A quart of Ale is a dish for a king.Origin: Kent, UK.
- William Shakespeare
Produced By: Britain's oldest (founded in 1698) and most popular brewery (they produce more than 5.5 million gallons of beer a year), Shepherd Neame Limited from Faversham.
Status: Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale is a standout brew and is the biggest ale success story of the last decade (Shepherd Neame's biggest-selling cask conditioned ale). Besides, it also has Protected Geographical Indication, just like Champagne and Parma Ham.
History: Originally produced in 1990 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Spitfire is now a permanent feature on the Shepherd Neame portofolio.
Awards: Winner of a gold medal and Best Strong Cask-Conditioned Beer of the World at the Brewing Industry International Awards.
Colour: Clear, rich, darkish amber with orange and copper hues.
Smell: Clean, dry, malty, slightly bitter with hints of buttery popcorn, nuts, grass, fruits (apricots & bitter oranges) and flowers.
Flavour: This traditional British beer is wonderfully hoppy and minerally, and has aromas of bread, yeast, apricots, nuts with hints of cinnamon, toffee, raspberries, red grapes, marmalade, pepper and a enjoyable bitter as well as a grassy aftertaste and a sweet honey and caramelly flavour that lingers for an eternity.
Body: Medium, but with a nice dryness.
Carbonation: Medium with rather sharp bubbles.
Alcohol Content: 4.5%
Cost: Not the cheapest beer on the market, but not ridiculously expensive either.
Food pairing: Perfect with good old English grub like fish and chips, cheese and onion crisps, cheese (Cheddar, Red Leicester, Lancashire, Caerphilly, etc...) and crackers, pies, coronation salad, roasts, fish (poached salmon & haddock), grilled meats and even oatmeal cookies or shortbreads. It also pairs splendidly with Asian food (as long as it's not too fiery) and dishes such as quiches, pâtés, terrines, omelets, savory crêpes or continental cheeses that are not too overpowering (Edam, Tilsit, Cantal, young Gruyère, Comté, Beaufort, etc...).
Verdict: Refreshing, smooth, elegant, well-balanced, intensely flavorful and pleasant. A magnificent and highly recommendable ale.