Beer Review: Black Hart “Irish Style” Dry Stout (now with more potato & cabbage)
“Irish style”? You’re just inviting disaster by naming a beverage with alcohol in it “Irish style.” While of course they mean to refer to the excellent tradition of fine brews to come from Ireland, they’re risking providing fodder for the equally rich tradition of drunk Irish jokes. What’s the recommended serving method for “Irish Style”, cracking the bottle over some doof’s head in the pub? They should save the trouble of bottling it — just pour it straight from the bottles onto walls of buildings, about waist-high, during the St. Patrick’s day parade in New York. (I’m allowed to make these jokes, by the way, as I’m one of the 83% of Americans who claim Irish descent. Here’s my proof-of-Irish card.)
And what’s with the deer-escaping-from-a-chess-rook logo? The deer has a look of ennui about him, despite being consumed up to the neck by a castle turret while the ground to either side inexplicably sprouts wings. Maybe he’s confident because he’s carrying a gunpowder horn around his neck. What the hell? At first glance the diagram passes for your typical old-world style coat of arms, particulary being rendered in black and white on a subdued beer label. But it’s astonishingly surreal upon close inspection, and must be downright bewildering after drinking an entire six-pack of this stuff.
But I kid! Before I make any more superficial, completely-beside-the-point complaints, let me just say that this a tasty little straightforward stout — no tricks, no bells or whistles, no chocolate or cumin or rutabaga. Just a quality glass of pretty much exactly what you’d expect. The randomness of my earlier comments attests to my difficulty in finding anything substantive to critique about this beer — Black Hart’s stout hit the spot in that coffee/chocolate/pleasant bitterness way of all good stouts. Try it “Irish Style” with some smoked salmon in a smoky pub while it’s pouring rain outside, and you’ll feel a bit Irish, no matter where you hail from. Unless you’re a deer — in that case, watch your step and keep your powder dry…