Sunday, 31 August 2008

Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer

Well now, I'm not so sure about this one. On paper it looks good, nice bottle, nice label, nice colour (Sorry, I drank it before I took the photo!), nice blurb. It talked the me anyway.

Taste wise it was ok, nice and smooth. Very drinkable with good flavour but I felt it didn't live up to its promise. I guess I felt a little cheated as I felt it because it was oak aged it would have more to it, an earthier quality perhaps. Where did the come up with the 47 days in the barrel? I think I may have to Google that one.

Now let me say here and now it's a good beer but I think it's missing something. I think this is one I'll have to try again. I'll keep you posted.........if you pardon the pun.

Would I buy it again?

I think I'll have to.

Innis & Gunn - 33cl - 6.6% alcohol

Available from Superquinn and others.

Rochefort 6

This was one of the beers I had in Brussels but I think it was the 8 not the 6. Apart from what my memory told me the taste seemed different too.

Ok, so in a bar in Brussels the beer had some home advantage but apart from that I think it was a stronger flavoured beer than this. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great beer but I felt it had a slighlty water quality, like some one had emptied out some of it and added 10% water. One thing it did make me want to do was to get the 8 and the 10. So, roll on my next trip to Kilkenny.

Would I get it again?

Yes but I'll know more after the 8 and 10.

Rochefort 6 - 33cl - 7.5% alcohol

Available from The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.

Home Brew 4

My brew is still well....brewing.
I expect it should be done during this week but I think it started late so I'll have to keep an eye on it. Hopefully it will turn out as planned and I can review it here!

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Marketing Lesson

Beer marketing at it's best. He could teach Guinness a lesson or two!

Flensburger Pilsner

My last try of a Flensburger beer was a bit disappointing so I wasn't overly hopeful of this one but I was surprised by how good it was.

This is a fresh wholesome beer with a pleasant taste. Ok, so it's not as full bodied or flavoursome as other beers in general, it's still good for what it is. I would have no hesitation in bringing a few to a party or bbq. I feel it would be a great thirst quencher on a hot day. (If we had one!)

As you know I'm no expert but as far as my limited experience of pilsners goes this a a good one.

Would I buy it again?

Yes and my faith in Flensburger is restored!

Flensburger Pilsner - 50cl - 4.8% alcohol

Available from The Wine Centre, Kilkenny

Thursday, 28 August 2008

James Boag's Premium Lager

Up to now my experience of Australian was the odd can of Fosters when it came to Ireland way back when and the Coopers from the earlier post. I spotted this offering from Tasmania in the supermarket and felt it deserved a go.

I quite liked it. It had a nice full taste for a lager and was very smooth tasting. I had expected it to have a bitter after taste but none came. I guess if you want a fuller bodied, tastier lager then give it a go.

Would I buy it again?

Ye, I'd try it again. Not very exciting but nice and refreshing.

James Boag's Premium Lager - 37.5cl - 5% alcohol

Available from O'Briens and Superquinn.

Home Brew 3

Well after a slow start and a bit of a break, my beer seems to be fermenting ok. It's bubbling intermittently and a wonderful bready smell is coming up from under my desk!

You can see nice blotches of scum on sides of fermenter and just above the brew itself. (See my back lit picture.)

Temperature is where it should be.

It just did another 'burp'. Ah, wonderful..............

Kasteel Cru

This is one I had a week or two ago but I kept notes!

This is another French beer or more correctly an Alsace beer as it says on the label. It's brewed with Champagne yeast and I'm not sure what that SHOULD mean.

This is another beer I just didn't get. Was it trying to be a posh beer for wine lovers perhaps? Maybe it's best drunk with canapes and fine food? I'm just not sure.

It's not that there was anything wrong with it or that it seemed watery it's just that it seem very unassuming. Too unassuming.

I guess I might try it again in the right setting or restaurant but only if the beer list was very limited.

Would I buy it again?

Maybe, see above.

Kasteel Cru -33cl- 5.2% alcohol

Available from O'Briens and Superquinn

Chimay Blue

Wow! What a cracker.

This is a Trappist beer from Belgium. It comes in a few different types of which more to follow. this one was fantastic. Full flavour yet smooth and tasty. Highish alcohol content at 9% but tastes right for the beer if that makes sense. I had avoided this in Belgium as I knew it was available in a good few place back home. Now I'm sorry i waited this long.

This kind of beer should not be drunk in large quantities but is more of a slow relaxing drink. Drink it as our continental neighbours would. Even after one you can tell it has high alcohol.

Think I could manage 2 though.......

Would I buy it again?

Yes. Definitely.

Chimay Blue - 33cl - 9% alcohol

Fairly freely available.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Some beer connoisseurs might cringe at me tasting this but a beer is a beer and I'm not going to be swayed by popular opinion! First time I had this was in a Lemongrass restaurant and I quite liked it with my meal. I have to say I still kind of like it.

Sure, it won't blow you away but as oriental beers go I though it was good. It has a slightly sweet taste, which might explain why it was nice with Asian food.

I probably won't go out of my way to buy it again but I would certainly have it in a restaurant again.

Would I buy it again?

Yes, see above.

Tsingtao - 33cl - 4.7% alcohol

Fairly freely available.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Coopers Sparkling Ale

After the Samuel Adams Ale (see below) I was expecting this to be as good or better but in my mind it just doesn't cut it. It was ok, I guess, but was a bit to average for me. I got a watered down taste from it and a slightly sour after taste.

I will try the other offering I saw, which was a pale ale I think.

Would I buy it again?

