With college in full swing again, drinking patterns are disrupted, being mainly limited to bottles. However, I present to you here a strange grouping of beers I've found time to explore over the past few weeks in one particular Cork City pub.
First up is Gouden Carolus Classic, this time on draught in the Bierhaus. I thoroughly enjoyed the bottled version, finding it a great investment for the Dubbel or Quad drinker. However, unlike the the Abt 12, which was glorious on tap, this seems to hit a bit of a bum note in it's transition to the bar. The most dominant aromatic element is at first bubblegum. While not necessarily bad (and nowhere near as off-putting as I&G's Winter Treacle Porter or the Floreffe Melior), the sweetness is rather detrimental to the drink. It has just a shadow of the dark malt and dark fruit flavours you look for in a beer of it's kind, and while the experience remains just about positive on the beer-scale, it really scrapes by on it's warmth and relative drinkability. Worth a taste as a curiosity, but any bar serving this is likely to have something more interesting on offer.
And such was the case at the Bierhaus. I had my first true cask experience with London Pride here, and this time there was a much more interesting beer on offer - O'Hara's IPA. Again, a beer I've thoroughly enjoyed from the bottle, and one I was excited to have brought to life in the cask. It pours golden with a creamy slice of head, and produces a gorgeous zesty, sharp cirtus aroma, with hints of a much different bubblegum sweetness. Tropical fruit are abound on the palate, with citrus fruit rinds pushing the malt very much into the back seat. The dry-hopping can be appreciated better here than in the bottled version, and I'd certainly recommend it to whomever gets the chance to try it. With any luck, it'll rear it's tasty head again at the Fran Well's Winter and Cask Ale Festival next weekend.
Finally there's the latest incarnation of Metalman's Chameleon, their shape-shifting limited edition beer. I've had their Ginger before, but this time it's Garnet, an amber ale. Garnet is aptly named, as it certainly pours the shimmering ruby red hues of a garnet, while releasing a lovely aroma that's at once waxy hops and sticky toffee. The taste is more fruit-driven, with red berries featuring prominently over the citrus you might expect to pull from the hops. The finish reverts to the syrupy malts, and the beer as a whole comes together quite nicely, with great depth considering the fairly even balance of flavours. Another recommendation.
Hopefully, this disjointed form of beer-finding will pass soon, and I intend on setting that process in motion at next week's aforementioned Winter and Cask Ales Festival at the Franciscan Well.
Be there, and be with beer.