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Fuller's Vintage Ale - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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

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1,067 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,067
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.74%
Wants: 84
Gots: 215 | 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: BeerAdvocate on 08-21-2004

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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Ratings: 1,067 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Matthew
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2001 vintage.
Pours a ruby/copper color with a nice 1/2 inch of creamy off white colored head. Nice retention with pretty good lacing, leaving some rings and bubbles stuck to the side of my glass.
Big whiffs of alcoholic sherry, ripe raisins, sweet cider, and english toffee. Theres a very slight hint of an off aroma most likely due to some oxidation but is so subdued by the big sweet complex aromas that it is easy to overlook.
Very sweet malty body with flavors consisting of prunes, fig, sherry, and hints of the same toffee characteristic found in the nose. There is a lingering bitterness in the finish that for the most part removes the big prominent sweetness found in each sip.
I was very impressed by the mouthfeel of this beer. Nice with a medium fullness with a great level of carbonation.
A great beer to sip that goes down smoothly.

Photo of pootz
3.47/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2006 eddition sampled 3 months after bottling.

Bottle No. 61586

Poured a deep burnished copper into the glass... sticky 2 finger cap lasts and laces well for a High ABV ale. Soft carbonation.

Aroma: this years seems to have a nice collaberation of sweet caramel malt tones, fruity yeast phenols mingle with subdued fusil alcohol spirits to give a caramel - ripe berry fruits - almond extract impression to the nose....very diferent for this ale.

Rich malt body not as dense as some vintages, peppery mouth feel, caramel fruity alcoholic character.

Up front you get to chew on some nice caramel malts then the spice-toffee-tobacco tones ensue and carry you to mid palate where the mixture gets more complex with hints of musty dried fruits, almond marzipan, wood, dark treacle...then the finish takes you a different direction where the alcohol is poorly hidden and becomes peppery and boozey like bourbon with a deep chest warming after burn...it tastes far more than it’s 8.5%ABV.

This vintage has a great potential when those yeast phenols and fusil alcohol tones making the marzipan smells mellow it will be interesting...the almond-berry decenment is wonderful but the boozey finish screws up the whole drink....but this is a very young sample....a few months or a year in the cellar and I await an entirely different profile on this one.

Photo of montageman
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Bottle number 46107 out of 95000 - label says best before end 2008 (a couple years early, I guess). Pours hazy copper with an inch head that goes away leaving a whole lot of lacing both on the sides of the glass and on the surface of the ale. Smells fruity - sour apple, tart cherry - there's a bit of pine here, too. The smell is wonderful - very clean, crisp. Taste is also very crisp. Delicious fruity tartness up front with a bit of bitterness in the back. There is also a bit of dryness - very complex. There is some mild carbonation, but it adds to the taste rather than retracting. I could drink this all night. I'm going back to the store to get some more for cellaring - this would do well with some more aging. Highest Recommendation.

Photo of Backer2004
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the the Carolina Brewmaster Christmas party (thanks Tom). I believe it was a 2003. Pours a clear dark amber color with a thin hea. Smells of ripe fruit and earthy malts. Very balanced and a nice old ale, though not my favorite. Always wanted to try the beer in the box and need to age some myself.

Photo of mrmanning
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Fuller’s Vintage Ale release is one I await with annual anticipation. The fact that such an awesome brew is obtainable in the beer hell that is Ontario is almost a miracle. This one is liquid mahogony/tan leather capped with billowing beige froth, leaving spiderweb-lace. It’s very aromatic in the way you would expect a scotch to be. There’s a hint of iodine at first, followed by heavy crystalized malts/burnt sugars/butterscotch and this is all wrapped up in a sipcy, floral, hoppy blanket. Sound complex? It is.the flavours are awash with full on deep rooted english malts (sweet caramel, brown sugar/butter) lots of spiced up hops here with a dash of whisky (wood, iodine). Lingering malt based finish, very warming and spicy. The complexity will leave you breathless. Keep this one away from the kiddies.

Photo of elricorico
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 Vintage, bottle #26112

Having picked up my share of the 2006 version today, I figured tonight would be a good time to crack one of the 2005's I had left. It's been in the fridge for a year, basically unmoved.

Poured into an imperial pint glass. The beer is a slightly hazy, ruddy amber colour. A thin cream coloured head was formed, and sticks to the sides of the glass in spotty lacing. The head is sustained by visible carbonation.

