Lough Gill Irish Punch Up Series Round 1 Irish Sloe Barleywine Ale, Sligo, Ireland
Date: December 4, 2018
The Story— The craft movement took its time to wash up on Irish shores. We think that having what is arguably the best mass produced beer on the planet made for fewer restless drinkers in search of flavor. But it’s arrived and growing with some enthusiasm. Ireland was the featured country at the Mondial de la Bierre in Paris this past summer — and featured an array of craft beers that couldn’t have been assembled a few years ago.
Lough Gill is a family owned newcomer opened only two years ago and the family likes to frolic. This berry-accented barley wine didn’t have to turn out well, but it did. Brewed with wild Irish sloe berries designed to blend almost indistinguishably with the hops, the concept mostly works well. The brewery recommends pairing with blue cheese or roast duck. At 9.5%, however, you might be quacking like one before the dinner is over.
We’re still not used to drinking 9.5% beers out of a can, but it seems to have done no harm.
The Beer— Huge rich and flavorful. Wood, toffee, sloe-cherry-berry fruit and chewy malt. I found a hint of slight cocoa in the malt, but Ellie didn’t. As it drinks there’s plenty of booze and it ends with a dry and slightly papery bitter end. The sloe berries continue well into the aftertaste.
Value — Good. The beer sells for about $5 a pint can on the East Coast. We bought ours at Half Time Liquors in Poughkeepsie, New York. if that seems high, consider that a 22 ounce bottle of a beer like this would cost well over ten bucks.