I really enjoyed my afternoon of quality drinking at The Salt House in Galway city a few weeks back. They kindly agreed to host the Beoir AGM, and laid on some very decent beer and tasty food. I had to split horribly early for the last train back to Dublin (6.05pm: why, Irish Rail, why?) but on my way out manager Taram charitably thrust a bottle of BrewDog Bitch Please and a pint glass at me.
This barrel-aged barley wine was produced in association with Three Floyds and is all of 11.5% ABV. It smells it, with a serious boozy waft coming off the light beige head that sits thickly over the dark copper liquid. After the alcohol there's a blast of oak and then some peaty phenols: all this before even the first sip. The taste is as loud as one might expect, all blaring peatiness and alcoholic heat. The only vaguely subtle bit is a teeny hint of oxidised wet cardboard at the back, but that fades quickly. A mouth-coating viscosity means that at least you get good value for each mouthful: the flavours stay with you for quite a while. Like 5am Saint, this is perhaps a beer to finish a session on.
Overall I found Bitch Please quite brash and unsophisticated, but it did last almost the whole way back across to the right-hand coast.
Back in the familiar confines of the Bull & Castle I find a new English beer on the beer engine: Wychwood's Dog's Bollocks. I am hounded by poorly-named canine-themed British beer, it would seem. It arrived a rather hazy pale orange but there was not a thing wrong with it: beautifully cool and sparkling busily. The zingy aroma leaped out and the first sip delivered a bitter citric smack around the chops followed by softer orange sherbet notes and a little bit of incense spice in the finish. For something that seems designed as a hoppy pick-me-up it's decently full-bodied, and though nowhere near as long-legged as the barley wine above it does leave a pleasant waxy bitterness in its wake.
I hope to see it again on the Bull & Castle's cask rotation, though obviously I won't be ordering it by name.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
2 weeks ago