March Tasting was by far the best to date despite suffering from disorganised syndrome and a laptop malfunction on Thursday. The tasting notes had to be hand written and copied and my well of plastic tasting cups had dried up unknownst to me until attendees arrived.
The surprise (even to me!) line-up was really successful and we got into some of my new and exclusive beer gear. Resulting in an empty fridge.
Brooklyn summer ale (U.S) was first up. I threw this in due to associated sunshine more than exciting and unusual. I have consumed and sold this on previous years but never remember it being this good. When you consider that it's the same price as a basic Mexican Cerveza, this is good beer at a good price. The nose is citrus, slightly candied with subtle hop aromas. The palate is clean, crisp with a touch of residual sugar, lemon and bready flavours with some balanced hop - all well integrated. Next on the list was Headless Dog (IRE), winner of Best Beer at ''Deveney's of Dundrum, The Beer Festival''. I really love this brew. I think it's quite a feminine beer despite the male following. The nose is really aromatic - grapefruit, elderflower and citrus with some hop evident. The palate is clean, zesty, thirst quenching with floral and fruit flavours. This is a serious crowd pleasing beer. I also love that it's Irish. I pulled out Augustiner Edelstoff (GER) as number 3. My reasoning behind this is due to it's popularity and scarcity, we never seem to have it in the fridge for too long. I had my one- of- four deliveries from these guys the previous day so it's about as fresh as we'll ever get it on the Irish market. I'm also a massive fan!! The nose is grassy, slightly vegetal with lemon and hop aromas. The palate is nicely carbonated, floral, hop and a cake mix finish. It's a deceptive beer in the mouth, initially feels light and lager-ish but the weight is all on the finish. Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier was the pull factor for the evening. My allocation was 20 bottles - I have since managed to squeeze an additional 20 bts out of my specialist supplier, reluctantly. This is very rare - 10c/s available in Ireland. Made by the smoked beer guys in Bamburg. This is not a smoked beer but has taken on some smoked characteristics, subtly. The nose is fresh citrus fruit with a faint smokiness hiding in the wings. The palate is medium bodied, nicely carbonated, zesty with this unusual savoury finish - smoked bacon in my opinion, I have heard Kippers, frankfurters and my good friend Karl reckons Smiths Bacon Fries. Everyone to their own!! We went from there to Hoffbrau Munchner (HB) Weisse. I'd forgotten about this staple German. Really good and far better that I remember. The nose is ripe banana, wheat, malt and another sweet fruit, couldn't pin it though. The palate is medium bodied, no chalky residue, really creamy but not stodgy, banana with some malt evident. Delicious, definitely for the old reliable list. Lastly, we went again for a Beer festival favourite. Ireland's own Clotworthy Dobbin. This has an incredibly impressive nose. Not far off a beer styled Amarone. Black chocolate, coffee bean, caramel and raisin fruit. The nose gives way to a lighter palate. I do find this slightly disappointing but it makes sense for consumption purposes. Sweet fruit flavours with a savoury maltiness and some masculine hops - not a flower in sight. Quite light on the mouth feel. I can totally understand, although not really my bag, why it was a serious contender for best beer.
All in all, really interesting, a fabulous turn-out from all over Dublin, which I greatly appreciate. It makes writing this blog worthwhile. Female participation is lacking slightly but I'm working on it!!!
Thanks to everyone,
Hope to see you all soon,