Fuller's Vintage Ale | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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Fuller's Vintage AleFuller's Vintage Ale
BA SCORE
4.19/5
Exceptional
1,307 Ratings
Fuller's Vintage AleFuller's Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom
fullers.co.uk

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%.

As the new Head Brewer, this 2017 edition of Vintage Ale champions a new American hop variety Denali, used to give the beer a citrusy, pine-like flavour and a new British malt variety Laureate. Combined with trusty British hops Target and Goldings, our 21st Vintage Ale is a well-rounded and balanced beer wilh Fuller's yeast adding the orange, marmalade characters to it.
Vinlage ale is an exceptional beer, only available from Fuller's as a limited release of individually packaged and numbered bottles and will improve for many years to come, like a fine wine or whisky.

As the beer is bottle conditioned it will form a natural sediment, so pour carefully, sit back and enjoy the very finest of Fuller's ales.

Added by Murph on 02-20-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,172
Reviews:
689
Ratings:
1,307
pDev:
10.74%
 
 
Wants:
122
Gots:
314
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,307 |  Reviews: 689
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

$11.62 (Including tax and deposit)/500 mL bottle ($ 0.681/oz) from The Lager Mill, Frankenmuth, MI. Reviewed 8/5/18.
Bottle marked on back label “Best before end 2024”, stored on shelf in store. Served at 55 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Deep amber, clear.
Head – Large (Maximum 4.8 cm, controlled center pour), off-white, moderately dense, average retention time, diminishing to an undulating four to ten mm ring and a complete layer with raised center. The ring undulations smooth out to a constant four mm. The second pour produced about one half the head of the first.
Lacing – None.
First pour – Amber, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Caramel and toffee, moderately strong.
Flavor – 4.25 – Begins semi-sweet with a bit of earthy hop flavor followed by caramel/toffee. It ends with the sweetness of the caramel/toffee flavor but avoids being cloying. No alcohol, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide.
Palate – 3.25 – Medium, creamy but approaching syrupy, soft carbonation.
Impression and interpretation – 4.5 – The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While none of the characteristics taken alone are incredible, they combine to produce one of the best “new” beers I’ve had in some time. This has been cellared for four years and I’d forgotten about it until last night when I was organizing said cellar to better control its depletion.

 1,427 characters

Photo of rex_4539
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Hazy red color, half finger off white head, excellent lacing, minimal carbonation.

S: Hops, malts, yeast.

T: Malty, yeasty, slightly hoppy. Distinct taste and flavors.

F: Medium bodied, extremely smooth.

O: Interesting ale but nothing I will look for again.

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Photo of sokol_1993
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A beautiful beer.
Look: dark brownish yellow, with ample head. A little bit too much during pour, actually.
Smell: the signature Fuller's smell of sweet floral honey, coupled with citrusy American Denali hops.
Taste: strong malt backbone, sweet, viscous like honey and molasses, yet it is balanced perfectly by the hoppiness.
Feel: full body, however the booze was apparent.

Overall: excellent beer. Will try to age it next time.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.04/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of stevoj
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Beer Mongers. Dark amber with small bubbly head. Malty aroma, woody notes, leather. Taste too is mostly malts, bottle conditioning adds some tannic notes. Some sweet malts and toffee too. Elegant. 2009 bottle in cellar.

 230 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a gorgeous beer: deep, rich orangish red with a nice short lived head and beautiful curtain lacing.

Enjoyed the orange citrus smell with a bit a booze. Silky feel. Very rich taste: molasses, dark fruit, orange and a bit of dark honey. Going to buy another bottle to age.

 279 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Patches826
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of matthewsween
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled, boxed and bottle conditioned
Pours a burnished gold coloured body with ruby hues and full on white head with cranberry notes and hints of brandy
Deep sugar plum aroma
All that in the flavour with rum fudge

 216 characters

Photo of travelguy
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bigred89
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of redleg64
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

While perusing the shelves of my local wine and beer emporium, I came across a single, elegant box. I’m intrigued by any beer that comes in a box and this one was no exception. The price was reasonable and after I bought it I did some research and discovered the history behind this storied ale.

I have a 2016 vintage that I intended to store for a few years, but curiosity got the best of me tonight. I pulled it out of the box, broke the seal and pried the cap off with my favorite bottle opener. The beer poured a rich, vibrant, deep shade of copper and left a thin, creamy head that complimented it quite nicely. I can’t comment on the smell due to some nose issues, but I’m sure it’s pleasant. The thing I enjoy most about old ales is the complex flavor profiles found in them, and this is no exception. I’m not going to elaborate about the nuances...I’ll just say this beer is definitely one of the all time best I have had the pleasure of enjoying. I just wish I was able to buy another bottle to enjoy later down the road.

 1,045 characters

Photo of SynthetikReality95
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage No.146925
Poured with a 1/4" head, falls to a cap and then ring quickly. Murky brown with orange highlights.
Aroma started out muted but opened up to dark fruits, tea and earth.
Tea, herbal, mint. Tobacco. Mild caramel. Dark fruit...fig/prune even (?) Late notes of what seem like wood/barrel.
Medium body, low carbonation. Long finish with a combination of interesting flavors.
I've owned these since they were fresh, have a couple left....really fun to open an almost 10 year old English ale and still very tasty.

 528 characters

Photo of igl
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2016.. Awesome beer..

29 characters

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CantankerousCaveBear
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ScottP
4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of qrazvan
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage Ale: brownish colour, very small head and low carbonation. Bourbon smell.
The taste is dominated by the wooden flavours, the bourbon and scotch are very present. It has a barley wine feel also and a bit of sweetness, not too much, just right. The body is a bit thinner than expected. Low alcohol content for a 14-year old beer.
Very good.

 352 characters

Photo of 104401
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of -steve-
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared the 2016 Vintage with a good friend. Big flavour profile with toffee pudding and oak notes that kept me sipping and contemplating the deep flavours here.

 160 characters

Photo of ajm5108
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Deep copper, perfect amount of fluffy, inviting barm. Aroma is decadently sweet & enticing - calvados, apple must, chardonnay grape, butterscotch, sticky toffee pudding. Delightful. Taste focuses more on those heartier, warm flavors - toasted nut, toffee brittle, prune, fig with a trace of honey and a cognac heat. Finishes with a delicate kiss of hop bitterness. It was oddly thin for the style, which is really the only criticism I can lay against. The standard for old ales.

 478 characters

Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nace4
4.59/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 1,307 ratings