It’s over a decade since I last had a bottle of Worthington’s White Shield, I bought one as I’d heard the yeast was good for use in homebrew. I can remember really not liking it, however I can’t remember exactly why I didn’t like it. It disappeared from the shelves soon after, so not liking it was a bit of a moot point really.
I tried to get hold of a couple of bottles earlier this year as I was thinking of doing a homebrew clone and I wanted to know what it tasted like. I couldn’t find any locally and baulked at buying a couple online due to postage cost, so I put that idea to bed and did a brew based on Old Peculier instead.
If I’d gone to the Burton twissup, I’d have got a tour round the White Shield brewery and I’d have got to met Steve Wellington, the brewer, c’est la vie. Anyway, to cut a rambling story short, it turns out that one of my local Waitrose stores are now stocking bottles of White Shield, so I popped along the other week and picked up a couple.
The first bottle poured a dark amber with a large fluffy off white head. There was a serious amount of bubbles feeding the head and it looked like a jacuzzi going on in the glass. The nose was all sulphurous, the infamous Burton Snatch. Although there was possibly a hint of fruity malt hiding in there too.
For the amount of bubbles, the body was surprisingly smooth, I was expecting it to be rougher. It was quite full bodied, with a malty nutty taste. It wasn’t as bitter as I was expecting, although I’m not sure what I was expecting to be honest. There’s was enough bitterness to counteract the maltiness though. The after taste was all subtle lingering marmalade and really quite pleasant.
After having two bottles, one after the other, I have to say that I quite like it. Having said that, if given the choice between this and say, Fuller’s Bengal Lancer, I think I’d take the Bengal Lancer…