You know, I’m getting to quite like these strong ales, even though I keep going on about preferring the lighter, lower-alcohol bitters. Bishops Finger (5.4%) from Shepherd Neame is a very tasty drop of beer – at least for an odd glass, I don’t think I would manage more than a couple at a time! It has a sweet honey or toffee smell, and although there is some sweetness in the taste it is also nicely bitter – very flavoursome – and it has a good long bitter finish.
Apparently the name comes from a signpost on the Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury – so you could be excused for thinking, as I did, that this beer has been brewed for centuries. Not so! It was first brewed in 1958 to celebrate the end of World War II, and was Shepherd Neame’s first strong ale after 20 years of malt rationing. Despite having my illusions shattered, I do like this beer. The one thing I don’t like about it – there really should be an apostrophe in there (i.e. Bishop’s Finger).