The Golden Age of Burgundy was from 1364 to 1477, when the Dulchy was recognised as one of the major powers of medieval Europe. John the Fearless was known for defending the emerging Burgundian state but all his scheming couldn’t save him from an axe in his back. Under Philip the Good, there was pomp and ceremony aplenty – along with mistresses and illegitimate children – as he manipulated his strategic alliances into independence for the Dulchy. A lover of luxury, Charles the Bold had drained the coffers by the time he was killed at the siege of Nancy in 1477 thus ending what had been the wealthiest state in Europe.
We have brewed three beers to celebrate these colourful medieval dukes, aged in oak barrels from their French homeland.
And now – finally!
The Good – Barleywine, aged in Burgundy pinot noir oak barrels.
Like Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy, there was much pomp and ceremony when we chose to age our barleywine in red wine barrels from his native land. We dried out the barleywine a touch more this time round, adding a three-hour boil to the brew to intensify the flavours and add a touch of caramelisation to the wort. This beer can be best described as a Caribbean Christmas cake with lots of ginger, spice and orange.
Short description: Barleywine – spicy vanilla oak – share and savour
Hops: Nugget, Simco, Centenial.
Malt: two-row Irish malt, Crystal, CaraAroma.
Colour/appearance: dark amber in the glass with a pale caramel head.
Aroma: swirl and inhale the big boozy. rum and raisin aroma. Lots of rich caramel notes.
Flavour: there’s a lot happening in this glass: smooth, warming alcohol, sweet orange citrus, spicy vanilla oak, all richly layered on a hefty toffee backbone that will stick to your teeth. Dark, malty and fruity, this truly is a drop to share and savour.
Aftertaste: a velvety, chewy aftertaste, reminiscent of Jamaican gingerbread.
Easter eggs! Especially of the dark variety. Go for some serious dark chocolate – think the high cocoa content, roasted flavours and dry finish that you get with the best Irish bean-to-bar producers – with this and see how how it can be a transcendent pairing. Find harmonies with the chocolate or some salted caramel chocolate brownies – or seek a contrast by serving up a selection of Irish farmhouse blue cheese from Cashel or Bellingham (go for the old and funky). Complete your cheeseboard with some of James McGeogh’s fine air-dried beef and pork, a handful of freshly-cracked walnuts and some dark fruits like dates, and figs. Keep in mind that The Good is an intense ale so don’t drink it in big glasses or pint measures. Instead savour slowly in a snifter or Granny’s old sherry glasses.
Launch Date: April 2017
Serving temperature: 8 degrees Celsius
Availability: 750ml bottles.
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