Review: McSorley’s Irish Black Lager

Maker: McSorley’s, Utica, New York (or not. Lots of conflicting info online)

Style: Black Lager

ABV: 5.5%

Appearance: Dark coffee brown. Nice frothy but not hyper-active head.

Nose: Black coffee with brown sugar. Sweet, slightly bitter. Toasty.

On the palate: Medium bodied, nice roasty, toasty bitterness. A little sweetness. A well-composed lager.

Finish: light but with a fine bitterness that lingers in the cheeks. Very pleasant.

Parting words: I have no idea where this was made, but it’s a very decent black lager, goes down easy and the price is right. It’s worth picking up.

Review: Wexford Original Irish Style Crème [sic] Ale

Maker:  Greene King, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England

Style: Irish Cream Ale

ABV: 5%

Appearance: light auburn with a thick, sudsy head.

Nose: Fruity and sweet, with a bit of caramel.

On the palate: surprisingly thin body, but still exuberant even in the mouth. At first the fruitiness of the nose almost disappears, replaced by a slightly toasty malt flavor with a fair amount of pleasant bitterness. On subsequent sips the fruit comes back resulting in a much more balanced and satisfying beer.

Finish: The bitterness comes to the fore in the finish which lingers long in the cheeks and is barely tempered by a half-hearted return of the fruit in the nose.

Parting Words: I’m not sure what I expected from this beer, and I’m not sure I got it. It comes in a can with a  pressurized widget, so King has certainly taken every precaution to make sure Wexford makes  the trip across the pond in as good a condition as possible. It’s not unpleasant, but I was underwhelmed. The body was shockingly thin. I really expected much more from something called a cream ale. But overall, not a bad sip, especially after it settles down a bit in the glass. Not highly recommended, but it’s worth a try, especially if the price is right.