Showing posts with label Rascals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rascals. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

CorkBillyBeers #53. Craft with Rye River, Rascals, Whitefield and Camba

CorkBillyBeers #53

Craft with Rye River, Rascals, Whitefield and Camba.


Rye River Upstream Pale Ale, 4.5% ABV, 500 ml bottle Dunnes Stores

Rye River sums this up neatly: ..Dry hopped classic pale ale…..bitter, citrus and malty.

Amber gold is the colour with a white head that doesn’t hang about, at least when poured from the bottle straight from the fridge. As the label indicates, it is really well balanced, the citrus aromas being matched by the hop bitterness with the malt keeping any potential hop extremes in check.

It is light and very drinkable, yet there is a good bite to it and it is also refreshing. You may well have had this previously under its original name of "Rosie's Pale Ale”. This is my first tasting of it and it is Very Highly Recommended.

Geek Bits

Best Before 07.24 (bought 05.10.23)

Pairs with: Grilled meat, spicy sausages, dishes with garlic,

Hops: Chinook, Columbus, El Dorado, Mosaic, Vic Secret

Malts: Carapils, Honey Malt, Pale Malt, Vienna Malt

IBU: 37

Format: Draught, bottle, can

2022 World Beer Awards:  Bronze Medal


Rascals The Phoenix Dark Autumnal Ale 5.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

“Savour the taste of Autumn with our subtly smoked dark ale. Warm your bones with this medium-bodied cold-fermented smoke brown ale.”

That’s the invite from Dublin brewery Rascals. The colour is indeed a dark brown/black with a slight fleeting head. Aromas are smoky, not overly forceful, with a hint of bacon frying in the next room.  And yes, it is nuts and chocolate combined on the palate to give a dark sweetness. The balance is pretty good all through to the smooth finish.

Highly Recommended.

Rascals say: The Phoenix Dark has been cold fermented for a nobler taste and fuller body. It’s a real fireside beer for the evenings drawing in and kicking up leaves on autumnal walks in the park….. Dark autumnal ale with a delightful palette of flavours, nice body, and smooth finish.

Geek Bits

Malt: Beech Smoked Malt, Melanoidin, Cara Blond, Dark Crystal Malt, Chocolate Wheat, Oak Smoked Malt, Lager Malt.

Hops: Hops: Hallertau Mittelfrüh, 

Yeast: LAX

ABV: 5.3%


Whitefield Brewery Morning Dew Saison style, 6.0% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

Realised I was a good bit late coming to this one as I read the label from the Templemore brewery: “Ah Spring! Finally, the spirits start to lift, the birds begin to sing and the hope of a long good summer is just around the next bend. To celebrate we’ve brewed a beer with a variety of traditional grains in the French Saison style.”

The summer was long. But not so good. Having waited all summer, I just had to wait a bit longer as that head took its time to settle down. Malt makes a smokey impact on the aromas. And there’s no shortage of malt in the flavours either. The taste though is light and refreshing, and a hint of clove adds interest. Just the job for refreshment after work on a summer's day and not too bad either on a wet October night with Storm Babet for company!

Very Highly Recommended. The beer that is, not the storm. I’m thinking this Saison from Tipp is up there with the best of them, including the Dupont. Whitefield says: “it is a seasonal beer brewed with traditional grains in a French saison style”.

Geek Bits

Brewed with water from own well. 

Ingredients: Malted barley, spelt and rye, hops and yeast.


Camba Märzen 5.8% ABV, 500 ml bottle Bradleys

“It is the love for the craft of brewing, the desire to discover and a unique landscape shaped by nature and culture in a variety of ways that make every Camba a special taste experience: a beer with character.”

Most of the German beers we come across in Ireland are from breweries whose history reaches back over multiple centuries. Not Camba! "Camba Bavaria" was originally founded in 2008 as a showroom for the brewing equipment manufacturer BrauKon in Truchtlaching. 

Founder Markus Lohner wanted to show customers from all over the world how his brewing systems work and the variety of beers that could be brewed with them. His sample beers tasted so well that in a short few years, Camba has carved out a place for itself in the beer industry with a range of traditional and international beers.

This Marzen has a darkish colour, red in the gold, and a soft white head. There are sweet malty notes in the aromas. There is an immediately noticeable if slight, bitterness on the palate along with the nutty tones from the malt. Somewhat fuller than regular lagers, this is a smooth and well-balanced beer, refreshing too.

They may well be a “young” Bavarian brewery but, like their older siblings, they have food recommendations for this bottom-fermented beer and they are roasts, home cooking or roasted chicken.

