Saturday, 4 June 2016

Kaffir Lime Leaf Session IPA

Nothing strikes at a headache quite like a cold beer. Like a keen chisel making the first blow into a virgin cube of aching marble, there's a feeling of a physical jolt as a mouthful of civilisation's foundation, society's great leveller, crashes inside the humming and thrumming skull.

With aching head and thirsting hands, I eagerly grabbed a fistful of Kaffir Lime Leaf Session IPA, a relatively new beer from Newcastle's Box Social Brewing, my mind set firmly on rehdyration and lubrication in the name of beer writing and pain management.

The pressure of the can yields as the ring pull pops open a botanical garden of scents, a green, leafy, crystal-windowed pleasuredome. There is an upsurge after a moment of the lime perfume that threatens to rule over this beer's flavour from cradle to recycling bin.

A hazy sunset scene pours into the glass, looking like a portal to an alien world of permanent sundown. It whispers as it begs to be explored, and before the drinker caves in to these demands the aroma, now fully unleashed from the can, rises like a pillar to the heavens.

Like the spiel on the back of the can promises, it smells like Turkish Delight. Turkish Delight, decadent as it reclines on a pile of lime cushions. But the can's specific promise was "liquid Turkish Delight", and the first mouthful confirms this with gusto.

The taste roars into the mouth like the corruption of Edmund Pevensie. The  liquid Turkish Delight flavour is bolder, brasher than any solid Turkish Delight this son of Adam has tasted, as if amplified and electrified. Above it the Chinook hops slash wonderfully at the tongue as the strong-and-growing-stronger Kaffir lime tumbles down the throat like the fall of the Byzantine Empire. The bitterness adds a beautifully cruel edge to the taste, sharpening the flavour with whetstone strikes of citrus.

All too quickly there is just a finger of IPA left in the glass, with only the barest of lacing to stand memorial to this slayer of headaches, this quencher of thirsts and clear and present danger to Narnia. The sparse carbonation carries the final mouthful over the tongue and into oblivion, the flayed remains of this reporter's headache dragged in its wake.

The strong flavour of Turkish Delight floats and lingers, seductive and commanding as the words of a witch from a frozen land.

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