Molloys

Leaders in craft beer & much more!

  • Rosé wines & how they are made

    August 3, 2017

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    Nothing is more summery than a glass of chilled Rosé on a warm day.  While many people expect Rosé to be medium-sweet, Rosé is actually made in a range of styles and varying shades of pink.

    While it’s often thought that Rosé wines is a blend of red and white, that’s far from the truth. In France, it’s actually illegal (unless you are making Champagne!).  Blending red and white wines is usually carried out in New World countries.

    There’s a few different winemaking techniques used.  Any red grape can be used.  The palest-coloured Rosé wines are made by pressing and crushing the grapes lightly, extracting just a little colour from the skins, before discarding them and continuing the fermentation.   This direct pressing method tends to be used for Provence Rosé, which is dry, and tends to be the lightest and priciest of all. 

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    Most Rosé wines are made by allowing skin contact for 6-48 hours during fermentation – the longer the contact, the deeper the colour.  The level of sweetness is determined by how long the fermentation continues – if a little grape sugar is left at the end of fermentation, it adds sweetness to the wine.

    In Bordeaux, wine is bled from a tank of red wine, in order to concentrate colour in red. This ‘saignée’ method produces a dry Rosé, with medium colour intensity.  

    If you like medium-sweet Rosé, look towards California (Blossom Hill, Paul Masson), and France’s Rosé d’Anjou and Cabernet d’Anjou.  These all tend to be lighter in alcohol, around 10%.  Other areas tend to make Rosé on the dry side, and have average weights of alcohol.  

    Spanish Rosé (Faustino, Marques de Caceres), and Bordeaux Rosé, tend to be dry.  Aside from California, other New World Rosés are either dry or just off-dry.    Possibly the world’s most famous Rosé, Portugal’s Mateus Rosé, is medium-sweet, as is the lovely Bend in the River Pink.  

    Chilled dry Rosé is lovely with seasonal salads and cold dishes, like salads, shellfish, cold salmon or trout, or tapas dishes. Medium-sweet Rosé is fantastic with spicy dishes, like Thai fish cakes, stir-fries, anything with a hint of chili.

    At Molloys, we’ve just expanded our selection of Rosé wines, many of which are on offer.

    Cabernet d'Anjou  'Les Volières,'  is blissfully medium-sweet, jam-packed with ripe strawberry and cherry flavours.  This would be fantastic with slightly spicy foods.

    Signature de L’oire Cabernet D’Anjou

    Rosé d'Anjou, Domaine des Irises is beautifully perfumed – floral, red berry fruit, which follows through onto the palate, which has a subtle sweetness. 

    Domaine Des Iris Rosé D’Anjou

    La Marca Veneto Frizzante Creamy, very fine bubbles give way to delicious tastes of ripe sweet strawberry  & raspberry, with a touch of vanilla and cream on the long flavoursome finish.

    La Marca Rose

    Torre Alto Pinot Grigio Rosé – a very flavoursome dry Rosé, with plenty of strawberry, cream, and even a hint of white pepper. Super-long fruit-filled finish.

    Torre Alta  Pinot Grigio Rosé

    Voiturette Grenache Rosé A more full-bodied Rosé, where a smidgen of sweetness combines with very ripe summer berries, and a hint of caramel.  

    Voiturette Rose

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  • A tale of Glendalough, in 13 numbers…

    July 28, 2017

    1

    5 friends dared to live the dream, when they registered Glendalough Distillery in 2011 (they freely admit to plans being fuelled by late night pints!). Gary, Barry, Brian, Kevin and Donal all recall childhood visits to Glendalough.  Records show that monastic sites like this were the birthplace of distilling in Ireland, as early as 584AD.  The Glendalough logo features the legend of St. Kevin, out-stretched in prayer, being given a sign by a blackbird.  

    2

    1 Holstein copper hybrid still imported from Bavaria, nicknamed ‘Kathleen.’ Legend has it that the bold blue-eyed Kathleen tried to seduce St. Kevin, but was converted to the faith.  The still was brought in IKEA-style, in numbered pieces, which the boys put together.  Apparently it blew a lot of steam from various orifices when it was first switched on!

