Showing posts with label Stout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stout. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Porterhouse Hop It Up. Taste of the Week

Porterhouse Hop It Up
Taste of the Week

The Porterhouse brewers have come up with a cool winner in their new Double Hopped Pale Ale which they've called Hopped the F**K.

The spin says “.....double hopped extreme pale ale”. “So hoppy it will poke your eye out” is another line I've been reading.

It was launched in Dublin last Wednesday and I tasted it last Friday in Porterhouse Cork and the only way extreme comes into the equation is that it is extremely good. And don't worry about your eyesight, the double hops and double alcohol have been handled very well and the beer is beautifully balanced. The attractive aromas and even more attractive flavours are all under control, no rough edges, all smooth and clean and a pleasure to sip. And the finish rolls on and on, a better finish than many wines, class in a glass. Very Highly Recommended.

I used the highly regarded and well established Brewdog Punk Ale (it also uses multiple hops) as a “control” here and the new Hopped to F**K beat it out of sight. I had started with the Porterhouse and, perhaps, the gulf between the two might not have seemed as large had I began with the Punk.

A variety of hops has been used.  Belma and Bravo, for a clean bitter character, Cascade and Centennial to add aroma, Simcoe and Citra to generate a hefty hop nose and aromatic character. With notes of mandarin, orange and citrus with some tropical fruits, Hopped the F**K is 8.5% ABV and deceptive in its strength, a firm fist in a velvet glove.

James Brown Brews Chocolate Orange Stout, 5% abv, Bradley’s of North Main Street.
Very pleasant stout, chocolate for sure and the characters morphs towards caramel at the dry finish. Maybe you'll find the orange - I didn’t. Excellent stout though, especially for a first try. It tends more towards the traditional than the label’s “off the wall”. Already a medal winner and recommended.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy New Beer! Mayfield’s Cotton Ball. Ireland’s Latest Micro Brewery

Happy New Beer!

Mayfield’s Cotton Ball. Ireland’s Latest Micro Brewery
Forward planning. Jack Lynch in the Cotton Ball Brewery.
Months of research and hard work paid off this week when Ireland’s newest craft beers began to flow at the Cotton Ball Brewery in Mayfield.  The Cotton Ball pub, under which the brewery is built, was the venue for an early tasting of Lynch’s Lager, called after the family that founded the pub back in 1874.

While touring the new facility yesterday with Jack Lynch, I was shown a number of barrels previously used by Jack Daniels (and to be used in the future for a Lynch special brew). At least one of the barrels, Number 59, is stamped with the name of the American distillery and the address is Lynchburg, Tennessee, and that is one of the places where Jack Lynch’s grandfather, Humphrey, worked while in the United States in the 19th century. And it is Jack's son, Humphrey, who is the Cotton Ball brewer.
A lot of lager here!
More beers are planned but, for now, there are just two, a Lynch Lager and a Lynch Stout, and these are exclusively available at the bar and at a very good price, I might add! My first venture was a pint of the lager. It is superb, full of great flavour and with a good cut in the finish. 
Christmas Stout

The Stout (left) is also excellent, flavour, smoothness and a long dry finish the striking characteristics. You get the hints of your old toffee bar in the aromas and on the palate and the flavours last, still a pleasure well after the swallow. Both beers are available on draught at the bar but you can expect to see them in bottles sometime in 2014.

Aside from the special, an Ale is planned for the New Year and should make an appearance as the Spring kicks in. And there are also plans to increase the food element at the Cotton Ball and indeed produce specially matched bites for the beers.

This barrell has quite an aroma, all the way from Lynchburg to Lynch's!
The brewery will be officially launched on January 25th (6.00pm to 9.00pm) when you may try the new pints, enjoy the music and the new food menu.

Just to go back to Humphrey and his working trip to America. One of the souvenirs he brought back was a full size Stars and Stripes with 39 stars on it. This is an oddity as there were never 39 states in the union. The legend in the photo says the flag manufacturers took a gamble thinking that the Dakotas would be admitted as one state but instead North and South Dakota simultaneously joined the union as two separate states, taking the numbers from 38 to 40.
The 39 star flag
The flag is displayed in one of the loveliest corners of the Mayfield pub, a corner that Jack says will now be called the Brewery Room and one that will contain quite a lot of Brewing memorabilia in the months ahead. 

Must say I am looking forward to visiting on a regularly basis to keep an eye on what Jack and his sons Eoin and Humphrey are bringing up from underneath. It is no great hardship to me. The walk is short and the beer is good. Happy New Beer!

