Showing posts with label Lineman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lineman. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #28. Craft IPAs from Lineman, Heaney, and Killarney

CorkBillyBeers #28

Craft IPAs from Lineman, Heaney, and Killarney


Heaney New England IPA 5.7%, 440ml can Bradleys

The label intro to this beer is short, and accurate: Haze, hops, and juice.

Light gold, deeply hazy, and a fluffy white head that’s in no big hurry to depart, mark the appearance of this IPA from the Heaney brewery. I like this hazy gold coloured beer, full of exotic notes, soft and easy drinking.

Aromas are somewhat reticent but you may note Pineapple leading the exotic charge. And more fruit on the palate, Mango and Pineapple to the fore, with just a touch of bitterness in the background. Lovely soft mouthfeel and perfectly balanced. Another well-made beer from the Derry brewery, one for the short-list for sure.

Heaney has continued to improve the NEIPA. “It’s slightly more refined on the body, a little smoother with the carbonation dialled in exactly right. I’m not sure what you get on your tasting notes but I feel there is a lot of squidgy apricot in there and some juicy red apple, it’s all about the jooooose. Very little bitterness if any, and a nice smooth lush body. We used Mosaic and Amarillo in equal quantities in the dry hop and Chinook in the whirlpool, no hops in the boil at all.”

Food pairing suggested by the makers: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with a stone fruit sauce.

Very Highly Recommended.


Heaney West Coast India Pale Ale, 5.5% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

This “classic West Coast IPA” from Heaney comes in a gorgeous golden colour with a soft white head.  Hints of citrus and pine from the aromas. Zesty Citrus also on the palate and a lip-smacking finish satisfies. Happy to let my thirst meet this one anytime.

Very Highly Recommended.

They say: For generations our family farm has been a place of harvest and inspiration. Our beers are for after the graft. Rural thirst quenchers, brewed and canned here at the wood in Bellaghy, Co. Derry.

And they suggest pairing it with “Dirty fries and sloppy burgers. Pairs well with mild blue cheeses.”  Serve at 5 degrees.

Heaney’s now have quite a few of their regular and well-loved beers in cans including this one, their New England IPA (above), the Double Pale Ale, the White Ale and their Irish Pale Ale.


Killarney Scarlet Pimpernel IPA 6%, 500ml bottle CarryOut Killarney

There is a statue of a priest, dressed in an older fashion, at an entrance to Killarney National Park. He is striding out, a man in a hurry. They seek him here, they seek him there - he is O’Flaherty, the Scarlet Pimpernel. And this IPA is named in his honour.

It has a deep red colour. “Best served with a thick frothy head so pour with vigour.” I took that bit of advice so my head, poured a bit like the O’Flaherty walk,, and was rewarded with a long-lasting head.

Built “on a smooth malty base”, aromas are moderate, citrus and pine, but good and malty also. There’s a light caramel sweetness on the palate. Overall, a good balance is found, hop bitterness is moderate, and they boldly recommend it as “a perfect partner for full-flavoured dishes”.

Highly Recommended

During WW2, Rome-based Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty saved over 6,500 people by hiding them in monasteries, farms, and other locations. After the war, he was awarded the US Medal of Freedom and Commander of the British Empire.


Lineman Loose Ends IPA, 5.7% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

Life’s full of loose ends. This IPA is full of Simcoe, Citra and Chinook.

That’s how the label sums up this Loose Ends IPA by Lineman, their first limited edition of 2023.


Colour is a murky yellow with a soft white head. From the haze, aromas of the tropical kind, some citrus too and a little pine, arise. And they also populate the palate with the tropical stuff getting on top in a refreshing finish.

Highly Recommended.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest. CorkBillyBeers #22.

CorkBillyBeers #22

Craft Delight With 13 Brewers At Franciscan Well Easter Fest

Busy days for Sean at the Black's of Kinsale taps.

A baker’s dozen of Ireland’s craft breweries set up camp at the Franciscan Well and turned their well and truly revived Easter Beer Fest into a convivial carnival featuring the best of craft over the holiday weekend. Hard to resist some of the stars here, some beautiful pours over the two days, including a debut for the delicious Locavore Spring 2023, a Honey Hefeweizen, by Wicklow Wolf.

I did have a Plan A when I arrived in the busy venue on Saturday afternoon but that didn't last long. Nor did Plan B or indeed any notion of a plan. No seat available but I did get my aging back up against a solid object and relaxed.

