Whether it's music, dancing and drinking, literature, or the Catholicism and politics that merged in JFK, Irish exports have infiltrated just about every aspect of American society. And for the most part, we're better off because of them.
There is, however, one exception.
The Irish perfected the stout in Guinness, and Jameson is a reliable go-to when it comes to affordable whiskey. And based on positive experiences with these two, you might think that that a clearance sale on Harp Lager ($9.99 for a box of 12) would be worth the risk.
Seeing the giant box on sale, I hesitated for a moment (what if I don't like it? That's going to take a while to get through), then bought it. I was fully prepared to take a gustatory trip to the emerald isle. Chilling a bottle, I took my first ice cold sip...
Imagine a thick cardboard box, spotted with grease stains, that's been left in the rain for several nights in a dank alley.
That's the only way to describe what came out of that bottle. An unbalanced blend of barley and yeast washed over my palate, polluting my taste buds, and making me question everything I believe about Irish brewing skills.
Thankfully(?), digging a little deeper, I discovered that the Harp I was drinking didn't actually originate in Ireland, and the Irish reputation still stands. This Harp is a product of Guinness Canada, and more than likely, was brewed at the Moosehead brewery in New Brunswick.
Perhaps Harp brewed in Ireland is better. Maybe the box I picked up had gone skunky. I'm not sure. What I do know, is I have 11 more bottles, and I'm not sure what to do with them.
Beer chicken anyone?
Nose: Barley, yeast
Taste: Bland, heavy, unbalanced big mouth feel.
Recommendation: Stay away. There are plenty of other lagers, both domestic and imported to explore.