Christmas Ales – dark, bitter and strong. They were bottle conditioned and laid down for years until considered ready. I was afraid my Fullers Ale would deteriorate, so drank it when only 2 years old.
The bittering and high hop rates mean they will keep longer. Majority Ales were brewed upon the birth of a male heir, to be drunk at the 21st birthday celebration. Did they last that long? We don’t know. We do know that most was returned to the brewery, after the party, for disposal. We can draw our own conclusions. 21 years is a step too far, but 3 or 4? Risk it! Make it strong enough.
So, if you want a genuine Christmas Ale, brew now for Christmas 2021 or 22. You might be lucky enough to come across a limited edition, such as the Fullers, but don’t bank on it.
You will use malt, so dark, that only moderate hopping will be needed to achieve the bitterness. Your OG will be so high, you might need a special hydrometer.
Select a gyle from my book on brewing Stout and Porter and get the kettle on for lockdown relief.