Yellow Belly have been flat out brewing in the tiny cellar of Simon Lambert and Sons below in Wexford for a while now. If you wanted to get their beers you had to venture down that far, or hope to come across them at a festival, now they have started to distribute their Beer in bottles around the country. I’m sure a lot of Irish Craft Beer aficionados will be delighted to be able to get their hands on these bottles. The first one I opened was Fierce Mild. It’s only 3.1% but it has a lovely rich malty flavour (thanks to FIVE different types of Malt) and a deep dark reddish brown colour. It’s hopped with East Kent Goldings. If you download the Craft Nation app, and you should, in it’s infancy but it looks promising, you can see brewer Dec getting all emotional describing his love for ‘boring English hops’! I liked this Beer a lot and my only complaint would be that it should have been in a bigger bottle.
Duality is that strangest of beasts, a Pale Stout. I had an earlier incarnation of this at last year’s Irish Craft Beer and Whiskey Festival. I had to look back at my pictures as I thought it had been Paler but it looked pretty similar. The strength has increased though, up 1% to 8.5%. This one has oodles of smoked coffee flavours…sadly it didn’t wow me quite as much as last year’s, but then you’re always chasing that elusive first Pale Stout high…
Last night ( I wouldn’t recommend drinking all four in one sitting by yourself) I went for It’s Not Vodka first after getting tipped off by the aforementioned Dec on the book of faces. This robust Imperial Stout is rather lovely. I found a couple of squares of very dark chocolate to go with it.
I saved The Wexican for a nightcap due to the advice I had received which confirmed my suspicion that the old: save the strongest Beer till last rule might not apply. Really, you couldn’t follow it…well maybe you could try a drop of the chilli infused vodka they make in my local, Don’s but other than that… This one lists Cayenne Pepper and Ground Habanero Chillies as it’s ‘special’ ingredients. It’s serious stuff, to be savoured slowly.
I have to say that these sport the finest labels in the Irish Craft Beer Scene. Due credit to the artist Paul Reck. We do drink with our eyes after all…I picked up these four in Drinkstore but my local O’Briens is stocking Fierce Mild and The Wexican. Do yourself a favour and give these a try. Sláinte!