04 July 2012

Back in the race

On Saturday last L. Mulligan Grocer celebrated its second birthday and I dropped in to eat lots of free black pudding sausage rolls celebrate with the guys, who had also just scooped Licensing World's first ever Craft Beer Pub of the Year award. Cask Fraoch was a little disappointing, lacking much of the subtle complexities of the bottled version. All-new Waterford-brewed Metalman Pale Ale was in magnificent form: a darker, funkier version adding a nice edge to the previously light and fruity quaffer. But the big occasion for me was the first sighting of Clanconnel's new beer, one with which the Co. Down brewery pulls itself up onto the pale ale bandwagon at last.

There's nothing immediately striking about McGrath's Irish Pale Ale: a par-for-the-course orange-amber body topped by generous foam and a manageable 4.4% ABV. I was a few gulps down before the pint glass began trapping any aroma for me: all sharp and slightly acrid. It's a theme which is borne out by the flavour too. No innocent breezy summer fruits; instead it has a rather harsh acidic edge: a squirt of grapefruit to the back of the palate; a teeth-cleansing rhubarb squeakiness.

I'm sure it will find its fans but it was a little severe for me. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record, a bit of dry-hopping would do it no harm at all at all. By coincidence, Steve has a review of this on his blog today too.

A "white ale" is also on its way from the new Clanconnel line-up. More on that doggy when it comes around the track.

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:21 a.m.

    Was in Mulligans on Saturday, glad I wasn't the only one disappointed with the Frioch. will have the Bottle next time.

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    1. In fairness, reports of the same beer from WJ Kavanagh's were much more positive.

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  2. I know, bit of a coincidence eh? Will let you know if I get an actual ETA on white ale.
    I think its a beer style that's missing in the north, we have plenty of blondes, irish reds and stouts but little else. I also reckon it'll be a tasty cask number

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    1. Inishmacsaint had a wheat ale in the initial offering but I don't know what's happening there at the moment.

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    2. this is to be a wit rather than a weisse, will probably be closer to barneys brew.

      I'm in contact with Innishmacsaint on facebook, but its a drawn-out process!

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    3. Heh. Barney's Brew is a damn tough act to follow, in my book. I'll try and forget you said that, for Mark's sake :D

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  3. I stumbled across the new labels on a packaging design blog the other day. Very nice they are too.

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    1. So there we were in the pub, Saturday night, cooing over the lovely design. Then I turned to the text on the back and MISPLACED APOSTROPHE HORROR! Evening: ruined.

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  4. Mmm. Black pudding sausage rolls.

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    Replies
    1. Funny, that's exactly what I said. Right before I took the tray into the gents and locked the door.

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  5. This is a great Blog. Keep up the drinking.....

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