No, I've already had better than that in my short existence

Coopers Sparkling Ale - 37.5cl - 5.8% alcohol

Available from Superquinn

I don't pretend to be an expert on beer as you can get from my blog name and description. I also don't go in for pretentious twaddle when describing the beers but I know what I like so I'll keep trying to give it to you straight.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


Ok, this is a bit weird. A beer called Desperado that's flavoured with tequila therefore it must be Mexican. No? Maybe American, Texan possibly. Ah, no. Believe it or not it's french and no, I don't get it either.

Seemingly this is popular in France and much of Europe. Indeed I remember seeing it in Brussels but didn't pay it much attention. I guess some guy came up with the idea of serving a beer and a tequila chaser in the one bottle. Clever? Maybe not.

I spotted this, again, in The Wine Centre in Kilkenny and decided to have a punt. I have to say I can't make it out. Admittedly I can see it selling in bars in Ireland if launched, especially with a clever marketing campaign.

It tastes exactly as you think it would. Like a cheap beer with tequila and some lemon or lime derivative. I have checked the ingredients and it contains 'Aromatic Compounds' of which 75% is Tequila but I wonder what the other 25% is?. It also contains 'Hop Extract' which smacks of an attempt to make it taste like beer when the over did the Tequila. We also have Glucose Syrup and Sugar, I presume these were added for the fermentation process but it doesn't mention Yeast so.......

As I say, as a clever marketing ploy it's a winner but as a drinkable beer it's not my taste. Having said that, a bit like driving in Italy, it's probably something everyone should experience once so maybe give it a try.

Would I buy it again?

Maybe for the novelty factor for someone else but probably not for myself.

Desperado - 33cl - 5.9% alcohol

Available from The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.

Home Brew 2

I started my home brew yesterday. It is currently sitting under my pc desk and will (hopefully) start fermenting soon. After some consideration I decided to go with a Belgian Grand Cru by Brewferm so hopefully I can pull it off. If all goes well I'll be reviewing it in 8 weeks or so. I'll keep you posted. (Excuse the pun!)
So far so good.

Samuel Adams Boston Ale

I think this sneaked in to Superquinn by the back door. There were a few bottles beside the Samuel Adams Lager that caught my eye and when I went to pay for one it would not scan and I got it for free! Pity I hadn't got more.

I was pleasantly surprised as I hadn't tasted any of the Samuel Adams range as I felt they might be a bit commercial and akin to Miller and Bud. Firstly this has a wonderful amber colour and nice head so from the start it had me hoping for something special. It had a fantastic, full, malty taste. To be honest I could have drank it off in two swallows but I steadied myself and took it handy. This is a beer I could drink a few of way to easily.

It seems to be part of a Brewmaster Collection so I'll keep my eyes peeled for more. Hopefully Superquinn will mess up again!

Would I buy it again?

Yes. Good for bringing to a party or BBQ if you fancy a decent beer you can drink a few of.

Samuel Adams Boston Ale - 35.5cl - 4.8% alcohol

Available from Superquinn. Free!! (or it was.)

Flensburger Kellerbier

I came across this one in The Wine Centre in Kilkenny. I went there because I remembered from previous visits for wine and whiskey that the had a good selection of beers. the had a range of Flensburger beers and this one had a Bioland organic symbol on the label. I often find that apart from veg and fruit, many products labelled 'organic' can be disappointing to say the least. sadly this proved to be the case.

Certainly appearance wise it looks cool with it's swing-top cap looking very like a mini Grolsch bottle. I guess I had been expecting a strong, full flavour but what I got was a slightly weak, washed out taste. Dare I say it reminded me of Miller or similar!? It's probably more to do with the style of beer than the fact it was organic but it would make me wary of organic in future.

Having said all that, it wasn't dreadful or anything it was just mediocre. It certainly would not inspire you.

Would I buy it again?

No. It just wasn't to my taste. Too watery!

Flensburger Kellerbier - 33cl - 4.8% alcohol

Available from: The Wine Centre, Kilkenny.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Aldaris Zelta Lager

Ok, so I didn't go out of my way to find a Latvian beer. I saw it on the shelf in Dunnes in Kilkenny and liked the look of the bottle. Yes, I know that's not the way to select beer, god knows I complain when herself brings home a bottle of wine because 'the label looked pretty' but it does look good.
I was pretty impressed with the taste. It's very refreshing with a nice full flavour. I drank it quite cold and I didn't seem to loose any taste. It would be a great beer for a summer bbq (if we had summers) and if very moreish. There's a lovely hint of sweet fruity after taste too.
Would I buy it again?
Yes, definitely. It gets a thumbs up from me.
Aldaris Zelta - 50cl bottle - 5.2% alcohol - Latvia
Available from: Dunnes Stores. Although my local store didn't have it but the larger one in Kilkenny did.
I would be interested in any feed back or opinions of others.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Home Brew!

In addition to sampling all the beer I can get my hands on, I have also decided to brew my own. My kit arrived from The Home Brew Company today so I will keep you posted on how it's progressing. I have a stash of Grolsch swing top bottles that I hope to use but I guess I have a week or more to wait before that and who knows what might go wrong. I tried making my own wine years ago and the result was not even fit to put on a bag of chips! More on my progress soon.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

How it started

I guess it started when I read and article in a travel magazine about a guy that traveled in Germany sampling the different types of beer available. It got me thinking about doing something similar. Not a p**s up you understand, just a trip with a few guys somewhere to sample a few beers and wind down a bit. After some research we decided on Brussels and off we went.
The variety of beers over there shocked me out of the complacency that I had been in regarding Irish beer and it made me wake up the variety of beer available here. Unfortunately most can only be bought in off licenses and not in pubs but beggars can't be choosers so off I went to see what I could find.