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Fuller's Vintage Ale - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Not Rated.
Fuller's Vintage AleFuller's Vintage Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,078 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,078
Reviews: 634
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 88
Gots: 228 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Murph on 02-20-2002

First released in 1997, Fuller's Vintage Ale is brewed in limited batches with each bottle being numbered. It can be enjoyed immediately, or Fuller's recommends laying the beer down to enjoy when it peaks in 3 to 4 years and consume at cellar temperature. And though it's released each year as a separate vintage, BA has been informed that the recipe is only slightly tweaked from year to year, while the ABV remains at 8.5%.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,078 | Reviews: 634 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brewlinson
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kevinlater
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml boxed bottle into oversized wine glass. 2014 vintage, brewed with liberty and cascade hops

a: very clear deep orange or amber hue. a finger of tan head

s: sweet toffee, floral aromas, grapefruit, orange peel, berry fruits

t: follows the nose, but much more subdued. very soft flavour profile. has the aforementioned flavours but everything is mellow. brown sugar up front, followed by the floral and citrus notes from the hops, with herbal touches here and there. ends with a mild bitterness and a bit of a sour quality

m: medium-bodied, nearly non-existent carbonation

o: a nice ale, kind of like a mild barleywine. nothing spectacular but it's tasty

Photo of chogm54
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 Vintage. Bottle number 033589. Couldn't wait until the BB date of 2023 to give it a go.

L - pours a thin white head, auburn colour, clear (although the bottle label recommends to pour carefully, on the account of bottle conditioning - I just poured all into a pint).

S - Aroma of sherry, honey, berries, roasted bready malts - almost like xmas pudding.

T - strong flavour roasted malts, with a supporting act of dark bread, dark fruits (plums, currants). Overall sweet, with a nice bitter finish (and a touch of orange at the end).

F - heavy with a thick slick texture, low carbonation, quite boozy alcohol hit.

O - brilliant, if a little strong in the alcohol tastes. Maybe I should have cellared it for another couple of years.

Photo of MLaVioletteJr
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Pog-Mo-Thoin
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2011
bottle # 109461

Very nice beer. Fuller's does not get the respect they deserve.

Photo of Yalcin
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a real neat beer, 2011 edition enjoyed late 2014, so the time is now! hazy copper colored liquid with some viscosity, and still a nice off white head, but it fades pretty fast. a nose of caramel, biscuits, dried apricots, english ale yeast, and slight but not offensive oxidation. the alcohol cuts the malt sweetness, and there is some nice depth to this between the yeast and the layered sweet grain. barley at its finest, lots of body, excellent carbonation, butterscotch, toffee, golden raisin, and bittering hops are all there. the flavors have become really well integrated over time, i can only imagine an intense and moderately disjointed beverage fresh, but the time has made it nice. i dont taste much alcohol here, but i get an apple wine sort of flavor and warming thing late. great beer overall, if you like the patient english stuff this is not to be missed.

Photo of buzzedup
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Subliminal64
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2014
No. 067160
Drank December 26, 2014

Although Fullers recommends waiting 3-4 years to consume, I could not resist. I figured if it was good, I would simply purchase another (or 2) and have them age appropriately.

As soon as you pour this Ale, you know your not dealing with a run of the mill variety. Pours a slightly cloudy copper colour with a good amount of head. It almost seems to be thicker or denser then a standard Ale.

The smell is a little sweet with a fairly significant hop smell.

The taste is a little more complex then a standard Fullers Ale. Its a little sweet, but also has the bitterness of the hops. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and will be purchasing again. I wish the hops weren't as pronounced, but possibly after the 4 year "peak" it will be less noticeable. Thats just my personal taste.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012

Appearance - The beer poured a golden color with white bubbles lining the sides of the glass.

Smell - The malts stood out in the aroma, but there was also a certain booziness.

Taste - This could pass for a scotch. My initial impression was the maltiness. The malts were accompanied by spicy fruits, caramel, and toffee. The taste was boozy though not hot. I would certainly describe this as a sipper.

Mouthfeel - I did not note as much clinginess as I might like. In like, I thought it was a little thin.

