Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Gone for a Burton

I cracked when I was at Fuller's brewery the other week. As the previous two 'Past Masters' beers had ended up at my local Sainsbury's cheaper than they were at the brewery itself I'd been resisting rushing up to Chiswick to buy the latest. But seeing as I was already there I gave in and forked out the premium price that for some strange reason you often have to pay when  you buy direct from the brewery.




Brewed to a 1931 recipe and 7.3% ABV I was expecting something strong and dark, which is what I got, but not everything was as I expected. There wasn't much in the way of aroma, the taste was definitely a touch vinous, though in some ways reminding me of ESB (the beer that replaced Fuller's Burton Ale), with perhaps with a smidge of Prize Old Ale. Which doesn't really say much if you're not familiar with Fuller's beers but I'm afraid that's all you're going to get.

The most surprising thing though, considering the strength, was the lightness of the body. Certainly not how Fuller's beers are nowadays, it got me wondering how much sugar was used in the recipe, and if Charlie Bamforth was right that the importance of yeast strains is over stated.

It's my favourite of the 'Past Masters' so far and if it does arrive in Sainsbury's I'll definitely be stocking up.

11 comments:

  1. Funnily enough, it's our least favourite, but the one we *wanted* to like the most. Definitely a cousin of the winter warmer you brewed (which we'll get round to writing about at some point).

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    1. My tastes do seem to be a bit out of synch with other bloggers. Lots of people raved about the double stout but it didn't pass my Guinness FES test.

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  2. OBE was bitterer than I expected. Very nice, though.

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    1. What one's been your favourite Ron?

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  3. Dominic, Thornbridge brewery13 February 2013 at 17:44

    I absolutely loved this beer; I bought a case from the online shop. Easily my favourite Past Masters beer. I wonder how close this recipe is to the 1935 recipe...

    http://barclayperkins.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/lets-brew-wednesday-fullers-obe.html

    It was remarkably similar in flavour to the 1920s Courage Burton ale Evin and I brewed, very bitter (even though I matured in cask for three months) but with that lovely fruity, orange-y alcoholic, winey thing going on, with the flavour of good British hops to finish. I was most pleased I didn't put any in bottle so the whole lot had to be drunk in pint form, rather than shared out in thimblefuls by beer geeks at a tasting.

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    1. Glad it's not just me, and good finding that one from Ron.

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  4. I loved it, although it was over shadowed by Brewers Reserve #4 which i tried at the same time and which is incredibly good.

    I thought it was better than the stout, and not as good as the XX Strong.

    The yeast strain unimportant? bollocks.

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  5. Dominic, Thornbridge brewery13 February 2013 at 19:35

    I'm with you Kieran on the yeast strain.

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  6. I think Charlie Bamforth is being a bit mischievous in that article, but he does have a point.

    Given the slight sweetness Fuller's beers generally have I'd had their yeast down as being one that didn't highly attenuate. But as OBE shows they can make a dry beer with the same yeast...

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  7. Hmm. Generally a hit with brewers, then. Wonder if that means anything? Probably not.

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