Today it's the turn of a beer I'm dying to try myself. A powerful, seasonal Strong Ale from my favourites Barclay Perkins.
Between the wars, Barclay Perkins brewed a massive range of beers. 22, if you include the darkened versions of X and XX. Many were produced in tiny quantities, as you can see from the tables below. This was possible because they had a small batch brewhouse. In the main brewery, each brew was 500 to 1,000 barrels. Way too much for a beer like Russian Stout, even though it was only brewed once a year. Some beers were brewed in batches as small as 18 barrels.
Where did KKKK fit in? This was a Strong Ale sold in the winter. Judging by Barclay Perkins adverts, it seems to have been a draught beer. My guess is that it was sold from a pin on the bar. Much like some Old Ales still are today. For the period, it was unusually strong. Few beers had gravities higher than 1055 or so.
That short introduction over, it's time to hand you over to Kristen . . . . (I think he likes it, BTW) . . .
Almost forgot. This beer is perfect for your christmas pudding . . . . . now really over to Kristen . . . .
Barclay Perkins (BP) 1936 KKKK
Big ass brown mame a jamma. Huge beer with a ton of hops. Something very unique and not seen anymore in any place. Think turbo charge brown IPA. If you are on the fence about any beer. MAKE THIS ONE!!!!
Grist and such
Tons of No2 invert syrup and crystal really put the focus on this beer to the dark fruits and deep caramel tones. 80% of the grist is malt with a VERY heavy dose of the californian 6-row at nearly 1/3 of the total grain bill. This brewery is quite different in that they use a number of different 'caramel' colorants. Most use just one...that standard dark. This beer uses a much lighter caramel. Not sure why. Maybe it was giving a touch of flavor as well as the color!? All in all not a really different type of grain bill for standard brown ale. The difference lies in the quantities per barrel. This beer weighs in at 1.078. A big beer in any light!
The mash is actually quite high for this beer at 153F. With all the non-reducing sugars left from the invert and crystal and this high mash temp really will make this beer finish quite 'thick' as can be seen from the finishing gravity of 1.027.
Lots and I mean LOTS of very fresh goldings hops at 3.64 lbs/ barrel! The nearly 80 bu's these provide will make the sweet finish of this beer seem much drier than it normally would. In addition, 4oz of hops were added per barrel changing the overall aroma of this beer.
Usually beers were kept quite low. I only mention this in that this beer was fermented damn near 72F. At this temp it would completely change the profile! It would no longer have the big fruit of the 60-ish fermentation but would have more of a peppery alcoholic character along
with some of those spicy phenols.
Dark toffees wrapped in orange rind with a ton of spice. Caramel middle is very rich and grainy but dries out in the finish it a big smack of hop resins. The spice, hop resins and 6-row astringency really extent the finish and keep this beer from being cloying. Quite refreshing for
such a large beast.
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