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Quilter's Irish Death - Iron Horse Brewery

Not Rated.
Quilter's Irish DeathQuilter's Irish Death

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

252 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 252
Reviews: 78
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.58%
Wants: 18
Gots: 40 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Horse Brewery visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RedDiamond on 09-18-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 78
Photo of ashleylake
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is a great beer paired with spicy beef tacos!

Photo of arvidkoval
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown. Smells sweet, with a banana like aroma. Smells creamy as well if that makes any sense? Tastes sweet and I can't escape this banana like flavor... a chocolatey aftertaste. Only slightly boozey. The carbonation is good here. Good, easy drinking, medium octane beer!

Photo of RenzoD
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Along with Mac and Jacks African Amber ale and Georgetown's Manny's Pale ale, this is probably one of Washingtons staples of craft-beer. You walk into a joint and ask for an Irish Death and everyone will know exactly what you are talking about. There's a reason for this; It is a fantastic ale. It is a beautiful beer. Inviting, dark appearance, but on the lighter end of medium body, goes in and down super smooth and has an excellent taste of nut, caramel, malts and balanced well with comforting hop flavor. Though maybe not an out-of-this-world, knock-you-off-your-feet beer in the vein of strong ales, nevertheless it is an always reliable, always enjoyable brew.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a nearly pitch black color with a one finger head of tan colored foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a good level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is heaviest of a roasted malt smell along with some lighter sweet vanilla smells and a bit of a toast smell. Along with these are some light caramel and coffee aromas.

Taste- The taste begins a with a roasted malt taste with a good deal of vanilla and some caramel. As the taste advances the roast dwindles some all while the sweeter flavors of vanilla and caramel gain intensity. Other light hints of chocolate and coffee come to the tongue at the very end along with just a bit of a graininess, to combine with the rest of the flavors to leave a rather semi-sweet and smooth roasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is rather average to slightly below average. For the darker and sweeter flavors of the brew it is rather appropriate and makes of a rather nice drinker.

Overall – A fairly nice stout overall with a decent sweetness but yet balanced by a good deal of roastednesss. Overall rather nice.

Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

I had this tasty brew at the Rusty Moose in Spokane a few months ago. Poured black as pitch with a foamy tan head, but with a sweet aroma and thick, malty taste. Definitely a sipper, but an excellent one.

Photo of steelreaper
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Hands down the best beer I have ever had. So damn tasty. If the location I am getting beer at has this I wont even consider anything else. 5/5

Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Mahogany and cola colored body crowned with a thick, stick, off-white head. Sweet caramel, toffee, and licorice aroma; fig newton. Sweet and mildly boozy flavor combined with a bitter chocolate touch. Medium-heavy body; thick and chewy, semi-dry finish.

A very nice big beer. It's smooth with just the right touch of thickness and deftly balances the malt sweetness with the hop bitterness and subtle alcohol heat. There is nothing earth shattering here, but it's very tasty and drinks very easily.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with very little light transmission and a half finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Nice aroma of toasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee and vanilla. Flavor starts similar to the aroma, with toasted malt, chocolate and nuts with a lighter fruit element quickly developing to finish with dark malt, light cherry and berry juice, chocolate and a light tartness in the finish. Medium bodied with bright carbonation. A beefed up brown ale with an interesting flavor progression from almost a nut brown into a lighter slightly tart brown. The ABV is well covered, probably explaining the demise of the quilter. Interesting and I'm long overdue reviewing this local classic.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up almost no head but what is there has a little bit of retention. The head is a light beige to medium tan while the body is a dark chocolate brown that shows glimmers of burgundy and garnet in the light. Considerable lacing for such little head.

Nose- Lots of chocolate from the bottle- reminds me a lot of chocolate soda. More complexity from the glass- still a good amount of chocolate, some cocoa, some coffee and roasted malts. Chocolate tends to a semi-sweet variety with hints of raisins and cherries. Some nuttiness. Some milk and cream as well. Swirling brings up vanilla and toffee (and small hints of butterscotch) alongside an enhanced creamy aroma. Smells delicious and very promising.

