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16-01-2015, 09:25
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http://boakandbailey.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IMG_3204.jpgThere is never going to be a Fuller’s Past Masters beer that we don’t buy by the case, even though this makes three in a row that have failed to hit the standard set by the first two.Though supposedly brewed to a recipe for Fuller’s standard mild from August 1914, the ABV has been bumped up from an almost sessionable, historically accurate c.5% to 7.3%, more befitting of a limited edition release. (Here are Ron Pattinson’s notes on Fuller’s X from the period (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/11/beerylongreads-november-2014/).) It cost us £3.75 a bottle, in*a case of 12, plus delivery.
It certainly looks enticing in the glass, gleaming red, and has the characteristic Fuller’s tangerine aroma.
The problem, *however, occurs on tasting, when an overriding, Irn-Bru, Lucozade sweetness takes over. It made us think, unfortunately, of Innis & Gunn, of whose beers we are not fans, or even Adelscott, the whisky-flavoured, sweetened, alco-pop beer from France.
In fact, the reminder of whisky doesn’t stop there. Though we occasionally drink it, as with coffee (http://boakandbailey.com/2014/10/bewildered-coffee/), we struggle to discern specific flavours and qualities beyond the bleedin’ obvious, so please excuse our vagueness when we say that there was a whisky-and-water boozy, smoky afterburn in the throat and nose.
There’s also a gentle tooth-stripping quality like the feeling you get after eating a particularly tart rhubarb or gooseberry crumble. (Oxalic acid says the*internet.)
We’re making this sound like hard work, aren’t we? Well, that’s how we’re finding it, four bottles into a case of twelve. The rest we’re going to leave for a few months and see if it mellows, though we can’t really see how it will get less sweet unless some of the remaining sugars are somehow digested by the bottle-conditioning yeast.
Ultimately, it’s a really quirky, interesting beer that*won’t appeal to everyone, and we know some people have loved it:

The new Fullers Past Masters 1914 X Mild 7.4% is wonderful, this style needs to make a comeback, making brown beer sexy
— Bantam Brewery Co (@bantambreweryco) December 11, 2014 (https://twitter.com/bantambreweryco/status/543097453172768768)

But*the really exciting news: that incredible 1893 Double Stout is being re-brewed this year. We’ll buy two cases this time.
Fuller’s Past Masters 1914 Strong X (http://boakandbailey.com/2015/01/fullers-past-masters-1914-strong-x/) from Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Over-thinking beer, pubs and the meaning of craft since 2007 (http://boakandbailey.com)

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