A few years ago you’d be hard pushed to find an Irish Craft Beer – let alone one aged in Irish Whiskey Barrels – yet this growing category continues to expand.
Western Herd – based in County Clare – recently re-released their Dolmen Irish Whiskey Stout. I was lucky enough to secure a sample.
Western Herd also release a wide range of craft beers – best sampled at one of their bars – like I did at McHugh’s in Ennis – or perhaps Flanagan’s in Lahinch is more your style?
You can always top it off with a glass of Chapel Gate’s JJ Corry Whiskey – the source of the barrels that enhance the flavour of this stout. ‘Hon The Banner’ certainly went down well with me!
Using the branded tasting glass provided – I poured myself a Dolmen.
A gorgeously dark stout with a lively head.
Aromas of coffee, malt & burnt molasses. Mrs Whiskey also discerned blackcurrant & chocolate. Very inviting.
I must admit to finding the stout a bit too gassy for my palate. My preference is for a creamy flatness – but there’s a good combination of flavours within. The coffee was still present, initially the sweet honey malt made itself known, then faded slowly into quite a light feeling stout which belied the 7.6% ABV.
Now this isn’t a beer to swig down. It’s one to be savoured & sipped – which is how I approached it over the course of an hour or so.
By then the ‘fizz’ I’m not a fan of had dissipated. The stout tasted more fuller bodied with darker, treacly notes coming through – much to my satisfaction.
There’s always a frisson of excitement entering a bar for the first time.
You never know what you will encounter.
The best bars you enter as strangers – and depart as friends.
But in The Bank in Anstruther – I encountered an old friend.
Art Of The Blend #4.
Eden Mill are the next generation of Scottish brewers & distillers. Prior to their own whisky being released they experimented with sourced distillate under the Art Of The Blend label to hone their skills.
I enjoyed the results.
Presented at a stonking 51% this Port Cask finished blend packed a lively punch of sweet stone fruits.
The high ABV led to an explosion of flavour on the palate – yet it didn’t overpower.
A pleasing prickly heat faded gently with warming cherry notes dancing merrily into the distance.
Limited to 1100 bottles – I was glad to encounter my old friend again.