Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
Out of the stouts at last, we finally settle into the world of smooth Irish ales.
One of the longtime favorites is Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, a style that falls between a warm-weather ale and a cellar-stored lager. Brewed by Guinness and distributed by Diageo, Kilkenny traces its origins back to Smithwick's brewery during the 14th century. The entire point of this beer is to have the sweetest, smoothest, most inoffensive brew imaginable in your glass to make you forget you're drinking a beer.
Kilkenny accomplishes all of that with an almost vanilla aroma, a rich, creamy, toasted malt flavor and a nitrogen-infused texture similar to Guinness, but with little more than 4% ABV. It wasn't available here until 2009, however, and then only at the Dubliner Pub in Washington, D.C. It's availability has expanded somewhat, but drinkers should still consider themselves lucky if a local decides to carry it.