Thanks to Twitter (and @belfastbeerblog) I've come across a new outlet to purchase good beers. The lighthouse Bar and Wine Shop in Whiteabbey is within easy reach of Belfast and has a nice selection of English Ales, local Whitewater and Hilden Brews, and a very nice range of American Craftbeers. Seriously worth checking out, from taking to the staff they're keen to get in some new stuff (I'm hoping for some Stone Brewing Beers) and they're also looking to set up and beer/ale tasting club. I'll be going back again and if your in the area please support a local company trying to broaden our horizons. Picture of some of my purchases below!
The good weather has made nearly every evening a beer evening, so a few of the recent samples are set out below:
From “1001 Beers...”
Beer number 158
- Tripel Karmeliet. Style: Belgian Triple. ABV 8.4%
Description: Poured from the bottle light golden and slightly cloudy. Went into my Leffe Challis, leaving a large white head which quickly left. Good carbonisation, with lots of fizzy bubble to start – though it calmed down a bit as we went along. Strong fruit and herbal aromas, and then really strong Belgian golden ale smell. Mid mouth-feel – bubbly to start though slightly thicker as it calmed down. Citrus fruit flavours – with a nice sourness (slightly cherry like) on the finish – occasional hoppy bitter hits also keep the beer interesting.
Conclusion: This a a great beer – well balanced, fruit flavours but a sourness that means it doesn't become overwhelming. 8.4% gives a really nice alcohol warming kick – it doesn't taste as strong as it should but you know the alcohol is there. Very refreshing after a long day in a warm office! Big fan of the style and of this beer in particular. I'll be buying this again!Score: 8.5.
- Wild Hop. Style: IPA, ABV: 5.2%.Description: Amber IPA from Harviestoun with a nice bitter finish.Conclusion: A really solid IPA with good hop bitterness combined with a decent malt flavour. Nice UK IPA, but not as bitter as some of the US versions. Very Drinkable thoughScore: 6.5
- Joker IPA. Style: IPA, ABV: 5%.Description: Blond IPA from Williams Brothers, quite light and refreshing with a more floral and citrus flavour.Conclusion: This beer was covered recently by the Belfast Beer Blog where it received a very impressive score. I'd tried it before but this review made me want to try it again (in fairness they had it on draft which probably improved the tasting and score!). It was better then I remembered. Another nice UK IPA, a little too sweet for me, and a bit more malts would have balanced the overall flavour better. As a Hophead, I prefer something with a bit more bang for my buck – but this might be a good beer to introduce a lager drinker to IPA. Would buy again.
- Score: 6.5
- Brilliant Ale. Style: Golden Ale, ABV: 5.6%.Description: Light blond English ale, with little carbonisation, but kept a good head. A little lager like in taste (may be more bitter than an English lager). Overall quite a light beer.Conclusion: This was mentioned by Beers I've Known in their coverage of the the recent Beer Bloggers Conference (another source worth following for beer information). Quite refreshing on a warm summers night, but didn't really impress after the beers that preceded it. Worth a try but not something I’d turn too that often (though it might taste much better from cask).
- Score: 6
So that’s a further 51 Beers from outside “1001 Beers...” tasted and scored! Making progress slowly but surely.
The next post will cover the (mostly American) beers purchased at the Lighthouse.