Taking another break from beer this week, I’m mostly going to be drinking some fine stouts. Contrary to popular belief your arse will not fall out the following morning and stout is a surprisingly versatile drink – give these a try if you’re brave enough. So continuing in the vain of reviewing good craft drink without the wank-terminology employed by my sommelier friends, I bring you three Irish craft stouts that you must drink this weekend…
1. James Brown Chocolate Orange Stout
“James Brown Brews Chocolate Orange Stout is the first installment of a new range of off the wall beers from a new innovative Irish brewing company based in Meath. It is a light refreshing stout with a good roasty character and soft, subtle notes of chocolate and orange. Great for drinking all year round. Bronze medal winner at the Alltech Craft Beer Festival 2015.”
Wooo “Get on Up!“, this stout shares more than just the name with the famous singer.This stout wants to “Say It Loud – I’m Black and Proud“, is mostly drunk in “A Man’s World” and will definitely make you “Feel Good“! No James Brown hasn’t fooled us all and has actually been busy brewing stout in a little town in Meath all these years, but this stout has his signature funk all over it. The 23 year old Meath man who actually brews this (with a little help from Brú) has banged out that wonderful combination of chocolate and orange to make a delish stout.
This is a dark enough drink, those who love 80% + coco chocolate will like this and there’s a very subtle orange flavour (although perhaps too subtle) that gives it a nice twang.
For more info: www.jamesbrownbrews.com
2. Galway Bay Milk Chocolate Stout
“Decadent and complex while remaining wholly refreshing and drinkable. This Stout is brewed with Milk Sugars and Chocolate to give rich flavours and body that goes down smooth.
Taste of Chocolate and smooth mouthfeel, due to the additions of Dark Chocolate and Milk Sugars (Lactose) respectively. While dark, rich and decadent this beer finds balance and subtlety in its lightness and drinkability. Great for matching with sweeter dishes and intense desserts.”
Definitely one of my favourite breweries, Galway Bay have long had this gem in their repertoire and for good reason – it is exactly how they describe it, smooth, rich, dark, decadent. Don’t be fooled though, this is no Cadbury’s hot chocolate before you go to bed, this is still a stout. My hazy memories of a night on this bad boy in Galway confirms this rather obvious fact. However don’t be a pussy – just drink it!
For more information: www.galwaybaybrewery.com
3. Wicklow Wolf Perle Porter
Wicklow Wolf Perle Porter – Photo: Richard Murphy
“Our play with the classic English Porter. We meld the floral and spice aromas of the German Perle Hop into this rich porter. Dont let the session ABV’s fool you, there is an intense complexity of Dark Carmel, Chocolate, Coffee and Toasted malt character to satisfy any dark beer drinker.”
I’ve just bought a house right beside these guys so I better be kind or they’ll let the wolves shit all over my garden. I don’t need to be kind though – this is delish, like properly so! Ok so technically this isn’t a stout (there are huge debates about the differences between stouts and porters, most seem to land on a porter being a lighter stout, or a stout being a stout porter!), but my God this is good!
This is definitely different from the other two, it’s indeed lighter, sweeter and you can definitely get the bang of caramel from it. For fear of being set upon by their pet wolves, I would go as far as saying this is probably my favourite of the three, but you’d be stupid not to drink all of them!
For more information: www.wicklowwolf.com
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