Eight Degrees Brewing Company has been churning out some consistently good produce over the past few months.
Christ, they’ve just won a medal at the World Beer Cup for their US Amber Ale, Amber Ella. However much of a toss you give about beer competitions, this is pretty bloody noteworthy for an Irish beer.
They nailed a couple of IPA specials last year, Hurricane and Cyclone, in what was branded as a “Hop Off” between Northern and Southern hemisphere gear. Such was the positive reaction to these two brews, I fully expected them to go for it and bang them both into full-time production. Alas, they didn’t. But, they’ve evidently been working on a new recipe for an IPA, which incorporates all the best bits of their previous uber-hoppy experiments…
The Full Irish (not too many points for the name), is pretty much what the Irish scene has been crying out for: a juicy, clean, tropical fruit-led IPA to rival the increasingly-ludicrously-priced BrewDog Punk IPA.
Evidently, people have been getting excited about this new creation, as The Porterhouse had shot through two whole kegs of the stuff in two days over Easter Weekend and had bugger all left when I got in there. Farrington’s of Temple Bar to the rescue (and, on a side note, bloody hell – what a tap list they have now!).
The keg pint was handed over to me in exchange for a bargain €5.30. Hazy gold in colour with a really clean white head – looks the part.
There’s lovely mango and clementine orange on the nose, some light floral notes, and a good bit of sweet passionfruit. The taste is equally juicy: lots of sweet orange, mango, and passionfruit. Some light spruce and a bit of slightly more zingy grapefruit follow up the tropical Opal Fruits thing and really get up your nose. There’s a touch of sweet digestive biscuity malt in there, but to be fair this is all about the juicy tropical stuff. Full of fresh new world hop character.
So, it’s sweet, but nothing caramelly or sticky about it – just a full whack of juicy sweet hop fruitiness. Slightly minerally in the finish, drying things out somewhat and ending things in a superbly clean manner.
At 6% ABV this is a cracker. Can’t stop myself comparing it to BrewDog’s Punk IPA – it’s just as drinkable and juicy. If Eight Degrees bang this into full time production then I’ll never buy a pint of Punk again.