbank farm, Drivers Cider is a refreshing non-alcoholic drink for the designated driver with no added sugar or chemicals. This Blusher apple limited vintage is Single Estate (grown, distilled and bottled at Highbank Farm) and no sugar or sweeteners have been added. 

It is a bit sweeter than the Stonewell but finishes dry. It’s a delicious well-flavoured drink and really works well with food as we found out during the Sunil Ghai Special Lunch in Sage last year. Any drink that pairs well with Asian is worth noting, especially when you’re driving home afterwards. In fact, we enjoyed the pairing so much, we bought a second round of the Highbank! Probably one of the best of the Irish non alcoholic drinks.

Johnny Fall Down “Late Apples” 2017 5.5%, 500ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

Light gold colour, no shortage of bubbles. No mistaking the orchard aromas. This one comes on strong, packed with complex flavour, smoky and spicy with a lingering dry finish. One for your short list for sure, from the new kids on the block at Killahora. 

At a tasting earlier in the summer, Killahora’s Barry said this Late Apples is driven by 30% Dabinett and lots of French varieties, some inedible as a fruit. And that this is designed “for food”. They suggest it is also one for the red wine drinkers and point the white wine drinkers in the direction of their Early Apples issue.

They say: "We work on what the year gives us. In the cidery, we do as little as possible to it. This deeper bittersweet, medium-dry cider is made from the late ripening, rare varieties of apples in our Cork orchards. Pair with darker meats, spicy food, cheese and oily fish.” Serve chilled, no ice!

Killahora was founded by two cousins, Barry Walsh and Dave Watson, with the goal of growing the best rare apple and pear varieties on Irish soil and to use artisanal techniques to turn them into award winning drinks. 

Dave brings a passion for and encyclopaedia-like knowledge of apple and pear trees, while Barry brings the wizardry of fermenting, blending and creating new drinks. “We make everything as naturally as possible with minimum intervention and use wild fermentation.Everything is handmade on site with 100% fresh juice and we take our time, allowing our products to mature for up to a year to get the most complexity of flavour.”

Highbank “Proper Irish Cider” 2016 6%, 500ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

This organic cider from Kilkenny’s Highbank Orchard has an amber colour, with fountains of bubbles rising. Aromas are tart and true to the orchard fruit. On the palate, it is just amazing, this masterpiece of deliciousness and refreshment and then that dry finalé. If Bach had made cider, he’d have been happy to put his name to a bottle like this, precise and satisfying from first drop to last.

They say: This traditional, dry cider grown and produced by Highbank Orchards Matured on its wild yeasts Highbank Proper Cider has no added sulphites, no added sugar and is Irish Organic with naturally high tannins. A delicious, refreshing drink, Proper Cider should be served chilled over ice particularly with a fish course.

Highbank Organic Orchards, owned and run by Rod and Julie Calder-Potts, produce their ciders in small batches with an emphasis on pairing ciders with different foods. All organic, with no added sulphites and gluten free, the cider apples are from Highbank’s own organic trees grown on Highbank Organic farm in County Kilkenny. It is a beautiful farm and this is a beautiful cider.

Longueville “Mór” Cider 8%, 500ml bottle Bradley’s of Cork

Longueville harvest

This Longueville House cider had a clear amber colour and pleasing orchard aromas. This is a medium cider with a delicious full flavour, slight touch of tannins (on the lips) and a satisfying finish. Rubert Atkinson of Longueville: “No ice! It waters down the flavours and kills the sparkle. Enjoy this like a wine, in a wine glass.”

Longueville House (near Mallow, Co. Cork) grow two varieties of cider apple, the Dabinett and the Michelin - “No chemicals and no pesticides”. The regular Longueville House Cider, has an abv of 5.9%. The sugar is natural and they use no extra sulphites. 

Longueville’s Mór gets its higher abv (8.00%) and distinctive flavour from fermentation (1 year) in their just-emptied apple brandy casks. “It is the same juice as the regular cider but is more robust, has more character, more flavour, well rounded, well balanced, really lovely.” I couldn't agree more! Made from 100% fresh apples. Contains only naturally occurring sulphites.

They say: William O'Callaghan and his father Michael before him have been fermenting exceptional craft cider and distilling Ireland's only Apple Brandy now for almost 35 years. We have brought the cider and brandy production to another level while maintaining the very natural and respectful processes of our fore fathers, the terroir and sustainability - crushing, pressing, fermentation, filtration, light carbonation, pasteurisation - all while using no pesticides, fungicides, insecticides or any other ‘cides in our orchards. 

