It’s Import Day here at the Daily Beard. And, it’s also Beer From A Can Day! What could this possibly mean? Wexford’s Irish Style Creme Ale, that’s what! I’ve never heard of it, actually, but I have had Kilkenny, another Irish cream style, and I loved it. Unfortunately, the only place around here where I can find it is on tap at an Irish pub – not the most convenient place to go to when that Irish Cream Ale urge strikes me. Hopefully, this can of Irish mystery can fill that void. Let’s go drink, shall we?
First, opening this can sounds like you just released the shrieking Harpy Beasts of the Cursed Darkness. In other words, exposing air to the beer activates a nitro widget that sounds like Satan’s garage band. So far, pretty awesome stuff. Now, for the aroma notes. Malts dominate, but there’s a mysterious tang at the back. Oddly, it almost smells like tequila. I have no idea why that is. It could also just be some super sweet and bready malts, but it smells like tequila to me. There could also be a touch of sweet citrus fruits, but it’s hard to put my finger on it. This can isn’t giving up its secrets easily. I’m going to have to drink it to discover the truth.
The first taste from the can is a big malt bloom, with a roasty profile that ends with a slight bitterness at the back. As promised, it’s super creamy, flowing over the tongue like, well, cream. The aroma that I thought to be tequila is just rich, roasted malts – specifically bread and biscuits. That bitterness at the end of each taste seems to grow with time. I’m not sure what’s causing it. It doesn’t have the same characteristics of hops. It’s drier, less juicy. Whatever it is, it doesn’t hang around long enough to figure it out. Malts and more malts show up to hide the flavor. It’s basically like drinking a can of creamy, wet bread. However, despite the strength and potency at the beginning, it doesn’t last too long on the tongue, diminishing into a dull taste of bread crust. It’s quite a roller coaster ride, so far. I can’t quite decide if I like it or not.
Poured out into my Kilkenny pint glass (to invoke the Irish Cream Ale gods), there’s a bit of an iron tang to the aroma, with that odd tequila/malt scent showing up again. Possible floral notes arrive underneath, but that tequila vibe is overpowering everything. After a while, the tequila mellows to a point, allowing a caramel maltiness to take over and bring about a bit of sweetness. But, with the definitely unpleasant iron, and that weird tequila thing going on, I’m slowly losing confidence in this beer. If there was a stronger, pure malt aroma, or maybe if these instances of out of place tequila weren’t there, it’d be great. It looks nice, at least. I wish the head was a bit bigger, but what head did show up is a super creamy white fluff.
The pint glass taste is again roasted malts, with some hints of burnt caramel, and lighter sweet bread malts thrown in for good measure. The bread malts hang out at the edges, while an odd bitterness finishes the flavor. A slight iron tang is there as well, adding its not-so-enjoyable influence to the mix. I think this is where the bitterness is coming from. Without that tinny vibe, it’d be a tasty beer of malty proportions. Instead, that iron content brings it down quite a bit. It is still super creamy, but that diminishes fast, until it becomes weak and watery over the tongue. Like the can, the aftertaste is subdued. Malty, but nowhere near as potent as the initial flavors. It just doesn’t meet any level of steady, prolonged tastiness. And that’s a shame.
Overall, this brew had a lot of potential, but failed to achieve any worthwhile appeal. I don’t know if the can added some irony essence, or something happened in the brewing process, or maybe some brew ninja sabotaged my beer. Whatever the cause, there was always an odd bitterness lurking behind the potent malts. Without that, it would’ve been a wonderfully rich, bready beer. However, even if that were the case, it would still lose some points in the drinkability category for a weird transition from creamy to watery once you pour it into a glass. Early on, the flavors became unpleasant, but I held out hope that I just needed to give it time to adjust to its new surroundings. No such luck. It does look decent, with a rich, deep amber hue. It’s also not “too” pricey, but it still doesn’t reach the break even point of cost to taste.
I don’t know if I have any suggestions for drinking this. Perhaps if it’s on tap somewhere – maybe it wouldn’t have that weird tin flavor. Other than that, I don’t really recommend it for anything. If anyone else has tried this, and had a different, tastier experience, let me know. Maybe I had a bad can. If you do happen to love this beer, fear not. I definitely want to revisit this one later on. Hopefully I’ll be able to revise my score. But, until then, Wexford’s Irish Style Creme Ale earns a less than creamy D.
Lasting Strength: 7/10
Overall: 6.4/10 D