Independent family-owned Carlow Brewing Company released their Christmas Gift Pack under the O’Hara’s banner in December and this little beauty featured among the selection, alongside the O’Hara’s Irish stout and O’Hara’s Irish Pale Ale.
What does it taste like?
Distinctive by its light copper tone and lightly carbonated white head, the natural spiciness delivered by the rye malt is enhanced with spice additions, which makes for a rich mouthfeel with a touch of warmth. Cinnamon, orange zest and a rye breadiness combine to create a complex and seasonal aroma. The taste delivers rich intense flavours with cinnamon dominating at first, which gives way to a fresh but subtle orange zest and rye flavours. The bitterness becomes more pronounced with the combination of hop characteristics, cinnamon and citrus zest while the malted rye gives biscuit-like warmth, and is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of a unique barley blend. The finish is long, making it the perfect fireside winter beer.
What to have it with?
Winter Star makes an excellent festive aperitif, but is subtle enough on spiciness to double as a post meal session beer. Try it after dinner with cherry or apricot crumbling desserts or alongside a soft goat’s cheese, or mature cheddar dominated cheese board.
Where to get it?
€3.29 for 500ml bottle available in leading supermarkets and independent off-licences.