20 June 2018

In with the old, in with the new

The launch of DOT Brew's latest happened at Molloy's off licence on Francis Street at the beginning of the month. One of the guys in the shop produced a bottle of DOT's Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, release 001, from just over two years ago. As it happened I missed it first time out so was very glad of the opportunity to tick it off. It's a beaut too, mixing still-fresh chocolate with maturer tobacco and leather notes, sweetened with a touch of port or dark sherry. If you have a few stashed it could be worth opening one now, but equally I'd say it's safe to cellar a little longer.

What we were there for, however, was Fridge Art, DOT's first can release. Three weeks' fermentation at 12 Acres Brewery, three hours in the can and ready to go. It's a hazy orange session IPA, though a little on the strong side for that at 5.2% ABV. There's rye in the recipe, something quite apparent in both aroma and flavour as a distinct peppery bitterness. That sits next to juicy citrus, ripe lemon, mandarin then finishing on sharper lime. The whole thing has enough of an edge for a west coast vibe: there are certainly no milkshake notions here, which is refreshing. Overall a decent and thirst-quenching session IPA, one worthy of a spot in DOT's core range.

I've called that the latest, but three forthcoming DOT beers made a pre-release début at a beer dinner in L. Mulligan Grocer last week. Then one of them was available for tasting at the Teelings Distillery birthday celebrations at the weekend, which is where I got to try it. Chaos is the final form of the barrel aged cherry and honey imperial stout I covered in last month's DOT post.

I was very surprised that this wasn't whiskey-barrel aged. Turns out that if you mix beer, cherries and honey in virgin American oak it imparts a flavour a lot like Irish whiskey. This is smooth and warming, tasting all of the 11.1% ABV but completely without sharp edges. The well-integrated flavours include that honey and a subtle sweet berry note, again of the sort that sometimes appears as an analogue in whiskey tasting notes, but which is here down to the cherries. A liquorice bitterness sits at the front of the palate as a reminder that one is definitely drinking a stout, and there's a Christmassy old-world spicing of cloves and nutmeg, with a few plump raisins thrown in as a treat. This won't be officially ready for drinking for another few weeks, but it tasted perfectly matured to me. Look out for it, with its companions Creation and Evolution, later this summer.

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