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Fuller's Old Winter Ale - Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

Fuller's Old Winter AleFuller's Old Winter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

75 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 75
Reviews: 55
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 8.91%


Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002)
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Ratings: 75 | Reviews: 55 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu

Romania

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, poured into a pint.

It has a clear amber color. Forms a nice head that has very good retention and leaves nice lacing too.
Smell is quite complex: sweet malt, a bit fruity and also some liquorice.
Taste is a bit unexpected. The smell suggested a sweet brew but in fact it's bitter, resembling an ESB but more complex.
Body feels medium, crisp and dry. Good carbonation.

I expected a sweeter beer with less carbonation but that doesn't mean I didn't like it. It was a nice surprise and I enjoyed it very much.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 18:43:01 | More by Ciocanelu
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB October 10, 2012

Pours a dark amber, almost chestnut brown, with a fair sized white head. Good retention, fair bit of lacing. Nice looking beer.

Immediate smells are earthy English hops, spices (ginger, nutmeg), and bready malt. Not a strong smell, but relatively pleasant.

Taste is pretty malt focused, fairly bready, with some spices. The earthy hop flavours are there as well, but I got them more strongly in the nose. The finish is sweet caramel malt, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Overall, another nice beer from a reliably solid brewery. I am not generally a big fan of winter warmers, but I rather like this beer. The spices are lighter than some others but this means, in part, that they are better integrated.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2012 03:12:33 | More by jrenihan
Photo of Arborescence
Arborescence

Finland

3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper/amber. Pours a moderately thick head.

Aroma: Caramel sweetness, malt, toffee.

Taste: Starts as a typical English Bitter, but a toffee-like sweetness overwhelms quickly. Tastes like an English winter by the fireplace! There’s plenty of hops lingering about too, the mixture of different hops creates a nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth.

Overall: I’ve missed beers like this, I tended to drink much more of pretty standard English bitters when I lived in the UK, but much less so since I moved back to Finland (and in the US), for obvious reasons. Not that this is a standard bitter; it has a more complex hops profile and the crystal malts create a lot of sweetness, appropriate for a Winter/Christmas Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:57:29 | More by Arborescence
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap: Taps a deep chestnut color with some red highlights, modest cap, soft carbonation.

Aromas are fruity-spicy lightly sweet. Flavor is exceptionally discreet in its use of spices and sweet malts...lovely warm soft malty sweetness mingles with a spicy-fruity background and demure Kent hopping...well balanced without any of the sweetness, spice or hops overpowering the amalgam of all these flavors....frankly the best Winter ale I've tasted this year.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2010 00:00:46 | More by pootz
Photo of JanM
JanM

Sweden

3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour with a clean amber color with one finger of brownish foam that disapperas quickly. The smell is of nuts, Coca Cola and licorice. taste is dominated by the bitterness with toffee, nuts and aniseed in the background. In fact, the bitterness takes some of the taste out of this beer. Served from a bottle its worth it to wait for a while before you drink since the exposure to oxygen brings out a better body 10-15 minutes after pouring.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 17:24:05 | More by JanM
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Old Winter Ale appropriately leaves the glass speckled with snowflake-like lacing and has a fine, powdery white surface. The beer beneath it is relatively dark but still showcases plenty of colour, especially when held into the light where its butterscotch body flashes tones of tawny and auburn. A parade of tiny bubbles never ceases.

Some winter ales are actually spiced and others are simply brewed in such a way so as to give them a somewhat spice-like bouquet. Old Winter Ale does not possess this card. It has a quintessentially standard aroma for a British ale: a heavy emphasis on the malt which has some plum and overcooked toffee presence.

Bitter, leafy hops are conspicuous and can often act as periods, not commas. If anything, however, the water minerals are more harsh. They are incredibly chalky and stiff, drying out the mouth on the finish and paving over most of the malt's subtle sweetness and what little gingerbread or sticky toffee pudding flavours might have been.

