So Bert wanted us to test his invention. He maintained that his KeyKeg could be used as a cask and would be just as good. He even began calling it a KeyCask. We were game, if sceptical.
Casks and KeyCasks were filled with the same beer, direct from racking tank, as is usual. Rather than send them out the following week for you lot to enjoy we tucked them away in the corner and allowed their shelf life to expire (8 weeks). This was done with two beers, one a 2.8% tiddler, the other, Seasider. Now we run a clean gaff here (I just got the latest, spotless lab results back) so I would not expect the beer to 'spoil' in anyway - it is sitting in sterile, hermetically sealed containers at a low temperature (12ºC). I would, however, expect a diminution of hop aroma and a lack of zinging freshness on the nose.
Prior to test day the vessels were vented for 48 hours and the casks tapped. I hooked them up in the cellar to two, freshly cleaned beer lines. Bert poured samples in the bar, not knowing which was which. It was a 'double blind' test. The moment had arrived - I was presented with three glasses of beer and challenged to sniff the odd one out. "Look, I'm happy to do this for you, but I will not offer an opinion on which is best, if there is a difference" I said to the Dutch genius. Immediately I sniffed the samples I changed my mind - I snorted the odd one out a mile away, plain as my nose. We repeated the exercise with the Seasider and again, there was a massive difference.
The cask versions were just a little tired on the nose, lacking bright, fresh zip, the individual components melded into one.
The KeyCask version was a different prospect entirely - bags of freshness, as if it were a week old, in youthful its prime.
There you go then, a vessel designed as a keg, used as a cask and superior to a cask in terms of retaining beer quality.
Put that in your pipe ans smoke it.