    3

    2012 Glendalough makes its first Poitín. Double-distilled in a copper pot still, it’s made from sugar beet and finished in virgin Irish oak.  Awarded a Gold Medal at the Irish Whiskey Awards in 2014. 

    Glendalough_Distillery_02

    4

    A 2 page spread in The Wicklow People local newspaper, on Geraldine Kavanagh who was running Wild Wicklow Foods, led to a meeting about foraging wild botanicals for Gin. “You do realise the botanicals will change with the season?” she warned…   hence Glendalough seasonal gin was borne.

    5

    40+ botanicals used in their gins are foraged by hand by Geraldine Kavanagh. 

    6

    12 months is how long it took to perfect Glendalough Wild Botanical Gin. Customers loved the four seasonal gins, but wanted a year-round version.  Their initial thought was to blend the four seasonal gins together. “That would have been the equivalent of mixing a McDonald’s and a curry on the same plate,” said Gary.  Launched in 2016, it’s just won  a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

    7

    Every 2-3 minutes, is how often Rowdy, the distiller, dips his little finger into the spirit at the end of each batch of distillation. “It’s a tough job and all that” as he says. As soon as it starts to taste like soapy dishwater, he quickly makes the cut.

    8

    7 year old Single Malt commemorates 13 years spent by St. Kevin in the wild. Not being allowed on the lake, two of the more athletic owners hiked down the sheer cliff face to St. Kevin’s Bed and placed a bottle there. (They wonder if it’s still there….)

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    9

    13 year old Glendalough Single Malt. Why 13? It’s a reference the jersey worn by Brian O’Driscoll, who happens to be an investor in Glendalough.  (And no, they didn’t pay him. Towards the end of his retirement, he was having a drink in New York’s Brass Monkey Bar, when someone suggested it to him… The boys couldn’t believe their luck!)  And the whiskey? Like Brian, it’s a winner – awarded Double-Gold at San Francisco World Spirit Awards 2015.

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    10

    96.44% is the alcoholic strength of the grain spirit bought in for gin. Trust me, it’s mind-numbingly strong!  It’s 100% Irish, and certified GMO-free.  It’s cut down with Wicklow water, and gently heated by indirect heat in ‘Kathleen’.

    11

    Thousands is the amount of juniper berries added per batch of gin. In actual fact, they are cones, rather than berries.  We know the real number, but in the spirits of gin-secrecy, have sworn not to reveal it.

    12

    2 million visitors come to the monastic site at Glendalough each year. They’ve just purchased a site at the approach to the valley, and have fantastic vision for how they want their new distillery to both blend in, and add to the landscape.

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    36 countries now stock Glendalough spirits – led by the USA, Ireland, Canada, France, Germany, UK and South Africa. Have you got yours?

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  • Everything you need to know about a Bin-End Wine Sale

    June 26, 2017

    Bin-End Sale What is a Bin-End Sale?

    The phrase ‘bin end’ refers to the traditional way of storing wine in a cellar. Each wine was given a different location or ‘bin’, and each had a bin number.  This made it easier for waiters to locate specific wines when ordered by a customer.

    A bin end sale is where the last of a particular lot of wine is being sold off, at a reduced price.  There can often be great value to be had, and are a useful way of stocking up, particularly if there’s a big occasion or event coming up.

    Reasoning of the Bin-End Sale

    At Molloys, we are clearing the decks for our new wines to arrive. We’ve almost twenty wines in our Bin End Sale, which has just started.  A snapshot of what’s on offer can be found below. The wines and quantities will vary by store, by nature of the offer, and of course, when they are gone, they are gone. Avoid disappointment by ordering online now.

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    Some Amazing Offers 

     

    Vivolo Cabernet Sauvignon

    Vivolo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 an Italian red with mature aromas of autumn hedgerow, a hint of leather, and blackberry spicy aromas.  Medium bodied, with softened tannins.  Flavours are spicy, peppery, with dark blackberry and blackcurrant. 

    Vivolo Merlot 2014 - lovely summery light-bodied red, nice and smooth.  Enjoy summer fruit flavours of ripe plums, watermelon followed by a spicy kick! 