Spot the difference? One of these is a lager, one's a stout. Answer at end.

Lots of chats too of course, none of it too serious. We were here for the craft and the craic. Actually, black (rhymes with craic!) was on Plan A and I did get a couple in. Had a good chat with Sean from Black’s of Kinsale. I was familiar with all three of his taps, including the marvellous Red Rye Redemption. 

My eyes wandered to his right and I spotted a dark lager at Lineman. Enjoyed their Schwarzbier last year so I tried the Undertone - a Czech Dark Lager (4.5%), dark with hints of red in the depths, smooth caramel, a touch of toast but all smooth and clean just like a lager should be! The Undertone, a little less roasty than a Schwarzbier, is making a return to the Lineman portfolio and is sure to get a terrific welcome.

That goes on to my shopping list for Bradley’s. In fact, all the beers mentioned here will be going on to that list. Some good weeks ahead then!

My first real black came from Phil, at the Kinnegar stand.  He poured me a glass of their long-standing favourite Yannaroddy (4.8%). Long-standing maybe but you never get tired of class and this rich and creamy porter, made with love, has Donegal expertise in every sip.

Keith McCarthy at the Wicklow Wolf taps and his Lough Gill colleagues.

My second black came later on, the Chocolate Truffle Stout from Porterhouse. This limited edition (4.2%) surprised me - I’m always a little suspicious of nitro - but very few can say no to chocolate. Very smooth of course and delicious but not too sweet at all.

More potential sweetness next, but very well balanced. Wicklow Wolf tell us their Locavore Spring 2023 is “a Honey Hefeweizen brewed with heather honey supplied by our friends at @openhivehoney. The bees worked hard in the Wicklow mountains to gather the nectar to make beautiful heather honey for this brew.” Their 2022 edition, a barrel aged ale, was one of my beers of the year and, being a big honey fan anyhow, I’ll be looking at this one more closely soon! ABV is 6.0%.

Original 7 Red
Had been hoping to try the Cutback New England IPA by Lough Gill but it wasn’t available at the time I called. So I switched to next door to the “home” brewery, the Original 7, who have been expanding their range and availability in local pubs since their relatively recent founding and their Steve Guiney says they will have a beautiful surprise for fans late in the summer.

While looking forward to that, I absolutely enjoyed their Wonderland Red Ale. Quite a mix here, according to their notes - caramel, blackcurrant, raspberry and cherry - but a well judged balance and a lovely red and a truly session-able beer with an IBU of 22 and 4.2% ABV.

So we moved from Keith (at the Wolf stand) to Simon at Galway Bay. Started with their classic Helles, the Slow Lives (5%). Next from the west was the Sister Cities (6.2%), a Sour IPA with citrus, apple, a touch of elderflower and a balancing acidity. Very drinkable indeed and looking forward to a few in a the garden in the better days ahead! Thanks Simon! And thanks to all the people we met and sorry we missed out on a few. Next time!

Pompeii Pizza: Feeding the troops

Picture quiz above: stout (Porterhouse) is on the left, Lineman  is the lager.

Friday, February 3, 2023

The Very Highly Recommended Beers for 2023

The Very Highly Recommended Beers for 2023

(in no particular order!)

January 2023

Strong Blond Ale: Mescan Westport Extra

Porter: West Kerry Carraig Dubh.

IPA: Cotton Ball Fury

Session: Whiplash Rollover.

Barrel Aged Beers: 9 White Deer Stag BA Export Stout; Brehon Oak & Mirrors BA Imperial Porter.

Lager: Kinnegar Brewers at Play #27 Black Lager


December 2022

Ales with Wild Yeast: Black Donkey Underworld Rua Amber Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Allta Farmhouse Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Savage Farmhouse /Saison Ale.

IPA: Third Barrel Electric Eyes Idaho & El Dorado IPA

Witbier: Whiplash Alma Witbier 

Stout: Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout; Dungarvan Coffee & Oatmeal Stout; Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout; Whiplash The Wake Export Stout; 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #4. Craft journey with IPA, including Cotton Ball’s first can, a Whiplash session , the famous Thornbridge Jaipur and Duvel Tripel Hop.

CorkBillyBeers #4

Craft journey with IPA, including Cotton Ball’s first can, a go-to session from Whiplash, and the famous duo of Thornbridge Jaipur and Duvel Tripel Hop. 


