Wednesday 16 December 2015

Damson in distress

Forbidden fruit: there's really no going
back after a taste of this beauty
Like London buses, you wait ages then two turn up in a row. So it is this evening with the calendar as I muster up just enough enthusiasm to give today's beer a go. 

Not like I need much encouragement. I've written lots about this brewery and still think it's one of the most consistently interesting and high-quality beer producers. And that without ever having achieved real consistency in its beer.

Of course, I'm talking about the Kernel. A pioneer in many respects and, most recently, in that it decided to break the hideous chain along what is now quite happily called the Bermondsey Beer Mile. I once joked with the owner about calling it Beermondsey and you could see the look of horror etched on his face as he just about managed a smile. Doubtless knew what it was about to become.

I'm glad he's only doing bottles on a Saturday now. It may irk some people, but as I've written in other places, the whole scene was becoming a 'golden shower mile' of pissed-up partygoers bent on belting back the most potent beers in as short a time as possible before urinating in some poor sod's front garden. It had to end.

Fortunately, as a brewer, not a great deal has changed apart from the volume now put out. Deservedly hugely successful, it's frequently at the top of my list of brewers who make things I want to drink. Probably because they stick to making things they want to drink as well.

This one's another sour. Well, I'm a sucker for them and am hoping this lives up to what, on the label at least, promises to be delicious.

Beer: Kernel London Sour Damson
Strength: A mouthwateringly enticing 4.3%
Smell: Funnily enough, a load of sour damsons. Who'd have thunk it?
Tasting notes: It almost doesn't seem like a beer, so prevalent is the fruit and searing sharpness that shreds any semblance of what's been consumed before. It's possible the sourness outweighs the damsons, but really, who's counting? This is terrific. It is not going to last long, which is pretty handy considering I could do with an early night but maddening because, once it's over, I'll be left rueing not spending more time with it. It's just the right side of lightweight but provides enough body to at least convince you you're drinking something of substance. The first brush with it convinces you you're on to something, but you can't quite put your finger on it. Then you fall heavily under its spell. Then it pushes you away and you imagine you can quite happily do without it. But you know in your heart you're wrong. You want more and quite by chance, it gladly gives you that, becoming increasingly precious and wheedling its way under your skin till, in all honesty, you can't begin to believe you could ever live without it. The way it lingers long after you think you've left it just makes you wonder what on earth you'll do when it really is all gone.
Session factor: All day, every day, any day.
Arbitrary score: 741,310

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