Double Black

February 17, 2015

‘What this?’ Holds up bottle and reads label. ‘Double Black a vodka distilled from an IPA?’

‘Yes. It’s a hopped vodka.’

‘Stop right there – you took an IPA brewed by Black’s of Kinsale and then what? You distilled it?’

‘That’s why it’s called Double Black. 800 litres of IPA turned up on a pallet one morning, it would have been rude not to do something with it.’

‘And how does it taste?’

‘Sam makes great beer.’

‘No! The vodka! How does the vodka taste?’

Raises eyebrow, opens bottle and pours a drop. ‘You tell me…’

Sniffs suspiciously. ‘Sort of grassy…’ Drinks. ‘Pears! I’m getting pears and pineapples.’

‘Esters.’

‘Whose?’

‘Not who. What. They are called Esters. That’ll be the crystal malt.’

‘And there’s a perfume of dry hay or meadows?’

‘Magnum hops. That was the tricky bit. Keeping the grassy notes and loosing the honk of over cooked sprouts.’

‘And it’s silky…’

‘The final distillation took twelve hours. Lots of reflux. Then we passed the vodka through a carbon filter.’

‘It’s bloody lovely.’

‘A lot of ladies say that about my carbon filter.’

‘No! The vodka is lovely!’

‘Thank you. It’s kinda special and kinda rare. As far as I know, it hasn’t ever been done before.’

‘Hen’s teeth…’

‘More like rare as the fillings in hen’s teeth, we only made 250 bottles. And when they are gone…’

‘Tragedy!’ Dries eyes. ‘And the IPA?’

‘Black’s did a large brew up. We only took a portion.’

‘You mean there’s more?’

‘Of the IPA? Yes. Sam Black threw every hop he had at the remainder to produce a double IPA he’s called High Viz.’

‘Yoah! Stop right there!!! So I can try the beer you turned into a vodka?’

‘That’s the idea. You can drink the beer and the vodka of the beer – but only at the Alltech Craft Festival end of the month.’

‘Yowza!’

‘I couldn’t have put it better myself.’