When we got McGargles in The Wineyard, we got three of ’em: ‘Granny Mary’s Red Ale’, ‘Gravy Maevey’s Pilsner’ and ‘Knock Knock Ned’s IPA’. While they present themselves as a family brewery, erring on the traditional side of the craft brewing industry, I was curious to try these new additions. Probably because of the personalities they portray on their labels which, in turn, make you think of the brewery as a personality in its own right.
The Pilsner and the IPA were both really nice. At a good price, they could both be session beers [though you’d want to watch yourself on the IPA’s greater alcoholic strength, of course], and I’ve supped these in comfortable surroundings, as well as on the way to the next party. But how much of a good time beer is the red ale?
- 4.4% ABV
- 330ml bottles
- Brewed in Kilcock, Ireland
- Winner of bronze medal, International Beer Challenge’s ale category 2014
Look Busy, immature bottle that’s a bit of a spectacle.
In the glass – you can sort of see in the pic – it’s a moody brown, and when held up to the light it shows burning red hues. 8/10
Aroma Mmm, a nice, inviting malty nose with plenty of fruit. I find it hard to distinguish individual aromas because a fresh yeast and malt aroma sort of masks things. I think it’s raisiny, but there’s a vanilla hint, too, and some dry nuttiness. 7/10
Taste It’s a really deep flavour for something so light in alcohol and body. There’s a slight spicy maltiness to it, but very fruity – dried fruits like raisins and prunes. Interesting mouthfeel. Their Pilsner and IPA are both characterised by this buttery flavour and feel, but this one not so much. It’s nutmeggy, which I like, and though there’s a noticeable bitterness, it’s not a great tongue tingle texture. Yeah, it’s nice, it just loses marks for strength of flavour and audacity. 8/10
Value At less than two quid a bottle, I’m happy. They certainly don’t want for flavour! 8/10
Session The flavours develop nicely as the session goes on, and it can go on a long while at 4.4% before you should pack it in. It’s quite a typical ‘Autumn beer’ [in the sense of what pubs normally serve, not what I’m telling you should drink – you go for what you want!] and will liven up a decent sesh as those fabul0usly fiery leaves fall from tired trees. 8/10
A good score for a very solid beer [not literally…]. The only average score was the aroma, but everything else was above that, so I’ve got no hesitation in saying you should give this one a go. You might not go all evangelical about it, but I’m confident you’ll enjoy it once or, like me, many times.
Final score: 78/100