Geeks Bits

Type of beer: Marzen

Alcohol Vol: 5.8%

Bitter units/ IBU: 16

Malt: Pilsner, Munich, caramel malts

Yeast: Bavarian lager yeast

Hops: tradition

Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, yeast

Friday, October 13, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #48. Craft with Bullhouse, Rascals, Lough Gill and Wicklow Wolf.

CorkBillyBeers #48

Craft with Bullhouse, Rascals, Lough Gill and Wicklow Wolf.

Nothing over 5% ABV in this foursome


Bullhouse Frank The Tank Hazy IPA, 5.0% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

Mosaic makes the difference! 

“The Fruity Hop That Changed Craft Beer.”

Colour of this Belfast-brewed IPA is pale, more or less lemon, and it is indeed hazy, like a foggy night on the docks. Frank seems quite the character and is not shy about promoting itself: "Once it hits your lips, it's so good!” It is that extra pale base “to showcase the aromatic, tropical and stonefruit flavours of our Mosaic DDH”.

No kidding with Frank. It is indeed pretty damn good, packed with just the one hop Mosaic and giving up slightly sweet flavours of tropical fruit and a whole lot of hoppy backbone in a complex mouthfeel. Good refreshing finish also.

Bullhouse is emerging, in this house at least, as a brewery to note and Frank the Tank’s IPA is Very Highly Recommended.

California-based Kegerator, well known in home brewing in the US, say their aim is “To provide beer aficionados with the best selection of dispensers, brewing supplies, and home bar accessories.”

They know their hops. The Mosaic hops that Bullhouse have used here - it is just over 10 years old -  is highlighted by Kegerator who call it “The Fruity Hop Variety That Changed Craft Beer.”

“The hop variety was an instant hit and, according to For the Love of Hops by Stan Hieronymus, the variety gained a reputation even before it was named or fully released onto the craft brewing scene in 2012.

The name Mosaic was given to the variety because of the complex and broad aromas it imparts. This complex profile is backed by a clean bittering, which makes it especially remarkable in single hop ales.”

They confirm that it is as versatile as Bullhouse indicate: “Mosaic hops cover all three corners of hop usage pretty well. A fact that becomes obvious when you see the amount of single-hopped IPAs being churned out with this variety. It could also be used in the aroma and flavour department backed by a clean bittering hop like Magnum or Galena. Because of its fruitiness, Mosaic plays well with other fruity or citrusy hops.”


Rascals Session IPA, 4.4%% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This Session IPA is one of the brewery’s Outbreak Series,  one of “three seriously classy IPAs, each with a particular inspiration”..…

And this is “blissfully citrus and delightfully tropical”. “At 4.4% we're making it an easy-going beer to be sipped, shared and ideal for any bag-of-cans enthusiast: spruce up your sesh with our Session IPA!”

The colour is pale, more or less lemon, with a slight haze. Sweet tropical fruits (mango, lychee, passion fruit) in the aromas. Flavours are quite complex, a blend of floral, tropical, fruity, and earthy characteristics. But it never gets to cross to the sweet side, the balance provided by the hops’ bittering qualities. 

A small ABV yes but a serious session contender. Nice bit of work from the Rascal brewers.

And they know it! “This beer really benefits from the flavour and aroma intensity of using hop oils in the brew. There’s an instant ‘wow factor’ the minute you get a nose – and mouth – full of what’s on offer. There’s a crisp green grape and ripe lime finish, making our Session IPA a proper hoppy belter.”

Can’t argue with that. Very Highly Recommended.

Hops used were Citra T90, Galaxy and Mosaic.


Lough Gill Shaka Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Midleton

This lemon-coloured IPA comes from the excellent Lough Gill Brewery in Sligo. It is murky, with a soft white head and, at 3.8% ABV, slips comfortably under the session bar. Aromas are moderate, are of the tropical kind and very pleasant. And so it continues on the palate with a smooth citrus flavour and a mouthfeel that “has been amped up with the addition of oats and Dextrin malts”. 

Another well-balanced beer with a refreshing finish and well suited to a session.

Highly Recommended.


Wicklow Wolf Raindrop, 0.5% ABV, 330 ml can No 21 Midleton

“Introducing 'Raindrop 0.5', number 39 in our Endangered Species series. A beer inspired by our Mixed Berry Sour, Raindrop - our brewers were excited to brew a non-alcoholic version of our favourite sour.”

This 0.5% Raindrop comes in an unmissable vibrant red colour. Aromas are fruity, sweetly so. No lessening of the fruit on the palate but here there’s a sour backbone. But it is very refreshing indeed, this mix of jam-packed flavours of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

One of the more interesting non-alcoholic beers on the market and that includes the imports. But, there’s always a but, this is a limited edition, one of Wicklow’s endangered species. Worth a try if you can get your hands on one, or more than one.

