St. Patrick’s Day Special: Irish Style Red Ales

Some people like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by heading to the local pub.  But Irvine is really short on pubs, and I prefer to avoid obnoxious drunk people whenever possible (I, of course, am never obnoxious when drunk – ask anyone).  So Max and I said, hey, let’s get some Irish beer to drink for Much A’brew!

We failed, kids.  Our BevMo had nothing but Guinness as far as the eye could see.  Now we both love Guinness, but let’s be honest, everyone has had it.  And I mean everyone.  I think 5 year olds drink it at birthday parties these days.  We were therefore forced to think slightly outside of the box (read: cruise the aisles at BevMo for 15 minutes), and finally decided on two “Irish style” red ales.  Close enough.

The first was a Rubicon Irish Style Red Ale, which we both decided was superior.  The beer was very cloudy (as theoretically captured by Max’s fancy new camera), and it smelled like a field of hops, but didn’t taste that way at all.  The taste was definitely floral, with grassy notes and an orange aftertaste.  Rubicon’s Irish Style Red Ale was medium bodied, 7% ABV, and I must say very tasty.  Max says it goes well with fish and chips, but we all know how culinarily unadventurous he is…I think it would go with just about anything.

Our second choice was Moylan’s Danny Irish Style Red Ale (apparently, calling it Danny’s makes it extra Irish).  Oddly enough, it tasted nothing like the first, which just goes to show you that you can’t always trust the label.  This ale was very sweet, and slightly metallic – it reminded me of pineapple juice.  A strong scent of malted barley went with the caramelized taste and hints of vanilla, all of which caused Max to deem it “too fruity”.  I didn’t mind it, but I think you’d have to pair this bottle with something spicy – maybe Mexican or Creole food.  Definitely nothing Irish.  The ABV was 6.5%, and it was a fairly light beer, which may have also contributed to our rather lower rating.  Still not terrible, though.

Finally, we had one English beer to taste – it was leftover from the Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes I was making.  Samuel Smith Old Brewery makes a “Celebrated Oatmeal Stout” that we enjoyed very much – we really haven’t met a stout we don’t enjoy.  It was light for a stout, but they were not kidding about the oatmeal – you can taste it!  Apparently theirs is the original oatmeal stout, and the imitators just don’t match up.  It was amazing how much much that grainy taste came through.  We both approved, though Max did comment that it looked either like molasses or motor oil.  Either way, very tasty with a hearty roast beef sandwich, or in this case, in chocolate cake batter.

Overall Ratings

The Celebrated Oatmeal Stout: 8

Irish Style Red Ale: 6

Danny Irish Style Red Ale: 6.5

Hope everyone else had a fun night and made it home safe – slainte!

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