When a 4.2 magnitude earthquake hit Kent in the early hours of last Friday I was tucked up in bed having spent the evening enjoying a limited edition ale from Faversham’s Shepherd Neame.
The ale in question was Shepherd Neame’s 1215. So called as it commemorates the forthcoming 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. Faversham has a copy of the original document hence the connection.
You would expect quality from the Kent brewery who have produced classics such as Bishops Finger, Spitfire and the Whitstable Bay Collection – the Pale Ale from which was a favourite at a beer tasting I recently hosted for the Honor Oak Women’s Institute.
Shepherd Neame is after all Britain’s oldest brewery and according to their website over half their employees have worked for the brewery for over ten years The continuity brought by long serving staff is apparent in the consistency of the excellent beers produced by Sheps and 1215 is no exception.
Based on medieval recipes used in the days before hops were commonly used in beer 1215 contains fennel, the appetizing sounding Mugwort and the equally tempting Woodruff.
But don’t let these odd sounding additions put you off!
Dressed to kill in it’s smart brown box featuring the Shepherd Neame red seal 1215 promises much and delivers even more
The deep brown traditional English Ale becomes a pleasing red when held up to the light. The ale has a rich nose with fruit – especially damson.
My first sip immediately made me think of whisky as 1215 has that spirit like richness that I love in strong brews. I also got treacle and a slightly dry aftertaste which gave a great finish to the ale.
Only 1215 bottles of this limited edition ale have been released – mine is number 569, but as part of Faversham’s Magna Carta weekend Shepherd Neame are running brewery tours on 14th June when you can try 1215 – see their website.
At 8% 1215 should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace rather than treated like a session – that could make your earth move!