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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
84
good

91 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 293
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 26.74%
Wants: 23
Gots: 59 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Iron Horse Brewery
Washington, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 91 | Hads: 293
Photo of ferrari29
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into a stemless Tulip shaped wine glass

A - Dark smooth ale color; beer poured with a one finger foam; bubbly carbonated look; moderate amount of lacing formed on the sides of the glass; head held very well; visible amount of yeast sediment sits on the bottom of the glass

S - Malt scents with a tangy nose; grape; biscuit; sour fruit notes; subtle hints of chocolate or coffee or roasted malt

T - Sweet malt tastes like caramel; some tangy notes of sour grapes; smooth and nice aftertaste, not very bitter; light touch of coffee

M - Frothy and bubbly; good solid body; slightly effervescent

D - Nice; I dig this beer; I would have a another, but not too many

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Photo of kola
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown ale. Leaves a lot of tracing on the glass. I got plenty of gold colored head that lasted longer than I expected.

S Decent chocolate and caramel. Not overpowering, but it's there and is good.

T This beer hit the spot for me. Lots of malt, coffee, and caramel in the mix, and a nice sweet touch that kept me coming back for more. Notes of dark fruit in the background. If I didn't know the alcohol content before hand, I'd never have guessed how much was there until after trying to stand up.

M Not too thick (this is an ale, not a stout), but plenty of body. Quite satisfying.

O If there was ever a reason for me to want to live in the Northwest, this beer is it. One of the best comfort ales I have run across. Yum!!

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this from a cask at the micro-pub in downtown Ellensburg.

A This beer is dark in color as you would expect with a slight reddish tint, however it is still a little translucent so nothing spectacular. The head was fairly short lived but there was a good bit of lacing.

S The nose of the beer is faint, there are hints of coffee, fruit and malt but nothing strong enough to stand out.

T The taste of this beer is pretty good. The 7.8% is hidden pretty well by massive amounts of malt, a hint of coffee and a slight fruity background which kind of reminds me of cherry cough syrup but in a good way, like if cough syrup actually tasted good.

M This beer is very smooth but kind of light for a darker beer.

Overall I say this is a good beer that is quite unique and well worth trying, it is an enjoyable drink and at 7.8% it will put you in a good place. So if you are in Ellensburg it is worth getting a bottle.

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Photo of Liberaldrinker
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best brown ale I have ever drank. Superb flavor and drinkability. The beer has a wonderful almost chocalately sweet smoothness. I had it out the bottle for the first time last night and it was almost as good as it is on tap. Pricey, but well worth it.

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Photo of jdense
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Uncle Sam's, Kennewick, WA, in non-frozen shaker pint glass, $4.25, 1.29.11.

Full pour, minimal head and significant lacing. Medium brown almost opaque darkness, no visible carbonation. Tan head what there is, significant lacing. Nose is faint milk chocolate and even more faint floral hops. Taste is on the sweet side, chocolate is more prominent than nose, floral hops are well hidden on back end, a bit of roast not coffee, more carafan-ish than roast, hops subsumed by big malt mill. Mouthfeel on the light side of medium, medium effervescence. Drinkability above average, served too damn cold despite room temperature glass. Overall not that great, lacking in hop and roast character.

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Photo of bum732
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S: slightly fruity, some coffee and chocolate, a lot of alcohol.

L: Very dark brown with ruby highlights, light tan head that dissipates to a ring of foam.

T: Slightly fruity esters with a coffee backbone. Some toffee with some alcohol. Medium bitterness followed by a touch of caramal sweetness.

M: Medium-bodied, medium-low carbonation, alcohol very noticeable.

A pretty messy beer. I would hardly call it a double stout, more like a big Irish stout. A lot of alcohol is present which really distracts some of the other aromas and flavors. Not a fan.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a mix of brown and black, brown winning the appearance war, with a creamy texture to boot. But seriously, who in the world would ever confuse/call this a double/imperial stout. This is more like a strong ale or a strong brown.

Aroma had a little bit of peat to it, as if a red or brown. Taste, very smooth, hid the alcohol well, toffee malt feel for it. I liked it, drank this with over a year of age on it, nice and rich. Advertised as smooth, and I would agree. This one went great with enchiladas, covered up the spiciness well.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a wine glass on 12/2/10

Dull, dark brown; not particularly cloudy but it has a murky bent. Rust & amber highlights. 2/3rd inch head held for a few minutes, dropping to a puffy skim. Some lace.

