Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Kernel Coffee IPA

Good evening all. Back for another beer tonight, and one that will hopefully serve as a better transition from the stouts into other beer styles! I tried a couple of IPAs earlier in the week but couldn't break free, so hopefully a coffee IPA will do the job. It also helps that this beer is from The Kernel, a London based brewery that produces the freshest IPAs that I've ever had the pleasure to sample and a Breakfast Stout that is simply wonderful. I'm not aware of how successful coffee IPAs have been since Mikkeller introduced Koppi IPA at the start of last year, but they do seem like an interesting concept. With senses and anticipations heightened, it's time for a review....

Coffee IPA (6.5% ABV) pours a light gold colour with a foamy white head that retains itself well on the surface of the beer. Despite my best efforts, a bit of the sediment managed to find its way into the glass. It has helped to produce a great looking beer though, so I'm not too annoyed. The aroma of the beer is predominantly citrus hops with a roasted bitterness in the background. These two components have been balanced very well, making the aroma very enticing. Reminds me of a black IPA a lot. In typical Kernel fashion, the hops smell gorgeous- looking forward to tasting this beer a lot! The taste is composed of floral and citrus hops, with the coffee flavours lingering in the background. The finish is bitter- very much a hoppy bitterness though. The aftertaste brings out more of the coffee flavours, along with a persistent yet pleasant spiciness. The mouthfeel is reasonably thick and very carbonated, which works well with this beer style. A very interesting beer that manages to balance the bitterness and fruity qualities of hops with the bitterness and piquancy of coffee. If I had to pick a similar beer it would be De Molen's Bed & Breakfast, although the beer from The Kernel is a more subdued and finely-tuned experience. I enjoyed this beer a lot, and it has furthered my interest in trying Mikkeller's offering even more. Another winner from The Kernel!

Until next time....

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