Celebrating Ireland’s highest mountains, Irish Munros are peaks over 3,000 ft. Many of these peaks belong to the MacGillycuddy Reeks in Kerry, one is in Wicklow, and there’s one which towers over our Mitchelstown brewery, our beloved Galtymore. Since we started Eight Degrees, we’ve taken inspiration from the surrounding landscape, constantly innovating to brew adventurous beers using natural ingredients. The Irish Munro Series: continuing our Naturally Adventurous journey.
IRISH MUNRO Series #6: Devil’s Ladder
Belgian Tripel aged in sherry casks
As the red sun descends on another year, our final Munro beer showcases Ireland’s tallest mountain, Carrauntoohil, the central peak in the MacGillycuddy Reeks.
A truly inspirational and rewarding climb, the most common ascent is via the Devil’s Ladder. En route you pass such evocative landmarks like the Howling Ridge, the Bones, Eagle’s Nest, Hag’s Glen and Heavenly Gates. There’s an alternate route up via Brother O’Shea’s Gully – namesake of our head brewer Dan – and a third route up via Caher, a spectacular ridge walk traversing a dramatic ridge above Coomloughra Lough.
A Cnoc Mór deserves a Beoir Mór, so we have produced a big Belgian Tripel to celebrate the three challenging ascents up Ireland’s tallest peak. The beer is pale gold, with a gentle Belgian yeast profile: think soft bananas esters, cloves and spice. We finish it in sherry oak butts, which add sweet vanilla, dried fruit and Christmas cake notes to this beautiful beast of a beer.
Style: Belgian Tripel aged in sherry casks.
Malt: Irish lager malt, oats, wheat.
Hops: Nugget, for bittering.
Yeast: Fermentis BE-256 Belgian Ale Yeast.
Colour/appearance: deep golden with a fluffy head.
Aroma: really sweet Belgian yeast aroma on the nose, with lots of clove, banana, bubblegum – the expensive stuff! – cherries and apricot. Gorgeous marzipan, vanilla and oxidised sherry notes.
Flavour: all the Christmas flavours in a glass! Rum-soaked dried fruits, almond, mixed spice and pear drops with banana and cloves coming through from the Belgian yeast and a hint of salinity and wood from the sherry butts.
Aftertaste: rich and rounded mouthfeel, honey, with a little bit of a high warmth to it. Finishes dry and nutty. Starts PX, finishes fino, as one of the lads put it.
This beauty can straddle both sides of the Christmas meal. Chill it and serve in small sherry glasses (raid Granny’s china cabinet for those) to start, with a selection of tapas-style nibbles: good olives, smoky roasted almonds, salty anchovies, Goatsbridge smoked trout pâté. When you’re ready for a sweet ending, serve this beer at room temperature in a brandy snifter to offer a delicious counterpoint to Christmas pudding, chocolate Bûche de Noël, or even that stash of stilton – or Young Buck – that you’ve been saving.
Availability: 440ml cans.
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