Friday, March 21, 2008

Belated Blarney - Irish Beer Tasting Highlights

Meant to get this up earlier, but here were the highlights of the Irish beer tasting I attended St. Patrick's Day weekend:

  • Mickey's Malt liquor (served tongue-in-cheek) is apparently like mother's milk to college students. Somehow I missed out on this slice of college life.

  • There are Irish cream liqueurs out there that are wine-based. Like Baileys, but wine instead of whiskey. They are extremely smooth, and worth searching for.

  • There's really no strict rules for what makes up the "Irish beer" style. Generally it's Irish grains and hop strains, and there's some kind of roasting or toasting involved.

  • The biggest thing I discovered was the huge difference between light-bodied and full-bodied. Drinking so many beers side-by-side, I really got a good concept of body, better than I've ever had before. It was much easier to tell in beer than in wine. This is something that I will carry over to the wine world..

  • Guinness is not the least-bodied stout out there. That dubious honor would go to Murphy's. It was water-thin.

  • I really like Wexford. Toasty, a little sweet, very creamy because it has the can widget.

  • Even though I enjoyed myself, and had a good time talking to the store's beer guru, I didn't feel like I got my money's worth, which was disappointing. I could have done just as well doing a tasting at home for a lot less.

  • I was able to pick up a 6-pack of some overstocked Oktoberfest for a song, so the night ended happy.

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