Are we perhaps drinking our beer too fresh?
While at my stall at the Food and Drink Festival an elderly lady brought me a dumpy bottle of beer in a shape I’ve never seen before. She asked me if I would be so kind to test this (the last bottle) of a brew her late husband brewed more than 20 years ago! This I took as quite a privilege because I have never drank a beer that old. Apparently she did ask Jeremy Mansfield but he did not respond. So I took it home and after standing quiet for a week in my fridge I taste tested it.
The nose was the first clue that this was indeed a very mature beer. It had a rich liqueur brandy, olroso sherry aroma which was quite appetizing. It was obviously brewed with malt extract because the “extract” aroma so typical in kit beers came through quite strong. The flavor was stunningly dry (with very faint oxidation) and a slight acidity that combined very well.
The dryness and acidity reminded me of a bottle of wood matured Rodenbach Belgium ale.
The carbonation and head was perfect for a beer that old. The lack of any yeast off flavors was surprising because the yeast and protein residue in the bottle was pitch black!