Taste- Starts off with large notes of chocolate but lacks the complexity of the nose. Some roasted malts and a slight woody bitterness on the finish that recalls oak and cedar. Some coffee and a little bit of nuttiness. A nice middle of cream and milk with slight butterscotch. Some sweetness around the edges that hints at raisins but doesn't ever quite get there. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon on the finish. The finish has noticeable heat which isn't too distracting. Does have indications of a cocktail made with Bailey's, Kahlua, Frangelico, or something along those lines. Above average to good beer. Nice presence and pretty good balance and integration- I just wish it had the complexity of the nose. It would easily be a good to really good beer if that were the case. Light berry notes around the edges as well. Some caramel in the middle also.

Mouthfeel- This is another area where this beer shines. A little more than medium bodied with a nice smooth feel. Low carbonation but there is a little bit of sting to go with the heat of the finish.

Drinkability- Fairly easygoing despite the palpable heat. Around 5 bucks a bomber means that it's reasonable but I don't know if I would buy this again. Could be interesting on nitro.

Overall- Above average to good beer that somewhat defies categorization. Has some stout aspects and a few characteristics of a strong ale. It's worth a try no matter how you classify it.

Photo of archyquaffer
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a bomber into a sampler. A moderate pour produces about a one inch, pale brown head that dissipates quickly but is pretty sticky with a thin layer of head the whole way. The color is a very dark brown.

The hops are not forward in this beer- I'm not familiar with this brewery, but I would expect any Washington state ale to be very hoppy. Therefore, there is very little noticeable hop aroma or flavor. However, the malt flavors are quite complex, evoking coffee, molasses, and dark fruit flavors (plum, cherry, grapeskin). A little caramel is detectable in the nose and palate as well. The alcohol is well-hidden, except for perhaps a little warming. Some earthy and perhaps slightly citrusy hop tones are evident in the aftertaste, along with a little bit of a fruity tang. I would describe the mouthfeel as something akin to a good porter.

This beer is described on the label as "dark, smooth ale", and I think they hit the target. This is an enjoyable malt bomb that I purchased during St. Paddy's weekend at Hennessey's grocery in Butte, Montana.

Photo of vkv822
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz : tulip

Pours near black with deep brown edges when held to light. Foamy, light toffee colored head.

Aroma is primarily of caramel, toffee malts, some dark fruit with a faint earthy, floral, spicy hop backing. The taste follows the nose fairly well.

Medium body, mild foamy carbonation.

A decent beer, and a very malt-forward example of the style. A bit forgettable, but I still enjoyed my bomber of it.

Photo of PorterLocoBro
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had Irish Death on-tap at Applebee's in Bellevue Washington in a standard pint glass, by itself and without food. The overall appearance, although generally unimpressive, consists of a thick, rough, light brown, melted marshmallow-like head with an extremely dark-brown body. The smell, besides the taste, is the second best aspect, it is fairly complex with very little influence of hops, holding aromatic hints of bitter chocolate, almonds, brown sugar, and sweetened coffee.

The taste is outstanding; this is the best sweet, dark American ale I've ever had. Irish Death takes the concept of a dessert beer to new levels. Although not complex or hoppy, it is absolutely delicious. The taste is mostly that of chocolate, primarily sweet and smoky, barely bitter, feels heavy, thick; anything but watery, fairly sour and shockingly smooth for being 7.8% ABV.

Between the rich taste and the consistency of its flavor and aroma, Irish Death is a personal favorite of mine. However, folks who prefer more bitter American ale's may want to put this sweeter Northwestern brew on the bottom of their lists.

Photo of BVukelich
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice looking beer. Had it on tap at a new restaurant in the area, Hop Jacks. Decent head, left phenomenal lace. The aroma was average and the taste was far from complex. Definitely more on the sweet side and very low bitterness. Good mouthfeel but not much of an aftertaste. Overall not a bad stout, won't be my go-to stout but I could "session" these on occasion.

Photo of Axnjxn
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber into a teku glass. 7/18/13 bottling date

pours a very dark brown with reddish hues. Smell is of caramel, toffee and malts and is quite strong. the taste is also of caramel and toffee as well as some bready notes. very malty as well. reminiscent of arrogant bastard but without the hops. body is a tad light, id like it to be fuller. light carbonation as well.

overall a pretty good ale here, id drink another but i would always prefer arrogant bastard to this, so i'm not sure if i'd ever choose it willingly.

