While not just a gimmick, it’s pretty gimmicky. The oak the beer is aged in is old VSOP armagnac casks. We didn’t know either, just click the link. A geographically specific brandy, if you’re too lazy. Anyway, the good people at Fuller’s aged their ale in armagnac casks for a full 365 days, well exceeding the sub-100 day counts you see on Innis & Gunn, but then they’re dealing in a different volume. Not that these are rare: ours were numbered 26517 & 26623. Goran was beside himself needing to know about the intervening bottles.
It’s a very powerful taste, good colour in the glass. We split these two bottles three ways (8.5% and we had more reviews to do), and it was still very filling. Here’s what we thought:
Dan – rye bread or pumpernickel
Simon – a little hoppy
Goran – toasted chestnuts
Dan – metal, copper sweet
Simon – cask, aluminum, sweet
Goran – totally malty
Fuller’s Brewer’s Reserve Limited Edition No. 4 Oak Aged Ale – 8.5% 500ml – $8.55 – UK
Try it? Sure. Buy it? No.