Aromas of sweet cherry, flowery hops, mandarin orange, just a general ripe fruitiness. Something sugary, reminding me of a powder juice mix. Not a powerful smell, but complex and interesting.

Malts up front are a mix of fruits with a slight sugary feel. Cherry and raisin most notably, a base of toffee faintly noted. Hops are a bit spicy and medicinal, and are followed by an alcohol burn at the end. Nothing outstanding, but nice none the less.

The beer has a slight stickiness to it, and the carbonation is just enough to do its job. All together very suitable for the beer.

At this point I would say that this beer is good, but not yet at its potential. When the finish mellows a little more I imagine it will benefit in the balance department.

Photo of scottoale
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006, bottles #72784 & 72791. Comes in a classy looking box, a 500ml. embossed brown glass bottle with a classy numbered label and sealed cap. The label also states: "best before end 2009".

This one pours a red-coppery, pristene ale with a 1 1/2 finger, ivory colored head and good carbonation. The head eventually dies down leaving some sticy lace behind.

The smell is malty sweet and fairly alcoholic. Some mild grassy hops in the background. The full-bodied ale is sweet and malty with earthy rich flavor of ripened fruits and a grassy hop winding down the brew to a mild warming of it's rather potent alcoholic content...nice!

Well balanced and well done...i'm sure this ale will age beautifully as the quality of this brew is first class. A must try...it won't disappoint.

Photo of OStrungT
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage number 81566

This beer pours a golden brown color with a nice looking ruby tint to it. It has a thick, fluffy light tan head that fades very slowly, leaving many thick laces.

This beer has a strong sweet malty aroma. It has a mild floral hop aroma also. A slight spicy aroma is present. The alcohol is well hidden in the nose.

This beer tastes sweet. A caramel malt flavor is present. Some hoppy, floral flavors are present. A slight spicy flavor mixes in as well. It also has a fruity flavor. Figs and raisins.

This beer is very well balanced. It goes down smooth, leaving a sweet caramel aftertaste. The alcohol warms slightly as it goes down.

At 8.5%, this beer might not make the best session beer. It is tasty though.

Overall: This beer is good. It might be just a little pricy, but it is worth it once in a while.

Photo of grub
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, bottle 40402.

pours a nice copper red colour with a huge, fluffy tan head. the head is fairly slow to drop and leaves lots of lace behind.

aroma is nice. bready and biscuity malt. bit of alcohol.

taste is nice. alcohol fairly prominent, especially as it warms. nice bitterness level. bitterness is a little more rough than i'd expect. raisin and dried cranberry. toasty. that nice bready and biscuity malt is there too. bittersweet chocolate. bit of nuttyness too. a little rough around the edges, but that will mellow with time.

mouthfeel is good. great body and nice carbonation level.

drinkability is good, but i think will be great with time.

Photo of theopholis
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 Edition, bottle 80412.

Appearance; Has deep rustic coppery tone. Very clear, with little apparent carbonation. Tall, loose off-white head that eventually settles to a frothy cap with very good staying power.

Aroma: The nose is a subtle and perfectly balenced blend of malt sweetness and delicate floral hops. I get hints of caramel malt, nutmeg, spruce. Maybe some brown sugar. Despite all that, it stills smells fresh and clean.

Taste: Warms the innards well, with low alcohol burn that is very relaxing. Has a very complex carmel up front with a beautiful balance of malt sweetness and hops in the finish. The aftertaste lasts for some time, and has a differnet blend, yet still perfectly balanced mixture of malty sweetness, floral and bittering hops. This stuff is freaking awesome. (My 1st 5 for taste)

Mouthfeel is velvety, smooth, creamy. The carbonation level would be superb if this were force carbonated. For a bottle conditioned ale, it's FREAKING SUPERB.

Drinkabilty: It's awesome. Not as heavy as a port, but interesting and complex enough to where you want to drink it without distraction. No TV, no wife bugging you about the fact that her computer needs more memory, or cats running around like a bunch of danm rats. Drink it in front of the fireplace or on the porch while watching the rain.

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2006, bottle number 48179.

Poured into a snifter, clear copper/orange, thick off white head forms, settles down into a thick ring, nice lacing. Smell is sweet, lots of toffee, alcohol, citrus/floral, fruits, almost strawberry character. Taste is toffee and figs, raisins, bready malt, some citrus and fruits, bitterness in the finish, significant heat, lots of booze. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, almost syrupy, low carbonation, warming, waiting for this beast to settle down.

