Friday, 20 September 2013

#175: Galway Bay Bottles

With college now in full swing, I've been too busy to devote much of time to the blog. Thankfully, though, I've found bits of time here and there to sample some beers, among them this trio from Galway Bay. Until now, my only experience with the brewery was their delicious Voyager NZ I had in The Black Sheep.
First up was the dry-hopped IPA Full Sail. It's dark orange to look at and very hoppy to smell, with bitter lemon skins edging into maple syrup territory as time goes one, and that's fine by me. The promise isn't quite fully realised on the palate, with the hops taking second place behind sweet woody grains and yeasty notes á la Helvick Gold, while still retaining that lovely fruity resinous bitterness, even if it isn't as assertive as I'd like. It's still bloody delicious though, and has bags of flavour, whether it tickles your IBU bone or not.

Next up is Stormy Port, which I reckon I did no favours by serving too cold. There's next to no head and the aroma is fairly muted, although it does produce some nice smoky coffee, liquorice and light fruit notes. On tasting, it's malts galore, though not so much as, say, Dark Arts, but still has plenty of the same toffee and caramel characteristics. Again, like the Full Sail, it lacks a bit of punch while remaining satisfyingly robust.

The last one out was Buried at Sea, their chocolate stout. Unlike the porter, this black beer is truly black, with no light coming through. The milk chocolate character is quite subtle on the nose, and allows some of the sharper, roastier stuff to come through. Things drastically improve with the first sip. Milk chocolate, coffee and malted biscuit bliss. The texture is silky smooth and the body nice and full, but it's the sheer drinkability of the beer that takes me by surprise. I would love to try this on draught, and I highly recommend seeking it out.

Overall, a good show from Galway Bay. Bring on the Voyager.

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