Cotton Ball Fury Tropical IPA, 5.4%, 440ml can sample.

This is a Hazy East Coast style IPA, brewed with Irish malt, hopped with Galaxy (Australia), Columbus (USA) and “our favourite” Amarillo (USA) to give a tropical flavour and aroma. That’s the intro from the Cotton Ball Brewery for their Fury, the first of their beers to be canned (Dec 12th 2022) at the brewery, which is attached to the late 19th century pub in the north-east Cork suburb of Mayfield.

Colour is a dense orange with a fine bubbly white head. Aromas feature citrus, herbal notes too, even a hint of dank. The palate is a pleasure, more of the citrus, plus grapefruit, peach and a hint of resin, all in super balance, all before a very satisfactory finish. Very drinkable indeed.

The Cotton Ball is quite close to me and I often pass it while out walking the dog of a morning. On one of those jaunts, I met Eoin Lynch and he told me, that after a few minor tweaks, they went ahead with the canning of this, just a tiny batch as the machine is no bigger than your average sized kitchen table. He was happy with the outcome and I was happy when he handed me a can to sample and even happier now having sampled it!

This hazy IPA style has, over the past ten years or so, become one of the more popular beer styles in the world, thanks to the juicy exotic aromas and its smooth almost creamy texture, not to mention its bold fruity flavours and low bitterness. The Fury sits comfortably in the range.

Quite a few Irish examples at this stage, including Black’s “Ace of Haze” and Rascals’ "Hazy In Love” and the Heaney New England IPA. An American worth considering would be the Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing.

Very Highly Recommended.


Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 330 can Bradleys

Looking for a decent session beer? No shortage but my go-to is this Whiplash Rollover. Murky orange is the colour - no way you’re going to see through this haze - and it boasts a big foamy white head! Aromas are packed with ripe citrus-y fruits. It was our session beer of 2020 and this most recent tasting confirmed it’s as gluggable able as ever.

The quartet of hops dominate the palate. Amazing that this juicy beer has so much hops and still weighs in at less than 4.00% ABV. Quite a concentration of hops then, but all soft and smooth before a lip-smacking finalé.

They say: Same hop rate as our DIPA’s, less than half the alcohol. A very heavily hopped Session IPA: this comes at you with buckets of Simcoe, Ekuanot, Citra and Mosaic hops with a light touch of malts and an easy crushable body. Unfiltered, hazy, hoppy and juicy – Rollover is a New England inspired IPA without the heavy alcohol in tow.

With its burst of aromas and flavours and low ABV, this is what a session beer is all about and is Very Highly Recommended.

Very Highly Recommended


Duvel Tripel Hop Citra Belgian IPA, 9.5% ABV, 330ml bottle Bradleys

This Belgian beer pours a cloudy light gold, with an attractive white head. Looks like an IPA and smells like one too, citrus mostly with hops there also. Rich concentrated flavours, mostly tropical, flow across the palate, a subtle bitterness in the mix, and a hint of the high alcohol, yet all the elements combine in a very pleasant harmony indeed. An unanimous thumbs up for the folks at Duvel! They sure can make a devilish beer.

The Brewery says they noted the “trend towards more hoppy beers - thanks to our first brews in 2007 and 2010 - was set to continue. This Duvel Tripel Hop will please special beer lovers, while we will continue to ensure that the intrinsic characteristics of Duvel are preserved.”

It was in 2016 that Duvel went in search of the ultimate Duvel Tripel Hop. More than 5,000 fans tasted and voted, and Citra was clearly the favourite. And so they added Citra to the Saaz-Saaz and Styrian Golding already used in their regular strong ale.

Duvel is a natural beer with a subtle bitterness, a refined flavour and a distinctive hop character. The unique brewing process, which takes about 90 days, guarantees a pure character, delicate effervescence and a pleasant sweet taste of alcohol. The Beer Bible lists the Tripel Hop Citra as one of a handful of essential “beers to know” if you are trying to get a handle on IPAs.

The Duvel story though goes back well beyond 2007. It all began when Jan-Léonard Moortgat and his wife founded the Moortgat farm brewery in 1871. Around the turn of the century, Moortgat was one of the over 3,000 breweries operating in Belgium and is still going strong. The beer is still brewed with profound respect for the original recipe and the time it needs to mature. More details here .

