Beer of the Weekend #570: Irish Twin

BotW is back after a one-week hiatus. The only new beer I drank in San Antonio was Elissa IPA, brewed in Houston by the Saint Arnold Brewing Company. It was decent stuff. For $6 a pint at the hotel bar, it needed to be. (San Antonio, I just realized, is the farthest south I have ever been. It is just a little farther south than New Orleans.)

Anyway, I put off my beer buying until tonight when I went to the Co-op. Usually I browse the Co-op’s beer selection and think, “Damn! I need to buy more beer here.” So when I finally made the effort tonight I thought, “Do I want to spend twelve dollars on a four-pack? Hell no!” That limited my choices because I have already tried many of the beers stocked at the Co-op. So I decided to spend $9 on a quart. (Yeah. Not necessarily the smartest thing in the world, especially when I shunned $12 four-packs. But whatever.)

The beer of the weekend is Irish Twin, brewed by the Confluence Brewing Company of Des Moines, Iowa.

Serving type: 32-ounce bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a nonick pint glass. The color is medium amber with a ruby tint. Two fingers of buttery, eggshell-colored foam leaves a ring around the outside and a spotted and bubbly skim.

Smell: Whoa! Totally not what I was expecting. It is very yeasty with loads of coriander, clove, pepper, orange peel, banana, and apple. It smells a lot like a hefeweizen.

Taste: Clove, coriander, light pepper, and banana are prominent, but caramel slow creeps in. Apple emerges as well and complements the banana nicely, lending the beer a hefeweizen-like quality. The caramel slowly becomes more prominent and all the flavors blend nicely. A little licorice and dark fruit come into play very late.

Drinkability: This is a very tasty “accident.” When I think of Irish-inspired beer, I definitely do not think of Belgian yeast, fruit, and spice. But this was a very pleasing and enjoyable beer. I hope Confluence is able to reproduce it at some point.

Fun facts about Irish Twin:

-Style: I’m not really sure. According to the beer’s webpage:

Irish Twin beer was a “happy accident” that happened when we set out to make a new batch of Imogene Red Irish Ale using its usual malt bill of English Maris Otter two-row malt and English Challenger hops. But after adding the yeast, which was labeled as the Irish yeast called for in the recipe, we discovered the yeast was actually an unidentified Belgian variety. The resulting never-to-be-duplicated beer is a sibling to Imogene Red with a Flemish DNA twist of unique-yet-subtle spiciness, aromas and flavors of clove, a little banana and coriander.

-Price: $8.99/bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City.

-Alcohol content: 4.86 percent ABV.

-IBU: 31.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.

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