Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale

Reviewed by on March 11, 2015 in Spring Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Guinness & Co.

  • Origin: Dublin, Ireland

  • Rated On: March 11, 2015

  • Best Before: packaged August 7, 2014

  • ABV: 4.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Irish Cream Ale

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

As March 17 nears, it’s about time to delve into the famous Irish quaffs produced by brewing behemoth Guinness.  Kilkenny is an Irish cream ale, named after the town in Ireland where it originated.  It is packaged with a nitrogen-widget thingy at the bottom of the can, which releases the gas upon opening.

This 440ml can pours (eventually) a clear, medium copper amber colour, after that overwhelming, cascading off-white foam settles to a few fingers of perfectly creamy ecru head, with a touch of spectral webbed lace left around the glass. It is indeed always a pleasure to watch that particular trope of physics in action.

It smells of lightly fruity drupe esters, grainy caramel malt, wet toasted bread, a bit of earthy yeast, and rather faint earthy, weedy hops. The taste is quite malty and fruity, both measures indistinct and pleasant at the same rate – the thinly bready graininess, and stale apple and banana chips having to suffice – as the mild floral, leafy hops really have little to offer here. The carbonation is very low-key and beyond innocuous, the body medium-light in weight, and smooth, smooth is the operative word, unless you’re into creaminess, and well, it’s got that in spades too. It finishes barely off-dry, the malt kind of bleeding out, while the seemingly manufactured fruit and hop esters stick around as if by court order.

I’ve always been content with this as a perfunctory default at that sort of bar, both here and even in Eire herself; but now, upon closer circumspection, a few blemishes become increasingly evident – a certain plainness all around, be it malt, hop, or well, overall flavour. Which, I suppose is this one’s appeal at the pub – toss in the lower than average ABV, and this beer is sessionability, incarnate.

Brady White

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