Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fuller's London Pride

I'm a fan of what is called "session beer" which is typically defined as a beer which the average beer drinker can consume over a long period of time without getting drunk. When I think of session beer, I think of English Bitter.

According to British writer Roger Protz, Bitter is "an English term for a well-hopped draught ale that is typically copper-coloured with ruddy glints and a slight but distinctive bitter taste that is unspoilt by the fizziness of CO2. It is unrealistic to expect the so-called bitter that is sold in a can to have any semblance of true draught bitter character. Most bitter is 3.75-4% ABV, although Best or Special will be 4-4.75% and some go as high as 5.5%."

I like to brew an Americanized version of Bitter, but tonight I'm sipping a commercial version of true English Bitter called Fuller's London Pride. Fuller's is a distinguished English brewer of ales. Fuller's has been around since 1845. The brewery's website says that London Pride has grown to be Britain's highest selling "Premium" Ale. Fuller's London Pride is a tasty ale that pours a light amber hue with plenty of carbonation (at least out of a can), but is a bit subdued. Although Roger wouldn't approve of this canned beer, this is a decent ale with enough complexity to balance it's excellent drinkability. London Pride starts out with a honey-ish nose accented by woody hops, followed by a delicate biscuit-like maltiness, a hint fruitiness, a slight bit of tartness and finally a crisp, bittersweet finish. Although I'd like to taste more bitter hops in the finish, this is still a decent session ale, and it must be noted that the particular sample I'm enjoying is about three months past it's best before date, which could explain it's lack of luster.

I picked it up for cheap, knowing it was a bit past due. I normally wouldn't consume beer past it's due date, but in this case I succumbed to a case that was more than half off it's normal price. So given this product's condition I'm certainly not too disappointed.

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