Photo of ChugMan
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Food Pairing - Trailmix bar - almonds, peanuts, dried fruit, caramel etc. Really really good pairing here. I suspect the same would be true of any of these ingredients on their own!

A - Dark, reddish brown, nearly opaque. Light fizzy head, light lacing.
S - Oats and fruity qualities, definitely a dense sweetness that's enticing.
T - Rich! Some alcohol right up front, but gives way quickly to more interesting figs, dried cherries, fresh raspberry tartness, oats and molasses. Coppery caramel, saltwatter taffy, almonds. Finishes quite creamy.
M - Really smooth, the alcohol and creamyness isn't overpowering and goes down easy! Not dry, not thin, just right.
O - This beer really grew on me the more I progressed through the bottle - for maximum flavor, don't drink this straight out of the fridge! Let it warm up just a little. Great beer here at a great price, awesome for those looking to expand their beer horizons or anyone keen to enjoy a rich, intensely flavorful and fun beer.

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a muddy dark brown with a foamy tan head that leaves strands of lacing with every sip

Smell: Toffee and cherry cola (or Dr. Pepper, perhaps)

Taste: Toffee with a cherry cola character building in the middle; hints of fig and date, but none too prominent and, perhaps a dusting of cocoa powder; finishes rather sweet, with a cola undertone in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Interesting to read the reviews of this beer as various raters try to wrap their brains around this beer; moving it to a Strong Ale was a good idea as clearly it is not a beer that lands in stout territory; I am not a big fan of sweet beers but I found this rather enjoyable

Thanks, kemoarps, for the opportunity

Photo of jeffeljefe
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-- Black-brown. Clear? Hazy? Would need some kind of laser to tell. Thick, lasting cream-colored head, some lacing.
S-- Sweet caramelly chocalate (a little stuffed up, that's the best I can do.)
T-- Lightly sweet, roasted nuts. A little bit of brightness coming through. get the whiskey barrel in the finish
M-- medium-to-full-bodied, creamy
O-- Nice, not overly sweet in my opinion, drinkable. Not overly malty for a strong ale. Balanced and not one-note. Wouldn't drink this all the time, but it's a pleasant 22oz attitude adjustment.

Photo of Murrhey
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from starndard pressure-cap bomber to pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Half-finger mocha head with long retention. Thin, opaque, mocha lacing. Color of reddish-clay, very hazy, only clarity comes from the edges.

S- Chocolate fudge, roasted malts, some brandy.

T- Strange flavors. Alcohol comes much more into play here, tastes like dark chocolate liqueur or a white Russian almost. Some fruity hoppiness (surprisingly) at the end of the drink as well. How peculiar. After the initial dark, roasted flavors, finishes very sweetly. Quite nice.

M- Smoooth. Finishes rather dry and tight.

O- Surprising beer. I liked it. It isn't drop-dead wonderful, but a nice roasty sort of ale.

Photo of searsclone
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

review is from notes. unfortunately, I did not note the glass I used.

poured cloudy root beer color with a creamy tan head that was gone almost immediately. good lacing though.

smell was roasted malts and clean. not a lot on the nose.

taste was roasted malts, earth clan hops, spices, alcohol, with a toffee sweet finish. alcohol is very well hidden.

mouthfeel is great, smooth and creamy with a light carbonation. almost like a nitro. medium body with a wet finish.

overall, highly drinkable due to the mouth felel and great balance. If this were readily available, I would have it again.

Photo of Kevin73
2.82/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a partially transparent ruddy brown with a very thin head that disappears quickly with almost no lacing. The smell is dark chocolate and indistinguishable fruit that was not quite orange citrus which, darn it all, would have been nice. My first sip tasted distinctly like green olives, that put me off a bit. Fortunately the flavor changed and I was able to savor the sweetness of the bready malts balancing the high ABV. Still it's a thin ale with a watery back end. I guess you would classify this as a malty porter, where as porters are normally hopped, but definitely not a stout.

Photo of KajII
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Suggested Glassware: Nonic Pint]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a small (less than 1 finger) light brown fizzy head that diminished in a matter of seconds, down to just a small collar with fair light lacing.