I'm not crazy about all this earthy, vinous hop bitterness stealing thunder from the beer's malts (which should be the star of this style). They add a grassy, drying texture which contrasts in a funny way with might otherwise be a gratifyingly sweet and nutty beer. But on the whole, a pint of this stuff (just one, though two would be nice) is quite satisfying.

Like most all Fuller's beers, Old Winter Ale follows a conventional, tried-and-true British formula. This makes it an altogether fantastically drinkable, albeit fairly pedestrian beer. Unexciting though it may be, however, the brewery makes good on their promise of a "rich, warming winter ale" and that's all I really came looking for anyhow.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 22:49:17 | More by biegaman
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, malty then bitter, with hints of toffe, chocolate and coffee, good beer, but not sensational.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2002 05:53:59 | More by rastaman
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at beerbistro feb 27/08. menu claims 6.5% abv.

pours deep red with a small dense off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves a few rings of lace.

aroma is nice. bit of toasty character. big fruity english profile. light toffee. caramel. bit of alcohol. big bread and biscuit malts. just a touch of spice, but not enough to pick particular spices out or to overshadow anything else.

taste is good. low bitterness level. solid bread and biscuit malt. nice light toffee and caramel middle without getting too sweet or overbearing. again just a hint of spice but not overpowering or identifiable. the taste isn't as bold as the aroma, but i like this and feel it works well here.

mouthfeel is nice. medium-low very well integrated carbonation. medium body. just a hint of astringency.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced and solid english ale. i might need to have another!

Serving type: on-tap

02-28-2008 18:53:35 | More by grub
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright russet with a bright white head that fades fast and leaves no lace. Tea, dried fruit, barrel and spearmint on the nose. Orange spice cake malts and a bit of prune with nicely spicy, orange rind, and leaf hops. Unexpectedly clean tight finish and creamy but thin body and no fizz.

Strong hops over malts, which is surprising for this English ale. Just wish there was a little more heft to it.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2009 20:11:02 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of DaveUK
DaveUK

United Kingdom (England)

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Lustious red brown with an excellent head with a ring and wisps retained all the way to the bottom.

Aroma - Creamy fruit and toasted malt. A hint of grapefruit from the hops.

Taste - Raisins and blackcurrant, fullers distinctive style, sweet and and juicy malt, with a big bitter finish with hints of smoke.

Mouthfeel - Smooth at the end and very sweet, a medium to heavy mouthfeel.

Overall - A classic fullers brew, distinctively identifying but also very tasty. A true malty winter beer. I would love to try this on cask as acidity from the carbonation was unwelcome at first.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2008 15:39:13 | More by DaveUK
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz glass at the Underground, on the coldest damned day of the year thus far. Winter warmer, save me now!

This beer appears a solid black, with the barest of basal cola highlights, and one skinny finger of foamy, soapy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves some attractive layered webbed lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of hot chocolate powder, cold coffee, bready caramel malt, black licorice, middling dark fruit, and mild musty, earthy hops. The taste is bitter dry cocoa, astringent coffee beans, grainy caramel malt, oily nuts, tart black fruit, wet ash, dry anise, and a strange earthy, almost medicinal spice.

The carbonation is average, noticeable yet not any sort of burden, the body an adequate medium weight, but thin-seeming at times, and a bit too edgy to be deemed all that smooth. It finishes rather dry, little changing over the course of this offering, as the cocoa, coffee, and char flesh things out.

