Without much fuss or pizzazz, a new brewery has slipped stealthily onto the Irish scene: Kinsale Craft Brewery.
Being a craft brewery from Kinsale, there’s no doubt that it does what it says on the tin – no fancy names or gimmicks here. With an equal degree of straightforwardness, they’ve launched a new 5% ABV pale ale. It’s called Kinsale Pale Ale. No need to overthink it, is there?
Upon cracking open the no-bullshit-looking bottle, you’re greeted by a light orange/gold pour with a thin white head. Not much fizz going on, just a few streams of bubbles here and there.
With Irish pale ales, this is usually the point where I stick my nose in the glass and say that god-forsaken phrase, “Needs more hops”. Not this time though! Fortunately, I was greeted by a really lovely floral aroma, with touches of sweet candied pineapple, mango, light citrus, and a bit of straw making an appearance too. All good so far.
The taste dollops a smack of citrus onto the palate – grapefruit and lime – alongside more sweet pineapple and tangerine. Some light herbal and pine needle notes near the finish too. Dear God, we have hops. Praise be. It’s not just about the hops though, there’s a decent little malt body on this too: fairly creamy, with definite biscuit and cake-dough sweetness, and again some straw. It’s well balanced – another tick. The mouthfeel is maybe a bit more watery than I’d like it to be, but that’s about the only criticism. There’s a clean and crisp citric bite to finish on, which lingers for a while alongside the sweet tropical fruit notes.
Well, what a pleasant surprise that was. A cracking session beer – a true American style Pale Ale – with plenty of hop flavour and aroma from the combo of Citra and Cascade. For a first brew, Kinsale have absolutely nailed it. It’ll be launching in Dublin over the next few weeks, but you’ll find it on sale in some Cork offies at the moment – definitely worth a look.