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Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death: This’ll Wake ‘Em Up!

You have to love the idea behind a traditional Irish Wake.  It is a time to tie one on in remembrance and celebration of the poor sap in the box!  I always wanted to go to an Irish Wake, but I don’t want to have one…I want to be at the party, alive and fully participating.  In some ways it is ironic the one time they throw a party for you, you really can’t participate!  Anyway, it is a tradition unlike any other, and one that I can proudly say was the brain child of my ancestors.

I’ve heard stories where the guys at the wake prop up the body and try to make him drink beer, most likely Guinness from the look of things.  Well I had a close relative of the malty treat the other day, and I must say, I think it was better than the original…

Irish Death was a rich and malty ale brewed by Iron Horse Brewery out of Ellensburg, Washington.  Before I dive into the brew, I have to give thanks to Evan Burck, the supplier of said beer.  Several months ago, Jim and I got into a correspondence with Evan about beers in Washington, and how they had really great beer that no one knew about.  So he sent me about 5 different brews that we have reviewed periodically.  So, Thanks Evan, this is probably my favorite of those you sent, of course with the exception of your home brew…that stuff was amazing.  Cheers!

This beer was the best for a mid-fall pick-me-up.  It had a great roastiness to it, with some caramel flavors and a nutty flavor that was very prevalent.  Almost like Chestnuts roasted on an open fire…But where the hell is Jack Frost when you need him?  My nose stayed intact.

In all seriousness, this is a great brew from Iron Horse Brewery, and a very good solid choice for a chilly afternoon.  One thing I would have liked is a bit heavier mouth feel.  It was decidedly medium, and a creaminess would have been just the ticket.

I’d love to see this with a little more ABV, as it was 7.8%, so not quite sessionable, but not Imperial either.  I’d love this beer to have a chest warming quality to it, and if they were to barrel age it in Whiskey barrels I’d move to Washington!

-Don

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16 Comments on “Iron Horse Brewery’s Irish Death: This’ll Wake ‘Em Up!”

  1. November 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    I was thinking as I read that this would be awesome aged in whiskey barrels. Great minds think alike I guess. Or in this case, your average mind thinks like my great one! 😉

  2. Jon
    November 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    You can get Irish Death in Idaho, although it is a bit of a trip from Boise. This last summer was on a motorcycle trip to see a friend in Missoula. After a long day of riding we stopped at the lodge at the top of Lolo Pass and were treated to draught Irish Death. What a great surprise. Once in in Missoula we also enjoyed the great German sytle brews of Bayern, but found our taste buds drifting back to Lolo Pass. Needless to say we stopped there on the way back through!

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

      Sounds like a fun trip Jon. I did go to the Brewery’s web site and look at their beer finder. There are a few places in Coeur d’Alene and Post falls as well that sell their brews. Sounds like I know what I’ll be having next time I head north!

      • Evan
        November 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

        Looks like you need to have a chat with Brewforia

      • Jon
        November 17, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

        Given a choice, I gravitate towards malt a opposed to hops, so this was like a pint of heaven for me. I can imagine it would be even better as a nitro.

  3. November 17, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    This is good stuff. One of my good buddies grew up in Thorp (near Ellensburg) so he tends to pick up a keg of Iron Horse brew from time to time. I have to say that Quilter’s Irish Death is my favorite choice from them. From what I remember, it strikes me as a bit heavy, but not in a bad way. More like it will warm you up on a cold winter night.

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

      It definitely had that quality to it Tex, but it didn’t have that warming in the chest like a big stout or a warming Barleywine. I thought that would have made it better, but it was certainly very good as is. I’d like to try it on tap. It may have a creamier mouth feel, especially if it was on Nitro!

  4. Evan
    November 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Glad you enjoyed that one! I knew it’d be the favorite. I’ve been thinking about putting together a few winter beers to send to both you and Jim if funds permit it here soon.

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

      It was a really good beer Evan, however I think it was my second favorite. Your home brewed Belgian Triple was pretty head and shoulders above the rest, and yes I will be having a discussion with Rick at Brewforia!

  5. November 17, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    I think I’m going to have to institute a new rule and not visit Beer and Whiskey Brothers after 11 a.m. Because here’s the causal chain:
    1. I go to work and do stuff. Stress is somewhat light, but it happens.
    2. I decide to monkey around at work towards the end of the day, visit B&WB, read about sweet, delicious beer.
    3. I think “What better way to chill out after a solid day of work than by going to a bar (or fine grocery establishment) and purchasing some sweet, delicious beer.”
    4. I spend more money than I probably should.

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm #

      No you don’t John! If you just feel bad about it, you haven’t spent nearly enough! When you over draft your accounts then get notices from the electric company that the power will be shut off, then you are probably spending too much! 😉

      Plus you said it yourself, you are buying “sweet, delicious beer”, what could be a more logical use of your discretionary income? What like shoes or clothes? just shove a little cardboard in them and you’ll be fine…

    • November 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

      Well, then we’ll only cover sour and disgusting beer in the future, John. Because while it’s hard to say no to a four pack of Dragons Milk (I never have), it’s pretty easy to pass up a 40 of Olde English 800.

      Problem solved. Carry on.

      Besides, didn’t that foot graphic gross you out? Just think of that when you’re near a fine beer retailer.

  6. November 17, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    BTW Don, which one’s the dead guy in the picture?

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      You mean your toe? I would guess the second one right next to the big guy.

    • Don
      November 17, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

      However it is hard to tell because you got them covered up with beer!

      • November 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm #

        Not my toes (it’s the one next to the pinkie BTW), I mean the dead guy in the photo above. You said “I’ve heard stories where the guys at the wake prop up the body and try to make him drink beer, most likely Guinness from the look of things.”

        I figured “by the look of things” meant “in the picture above.” Perhaps I’m wrong.

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