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

Not Rated.
Fuller's Old Winter AleFuller's Old Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

56 Reviews

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Reviews: 56
Hads: 93
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 9.21%
Wants: 21
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-18-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 93
3.56/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lovely ruby-red ale with a good head, this one promised quite a bit. And it delivered.

The aroma was of rich malts (caramel and some roasted as well) and the alcohol was somewhat prominent.

The foretaste was bitter, and the taste was of rich nutty malts and hints of bitter chocolate. A touch of spiciness was apparent as well, but only a trace. The bitterness lingered, a nice touch.

Good body, and a good beer to have sitting comfortably at home on a winter's night watching TV

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on-tap at deep ellum, allston, ma

i just had to put in a word for this brew, from sparse notes and a fresh memory of last night. deep ellum's menu listed this is as a "bitter", and in a way it admittedly sort of skewed me into expecting something less hearty and complex. that said, from the moment the glass was put at my table, i knew i was in for a treat. the clear reddish brown color and great foamy head were just the beginning. then came the malty yet herbal nose, hints of spice.

robust flavor went great with my cornmeal battered fish. malts and assertive but balanced hop really melded together well. maybe some dried fruit to mix things up a bit. mild bitterness, evenly distributed.

smooth and drinkable, and a sessionable beer. best surprise of the night.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Put up the Christmas lights and got the decorations out of storage. There's snow on the ground and it's time for a winter ale. Post haste.

Poured into a nonic glass. Light amber-copper in colour, with a nice fluffy head. Good bit of lacing and some nice retention on this.

Nose is delightfully wintery. Caramel, chocolate, a bit of toffee, plum, currant and spice, with a mild leafy hops backing.

Not the in-your-face winter ales that you see around the liquor store that try a bit too hard to seem 'Christmassy', this ale just comes across as being seasonal and didn't have to smack me in the face to do it. All the hearty ale flavors are there in the foreground, sweet fruity spiciness, and its all swept clean with leafy, bittering hops that leave a lingering finish. Nice carbonation, pale ale body.

A great cold weather ale. 'Nuff said.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Nice big rich long lasting head on clear red beautiful body.

Biscuity walnut bread aroma arorma.

Nice biscutyu simple flavor, nut in the background with a nice slightly sweet and bitter after taste.

Mouthfeel, there is a watery aspect to this that really takes it down a notch for me.

These go down a little too easy. A nice beer, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
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).

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Photo of Sigmund
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, from Voldby Købmandsgård, Denmark. ABV is 5.3%. Copper to amber colour, big to moderate off-white head. Malty and nutty aroma, also notes of toffee and caramel. The flavour has a moderate malty sweetness and nutty and biscuity notes, hints of raisins and caramel. "Dusty" hops in the finish, bitter aftertaste. Quite good.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.52/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bonn Lair. Good job getting this one Bonnie!!

A - Poured a dark auburnish color, with a little over 1 finger of head. Dissipated fast and left a nice trail of lacing.

S - Caramel, toffee, and light chocolate in the malt profile with some hearty spices. Maybe some clove and a pinch of cinnamon. Hop profile is very subtle with a bit of bitterness.

T - Strong notes of caramel and toffee with light chocolate. The spices really round the beer out and their appears to be some clove, maybe a little vanilla, and some cinnamon. Hops almost disappear.

M - Well balanced, with an almost full mouthfeel.

D - Overall, a good example of the classic English Winter Warmer.

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Photo of cypressbob
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle

Pours with a deep red body, nice creamy head, good retention

Smell, spices, thick malty musk coming off

Taste, thick bitter hops, dry musky finish, some hint of smoke and a nice lingering bitterness on the palette

Another great beer from fullers, they really can do no wrong. Some noticable hints and flavours of 1845, actually, this really reminds me, in look and taste of arrogant bastard, like an english hopped version

What the heck is that flavour and aroma? it really reminds of arrogant bastard :)...thus, i've been buying this alot now, its a great beer

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Photo of mrmanning
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap: Deep mahogany with a frothy beige cap that laces moderately. Nutty, fruity aroma with lots of yeasty spices and wood. Sweet caramel and sugary, nutty malts are backed by solid almost floral, hop profile. Creamy and soothing, full bodied winter ale. Good.

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Photo of BBP
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper with decent head and lacing, and excellent retention.

The aroma is well rounded without lacking in either the malt or hop presence.

The flavor is pretty congruent with the style I've come to expect from Fullers. The hops are tamed, but at the same time they provide a pretty solid bitter base to support the malt. The malt in this one is a bit more rich than most of the Fullers offerings. It's got a bit of a biscuit flavor as well as mild grain notes. Any sweetness is balanced by bitterness, yet the bitterness is very subtle.

The mouthfeel is quite creamy, and carbonation is nice. The only downside was that the body was a tad thin. A bit thicker and it would have aced this category.

Overall, this is one of my favorite Fullers offerings to date. I'm surprised to say that as Winter Ales aren't really my favorite style, but this one was a bit atypical with the malt sweetness toned down and the hops bumped up.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of bryehn
3.76/5  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.

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Photo of Stocean1
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - a deep copper mahogany colour this brew had a thick bubbly two finger head that stuck around forever and eventually dimished to a healthy collar of suds with sticky thick lacing coating the pint glass all the way through. Beautiful.

S - Is an earthy slightly sweet scented malt with a hint of chocolate and dark fruit.

T - Subtle malt profile with coffee and choclate notes, a faint floral hops presence that rounds out this brew with a bitter lingering finish.

M - a perfect mouthfeel on this one, typical for fullers - smooth, medium bodied with decent carbonation with a nice bitterness.

