Shepherd Neame’s bottle-conditioned ale, 1698, has been given a new look, evoking the Faversham brewery’s rich heritage.
The label has been redesigned in black, gold and cream with a collar bearing the three royal lions and the legend “Market Town of Kings”.
Shepherd Neame has brewed Kentish ales in the ancient port of Faversham for more than 300 years. A Royal Court to the Kings of Kent, the town holds no less than 17 Royal Charters and is one of the few allowed to use the ʻthree lions crestʼ from the Royal Arms.
Originally brewed to celebrate the tercentenary of Britain's oldest brewer, 1698 is a characteristically hoppy Kentish ale, which has Protected Geographical Indication from the European Union, the same unique regional protection afforded to Champagne and Parma Ham.
Target and East Kent Goldings hops are added three times during the brewing process, giving the beer its strong hop character, dark, amber colour and uniquely Kentish aroma. Pearl malted barley and crystal malt, harvested from the fields of Kent, are combined with Shepherd Neameʼs chalk-filtered mineral water, drawn from an artesian well 200ft beneath the brewery.
A connoisseur’s ale to be savoured, 1698 matures naturally in the bottle and can be enjoyed fresh or allowed to settle for a few months to mellow. The natural effervescence produced by bottle-conditioning – the interaction of yeast and brewing sugars – gives 1698 fine, champagne-like bubbles that further enhance the fragrance, flavour and overall drinking experience.
Beer writer Ben McFarland describes 1698: “This copper-bronze, bottle-conditioned beauty is an intense yet uniquely intricate offering, thrice-hopped during the brewing process. This adds rich resinous notes and spikes of citrus to a moreish strong ale already rife with notes of liquorice, Marsala wine, caramel and spicy orange. A frisson of dark fruit freshens the finish. Serve with smoked cheese.”
A silver medal winner in the Taste of Britain Awards, 1698 has been included in the International Beer Challenge's World's Top 50 Beers and won a Gold Award from the British Bottlers' Institute in 2010.
Bottle-conditioned 1698 is available in 500ml bottles from Asda, Makro and good independent stockists, priced around £1.89 or online at www.shepherdneame.co.uk.
Sales and marketing director Graeme Craig said: “The stylish, classic look of 1698 is completely fitting for a connoisseur, bottle-conditioned ale of such distinction, quality and pedigree.”