Sunday, 28 February 2016

An Brainblásta

Origin: Ireland | Date: 2012 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: February 2008

The Porterhouse has been brewing this English-style strong ale since its inception in 1996. For years its only noteworthy feature was the strength: pints at 7% ABV are still a rarity even now, but the flavour elicited few comments. Served cold from the keg it doesn't have a whole lot going on, dominated by a severe bitterness and its own malt base. And then in 2009 the brewery launched a bottled range which included Brainblásta. Cellar temperature was a massive improvement and with a few months of ageing it mellowed significantly. I've come to regard mature Brainblásta as one of Ireland's most underrated beers.

So, how far can we take this? This bottle is best-before dated June 2013 and I'm guessing it's been sitting in the stash for close to four years. There's a very vinous aroma, warming with a somewhat concerning hint of sherry about it. And that's there in the flavour too, though only a whisper at the back and I would not say that this is suffering from bad oxidation. At the front, the sweet malt smoothness has a kind of chocolate character, yet it's also quite dry: surprisingly thinly textured and with a green vegetal edge from the remaining hops.

There's a lot more happening in this than you'd find in a younger bottle. It seems busier and less integrated. It's probably a better beer after only one year, but after four it's certainly interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment