Co. Down brewery launches special whiskey and vanilla barrel-aged stout

Mourne Mountains Brewery, one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative young craft breweries, has announced the launch of its latest seasonal special, a whiskey and vanilla barrel-aged stout.

The release is limited edition, with just 750 bottles available and follows the resounding success of the brewery’s Chocolat Chaud and Coast to Coast specials earlier this year and 2015’s First Noel and Pumpkin Porter.

The concept for the whiskey and vanilla stout was created via a social media competition the brewery ran to coincide with brewing month during Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, where it asked amateur beer connoisseurs to suggest a new flavour.

Brewery founder Connaire McGreevy explained: “24 year old Andrew Hamilton from Derry came up with the winning flavour, and so the whiskey and vanilla stout was born.

“We invited him into the brewery back in June to create the beer under the tutelage of our experienced brewer Tom Ray, and since then it has been resting quietly in Irish whiskey casks just waiting for the right moment to be bottled.

“This beer is completely unlike anything we’ve brewed so far and we’re pretty excited to hear what people think of it. Tom and Andrew have combined specialty grains to give this export stout a jet black colour and full malty body.

“Oaky vanilla notes have developed over the last few months spent maturing in the wood, as well as a sumptuous warmth from the Irish whiskey that has passed from the oak into the beer,” he added.

The 8.2% ABV whiskey and vanilla barrel-aged stout will be available from selected off licences, bars and restaurants throughout Northern Ireland while stocks last, and will form part of the brewery’s Christmas gift pack.

“This stout is a real winter warmer and will be a great addition to the three other beers in our Christmas pack.mourne-mountains-brewery-whiskey-vanilla-stout-4
“With only 750 bottles brewed we’re expecting them to sell out fast so get your hands on one while you can.

“The interest in local craft beer continues to explode and we’re absolutely loving the opportunity we have to create new and innovative brews for people to try on their beer exploration journey. We have so many ideas for 2017 already, the challenge is to decide what to do first!” Connaire added.

Mourne Mountains Brewery produces three core beers that are available year-round: Mourne Mist, a pilsner, Mourne Gold, a pale ale and East Coast, an IPA.

Big Rock, a German style wheat beer and Red Trail, a red IPA, are brewed in smaller batches at intervals throughout the year.

In July 2016, Red Trail was awarded two stars at the Great Taste Awards, the only craft beer product in Northern Ireland to be given that accolade. In January 2016, East Coast won a silver medal at the international Dublin Craft Beer Cup, again the only NI craft beer brewer to win that award.

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