Photo of mnesporov
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Bottle number 41431 in a pint. With the words conditioned in 2005

Appearance: A nice dark red amber tone to it with a 2 finger head.

Smell: A nice subtle smell of raisins and a fruity aroma with a little bit of malts and alcohol.

Taste: A little bit of fruit sweetness starts it of with a malty body that is balanced of with the hop bitterness.

Mouth-Feel: A creamy and smooth mouth-feel with great finish.

Drink-Ability: A great brew for around 6 bucks is well worth it.

Notes: I bought two so I could taste one now and age one for a year or so to see the difference so I can’t wait for the year to be up.

Photo of DrJay
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006: Bottle no. 76030
Fluffy, long lasting foam topped this clear, coppery beer. Chunky lacing remained on the glass as the head slowly subsided. Burnt orange and reddish hues appeared, depending on the way the light hit the glass. Hops are still vivid in the nose, earthy, floral and a bit medicinal, but it's the malt that really carries the aroma. It smells of sweet caramel, brown sugar and toasted nuts, with mild alcohol and dried fruit. The flavour is kind of muddled due to fairly strong alcohol throughout. Still, there's a nice caramel, toasty malt backbone and solid hop bitterness/flavour. Carbonation is well integrated and it has a full body. I sampled this one a few months earlier than I normally do for Fuller's Vintage Ale. It looks great and the aroma is superb, but with the hot alcohol character it tastes like it's much too young and brash at this point. I'm expecting this one to mature nicely with a little aging.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Edition, bottle 63067. Another holiday season, another go at a new Fuller's Vintage, great to see it back on the shelves here once again.

Pours out a deep rustic coppery tone, clear with lazy carbonation. Tall spongy head that eventually settles to a frothy, creamy cap with great retention. Beautiful looking ale.

The nose is a subtle blend of caramel malt, nutmeg and allspice, some spruce, hints of carob, and some bitter orange peel. Brown sugar and raisins come out after a while. A bit earthy as well.

Upon the first sip this ale warms the insides immediately with a low alcohol burn that is rather comforting. Very woody at first, along with dried dates and carmelized brown sugar. Heavy up front, the flavour and mouthfeel lightens up towards the finish, picking up spruce and some mild hops in the middle, and blending with seasonal spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, some clove, some allspice. Very refined, very smooth. The aftertaste lingers with mildly herbal hops, while the alcohol still continues to warm the insides.

The mouthfeel is silky smooth and slightly creamy, runs over the palate like a velvet glove cast in iron. A pleasure to consume.

This has it all in the right places so far in its young incarnation--it seems to me that this will be an even better vintage once it's had a few years to sit and age. Looking forward to it.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fuller's- Vintage Ale

Bottle # 78530 out of 100,000 for the year 2006.

Appearance- Copper brown with a soapy wite head. Mild carbonation.
Smell- Malt, wood chips, earthy hops, and alcohol.
Taste- Caramel malt blended with light burnt oak and sugar. Alcohol more dominent in the end.
Mouthfeel- Flavor is light up front but builds up and finishes with a strong alcohol taste. A light whiskey flavor is in the undertones.

Overall- A nice sipping Ale but nothing outstanding. The flavor was too subdued for me. A little too pricey also, $8. Otherwise, not bad. If I spot it on tap I'd order up a pint.

Photo of AChamberlain
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Cask. On tap at the Atlantic Chip Shop in Brooklyn.

A: Dark amber with nice head.

S: Mostly malt.

T: Malt and alcohol flavors. Delicious.

M: Creamy and very smooth. Wet.

D: Pretty drinkable, but watch out. A great sipper.

We had the last two pints in the keg and I felt very privileged and lucky.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2001, sampled Nov. 11 2006.

Despite being 5 years old, this beer produces an effervescent carbonation that races through a clear dark maple-syrupy amber beer to form a modest two-fingers of rich khaki head. It leaves a sticky, fragmented lace.

The smell is absolutly mouth-watering. Fruity hops, raisin, nut, cranberry, dark cherry, and yes, even the aroma of fresh pound-cake, form a chorus that wafts out of the glass without even a suggestion of alcohol. As the beer warms a yeasty aroma becomes apparent.