Overall - I need to get another one of these and allow it to sleep in my cellar longer.

Photo of JamesMN
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage #130020.

Appearance: Pours a subdued orange/caramel color with an off-white coating of froth on top. Quite cloudy despite sitting undisturbed for several months.

Aroma: The first thing that I noticed were wine-like esters of grape and fermented fruits. Some overripe orange notes as well, perhaps the dry-hops holding up after all this time. Similar to a barleywine.

Taste: With three years of aging under its belt, I wasn't expecting Vintage Ale pack much in the hop department. However, the first thing that hits the palate is some serious hop character. There's a fair amount of bitterness combined with an orangey, lightly earthy hop flavor. I would say there is a lack of balance here -- and that works for it. The amount of hop presence is impressive. Usually hop flavor not only fades but morphs into a somewhat unpleasant array of flavors, that is not the case here. From the start to the finish it's all hops. It is a tad watery to be fair, despite it's moderate 8.5% ABV, but at the same time it doesn't feel as though anything is missing. It's simply very well done. Nice hop bite in the finish and then a quite transition to a slow burn of earthy hops and caramel malt to round out the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Just under medium in body, making it the lightest beer I've ever had aged. About the amount of somewhat prickly carbonation you'd expect from a pale ale. Not really a session option but great drinkability.

Final Thoughts: I'm not sure what I was expecting going in to this one, but Fuller's has seriously impressed me with their bitter and porter offerings. I've got to give it to them here, against all odds the hop flavor lasted more than three years. Makes me wonder how this thing drinks fresh. Would I drink it again? Sure.

Photo of rudabegga9
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage.
Already taking on some oxidation qualities, even a little more towards cardboard than sherry in the aroma. Soft malt that is not very sweet and a bit of an aqueous quality.
Nice looking with a large head for 3 years old. Cloudy orange amber. Dripping lacing.
A nice smooth alcohol flavor and warmth with a semi-sweet malt that moves towards toffee, with a touch of caramelization. Very smooth and soft. Still a touch of hop flavor but not much for bitterness.
Goes does too easily for a beer this size. Smooth and not bursting with flavor, but flavorful and enjoyable.

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2012 drank in 2014

Appearance: This beer pours a deep burnt orange, almost the color of a fall leaf with some brownish hues. A two finger creamy head forms. The head has a tannish color to it. The retention is very strong and a thin tan layer stays on the surface the whole time. As it moves around the glass it leaves behind huge foamy streaks on the glass. It is fairly hazy and almost opaque, but streaks of brightness break through the haze.

Smell: The scent starts off with a few different characteristics. The is a strong graininess to it, hinting at toasted grains and caramelized malts with no signs of roasted malts. Some strong hoppy aromas come through reminiscent of citrus, herbs and some earthiness. Overall the scent is sweet with small amounts of earthy bitterness.

Taste: The taste opens up a very slight hop bite. The taste of the hops is citrus, herbs, and some earthiness. The bitterness is quickly drowned out by a rich sweetness, caramels, toffee, and some dark fruits. The fruitiness varies from raisins to figs. Some maple syrup comes through lightly and mixes with some tobacco. Some booziness is present near the end in the form of rum or possibly brandy.

Mouthfeel: The feel on this one is thick and chewy. There is plenty of sweetness in the flavor but almost none is left behind, eaten up by mostly tobacco and some earthy bitterness. There is a slight syrupy stickiness comes through along with slight alcohol warmth.

Overall: This is easily one of the more influential old ales. It's a must try for anyone who likes the style and a staple in any cellar. The amount of improvement from one year to two is pretty substantial. This would be a fun one to do a large vertical on to see where the peak is. I think at 2+ years it is still moving upward. The balancing with the hops on this one is unlike any old ale I have had before. I look forward to slowly stocking my cellar with these boxes.

Photo of TheBeerTruck
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of brittanylicious
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of heysuz
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of AVisserman
4.89/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of muskiesman
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of miguellunarusso
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of david18
2.75/5  rDev -34.4%

Photo of Wajohnst
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
93 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.