London, Dec 11: A recently discovered cache of 1869 ale should have been undrinkable, but liquor and beer connoisseurs are claiming that the brew tastes “absolutely amazing”.
The Victorian beer was part of a cache of 250 vintage bottles found in the vaults of Worthington’s White Shield brewery in Burton-on-Trent. The bottles will not be sold and have yet to be valued.
According to The Telegraph, the 137-year-old ale has the flavor of raisins and sultanas, baked apple and honey.
The 1869 Ratcliff Ale is bright and luminous like an ancient Amontillado sherry and has a meaty character like smoked partridge with hints of molasses.
One of a handful of people to have tasted the 137-year-old beer is Mark Dorber, a beer connoisseur and publican at the award-winning White Horse in Parson’s Green, London, who has the largest range of bottled beers in Britain.
“It’s amazing that beers this antique can still taste so delicious,” he said.
The Ratcliff ale commemorates the birth of Harry Ratcliff into the brewing family, which became part of the Bass, Ratcliff and Gretton Empire.
All the beers were bottle conditioned, which means they were allowed to develop and mature after they were corked, like a wine. They were also strong – around 10 per cent proof.
The high alcohol content, similar to barley wine, stopped them from deteriorating.
The beers will be recorked to preserve them and displayed at the Museum of Brewing at Coors Visitor Centre in Burton.