08 February 2017

Black mystery

An addendum to Monday's post about the recent Cask Ales & Strange Brews festival at Franciscan Well. Three beers from Black's of Kinsale had been kept back in growlers for the competition judging, presumably having been on the bar earlier in the festival. I could find almost no mention of them anywhere online but felt I needed to throw in a description of them anyway. This blog is nothing if not completist. Edit: thanks to IrishCraftCaps for subsequently providing the details I missed.

The one I think I have a proper name for is Don't Beet Around the Bush, though it was labelled simply as a beetroot and chocolate stout. It's pretty good too: a silky sweetish stout with a waft of Turkish delight rosewater wrapped in smooth milk chocolate and then just a mild earthiness provided, I assume, by the beetroot. That makes it sound a bit more complex than it actually is: the various flavours meld together into a delicious harmonious single entity.

There was a Cherry Chocolate Stout (official name: Faraoise Dubh) too but it wasn't as much fun as the beetroot one. I think the chocolate was a bit overdone and the end result wound up tasting like cheap drinking chocolate: far too sweet, for one thing. There's a light touch on the fruit, which I wouldn't have been able to identify as cherry. This one needs its stoutiness turned up a notch or two.

Finally, a Lime Leaf and Pineapple Saison (official name: Tropical Farm), the first time I've encountered that particular combination, I think. It sounds a lot more exciting than the reality, which is like watered-down Diet Lilt sprinkled with white pepper. There's a vague herbal character which adds the flavour of an elderly medicine cabinet. None of this is helped by a dull flat finish either.

Experiments are fun and it's great that breweries like Black's are using occasions like this festival to put some of their more daring ones in front of the drinking public. What have we learned? That Ireland needs more beetroot beers, for one thing.


  1. Here's the names of the two other beers.

    ...Beet... https://untappd.com/b/blacks-of-kinsale-don-t-beet-around-the-bush/1923374

    Faraoise Dubh - https://untappd.com/b/blacks-of-kinsale-faraoise-dubh/1923375

    Tropical Farm - https://untappd.com/b/blacks-of-kinsale-tropical-farm/1923378