Old Burton Extra is the third in the Fuller’s Past Masters series, each of these beers has so far been fantastic. It has just become available and so is this weeks Beer of the Weekend, it is however limited so get it while you can!
The past masters series of beers from Fuller’s showcases some of the lost gems from the head brewers notebooks at the Fuller’s brewery. Three have been produced so far, the first was the XX Strong Ale a fine example of strong ales and a good start to the series. The second, Double Stout, quickly became a favourite of mine and me and friends enjoyed many before they sadly disappeared from the shelves. With the Old Burton Extra due to become available I found myself once again looking forward to a Past Masers beer. As soon as it was on the Fuller’s website I ordered it and it has queue jumped quite a few beers which I have sitting ready for tasting. So what does this beer taste like?
The nose promises fruit, with overtones of malty caramel. The initial flavour is caramel, this turns into rich plumy fruit middle, there is a hint of apples, then comes a flavour like a rich fruit cake, more caramel malty flavours and sweetness. The end is a slight grassy, spicy hop which balances the middle nicely leaving an alcoholic warmth in the mouth.Beer and brewing history is not my thing, however I recognise the good that the enthusiasts do for beer especially in resurrecting some of the interesting historic brews. The past masters series brings back some very interesting beers as recorded in the notebooks at Fuller’s, and it raises the interesting question as to what else is hiding in other breweries records. With all the new “innovative” beers being produced it makes me wonder how many have been done before and how many are truly new, also are the notebooks of today as full of interesting trial beers for future brewers to resurrect.
Old Burton Extra is interesting in that it is very similar to current strong ales, but it has something slightly different about it. I think that the caramel malt flavours in the beer, whereas many strong ales are based on the fruity flavours with maybe a hoppy end, Old Burton Extra has a pronounced caramel to it.
Interestingly Old Burton Extra does not taste as strong as it is, at 7.3%ABV this beer is quite strong, however it is very smooth and easy to drink. The hoppyness at the end means that it does not have the stickiness which can make it difficult to drink strong ales quickly, it is however not a session beer, even though you could it wouldn’t be a wise idea.
I would encourage anyone who likes beer to give Fuller’s Old Burton Extra a go, but particularly if you like other Fuller’s beers, it has the character of Fuller’s but with something a bit special. The beer is available now from the Fuller’s shop or should be available nationally soon. But it is limited, so get it while you can.