Cavalier Irish Spiced Red IPA

Total Score: 6.85/10 Butter1DarkFruits1Coriander1Nonicpint1

So I’m sitting here wondering WTF “Irish Spiced” means, is there a context for this? Because as far as I know you couldn’t find a culture that uses less spice in its food/drink than the Irish [Disclaimer: my ethnic background is about 50% Irish, and I’ve been to Ireland and sampled the food – that entire country is a no-spice zone]. Cavalier are a pretty decent brewer though so I have faith in their decision to f__k with my taste-buds and styles in general (although I will mention Cherry Sour which was a bit of a let-down).

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Presents with a cloudy red-brown, one might say auburn, body and a Fulvous pockmarked 1 centimetre head on top. She’s a decent looking brew I’ll give her that. 8/10.

S: Don’t know about “spiced” but this brew contains a mixture of butterscotch and Irish moss cough mixture (i.e. Menthol, Camphor, Liquorice extract and extract of Carrageenan) that I find both fascinating and sickening at the same time… I wonder if they actually used Irish moss cough mixture in this? They wouldn’t would they? Diacetyl is a big boy in this playground. 6/10.

T: Not sweet… surprising dry actually, with a bitter earthy note towards the finish. I will give it something: Cavalier Irish Spiced Red IPA is one interesting beer for the fact that it’s wayyyyyy outside conventional beer flavours. The flavour is: Butterscotch, dark fruit, herbal notes, and Menthol/Camphor finish. Tastes almost like a Butter-Menthol cough lolly… only without sweetness – which I think is lacking in this brew, otherwise it’s pretty intriguing… a beer that makes you go: Hmmmm… [beers that make you go “hmmm” yeah!]. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light(ish) carbonation… wait, burps – I’m going to upgrade that to medium carbonation. 7/10.

D: This is one circus oddity of a beer – I actually enjoyed it for its out-there-ness or as the literary theorist in me would say: Otherness. However its “otherness” is also a disadvantage in a sense as it is a beer that I would not go out of my way to try again. The biggest thing that felt missing is some sort of caramel/toffee malt sweetness. It’s quite dry, now that I think of it the style is probably closer to an Irish Red Ale – which explains the whole “Irish” part of the name… now if I was a different man I would go back and re-write my prologue, but I am lazy. 7/10.

Food match: This is a tough one… cheese platter perhaps? You tell me.

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