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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

(Read More)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 94
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 26
Gots: 7 | 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.
View: Beers (38) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fuller's Old Winter Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 94
Photo of JanM
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
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 pootz
3.89/5  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.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.92/5  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.

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Photo of Bananaman
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Ciocanelu
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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 rarbring
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The amber coppertoned beer pours with a full head of light beige foam slowly sinking leaving remains on the glass.

The smell is rather modest, som lemonpeel, slightly metallic tones, a malty sweetness with some spicy aroma.

The taste on the other side is fully developed with great hoppiness balanced with some malty sweetness.

Nice carbonation and mouthfeel.

In all a very rewarding wintwer warmer.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4/5  rDev +2%
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 mdagnew
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from Sainsburys..

Poured a nice dark copper colour. Light tan head poured big thick and foamy with quite tight bubbles then faded quickly to decent covering with thick edging... quite a lot of thick sticky lacing... no real carbonation to speak about...

Aroma - Lots of toasted breadiness, nice sweet toffee malts, treacle and brown sugar notes, malt loaf, rich dark fruits (prunes, figs, light raisins, some orange notes), light peppery hops, nutty sweetness, light grassy notes, some very faint oakiness, butterscotch notes...

Taste – A surprising amount of peppery and grassy hop bitterness mixed with toasted bread, burnt nutty bitterness, light caramel malt sweetness, tart fruits (oranges, figs, some apples), quite floral, some light saltiness, light earthiness...

Feel - Quite smooth initially with a good sharp bite coming through afterwards.. light bodied... extremely quaffable - i could happily drink this all night...

Overall - Another very good brew from Fullers... quite a hoppy winter warner but certainly recommended...

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Photo of TheGrunt
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall very good winter ale!

Very dark brown color with a hint of red. Smell has chocolade and spring meadow in it. Medium or average carbonation, quite light foam after pouring from the bottle. Taste is fruity, but not sweet and very round overall. This is very easy dark winter ale, that has no negative features, but at the same time perhaps lacks a bit personality and punch? Still, a very good beer and four from me!

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Photo of Stocean1
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
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 JohnnyBarman
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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 krunchie
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a re-review, original review posted 11-25-2008.

A: Pours a clear, deep bronze/dark red color with a fluffy head which disappears too quickly. Looks tasty though.

S: Definitely syrup, sweet bread, caramel and toffee. Lots of crystal malt character!

T: Toffee and caramel again, yet a little more bitter. I remember this beer as very sweet so the bitterness shocked me a bit - even though it's not very bitter. Quite a bit of a dark crystal malt flavor; walnuts and dates come to mind. The finish gets smoother and sweeter and leaves a nice nutty, toffee flavor on my palate.

M/D: Perfect CO2 for the style, however I'd love to see better head retention in this beer. The foam leaves great lacing though, but more foam would make it even better. This beer goes down like whipped cream, very smooth and rich considering it's not very high in alcohol compared to other seasonal examples with similar mouthfeel.

11-25-2008 review:

A: Copper brown, clear amber. Initially 1-1½ inch thick creamy head. Too bad it didn't stay thick for long.

S: Some roasted malts, chocolate malts. Sweet. Very bready. Syrup and hazelnuts also come to mind.

T: Yummy!!! More bread and roasted malt. Very well-balanced, especially the finish, not that much bitterness. Some toffee and caramel. Reminds me of a snack street vendors use to sell during the summer on Gotland island, where I grew up: roasted almonds (roasted in sugar, I think, and they turned out dark caramel brown - very sweet). The head on this beer is very creamy too. I wish it was a little thicker as it adds a nice whipped cream taste and feel to the entire brew.

M: Smooth and creamy. Clean and crisp mouthfeel. Very light carbonation.

D: Oh this one goes down like hot chocolate in a cozy cabin after an entire day of skiing! I could drink litres of this. AND it seems to warm me up a little bit (snow has just come to Stockholm so that's very convenient!)

This one's my favourite winter brew thus far this year!

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 BBP
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA,

A: Pours a medium/dark brown, with a medium off-white head, medium retention.

S: Light, but smells of rich caramel malt and spices.

T: A tasty brown, good caramel and brown malt core, the spiciness is subtle, clear bitter nutmeg notes add to the complexity of this ale.

M: A full-bodied winter warmer, some chalky feel from the spices, but overall, very good, carbonation is solid.

D: Very good Winter Warmer, in my opinion, first time I have ever seen this in the U.S., so I had to try it since I love Fuller's, did not disappoint.

