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Fullers Vintage Ales - advice on when to open?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by RichK1, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. RichK1

    RichK1 Aficionado (245) Maryland Apr 19, 2009

    I still have a 2010 and a 2009....any suggestions or tasting notes on when would be best to open them?
  2. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (510) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    Whenever you feel like it. They should be good for another decade or two.
    Zimbo likes this.
  3. I have heard that 5 years they start to degrade, though that may depend more on storage conditions. I have a 2008 and a 2009, going to open the 2009 in the next few weeks and if it goes well, the 2008 I'll keep a bit longer. If the 09 is bad, I know the 08 is in trouble!
  4. Eriktheipaman

    Eriktheipaman Champion (805) California Sep 4, 2010 Verified

    I had an 08, 10, and 11 last year and the 10 was the best while the 08 was the worst. Storage conditions could have easily been the cause but there's no way to tell. Also keep in mind each year is a slightly different recipe.
  5. brewbicle

    brewbicle Zealot (80) Minnesota Mar 29, 2011

    I opened a 2008 last month and thought it was good. Lots of tangerine and toffee which sounds odd but was quite good. It was the only bottle I had but promptly went out and bought a couple bottles to sit on for a few years again.
  6. I opened up a 2009 around this time last year and it was awesome. I have one left and I am saving it for my 5 year wedding anniversary (got married in 09).
  7. patto1ro

    patto1ro Advocate (510) Netherlands Apr 26, 2004

    Knowing when any bottle will be at its best is pretty tricky. I'll paraphrase John Keeling of Fullers here, who I think knows more about this than any of us.

    Due to the complexities of ageing, a beer doesn't develop in a linear way, but in waves. So a vintage may taste great at five years old, shit at seven and then great again at nine.

    Even something basic like the level of apparent sweetness will vary due to chemical changes as various compounds are slowly broken down. I wish I could remenber all of John Keeling's talk properly. In short, ageing is a lot more complex than just oxidation. There are all sorts of other processes going on.

    I did the full 15 year vertical and none of the vintages was bad.

    My suggestion is to always buy several bottles of a vintage and sample them over time.
    kemoarps likes this.