The "Brewery" room, just one of many cosy sections in the Cotton Ball
Lynch’s Stout
Hand crafted from 5 malts and traditional flaked barley. Bittered moderately with American and New Zealand hops. Late kettle hopped with premium Kentish aroma hops beer. Warm matured on the same aromatic hops, after which the beer is cold matured on Jack Daniels impregnated American oak.
The result
A phenomenal marriage of coffee roast, caramel, lush, balanced by a clean bitterness exploding into a tangerine, mandarin aromatic delivery with the faintest hint of oak.

Lynch’s Lager
Pilsner lager made with 100% Cork malted barley ,is clean Bittered with Columbus and galena U.S.A grown hops. Late kettle addition of hallertãu perle and hersbruker, fermented with our rapidly settling yeast strain. With a proven record of making clean cut pilsner lagers portraying the individual hop aromas from New Zealand to Norway and the east and west of Europe.
The result
Another unchallengeable quality lager delivering, subtle aromatic hop flavour and aroma from a bed of light malt caramel flavour with a thirst cutting clean bitterness.

Cotton Ball details:
18 Old Youghal Road, Mayfield
Cork Ireland
Phone  (021) 450 3096
Mon - Thu: 10:30 am - 11:30 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:30 am - 12:30 am
Sun: 12:30 pm - 11:00 pm

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Guinness Storehouse Visit

Guinness Storehouse Visit
Got a terrific welcome as we arrived in the multi-storey Guinness Storehouse in Dublin last week. The place was surprisingly busy for the time of year but there was still time for the personal touch. The staff that we met were top class, friendly, helpful and informative. Chatty too and unhurried. Take a bow folks.
The Atrium is the central focus of the building and is in the shape of a giant pint glass. Some pint! 14.3 millions pints to be exact.

Water - a key ingredient
The self guided tour has a variety of sub headings. The ingredients (the brewery buys 100,000 tonnes of Irish barley annually) and craft of brewing, cooperage and transportation, advertising and sponsorship are among the subjects covered.
Lots of info. Not just words and images. See the actual machinery as well
As you move up the floors (via a combination of stairs, lifts and escalators), you’ll come to a spot where you’ll learn to pour your own perfect pint. Too many waiting there so we moved on up and had a look at the Brewer’s Dining Hall where a visitor can sample their “world famous” Beef and Guinness stew.
Good old days. I liked this cheeky one.
The Gravity Bar takes over the top floor and there is a 360 degree view of the city to be enjoyed, if you can find a space. We were patient with our free pint and eventually found a chair and enjoyed the views.

You can check all this out before you go on a well illustrated very informative and comprehensive website. You may also book your tickets online at a discount. Having your tickets in advance will save you from joining the bigger queues on arrival.
The view from the Gravity Bar.

Thursday, January 5, 2012



Craft Brewing has taken off in a big way this last 12 months but the pioneering Franciscan Well  on Cork’s North Mall still has a trick or two up its sleeve.

And indeed, the brewers there have produced two of the best beers of the year in my opinion: The Shandon Century Extra Stout and the formidable Bellringer, both limited editions.

The Shandon made its debut at the end of October. This was a fabulous stout and I was lucky enough to get a bottle or two from the 1,000 made, also enjoyed a couple of tastings, each with cheese.

And perhaps the best match-up came during the Jazz Weekend when Willie Healy of URRU matched it with a mature Hegarty’s Cheddar at the pub itself. Memorable stout – like to see it back again sometime soon!

The Bellringer, also a 1000 bottle run, came about a month later and only last Monday came the news from the brewery: “Bellringer is sold out. Next batch will be a bottle conditioned I.P.A. “ You might be lucky as, of yesterday, Bradley’s in North Main Street still had a few bottles left. I finished mine off last night and was delighted with it, perhaps the best Irish ale I’ve tasted. Like to see that come back as well but in the meantime I’m looking forward to the IPA.

And another Franciscan event to look forward to has just been announced: “Our annual Cask Ale Festival will take place on the 10th, 11th and 12th Feb. It’s going to be one of the best ones yet!” They usually keep to their word so mark this in your diary.

All goes to show there is life in the Old North Mall dog yet and those newbies, promising and all as they are, will have their work cut out to top the Cork star. We can only benefit from the brewing battles ahead!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shandon Century Extra Stout

Just reminding everyone about next Thursday's launch of Shandon Century Extra Stout at 6pm in the brewery. We are also announcing details of the upcoming Octoberfest. All are welcome, so bring a friend and have a free glasses of Shandon Century Extra Stout on us as well as some nibbles and live music!
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