Wednesday, 24 June 2009

O'Hara's Leann Folláin

Geoff of the Bull and Castle, in Dublin, gave me two bottles of Leann Folláin from the Carlow Brewing Company last time I was in Dublin. TheBeerNut and Mrs. BeerNut told me I should leave one behind to make more room in my luggage for decent beer (well, that's more or less what they said). I mentioned on Twitter tonight that I was about to open the bottle, and TheBeerNut commented that it was "Like watching a car crash in slow-motion, this is. Tell us more", so I did. This is what I tweeted in my first ever live (well, not really, as I've done tastings with real people physically present) online tasting. And for the blog/scrapbook record, here's what I said:

I like the aroma. Dark, plum jam, molasses, silage. A little farmyardy. A lick of licorice...
Flavour? First impression was cardboard and blackberries. Oxidised? Kinda thin vinous thing there too, which would be nice if increased.
Getting an ever so slight tart edge, but deep down. Again, would be nice if it was magnified. Overall flavour is thin and disappointing.
I think there's a good beer in there trying to get out., but the finish for me is of cardboard. Nice cardboard, but cardboard nonetheless.
For some reason though, I can't stop sipping this Leann Folláin. It tastes better in the mouth than after swallowing. Interesting.

Despite what I tweeted, there's something I like deep down in this beer, hence the sippage factor. There's a subtle sourness combined with the jamminess and a slight vanilla edge that I actually quite like, but it's spoiled somewhat by that slight cardboardy edge to the finish. HArd to call, but it's certainly interesting.

Rumours were that this was a batch that had gone wrong, so it simply got a new name and label so as not to be dumped, but as far as I am aware, this is just rumour.


Dublin beekeeper said...

I quite liked this beer. There is something underhand about it though. But I liked the idea of trying something new with a stout. I thought there was a nice slight berry taste to it.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Maybe the blackberry thing I picked up, or the jamminess? I was reliably informed by Thom that blackberry flavours were classic indicators of oxidation. He said I had a good palate for it :D

Anonymous said...

Bollix its just shite bring back the celebration!

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Haa haa! There's clarity! :D

I'm lucky enough to have a bottle of O'Hara's Celebration down in the cellar, courtesy of TheBeerNut. Looking forward to it.

Séan Billings said...

I actually liked this beer. Could have sworn it was oaked when I tasted it and reading your tasting notes you do mention a few flavour/aroma elements associated with oak. Didn't notice any cardboard in it, but yours is six months older, so maybe it has oxidized a bit in the bottle.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

The cardboard elements really only came out in the finish. This morning I thought of another word that describes some of the flavours I got: Leather.

It has lots of interesting elements that I like, and some that I don't, so it's an odd one for me.

Thom said...

You say there is a good beer in there trying to get out, and there is indeed - it's Celebration Stout.

The brewer wouldn't tell me what he did wrong with this beer. In fact he couldn't bring himself to, so it seems something went awry.

Barry (Adeptus) said...

Oh bloody hell. Sounds like something very basic went awry if they couldn't bring themselves to say what!