Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Event] Franciscan Well Jameson-Aged Stout Launch at WJ Kavanagh's

Recently, I attended the Dublin launch of the Franciscan Well's Jameson-Aged Stout, which was held in the perfectly suited location of W.J. Kavanagh's. Being a Cork native, I am of course immensely biased in favour of this beer, which has a double Cork heritage. Firstly, it is made by the Franciscan Well (home of many an undergraduate and postgraduate night out) and secondly, it is finished in casks provided by the Jameson Distillery, another fine Cork enterprise. This special brew was developed by Shane Long, founder of the Franciscan Well, using casks handpicked by Jameson's Master of Whiskey Science, Dave Quinn.
Stitch and Bear - Franciscan Well Stout - The Bottle

Aging beer and stout in whiskey and spirit cases has been around for a while, but it's gaining in popularity. So what happens when Franciscan Well stout and Jameson casks meet? I found the result to be smooth and rich, with definite coffee notes and whiskey warmth and just a little touch of vanilla and caramel from the casks. Plus the ABV weighs in at 7.8% thanks to the alcohol that is reabsorbed from the barrel walls. According to Long & Quinn, it took a few trial efforts before arriving at the final decision to use American oak second fill whiskey casks. "We couldn't wait to test the final result and it has truly surpassed our expectations".

The Franciscan Well Stout (Jameson Cask) comes in a flip-top 750ml bottle, each individually numbered. Given that it's alcohol content is a little higher than normal, it's perfect for sharing. 

To celebrate the launch, the team at W.J. Kavanagh's assembled a special menu to complement the stout. We started with a welcome cocktail of Jameson Select Reserve, homemade ginger beer, grapefruit juice with a finishing touch of grapefruit & oak smoked sea salt. A selection of canapés gave us a range of Irish flavours, with my personal favourite being the incredibly candied, sweet and savoury homemade bacon jam. I could have eaten jars of that bacon jam. As I don't eat wheat, I found myself licking the beetroot and bacon jam off the bases, before then being faced with the dilemma of where to abandon them.

Canapés 
Homemade beetroot pesto, Fivemiletown goat's cheese on garlic croutes with rocket cress
Homemade free-frange bacon jam, vanilla infused sugar on Sheridan's brown bread cracker
Organic black pudding wontons, apple cider & soy dipping sauce
***
Starter
Oysters, cherry puree, lightly pickled shallots and fresh cherries
***
Mains
Pulled slow braised beef short rib, roasted beetroot puree, Crozier blue cheese croquette and "lovely gravy"
or
Marinated carmelised cauliflower cutlet, roasted beetroot puree, Crozier blue cheese croquette, twice-cooked sweet potato chips and horseradish mayo
***
Dessert
Dark chocolate cake, blackberries, cherries, barley malt, chicory & rye cream with sea salt crumbs

Stitch and Bear - Franciscan Well Stout - Canape selection
Beetroot pesto canapés (top) with cherry oysters (bottom)
Slow cooked, shredded beef short rib topped with leeks was superb against the rich stout. I did like the mix of Crozier blue cheese and potato, but felt that the patty we received had mutated in size past the croquette stage and was heading towards the Godzilla stage. One of the table bravely chose the vegetarian option (controversial in such a carnivore environment), but we were all impressed with how the thick cauliflower slice maintained texture and crunch.

The dark chocolate cake was something really special, with the rich dark chocolate bumping nicely against the not-so-sweet flavours of the rye and malt cream, along with stewed blackberry and fresh cherry. And once again, the dark chocolate and savoury flavours teamed well with the Franciscan Well stout.
Stitch and Bear - Franciscan Well Stout - Pulled braised beef short rib
Pulled braised beef shortrib with potato croquette
Stitch and Bear - Franciscan Well Stout - Dark chocolate cake
Dark chocolate cake with blackberry and cherry

Stitch and Bear - Franciscan Well Stout - Entertainment in the ladies
Finally, some useful advice from the ladies
For more information on the Franciscan Well range, visit www.facebook.com/craftcollection or www.facebook.com/franciscanwell, or @CraftBeerIE and @FranciscanWell. Further information on Jameson can be found at www.jamesonwhiskey.com or www.irishdistillers.com.

W.J. Kavanagh's, 4-5 Dorset Street, Dublin 1
Tel: +353 (0)1 873 0990
Twitter: @WJKavanaghs

Stitch and Bear would like to thank the Franciscan Well, Jameson, W.J. Kavanagh's and Slattery Communications for their hospitality. All opinions remain my own. 

2 comments:

Imen said...

I was following tweets on the night, and this just reconfirms what an amazing evening it was! Can't wait to try this Stout. Thanks for sharing Joanne.

{Also, I am having 5 Guys envy at the moment. One of our favourite burger joints....mmmmm}

dudara said...

Hi Imen - it was indeed a lovely night and I was delighted to have been invited. The Franciscan Well is a real Cork success story and it does feature in several of my student memories. So I am very glad for their good fortune.