If you thought Whitbread’s base Mild Ale was way over the top for the style, XL will blow your mind. It weighs in at over 7% ABV and 50 IBU. How mild is that?
A little explanation of the name. No, it doesn’t mean “extra-large”. Having stared endlessly at beer names trying to make sense of them – and having seen lots of brewing records from the capital – I know exactly what the “L” stands for: London. The Cockneys liked their beer to have a bit of whallop meaning that London versions of a beer were always stronger than those intended for the “country”.
Simply put, XL is a souped-up version of X Ale. Though the hopping is rather classier, with Hallertau standing in for those nasty American hops. They were all pretty fresh, too, being from either the 1880 of 1881 crop.
|1881 Whitbread XL|
|mild malt||15.25 lb||92.42%|
|No. 2 invert sugar||1.25 lb||7.58%|
|Hallertau 90 mins||2.50 oz|
|Goldings 30 mins||2.50 oz|
|Goldings dry hops||1.00 oz|
|Mash at||150º F|
|Sparge at||160º F|
|Boil time||90 minutes|
|pitching temp||61º F|
|Yeast||Wyeast 1099 Whitbread Ale|