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
1,316 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:
#2,261
Reviews:
692
Ratings:
1,316
pDev:
10.74%
 
 
Wants:
125
Gots:
313
Trade:
8
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,316 |  Reviews: 692
Photo of videofrog
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nass
1.83/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

This is a rough ale that drink more like a hard liquor drink. The alcohol is not hidden very well & it is bitter without a decent malt bill to support it. This beer doesn't deserve a fancy box. Cheers! D

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2018 Edition
L- Pours mid-chestnut brown with 1cm very pale tan head. I poured carefully after resting in the fridge for two days and it poured with effectively no haze at all, Also there was only the tiniest smudge of yeast residue on the bottom of the bottle. That said if you do age it, I expect that sediment might increase.
S- The orange/marmalade noted in the 'Beer Info' above is the more prominent, and I can smell the 'pine-like' aspect too.
T- Wow! Like liquid Xmas 'plum' pudding, that has been very heavily doused with sherry. Again the clear marmalade facet returns which together with the 8.5% creates a memorable lip-smacking tang.
M- Oh there is no doubt this is huge on mouthfeel. It's rich, puddingy, but balanced. I swallow and the roof of my mouth feels as if I've just had a shot-glass of sherry. And yet it's not sweet or cloying to me, the balance is sublime.
O- Now this is a show-stopping 'winter warmer'. This would make an ideal small Xmas gift for a beer fan. This beer and this season are made for each other. I'm very glad I bought this, I find zero aspects of it less than two thumbs up; it is divine. This is straight into the Top-10 beers I've ever enjoyed, simply stunning.

Bought at Waitrose in Windsor. I hesitate before paying as here £6 for a shop-bought 500ml bottle of beer, but it's Fullers so I knew there was no leap of faith needed. Bottle number #026528. I looked for a BBE date curious what it might be given they clearly suggest you lay this down to age/improve it; but can't find it. [later-edit/PS, now I see it with a tip-off from an earlier review below, at the very base of the back lable; BBE 'End 2028', ie 10+ years]. ... 2/3rds of the way through my glass, now the head is lacing, and this brew is still just wonderful...

 1,780 characters

Photo of RobinLee
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tiernan
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of monkist
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the 2017 year edition of this Vintage Ale, Limited Edition with a numbered bottle # 129128.
Love Fullers big time, they never made anything bad nor even mediocre. So far my favorite was the Golden Pride and I'm quite glad that this ale is brewed in the same vein. The smell doesn't tell much but the taste even more: it feels like they took that smooth and sweet molasses-like taste and they blended it with a more typical ale, creating a perfect fusion that isn't as in-your-face as the Golden but perfectly drinkable. Still smooth, perfectly balanced and never boring. I drank this beer on the day I quit my job to "celebrate" - perfect choice for the ocassion.

 669 characters

Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of npachl
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dsippel
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

 264 characters

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.

 434 characters

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..

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Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 1,316 ratings