Following up form my brief 'Arthur's Day' post, I've decided to finally put up my notes of Dungarvan's Black Rock Stout. Also appearing here are some more notes from Abbot's.
Dungarvan's Black Rock Stout pours pitch black with cola-like highlights. The head is big and dark, just what I like in a stout. There's a surprising amount of smoke in the aroma, with herbal and vegetal hops getting in on the act too. Roasted malt is obviously hanging around the nose too, with small bits of chocolate and biscuit malt dotted here and there, and a noticeable bread malt note after the yeast is added in. The taste opens with nice sweet malts, with bits of smoke and a robust coffee bitterness. The sweetness is not unlike the Porterhouse Oyster Stout, and while it's not extremely complex, it packs plenty of delicious flavour. The body is full and smooth, yet tapering out into a light finish, making it quite drinkable. Good stuff, and a solid regular stout to have in the cupboard.
The next two are both from the taps in Abbot's Ale House a while back.
First up is Floreffe Prima Melior. It pours fairly black, with a finger of off-white head. The smell is actually lovely, with bubblegum, candy-like fruit sweetness lording it over rather subdued warm malts. The taste is as above, and you really taste the sugar in this. It's incredibly sweet with that nice - yet potentially overpowering - candy sweetness. Toward the end of the half pint I was looking forward to moving on to an Abt 12, but I have to say I genuinely enjoyed it.
Not big or clever, but certainly a bit of a laugh.
Finally, a beer I had to try, despite being warned it wasn't very special. Yellow Beard is the house lager in Abbot's, and it's quite cheap. I opted for the half-pint. It pours a very clear straw-gold with a very small head. There's not a whole lot going on in the aroma, but it does give off that lager-malt sweetness. There's slightly more to the taste, with light citrusy fruit opening up, and just a hint of a nutty finish. Other than that, it's fizzy, yellow, light and refreshing. Does the job.