wpid-img_20150311_223947.jpgWhat could possibly be more Irish than an Irish potato stout? And what could possibly be more appropriate than having our resident Irish-named Toronto Booze Hound review said stout for St. Patrick’s Day? Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of an Irish potato stout. Yeah, I was a wee little bit in the dark too.

Black Creek Historic Brewery has 2 incarnations. You can visit their brick and mortar traditional brewery at the Black Creek Pioneer Village in the north western tip of the city. Here you’ll experience a pretty nifty guided tour led by passionate people dressed in period clothing. Their beer blog is diligently maintained by my former housemate Katie, although somehow we managed to never enjoy a beer together in our 2 years of existence. The LCBO offerings are brewed off-site, and range from some really wonderful seasonal offerings to some foul experiments (dandelion beer – I’m looking at you). Trafalgar Ales & Meads contract brews their LCBO offerings.

An Irish Potato Stout makes reference of course to the Great Potato Famine of 1845-1851, when millions of Irish peasants fled the Emerald Isle during the potato blight. Approximately 38,000 settled in the budding town of York, and another 34,000 settled in my hometown of Montréal. I’m a direct descendent of this mass wave of immigration, so I fought the two Scottsmen from this blog to review this beer. And of course, I won – but Kirk shared his notes with me. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear reader! Please enjoy responsibly today and leave the heavy binge drinking to the amateurs.

A 500 ml bottle will set you back $4.45 at the LCBO and checks in at 5% ABV. We shared a bottle split between a Black Creek Brewery mason jar mug and a pewter stein. Steins are a lot closer to the sampling vessels of old, so we thought it would work.

Appearance: Filtered appearance with a thin head that faded very fast in the glass, but lasted a long time in the pewter mug. Heavily carbonated in our bottle. Kirk’s bottle had minimal carbonation and a creamy head. Red highlights.

Smell: Toasted malt aroma with a hint of raw potato? Mild chocolate and coffee aromas. Kirk found lightly toasted notes and a hint of smokiness.

Taste: Light mouth feel on the first few sips, but a nasty starchiness from the potato. Light coffee notes – we’re talking Tim Horton’s flavours. Kirk got toasty notes and a smoky flavour, but no mention of the potato.

Aftertaste: Both of us got a smooth coffee finish and a dry earthiness, although I got some potato skin flavours that really didn’t work for me.

Overall: Bought it cause it was a gimmick of an idea. It is smoother and lighter than a lot of the bolder old world flavours Black Creek. Kirk seems to be a fan. I’m not really a fan, but I’m usually willing to give their seasonal attempts a try. I loved the Rifleman’s Ration a few years ago.

With files from Kirk MacDonald.

Shawna O'Flaherty

Shawna is a 30-something Montreal native transplanted to Toronto in 2010. Wine loving, beer sniffing and rum swilling come naturally to her, and she is also a certified Irish whiskey taster. She has hosted beer and cheese pairing events in the past.

Shawna has visited vineyards in 6 countries on 3 continents, and has a knack for finding the hoppiest beers around.

She can be found drinking alka-seltzer and coconut water in the morning.

Email: shawna@torontoboozehound.com

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