BATTERED BY BARREL-AGED BOURBON AT SAMBROOKS

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A number of you* have asked for more features on brewery taps on this blog, getting bored of all these pictures of churches, street art and Primark bags.

This one’s for you, as Neil Young probably sang.

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Enter a caption

I’d been warned about the back streets of Battersea by someone who shall remain nameless. I must be either ignorant or a large but fast-walking 53 year old bloke as I never feel worried walking round the back streets of anywhere, except Maidenhead on New Year’s Eve.

Sambrooks

Mind, I did stop here on the way,

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Nice people

which may have helped.  The prayers would have been better spent asking that the pub was open.

Frankly, I was more worried about the proximity of the aptly-named Four Thieves, which stole £10.45 off me a couple of years ago (and I never let you forget it). 

I’d walked this route along the Thames path (where it exists) on my way to Fulham in 2016, and it was pleasing/disappointing to see nothing has changed.

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More hipster bands

Sambrook’s Tap is what we in the ticking industry call “A challenge“, only open Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday.  Particularly frustrating when all my London trips for gigs have been on Tuesdays and Sundays this GBG year.

But here it is. Is there life at 12.05 ?

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Open door

Yes, a bloke in overalls fixing something, or possibly brewing beer or whatever breweries do.

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Beer.  Or something

The pubby bit is up the steps, and is quite pubby, in that retro Antic fashion.

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“Ironic” dart board (I hope)
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Proper seating.  And sofa

One barman, and one other bloke, a former Youngs employee with a pleasing knowledge of Youngs boozers (at least they were, before 2007).

My experience of Sambrook’s is pretty much decent but unexciting Wandle in unexciting South London gastropubs, so here was its chance to shine on home turf.

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NOT a pashmina, Pauline
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Good, but better to come

And it did (NBSS 3.5), but not as much as the 6.9% Black IPA they’d just put on (NBSS 4) or the sampler of the 10% Imperial Stout (NBSS 5, beer of the year). It was cool but warming, like a stronger Old Tom, and wrote off my afternoon.

I blame our “server”, the most engaging barperson of the year, even after spending Friday nights “free pints !” clearing up vomit as Rugby fans can’t hold their drink. I thought the Twickers crowd might be descending on us before the game against the Aussies, but we were spared.

I don’t normally recommend Brewery Taps, but I’d travel here just to talk life and pubs with this bloke.  But if they’ve got the Imperial Stout on, don’t expect to do much later.

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*Zero is a number.

20 thoughts on “BATTERED BY BARREL-AGED BOURBON AT SAMBROOKS

  1. You’ll recall one of my favourite pubs ever is the Mad Pub on Madeira Beach,mainly because it has its own cigar-rolling shop next door and you can enjoy its products and any one of 60 beers on tap in the pub.
    But,yeah,most are all-the-bleedin’-same IPA’s.
    Which is why I always end up on the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.
    8.2% so ya gotta be careful but I do often wonder what’s the point ? Why not just horse a shot of bourbon into your pint ?

    Like

    1. Yes, and corners being cut here.
      Surely the beer should have been delivered to the pub in a Bourbon cask rather than having been decanted by Sambrooks into a metal cask.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice to see the brewery tap is bang on, I have been both unexcited and disappointed with Sambrooks in London pubs.

    The beer can be in aluminium casks Paul, but it must have been aged in a wooden cask for at least 6 months before it is recognised (by CAMRA) as barrel aged. Of course it would be far better in a wooden cask. The better barrel aged beers can be very complex – Brass Castle Kitty barrel aged variants are a good example, although the McKitty (Whisky casks) is a bit over pronounced to my taste. Of course the standard Bourbon casks are much larger than the normally used Firkins, so decanting is inevitable.

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    1. Thanks. There’s obviously more to this barrel ageing than I had realised.
      Now what would Humphrey’s OBB be like after six months untouched in one of his oak casks ?

      Like

      1. I’m none too sure about that? Sam’s Stingo is, I believe, barrel aged and it’s the stronger darker brews that seem to fare best. I had some Elland 1872 Porter that Neil Midgely at The Junction in Cas had aged in one of his wooden casks for 18 months, all the residual sugars had gone and it was unbelievably dry.

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  3. “A number of you*…”

    Can’t see a key to the asterisk. Does that mean that the number is zero ?

    I’ll be in Maidenhead on NYE. Very safe place.

    The Asparagus in Battersea is full of characters !

    Like

    1. Thanks for pointing out the missing key, Fred. It seemed to have got pushed down the page by the photo. Indeed, zero is a number.

      #PrayForFredOnNYE

      Yes, I’ve been in the Asparagus and it looked as lively as ever.

      Like

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