IT tastes of burnt caramel, soy berry, liquorice and dark chocolate – a combination of flavours which has put it on top of the world.
The descriptions come from the buffs posting on the website ratebeer.com and the bewitching ale they are praising is none other than Prince of Denmark, produced by Harveys Brewery, Lewes.
It emerged as Supreme Champion at this year’s International Beer Challenge 2012 – an achievement greeted with delight by the family business, which spans eight generations and has been a landmark in the county town for more than 200 years.
The accolade for the strong, dark bottled beer was achieved in the face of competition from more than 430 entries from 26 countries.
The whole rainbow of beer complexity was featured in this year’s International Challenge, including acknowledged brewing heartlands such as Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany and the United States.
There were also representations from advancing beer countries such as Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Russia – plus exotic entries from places as far afield as Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Peru and Estonia. An expert panel of European judges presided over a blind tasting, awarding a total of 30 gold medals before deciding the trophy winners in each category.
The nine finalists then went head-to-head – and Prince of Denmark went on to reign supreme.
Described as “a strong, dark beer of great complexity and depth”, it was a previous winner of the International Beer Challenge’s Best Stout/Porter Trophy 2009, and achieved Gold Medals in 2009, 2010 and 2012.
In total Harveys received three gold awards from the judging panel – the only British Brewery to do so.
The others were for the company’s Old Ale and Imperial Double Extra Stout.
In addition the brewery was awarded three Silver Medals for its Georgian Dragon, Lewes Castle and Tom Paine brews, and two Bronze Medals for Star of Eastbourne and Blue Label.
Head Brewer Miles Jenner voiced his pride in the triumph of Prince of Denmark. He said: “We are all delighted. This is a tremendous achievement for our entire workforce.
“Although we look no further than satisfying our local market, it is good to know that we can compete successfully on an international stage.”