    Sancho Garces Rioja Joven

    Sancho Garces Joven 2015 fantastic intensity of vibrant ripe black plums & warm spice, with medium tannin and a long finish.  This is a young fruity Rioja, which over-delivers, even at full-price!

    Caude Val Syrah 2015 a medium-bodied, smooth Southern French red, with rich juicy berry, herbal flavours, and a touch of white pepper on a really long finish. 

    Château Minvieille Bordeaux Blanc

    Chateau Minvielle Bordeaux Blanc 2012- fresh, dry, crisp white, with delicious grassy, slightly herbal character.

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  • 6 Great Father's Day Gifts

    June 8, 2017

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    It’s time to mark your calendars for Father’s Day. Falling on the 18th of June this year, it will be here before you know it. It is not exactly panic time at the moment, as you still have a little time to get him the perfect gift.

    Ordering the Perfect Gift

    Save yourself from all the hustle and bustle of the high street by ordering your gift online from the award winning Molloys website. There is the fantastic option of having the gift delivered straight to your father with an attached gift message of your choosing (this option is at the checkout stage). This option is particularly popular with people sending home father’s day gifts from abroad.

    One of the best things about buying whiskey, wine or beer as a gift, is that you know the likelihood of the gift being used is very high. Rather than aftershave, clothes or a Groupon voucher, get them a nice bottle of whiskey, or something quirky like a beer making kit! To read about the top 5 Irish whiskies under €100, click here.

    Below are a selection of gifts that he will be sure to love. If nothing below tickles you’re fancy we have hundreds of more products available on our website which you can check out here.

    6 Great Gifts 

     

    Beer Making Kit: Everyday IPA

     

    Brewing your own beer at home has become very popular. Its great fun and a great educational experience for any beer lover. This Everyday IPA has a lovely bitterness from Columbus hops and its fragrant citrus aroma from super aromatic hops. If that is not your fathers cup of tea, we also have different variations of the beer making kit; including  an Oatmeal Stout, a Double IPA.  a Black IPA and more.

    Beer Making Kit: Everyday IPA

    Irish American 8 Pack

     

    Another great gift idea for any beer nut. You get to taste some of the best craft beers from America and Ireland. They include beers from some of the best breweries, including Sierra Nevada, Founders, Brooklyn, Lagunitas and Trouble Brewing.

    Irish American 8 pk 4x50cl / 4x35cl btl

    Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

     

    Dating all the way back to 1887, this Scotch has won numerous awards in its respective category, Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Aged in fine American oak casks and European oak Sherry casks, giving it a light, sweetly oaked flavour. Creamy and smooth with a very mellow finish. 

     

    Glenfiddich 12YR Old 700ml

    Redbreast 15 Year Old:

     

    A really incredible single pot still whiskey. A little pricier than the 12 year old but worth every cent. It's a lot richer and stronger than the 12 year old. Really balanced and well rounded with mellow fruit, combined with spice and toasted wood.

    Redbreast 15 year old 70cl

    Bordeaux Classic in Wood

     

    One of our best selling wine gift packs. it includes two incredible wines from the Bordeaux region in France. These wines have been selected by wine experts and have received rave reviews from the press; making this a must buy. 

    Bordeaux Classic in Wood

    Bordeaux Trio

     

    Another option from one of the best wine regions in the world, is this lovely trio of Bordeaux wines. These wines have been chosen by wine experts, meaning that they are of a very high standard. They come in a lovely wooden presentation box. 

    Bordeaux Trio

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  • HOW TO GET THE LATEST LIMITED CRAFT BEERS & AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

    May 5, 2017

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    The Reason Why it's Hard to Get 

    Getting your hands on limited and seasonal craft beers can be difficult. They are normally made in small batches and only certain establishments will stock them. Along with that they only receive small quantities, so once the craft beer is gone, they won’t be able to reorder it.

     

    That’s one of the beautiful aspects of craft beer; that you may only get to try a certain brew once. In turn making you savour every gulp and really think about and analyse what you are tasting. Consciously or subconsciously you normally end up rating the beer, then comparing other beers to it, in its respective category. That’s one of the reasons why we held The Molloys Craft Beer Awards, which you can read about here. Sometimes it can be difficult to compare a beer, even if it is in the same category, there can be a lot of variation in terms of flavour, aroma and finish. But we still try and compare nonetheless.