One way they counter the aphids, a tiny bug that can do enormous damage, is to encourage the hoverfly by planting the likes of Fennel, Angelica and Yarrow. These attract the hoverfly, a natural enemy of the aphid.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Irish whiskey distilleries reopening with a host of new visitor offerings

Irish whiskey distilleries reopening with a host of new visitor offerings
Taste the difference at Roe & Co

  • IrishWhiskey360° campaign urges domestic tourists to ‘get back into the spirit’ by visiting local distilleries -

Bespoke whiskey and food tastings, intimate cocktail-making classes and collaborations with local restaurants are just some of what’s on offer from Irish whiskey distilleries and visitor centres as they re-open in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions.

Commenting on their reopening, William Lavelle, head of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey said many distilleries and brand homes have introduced new visitor offerings and more intimate tourist experiences in the wake of Covid-19.  Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey have today launched their IrishWhiskey360° “Get Back Into The Spirit” campaign to promote Irish whiskey tourism.

“Smaller tour sizes, private tastings, new cocktail and food pairings, and collaborations with local businesses are just some of the ways our members are adapting their offerings as they reopen,” he said. “Safety is obviously a key focus for all our visitor centres – they have reduced their tour sizes and introduced all the necessary requirements to ensure social distancing can be adhered to.

“Irish whiskey visitor centres are not just for whiskey fans – they offer a cultural and historical experience, where visitors can learn about how whiskey is made, the history of the local area, taste  whiskey and sample local cuisine. Whether you’re a couple looking for a fun date experience, or a group of friends looking to catch up after a difficult few months, I would urge people to get back into the spirit of discovery and friendship, and support local brands, by including an Irish whiskey visitor centre in your summer plans.”

Some of the distilleries and visitor centres that are reopening with new offerings include:

  • Clonakilty DistilleryCo. Cork, which is offering smaller, later tours on Friday and Saturday evenings to allow visitors to follow their tour with a meal in neighbouring restaurant, the Whale’s Tail.
  • Kilbeggan Distillery, Co. Westmeath, which is running smaller, more intimate tours, and have developed a new ‘Bottle Your Own’ experience, where visitors can bottle their own 10 year-old single malt cask exclusive to Kilbeggan Distillery.
  • Roe & Co. Distillery in Dublin, where groups of up to six people can experience a cocktail-making workshop, and visitors will have the opportunity to discover the five pillars of flavours in whiskey.
  • Tullamore Dew, Co. Offaly, which will be offering intimate-sized tours, and whiskey and food pairings.
Gin School at Clonakilty Distillery

Other distilleries that opened or due to open shortly include:

  • Teeling Whiskey Distillery, Newmarket, Dublin.
  • Powerscourt Distillery, Co. Wicklow.
  • Jameson Distillery, Bow Street, Dublin.
  • Jameson Distillery, Midleton. Co. Cork.
  • Pearse Lyons Distillery, James’s Street, Dublin.
  • Skellig Six18, Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry.

The Irish whiskey industry had a successful 2019 with 143 million bottles (nearly 12 million cases) of Irish whiskey sold globally, a doubling of sales since 2010, along with a record one million people visiting Irish whiskey distilleries and visitor centres.

Further information on the Irish whiskey distilleries and visitor centres that are now open is available at:

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Irish-Belgian Beers Sessions Rock On. #6

Irish-Belgian Beers Sessions Rock On. #6

Kinnegar White Rabbit Session White IPA, 4.5%, 440ml can 
Citrus leads here and there is little enough evidence of the clove and banana that is prominent in some wheat beers in this mid-gold  cloudy IPA from the innovative Donegal brewery. There’s a generous fluffy white head that lasts a fair bit. 

Big score for the optics and no let-down in the mouth where the malt and hops get together in an impressive juicy fruity amalgam. A lovely balance indeed and an excellent dry lip-smacking finish with a slight bitterness in evidence. Second can appeal for sure and the session is underway!

They say: This is a classic American wheat beer that blends fruity malt with fruity hop flavours and opens them up with a voluminous, puffy white head.

Like most of the new wave of independent Irish brewers, Kinnegar still have a few years to go to their 10th anniversary. Yet there is something so real about the overall character of their Donegal beers that the word authentic (a sense of place, a sense of the genuineness behind the local enterprise) surfaces as you sip. 

 “We don’t filter or pasteurise, and we let our industrious little friends, the yeast, carbonate the beer naturally during fermentation.” There may be a bit of sediment, so pour carefully but if some ends up in the glass, don’t worry about it.

