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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.

85 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 276
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 27.01%
Wants: 21
Gots: 51 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 85 | Hads: 276
Photo of ckornmannn
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is how I met this beer: local restaurant had Elysian space dust and this beer on tap. I was in the mood for an IPA but not happy that Elysian just sold out so I tried the Irish Death, which was described by the server as a stout. Well, it isn't- there is plenty of hops in there. It is a deep mahogany color. There is cherry on the nose and in taste. Wow, this is a delicious strong ale was my impression and it stands. Perfect balance of malt and hops. I now seek this one out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber brown with a sticky foam and lots of lacing in the narrow-waisted glass. Sudsy mouthfeel with a creamy carbonation. This does defy categorization, but it's a dark brew that seems like an odd Baltic Porter for a couple of sips. But it gradually reveals weirdness on all fronts.

Darkly rich with sweet caramel and burnt sugar. The sugary flavor never goes away, and the candy and leaf mold finish is just too strange. Then it tastes like an imperial Hefeweizen with flavored M&Ms. Butter and caramel aroma. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at The Market in Anacortes.

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Photo of gopens44
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Label says "dark, smooth ale" and that it certainly is. Description on BA says it's an American strong but it comes across as something between a Baltic Porter and a Schwartbier with about 75% of the taste leaning towards the prior. Especially in the the nose. Taste is of dates, fig and a little astringency floating around with that Schwartz crispness along the edges. Very tasty indeed.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.72/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color, with two fingers of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved away into an extremely thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic with lots of earthy, bready, roasted malt, which imparts notes of toasted dark bread, dark molasses and hits of dark chocolate. I also get notes of brown sugar, a hint of clove and cinnamon, and a touch of floral, grassy hops. Very inviting.

Taste: Wow! Very nice, very tasty beer! Lots of toasted and roasted malt up front, followed by some dark molasses and brown sugar-like sweetness, a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of cinnamon and clove, and a touch of smoke. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very, very smooth, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.8%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a really good, really tasty beer. Malty, roasty, toasty, slightly sweet, slightly savory, and very smooth. Delicious! Recommended!

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Photo of martyl1000
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

From a bomber at the hotel bar, Seattle Sheraton. A lot of flavor, here. They're just not good flavors. Yucky on so many levels -- primarily the stale, saccharine-sweet coffee. Then the leather.

Drinks like a leathery Scotch Ale. No, a brown ale. For a contrast in brown ale style, try Toppling Goliath Smoove Operator, instead, which is a brilliant brown ale of roughly the same abv.

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Photo of JaredGolia
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

This is a mediocre strong ale, in my opinion. I greatly enjoyed the Gary Imperial IPA, and the Double Rainbow but this beer lacks somewhere that I honestly can't quite pinpoint. It's a fine ale, but compared with other strong ales, I would feel more comfortable comparing this to a brown ale. Either way that doesn't change how the beer is. Smooth on the pallet, goes down easy. Not a lot of carbonation. Smells like shit to me. Taste is good, gets a 'creamier' taste the more it warms up. Overall it's a good beer, but I'm not too sure i personally would grab this again. Good to try though!

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black with ruby see through; light tan foam with tight bubbles; thick lace. Sweet candy yam aroma. Semi sweet malt backbone with some floral hop flavor; cocoa powder finish. Smooth lite mouthfeel; creamy sweet tongue coating. A little too "candy" sweet in the nose and the taste.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I ordered this on a whim at a restaurant a few months ago and was blown away. Very flavorful, very dark beer. I assumed it was a stout, but I now know it is not so easily classified. Porter, stout, whatever, it's awesome. It might be the only beer I can buy at my local Trader Joes that I really like as well.

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Photo of vladdswrath
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, deep brown with a light tan head as dense as a memory foam mattress. Scent is roasted malt and bready alcohol. Taste is sweet (almost too sweet), rich chocolate and licorice with a hint of vanilla lurking and just a touch of bitterness to remind you that this is actually a beer you're drinking and not a Yoo-hoo!. Mouth feel is incredible, smooth and creamy with just a touch of alcohol burn.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

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Photo of RenzoD
4/5  rDev +7%

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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of delta490
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

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.

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Photo of beergoot
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of archyquaffer
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of PorterLocoBro
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of BVukelich
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of ChugMan
4.34/5  rDev +16%
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.

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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

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Photo of jeffeljefe
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Quilter's Irish Death from Iron Horse Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.