Quilter's Irish Death - Iron Horse Brewery

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Quilter's Irish DeathQuilter's Irish Death

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84 Reviews
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Reviews: 84
Hads: 275
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 27.08%
Wants: 21
Gots: 50 | 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: 84 | Hads: 275
Photo of Ryan011235
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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 +12.6%
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 +21.4%
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 +23.3%
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 +15.8%
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 +15.8%
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 +19.8%
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 +5.1%
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 +5.4%
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 +16.6%
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 +12.9%
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 +1.3%
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 -2.1%
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 +17.2%
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%
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 +4.6%
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 -6.7%
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 +12.1%
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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Photo of Spikester
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a large tan head and fair amount of sticky lacings. Aroma is fine just not very robust. Taste is sweet, dark, with a fair hop load. Never would have guessed this was an Impy Stout. Tastes more like a strong ale. Decent drink and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of maximum12
1.69/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to a, ah, unnamed but generous BA who dropped this bottle in as an extra to a winter-time trade. A brewery I hadn't heard of before, always a good thing. Nice bottle!

Pours flat, oily, dead black. No hint of carbonation, which is a bit disconcerting. Smell is lactose & sweet, like a milk stout, not strong.

Sadly, this is not a good beer. I'm not sure if the lack of carbonation is the sign of a bad bottle or if this is just naturally putrid. There's a touch of sweet, but the overwhelming taste is of burnt, acrid, dirt-stomped coffee grounds. The taste is only slight sub-average, but the aftertaste this leaves with your normal beer drinker is appalling. Makes me want to go brush my teeth with steel wool & ice cream.

Drinkability not good. Drain pour, for both myself & the wife. Too bad.

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Photo of LieutenantWort
2.55/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drinking from a 22oz bomber, poured into an imperial pint glass. Color is very dark, chestnut brown. Not much head, just a thin ring that hangs on all the way to the end of the glass.

Taste is um... interesting. Very sharp, stabbing sweetness quickly followed by a medicinal tang. No deeper notes in the aftertaste. Mouth feel is quite thin. Not what I'd call a stout, exactly (I expect a heavier mouth feel and more body to the taste).

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Photo of RJLarse
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Pastime in Ritzville. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color with very little head. It looks like a cola.

Smell is faint and non-descript.

Taste is sweet malted grain flavor with a mild bitterness along side.

Mouthfeel is smooth, maybe a little thin for the style. No cloying at all, but there is a little alcohol heat.

Drinkable for a taste and mouthfeel perspective, but a little high on ABV to be sessionable. Still a couple are nice.

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Photo of waldowin
2.06/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm not sure what to classify this beer as, but Imperial Stout is most definitely wrong. It's closer to a super-sweet scotch ale, by far.

Pours a slightly translucent amber so dark as to be nearly brown. Light shining through the sides comes through as merely slightly lighter. Certainly not a black beer by any measure.

No head on the pour, extremely thin white ring forms, no lacing. Smells of sherry, taffy, and candied sugars, with a hint of saltwater. Taste is of conflicting sweetnesses, almost no hops apparent. Aftertaste is slightly sickly-sweet, sticky, and unbalanced.

I'm not sure I'll make it through the 22oz, to be honest. And I've finished some pretty awful beers.

Again, this is certainly not a stout by any measure, and I don't just mean in termsof quality. I'm not sure where the style label came from.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.47/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to sampling ThristyHopHead's last extra, thanks much for the opportunity to trade.

Pours out smooth but nothing thick and with a robust, creamy head the climbs up and over the edges of the glass, which I quickly vacuumed up with my mouth. Dark and clear brown (almost black) with deep blood red highlights. Little bit of lacing forms above what's left of the ring like head.

Not really like any Double Stout I've ever encountered. Considering that this comes from the west coast it is incredibly malty in the sense that there is basically no hop character, not sure if this is a sign of age or just how the beer was manufactured. Instead there seems to be a much stronger focus on the malts. Slightly herbal, slight cinnamon spiciness. More focus on roastiness, but the sweetness cuts though and sort of melts together with the roasted notes to form an aroma that can only be described as beer-like.

I was certain this beer was not a Double Stout as soon as I sipped it, really seems more like a Scotch Ale, or Baltic Porter, no real characteristics that stick out to categorize it as any American Double Stout that I am familiar with. Very roasted, almost burn malt flavors mix with a complex interplay of mildly estery yeasts and alcohol. Finish leaves a slightly grainy taste i the mouth and is not smooth at all, softly carbonated in the start and dry and loose in the finish. Not as bad as I am sort of building this beer up to be, as I like that this beer is not an over-hopped monster and does not rely on gimmicks like coffee and chocolate to present itself. A pretty good malt centric beer that I feel suffers in being considered a Double Stout. Worth a shot for malt fans.

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Photo of hopdog
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a dark brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of roastiness, earthy, chocolate, and some nuttiness. Tastes of roastiness, earthy, chocolate, caramel, and toasty. This one was roasty all the way around.

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