Howling Gale Ale | Eight Degrees Brewing

39 Ratings
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Howling Gale AleHowling Gale Ale

Brewed by:
Eight Degrees Brewing

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
New from May 2011

Like blitzing down the Ballyhouras on your bike with an icy wind in your face, this delivers a refreshing crisp smack around the gills. It pours a pale golden colour and the malty sweetness is well balanced by the American Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial hops.
Howling Gale has a pleasant grapefruit and citrus aroma and goes well with fish, chicken or anything off the barbeque.

Added by JohnfromDublin on 05-19-2011

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Ratings: 39 |  Reviews: 13
Reviews by NilocRellim:
Photo of NilocRellim
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served from the tap.

The beer was a hazy gold colour.

The smell had notes of mandarin orange and light hops.

The taste was just as subtle and balanced as the smell led on. It was a little malty with grapefruit at the end.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

 252 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of innominat
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of fionn13
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of biboergosum
3.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle, a new arrival on Alberta's ever-expanding imported beer scene. The brewers' origin story on the label does make me a wee bit jealous, I must admit.

This beer pours a somewhat hazy, medium golden yellow hue, with two fingers of mostly bubbly, and rather loosely foamy dirty white head, which leaves some sparse splattered lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of gritty and grainy pale malt, watery orange and grapefruit juice, a further bit of generic drupe fruitiness, and a soft leafy, earthy hoppiness. The taste is more citrusy up front - somewhat bitter orange, grapefruit, and lemon notes - over a simple caramel-tinged grainy pale maltiness, a touch of perfumed florals, an ethereal spicy wheatiness, and some faint dry yeast esters.

The carbonation is pleasantly moderate in bearing, just a slightly cutting frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, a bit thin, but mostly smooth, the hops not those sort of guys. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness holding fast, along with a lingering floral perfume character.

A decent enough hoppy pale ale, the American varietals used more or less judiciously, keeping the bitterness in check. Easy to drink, and the overall lightness of this beer's being makes me want to save the rest of this pricey sixer until patio season, even though it just snowed again today - these ex-pat Irish lads don't know the meaning of an 'icy wind in your face'.

 1,432 characters

Photo of nikigava
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of beerinabottle
4.75/5  rDev +32.7%

Photo of VictoriaTyagunova
4.19/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of alasdair
4.54/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes really good.

29 characters

Photo of Jerseyislandbeer
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of lillitnn92
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of mdagnew
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought from

Poured a golden amber colour with a slight haze... White head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded to decent light covering... light carbonation... good sticky lacing lines cling to the glass...

Aroma - Light maltiness mixed with a good dose of citrusy and peppery hops, pine, tart fruits (grapefruit, lemons, apples), very floral, quite grassy, faint honey sweetness, light breadiness, some sea salt...

Taste - Good grassy and citrus hop bitterness, light pine, tart fruits (grapefruits, apples), light sweet biscuit malts, hint of wheat, peppery, some salty notes, floral and perfumed...

Feel - Quite smooth with a little bite underneath... light / medium body. Very, very quaffable and refreshing...

Overall - A excellent, straightforward, hoppy and very drinkable APA... recommended...

 837 characters

Photo of Eucrid
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.32/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Against The Grain, Dubliin, into a generic nonic pint glass. Reviewed live. I had very high hopes for this beer and was very excited to try it; I'm always happy when a new Irish microbrewery starts gaining traction!

A: Pours a two finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and average retention. Colour is a dark copper; nontransparent.

Sm: Slight raspberry esters, full barley, and very very subtle malt. Quite appealing. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Very slight berry esters, a full barley body, and a sadly overindulgent bittering hop climax that strongly opposes the general tone of the beer. Some floral notes manifest but don't come through significantly. Tangerine esters are present as noted by other reviewers. Complex enough, well enough built, and pretty well balanced. It just sabotages itself with those damned bittering hops.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with unwelcome coarseness on the climax. Pretty complementary of the flavours on the body, but not tailored to them.

Dr: Very easy to drink, especially for the style, but it does suffer from an inflated price and those damned bittering hops. It would best be redirected as a straight pilsener with ester undertones; the bittering hops are holding it back. To hell with this half-assed pale ale approach.

