Bishops Finger

Company info:
Shepherd Neame
Faversham Kent, ENGLAND 


Alcohol: 5.4%
Standard drinks: 2.1

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: TBC

Label info: ‘Bishops Finger is names after an ancient Kentish signpost found on the Pilgrims Way pointing to Canterbury and the shrine of Thomas A Becket.
It was first brewed in 1958 to celebrate the end of austerity after the war.
It was Shepherd Neame’s first strong ale after over twenty years of malt rationing.
Bishops Finger – at 5.4% it’s near the knuckle’

What the label really means:
VERY glad they told us what the name of this beer relates to. My mind was conjuring up all kinds of horrors…let’s face it, you thought it too. Very glad to read it’s nothing obscene. I like the history and tradition this beer is steeped in, and from all accounts, it sounds as though it will be malty goodness.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: Strangely enough the liturgical purple on this label really works. It reinforces the bishop link, gives it a sense of regality and looks quite distinguished. Perhaps though, the colour is a little too pinkish and borders on being a bit feminine. Label aside, I can’t excuse a clear-glass bottle…why Shepherd Neame, why?

I give it a label rating of 5 out of 10.

AROMA: A delicious malty, caramel smell.

Taste: GLASS – On first impressions, you’d be excused for thinking this was an overly carbonated brew but in reality it’s very smooth, sliding back with the help of a strong caramelised malt flavour. Bishops Finger is a real all-mouth beer that is very full flavoured with a back of the mouth bitterness that emerges as an after taste. The bitterness is quite intense…perhaps a little too intense as it takes your taste buds away from the initial caramelly flavours.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Damn…drink this from the bottle and the delicious warming caramel flavours are long gone, replaced with the full intensity of the aforementioned bitterness. Definitely stick to the glass for this brew.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 5.5 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this alongside Matchbox Twenty’s ‘How Far We’ve Come

Accompanying food: Whatever food this accompanies (and I am thinking a steak and kidney pie would be ideal), I believe a side of thick steak-cut fries is essential.

Best season to appreciate: Definitely a Winter warmer.

All-nighter beer? Look, it’s enjoyable enough to drink all-night but I am sure this would pack a killer hangover punch.

NEXT WEEK: Angry Man

  1. Diddlysquat says:

    Great review. I was impressed with the beer, nice complex flavours and aromas but a little heavy in body for me – for regular consumption. I could see this going well with the UK climate!


  2. radiosnivins says:

    Ahoy-hoy ‘Kazoo, bladda, Bargé.

    Pleasantries aside, Bishops Finger is even harder to procure down here than There Is No Santa. I frequented every grog shop I could find, but, alas, no gherkin. In the end, I decided to try a God shop, for spiritual guidance. I’m irreligious, except when it comes to alcohol, so I tottled into the tallest one I could find. As per always, I was wearing my Trouserblad todge-mounted spy camera to record goings-on. Nine out of ten.


  3. BargeDave says:

    I’ve never been anything other than completely impressed and satisfied with all of the Kentish Ales I’ve sampled, and this is near the top of a very impressive list. I still rate Spitfire as my personal favourite, but this is in the top few as well. Great malt flavours, even better hop flavours, massively complex but not so grand as to be hard to drink. It really goes down well.


    • Mason Hell-Cat says:

      Barge! Where the hell have you been for the past 3 months!
      I’ve had Sniv calling all the hospitals daily, the police on a fortnightly basis, and Dan Murphys every hour on the hour. Don’t you EVER do that to us again, young man! Off to bed with no beer for you, please!

      P.S. Welcome back – we missed you!


      • BargeDave says:

        Thanks Mase, your thoughts and Sniv’s efforts genuinely appreciated. Looking forward to this week’s review too.


  4. bladdamasta says:

    It’s known in certain circles as a nun’s best friend.


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