Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beer Review: Burton Bridge Brewery - Old Expensive Ale

Traveling back over the Atlantic for another British ale. Today's is brewed in the famous brewing city of Burton on Trent, which is known for its great ales directly related to the water profile. Quite the contrary to the name the beer really isn't that expensive here in the States. The reason for the name is that in England beers with a higher alcohol content are taxed higher. Reviews of this beer in the States are all over the board, probably because of the long way they have to ship, and after they leave the brewery it's out of their hands.

Barley Wine aroma, Estery
Smooth & bitter with a barley wine taste
Target & Challenger
Pale, Chocolate & invert sugar
November to January

Old Expensive is a strong, dark winter warmer with a full bodied rounded bitterness. It has a rich port wine aroma in the nose, massive mouth-filling malt and ripe fruit flavors and a deep finish with hops, raisins and sultanas on the palate.

I found information on this beer in two separate places. On the brewery's official website the label is different and the malt types used seem a little different than what I am tasting. The other info can be found here and I think it falls more in line with what I was drinking. 

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy orange copper with a thin white head that diminishes to just over the top, no lacing present.

Aroma: Toasty biscuit malt with hints of caramel. Good amount of fruitiness also present.

Flavor: Starts with a slight bitterness quickly moving into fruit. Apple, pear and a tinge of grape are present. Biscuit malt overtones throughout with a slight bit of toffee. Has a cidery feel to it which is probably from the oxidation that comes with aging. Ends moderately dry, with a small bit of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation.

Overall: At 6.5% alcohol this is a moderately strong ale that I could sip on all day. It is quintessentially British with a good amount of fruity esters from the yeast but has a good base of biscuity malt to round things out. For an old ale this seems much lighter and easier to drink than most examples I have had. As I drank I thought this would be perfect with a nice pork tenderloin. 


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