Soft aromas of earthy & floral hops with a hefty malt backdrop. Partially-baked bread with yeast notes. Toasted caramel & a touch of toffee. Vague notions of cocoa & coffee beans as it warms.

Smooth malt taste - caramel; mild, dry cocoa seated in the back; toffee. Modest flourishes of juicy hops with an even-keeled bitterness. Reasonably tasty, even if it plays it safe to some degree.

Slightly over medium body with moderate carbonation; just a little underlying prickliness. A hint of grittiness. Coffee-esque notes linger.

Drinkability is fine; I've enjoyed it. This doesn't at all seem like an imperial stout to me; maybe more of a Scottish ale or some such. Regardless, it's pretty solid. Rating doesn't reflect imperial stout as the style.

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Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears black with a solid light brown head.

It smells a bit of chocolate, roasted nuts, smoky malts, and it has slight caramel smell. I also get a bit of earth herbal smell and a fruity almost banana like smell.

It tastes initially of sweet malted barley: I get notes of caramel and sweet chocolate. There is a subdued sweet coffee flavor. I also get a bit of an herbal flavor. The flavors of this beer blend nicely with each other. It is a very smooth beer.

The carbonation is low and smooth.

The drinkability is really good. Though it is a heavy beer it goes down smooth.

Overall a great beer though it is not an imperial stout. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of blackc5
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had this on-tap and in bottle several times. Some notes from the bottle:

A - Respectable amount of foam that fades slowly and smoothly. Nice dark chocolate brown/near black. Small amounts of thin lacing.

S - Mild notes of sweet caramel, dark chocolate and heavily roasted malt. A pinch of earthy hops linger in the background.

T - Quite unexpectedly good. This is a sweet, but nicely balanced, chocolaty stout. Not nearly as sweet as Southern Tier, but sweeter than a standard stout. Dark chocolate definitely is the main flavor with some caramel and molasses, a bit of earthiness, and a hint of smoke. Outstanding - a real sleeper, this.

M - Fairly full-bodied and creamy. Low to mid-carbonation, but this fits it perfectly. This beer just has a near perfect balance.

D - I would rate this sky high given how great it tastes, and the fact that I would have never guessed this to be nearly 8%. Drinks like 5% and I downed it pretty fast. A go-to stout.

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Photo of echoes
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a glass.

A: Similar to soda but darker brownish-black. Slight carbonation. Could be mistaken for soda if one didn't smell it first. Pours a very thick head which recedes somewhat quickly.

S: Has a slight or subtle coffee smell to it. Very pleasant to the nose, perhaps even more so than any other beer I've smelled.

T: Excellent! Has subtle coffee and dark chocolate flavors to it. Very pleasing to the palate. The alcohol taste doesn't come through until the end and even then it isn't unpleasant and doesn't come through much (not to a fault though).

M: Somewhat thick feel. Very smooth but not weak.

D: I honestly do not think they could have made a better tasting "dark smooth ale/stout". At 7.8% ABV I would not drink another one for personal reasons but if not for these personal reservations I would & could certainly drink another half bottle. It goes down very easily but not because it is weak or poor.

I tried to be fair & honest (with this my first review) even though this is hands-down my favorite beer. A little pricey where I am at $4.29 a bottle (thanks to Washington's new tax) but it is well worth the price. I would even pay more for this. If one enjoys dark beers this is a must-try. I know that is probably difficult though considering (AFAIK) it is a regional/local beer.
I am not a coffee drinker and never have been but I do enjoy true dark chocolate (such as 90+% cocoa chocolate and raw cacao).

Definitely give this a try if you're in eastern Washington (state)!

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Photo of bluecoat
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Recently moved to Ellensburg, and gave this a shot. Smells sweet, like malt and cream. Tastes thick, with hints of coffee, cream, and maybe berries.

The mouthfeel is thick, but not particularly exciting. Overall, a pretty good beer. I haven't had enough stout to compare it to, unfortunately.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer on growler may times and thought I would review it for a change. The I-Ho is becoming one of my favorite pit stops to make along the I-90 drive out east. Great little set up, but I always seem to miss out when they have something special hooked up. Oh well, I'll just have to keep trying.

A- Black as night with a slight head. We will call it midget head, and midget head is a light sand color.

S- Chocolate, malts, butter, coffee, and something I can't put my finger on. This beer smells like none other of the style I've had.

