A classic English ale, with a nice old-school bent in that they still use a peculiar system of oak casks all piped-together for the brewing, which does give it definite woody undertones, especially late. It’s a nice light amber, starts smooth, and is generally easy-going, understated, but rewarding. Lots of subtle little flavours drifting up as you go, making for an enjoyably complex sipper. It’s also got the solid minerally-ness that comes from the Burton water, and became a characteristic of the stronger, hoppier India Pale Ales, when they were developed.
Afterthoughts, February 2011: In another instance for the Strange Timing files, I’m just getting back on to the archival-uploads task bang on two years after I first had this. I still have fond memories of this beer, and have had a couple in the intervening time. So sedate, and worth spending time with.
I love that the label says “Official Beer of England”, too. A wonderfully over-reaching marketing effort, since they mean “of the English Cricket Team”.
Verbatim: Marston’s Pedigree. 9/2/09. 500ml 4.5% $11 @ Malthouse. Classic English ale, brewed in a weird old oak cask system, and it shows. Very woody undertones, especially late. It’s a nice light amber, and has a smooth start. Easy-going, understated but rewarding. With the Burton water mineral note.