The Kernel Pale Ale (Amarillo / Cascade) is reviewed by Chris Hall.
The Kernel Pale Ale (Amarillo / Cascade)
The Kernel Brewery, London
It is easy to see that hops are head brewer Evin O’Riordain’s passion. Not content with making high quality beers in any style he chooses, he makes multiple varieties using different combinations of hops from all over the world. The Kernel Pale Ale using Amarillo and Cascade hops is just one of these combinations, and I urge you all to seek out as many as you are able.
What with Amarillo and Cascade being American hop varieties, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume this will be another star-spangled hop-fest, of the likes we are accustomed to. As ever with The Kernel, there is more to its beers than meets the eye.
In a glass, this beer positively shines. Its rich, juicy orange colour is incredibly appetising, particularly when topped with its creamy, off-white head. A quick nose of the head is all it takes for several kilos of American hops to take up residence in your sinuses. This is a good thing, by the way. Specifically, you can expect a classic mix of tropical fruit with piney, resinous undertones.
Things are, refreshingly, more complex on the pallet. The brute force of the hop aroma becomes much more civilised, metering out its sweet, citrusy character in gentle waves. A creamy, cheesecake-like texture binds this sweetness together with a sharper, zestier finish as the hops turn bitter. The finish is long, soft and lemony. All in all, it’s magnificently understated, and given its strength, dangerously sessionable.
This is a beer that appears to be just another hotshot American-style pale ale, but is so classy that you feel guilty for misjudging it. With its blend of Yankee razzmatazz and understated British-brewed subtlety, I can confidently state this is the beer equivalent of Cary Grant. What’s not to like about that?