Thursday, 4 July 2013

Gone for a Burton

I've been drinking Fuller's 1845 quite a bit recently as Tesco's have got it on special offer.

I drank and enjoyed the fruity, rich taste of 1845 for years without really thinking about what style of beer it fitted into. The label says Strong Ale, CAMRA lists it as an Old Ale in its bottled beer guides and as a strong, slightly sweet ale it also fits into the category of a Burton.

As others have pointed out, the division of strong, malty beers into Old Ale, Barley Wine and Strong Ale is a pretty arbitrary one and that's before you include strong milds like Sarah Hughes Dark Ruby.


  1. John Keeling says that it's a Burton. The fruitiness in a medium-dark beer is the give-away for the style.

  2. I'd call it an Old Ale. The bottle-conditioning means a stock beer albeit these beers are not stored as long as in past centuries. The flavour is malt forward, the hops are there but support the malt and I'd guess attenuation is a few points lower than for London Pride, say, a bitter. It could be a Burton and categories blend into each other at this point, but the ABV is a little light for that and the colour is too. I think a good Burton should have a "brown caramel" quality which sometimes is lightly smoky.