Beer Background

Oak-aged legend heads for Olympia

Added: Thursday, August 2nd 2012

Cask ale lovers will be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sample Greene King’s 5X vintage ale at the Great British Beer Festival this year, for the first time in the show’s history.

 Made available especially for the GBBF and due to the limited availability, only one nine-gallon firkin of the 12% ABV oak-aged beer will be available on each day of the festival, which runs from 7 to 11 August at Londons Olympia.

 John Bexon, head brewer at Greene King, said: “This really is a rare treat for fans of cask ale. As there is such a limited amount of 5X, we are only bringing one firkin for each day, which is the equivalent of 72 pints, although we will be supplying it in third pints. It really is a unique opportunity for cask drinkers to try this vintage ale so I urge festival goers not to miss the chance.”

 5X, which is used in Greene King’s award-winning Strong Suffolk Ale, delivers a complex palate and aroma, reminiscent of fortified wine. It is sherry-like and bursting with brandy soaked raisin, liquorice and black treacle flavours.  The palate is full and warming with a rich fruit and subtle bitterness.

New stout Belhaven Black will also be making an appearance at the show in cask format. Launched in January and drawing on almost 300 years of brewing heritage at the Dunbar brewery, the stout has been crafted to provide a taste of something different for fans of deeper, darker ales. The complex flavour of this genuine Scottish stout has been achieved by combining the unique blend of Scottish triple malts which complement the distinctive hop character.

Greene King will also be taking its popular Abbot Ale and Old Golden Hen beers to the festival, along with recently launched Greene King IPA variants Greene King IPA Gold and Greene King IPA Reserve. Greene King IPA Gold (4.1% ABV) is a golden ale aimed at experimental younger drinkers looking for refreshment, while Greene King IPA Reserve (5.4%) – a warming, full bodied, quality ale with a rich aroma - is aimed at cask ale aficionados looking for an indulgent treat.

The Great British Beer Festival runs from Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 August. 5X will be available at the Greene King stand from 2pm on Tuesday, 5pm Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and from 1.00pm Saturday. Greene King will be at stand B3D.