17 March 2017

Gas crack

Happy St. Patrick's Day, readers. I'm celebrating it with all due reverence by getting out of the country for a couple of days, but before I left I made sure to wrap the green flag around me by opening the special commemorative beer that The White Hag has released for the occasion. Naturally it's a stout, 4% ABV, and titled Snakes & Scholars.

They've done that nitrogenated-in-the-bottle thing. Or at least attempted to. I think Irish breweries must just buy bottles of Left Hand Milk Stout, think "We could do that", and not realise that they actually can't. So, following instructions to open the cap and upend the bottle, I got a glass of dead-looking, almost flat stout. Breweries: please do not try and nitrogenate your beer in the bottle. It won't work and it's not worth it.

The flatness really makes it difficult to give this a fair assessment. It just feels limp and unfinished without carbonation. Though the aroma is pleasantly chocolatey, the first flavour I get is a bleachy twang. The beer behind it is dry, with somewhat astringent dark roast and a subtle vegetal bitterness. But that's it. It slinks weakly off the palate leaving nothing behind.

This beer simply does not work. A bigger body; more chocolate sweetness; proper fizz: the lack of all of them is painfully apparent all the way through. If you have a few in the fridge for today, have a couple of other beers beforehand.


  1. I had this beer and didnt realise it was a hard pour, so I poured it like I normally would into a glass. However the Hare and the Hag is also nitrogenated and that pours great from the bottle.

    1. Pictures I've seen of it have looked a bit sad and flat too. I haven't been encouraged to run out and buy it, even though it was magnificent on draught.

    2. My one had a fine head, preceded by that customary nitro cascade effect. It was a handsome glass of beer. Not the best photo, but you can see a good head on that beer.

    3. Did it last to the end of the glass?