The White Hag “Ninth Wave” New World Pale Ale 5.4%, 330ml can. 

Like their Donegal counterparts, Sligo’s White Hag have also turned towards the Atlantic for this New World Pale Ale, named after the (mythical) Ninth Wave that formed a formidable barrier for anyone wishing to cross over to New York and Boston.

Colour is a bright amber, no shortage of bubbles rising through the mildly clouded glass, topped with a short-lived white head. Aromatics are mild also, apricot, mango and citrus in there. 

Quite a greeting on the palate though, creamy feel and insistently fruity from the American hops but all is kept in check as this balanced effort makes its way towards a very satisfactory finalé indeed.  Lively, flavourful and very drinkable indeed. Another for that second glass designation!

They say: “We are a 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 brew a good lot of them! The able and masterly brewers here ensure a lot of them are good.

8 Degrees “Glen of Imaal” Oatmeal Pale Ale 5.6%, 440ml can
The Irish Munro Series 2020

No secret that the crew of Mitchelstown’s Eight Degrees are an outdoor lot. So no surprise that they choose to celebrate Ireland’s highest mountains - Irish Munros are peaks over 3,000 ft. including their local Galtymore - with their latest series of specials. And #2 in their adventures at altitude is Lugnaquilla, yet the beer is named for the Glen of Imaal, the valley below the Wicklow peak.

Colour is a pretty clear amber with a white head that stays around for a spell. Aromas are shy (if exotic) but it’s a different story in the mouth where the intense flavours, citrus prominent, are wrapped in silky mouthfeel,  a balanced thirst-quenching drop, as they say themselves, and a fitting reward after a climb up (and down Lugnaquilla) or the steps up to the barbecue. Slainte!

They say: The star of the show is new hop HBC-692, daughter of Sabro, with intense flavours of grapefruit pith and pine resin. The oats provide a silky mouthfeel which, when combined with these aromatic hops and a rounded bitterness, provides a balanced thirst-quenching drop after a rewarding climb up the Wicklow massif.

By the way, Eight Degrees are close to unique among Irish brewers in going to some length to suggest Food Pairings for their beers. The Belgian breweries seem well into this but even they would find it assez difficile to match the culinary expertise of Caroline Hennessy whose suggestions follow. I wonder is the co-author of Slainte preparing for a revised edition! (I think I’ve dropped that rock down the well before; there was no splash then!)

“The fruity notes in this would play very nicely with a blue cheese like Cashel Blue. Even better, put a slice of that cheese on a burger and see how Glen of Imaal Oatmeal Pale Ale works with a juicy burger: the fruity hops have enough bitterness to balance out all the blue / meaty umami flavours. Spiced mushroom tacos are a great match, the tropical notes in the beer complementing the flavours in Mexican food. Bring a citrus cake – lemon and buttermilk cake or orange polenta loaf – to the table and see how the flavours work beautifully together.”

Technical notes:
Style: Oatmeal Pale Ale
Malt: Irish pale ale malt, oats, Carapils and wheat. 
 Vic Secret, Mandarina Bavaria, Amarillo and HBC-692.
ABV: 5.6%
IBUs: 32
Serving temp: 8 degrees (perhaps a little lower at the summit)

Get social: #GlenofImaalOPA

Bosteels Pauwel Kwak 8.4%, 33cl bottle

This a beer that, once tasted, you cannot ignore. No more than you can ignore a pebble in your shoe. The Kwak though is much more of a pleasure. Belgian beers have considerable clout and sometimes the less worthy among them get a free pass. We had the Kwak’s companion, the Tripel Karmeliet  here recently - and this one, just like the Karmeliet, is worth the admission.

It is a “Heavy Special Amber” and dark amber is the colour, the coffee coloured head is less than full but is inclined to hang around a fair bit before thinning to a lacy disc. Aromas are of the warm earth, some coffee notes in the background. It has an amazing palate, complex, malty, toasty, caramel, yeasty and warm. More or less seamless from there to the finish. Unmissable!