Monday, August 14, 2023

CorkBillyBeers #39. Craft August Sessions with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash, Bullhouse and Rascals

CorkBillyBeers #39

Craft August Sessions with Wicklow Wolf, Whiplash,  Bullhouse and Rascals


Wicklow Wolf Pocket Dial Juicy IPA 4.2% ABV, 440ml can Bradleys

This recent Wicklow Wolf beer, tagged as a modern hazy IPA, is called Pocket Dial and is a Juicy IPA, double dry hopped with Citra, Centennial and Idaho 7.

Colour is orange, hazy of course, with a bubbly white head. Expect citrus and tropical flavours with soft stone fruit undertones, they say. And you get that, with a bit more, from the all-American hop line-up. It is clean and refreshing though, well-balanced even if tilted more towards the hop lovers, that tilt enhanced by the double dry hopping.

Very Highly Recommended.

Pocket Dial is best enjoyed with friends and with your phone on silent. But where did that name come from? Our direct line to the lair explains: “…inspired by the countless times we've all been pocket dialled by Quincey (the founder & CEO) and the numerous overheard conversations on the other end of the line”.


Geek Bits

Hops: Citra, Centennial& Idaho 7 .

Malts: Pale Ale, Wheat, Cara Ruby, Oats

IBUs 20

Pocket Dial is number 38 in the brewery’s Endangered Species brews, 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.

Catch it while you can!


Whiplash Rollover Session IPA 3.8% ABV, 330ml can, No 21 Coburg Street

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! This was our session beer of 2020 and this most recent tasting confirmed it’s as likeable as ever.

Pale yellow colour with a  short-lived white head over a hazy body. Citrus fronts the aromatics. And the quartet of hops dominate the palate. Amazing that this has so much hops and still weighs in at less than 4.00% ABV. Quite a concentration of hops then, 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


Bullhouse Road Trippin’ Extra Pale 4.0% ABV, 440 ml can No 21 Coburg St

“Everyday beer for the everyday hero. Showcasing our love of Citra.”

That’s the introduction to their Extra Pale by Belfast Brewery Bullhouse.

It is pale for sure and a murky one at that, with a short-lived head. Citrus notes top the aromas and play the top flavour role as well.  I’ve read, in more than one place, that this is a “Citrus banger”. I can agree with that but don't worry it won't blow your head off. It is quite supple and nicely hoppy and thanks to the deployment of the extra pale base and house yeast, is an easy-drinking ale, fresh, crisp and clean

Highly Recommended

Geek Bits

Malts - Pale, Dextrin, Oats, Wheat

Hops - Citra (10g/L)

Yeast - AY5 

All 440ml Cans

Vegan friendly!

The story of Bullhouse Brew Co began in 2011, when founder Willy Mayne got a taste for great beer on a road trip around the west coast of the US with his brother. Visiting Green Flash Brewery in San Diego was the epiphany moment. Drinking flavoursome beers on an out-of-town industrial estate on a Friday afternoon with a mix of local office and factory workers and seeing how beer and particularly breweries can be an integral part of the community was a real eye-opener.

Back home, Willy started homebrewing on the farm he grew up on just outside Belfast. Four years, he set to work converting the old bull’s house into a tiny 500sq ft brewery. Twelve months later, he converted the Bullhouse into a small brewery, buying second-hand equipment from dairy farms and other breweries across Ireland, including a mash tun made from a converted catering fridge. Starting a commercial brewery for £600 doesn’t result in anything too pretty, but it was something, and it made some tasty beer.

Good to report that the beers are still tasty, even if production methods now are a bit more sophisticated.


Rascals Happy Days Session Pale Ale, 4.1% ABV, 330 ml can Bradleys

Expect hints of Passionfruit and honeydew Melon. 

That’s what the label indicates on my unfiltered, unpasteurised 330 ml can from Bradleys. Brewers Rascal also sell this in 5-litre mini-kegs, ideal if you are planning a session. 

“There's any and every reason to have one of our mini-kegs chilling in your fridge. Best consumed within 24 hours of opening, these little beauties are an ideal way to have fresh Rascals on tap for you and your gathering. Pick one up at Rascals HQ Inchicore (open Mon-Fri from 4pm, Sat & Sun from 1pm) or buy one online and we'll deliver.”

An attractive alternative to all the hassle of party organising is to head over to the Rascals HQ in Inchicore. Grab yourself one of their pizzas and a pint poured straight from the tap, sit down and enjoy the tap-room experience!

And that Passionfruit and Melon? Well yes, it is there, on a well-balanced palate as the hops shine through. Nothing too heavy though, just a pleasant summer thirst quencher.