Royal Sovereign 330ml bottles are on sale at Boda Home,Whitley Bay, and Fenwicks and Centrale in Newcastle.
An all English vintage barley wine – rich plum and fruit flavours, treacley caramel warmth and masses of hop flavour from Challenger, East Kent Goldings and Bramling Cross. The beer is one to sip and savour, or lay down to mature further, maybe saved for a future celebration or a present.
Vintage February 2015, tasting amazing as it approaches two years old!
What was the Royal Sovereign?
The recipe was developed by Bill in 1996 ready for the Millenium, when he was home brewing. He used Mordue Brewery’s yeast, which at the time you could buy ‘wet’ from Elderberry Home Brewing, in Whitley Bay. Then Champagne yeast was used for the final fermentation, after the brewer’s yeast had exhausted itself in such a strong beer! Bill managed to save the beer, maturing it in old Worthington White Shield bottles, for almost four years! It was a huge hit at the Millenium Eve party Bill took it along to, with a then brewer from ‘Mash and Air’ in Manchester pronouncing it ‘the best beer he’d ever tasted’.
For this new February 2015 vintage, Bill has used the same recipe but using Cullercoats’ own yeast followed by the Champagne yeast to finish the job. In spite of the name, it’s NOT a wine – it’s a traditional style of beer brewed from the ‘first runnings’ ie the strongest liquor that comes off the malt once it’s been mashed. Barley wine would originally have been used as a ‘stock ale, blended with other weaker beers. Because it is so strong it would last for months and months, so could be used when the brewer needed it. The beer was warm conditioned for weeks and then it’s cool conditioned for several more months/years, while the yeast does it’s magic.