In common with all Bosteels beers, it is brewed with natural basic ingredients: barley malts, mineral water, wheat, hops and white candy sugar.
In the 18th century there was a very well-known brewer in the Dendermonde area; his name was Pauwel Kwak. He brewed his own beer, which was dark and heavy.This story inspired a brewer from nearby Buggenhout and since the 1980s the Pauwel Kwak is brewed by Brouwerij Bosteels, which also produces the popular Tripel Karmeliet and the DeuS Brut des Flandres.
They say: This beer is a worthy dining partner and also has its uses in the kitchen. It will make a perfect pairing with, for example, pigeon and pickles. You can have both at the same time thanks to the Kwak’s fine caramel.This complements the zesty taste of the pickles and softens it slightly so it will not overpower the pigeon.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Ulster Black Sparkles in Irish-Belgian Beer Session #5

Ulster Black Sparkles in Irish-Belgian Beer Session

Brehon Ulster Black Oatmeal Stout, 5.0%, 500ml bottle

This stout is black (you knew that!), black as a wet sod of turf on a rainy day in the bog, and the fleeting head is coffee coloured. Aromas also from the dark side: coffee and dark chocolate. And that theme continues on the palate. But it is not exactly like other oatmeal stouts, not over-richly smooth. There is a balance, a harmony that lifts this stout about the normal. All before a lip-smacking finish. Try it out for yourself! Best served around 8 to 10 degrees.

The brewers say it is “Ideal with game or strong red meat, smoked meats and hearty stews, desserts with chocolate, caramel or dark fruits.” I reckon they’ve tried them all! Me, I’d say it goes best with another one.

“Our small brewery is housed on the farm, just a short distance from the old homestead.We are set amongst the rolling drumlins of County Monaghan, just a few miles from the birthplace of Patrick Kavanagh, the inspiration for our India Pale Ale –  Stony Grey IPA.
Our aim is to create distinct beers that are brewed with care and affection.  Our brewer has created a range of well balanced and flavoursome ales that reflect the changing face of the beer market in Ireland.”

Chouffe Cherry Beer, 8%, 330ml bottle

Dark cherry is the (not unexpected) colour. Cherries all the way, really, even though there seems to be something sweetish in the aromas (Port is mentioned). And the aroma characters follow through on the palate, cherries again, and hints of sweet and sour. Nicely rounded and soft, it is rather nice and balanced, enough acidity there to do the trick. 

They say: “delights the gourmands among us” and recommend pairing with tomatoes, red peppers, red cabbage and fennel, oysters too, duck breast and stewed game dishes and in addition almond, raspberries, cherries and strawberries.

Very different indeed, an amazing beer, and I must try it with Bushy’s Strawberries next time! Or Skeaghanore Duck Breast. Not the kind of beer you’ll be drinking all night.

Always enjoy visiting the Chouffe website - they enjoy a laugh. Check it out yourself at

Huyghe Delirium Argentum IPA, 7.0%, 330ml bottle

Amber’s the colour here with quite a large white head that does linger. Spice and citrus on the nose. Full of flavour, soft citrus the main element, complex though yet pleasantly fresh with a long hoppy finish. Combining softness and character, this Hopped Amber IPA is yet another superb beer this evening.

Brewing beer is a centuries-old tradition at the site of the Appelhoek in Melle. The earliest evidence of brewing comes from 1654. In 1904 Léon Huyghe started working at the local brewery.
They say: ”Delirium tremens" was brewed for the first time on December 26, 1988. The brewing team produced this blond beer (Alc. 8.5% Vol) at the insistence of Italy. The uniqueness of Delirium is in addition to its 3 different yeasts, its very original packaging that reminds you of Cologne pottery. The label portrays the different phases of the delirium in an original way. 

It was amazingly popular, the pink elephant was born and a series of Delirium began and this Argentum in its silver wrap, is one, a very good indeed.
Today, Alain De Laet, the fourth Huyghe generation, stirs the brew kettles. The little elephant that was born in 1989 has grown into an international icon.
Sierra Nevada “Hazy Little Thing” IPA 4.6%, 355ml can

Not to sure how this American got in but we enjoyed having it.

It has a cloudy, lemonade colour. Hoppy aromas. Hoppy on the palate too with citrus fruits. Easy drinking “session edition”, tropical and citrus fruits, pretty flawless really and a very welcome addition to the category. It’s the little sister to the normal Hazy Little Thing (6.7). This version is slightly lighter but not less intense.

They say: The low alcohol content and heavy-handed hopping in this unfiltered session IPA required some brewing finesse to achieve a pleasant balance. Never one to back down from a challenge, we were able to coax just the right amount of body from the malt to support the bold American hops. Hazy in appearance and golden in color, this easy-drinking ale is loaded with piney citrus notes, quenching your thirst without sacrificing flavor.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Bottoms Up with Belgian and Irish Beers. #3

Bottoms Up with Belgian and Irish Beers.

