This one was close, really close. In the end only 4 votes separated the top 2 beers…
1. Kernel India Export Porter 5.9% ABV
Boak and Bailey are currently running their own series of porter tastings here and they have kindly taken some time out to write these words about the winning beer… If we had to pick a single beer to represent what has happened to London’s beer scene in the last decade, The Kernel’s Export India Porter might be the one. First brewed in 2011, and much-imitated since, it is a playful acknowledgement of the fact that hoppy dark beers didn’t arrive with the recent invention of black IPA, but back in the 19th century when porter was shipped to supply British troops in India. Brewed at various strengths and with various hops over the years, KEIP can vary widely from batch to batch — for some, a key part of its appeal. It is a beer that perhaps does more to explain what ‘craft beer’ means in the UK than any amount of wordy philosophising — bold, raw-edged, boozy, bitter, and bursting with character, as fruity hops pile up against intense roasted malt flavours. Honestly, we’re not fans, but this poll shows that a LOT of people are, and no-one could ever call it bland.
The Kernel India Export Porter will now join Beavertown Gamma Ray, Camden Town Hells and Marble Dobber in what is becoming a very London-centric winners poll* later on in the year. Before that though we have bitters, sours, barley wines and the next poll, high ABV/imperial & barrel-aged Porters & Stouts to get through.
You can nominate your favourite Porters/Stouts at 7.5% ABV and above in the comment box below or via Twitter using #UKTop10Impys until Friday 7 November. The poll will run from Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 NOvember and the winner will also be added to the UK Top 10 Beers poll at the end of the year.
Thanks to everyone who took time to cast a vote, we hope you enjoy giving these beers a try.
*This is a change from previous listings as I’ve decided that only the winning beers should go into a winners poll otherwise we may be left with a situation where a beer that didn’t win its poll actually wins the winners poll. That would just be embarrassing.