Fill It or Spill It

Or Golden Ale

In Ireland Series on October 7, 2012 at 9:48 pm

On my quest to find Irish craft beer, I came across Trouble Brewing.  Like I said in my last post, I wanted to try as many beers that were not from the Big Three or Guinness.  Every time I saw a beer that wasn’t one of those, I ordered it.  Trouble Brewing is a relatively young brewery from Kildare and was founded in 2009.  Kildare is a town I passed through during my trip, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a stop and visit the brewery.

Or Golden Ale poured, as expected, a golden color.  The head was white and creamy, which settled to a creamy layer.  The beer weighs in at 4.3% ABV, so a sessionable beer. I found the majority of beers in Ireland were light on the ABV.  I imagine it has to do with the culture because pub life is big, so the low ABV beers let you knock back a few and spend time chillin and talking in the pub.  I may have read something like that at some point in life or it could be a really keen observation.  Let’s just agree that it is a really keen observation because I rarely get the opportunity to use the word “keen” without sounding like a nerd from the 50s.  High ABV beers are rare in Ireland and people are really surprised when you order one.

Short story.  I was having dinner at a restaurant one night and I was happy to find La Trappe Blonde on the beer menu, so I ordered it.  It had an ABV of 6.5%.  The waiter started talking to me and my wife about beer and said the beer is  high in ABV. I don’t think 6.5% is high, but then again I’ve been exposed to an almost obscene amount of beer and most normal people haven’t.

The aroma was quite surprising.  It was really sweet and not at all what I thought it would smell like.  It had a large amount of vanilla notes and to be honest I didn’t pick up much else.  It smelled just like vanilla cake frosting, which left me perplexed.  There were some fresh, hop notes under the sweetness too.

The taste was the same vanilla and cake frosting.  It was just as surprisingly sweet and it tasted like a beer dessert.  It was light and refreshing, so a good beer for lounging around.  The sweetness was confusing because I was not sure if I was enjoying it.  I kept drinking because I was trying to figure out whether I liked the beer or not.  The beer was smooth and creamy.  The malts added a good richness to the body of the beer.

Verdict: Spill It.  I wanted to like this beer, but the sweetness became a little too much for me.  In fairness, I may have picked it at the wrong time because I was having this beer with a burger at lunch. This would probably be a stand-alone, dessert beer or a treat after a hard day.  Even though this beer got a “Spill It”, I would try it again.  It deserves a second chance because I can appreciate the attempt at complex flavors.  Hopefully, I will get to try it again sooner than later.

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