Geek Bits

HOPS: Saaz-Saaz, Styrian Golding & Citra

Dry Hopping: Citra (Yakima Valley, Washington, USA)

TASTING PROFILE: Grapefruit and tropical fruit

EBU: 40

ALC: 9.5%

SHELF LIFE: 18 months


Thornbridge “Jaipur” IPA, 5.9% ABV, 330ml can Bradleys

This beauty from the UK brewery, with six hops aboard, wears its complexity lightly and you’ll have no problem sipping your way through. 

It has a fairly cloudy pale yellow colour and hoppy aromas (whiffs of citrus and pine). Smooth on the palate, hoppy, citrus notes too, and a beautiful balance all the way to the lip-smacking hoppy lingering finish. Not too much more to say except that this is more or less the perfect IPA.

Match with Thai Curry, they say. No problem, I say, I love my massaman!

Thornbridge, based in Derby, are regarded by many as Britain’s leading 21st century brewery. Not surprised that their award tally worldwide has soared to over the one hundred mark

The complexity of this multi award winning American style IPA is down to no less than the six hops used: Chinook, Centennial, Ahtanum, Simcoe, Columbus and Cascade. Low Colour Maris Otter is the malt used.

They say: Jaipur is our flagship beer, and the one that really put us on the map back in 2005 when we were just starting out.… We are often told “this is the beer, that got me into beer” and we are always very proud to hear this. It’s usually recognised as the first UK craft IPA, and was brewed with a huge amount of US hops at a time where this was very unusual.


December's Very Highly Recommended Irish Beers

IPA: Third Barrel Electric Eyes Idaho & El Dorado IPA

Witbier: Whiplash Alma Witbier 

Stout: Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout; Dungarvan Coffee & Oatmeal Stout; Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout; Whiplash The Wake Export Stout; 

Ales with Wild Yeast: Black Donkey Underworld Rua Amber Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Allta Farmhouse Ale; Black Donkey Underworld Savage Farmhouse /Saison Ale.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

CorkBillyBeers #2. Enjoying a black Christmas on the Craft journey with Cotton Ball, Dungarvan Brewing, Lineman, Whiplash.

CorkBillyBeers #2

Craft journey with stouts from Cotton Ball, Dungarvan Brewing, Lineman, Whiplash

Enjoying a black Christmas!

Four smashing stouts to enjoy in mid-winter (not that you have to confine yourself to any one season!)


This is the second post in CorkBillyBeers, a new series (we got to over 130 post in the previous series A Quart of Ale) and again will be trying to get beers from all over the country, including from small breweries who may not be able to produce specials every week, so lots of core beers to be included. 

Some weeks, the focus may be on one brewery, another week may concentrate on a style - like this one on stout. Again, it will be mostly Irish beer but I will throw in a "visitor" from time to time!

Just let me know your stockist(s) in Cork where I can buy them. I know some of you have terrific boxes for sale online but I don't need six or twelve of the same beer; as a regular blogger, I need six or twelve different beers!


Four smashing stouts to enjoy in mid-winter (not that you have to confine yourself to any one season!)

Cotton Ball Lynch’s Stout, 4.3% ABV, 500ml bottle O’Donovan’s

Black, a very definite opaque one, is the colour here with a soft tan head. The ABV of 4.3 is very much in the 4% to 6.5% of the style and the finish is dry, not sweet, so no bother in calling this a dry Irish stout. Roasted malt (including coffee)  lead the aromas. They are also found on the palate along with caramel and cacao plus a streak of light fresh fruitiness. And yes, it does finish dry, and long. Indeed that finish, along with its flavour and smoothness, combine in an excellent stout.

Humphrey Lynch, an American Civil War veteran and a cotton mill foreman, returned to his native Cork in 1874 to set up his own public house which he called the Cotton Ball. It is still here today and the current generation are brewing a selection of craft beers named after their great great grandfather who left the West Cork countryside as a teenager. The brewery was founded in 2013.

Hand crafted from five malts and traditional flaked barley, moderately bittered and late hopped with US and New Zealand hops, they say: “This stout is as dark as our great grandfather Humphrey’s black humour and has a warm and mature flavour. With a phenomenal marriage of coffee roast, caramel lush, balanced by a clean bitterness exploding into a tangerine, mandarin aromatic delivery.`’

They reckon it’s a great accompaniment for hearty meat dishes, stews and steaks. But, with a shameless piece of name dropping, they say that the ultimate food pairing is our Famous Cousins’ Clonakilty Black pudding! Might as well let you know that I’m a neighbour of the Cotton Ball. Not a frequent visitor (at least not as frequent as I once was) but my order is always for the Lynch’s Stout.

