Friday, March 9, 2018

The Irishman's Enforcer at the Market Garden

It seems like every time I visit Cleveland, I have to make a stop at the West Side Market.  I love that place, strolling from aisle to aisle, vendor to vendor.  As I look over the variety of produce, meats and seafood, I look for inspiration for something to cook.  But, as almost certain as it is that I will visit the West Side Market when I have a chance, it is equally as certain that I will also stop next door at the Market Garden Brewery to have a beer.  

During my last visit to Cleveland and the West Side Market, I made a stop at Market Garden Brewery for that beer.  There were twenty-one beers on tap, but there was one that caught my eye.  The Irishman's Enforcer.  The brewers describe this beer as "luscious and indulgent."  They add that it is a "sipping beer that offers plenty of warmth and satisfying malty richness but clears the palate quickly," and, "[a] perfect fireplace beer for mid-winter contemplation.  Well, I did not have a fireplace, and, I was not in the mood for any "mid-winter contemplation (after all, I was thinking about what I would be making for dinner).  But the Irishman's Enforcer was definitely a sipping beer with a lot of malty richness. 

The Irishman's Enforcer pours an oily black color, with a light chocolate foam that sat quietly on the surface, mocking the foam of the more commonly known Irish beer.  The aromas of the beer feature some cocoa or coffee, as well as some of the alcohol that lurks in the liquid.  Those aromas providing an inviting glimpse into what one can expect with that first sip.  Some coffee, a little bit of chocolate and an unexpected hint of anise, or perhaps boozy dark fruit like black cherries or raisins.There is definitely a lurking sweetness behind the big, bold beer.  That sweetness sets it apart from some of the other Imperial Stouts and Double Imperial Stouts that I have tried in the past.  

The Irishman's Enforcer also carries a very subtle but very noticeable alcohol element to it.  While the ABV is only 9.5%, which is relatively common for an imperial stout, the aroma and taste of the beer suggest that the ABV is actually quite higher. The alcohol sits quietly in the background, watching and waiting while one takes each sip. It sticks around for quite a while, as long as the finish of the beer.  

The Irishman's Enforcer Imperial Stout is a very good example of the style.  The booziness of the beer suggests that it has been aged in whisky or bourbon barrels, but I can't find anything to confirm that.  Needless to say, the beer is definitely worth getting and enjoying, as I did, with an order of the Saffron-Red Curry Mussels and Chicken Tinga Tacos.


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