Origin: London W4, England
The Brewer’s Reserve series is Fuller’s head brewer John Keeling’s limited edition of wood aged beers, starting with a Glenmorangie whisky cask version in 2008. The second edition uses the same beer recipe but matured for a year in oak Cognac barrels. Though primarily intended for limited edition bottling, some of the beer has been put into draught casks, and Fuller’s were tapping one firkin a day at their brewery bar at this year’s Great British Beer Festival. I’m grateful to the neatly suited blokes from the brewery who spotted my Fine Ale Club polo shirt and pointed me in the right direction at the right time.
The beer is a pale Tizer-like amber, with only a little bubbly head. The aroma has that instantly recognisable orangey Fuller’s note that blends with the spirity notes from the Cognac to give an impression of orange liqueur. It’s quite intoxicating and also includes wafts of wood and oaked chardonnay. A rich, complex and sweetish palate is honeyed and thick, with more wood, tangy orange and spirit notes well blended with the malty beer character. A long and chewy finish is generously fruity and mouth coating.
This matches its predecessor in being a very interesting, enjoyable and well made beer, fine but approachable. John has raised the bar very high with mind-blowing masterpieces like his Vintage Ales, especially when they’re given some age — while not quite reaching that level, these Reserve beers are a very welcome addition to an impressive range.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/fullers-brewers-reserve-no-2/127709/