     

    Recent Releases 

    One of the reasons why, such sites as RateBeer and BeerAdvocate have done so well, people love to compare things! When limited edition craft beers come out, it creates great anticipation and excitement. Recently Rascals released their Strawberry Vanilla Shake IPA, the scramble to get it was phenomenal, and it flew off the shelves all over Ireland. The same with Galway Bay 200 Fathoms Imperial Stout.

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    How to Get The Limited Craft Beer

    Since we are one of the leading craft beer specialists in Ireland, we are continuously looking to get the limited edition and seasonal craft beers. If you are infatuated with craft beer like us, then you can sign up for free text alerts and/or newsletters. So the moment the latest craft beers have landed in our stores, you will receive a free message, informing you of its arrival.

     

    If you want to avail of the free text service, text molloys followed by your name and email address to 51000.

     

    If you want to avail of just our email newsletter, just scroll down to the bottom of this page, where it says Newsletter, just enter your email address into the box beside it.

     

    Check out some of the latest craft beers here

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  • Top 5 Scotch Whiskies under €100

    April 21, 2017

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    We have already done 5 Irish whiskeys under €100, now it’s time to have a look at the best Scotch whiskies under €100.

    In all honesty, as an Irishman, I have to compliment and admire the Scottish for their whisky production. It does come down to a matter of taste and preference, in deciding who’s better; but they do have a phenomenal range of high quality whiskies. Scotch also has a fantastic complexity to it, with great bold flavours.

    Variations

    They also have a number of variations, including single malt, single grain, blended Scotch etc.

    • Single Malt Scotch is an aged whisky, made by one distillery. It is made using malted barley and water.
    • Single Grain begins with malted barley and water, then later, whole grains or cereals are added.
    • Then blended Scotch is made from one or more single malt scotch whiskies, which is then blended together with a single grain Scotch.

     

    Criteria

    Like Irish whiskey, Scotch whisky has certain criteria’s that need to be met to consider it a Scotch whisky. Including geographical location, ingredients and alcohol volume (ABV). They also have a number of very famous and prominent regions within the country that produce world famous and premium quality whisky.

     

    Regions

    The Highlands are well known for their whisky production. They have some luxurious brands, including Dalmore, Glenmorangie and Aberfeldy. The lowlands tend to produce lighter whisky, such as Glenkinchie. Then Speyside is probably the producer of the best quality whisky, they produce Macallan, Cardhu, Glenfiddich and Glenfarclas.

    So let’s get to it. The top 5 Scotch whiskies in no particular order.

    Chivas Regal 12 Year Old

    Chivas Regal 12YR Old 700ml

    Chivas Regal is steeped in History, it is the oldest operating distillery in the Highlands region. This blended Scotch is aged for 12 years; the end result being a very drinkable tasty blend. At just €42.49, you really can't go wrong.

    Haig Dimple

    Haig Dimple Scotch Whiskey 70cl

    Haig Dimple is a whisky that dates all the way back to 1824. It was at one stage, one of the most popular whiskies in the world. With an age statement of 15 years, this Scotch is warm and smokey with a light sweetness. They used old bourbon oak casks during production, which is quite obvious on the finish, with a nice oaky after tone. Great value at €56.00.

    Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

    Glenfiddich 12YR Old 700ml

    Dating all the way back to 1887, this Scotch has won numerous awards in its respective category, Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Aged in fine American oak casks and European oak Sherry casks, giving it a light, sweetly oaked flavour. Creamy and smooth with a very mellow finish. At €53.00, I would consider this a bargain.

    Glenmorangie 10 Year Old

    Glenmorangie 10YR Old 700ml

    A truly beautiful 10 year old single malt. Really well balanced between sweetness and complexity. Nicely matured with a mellow creamy element. Lovely and fruity on the palate, right through to the finish. Only €51.00.

