A bottle of Fuller's Old London Ale, ABV 7.9%, brewed to an Old Burton recipe from 1905.
is a type of strong ale
which has been described as "a draught beer darker and sweeter than bitter
, named originally after the great brewing town of Burton-on-Trent
but now common to all breweries wherever they are". The Beer Judge Certification Program
has defined a style guideline for Burton Ale, which it describes as "A rich, malty, sweet, and bitter dark ale of moderately strong alcohol. Full bodied and chewy with a balanced hoppy finish and complex malty and hoppy aroma. Fruity notes accentuate the malt richness, while the hops help balance the sweeter finish." Burton Ale was brewed by collecting the first and richest wort and fermenting it separately to make strong ale.... [It] would have been brewed from malt paler than the brown high-dried malt used for porter
, but one that was still much darker than modern pale ale malts." It was "the original dark, rather sweet beer the brewers of Burton upon Trent
made and exported to Russia before they started brewing even paler, bitterer India Pale Ales in the 1820s". "Burtons vary in flavour, some are quite strongly hopped, others retain the bitter-sweet flavour of mild beer." Burton Ales were generally aged and "needed cellaring for months before serving, and ... it almost certainly had some degree of secondary fermentation going on during that time – sour beers aren’t a new or strictly continental-European thing". At least in London the terms Burton Ale and old ale
Old Burton is a strong version of Burton Ale. Allsopp
’s Arctic Ale was originally 11.24% ABV. Old Burton was referenced in The Wind in the Willows
: "The Rat, meanwhile, was busy examining the label on one of the beer-bottles. 'I perceive this to be Old Burton', he remarked approvingly. 'Sensible Mole! The very thing!" Robert Louis Stevenson
, in California around 1880, recalled the ales and beers of his native land: Read more...