Upon sipping I am struck first by a sweet, rich, nutty, maltiness that is soon lifted off the palate by a combination of carbonation and very soft but fully-present fruity and earthy English hops. They introduce yeasty esters of dark fruit for a bit before a warming alcohol gently creeps in and calms all the layers of flavor on top of a woody scotch character. The aftertase is a delightful vapory perfume. Cordial and berry notes emerge with continued quaffing and amazingly the more I drink this beer the more cohesive and smooth it seems to get. It is very tempting to waste the precious elixer by gulping it.

Mouthfeel is light and gives up an inital soft billow of lifting carbonation before going totally still in the mouth. This beer surpasses and defys my expectations of the style. How ironic that my highest rated-beer may be in my least-favorite style. It is complex and boldly falvorful while amazingly light and drinkable. Yes, it would go very well with a light cigar, but if you have an aged bottle of this, I don't suggest adulterating the experience.

Photo of blackie
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage, Bottle #58716

appearance: The pour gives a 1 finger off white head that steadily falls back to a nice looking ring and island of foam in the center. The beer is a rich orange-amber in color.

smell: Bready, grainy toasted malts give aromas of toffee and caramel. Some light fruits, namely some estery banana-like aroma. Great depth while retaining subtlety. Great English hop aroma and the perfect touch of ethanol.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body full. Smooth and with good balance between body and carbonation.

taste: Very interesting flavor, being rich, flavorful, and subtle at once. Rich English malts with a moderate sweetness and subtle grainy and toasted flavors. Playful notes of buttery toffee and toast. Light English hop flavor and bitterness. Nearly a 4.5 but I'd like a touch more complexity.

drinkability: quite easy, and a pleasure to drink

Bottle purchased at Whole Foods upon arrival and cellared since

02/08/07: Vintage 2004 Bottle 91916 Purchased in DC with dirtylou on our trip to DFH

Head is low, carbonation is low, and the body is fullish. Very vinous, in an old port fashion (flavors and aromas of aged dark, leathery fruits, especially prunes carried on a dry English caramel malt base) which is surprising given the light color. Aromas of raw hardwood, but not in a BA way. Musty basement aromas, maybe even sour. Quite dry. Hops aged and subdued. Clean and mineral, in both aroma and flavor. Very interesting and I will certainly age another. This one has moved no less than 3 times with me over my last few years of school, and I felt it was time even though sentiment caused me to hesitate. NOTHING like the 2005 I had over a year back.

4/4.5/4.5/4/4.5 Not rated as high as my first, but I think I'd rather have this one any day.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to egajdzis for this...
Vintage, 2005 bottle.
Appears a transparent red toned copper with a small off-white head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left all around the glass.
Smell is complex of raisins, cherries, spice, caramel, and perhaps a touch of something medicinal ala Robitussen in the background but it doesn't seem to be offending in this brew.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a mix of the rich, fruity, sugary mixture.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sweet, with a mild syrup feel. The brew slides slickly down the tongue to a dry finish.

Thanks to egajdzis for opening this 2007 edition. Bottle # 113930.

Appears a light orange with a small white head that slowly fades into a tiny cap. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, biscuit, citrus, rasins, and earthy notes.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout caramel, biscuits, and notes of cherries.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, and semi-dry along the palate during the swallow.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh my god is this a beautiful ale! This is one of those rare beer experiences where you're dumbstruck in awe by the experience. (Can you tell I really, really, really liked this beer???)

A murky deep amber red in appearance, three fingers of clumpy sticky light tan head that sticks around for quite some time and leaves moderate amounts of lacing on the glass. A bit more lacing and it would have been a "5" for appearance.

Malt in the nose along with peat, earth, woody moss, sugar, apricots and alcohol sweetness. Very complex.

Everything the nose was, the flavor is even more. Fruity esters predominate, caramel sugars, alcohol sweetness, woody Noble hops providing balance and an overall smoothness, balance and complexity that is just incredible.

Great mouthfeel as well - creamy, medium to heavy bodied... You can feel the sugars but they don't leave a coating on the tongue. You can taste the alcohol but there's no burn. You can taste the hops clear as day but there's no bitterness that isn't blended into all the other experiences.

Fuller's 1845 is one of my favorite British Ales and until today I didn't think it could be improved upon. Fuller's Vintage Ale has all the great characteristics of the 1845 but is somehow even better in every possible way.

Photo of xav33
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Fuller's Vintage Ale 2004
Pint bottle
Bottle 2004, bottle no 84729, sipped on 10/09
Medium pour in a brandy glass.