 1,294 characters

Photo of kgmm77
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SnatchyMcPants
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted this 330ml brown bottle of Howling Gale on 06.08.2011 (Best by Mar 2012).
A nice head formed on top of the amber hazy brew. There was quite a bit of yeast sediment in the bottle and I did not pour the last bit. Nice lacing on the glass.
The smell was a bit muted with some hops coming through. My first taste and I am thinking that there is a definite "Belgian" thing going on here. I am not a brewer, but maybe Belgian yeast is used to give the edge to this bittered ale?. There is not very much sweetness going on, despite that label stating "malty sweetness balanced by the Chinook and Centennial hops". I will take their word on it! This is my third or fourth bottle of this new (for 2011) beer and I think it is a "grower". Solid brew.

 749 characters

Photo of mickwin
2.93/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tried a 330 ml bottle in Grogans of Glasson village.
A very murky beer with a decent head.
Fruity taste with the hoppiness somewhat restrained.
I found the flavour a touch sweet, I tend to favour the more bitter hoppy ipa's like Galway Bays "Full Sail" However I will be drinking more as it's the only decent beer on sale in Grogans!

 336 characters

Photo of LukeGude
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid pale ale

14 characters

Photo of LeathChuinn
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a half pint glass.

This is a semi-transparent, cloudy amber colour with a slight, foamy white head. Traces of yeast sediment visible in glass also. No lacing for me and the head didn't last too long either unfortunately.

The smell is light and is mostly of hops with a slight tangy aroma.

The citrus and hop flavors are not as pronounced as I remember them with the draught version of this beer, particularly with the hoppy bite at the end, though it is still sharp enough in its bottled format. This is a fresh and wet brew with mostly orange and grapefruit tastes, some spice and fruity sweetness to it also. The carbonation is medium-low.

One thing I need to get off my chest, and something not related to the quality of the beer, is the 330ml bottles. I'd much prefer if their beers were available in large bottles. A long neck just doesn't satisfy with an Irish beer. We have to have our full pints (or at least the 500ml metric compromise!).

Overall I do enjoy this beer and will sample it again.

 1,030 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.06/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours sunlit tangerine with a film of white froth and some serious particles and the odd trailer. All kinds of hops on the nose - orange peel, flower nectar, tangerine Bubblicious - over a caramel base. Marmalade on dark toast with heavy Centennial orange and nettle hops. Toasted end and bitter linger. Medium, chewy, sticky.

Big hops, lots of Chinook bitterness but the Crystal is there for balance. - .5% ABV and 10 IBUs away from being an IPA, which would make it the hoppiest of the new breed of Irish craft pale ales, and potentially the best. At the same time, only the 2nd batch and I think they need to work on the sediment issue.

Worth revisiting.

 660 characters

Photo of Timadae
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Small fluffy head, nice burnt orange colour.

S: clean malty and citrus and pear notes

T: Malt and citrus flavours with pear hints again nice clean crisp mouth feel but was expecting more hoppyness and depth to this beer.

Nice session style but lacks the comeback style.

 275 characters

Photo of SoccerStash
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of biegaman
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Howling Gale is unfiltered and bottle-conditioned - it shows. It's left the beer with such a muted, dim tone that it appears murky despite being technically clear. Away from the light it looks swampy, with a complete flatness that contributes to a general drabness. Hold it into the light, however, and you'll witness a plenty chipper beer.

Malts and hops share duties in the aroma, the former providing warming fresh-baked bread notes while the latter (a moderate but appreciable blend of Chinook, Amarillo and Centennial) lend grassy and vaguely fruity flavours. It's an invitingly bitter-sweet bouquet.

Howling Gale has the yeasty, rustic, country loaf breadiness I might expect from an Irish brewery - and not the kind of bright tropical and citrus fruit I'd assume from Kiwi and Aussie brewers. But Scott and Cam did bring some warm-weather notes with them to the Emerald Isle; there exists threads of tangerine, pineapple, and grapefruit.

What beer drinkers in both the British Isles and the Australian continent have in common is a tendency to enjoy multiple rounds in social settings and, by extension, a partiality for beers conducive to such drinking patterns. This pale ale is perfectly suited for such occasions; drinkability is easy and boundless. And it'd be clear-cut no-brainer were it on cask.

There's little doubt in my mind the scores would be a little higher were I drinking this closer to the 'produced on' date as opposed to the 'best before' (though I'm still within the brewery's allotted time frame). Notwithstanding, Howling Gale has traveled well in the suitcase over the Atlantic. It's a nice recipe and a promising first impression of Eight Degrees.

 1,689 characters

Photo of dryndantheman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of life_of_agony
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Howling Gale Ale from Eight Degrees Brewing
3.58 out of 5 based on 39 ratings.
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