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

265 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 84
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.58%
Wants: 19
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 84
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 NWer
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Generous pour into my brandy snifter yields darkness and an average head for a bold ABV beer. Settles down to nothing. No lace. No bubbles. Nothing.
Lots of discussion as to style. I see it as a Scotch Ale. Suits me.
Sweetness, chocolate, bold notes.
A very slight cloyness made me drop the score a little on the mouthfeel.
A very enjoyable beer just slightly off to keep it from being rated higher.

Photo of lwillitz
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22-oz bottle into Samuel Smith "Tulip" pint glass

A - cloudy dark brown body under a finger of medium tan bubbles, beautiful cascading bubbles

S - caramel sweetness, roasty malt, dark fruits, alcohol

T - roast malts predominate, dark fruits, hint of vanilla, almost a wooden flavor, alcohol, semisweet finish with an aftertaste of alcohol; alcohol hides pretty well until the finish

M - thick, chewy, smooth full body; meduim carbonation; alcohol warmth, especially in the finish

O - This one's great if you're looking for a dark malty ale on the sweeter side.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this ontap at the OBF. Super long line, got a whole pint for my wait. It was damn good, but on a hot summer day a sweet stout may not have been the best choice...

Black at first glance, but upon holding it up to the blazing sun a reddish brown.

Sweet chocolate in the aroma. Some lactose and brown sugar/molassas in there.

Taste is big and rich. Hello? Hops? Where are you? Some rich overripe fruit, and bam, lots of chocolate and sugary goodness. Some alcohol, no roasty coffee, just rich milky sweet chocolate. Like I said, a good beer, but for an outdoor summer brewfest...meh.

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 Bfarr
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

Photo of julian
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

<added pic>

A: pour is slightly syrupy, extremely dark brown in color. Looks to have dark walnut/garnet hues on the edges where the light can barely pass. thick creamy light tan head that really takes it's time rising to the surface. Leaves a wet bubbly lacing all the way around.

S: initial smell is lightly alcoholic, dark fruit, sweet malts. This almost smells like a belgian dark ale.

T: very smoooth and creamy. below average carbonation (which works well for this style). flavor is sweet, fruity. hints of diacetyl and slightly bitter roasty flavor

M: excellent. low carbonation, smooth and rolls off the tongue with ease.

D: At 7.8% and given the above properties of this beer, this is very drinkable, if not a bit too sweet.

Overall impressions: Very good, with a bonus of being locally brewed! Surprisingly, this is an Imperial Sweet Stout according to Iron Horse...wow just wow...this is a great style if that's the case. It tasted like a nut brown ale to me.

Photo of loren01
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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 beertunes
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of djbreezy
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap in a 12 oz glass at By the Bottle in Vancouver, WA.

appearance - dark with some transparency, some lacing

smell - candy and sugar, malts

taste - very sweet, candy and sugar notes mixed with a malty backbone

mouthfeel - a bit on the creamy side, smooth but oily

overall - i really dig what they've done with this...it doesn't really match a set style but that's just fine. it's an interesting beer and worth a try. fatigues after too much but worth a glass!

Photo of homebrew311
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into Russian River -tion glass. Appearance is a deep chestnut brown with auburn highlights. A thin layer of head sticks around to form a collar. Not much in the way of lacing. The nose features some sweeter notes of vanilla and cherry along with notes of caramel and toffee. Not getting anything in the way of hops. The taste is pretty sweet, just as the nose suggests, with lots of vanilla and caramel paired with dark fruits. The sweetness is strong but never becomes cloying. The mouthfeel features mellow carbonation with a moderate to heavy body. Overall, this is a malty treat that is balanced well and is deceptively strong.

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 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 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 thinkfull
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of DoctorZombies
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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 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.

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 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 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 ferrari29
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
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

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.

Quilter's Irish Death from Iron Horse Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.