Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Now Drinking: Fuller's Brewer's Reserve No. 1

Off to visit Fuller's next week, which I'm very much looking forward to. Head brewer John Keeling is a very interesting guy, a nice combination of scientist and aesthete, which in an ideal world is what a brewer should be.

Although I was looking forward to the "ordinary" tour, it turns out that I'll be touring with Melissa Cole. Wonderfully, we are in for the full experience, as I got an email from John saying "it looks like we will be tasting some of our barrel experiments that day- if you don't mind strong beer in the morning". I replied "I love the taste of strong beer in the morning - it tastes like victory". He'll either get the Apocalypse Now reference, or think I'm a tit. Oh well.

I'm looking forward to revisiting some of the beers that I wrote about here, and finding out what Brewer's Reserve No. 2 will be. To get tuned up, I broke out a bottle of Reserve No.1 tonight. A stunningly good bottle, lacking some of the bretty/barrel flora notes that I've noticed before. Lots of spicy gingerbread, parkin and golden syrup initially, fruit mid-palate (over-ripe melon, nectarines, apricots), figs and rum in the finish. Full, satisfying, with great length and complexity, beautifully balanced, with just a hint of alcohol poking through in the finish.


  1. Looking forward to it too - it was a lovely invite to get out of the blue, hope you don't mind me crashing.

    I'm having a hoarding issue with my No.1, I really, really loved it when it was released and I've only got one bottle left, that I really should crack open but can't bring myself to! Ahhh!

    And I too love the taste of strong beer in the morning! Very funny response. I was thinking about riding down to brewery as it will probably only take me about 15 minutes and then thought about the consequences of trying to ride back and changed my mind rapidly! : )

  2. I wasn't that taken with brewer's reserve myself, I'm not that keen on oak aged beers.

  3. Melissa - I didn't know you had a horse - you can still be found drunk in charge on hossback, you know.

    Ed - The several bottles I've had have been quite variable - this was by far the best so far. I'm sure their bottling is consistent, so it's an odd one. Fuller's beers seem to go in and out of condition in the bottle, as does Worthington White Shield. John Keeling talks about sine waves of condition as the beer oscillates from good to great (or, if you're not Fullers' head brewer, OK to very good). I'm hoping to mention biodynamics to him on Wednesday and see if he has any opinion on that as an influence.


Sorry about the word verification - the blog was getting spammed to bits.