Kingstone 1503 Tudor Ale – A Bottle-Conditioned Beauty
Bottle-conditioning. Almost always leaves me cold. I pop the cap expecting either a) my kitchen/living room walls will get a decent shower of beer, or b)flat, lifeless, vinegary beer. I just seem to have mixed luck when it comes to bottle conditioning. Until now.
I didn’t know much about Kingstone prior to trying this beer, but 1503 Tudor Ale (4.8%abv) is a really, really decent beer. More importantly, it was quite possibly the closest I’ve had to a ‘pub-pulled’ pint at home; smooth, with just a slight prickle of bubbles, lifting the beers’ flavour off your palate. Wonderful. Obviously it helped that the beer itself was luscious, too. Deep Ruby-hued, with slight phenols on the nose, undercutting strong coffee notes and an ever-so-slight whiff of Oak.
The taste, however, is much more refined than the nose suggests – smooth, rounded, red fruit (cherry skin, in particular) battles with milk chocolate and Almond. Moreish, and well-balanced, 1503 does so well to corral all those strong flavours with a deft hand, creating a supremely drinkable beer. I really, really enjoyed it, and would love to drink this in front of a roaring fire in the Welsh hills. In the meantime, I’ll make do with this.