Another spectacular brew from fullers that I will of course grab when I can. If I could pick one brewer on a desert island it would be fullers, I have had better brews but not with the consistency of fullers, I have yet to have a brew from them I did not like.

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Photo of crnipeter
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear coppery-brown capped by a quarter of inch thin beige head that dissipates. Poor head presentation is acceptable as winter warmers are essentially Old Ales whose head-formation may be impaired by aging.

Initially indiscernible scent improves as the beer warms revealing nutty and caramel aroma of
malt as well as spicy and orange-like aromatics that might be attributed to the hops used (Nugget, Challenger and Northdown). No trace of alcohol whatsoever.

Flavor is pronounced nutty malt supplemented with substantial herbal hop-bitterness that seems a bit exaggerated stealing the show from the malts and leading into astringent dry finish. Considering the style I'd expect more malt complexity.

Well-attenuated somewhat crispy medium body.

In short, an attenuated nutty-bitter Winter Warmer that doesn't seem warming at the outset but delivers as I progress through the bottle (500 ml into tulip, BB 10-17-2013).

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Photo of JanM
3.86/5  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.

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Photo of Bananaman
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fuller's is one my favourites of the English breweries. They represent everything about English bitters and ales that I like.

Pours a dark amber color with a big fluffy white head, leavs loads of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strong of malts, English hops, nuts and some sweet dried fruits, almost wineous in a way.

Taste is really good, for being at this strength it's really powerful. Lots of malts and English hops together with those wineous dried fruits. The bitterness is fruity and nutty, really warming.

I really like this one, the only thing is that it's bit boring compared to other English ale style Christmas beers this year.

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Photo of TKempe
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks very clear and amber to light copper-brown in colour. The head is a bit thin but leaves plenty of lace.

Smell is malty-sweet (toffee, some chocolate) and slightly burned and grainy. Can't miss the fruity ale note (prune, apple freshness) and the hop aromas (reminiscent of tea and all kinds of spices). Alcohol is present and is blended in perfectly, giving some extra weight to the entire nose.

The taste is bitter-sweet and passes through both a fruity and a hoppy moment before becoming really bitter and dry. The aftertaste lingers for quite some time. Moreover, there is a salty or liqorice-like quality to it all.

Mouthfeel is creamy and has the exact right amount of carbonation. This beer drinks easily and is refreshing, even though it is quite saturated and bold.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.16/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice deep brown color, little head, not much odor.

The taste is an immediate malt hit, a tiny bit of roastiness, followed after a while by the typical Fuller's fruity taste, with some mineral flavor and a slight amount of acidity ... and eventually by a very very mild bitterness (so little that it's hard to really say what it's like). No creaminess, not really all that sweet, despite all the malt. Gets watery after a while like many other Fuller's beers.

It's not hard to drink, and unobjectionable, but it's not really all that great either, and doesn't really live up its billing as a "winter ale" -- it simply didn't have the depth, the bitterness, the darkness, the spices, and was way too dominated by pretty much the exact same fruity character that defines most Fuller's beers.

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Photo of foamer
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, date best before 11/01/06

Pours a nice clear red with some rusty orange highlights on the sides. Frothy cream-coloured head with good retention. This is a pretty beer.

Smells of caramel malt with some spices. I get some hints of rum-soaked fruitcake as well. Smells a bit like Christmas...Strong aroma though, I could notice it right after I opened the bottle.

Taste is initially caramel and sweet malts and then WHAM! it develops to a dry hop bitterness with some hints of spices. I've never tried a beer where the taste changed so suddenly - it's keeping my taste buds in check.

The mouthfeel I feel to be a little overcarbonated, but maybe that's just the CAMRA in me talking. It's a little thin as well, but not too much to be a detriment.

This is a tasty winter warmer, and I much prefer this to Young's offering. One which I'll try to find on cask next time I'm in London.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep, clear, ruby amber with a big tan head of fizzy foam. Decent retention, dissipating to a thin ring of bubbly foam and leaving strands of frothy lacing.

S: Loads sweet caramel malts and some biscuity brown malts with dark rye, walnut, and dark chocolate aromas. Intense fruitiness with black cherry, plum, fig, raisin, and pear notes mingling with savoury brown spices, particularly nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon. Yeast, booziness, and faint, leafy hops round it out. I've said other beers smell like Christmas pudding before, but this one takes the cake (ha. ha.).

T: Rich (but not too sweet) toffee and brown malts with a biscuity character lead into bitter, roasted nuttiness and cocoa notes complemented by plum-and-raisin fruitiness with that savoury spiciness of nutmeg and other brown spices. Leafy and floral hops come in towards the finish with mild bitterness, balancing the malts that take on a fresh grain character on the swallow. Yeast undertones throughout. Much drier than the nose suggested, overall.

M: Medium to full-bodied with mild, creamy smooth carbonation (I may've just gotten this by pouring hard) and slight stickiness. The balance is spot-on and it comes across as rather dry despite the heartiness; a sense of full-ness sneaks up as you drink with deceptive ease.

D: A delicious, hearty, and drinkable winter warmer distinguished by a dryness that emphasises nuances in the palate. Warming and moreish. An excellent sipping ale that'd probably also do very well accompanying red meat or game.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, red veer with some carbonation and a foam that hastly leaves the glass to leave a thin lacing.

Smell is malts, bread and butter at first. The comes a roasted tone together with fruit and a bitter character.

Taste is bitter, with a large maltcharacter. Malt, bread and roasted tones come again here, together with butter and a candylike sweetness.Taste is really big and nice, with a crisp touch to it.

A great winter warmer, and fuller's never seems to dissapoint me.

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Photo of Hammarby
3.64/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

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Fuller's Old Winter Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
87 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.