Tuesday 9 December 2014

Wishful drinking

Glutenus minimus: one for the
coeliacs to stomach
Brought to you by Carsmile Steve

In what is an outright first for me, I am blogging today’s beer ‘live and direct’ from London’s Rake bar in the SE1 postal district of our fine capital city, easily the best in the world.

Assuming the Wi-Fi connection holds up, these words will be winging their way through cyberspace while I try and ensure neither Steve nor anyone else for that matter spills their pint over my relatively new laptop.

Despite those obvious perils, I’ve been looking forward to this all day. Even having had a few too many last night (and a hefty Kernel IPA to round it all off), the idea of being at the coalface of beer journalism still holds a huge amount of appeal for me.

And the pressure of having to think of entertaining/mildly amusing stuff under the watchful, critical eye of today’s sponsor only adds to the frisson of anticipation.

Obviously, my plan is to ply Steve with as much alcohol as possible in a short space of time so he stops paying attention, allowing me to sneakily insert a few paragraphs of hastily cobbled together (err, finely crafted – ed.) paragraphs to speed the process up.

But that subterfuge won’t wash when it comes to writing up the actual beer review. Thus far this calendar, I’ve found them infinitely more entertaining to write and read after having lubricated the synapses with a couple of cheeky snifters. There is an optimum amount, though. Beer writing is subject to the same rules as playing pool or performing on stage, to wit, too much renders it incomprehensively useless while too little leaves it a mite staid.

So there’s every chance this could end up looking and reading like utter claptrap by the time it appears on the blog, especially given there’s a Sierra Nevada tap takeover at The Rake.

Here goes. See you on the other side.

Beer: Mikkeller I Wish Gluten Free IPA
Strength: A fair to acceptable 5.5%
Smell: Not a lot, actually, but we are outdoors and there's a wind getting up. If pushed, I'd go with pretty much the same as yesterday (fruit and cheese), only less pungent. 
Tasting notes: First impressions are we're munching our way through a weird combination of Chewits (Google it, youngsters - chewier than Barrow-in-Furness bus station) and Fruitella, though they're digested fairly quickly and things begin to dry out once you've finished the gloopy, sugary dribbling. The lack of gluten does show itself, though. There isn't a massive amount of pliability, though that's not necessarily a bad thing - there's certainly no sensation of having chewed your way through a loaf of wholemeal, which can be the case with more out-there IPAs (I'm looking at you, Kernel IPA). I think if I had coeliac disease, I'd be all over this like a fat rat. Steve concurs. 
Session factor: Pleasingly high, really. I'd happily have more and, given it's relative lack of body, you could quite easily work your way through several with no fear of repercussions and be secure in the knowledge gut rot would not be on the agenda. 
Arbitrary score: 17,745
Sponsor: Carsmile Steve

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