T- This beer has something extra that I think most beers of the style do not. This has a solid taste, very rich and malty with almost a meat marinade taste toward the end. I remember having this for the first time a few years back and there was a bit more chocolate taste to it then there is now. (Then again this growler has been sitting around for a week before I've opened it) This is just tasty and easy to drink for sure.

M- Thick and chewy, very hearty.

D- Very easy to drink, yet won't fill you up like drinking a case of Macro lagers will to get the same buzz.

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Photo of honeybrewer
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap in Tacoma a couple weeks ago, just found my notes.
Pours a very dark brown, almost black. Little bit of tan creamy head.
Smells awesome. Dark/chocolate malts, sweet, carmel, maybe just a bit of fruity hops.
Tastes even better. Very well balanced beer, all the flavors come together just right.
Mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth. Moderate carbonation.
I could drink this beer forever. It is excellent.

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Photo of loren01
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown color, whitish brown head, slight lace down the glass.
S: Great chocolate, molasses sweet scent.
T: Real sweet and malty. Slightly fruity taste in there as well. Also has a fait piney hop aftertaste.
M: The label on this beer says its a smooth dark ale...they arent lying about how smooth this beer is..very nice!
D: I'm gonna have to go ahead and disagree with the style on this one...this is more like a double Irish red or something. This is a great beer...was a little bit hesitant to get it cause I don't really like imperial stouts..its very far from that, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very interesting deep dark brown with a fairly thick umber head. A nice chocolate malty aroma.
The high carbonation on this threw me for a loop. It has a deep and smooth chocolate and caramel malt body but it doesn't cling like an imperial stout. Instead it finishes quickly and smoothly as an ale would. Even with just a hint of Irish cream.

This one is very intersting. It is described on the bottle as a dark ale and I would be inclined to agree. I'll not say I'm a big fan of the feel on this one but the taste and drinkability are high. It's so easy drinking it almost seems wrong to be associated with death. If only death would go down this easy!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure I agree with the classification on this as a Double/Imperial Stout. Not what the brewerey says! More of an Irish or Strong Red Ale.
Poured a deep red color with lots of brown gues and a small white head. Nose is dry with rich fruits, candy sugar and chocolate and perhaps some peat. Taste follows nose prewtty close, big malt, syrupy, booze, chocolate, caramel.Very drinkable!

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Photo of BDJake
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pitch black with dark brown on the edges, chunky head with good retention and excellent lacing- looked like a more intimidating version of a guinness pour

S- caramel, chocolate and roasted malts and slightly bitter

T- bitter from the start, dark malts all throughout, and somewhat of a hoppy finish

M- medium/creamy body and nicely carbonated

D- i wanted to merely sip this one, but it just wouldn't let me

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Photo of thinkfull
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers from the local Iron Horse Brewery.

It's a dark beer, but not super thick or opaque. Head is a creamy color and flavor. The smell is the major downfall to this beer; the smell reminds me a little of the beer cans I collected as a kid to fund my fourth of july fireworks fund. Its a little skunky, although there are nutty and coffee-like scents here as well.

I have described this beer as an American Guinness before; it's similar in look and taste, but MORE, especially in the taste area. It's rich and malty, with an herbal tinge and a touch of bright hoppiness. The mouthfeel is pretty average for this style, kinda chewy and sticky. Drinkablility is like tap Guinness, in that you can't really chug it but it leaves you wanting your next sip. This beer works great with a burger at the Palace here in Ellensburg, and I'm sure others as well.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: extremely dark brown in color with not much in the way of translucence. One finger of creamy tan head. Looks pretty good.

Smell: roasted malts, coffee and a little tart character. Pretty good; smells a lot like and English porter.

Taste: quite a lot of bitter, tart roastiness up front. Starts off kind of astringent but mellows in the aftertaste. Flavor drifts off into chocolate notes toward the end. A nice dynamic experience, if a bit bitier than I'd like.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice level of carbonation. Creamier than I normally expect an imperial stout to be.

Drinkability: this beer is not bad but not exactly a session brew.

