Friday 9 December 2011

Leaving a permanent mark? – Camden Town Brewery, Camden Ink

On Wednesday evening Camden Town brewery launched their latest creation, Camden Ink, a 4.4% stout, at the Black Heart, a venue fitting in both name and attitude.  I was going to talk about this beer in conjunction with two other being launched next week, but I enjoyed it so much it needed it’s very own post.
       Camden Town will be familiar to those who drink craft beer in North and East London, but for those that don’t (shame on you), they have been around for a short while now, producing modern, exciting beers with an emphasis on quality and consistency. Their keg Helles and Pale Ale are quickly going from cult to mainstream favourites and appearing more regularly in bars across the capital.

The beer had a lasting impression... ha ha ha
          As the clever name suggests, the beer is inky black, topped by a thick, proud off-white head tinged with caramel, like a merengue starting to singe at the edges. It is roasty and alluring on the nose, with notes of coffee and bitter chocolate. Too many stouts are overly sweet, loaded with vanilla and molasses, which are heavy and cloying. This is not, instead delivering restrained flavours and a gentle bitterness which gives you a deeply refreshing, drinkable beer which does not feel like a session-ender, but a session starter.  This is not a stout for chocolate and cake, it is for oysters, good bread and butter, spicy food and beef burgers. It could almost be a dark lager, if it weren’t for the rich creamy head and smooth, palate coating texture. There is still a backbone here to satisfy the stout fanatics, but the beauty of this beer is the body; effortless to drink, compact and rounded without being viscous, the subtle softness pitch-perfect for keg, which tightens the flavours and adds vibrancy and energy.
         This should be on every bar in London that serves Guinness - it is better, and while not everyone would covert, many people would, and those that don’t should at least have to explain why not to my face.  

No comments:

Post a Comment