To put it straight, don’t count on me to have the slightest interest in what can happen in this antiquated English monarchy. So I was quite skeptical when my friend and fellow beerhunter Philipp Sigg started to talk about a special celebration in honor of the wedding of prince William and his girlfriend. This was the very beginning of the second evening of the Solothurner Biertage, so chances that Philipp was already drunk were pretty low.
It’s only when he took 4 beers out of his bag and put them on the table where we were, in company of Philipp’s Siamese twin,Thomas Schneider, finishing to rate some dubious beers from Hasli Bier and Buechibärgerbier, that my eyes started to shine: the 4 beers in question have been brewed on the occasion of the wedding of prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 !
The beers in question were:
- Shepherd Neame Royal Wedding Ale
- Arkell Royal Wedding Ale
- Brains Prince’s Ale
- George Gale Royal Wedding Ale (the brewery closed in 2005)
Unfortunately, no indications about alcohol content were present on the labels. Based on the tasting, I assume they were all relatively high, probably between 6% and 8%.
Firstly it can be said, that all 4 beers were pretty drinkable. All of them had a respectable carbonation left and remained decently tasty.
Thirty years have of course altered the aroma, giving it toffeeish, Madeira-like flavors. The bitterness was quite low but it is well-known that aging mellows it. So all this made of them 4 rather similar beers, the Arkell however being, according to all reviewers opinions, the best one.
God save the monarchy ! 😉