Brewview#46: Irish Ambition Dry Stout by Big Ditch Brewing Company

Earlier this week I heard about some new releases coming out of Big Ditch, unfortunately I couldn’t get all of them. But I am grateful for the opportunity to pick up a fresh batch of Irish Ambition. Irish Ambition was released on Friday which made for perfect timing because I also had to pick up beer for my daughter’s birthday party. Though I did enjoy some delicious beers last night, it is nice to be able to pop on some music and enjoy a beer and write about.

Big Ditch more often than not has a link in their beer names to the Erie Canal. Irish Ambition is no different from the rest. Big Ditch writes:

‘Inspired by the Irish laborers who were primarily responsible for the digging the Erie Canal, this beer is roasty and hearty, yet extremely drinkable.’

I think we’re in for a good time.

The Beer: Irish Ambition Dry Stout by Big Ditch Brewing Company

ABV: 4.5% IBU 31

Hops: Fuggles


Malts: English Pale

Roasted Barley


Carafa III

Filling my Glass

Wow Irish Ambition is as black as beers come, it is not at all difficult to appreciate the Roasted Barley, Chocolate, and Carafa III malts. All of them combined create a beer that is darker than the Devil’s soul. Very attractive beer. The aromas are somewhat softer, though when I first opened my crowler it was easy to pick up on the chocolate and coffee aromas. Besides that there is a more subtle woody/earthy aroma, which is not at all surprising with the Fuggles and Glacier hops. Along side the woody/earthy aromas walks a burnt/ashy aroma. A very nice characteristic known to come from Roasted Barely malt.

Down the Hatch

Big Ditch was on point when saying ‘roasty and hearty, yet extremely drinkable.’ Both the malts and hops come together very well to create Irish Ambition. When looking at the malts I’m thinking  the Roasted Barley provide a nice overall burnt ashy flavor which combines well with the Carafa III, especially when it comes to the mild roasted aftertaste. Though I’m not even thinking about bitterness with this beer. It has a very smooth transition from beginning to end. The one thing I am slightly surprised with is the lack of Chocolate malts when it comes to flavor, I’m not getting much in that aspect. Maybe a slight roasted coffee flavor, but that’s about it.

The hops in my opinion give Irish Ambition a nice depth. Both Fuggles and Glacier hops are known to provide a herbal/woody flavor which is amazing. From beginning to end the herbal/woody flavor flows smooth as glass complimenting the other flavors provided by the malts. It’s a bit difficult to tell if the hops contribute at all in the after taste, if they do it’s very minor.

Walking alongside the roasty aftertaste is a dry mouthfeel. Though it doesn’t have a smoked characteristic to it, it’s looking down that road. You really experience the roasted aspect of the malts when it comes to aftertaste and mouthfeel.

Sum It Up

Like I said before Big Ditch could not be more spot on when mentioning the ‘ extremely drinkable’ side of Irish Ambition. I’ve had it in the past when writing a Brewview and it’s a bit of a struggle to finish the crowler. Not Irish Ambition, I’m almost empty and wish I had more.

To sum up what Irish Ambition is, is not at all a difficult task. It’s a well rounded beer that shows an understanding of roasted malts and hops that coincide perfectly to create a unique stout. Irish Ambition is ‘roasty and hearty’ but not in a thick hard to process way. Instead it flows smooth from the subtle aromas to the roasted aftertaste. A more unique stout in that it embraces the roasted characteristics of the malts and not much in the realm of coffee and chocolate for aromas or flavors.


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