Nick Carr on March 18, 2017 1 Comment Quick Characteristics Brewery Breckenridge Brewery Location Littleton, CO Style Dry Irish Stout ABV 4.8% IBU 38 Hops ? Malts Maris Otter, Roasted Barley, Flaked Barley, Dry Irish Malt, ? Shelf Life 6 Months Suggested Glass Mug or Nonic Pint Serving Temp 50-55°F Availability Spring Seasonal – March to May (4-pack) Food Pairings Grilled Cornish Hen w/ roasted vegetables, Shepherd’s pie, Dubliner Cheddar, Blackberry Custard Tart St. Patrick’s Day snuck up on me this year. Before I could get all my ducks in a row, it was peering around the corner just ahead, grinning, maybe leering, and only a week away. Try as I might, I finally had to come to terms with the fact that this review was not going to make it out to spotlight this beer on its rightful day. Ah well, so is life I guess. Needless to say, I did celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with this beer and I actually finished up this review during my raising-a-glass to the adopted-Irish Saint. Maybe some of you out there spotted this new beer in a can decked out in Irish colors and a shamrock. It’s hard to miss and hard to pass by. If ever there was a can primped up to pull you in around St. Patrick’s Day, this is it. Breckenridge Brewing added their nitro can series back in the beginning of 2016. The series consists of 6 different beers; two of them, Nitro Vanilla Porter and Nitro Lucky IPA, are offered year round, the other four — Chocolate Orange Stout, Dry Irish Stout, Orange Cream Ale, and Pumpkin Spice Latte Stout — are seasonals. Nitro keg setups and taps at craft beer brewpubs are becoming more and more popular. Nitro packaging has been a little slower to gain ground, but just in the last couple years both Boston Beer Company — I review their coffee nitro stout here — and now Breckenridge have expanded to include nitro cans. Then there’s always Left Hand Brewing, arguably the king of nitro… at least in the craft beer world. Left Hand even started a Nitro Fest, which includes around 50 different breweries and is in its 5th year. Breckenridge’s Irish Stout was actually created in collaboration with Matthew Dick, head brewer of Boundary Brewing Cooperative in Belfast, Ireland. This collaboration came about because George O’Neill, Breckenridge’s head of sales and marking is Irish and still has family in the old country. He learned of Boundary while visiting. When a nitro Irish stout was suggested as part of the nitro line, it seemed fate was smiling and they decided to see if Boundary wouldn’t be game to bring their authentic Irish touch to the beer. THE TASTING REVIEW Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Breckenridge’s Dry Irish Stout. If you tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: Pours like you’d expect any Irish stout worth its roast; black and deep. The Nitro pour kicks up the signature lava-lamp effect, mesmerizing and always fun to watch. When the show is over a two finger cap has formed, about as thick as pancake batter and the same color to boot. The aroma is one of bold roasted barely and coffee. There are some biscuity-grainy notes and slight hints of dark chocolate. Mouthfeel and Taste: Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a light inviting body, belaying the often misconstrued expectation “If the color’s dark, it must be heavy.” Carbonation is low, some might even call it flat, but that’s what helps create the smooth mellowness. Roast rolls across the palate like a gentle ocean wave on a tropical night; not heavy and stifling, but warming, inviting, and pleasant. Subtle hints of coffee and grain sweetness float the wave while rare notes of strawberry whisper like sea spirits. Slightly woody, with some bitterness toward the back and the finish is drying and roasty. I pick up a flicking impression of light tobacco in the aftertaste. FINISHING THOUGHTS I haven’t had an Irish stout in quite a long time, so this was a real St. Patrick’s Day pleasure. It’s also a great dark beer to help usher in spring with its easy-drinking light body and smooth mouthfeel. It’s quite refreshing in the warmer weather we’ve been enjoying over here of late. Some may not like the flat impression you get in the mouthfeel, due to low carbonation and extreme smoothness, but it is authentic to the style and, I have to say, quite good. If Breckenridge’s Dry Irish didn’t make it into your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations you may just have to throw a second round of toasts for ‘ol Saint Patrick, though you really don’t need a reason to pick up a 4-pack of this beer.