Poured orangey brown with a medium quickly diminishing off-white fizzy head with a ring of lacing.

Smelt of toffee, caramel apples, raisins, almost port like.

Taste was upfront light bitter sweet piney barley sugar with whiskey tones followed by a light maple syrup sweetness and moderate whiskey bitterness and light nutty bite on a moderate length finish. Mouthfeel was full bodied, velvety and creamy, lightly carbonated tiny bubbles that caress and tickle the tongue, heavy alcoholic feel and light astringency.

Overall, a beer that feels like drinking a very light whiskey. The flavors are wonderful and complex albeit maybe a bit nuanced and light at first, the palate is pampered, the aroma and appearance are straightforward and inviting. Time for a cigar!

Photo of rsyberg01
4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

S - 2001 Vintage. Bottle # 12349.

A - Red copper deep hue. Off white head that rises to about inch and a half then falls to a tightly packed foam blanket over the surface of the beer.

S - Vanilla, caramel, roasted malts, clover honey, slight fusel touch that is really warming to my nostrils. Awesome.

T - Roasted malt, honey, caramel, roasted oats, sugary sweetness, very slight touch of hoppy bitter, also a slight dark fruit character in the undertones. Perfect.

M - Adhesive and perfectly carbonated.

D - One bottle is not enough. Just disappointed its a 2001 vintage. I'll have to wait 5 more years to have another like this.

Photo of CortexBomb
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2005, imbibed in October of 2006.

This is my first experience with Fuller's Vintage Ale, and as an Old Ale enthusiast I'm quite excited.

The pour on this is worthy of the old ale style, dirty, coppery brown/golden with a mild white head which fades away quickly into a ring. Very hazy. Extremely noticeable lacing when shifted. Hard to ask for anything more out of an old ale.

Smell is sweet, caramel like with noticeable alcohol tinges. Good but not dominant.

Taste starts out nice and sweet and then segues into dark fruits, currant, raisins. The alcohol then makes itself known both in flavour and some warming and a some citrus like hop tingles make an appearance. Finish is a medium hop bitter. Not amongst the best in its style here, but I do enjoy it.

Mouthfeel is very thick, coats heavily, this is exactly what I'm looking for in the style. Good mouth tingles as well. Drinkability, again, I don't know how to rate a beer like this, because it's certainly not something you want to quaff, but it's drinkability is certainly on par with others in its classification.

Overall: I was a little bit let down on the flavour with this one. It has some hops as a noticeable addition, which is somewhat unusual for the style, but the rest of the flavour doesn't have as much depth as I would like. It has all of the old ale staples: sweetness, caramel, dark fruits, but it doesn't bring a big showstopping presence in any of thoese areas. Perhaps an older vintage or laying this one down for a while would help.

Photo of dedrinker
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage. When first tasted in 2001 it was almost like an ESB with too much hops and alcohol, but after buying four more, and laying them down for 4-5 years, I was astounded at the change. Poured into my Fuller Noninck pint. The hops had aged into an earthy musty basement aroma that reminded me of the root cellar my grandfather had dug with his own hands beneath his farmhouse. There was also a hint of orange marmelade in the flavor and aroma, with a fruity finish soaked in brandy. Soft carbonation and a silky mouthfeel eased this one down without effort, and after drinking half the beer all of a sudden it was one hour later - I had awoken in my chair by the fireplace with the other half of the pint spilled on my lap! I was clearly worked over by a quiet storm, and loved every minute of it (except the loss of half the beer).

Photo of phisig137
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful box package, dated 2004, opens to reveal a classy looking bottle, numbered 85352. This pours into a tukip a dark amber/light brown, with a thin head. A blanket of foam is left behind, along with some delicate lacing.

Aroma is begining to become sherry like, but still remains malty. Aromas of caramel, malt, mash, dry fino sherry, honey, are abundant, with slight hints of smoke, tobacco, leather, and hops.

Flavor is well balanced and rounded. Very smooth malt character, with a distinctive dry vermouth flavor on the finish. Slightly sweet up front, but finishing very dry. Although alcohol is not present in the flavor, it does begin to warm after 1/2 a glass. Mouthfeel is syrupy and heavy. Drinkability is decent.

Glad I had a chance to try this... I think I'll hold onto the other one I bought in the cellar for a few more years. I'll be curious to see how this will evolve.

Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
93 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.