There’s been a fair bit of confusion in the beer world about Burton Ale. I partly blame allied who, when they released a cask version of Double Diamond, decided to call it Burton Ale. Even though it was a Pale Ale. A Burton Pale Ale to give it its full name.
I can also understand that Pale Ale is the type of beer most associated with Burton. So if you hear something called Burton Ale, it’s natural to assume it’s a Pale Ale. Unless you know the history of brewing in Burton. Then you’ll be aware that Burton was a famous brewing town even before the first Pale Ale was brewed there in the 1870s.
The beers that made Burton originally famous were strong, dark Ales. This type of beer continued to be brewed there after the arrival of Pale Ale, though in the 19th century they had become strong, pale-coloured Ales. The most famous being Bass No. 1, the first beer marketed as a Barley Wine.
K4 is an example of a Burton Ale. Like Bass, Truman numbered their Ales. In their case from 1 to 9. Annoyingly, I don’t have examples of 1 to 3 from the 1877 brewing book. Making 4 the strongest one I have. Though with an OG of over 1080º, it’s not exactly puny.
There’s not a great deal to it: 100% pale malt, American and Kent hops. Combined, they create a golden-coloured beer with a heft bitter bite. Though that would have worn off a little by the time the beer was sold. Because, as the K indicates, the was a Keeper, which would have been aged for at least six months before being sent out.
|1877 Truman K4|
|pale malt||18.75 lb||100.00%|
|Cluster 180 mins||4.50 oz|
|Goldings 90 mins||2.25 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||2.25 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||0.50 oz|
|Mash at||152º F|
|Sparge at||170º F|
|Boil time||180 minutes|
|pitching temp||54º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale|