Songbird Noir de Cairdeas is a 8% black IPA from Brewery Songbird, based in Chiba, Japan. It was first brewed in 2016 as part of a collaborative effort with Liquors Hasegawa, known for having an amazing stock of whiskey / whisky from around the world and also being one of Brewery Songbird’s largest stockists. Songbird Noir de Cairdeas uses peated malt, not actual Irish peat, along with Pilsner, Carafa III, and Caramunich II malts. Nugget, First Gold, and Saaz hops were used for bittering and aroma but Songbird Noir de Cairdeas also contains some peculiar adjuncts in the form of sage and rosemary too.
Songbird Noir de Cairdeas Aroma and Taste
Someone I knew commented on this pretty horrendous pour and my track record of complaining about servings – “After your being such a pour-nazi in the past I have to ask…What the hell kind of pour is that?!” – but the thing to remember is that Songbird Noir de Cairdeas is bottle conditioned. It’s not quite on a bomb scale level of Brewmaster proportions but it was very very lively. Songbird Noir de Cairdeas poured out a thick black colour and a tan head, but those two are obvious from the picture. It had a strong peat aroma with whisky and leather happening, and the after dinner coffee aroma kick was pleasant, but with a weird Sunday roast dinner aroma to it from the sage and rosemary – kind of like Paxo stuffing but without the breadiness to it. The hops were clearly wasted on this “IPA”.
I might as well have gone sucked on a piece of peat than drunk this beer. Heck, for the price that I paid for this (¥1,000), I should have bought a bottle of whisky instead as it would have lasted longer and the peat may be more mellow. I was told to let this rest for 6 months minimum to allow the flavours to develop – I wish I had waited longer now. I do have another bottle but lack of any hop bitterness or flavours meant that Songbird Noir de Cairdeas was more of a peated schwarz beer than an IPA. The peculiar addition of the herbs came through strong once Songbird Noir de Cairdeas had warmed up but by that time, I didn’t really want to drink this anymore.
Songbird Noir de Cairdeas The Bottom Line
At six months old, Songbird Noir de Cairdeas either needs aging even longer to get the flavours out or someone needs to accept defeat and let it go.
Where to Buy Songbird Noir de Cairdeas
Songbird Noir de Cairdeas can only be bought at the following places: