Tuesday saw me once again enjoying the hospitality of Oracle in that London, I went with m’colleague Karl to hear their latest story on cloud computing. I’m not going to go into that, as it’s far too dull, and besides, you’re only here for the beer aren’t you?
After listening to all that cloud-based eulogising and having just over half-an-hour to kill before the train home we high-tailed it to a new one on me: The Holborn Whippet (http://holbornwhippet.com/), a decidedly “with-it” sort of place that had a really beautifully selected and restrained tap list. The taps in question being nicely arranged against a red brick chimney breast sort-of-affair, which was novel and interesting.
I just had to try a Dark Arts. I’d heard many good things about Magic Rock and even though it was £3 a half, I couldn’t pass it up. An English brewery with a “craft beer” pedigree, that just has to be a good thing doesn’t it?
My half arrived in front of me and was all thick and black with a tan head that almost seemed to have a green tinge to it (unconscious wish fulfillment on my behalf, I’m sure)
The aroma that I got was as heady and heavy as incense smoke and was all roasty, smokey and dark malts that were bearing along an intense hop aroma. I must confess I couldn’t decide if the hops were piney or resiny but they dovetailed so tightly against that gorgeous malty fug that I didn’t much care.
When sipped, Dark Arts was an enchanting experience: subtly sweet, roasty dark and toastily malty; there were some hints of biscuit, and when the hops came on – which they did with some force – they teased out a strange leathery, old books and dankness theme…I kept drinking and thinking and couldn’t get my head completely around the taste (and still can’t!) do dark malts really go well with buckets of hoppiness? I may have to drink an awful lot more of Dark Arts to decide!
In any case, I’m still thinking about Dark Arts now (two days later) the aroma and taste still being firmly emblazoned upon my frontal cortex…but Maybe that’s what the folks at Magic Rock intended.? These are some dark arts, indeed…
DON’T EVER pass up the opportunity to try Dark Arts…really. I desperately need to get my hands on more of Magic Rock’s output, they have got this whole new wave beer thing so right, the beer, the artwork, everything.
My hat remains permanently doffed to them….