Irish beers, stouts, and ales offer up excellence in a bottle. The richness of the flavors satisfies the palate. Ranging in strength from light to powerful, both overtones and undertones of coffee, caramel, and chocolate make these drinks a wonderful gourmet experience. Of course, some are better than others. The following is a guide to various Irish beverages.
GUINNESS DRAUGHT STOUT – This is a molasses-colored stout having very little head. Though at first the taste of caramel and brown sugar hits the tongue, it is largely flat and devoid of deep flavor.
GEORGE KILLIAN’S IRISH RED – This is a molasses-colored stout having very little head. Though at first the taste of caramel and brown sugar hits the tongue, it is largely flat and devoid of deep flavor.
HARP LAGER – Possibly the most well-known Irish lager available in the U.S., Harp is the color of burnished copper. This beer is aromatic, clean, and floral, having a mellow, slightly sweet flavor.
SAMUEL ADAMS IRISH RED – Arguably one of the best Samuel Adams beers, Irish Red is a bit yeasty, malty, and balanced, having a complex flavor.
SMITHWICK’S ALE – This ale possesses a pleasantly bitter flavor. The color of amber with a rich and foamy head, Smithwick’s is aromatically smoky and full with good heft and body on the palate. However, it lacks depth and breadth.
O’HARA’S CELTIC STOUT – Less bitter and both more mellow and more complex than Guinness, O’Hara’s Stout is black-brown with a creamy, rich, beige head.
GUINNESS EXTRA STOUT – Wonderfully complex and nutty, this nearly opaque mahogany stout boasts exciting cereal aromas. It is bittersweet and full-bodied.
BEAMISH IRISH STOUT – One of the best Irish beers, Beamish Irish Stout’s full body taste suggests coffee and chocolate.
MURPHY’S IRISH STOUT – Best if savored slowly, this malty, dense, chocolaty and dark stout is full-bodied.
CAFFREY’S IRISH ALE – Those who prefer lighter beers would like this ale. It resembles Smithwick’s, but it is served from a Nitro can. The head is similar to Guinness fresh from the tap, but it is not laden with flavor.
MURPHY’S IRISH RED – Murphy’s offers a large head. This highly carbonated, crisp red is one of the best Irish beers.
GREAT LAKES IRISH RED – This red can be difficult to find in some places, but it is a delicious Irish ale brewed in America.
BRIAN BORU IRISH RED – One of the best American-brewed Irish reds, courtesy of the Three Floyds Brewing Company, is this malty caramel beer that goes down easily.
OUT OF BOUNDS STOUT – This dry stout has a bold, semi-sweet flavor heavy on chocolate and caramel with coffee undertones.
GREAT LAKES WOLFHOUND STOUT – A highly drinkable stout with just the right amount of hop bitterness, Wolfhound possesses a powerful coffee overtone with lots of chocolate malt and caramel essence.
MAGNERS IRISH CIDER – The most unique of ciders, Magners is the most refreshing and not as strong as other ciders.
WEXFORD IRISH CREAM – Wexford was originally brewed to a family recipe in 1810 with Irish malts and hops. It has an enjoyable mellow, smooth creaminess.
KINSALE IRISH LAGER – The aroma of this lager is sweet with light hints of tropical fruits. The initial taste has a slight hop presence that ends with a rush of metallic bitterness.
KILKENNY BEER – Due to the nitrogen gas expelled at opening from a floating ball-shaped widget in the can, Kilkenny is very creamy and smooth.
BLACK ROCK IRISH STOUT – Roasted barley makes this stout rich and chocolatey with hints of aniseed and vanilla. It is smooth, dry, and full-flavored, and it has been described as “the way stout used to taste” more than once.
DIAMOND BEAR IRISH RED – The lovely reddish-amber hue of this ale denotes its notes of butterscotch, caramel, light roast, and restrained fruitiness.
FINNEGANS IRISH AMBER – Finnegans is more of a deep gold than amber. It is somewhat light-bodied and neither too sweet nor too bitter, with a quick, dry finish.
GREAT DIVINE SAINT BRIDGET’S PORTER – The hint of chocolate in its aroma announces the sweet mocha start of this deep-brown porter, which is followed by a coffee body and toasty finish.
BOULEVARD IRISH ALE – The darker malts used in brewing this ale give it a roasty appeal, and the earthy, light hop bitterness maintains the balance of its fruity flavors.