Beer: Galway Bay and To ol's glorious double IPA, One Man Wolfpack
IRELAND and Denmark must be sick of the sight of each other. Their respective soccer teams have an uncanny knack of bumping into each other in European Championships and World Cup qualification, with the Danes usually coming out on top – most notably when Christian Eriksen tore Ireland the proverbial new one in Dublin just under two years ago.
Most of the meetings, though, are pretty turgid affairs, and the make-or-break clash in Dublin in a couple of weeks could be another one of those. However, it is good to know that when some Danes and Irish folk get together, it's not just to produce attritional football – they can also knock out some pretty great beer too.
That's exactly what happened when Copenhagen kings of beer To ol traveled to these shores and headed west to hook up with Galway Bay. The result was a glorious double IPA with the rather alpha name One Man Wolfpack – but don't worry, this is a beer for everyone to enjoy.
It clocks in at 8.5 per cent and you do get every last percentage of that strength, but that doesn't take away from the great flavours. They've whacked a lot of grain into this one, and the result is not only a high abv beer, but one which is nice and cloudy in the glass. There's barley, oats and all kinds of wheat in there which each contribute in their own little way to the look, taste and feel of the beer.
The mouthfeel is soft, almost pillow-like and that allows all the myriad of wonderful flavours to gently settle on the palate. There's a heap of tropical and citrus flavour, a hint of sherbert and a bit of a sticky feel to the whole thing. It's not a million miles off Galway Bay's Of Foam and Fury, but with more complex flavours and a lot more going on in general.
The bitterness comes through gently at the end, leaving enough of the other flavours lingering nicely on the palate before you go in for another sip. And this one is a sipper, as the strength dictates – not one to 'wolf' into you as the name might suggest. It's a fresh and fruity, but also has a nice warming quality to it at the same time.
If Ireland and Denmark serve up anything near as tasty as this in a couple of weeks, I'll drink to that.