The aroma was somewhat mild with a roasted chocolate malt and a light doughy yeast with notes of dark fruit (raisins and dates), coffee, cola, molasses and a mild alcohol tinge.

The taste was a bold malty sweet with a good strong dark fruit presence and a hint of molasses and maybe chocolate from the beginning, and then took on a nice bold roastiness with a touch of coffee and a nice mellow alcohol ending. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, and what was left behind is still somewhat of a tasty mystery to me.

Mouthfeel was just about medium in body with a thin dry texture and a fizzy carbonation.

Overall the brewer is correct, I just can not put this one into any one style category. All I know is it is damn tasty and I like it...

http://www.facebook.com/KAJIIsBeerReviews

Photo of rudzud
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared with a friend and poured into my Dogfish Head chalice. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a hazy, ruddy brown with a one finger off white head that faded to leave a nice light side lacing and a wispy blanket.

S - Sweet, bordering on too sweet, with lots of figs and dark fruit and caramel.

T - Taste is similar to the nose with more malty sweetness and dark fruits (mostly figs), caramel, and toffee. Its not bad...

M - Mouthfeel is pretty good. Nice carbonation keeps this from being heavy or syrupy thanks to the sweetness.

O - Overall this was a good beer, albeit too sweet for my liking.

Photo of PEBKAC
2.35/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle from LetsPour. Ommegang chalice to try & keep everything compact.

Cream-colored flimsy head. Muggy, dark brown body. Light sleeping sediment; I tried.

Smells like a like a brown ale with some cacao nibs & cherry juice added. A bit medicinal.

Some toasty grain on the taste, but it honestly tastes how it smells. Some licorice. Curious nuttiness on the trail end. Not really all that sweet, just sloppy.

Frothy tongue. Really low carbonation, barely a tickle. Rough alcohol. This is not 7.8%.

At least the shipping was free.

/shrug

Photo of Brenden
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Irish Death is almost black but not quite, though even at the edges light has trouble sneaking in. A light-medium brown head reaches a finger in height and shows some resilience, though it does fade off. Lacing is above average, going spotty for the most part.
This isn't exceedingly complex, but it isn't simple either. A sturdy malts base with only enough hops for balance make for a brew on the sweeter end, but it's by no means too sweet. There's a bit of caramel and vanilla and a touch of something like candy sugars. A gently peppery bite is one way to add character and complexity. There's also a strong breadiness, giving the impression of something like fruitcake, as there is a fruity element, particularly as it warms. It's not so much dark fruits as berries. There's even a touch of peat detectable in the background. Alcohol is well-masked, peeking out in the finish and more so as it sits. All in all, it works together nicely.
The body is medium, and this beer is rich on the tongue and velvety smooth. There's just a very light crisp nip, as smoothness seems to be the intent, but smooth it absolutely is and makes for very nice drinking.

Photo of ZachStone625
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you love malty brews, don't care for the bitterness of a double IPA and love a starch-heavy beer with a near 8% ABV, look no further.

This is your malty "beer candy" as the brewer proclaims. Almost no bitterness to balance and finish it, there's a prominent malty front and middle with a surprisingly clean and warm finish to wrap up this strong ale. This is a great beer if you're a fan of amber, red, or brown ales - malt heavy but laying back on the hops. There are only malt and alcohol flavors here, and the 7.80% abv is deceptively approachable, you won't even notice how strong it is until it hits your face like a boxer punch on your third pint.

If you love red, ambers, porters, and brown ales, but want the desired effect of an American Strong ale without the groin punch of bitterness a triple IPA serves up, go for this.

My only complaints with this beer is the sweetness and the carbonation. It goes flat worse than a warm diet Coke - unless you get and drink this from the tap at BevMo and slam down two pints pronto, you're looking at a fizzless beer. The sweetness might be from the yeast getting tired of producing huge amounts of alcohol and dying off from their byproduct, yielding an approachable brew, but I like the bubbles coalescing from my tongue. What happened? Don't buy a 22 bottle and go on a road trip from Portland to Seattle, head and lacing will vanish in seconds. Again,. maybe the yeast couldn't handle it, but more carbonation would definitely make this beer world-class.

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Quilter's Irish Death from Iron Horse Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.