    Ardbeg 10 Year Old

    Ardbeg 10YR Old 700ml

    A really tremendous whisky from Ardbeg. It's a complex single malt, with a nice peat smokiness. Very well balanced with a nice sweetness. For such a prestigious award winning whisky, it's a steal at €65.80.

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  • Top 6 Stouts to Try Before You Die

    April 11, 2017

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    Stouts are becoming more and more popular on the craft beer scene. It seems like most craft beer breweries are trying their hand at brewing some type of stout variation. There are a number of different styles of stout, and this is something that will continue to grow over time, as craft breweries experiment and continue to evolve the stout category.

     

    We stock one of the best ranges of stouts in Ireland. In our annual Molloys Craft Beer Awards, Stouts where one of the most popular categories, and it was a nightmare to make a shortlist of the top 6, as so many other quality stouts missed out. That just shows the quality of stouts being brewed at the moment, there is so much complexity and so much going on within each different stout.

     

    Stouts are generally dark in colour, with very distinct flavours of roasted malts, caramel, coffee and chocolate. These are some flavours that can be expected in most stouts, but they all vary and have their own different characteristics, making each one quite unique. Stouts are normally creamy with very little sweetness and a rather enjoyable bitterness.

     

    Here are the top 6 Craft Stouts you must try. Read about the Molloys Craft Beer Awards Here.

     

    Galway Bay Buried at Sea:

    This stout really is a treat; amazing flavours of chocolate, rich an decedent throughout, very well balanced; making this stout extremely easy to drink.

    Galway Bay Buried at Sea 500ml

    Stone Xocoveza:

    This stout was originally meant to have been a one off, but it turned out to be so good, that Stone decided it had to be produced every year. Xocoveza really is bursting with incredible aromas and flavours; layered with cocoa, coffee, pepper, vanilla and some cinnamon.

    Stone Xocoveza

    Brewdog Cocoa Psycho:

    Cocoa Psycho is a really smooth Imperial stout, with an ABV of 10%. Some really nice flavours of dark malts, coffee beans, vanilla and cacao nibs.

    Brewdog Cocoa Psycho 33cl

    Trouble Brewing Coisbo:

    Coisbo is a really delicious milk stout, with a very drinkable ABV of 5.8%. Nice balanced flavours of cocoa and vanilla, very rich and indulgent throughout. Brewdog teamed up with a Danish Brewery called Coisbo Beer, to make this collaboration.

    Trouble Brewing Coisbo Milk Stout

    Siren Broken Dream:

    This is one of the best craft stouts you will find. This really is a complex stout, with so much imagination. Great flavours of chocolate, coffee milk and oats, with a very nice smokiness. Full of flavour and brewed to perfection.

    Siren's Broken Dream

    Founders Breakfast Stout:

    This really has become an iconic stout at this stage. It recently won the stout category of the annual Molloys Craft Beer Awards; fending off the above 5 to claim the prize. This stout has very nice flavours of coffee and bitter chocolate.

    Founders Breakfast Stout 330ml

    Check out our great range of stouts here.

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  • Top 5 Irish Whiskeys Under €100

    March 30, 2017

    Whiskey

    Whiskey or whisky or whatever way you want to spell it, is such an incredible and complex thing. It is steeped in history and made using many different ingredients, depending on the country.

    The spelling of Whiskey varies depending on country. Ireland and America spell it “whiskey”; while our Scottish neighbors, Japan and Canada spell it “whisky”. Ingredients and Whiskey laws, also vary from country to country, giving each location its own distinct history, flavour and characteristics.

    Irish whiskey must be made in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. It has to be aged in wooden casks for a minimum of three years. There are more rules for it to be called Irish whiskey, but I will delve into that further in future articles.

    These are the top 5 Irish Whiskeys under €100 in no particular order.

    1. Redbreast 15 Year Old:

    A really incredible single pot still whiskey. A little pricier than the 12 year old but worth every cent. It's a lot richer and stronger than the 12 year old. Really balanced and well rounded with mellow fruit, combined with spice and toasted wood. (€98.00).

