This morning I fancied something a bit sinister – and what’s more sinister than a Bishop’s finger?<
Brewed by Shepherd Neame, Bishops Finger is a Kentish Strong Ale at 4.5%. The label explains that “Bishops Finger is named after an ancient Kentish signpost found on the Pilgrims Way pointing to Canterbury and the shrine of Thomas Becket”, which clears up any dirty clerical assumptions.
Straight to pouring
Today I’m a little impatient and I feel that’s not an unsuitable presupposition for this occasion. I’d like to say it’s a smooth pour though my impatience is obviously showing as I manage to birth a 3 inch head. The foam reduces to a neat 1-2cm and there it stays, sat atop a deep wood, varnished, glossy finish of a liquid. It smells bitter; it smells of roasted nuts and burnt toffee.
I am excited to drink and considering my blatant patience(!) hasn’t yet stopped me, I gulp. An intense bitter flavour hits the back roof of my mouth. Sipping through the pint it has a constant bitterness and richness which are two things very dear to me. It does have subtly fruity notes but it certainly doesn’t sweeten. It is also surprising (and quite glorious) to see the 1-2cm head firmly in place, standing its ground. Most of my other heads fizzle away in a rush.
Well done, foam. Bishops Finger is an easy, pleasant drink, and I find it refreshing as it’s not sweet. I couldn’t say it is an unusual beer though – I suppose because of its potent bitterness it is fairly hard to recover any other flavours it may have cared to offer.
Not as sinister as I hoped, though a beer I’d merrily quaff down once more.