When it comes to floats it is best for one’s sanity to accept that things will get messy. This Irish stout ice cream float with Bailey’s is the perfect proof… and a great beer pairing.
Messy or not, a beer float is the easiest dessert you can possibly make using craft brews (besides enjoying the beer on its own). I like to call it dressing up my beer. It is not something I do often, but hey – we are talking about ice cream and Irish cream… Even a caramel cookie for garnish. More sugar in one glass than I had during the entire last week! Watch out Micheal Flately, I might be joining the ranks of your dance troupe.
Chris (the presumed Irish in our family) was not all that enthused about my concoction, but supportive enough. I think he appreciated the shamrocks I bought though.
In my defense (even though not that convincingly argued) I picked a stout that is not overly sweet and boozy in order to allow the Bailey’s to play that role. Ipswich Ale Brewery’s Dry Irish Stout has an ABV of only 4.4% and is a classic light, dry and crisp stout. Perfect for a float. It is only mildly sweet, delicate even. It is brewed with Irish malt, roasted barley (i.e. the barley did not undergo malting, considered a specialty grain that lends sweetness and color) and Simpson’s chocolate malts. All in all a refreshing, sweet-ish stout with pleasant hints of chocolate and pronounced roasted notes. Very, very drinkable.
This Dry Irish Stout is dubbed Finn McCool’s traditional stout, true to the old Irish style. About Finn McCool, the glorious giant – the story goes like this.
Originally Fionn mac Cumhaill, a leader of the Fianna Irish warriors, Finn McCool was a prominent figure in Irish mythology. One day he was fighting a rival and he threw a piece of Ireland at him but missed. The chunk of land fell in the Irish Sea and formed the Isle of Man.
Finn McCool was also the one who carved out the amazing steps of the Giant’s Causeway in order to be able to use them as stepping stones to Scotland – so he would not need to wet his feet. Giant’s Causeway is one of my most favorite natural formations ever. I was fifteen when my family lived in Northern Ireland for a year and most enthusiastically remember these amazing hexagonal pillars of rock rising out of the water during low tide. If you ever plan a trip to Ireland, do not leave out the Northern part and visit this beautiful result of volcanic eruption.
Whether you choose to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish beer, Irish food or both, (maybe even a stout ice cream float?) let me leave you with something dear to my heart:
“May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.”