    Redbreast 15 year old 70cl

    2. Connemara Peated Single Malt:

    We had to include a peated whiskey in the selection. Peat gives the Connemara that immense flavour, nice and smoky with lovely notes of honey and pear. Its on the lower end of the price scale, making it look very good value for money. (€40.99)

    Connemara, Peated Single Malt 70cl

    3. Powers Special Reserve 12 Year Old 

    This 12 year old is a great blend, with the perfect amount of pot still. Aged to perfection, giving it a nice full body with lots of character and spice. Very good price for a 12 year old. (€47.49)

    Powers 12 Yr Old 700ml

    4. Bushmills 16 Year Old Single Malt:

    This beauty was aged in 3 different casks, sherry, port and bourbon; contributing to the amazing depth of this award winning Single Malt. Its aged in bourbon and sherry casks for 15 years, then its finished off in port casks to add to the flavour. Smooth with a nice balance of fruit and some slight sweetness. (€90.00)

    Bushmills Malt 16 Yr Old 700ml

    5: Teeling Single Malt:

    Last but not least, a very vibrant Single Malt, with a lot going on. An incredible 6 different cask types have been incorporated to make this fine whiskey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Burgundy, Sherry, Port and Medeira. Rich and spicy. (€52.50)

    Teeling Single Malt 70cl

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  • Top 6 Craft Beers

    March 23, 2017

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    Picking your favourite IPA, Stout or Red Ale can be a difficult task. That’s why we decided to hold our very own craft beer awards. The Molloys Craft Beer Awards is in its very first year, and with a massive selection available in-store and online, it was difficult to narrow it down to a top 6 in each respective category. The top 6 were chosen by some of our craft beer experts.

    With hundreds of votes recorded over the course of the competition. The results are finally in; and we find it difficult to argue with any of these results, as they are all incredibly tasty brews, that must be tried!

    Congratulations to all of the brewers who were lucky enough to make it into the top 6 in each individual category.

    Best Pale Ale:

    Blacks of Kinsale: Kinsale Pale Ale

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    Blacks of Kinsale fought off some tough competition to win the Pale Ale Category; competing against the likes of Sierra Nevada, Brewdog and Lagunitas. Kinsale Pale ale is a delightful Pale Ale, with tropical and citrus flavours; it is easy to see why it's one of our customers favourites! Kinsale Pale Ale is on offer at Molloys (3 for €9.00)

    Best Label Design:

    Molloys: Fairy Ale of New York

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    This is our very own craft beer, made in collaboration with Rascals Brewing. Fairy Ale of New York had the daunting task of going up against  Yellow Belly, Beavertown and Trouble Brewing to win the best label design. These breweries make some of the best and most artistic labels in the industry. Fairy Ale of New York is a golden coloured ale with aromas of citrus fruits, pineapple and hints of tangerine.

    Best Red Ale:

    Galway Bay Brewery: Bay Ale

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    Galway Bay Bay Ale went up against some other fantastic Red Ales, including 8 Degrees Sunburnt Irish Red, Franciscan Well Rebel Red and Brewdog 5AM Saint. Bay Ale tastes of toffee malts, caramel sweetness and some slight bitterness. This is currently on offer in-store and online (3 for €9.00).

    You can read about Red Ales here!

    Best IPA:

    8 Degrees: Howling Gale

    8 Degrees Howling Gale just pipped the prize of Best IPA, beating Hope Brewery, Trouble Brewing and O Brother Brewing. Flavours of fruit and biscuit with a dry pine bitterness The 8 Degrees core range is currently on offer (5 for €10.00).

    You can read more about IPA's here!

    Best Stout:

    Founders: Breakfast Stout Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

    Founders Breakfast Stout is one of the most well known craft stouts around. It fended off the likes of Stone Xocoveza, Siren Broken Dream and Galway Bay Buried at Sea. Brewed with an abundance of flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolates, and Sumatra and Kona coffee.

    Best Of The Rest:

    Galway Bay: Of Foam and Fury 

    Galway Bay Brewery - Of Foam & Fury - 500ml

    Of Foam and Fury, one of the most anticipated beers to be released, it didn't disappoint. It went up against Beavertown Applelation, Stones Arrogant Bastard and Hope Peach and Blueberry Sour. Of Foam and Fury has sweet fruits, mango, tropical notes, juicy citrus, resinous hops, good bitter sweet balance, complex flavour, very drinkable considering the ABV.