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Photo of livingregret
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz Bottle

Appearance: Poured a lovely amber Black(it makes sense) with a lucious creamy 2 finger head. Ample lacing made it a very lovely looking beer

Smell: Spicy coffee notes yet strangely....off when cold. As it warms you get dark fruit, caramel and brown sugar. Yum

Taste: Liquid goodness. A sweet chocolate lends itself to feel like a spicy candy that is oh so good. Still getting that dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel. Molasses? Little to no hops and it's a good thing. Very good

Mouthfeel: Very smooth but a touch to thing

Drinkablity: This is not really an Imperial Stout. Not a normal beer actually and a little hard to define. But this beer...is damn good.

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Photo of yaegerje
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - A beautiful dark stout, creamy tan head, glorious tiny bubbles.

S - Coffee McCoffeestein, how are you? Yah, a little bit of coffee coming through, just a little sarcasm too.

T - Honestly, it tasted like old coffee grounds and some random stout, just way too much coffee coming through, sorry Jim...

M - Pretty good, really heavily carbonated, belching storm ensued.

D - I kinda tried to ignore the taste, it was just so darn strong... otherwise pretty enjoyable!

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Photo of beertunes
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pint raised in memory of Jim Quilter (who developed this beer and whose name is on it) who passed away yesterday (6/30/09) at age 52. Cheers Jim!

Served in pint glass. Poured very dark, but not quite black, with just over an inch of deep tan head that dissipated quickly, leaving moderate lacing.

A rich roasted aroma is the upfront scent, with an unexpected spicieness noticed on the finish. The flavors coat the tongue nicely, the roasted malt goodness dominating with that little spice taste and a little hop tang on the end.

The body on this beer is outstanding, being full without being heavy. The drinkability is hampered only by the strength of this, truly, stout.

A beer worth seeking out. A job well done Jim.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I remember being wowed by this beer at Oregon Brewers Festival last year. At the time, it seemed a strange entry for a mid-summer festival, a malty stout amidst a sea of wheats, pales and IPAs. I recall going for at least 3 tastes before the taps ran dry sometime on Saturday. Found this bottle in the beer case at 'By the Bottle' a couple weeks ago, had to snatch one up to see it compares with my fond recollections; 22 oz. poured twice to a pint glass.

Straight from the brewery's website: "Quilter's Irish Death is what we call a dark, smooth, ale. Any attempt at classifying it just ends up sending beer geeks into a style guidelines diatribe. So forget style guidelines. Is your pursuit of micro beer about tasting copies of a style that fit guidelines anyways? (Neither is ours) Irish Death is a malt bomb. We lovingly refer to it as beer candy."

A: Deep mahogany with a glimmer of ruby. Vigorous pour yields a heady tan creamy topping 1-finger. Ebbs slowly, replenished by tiny carbonation creeping up the glass. Translucent in strong light, shows a little more carbonation a a fine siltiness. Lace is fairly subdued, a patchwork of amorphous shapes.

S: The brewer's self-assessment, 'malt bomb', is absolutely correct. Aroma of brown sugar, caramel, sweet berries and raisins. A tickle of alcohol fumes.

T: First sip is liquid candy, but a spiced/sugared kind of candy. Raisins galore, brown sugar and cinnamon. Molasses, ginger snaps or Fig Newtons(?). Sugar and spice get balanced by a fair roastedness, there may some hops in there providing a bittering, but they're indiscernible. 'Cocoa' flavor builds as it warms.

M: Sweet, without being overbearingly thick or syrupy. In fact it's rather thin-feeling, TOO smooth, perhaps. Carbonation is soft, a little tingling spice. A cool sensation down the throat; lip-smacking maltiness sticks around.

D: Tempting to have more, once the palate gets used to the malty sweetness. The need to categorize this beer leads me to disagree with the 'Double/Imperial Stout' that the first reviewer settled upon...Strong Ale (a catch-all term if ever there was one...) could work...were there a little more peat/smoke I could be swayed toward 'Wee Heavy' (and what with a name like 'Irish Death' perhaps a sideward glance at the Scots?). Heck, my wife even thought it 'tasted' like a quad', but much thinner. Suffice to say, this beer won't appeal to the hop-lovers, but it's one of the more intriguing and -yes- style-defying beers I've had in a while. I liked it well enough and give it a nod for a try - not quite the ringing endorsement, but so be it.

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Photo of sensorglitch
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a local establishment from tap.

Served in a pint glass

Held a nice head, good color, not too pale, deep color.

The flavor was rich, and had a nice taste. The texture was nice, not too thin, had a richness to it, like you would expect from a good stout. The taste rolled nicely on the tongue.

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Quilter's Irish Death from Iron Horse Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.