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Photo of wl0307
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally found this bottled beer at the Waitrose supermarket in East London. BB 21/01/07, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: clear, light copperish hue, coming with a thick and creamy off-white beer head, leaving pretty tight lacing as it retreats; fairly gentle carbonation.
S: enticing aroma of raisiny, ripe-plummy and caramely maltiness upfront, backed by a nut-syprup like "think" note along with a more subtle, fruity hop aroma reminiscent of Fuller ESB’s elegant apple-ish note. Very nicely balanced nose overall.
T: a very deep flavour of bitter-sweet caramelised-sugar with a hint of exotic black-sugar, preserved plums, plus a mildly bitter flavour of roasted nuts from crystal malts prevail upfront; quickly giving way to an almost tea-leaf like bitter-herbal hoppyness in the background underlined by faint suggestion of dark fruits; satisfyingly dryish aftertaste left at the deep end of the palate, balanced by equal amounts of aromatic maltiness and lingering, mild bitterness.
M&D: despite being nearly full-flavoured, the palate remains ultra-clean and light throughout. This is a "quietly" delicious malty winter brew, very well-crafted and balanced indeed.

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Photo of bark
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is deep amber-brown; the head is finger thick, off white and compact- It sinks slowly down leaving massive lacing.

The generous smell is loaded with dried fruits, lightly roasted malts, some alcohol, dry bitter hops, whipped cream and a hint of cherries.

The taste is complex and more bitter than expected. Some fruity (apricots. Raisins, green grapes) flavours, hints of coffee and cream, liquorice and rubber. The aftertaste is dry and bitter with some spices (nutmeg, rosemary, cloves?) and dried fruits.

The carbonation is perfectly mild with lots of refreshing bubbles. The liquid is rather thick.
Overall, I found this winter warmer much more daring than I remembered.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is clear copper, with a white soapy large head that leaves lots of lace when it dissipates.

S: Light roasted sweet malt with dried dark fruit and some chocolate notes. There is also floral english hops.

T: A full flavoured beer. Sweet and bitter. Fruity as most ales from Fuller's but this one has an additional dried dark fruit-aspect. Very matly.

M: The aftertaste is long and sweet, really bitter/dry as well. The body is full and the carbonation is medium.

D: Very well-tasting and full. Reminds of other Fuller's ales but with an additional dimension.

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Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Man I love Fullers ales,this one poured a a great ruby red color with medium head,smell was malty sweet and nutty almost like a good nutty holiday cake.Nice malty,warming taste of nuts and a little bitter chocolate,very easy to drink.I think drinking this on a cold winters night watching a hockey game would be almost heaven for me.

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Photo of foamer
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
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 BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed with this beer. Caught it on tap last night at Pazzo's Pizza Pub. Although the beer does not hold a lot of complexity or multitude of varying flavors, the strong malt base and pronounced caramel flavors make this beer a candy in a glass. Maltiness delivers a firm base of sweetness, breadiness, and a mildly chewy texture. The caramel flavor is one of well-attenuated, toasted barley, and not of artificial toffee flavors. Mild fruits of apples, pears, and plumbs give the beer a bit of estery decoration. Hopped for balance, but offers a touch of herbal / pine flavors that don't distract from the malts. Finishes clean to be so sweet up front, with a crisp, minty finish. Very nice.

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Photo of ABCJiugui
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at deep ellum, poured into US pint glass-

A- foamy 2 fingers head with excellent retention to 1/2 finger, clingy lacing that comes in almost guinness like rings as one sips. Color is a deep, clear, reddish amber.

S- Sweet malt aroma, biscuity, bready, crisp as well, like spring water.

T- Balanced malt sweetness, biscuits, with definite english hops: bitterness is mild but present, and very well balanced, contributing to a fairly smooth finish.

M- Smooth, 2%milk/medium bodied, head adds a level of creaminess to it, carbonation is light and consistent.

Overall, unexpectedly pleasant surprise during my meal. Had a good Oakham "John Hudsen's" bitter on cask right before and wasn't expecting such a great beer right after. Definitely something I'd order again and could see myself drinking all night.

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 18.6 oz English style brown bottle that has raised glass with a glimmering gold label. Best before date clearly printed on back.

Appearance: Crystal clear deep ruby copper with a thin wispy yet well retaining lace.

Smell: Rich sweet caramel with hints of toasted and vague roasted malt.

Taste: On the sweet side with a creamy full body, rich malt character with nutty, grainy and even a little bit of chocolate on the tongue. Hop bitterness develops more towards the end to reach a nice balance. Mouthful of residual sweetness still left over in the finish with a touch of dark chocolate.

Notes: As usual ... rich, hearty and very flavourful, drink and learn what a true imported English winter ale tastes like!

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