Eight Degrees Brewing from Mitchelstown in Ireland are producting probably the single most consistent IPA’s in the country for the last two years. It’s an incredible testiment to the spirit of the brewery. Their relentless pace of releases is eyewatering. And awesome. I’ve decided to do a review of two of their finest (and what I consider landmark beers for them), their award winning Full Irish IPA (it won country gold at the recent World Beer Awards & a bronze at the Dublin Beer Cup this year), & their Double Irish Double IPA.
The Full Irish IPA
Description: Single Irish malt IPA
When this beer was first released in 2014, it got rave reviews. And rightly so. Many called it the ‘Irish Punk IPA’. While this is a pretty good comment to make, if I’m honest – it’s a massive detraction from just how good this beer is. I also don’t think you can compare this to Punk IPA. I think this beer has a completely different agenda to Punk, which is nowhere as bitter as the Full Irish.
The Full Irish is a hop bomb. Loaded up with Ahtanum, Citra, Amarillo & Centennial hops, it bursts with a lychee & citrus aroma. The bitterness of the beer is spot on at a level in an IPA for my tastes. I love that bitter/citrus flavour in my IPA’s.
The malt here is slightly biscuity, which sometimes I’m not a fan of in my IPA’s but it works well here & reminds me slightly of an unbaked keylime cheesecake especially with the lingering sweetness in the aftertaste, which I think is what makes this beer so bloody drinkable at 6.0%.
Double Irish Imperial IPA
Description: Imperial IPA – big and bold – New World hops
In Ireland, we’ve a poor imperial/double IPA native market. There just doesn’t seem to be any native breweries aside from Galway Bay & O’Hara’s producing this beer style regularily. And yet, the massive amount of imported beers in this style is phenomenal. Part of me guesses this is to do with the duty rates on his ABV beers, which on imperial beers can be as much as €98 per HL for a 9% beer such as this for producers, compared to €43 for a 5.5% beer per HL brewed.
Tax-porn aside, this beer is simply stunning. It’d be easy to say this is just a juiced-up big brother of the Full Irish, but again it isn’t giving this beer its proper due. Hopped to the gills with Pacific Jade, Ella, Galaxy, & Citra, it’s a powerful aromatic explosion from the moment you crack open a bottle spewing our bright orange & mango citrus fruits with a distinctive pineapple. The mango flavours definitely lead the charge (which I really dig as its one of my favorite fruits).
The colour on this beer is anything but pale. It’s a rich, vibrant orange colour, which is fantastic to see. As much as I love pale west coast style IPA’s, I love really orangey coloured Imperial/Double IPA’s. The bitterness here is extreme.If Full Irish is David, this is most definately Golaith juiced up to the gills like Brock Lesnar.
Double Irish is not for the feint hearted or the casual IPA drinker. And it shouldn’t have to be. This is for the unabashed, brazen, devil-may-care hophead who wants to chase the lupulin trail hard & fast.