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Apr 2013

Chiltern Bodgers Reserve Oak Aged Ale, Chiltern Brewery

Added: Monday, April 1st 2013

Style Barley Wine ABV 8.9%

Chiltern Bodgers Reserve Oak Aged Ale (8.9%)

This is a special edition of Chiltern’s acclaimed barley wine, produced by the Buckinghamshire brewery with tasting notes by beer writer Jeff Evans, who writes CAMRA’s Good Bottled Beer Guide.

The beer was first brewed in 1990 to celebrate the brewery’s 10th anniversary. The name Bodger was chosen to rescue the reputation of skilled craftsmen who worked in the surrounding Chiltern woods to fashion chairs and were far removed from the contemporary use of the word that depicts a dodgy, unskilled workman.

The beer, normally 8.5%, is brewed with Maris Otter pale malt and Challenger, Fuggles and Goldings hops. It’s aged for a month and then filtered and re-seeded with fresh yeast prior to bottling. Bottles are then kept at the brewery for a further month before they are released for sale. In this case, the beer was stored in old whisky puncheons for five months and the bottles were then kept in the brewery’s cellars for a further seven months.

Jeff Evans description, with which I concur, says: “A dark golden ale with abundant aroma of strawberry and creamy oak. Ripe berry fruits (strawberry in particular) shine through in the generally sweet, warming taste, contrasted by a dry, creamy oak character and a hint of orange zest. Fruity sweetness lingers awhile in the dry, tangy oaky finish which leaves a pleasant glow and rounded bitterness. This is a complex and delightful beer that is not at all heavy or cloying for it strength.”

Only 500 bottles have been produced so it would be advisable to buy soon. A 500ml bottle costs £10.95.

01296 613647

Jeff Evans:

Chiltern Bodgers Reserve Oak Aged Ale, Chiltern Brewery