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  • Dummie’s Guide to Champagne

    February 9, 2017

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    Dummie’s Guide to Champagne

     

    The name: Champagne is a sparkling wine named after the region where it’s made – Champagne, which is north-east of Paris. Only wines made in the traditional method from this region are permitted to call themselves Champagne.

    Taste: People forget that champagne is a wine, and has a very distinctive taste.  It’s very dry, with flavours of toast, yeast, bread, apple and lemon, sometimes nutty, and with refreshing acidity.  Champagnes have very lively, tiny, long-lasting bubbles.

    The bubbles: Each glass of champagne contains about 10 million bubbles.  The bubbles are created by a secondary fermentation in the actual bottle. The slower the fermentation, the finer and longer-lasting the bubbles.

    How it’s made: typically, wines from different varieties (and years) are blended, then bottled. A mixture of yeast and sugar is added to each individual bottle. The hungry yeast gobbles up the sugar, and creates bubbles and alcohol. These bubbles are trapped in the sealed bottle. The wine is then aged for a minimum of 15 months in cellars, some for much longer. Finally, the yeast is removed from each individual bottle, it’s re-sealed with a cork, and will be shipped shortly after. It’s a long and expensive process!

    Non-vintage: Most champagne is ‘non-vintage.’ If it doesn’t state a year on the label, it’s a blend of several vintages.

    Brut: Most champagnes sold are ‘Brut’ which means that they are dry. The trend has been to make even drier Champagnes in recent years.

    Grapes:  There are 3 grapes used in making Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Meunier (related to Pinot Noir).  Champagnes with more black grapes tend to be more structured and powerful (eg. Veuve Clicquot).  Those with more Chardonnay tend to be more feminine & elegant (Laurent Perrier).

    Dom Perignon: Most houses have a ‘prestige’ wine, which is about 3 times more expensive. This is made from the best vineyards, and aged for longer. Moet’s is Dom Perignon.

    Drinking occasions: Champagne has almost always been associated with victories, from Napoleonic wars through to Grand Prix racing in modern times.  Champagne and celebration has become intertwined as a result. It’s also the wine most associated with romance.

    Who drinks it? Champagne is very much associated with the fairer sex, and I don’t think they’d call that stereotyping… just as long as you’re buying!

    Calories?   Champagne is one of the lowest-calorie wines you can drink at around 150 calories for a generous 175ml flute…. perhaps the reason  supermodels drink it? It’s been proven that bubbles help absorb alcohol into the bloodstream more quickly.

    Price: champagne is always expensive. It’s a lot more expensive to produce than say, prosecco.  Some of the best-known houses price their wines at a premium, in an effort to position them as being more luxurious.  Better value can be had from grower champagnes and co-operative champagnes, like Jean Comyn (exclusive to Molloys).

    Food match: most people sip it solo. To really bring out the flavour, drink it with some savoury pastries like cheese straws or gougeres. It’s also super with sushi!

    Molloys top picks:

    Jean Comyn Champagne Gift Box

    Jean Comyn NV Champagne – this is one that Molloys import directly & here’s what The Irish Sun said of it: “Fine and smooth bubbles from a crisp dry Champagne, with citrus and green apples flavours, freshness and balance…. It took several phone calls to find out why this stand-out Champagne was so good and yet reasonably priced.”

    Bollinger Special Cuveé Champagne Brut NV 750ml

    Bollinger Special Cuvée, as favoured by James Bond…  amazingly lively and fresh, with really creamy mousse, great depth and length of flavour.  Made using 75% black grapes, and aged for much longer than normal.

    Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne NV 750ml

    Moët NV is instantly recognisable. Notes of citrus and flowers, decent and lasting bubbles, and a slightly nutty finish.

    Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne NV 750ml

    Veuve Clicquot NV  a rich style of champagne, with terrific freshness, elegance and depth of flavour (citrus, almonds, yeast).

    If you enjoyed learning about Champagne, you may be interested in learning about the Bordeaux wine region! Click Here to read on.

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