Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Traitors’ Gate is brand-new “rich ruby red ale” from Fuller’s. Named after the entrance to the Tower of London, it is being trialled as a limited edition brew in a selected number of Fuller’s houses. I found it in the Golden Eagle, Delamare Road, Southsea, an outlet for the Sussex Drinker and a new entry in the 2013 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Given a feedback form to fill in, I wrote something along the following lines. Outstanding fruit on the nose with citrus notes; full-bodied and bursting with red berry flavours, slightly sweet, but well balanced with biscuit malt and a slightly astringent zesty but gentle hop finish. I ventured the opinion that there is a need for this fruity red ale at 4.5% in the Fuller’s range.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
As beer writer Martyn Cornell makes clear, Burton Ale was not a bitter IPA as one might suppose, but a slightly stronger, darker and sweeter beer than the pale ales first made famous by that Staffordshire brewing town before its name become synonymous with India Pale Ale. A Burton remained a popular choice in pubs in the immediate period after the Second World War but today it is a virtually forgotten style – Gone for a Burton, as they say. More recent beers brewed in the Burton tradition no longer go by that name.
This is very recognisably a Fuller’s beer with characteristic marmalade and spearmint aroma but also hints of fresh grassy hops and hazelnut above the fruity caramel malt. For its strength of 7.3%, I was surprised at the smooth, light, almost delicate initial taste, only after which the alcoholic warmth becomes apparent. It is certainly a very easy beer to drink, aided by the fact that it is not in the slightest bit cloying; for while the flavour is predominantly fruity and sweet with burnt sugar and caramel malt, it is remarkably well-balanced by a gentle but lingering dry hop finish.
The original Fuller’s Old Burton Extra was replaced in 1971 by a winter brew called ESB. Wonder what happened to that?