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15-06-2011, 21:11
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9.00pm: And relax! Long day: up early, writing, work, gym, dinner, shower. Now to drink beer.

9.01pm: My mind’s doing summersaults and my fingertips are eager to tap at a keyboard and do the stream of consciousness thing so it's As-Live blogging (http://www.pencilandspoon.com/search/label/As-Live%20Tasting) time. Think and sip and tap and drink.

9.02pm: The Kernel’s (http://www.thekernelbrewery.com/) Suke Quto Coffee IPA (http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/the-kernel-suke-quto-coffee-india-pale-ale/138692/). 6.9% ABV. This is batch 2 and another collaboration with Square Mile Coffee Roasters (http://shop.squaremilecoffee.com/). It smells ridiculously good. The beer’s beneath my nose. I’m stooping over and around it to try and type but I don’t want it to move away.

9.04pm: And then as if by magic the aroma moves. It goes from super citrus, all hops up in your face, through chocolate and then into a mix of those dark coffee grounds and tropical fruit. Coffee: check. Hops: check. It's a Coffee IPA.

9.05pm: Still smelling the beer.

9.06pm: Gulping beer.

9.07pm: Wow. This is different! Coffee and hops and booze. It’s exactly what I need right now. The body is classic Kernel, smooth and full (how do they do that?!), there’s toffee sweetness, then coffee roast, then hop fruitiness, then hop bitterness, then coffee bitterness, which is the lingering aftertaste. It’s a beer which drinks more sequentially than any other I’ve ever tasted.

9.09pm: Answering emails...

9.14pm: I’m loving the chocolatey depth in this beer. I often get chocolate flavours in IPA but this something else. Where does that chocolate flavour come from in IPAs?

9.15pm: I need to iron a shirt. Tomorrow I’ve got to do a presentation in London at 8am. Who organises presentations at 8am? One day I’ll have someone who will do my ironing for me. Either that or the sort of job where I don’t need to wear a shirt.

9.22pm: This is the sort of beer you drink in minutes to try and work it out, to try and find out why you like it so much, why it works when something says it shouldn’t (coffee and grapefruit isn’t a classic combo). I love that quality in a beer – the unintentional speed drinking to try and understand it. More coffee comes through the further down the glass you get and the warmer the beer becomes. The bitterness gets more apparent, both from hops and coffee.

9.24pm: I had the first batch of this beer a few months ago but it was only a couple of mouthfuls so don’t remember it much. I know it was in the Dean Swift (http://thedeanswift.com/) and Tandleman (http://tandlemanbeerblog.blogspot.com/) was there. Then I went to the Tower Bridge Draft House (http://www.drafthouse.co.uk/drafthouse/towerBridge.asp) and had a burger. You don’t forget details like that.

9.27pm: I’m sure I’m meant to be doing something important right now but I have no idea what that is.

9.30pm: Oh! Some news for anyone who read the sausage, chips and beans (http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2011/06/fabpow-wanted-what-beer-to-go-with.html) post last week... a mega sausage, chips and beans beer taste-off is happening on Friday. I’ve got lots of beers and I’m calling in assistance from some sausage-loving beer drinkers. Results will be posted next week.

9.33pm: You know what’s most interesting with this beer? Every mouthful tastes a bit different to the one before. It started with the hop explosion, then came the unlikely marriage of coffee and hops, then the coffee became the star, then it started to taste drier and more bitter and now at the end of the glass it’s like a hardcore chocolate orange. And every gulp is great. It could’ve been a crazy clash but it isn’t and it works.

9.37pm: Beer’s done. I loved it. But then it’s Kernel and Kernel only hit home runs. My only worry is that this beer is packed with as much caffeine as lupulin, so one will keep me up all night and the other will make me sleepy, like necking sleeping pills with a Red Bull. Fingers crossed that won’t happen.

9.41pm: Time to look away from a computer and into a book. Kernel’s Coffee IPA is gone. Anyone else had this? If so, what do you think?

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