Q: What the heck is an Irish lager?

A: I’ll be damned if I know. Harp, perhaps, but given the rather anaemic character of that overly sweet brew, that’s not saying much.

So maybe it’s Kells Irish Style Lager from Oregon’s Rogue Ales, a bottle of which I have in front of me now. It’s suitably gold in colour, with a bit of what I will assume to be protein haze, and has an off-dry, fresh hay-like and faintly candy apple-ish nose. The body has a generally sweet character, but drier than the aforementioned Guinness product, I think, and certainly fuller bodied. The start reminds me just a bit of Grape Nuts cereal, in which barley malt plays a significant role, while the body balances a malty sweetness with a rising and drying hop character, leading to a very lightly bitter finish that dries up nicely, leaving no cloying malt.

In other words, if Rogue is to be believed, and Irish style lager is also known as a Bavarian style helles.

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