Porterhouse Hersbruker Hops Pilsner, 5.0%, 500ml bottle

Gold in colour, nice white head (doesn’t last long), plenty of bubbles. Fruity, floral and spicy aromas. A very pleasant step-up on the normal lager, good clean taste, excellent backbone of hops, a refreshing balanced Pilsner, and very satisfying overall.

They say: a classic Mittel Europa style of Pilsner and a seriously good night.This is a classic, stylish Pilsner. Think Rolling Stones, not Justin Bieber. We brew for taste and in the brewing we look carefully at how we do it. We don’t add any “extras” – no additives, no enhancing chemicals. Just simple, pure ingredients.

By the way, how many think of Justin Bieber while having a pint?

Closed with cap, with pull-off tab. Label tells us it’s an Honest Independent Beer. No guidance on bottle as to serving temperature, but around the 8 degree marks seems fine.
Malts: Lager Malt, Cara Malt, Vienna Male, Munich Malt
Hops: Galena, Nugget, Hallertau Hersbrucker, Hallertau Perle.

Wicklow Wolf “Apex Oatmeal Stout”, 6.5%, 440ml can

Pours black with a short-lived coffee head. Chocolate and coffee mingle on the smooth and slightly sweet palate. Creamy and full flavoured from start to finish. Nothing wrong with cream, as we know very well in Cork, but personally I’d prefer a little more bite, just a little, from the black wolf.

They say: A member of the Alpha Pack, their core range, Apex champions a heavy malt bill, brewed with only the best flaked Irish Oats, specialty chocolate and coffee malts. Expect an intense burst of fresh roast coffee, milk chocolate & a delicious creamy smoothness. A full flavoured stout that will leave you wanting more.

Hops used is Apollo and the advice is to serve this stout at 8 degrees.

Did you know, they have their own hop farm in Roundwood?  They are committed to sustainability - that’s why they’ve moved from bottles to cans - and you can also read about that on the site.

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel, 7%, 33cl bottle

As you pour, note the raised Trappist collar around the neck, a material reminder that this revered beer comes from the Westmalle abbey, about 40 minutes drive east of Antwerp.
Colour is a reddish brown with a big off white head. The mildly intense aromas of ripe banana, caramel and hops are unusual, at least to me.  And you’ll find that mildness also as you savour the complex taste (remember this beer has had a re-fermentation in the bottle), malt and fruit in harmony, right through to the fresh and hoppy dry finalé. An elegant grown up beer to be served at 6-14 degrees. 
The brewer makes three beers. Westmalle Tripel and Dubbel are sold by stores and served in cafés and restaurants in Belgium and the Netherlands. You will also find them in selected outlets around the world.
Westmalle Extra is only brewed twice a year and is produced for the monks’ own use. The monks and their guests consume it with their midday meal.
What to pair with your Dubbel? Check some very interesting suggestions here.
Westmalle Abbey forms part of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. All communities in the Order maintain ties of mutual solidarity. Each community is a training school in the art of loving thy neighbour. This love and solidarity is extended to all people of good will, as can be clearly seen in the way visitors are received at the abbey.  

Straffe Hendrik Brugs Tripel, 9%, 33cl bottle

This comes from Bruges in a golden robe with a big white head. Mildly citrusy in the aromas. Citrus again on the palate, banana too. Early sweetness turns to bitterness, caramel to citrus, as we reach the finish where the hops come into their own. Well made, well balanced. So far though, the best Belgian has been the Duvel Tripel Hop Citra.

They say: The name means strong Henri. Straffe Hendrik Tripel is a golden triple with a sturdy white collar. The aroma is spicy with hints of black pepper, coriander and ginger, and is even insinuating the presence of oranges.

The beer is brewed with a selection of Saaz and Styrian hops of a very high quality. The subtle blend of six special varieties of malt gives the beer a well-balanced and powerful taste. Refermentation in the bottle generates a long natural shelf life. Serving temperature: 6 degrees.

Food pairing advice: The combination with zesty fish plates is a real treat, but Straffe Hendrik can also be paired with cheeses such as Camembert or Bruges Blomme. Straffe Hendrik is known to be a real delicacy when combined with desserts based on pineapple or mango.

The round, by the way, it not like a boxing round. Not really looking for a winner here. If we have four winners, then so much the better, for me!

Also in this series:
An Irish and Belgian Beer Quartet play a pretty tune on a Friday evening.
Best of Beers. Another Belgian v Irish Round #2

All the beers above were bought in Bradley's, North Main Street, Cork.
Their Belgian Selection box (12 bottles) costs €45.00.
Their Irish Selection box (14 bottles/cans) costs €65.00. 

More details here.