This time I’ve decided to exchange my broofing sessions for one that was under the ground. There is a special secret cellar in one of the Dublin’s finest off licences. And we had a great time occupying this space on Friday night, all the lads that appreciate the beauty of a good craft beer.
Hidden in the hearth of a beautiful Blackrock area, awarded National Off-Licence of the year, Blackrock Cellar has many reasons to be visited.
Blackrock Cellar hosts many exciting events, and one of them that caught my attention this time was Monthly Beer Club with Shane from Dot Brew – and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! Shane is a specialist for barrel-aged beer and he truly knows his stuff.
We arrived at beer o’clock, just about the time to find our seats and taste the first sample…
Shall we start with a rum barrel-aged lager? Sure, why not! Everyone who touches the craft beer will not be super excited about the lagers so much anymore. It always is a challenge to make something different. And he did. Shane brought a bit of a modern twist on a lager by putting it into rum barrels – and it does the job. Easy drinking lager with a bit of madness going on with all those rum notes! Very interesting start, and as he announced – it will get stronger and darker…
Introducing new cans that were released early this month, we enjoyed the beauty of the can and were more than ready to taste the beauty inside of them! (Awesome photos of the cans taken by We Are Runners)
It was SO FAR SO GOOD, as was also the name of the next sample landing in our glasses from Dot’s brand-new cans. 3.2% is what you want with the summer coming – keeping its full-bodied flavour and nice citrusy twist in the background. Well, so far so good for us!
Devious 6.6% and honest STRAIGHT UP IPA was waiting for us on our next stop. A proper IPA kick, not extremely fruity, smooth and soft body with a tiny bitter echo. Perfect combo of Idaho7 and Centennial hops succeeded to make us hoppy. So far, even better!
The whole evening was perfectly accompanied with bits and pieces to have with your beer, but we had some special combos that made perfect couples for selected beers. It truly is amazing how one can compliment another.
Cheese&crackers is a combination everyone knows, and if you add on a home-made mango chutney and pair it with a nice Saison – it’s a win-win for everyone!
I would normally not look for a Saisons – they can be so weird sometimes. Shane – the main boss on the farm wanted to make sure that his farm workers will not stay thirsty over the summer time coming, so he brewed one quality Saison for all of us. Aged in multiple barrels – rum, bourbon and whiskey barrels. Blend IV. I smelled the beer. Nicely fruity on the nose. All aromas of tropical fruits that make you feel like being on holidays. I had a taste and was so happy about how easy drinking beer it actually was. It tasted so fresh and a perfect for summer to quench the thirst. I was blown away when Shane announced that it is 7.4%. Better to quench the thirst in one go, before the brain blowing happens!
How about a ginger cake paired with a rum barrelled dark red ale? This second batch of RUM RED DARK (8.9%) was according to Shane much more balanced than the first one – adding extra chocolate malt to balance out the rum character and bring out the beer character. It went perfectly well with Eoin’s delicious home-made chocolate ginger cake, especially going light on a carbonation which brought loads of flavour to play the solo part on the main stage. Feeling like a pirate, huh?
DRINKING AFTER MIDNIGHT made us all rebels – we drank it before midnight! Paired with a dark chocolate filled with liquid caramel, this foreign (like me) stout was a fresh brand-new brew and we had an honor to be Shane’s guinea pigs. Keep an eye out for this one lads, everyone has to have it in the fridge, because you don’t want to end up not having a proper beer to drink after midnight. ‘Light and easy’ (haha) with 8.2% ABV, if you have a chocolate to pair it with!
The most popular combination of the evening was definitely tiramisu made by Katarina paired with Dot’s JOEL’S VIETNAMESE COFFEE STOUT BATCH III – our desert after the main dinner. I am always shouting that I do not enjoy coffee flavour in my beer at all, as I’m not a coffee person. This tiramisu pairing made it easy – as tiramisu pushed the coffee flavour in it into a sweeter level, which was great. The weird thing about it was that the head was not willing to stay on the beer, even though it looked promising while pouring it into a glass – it just disappeared in a second. There is a reason for it – the beans are too oily to keep a longer lasting head on. You will have to hurry up – I don’t know about Katarina’s tiramisu treat but I know for sure that Dot’s stout is available in Blackrock Cellar and they have ONLY 1 case left. Otherwise you’ll miss out and you don’t want that, do you?
It always amazes me when I see so many people excited about the beer at one spot. Loads of positive energy and enthusiasm floating in the room keeps you going. That’s the Blackrock Cellar for you. No wonder why they got a title of a National Off-Licence of the year. I wanted to know why, I went there, and I couldn’t close my mouth. If you enter the shop, you’ll be amazed. It’s like entering the entire universe of craft beer and wine on its own. Like being a kid in a candy store. You don’t know where to look first. But what makes this place honestly the best is the love and passion for what they are doing. For us – city centre lads, it is a tiny bit far away. But have a little trip down there and you will not regret. The whole area is so charming and beautiful that one would want to live there forever!