A tasty enough dry stout, it would seem, with a soft fruity holiday twinge. A whole lot less sweet than I was expecting, but enjoyable all the same. Nice to see all these new beers from Fuller's arriving locally.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2013 21:11:18 | More by biboergosum
Photo of CalgaryFMC
CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Another relatively rare Fuller's brew hits the Alberta tap scene. Hopefully this trend continues! Had a pint at Beer Revolution in Calgary, a pristine reddish-brown brew (or perhaps very dark bronze) topped by around an inch of light tan foam. Smells of toasty aromatic malt, cacao powder, caramel, a herbal or medicinal note like licorice, a cornbread sweetness, and a sour fruitiness like dried cherries ... Amazing complexity on the nose. Taste includes most of these elements as well and reminds me a bit of a Scotch ale albeit with more fruit and hops. The chocolate is downplayed in favor of a chokecherry sour fruitiness, toffee, walnuts, cane fruit, and earthy hops. There is maybe a little anemic coffee but I don't get much of this flavor here. Medium bodied, not terribly thick and with a similarly moderate (to low end of high) degree of carbonation. Finish is quite dry, with burlap sack and dry husk effects, but some of the fruitiness that pervades the earlier phases of the taste experience lingers until the bitter end. Malty, fruity, but not terribly sweet or roasty, a top-notch winter warmer that manages a pretty reasonable degree of complexity without any gimmicky additions to the brew kettle or bottle after the fact.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2013 17:45:33 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely ruby colour with amber tinged edges and a very frothy off-white head that leaves an ample amount of lace behind as it settles as a soapy collar.

Smells of sweet caramel, tree nuts, plums and has a peppery spiciness to it. Simple, but solid.

Crisp and peppery taste with a soft and warm caramel malt body, a note of raisin and a fatty, nut-like tone. Nice balance here, but a bit subdued. The finish is dry and spicy, like nutmeg or allspice.

Medium-bodied with a mild carbonation. Bitter on the tongue with a nice, oily character. Aftertaste has a roasted caramel malt tone.

A nice and easy drinking, lightly spiced English pale ale. A tad mild as a "winter warmer", but most certainly a quality ale worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 19:31:51 | More by bryehn
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep copper with an off-white thin head. Spotted lacing sticks.

The smell is musty, woody (cinnamon?) with some dried tart fruit.

The taste is of caramel, nutty with orange and some herbal bitterness in the finish.

On the thinner side of what might be expected for a "winter ale", but, then it is somewhat warming for a 5.3% abv.

It is well-balanced. Sweetish but with a touch of bitterness. Slight touch of alcohol shows though at a relatively modest abv.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 01:26:43 | More by jwc215
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear dark brown/red colour with an average size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some very nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, butterscotch, cherries, all-spice, raisins

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts mixed with butterscotch/caramel and some all-spice. There is also a bit of a licorice taste and some notes of dates/raisins and a hop bitterness. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste with a hint of spice.

Overall - I was a little disappointed with this one. I guess I was just expecting more from fullers. It's a good beer but there are much better seasonal offerings available. I wouldn't pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 17:36:18 | More by spinrsx
Photo of Hammarby
Hammarby

Sweden

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color and a crown that disappears rather quickly. Smell a bit dissapointing: butter, honey, apricot, but also alcohol in a not so pleasant way. Taste much better than the smell. Lingering bitterness, which is very nice. Dried fruits and nuts. A very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2006 00:02:18 | More by Hammarby
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper colour, one finger dense sticky off white head, good amount of lace left behind. Smell is full of caramel, lightly sweet, malty, spices, cinnamon, bready and biscuity. Taste is sweet malts and caramel, spices, cinnamon and rye bread, toffee with a long caramel malty finish. Aggressive carbonation that I found hard to get past, medium feel and fairly full bodied. Other than the over active carbonation this was quite enjoyable, a solid seasonal offering from a pretty solid brewer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 17:00:12 | More by peensteen
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml bottle into a tulip. Best before October 10, 2012.

