I'm finally getting around to trying more Irish craft beer, this time in the form of two beers from the Porterhouse in Dublin, a very well established and respected craft beer institute in Ireland. Their reputation, along with the shocking realization that I was yet to try any of their wares is what drove to buy a small selection of their brews from Bradley's on North Main Street. They also stock the entire Eight Degrees selection, so you can expect notes on their whole range soon, along with more Porterhouse beers.
The first beer I tried was the Plain Porter. This is a 4.3% stout that does about everything a 4.3% stout should. It looks good with it's creamy tan head and transparent ruby-toned black, and it's aroma is typical of an Irish dry stout with smokey, roasted malts and coffee lording it over hinted toffee and chocolate notes. Bread malt and coffee dominate the palate, and chocolate becomes more potent as time goes on and the beer warms up. As for the feel, it's relatively light and it carries the flavours well, without being watery.
Tasty stout, but not mind-blowing in any shape or form. I'll be looking forward to trying their Wrassler's XXXX stout for comparison.
The other beer was their India Pale Ale, Hop Head. It pours a clear dark blood orange with good carbonation and an off-white head that leaves decent lacing down the glass. Actually, it looks kind of purple in the light, which is really interesting... The aroma is of hops, would you believe. Citrus and grapefruit hit first, with pine and thyme in there too. It's fairly bitter to taste, with peel and herbal flavours in the front and subtle hints of toffee or caramel malt hiding out in the back. The body's very good, it's smooth and almost creamy - something I would not at all expect from this kind of beer.
Enjoyable. A decent hops experience, if that's what you're after.