Ned Claffey’s, Castletown Geoghegan – Dec ’15 (2/4)

Not Guinness Time, Not Here Anyway

This really is a lovely, cosy little pub situated is the middle of nowhere away from any hustle n bustle &, oftentimes, from any mobile network coverage too. Though there’s a mini lounge, we ordered in the bar as there was a big open fireplace in there that adds greatly to the atmosphere. It’s the kind of place that you’d just expect the pints to be of a good quality; down the country, cosy family-run pub, around €4.20 a pint; it was meant to be.

Claffeys 20 Dec 15 3

The pint arrived frothing a little, which is obviously not a good sign. As you can see from the pic on the left above, as it settles, it’s looking ever-so-slightly fizzy or over-fluffy (as opposed to a thick-creamy one) which indicates over-carbonation. Once settled, it had the perfect priests collar, but a G-Man won’t be fooled. I went for a single-gulper, as I was trying to behave, & as it washed over my tongue & down my throat I knew the verdict; my hunch was right, it tasted off. Off in the usual too-much-carbonation-it’s-a-two-at-best kind of way. I’ve tasted it all before & it’s always the same; no care for the gas & thus a let-down to the G-Lovers amongst us. They can look the part but without the requisite nitrogen, they fail. I went back to the well just in case but, as always, it came back the same: 2/4. I wish I could get used to the disappointment but it still gets me every time. At least I had a rake of these to look forward to anyway.

Middleton Park House, Castletown Geoghegan – Dec ’15 (3/4)

Guinness Time

Well, this has to be one of the most quality settings for a pint of the Good BlacknWhite you could possibly have the pleasure of drinking in. In Dublin, you can generally work to the rule; the “classier” the spot, the worse The Black Stuff. The “top-end” think they have it nailed but they forget the most basic of pub protocols; the pint of Guinness, so I usually find myself trying a pint & moving on to bottles of beer (the humanity!) if, for some reason, I happen to find myself in a posh joint. So, with that in mid, what kind of a pint would you expect from a land-owner stately-home dating back to Famine times?


I was expecting to be disappointed, especially so considering that it was my wedding. I had to hold off for the day to keep from being tired & emotional for the speeches & it was tough going seeing the guests, a number of them fellow G-Men, enjoying the pints for 5 hours before I could finally venture to the cosy confines of the bar & order my first G as a married man.

The pint was served with a decent bit o’the cream; as it should be, so I was happy to go for a good single gulp. It was nice & creamy to the touch, a more-than-acceptable lip-flop & to my surprise, nay, my delight, it had good taste to boot. This was a pint as it should be. I would honestly have been heartbroken if my wedding venue couldn’t boast half-decent pints & thankfully it wasn’t a let-down. Post-speeches I tucked into a few more & they were most certainly consistent.

I had a rake-load of them the next evening in the wonderful setting that is the Middleton Park House bar; a large open peat fire with comfortable slouch-couches, & they retained their form: good all-rounders; solid three’s.