Poured a ruby red/mahogany, filtered with a nice white caps. Creamy with some larger bubbles, solid retention and lace. Nose is malty and sugary, some faint berries, winter spicing although nothing in particular pops. Sweet bready qualities as well. Taste has more malt, albeit less prominent than the nose, faint spicing, and some light caramel, nuts and sweet bready/graininess. A nice warming feel all around, good body and appropriate medium carbonation puts this a little higher up on the charts than just a sipper. I enjoyed this but this is far from being at the top of my list of favourite winter warmers.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 03:03:08 | More by liamt07
Photo of Real_BeerMAN
Real_BeerMAN


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Welcome cronies! This old beer came up to us and Russia. We drank to our event standards a bit, about 4 breasts at his brother. Pear at first did not feel, but after 2nd chest appeared pears, nuts, and the women ... After the third chest, we ourselves also are found dick knows where, but the pear disappeared as well as nuts. But the women were still. What happened after that I do not remember.On the morning of the head is white, and for some reason,
On the morning of the head is white, and somehow shaved. Shnunorovka in place, but the lacing is not obtained. The women did not have as Crediton cards and money. Beer is not subject to the basic laws of physics. Drank beer liters 8 and vysal all 15 ... The output of beer was as it was a statement, oblochno yellow with dense foam. PS We have a battery but still drink beer. even in summer. P.P.S tasty beer with peanuts in tomato glaze and kapchennym cheese. For gourmets can add 0.5 to 1 liter of vodka beer

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-24-2013 15:24:02 | More by Real_BeerMAN
Photo of mintjellie
mintjellie

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Rich mahogany with ruby highlights. Brilliant clarity. Pale beige head is lacy and moderately retentive. Aroma is malty and fruity, with notes of toffee, brown sugar, and plums. Tastes of sweet toffee up front, transitioning into slightly tangy plum and mixed nuts. Finishes with a lingering tea-like bitterness. Feels a little light and thin, with low carbonation. Not a bad beer, but the mouthfeel is a bit of letdown. Needs more heft.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 07:26:10 | More by mintjellie
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It looks good, with some foam on a cloudy yellow. It smells good, with mild spice. There is above average mouthfeel from caramel. A tad like an old ale, but other than this there is nothing special. Mild dry hop finish.On tap at Beer Bistro. Drinkable but nothing to hook me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 18:03:03 | More by Sammy
Photo of GONZALOYANNA
GONZALOYANNA

Spain

3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle. Pint glass.Enjoyed on dec´11. Bright copper color. Clear. Off-white ,medium size bubbled,froth. Creamy crown with good retention.Yeast,herbes,slightly spicy with grape notes to the nose. Sparkling upfront followed by dry nutty bitterness.Mildy toasted malts & smooth resiny with pear hues. Medium body, soft carbonation.Fruity aftertaste. Very pleasant drinkability, refreshing & flavorful. Comment: when in doubt order a Fuller´s one even not being the best of theirs you will never regret it.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 18:04:12 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of GreenCard
GreenCard

Oregon

3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 11/01/06...

Appearance: dark reddish-brown, great clarity, medium layer of spongey off-white foam, good retention, some lace

Aroma: rum-soaked figs, dark chocolate, malty sweetness, burnt caramel

Flavor: quite dry malt base, big wallop of roasted grain, piny hop flavor, licorice, wood tannin, finishes dry with an aftertaste of pine resin and plum skin

Mouthfeel: full body, fine carbonation, a bit astringent

Other comments: Reminds me a bit of Winterhook, which I tried over X-mas while I was in Oregon. Surprisingly assertive roast/hop bitterness (in a good way).

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2005 17:38:48 | More by GreenCard
Photo of stcules
stcules

Italy

3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, almost mahogany. A good head, beige in color, not bad.
The smell has a good maltiness, dried fruit, figs and dates. A hint of red fruit. Malty background.
The taste is more on the dried fruit side, quite dry, with notes of hazelnut overall. Despite the low alcohol (5.3 ABV), this beer is quite warming. Notes of light roasted, toffee. Good.
Quite hopped in the aftertaste. Balanced and pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 16:40:37 | More by stcules
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of dry caramelized malt notes is interesting. Taste is dominated by dry malt notes, maybe a bit too dry and almost astringent. Some fruity aromas are also easily noticeable though harder to detect when tasting this beer. Body is about average with good carbonation. Good but a bit too dry for my own taste.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2012 03:35:55 | More by Phyl21ca
Fuller's Old Winter Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
88 out of 100 based on 75 ratings.