It's a cold and slightly damp early May evening and definitely NOT the sort of weather we should be experiencing at this time of year! What better then than to crack open a bottle of Brakspear Triple III that I'd had laying around at home for ages. From memory I believe I bought it for Christmas 2010, but never got round to drinking it. By following the instructions on the label, and clicking onto the Brakspear's website, I was able to check when my individually numbered bottle was filled (4th September 2010), so it is now over a year and a half old. It is none the worse for this though, as being bottle-conditioned the beer has matured like a fine old wine.
It was very lively when poured, but not excessively so that it fobbed everywhere. Even so, and despite slow and careful pouring on my part, it formed a thick, fluffy head which meant I had to drink half of it before I could get the rest into the glass! Fortunately both halves poured perfectly clear, and I was left with a glass of sparkling, light-mahogany coloured beer with a hoppy nose and a wonderfully complex and very satisfying taste. The notes on the label describe the beer much better than I can, viz: "Thanks to the two fermentations in the Brakspear 'Double Drop' system, this highly aromatic and satisfying strong beer delivers its rich flavour with subtlety and balance. Crystal, Black and Maris Otter pale malts provide the backbone of this outstanding rich beer. Hops are added three times to provide a good balance between bitterness and fragrance."
That sums up this excellent beer nicely. My bottle had certainly matured well and had developed a slightly vinous edge, reminiscent of a Madeira wine.It was also a full 500ml rather than the sissy 330ml size it is sold in today!