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Sunday, March 16, 2008

St Patty's 2008: Beamish, Guinness or Murphy's?



This year I celebrated St Patrick's Day at the Old Dublin, in Wallingford, CT with a buddy. It was a low key night filled with corn beef, cabbage, Irish Stout, and friendly conversation. I decided to take this opportunity to sample the "Big Three" in Irish Stouts and do a simple comparison.

The bar was packed, so it was not conducive to do a full on run of beer reviews, so I simply enjoyed the beer and made some mental notes for later. Although I did snag a couple clips of bar tender (sorry can never remember her name) as she poured our first pints of the night.





It must have been meant to be, as the only two seats open in the place were right in front of the Beamish, Guinness or Murphy's taps... I'd say it was the luck of the Irish, but I'm actually Scottish. Serendipity none the less!

In a nut shell, Here's how I stacked them...

  1. Beamish, my favorite of the three: Not as creamy as the other two, and finishes with a nice roasted coffee bean flavor. Oddly made me want chocolate.
  2. Guinness: A St Patty's commercial classic, creamy with a much more mild taste. The roasted undertones were subtle.
  3. Murphy's: The creamiest of the three, again a more subtle roasted malt taste, but in this case the hops were slightly more noticeable.
Overall, the three were quite similar, dark as night with an inviting creamy head, mild pleasant roasted flavor, and lighter than one would expect had they never enjoyed a good Irish Stout.

In any case, all three worked just fine with my traditional corn beef, cabbage and potato meal. Is this a cliche? Sure, but no more so then turkey, stuffing and a tastey brown ale on Thanksgiving. No, I prefer to think of it as a tradition, rather than a cliche, plus it could be worse, it could be Bud Light and green food coloring! EehGad!

What did you enjoy this St Patty's?

The irony is, I finished off the night with a couple pints of 10 Penny, you know, that local CT Scottish brew!

Green Beer!

9 comments:

  1. Hey, I didn't realize that you live in CT!

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  2. I do... And have more or less all my life, minus some interesting adventures I have taken part in for Uncle Sam...

    I see you're from Mystic CT...

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  3. I wonder if the green beer thing would go better if you poured the coloring in the glass first and then poured the beer in... My save the head that way, and let the beer do the stirring for you when poured.

    Just a thought...

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  4. Are you anywhere near me? It would be fun to meet up! I grew up in CT, too, near Hartford.

    I have a gel food coloring that I used. I put a bit in a tablespoon measurer and mixed it up with some water, then dumped that on top of my beer. It ended up green on the bottom half at first, and a delicate stir got it well distributed.

    There's a photo here.

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  5. I don't get down to Mystic much... The first time I had sushi was at Go Fish, in Mystic... Good stuff...

    Are there any brew fests coming up in CT?

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  6. Nobody here actually eats corned beef and cabbage!

    Though I do feel cheated that on the other side of the atlantic you have more choice of stout than I do, in the north of ireland all the bars are tied up by guinness.

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  7. Ed, that's pretty ironic... All things considered, I'd still like to head your way at some point and experience the day there...

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  8. Yes, very ironic indeed. I think you'd enjoy the north, we have a unique twist on things up here and we're a pretty welcoming bunch. If you're ever in the Belfast area let me know (eddiebenton at gmail dot com) we can hit a few of the great pubs (we have an independent brewer here called Hilden that supplies a local independent pub with ales and chocolate stout)

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  9. Thanks for the invite Ed, I look you up if I ever make it out yoru way... happy new year!

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