17 March 2006

For the day that's in it

The supermarkets have knocked a few cent off the price of the Carlow Brewing Company's three beers, so I thought a reappraisal was in order.

O'Hara's is their stout: a straightforward, easy drinking, traditional black beer with no fancy texture or flavour. It's quite pleasant and refreshing for all that, very much a pint of plain and your only man.

Moling's red ale is the best of three, and a contender for Ireland's best ale now that Revolution is sadly out of the picture. It has a caramel-candy sweetness coupled with a mild smokiness adding up to a complex and interesting flavour that keeps you turning it over on your palate the whole glass through. Porterhouse Red probably still has the edge on it, but in the take-home stakes, Moling's is the bottle to beat.

Finally, Curim Gold is the brewery's wheat-beer-in-place-of-a-lager. It certainly is gold: a deep amber hue and slightly cloudy. Like its red brother, Curim has a complex taste, with hoppy bitterness to the fore, but tempered by a soft wheat flavour. It's a little bit cloying, and therefore maybe not the best session beer, but ideal as an accompaniment to spicy food.

So that's the round-up. Support your local small brewery and happy St. Patrick's Day.

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