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Strangford Lough St. Patrick’s Best Ale
Written by Tom
With all the festivities here in Chicago it’s almost hard not a celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (especially when the Chicago River is dyed a kelly green color). What better way to bring in this day than with a beer made in his honor. Strangford Lough Brewing Co. (www.slbc.ie) is based out of Northern Ireland where they brew most of their beer. However, they do have brewery stateside where ingredients grown overseas (in County Down) are shipped and used. In my opinion, this beer is as close to St. Patrick as you can get.
This beer tasted like a classic Bitter straight out of the UK. The appearance was similar to Smithwick’s with an amber-copper hue and a substantial head that lingers throughout the brew. I say that it is definitely malt-heavy with aromas of caramel, toffee, slight butterscotch, and toasted highlights. There were light fruity ale and floral honey notes. Interestingly enough I also detected some smokiness in the malt.
The taste was closer to a brown ale as Newcastle seemed like an appropriate comparison. On the tongue the malts displayed their caramel notes wonderfully. In the middle of the sip the bitterness kicks in as an earthy herbal compliment to the malt. A very sessionable (4.2% ABV) beer it has a moderate mouthfeel and is pretty well balanced. One of the characteristics of UK Bitters and Pales is the ph balance of the water which adds to the smoothness and unique taste.
Allow me to raise a glass to all you PHM fans and bid you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Grade: B+Strangford Lough St. Patrick's Best Ale,