Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nice stout. Pity about the label

Stout in a clear glass bottle is curious thing. It is never seen. In much the
Oirsh. To be sure.
same way paler ales are alluring in flint - and no doubt this is why brewers do it - the black bottles on the shelf of my local Lidl grabbed my attention. That was the first thing to attract me, followed very shortly afterwards by the appalling label. I understand that this label is likely to be an affront only to those who are fully integrated into Irish society, and no doubt not an eyelid was batted in other countries at those shamrocks. Indeed shamrocks are doing quite well at the moment with approximately two billion people spying them on the collar of the newly married Duke of Cambridge as he stood resplendent on the alter of Westminster Abbey in the dress uniform of the Irish Guards last week. To put it in context, overdoing the blarney on Irish beer labels is like the offensive Dolmio adverts featuring those bushy eyebrowed Calambrian puppets. No doubt a lazy stereotype that would never be aired in Italy.

Anyway, the beer. It looks like stout, smells like stout and pours like stout complete with appetising tan foam. My first few mouthfuls suffered a little because the beer was too cold and I casually dismissed it as a Diageo clone, my attitude tainted a little by certain of English brewers to be in thrall of the almighty G, but then things started to get better as the stout warmed up; hops appeared, roasted notes surfaced and the lovely vanilla like hint found in the best of stouts emerged. A nice pint and in keeping with many stouts, best served off the shelf.

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