08 May 2008

One for the road

The time has come for the second part of my Sunny Islands With Bad Beer series, or at least the research end of it. This time I won't be blessed by the gods of wi-fi so you'll be spared the real-time details of my agony. I'll just be concentrating it into one or two posts in a fortnight-or-so's time.

My send-off beer this time round came from an off-licence I complained about last year: D Six in Harold's Cross. A year on, they've definitely put the effort in on their beer selection. It's not Redmond's class, and the friendly staff clearly wouldn't know Kwak from Coors Light, but the selection is some-way decent, and they deserve credit for that when so many others just go for tray-upon-tray of Heineken and Bud.

The beer in question is 1488, another one from the enigmatic Traditional Scottish Ales Ltd of historical FK7 7NP. Associations are drawn on the label with the Tullibardine distillery, in whose oak casks it is matured, but once again there's no clear indication of where the stuff's actually brewed.

As Thom said, it's a beer of contrasts. I acknowledge and repeat his accurate detection of a sherry flavour in amongst the oak and malt. There's very little gas and a sweet/sour Jack-Daniels-and-lime sort of aroma. What Thom describes as a lactic tang I'd say is a tartness, resembling the more involved sort of lambic. It engenders a mouth-watering lip-smacking finish which rounds off a very smooth and flavourful beer which sinks surprisingly easy given the 7% ABV and the hard liquor associations.

So that's my lot for now, as the darkness falls on this sunny island with limited quantites of good beer.


  1. The Bloody Tan4:18 pm

    Er,a bit off-topic this but I see you've crossed out the Porterhouse from your list of brewpubs.
    I bow to your superior knowledge as I haven't been there but I'm bringing the missus up from Cork for a night in Dublin and I wondered if you could suggest a really good pub to take her to get pissed.
    Nothing Temple Barish,mind ( just kidding ) and reasonably central.
    Just a good proper pub with some interesting beer ?
    Much appreciated,in advance.

  2. TBN might be in the internet wilderness for a bit it appears, so perhaps he won't mind me directing you to the Bull and Castle, next to Christ Church in Dublin. Pub of choice for beer geeks, but an environment suitable for all and great food to boot.

    TBN - with respect to your lambic comment, you're right. 'Lactic tang' is a bit rough and unfair, but I was stuck for words. I have much to learn about this beer review lark.

  3. Thanks for the catch, Thom. As he says, Tan: The Bull & Castle is where it's at beerwise in Dublin.

    My crossing-out of the Porterhouse isn't any kind of value judgement, merely a much-belated recognition that it's no longer a brewpub, since the brewery moved to Blanchardstown. I've decided that defunct brewpubs I've visited will remain on the lists, but will be crossed off, as is the case with The Cock & Hen in London.

    If anyone out there spots a dead one on my lists, please drop me a line.

  4. The Bloody Tan8:39 pm

    Thanks for your suggestion thom.
    Hit the Bull and Castle mid-afternoon while it was quiet so was able to have a good chat with the manager behind the bar.Can't remember his name but he came from Mayo and was very knowledgeable.
    Had a quick bottle of English cider with the missus and left her on that while I got stuck into the chneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weisse and Schneider-Weisse both of which I enjoyed immensely.
    Had a break with a bottle of Celebrator which was interesting to say the least.
    Took in a concert at the RDS then resumed at the RDS Temple Bar - what a difference.Miserable,unfriendly bar staff with little idea of what they were selling - stayed on the Leffe and Chimay until we fell into a taxi.I think you're wise to cross 'em of your list Beer Nut.
    Thanks for all your help.
    Any ideas for Cardiff this weekend when I'm over for the Heineken Cup.

  5. The Bloody Tan8:42 pm

    Of course I meant the Porterhouse,Temple Bar but I'm still in a state of shock at being charged €20 for two bottles of Becks and a Scotch at the hotel bar when we got in.

  6. derek8:12 pm

    the william wallace used to be brewed by the bridge of allan brewery in the village of the same name, i had a little tour of the 'brewery' when a mate of mine was living there. i think they'd already stopped brewing there as one of their beers was selected by tesco as a featured beer and they didn't have the capacity to keep brewing there so moved to stirling or the outskirts therof. perhaps they haven't decided on a final location and that's why they're so vague about their location.
    i did like their beers i must say.