Friday, April 26, 2013

#IHP2013 - The Tasting

Finally the day arrived, the day to drink my recreation of a beer from 1877 - a beer which was commercially brewed 136 years ago. The beer in question was the Truman's No 4, from a brewery which was once the biggest in the world.

Number 4 was a Burton Ale, which in 1877 meant it was pale, bitter and sweet all at the same time. In 2013, my recreation looked like this:

The beer poured a rich amber, which surprised me given the grain bill of 100% pale malt (I wish I could get my bitter the same colour from a single grain). The nose was sweet toasted malt laced with traces of spice, toffee and a touch of boozy orange peel - think of a rum baba made with a pinch of white pepper and caramelised brown sugar and you are in the right ball park.

Tastewise, sweet malt juiciness dominates, kind of, balanced by a bitter tang that threatens to give balance to the beer but ultimately makes it like biting though the rind of an orange in your morning marmalade - marmalade was very much a theme running through this beer, specifically thick cut Seville orange marmalade, preferably from Marks and Spencer.

This is a full bodied, smooth, beer which fails to be either cloyingly sweet or overwhelmingly 'hoppy' - as in lots of late addition hops that make you feel like you are sucking your way through a grapefruit grove. As cheesy as it may sound, it really is very well balanced, the malt sweetness is there, and the hops play off it to perfection, giving a smoothness that belies its, calculated, 125 IBU.

In short, this is a very drinkable beer, especially given its strength and the amount of hops that went into it, and from a brewing perspective, one of the best beers I have made in quite some time.

This post is about another homebrewer who made the beer, thanks Derek for taking part! If you also brewed the beer, post a link in the comments, or tell us how it turned out!


  1. Crazy Brewday, Crazy Schedule. This was the last time I did anything with beer but this weekend should fix some of that.

  2. Mine is going up later due to a beer packed weekend, I never got a chance to post it.

  3. Sorry for being late, but here's my write-up:

    It really is a very tasty beer that I may well brew again.

    Thanks for organising!

  4. Thank you for expanding my brewing into Burton Ale territory! Definitely not my last Burton.

  5. Here's mine.

  6. Thanks for the shoutout! It sounds like yours turned out quite a bit sweeter than mine.


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