Very Highly Recommended


Dungarvan Coffee & Oatmeal Stout, 4.7%, 440 ml can Bradleys

Really excellent seasonal. No bells and whistles. Nothing added to  this well made stout but a single origin coffee.

This is a regular Christmas stout from Dungarvan, now into its second decade. Oatmeal though has been used in stout since the late 1800s according to Mark Dredge’s Beer. “It was brewed and marketed as a nourishing drink for convalescents and invalids.” 

When I was growing up, an adult would stick a hot poker into a mix of stout and milk and give it to an ailing child as a tonic. A few years on and, after a hard night's training, the club officials would have a pint of milk and stout as a pick-me up. Never won anything with that club though!

They say: This classic oatmeal stout is made with oats from Flahavan’s Mills in Kilmacthomas and infused with a single origin coffee - the annual release generally signifies the beginning of the yuletide season for many. Yuletide is a term I’ve rarely heard around here, except in Christmas songs!

Dungarvan brewer Tom says “there’s usually a bit of trial and error as we try to find the sweet spot. The beans that produce a nice cup may not necessarily work well in the stout blend."

The current Dungarvan seasonal is black with a foamy tan head. Smell it and also stick your finger into the head for an early sweetish taste! I’ve been a fan of this Christmas stout since its first appearance. It is as smooth as ever with citrus and berry notes from the coffee giving a lift and adding a rich warmth to the roasted dryness. 

More malty sweet than hops bitter, a smooth and lovely companion for the weeks ahead as it’s great with earthy casseroles or desserts. It is great to cook or bake with as it doesn’t have the same bitterness as other stouts.  Goes well with blue cheese as you need something that will hold up to the strong flavour of the cheese. Also works with smoked hard cheddar and other fuller flavoured cheeses.

Can conditioned - so expect a harmless yeast sediment.

Down Waterford way they have their own way of doing things. Anyone fancy a large bottle? For instance. No large bottle of this stout but they have a surprising enough serving tip too: Ideally this stout should be served in the traditional south eastern way which is ‘off the shelf’ — ie. at room temperature.

Geek Bits

Style: Irish Stout

ABV: 4.7%

Hops: Challenger

Malts: Roasted Barley

IBUs: 41

Allergens: Contains Barley and Oats

Calories: 215 per 500ml

Very Highly Recommended


Lineman (with Craic Beer Community) Pulse Irish Extra Stout, 5.8%, 440 ml can Bradleys

“The Community Brew Project invites Craic members to decide what beer styles they'd like to see brewed most. Stout was the overwhelming winner this time around, so we approached our friends in Lineman who we knew would be the perfect brewery for the job!” A good choice and this very acceptable Pulse Irish Extra Stout is the result!

It is of course black. And has a lasting tan head. And the aromas are of toasty malt, caramel included. Like the freshness of this one, the caramel and coffee in the complex palate, full of flavour right through to the dry finish. The labels sums it up as “a full-flavoured stout that will leave you wanting more”. Hard to argue with that.

Craic champions independent Irish beer, and showcases the amazing talents of brewers all across Ireland. The aim of Craic is to provide a welcoming space where beer fans can chat, learn about beer, and connect with others. Join us to expand your beer knowledge, engage with our community of beer fans, and have a bit of craic while you’re at it. Connect with us through our community platform, on social media, and via our podcast.

Very Highly Recommended.


Whiplash The Wake Export Stout, 7.0%, Whiplash on line

Black, like newly laid tarmac, with a soft tan head that’s slow enough to shift. Aromas of lightly roasted coffee and chocolate may be mild but they are persistent. And what follows on the impressive palate is not a million miles away, flavours of lightly toasted bread, plus a lick of cherry across those lips, coffee is never that far away as this quite hefty stout waltzes smoothly on its way to a merry, dry and rather marvellous finalé. May I have the next dance also, please!

That’s my immediate reaction to The Wake, (hardly a dancing occasion, getting my metaphors mixed up). The Whiplash crew, rarely slow to offer advice, are a tad shy here: “… while we don’t want to tell you how to drink your beer, we’d highly recommend this one on a cold evening in front of an open fire.” That could be arranged as could a case of this black beauty.

Thanks you Whiplash. Enjoy The Wake and Happy Christmas.

Very Highly Recommended