Vintage Ale

Vintage AleVintage Ale
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England, United Kingdom
Old Ale
Ranked #11
Ranked #3,155
4.19 | pDev: 10.74%
Mar 08, 2024
Feb 20, 2002
First released in 1997, Fuller's Vintage 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. 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. When the time comes, expect a deep amber pour with notes of sherry and Cognac on the nose, and rich, complex flavours that hint at toasted grains and sweet cherry Bakewell Tart.

1998 - Champion Alexis malt and Champion Northdown hops.
2001 - Maris Otter barley malt.
2002 - Golden Promise malt and Goldings hops.
2005 - Fuggles hops.
2006 - Fuggles and Super Styrian hops.
2008 - Maris Otter barley malt and Northdown and Challenger hops.
2011 - Goldings, Organic First Gold and Sovereign hops
2012 - Goldings, Sovereign and Target
2013 - Pearl Malt.
2014 - Goldings, Liberty and Cascade hops.
2015 - Maris Otter barley malt and Target, Northdown, Challenger and Goldings hops.
2016 - Nelson Sauvin alongside classic British hops.
2017 - Denali, Laureate, Target and Goldings hops.
2018 - Maris Otter Barley and Crystal Malt. Ernest and Olicana hops along with a classic combination of Target, Goldings, Challenger and Northdown variety.
2019 - Pale ale, New Zealand Gladfield Crystal, Chocolate malt and Target, Goldings, Northdown, Challenger and Wai.iti hops.
2020 - Double Roasted Crystal malt and Jester and Godiva hops.
2021 - Pale, Caragold and Roasted Crystal malts with Target, Endeavour, Olicana and CF 182 hops.
2022 - Pale ale, Carigold and Double Roasted Crystal malts. Target, Bramling Cross and Emperor hops.
2023 - DRC® (Double Roasted Crystal malt) with Opus, Archer, and CF185 hops
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Ratings by MadMadMike:
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Reviewed by MadMadMike from France

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2019 vint, bottle 06240.
Poured at fridge temp into a snifter.
There’s a casual head that lasts only a little while. Color is dark amber.
Smell is sweet malt, stone fruit, light caramel.
Taste is cherry-ish, sweet toffee. Hops are evident, but balance well within the overall profile. No real bitterness to be found.
Feel is light carbonation, smooth.
Overall, despite being bottle conditioned, I can’t imagine that anything else would develop by cellaring this beauty any longer. It’s packaging, presentation, look, feel and taste are spot-on right now.
Aug 12, 2022
More User Ratings:
Rated: 5 by RBorsato from Virginia

Mar 08, 2024
Rated: 4.28 by Bogdawg from Massachusetts

Feb 17, 2024
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Rated by 2beerdogs from California

4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2005 Bottle
Notes from 12/2011
Feb 01, 2024
Rated: 4.23 by Supper1

Jan 29, 2024
Rated: 3.84 by Dethark from England

Jan 16, 2024
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Rated by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
{2018 Vintage Ale}
Aug 21, 2023
Rated: 4.75 by Long813 from Canada (ON)

Aug 14, 2023
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Reviewed by elNopalero from Michigan

5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Review 3000!

Enjoyed at the end of 2022
Bottle no. 143884

Pours a wonderful caramel-burgundy with a thick layer of cocoa colored foam on top. The aroma is fantastic, with layers of stone fruit, plummy jammy raisin with hints of dark chocolate, leather, and tobacco on the end. The sip follows, creamy, with a lingering finish. Subtly sweet, with an effervescence that keeps it lively. A delightful sipper. Utterly fantastic.
Dec 30, 2022
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.66/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Had 2010 bottle that has been cellared 12 years. At last I finally got to try this one, only took coming to London itself! Pours dark brown and murky with a short lived tan cap. Nose has a sherry note to it, the wife say cognac, either way this sweeter booziness is met with caramel, oxidized apricot, date, barley, and leather. Taste adds a bevy of dark fruit, golden raisin and a kiss of fresh cut hay on the end with the old yeast. So luxuriously smooth, sneaky light, quenching, and dry with a whisper of resin. This one is special for its style. Paired wonderfully with a pub sunday roast
Sep 16, 2022
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Rated by robotic_being from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
2016 Vintage drank in 2022. Amazingly rich flavor and solid carbonation. Complex and delicious!
Jul 27, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by FadetoBock from Canada (AB)

Jul 17, 2022
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Reviewed by ChrisCage from Canada (AB)

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2021 Vintage, bottle #139563....

A- Pours a lovely orange hued dark bronze color, is semi opaque, and the head, which is about two fingers thick, shows a shade of creamy white with toffee infusion. The carbonation appears to be somewhat mellow, with only a few columns slumbering there way upward, with the lacing showing rather well and stickily. I am being painted a grouping of cave art like animals around the inside of the glass....very nice looking overall!

S- Heavy malt profile here, with plenty of caramel/toffee sweetness, dark fruit flesh, such as plum and fig richness, various citrus nuances (tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit, pomello), and a sweet alcoholic nature, of rum soaked raisins. The finish has some interesting fruity bitter hops, which would explain what I read about the experimental CF182 variety being used here....I even detect some pineapple tropical like aromas on the end!

T- Very well balanced overall, with a wonderful blend of toffee/caramel malt sweetness, rummy raisin/plum/fig richness, slight orchard fruitiness. After I get through all of this, my palate is hit once again by a second round of malt bomb....full of sweet cooked brown sugar, dark toffee, molasses, sugarcane, and dulce de leche. The finish showcases some very British flavors found in traditional pale ales.....zesty citrus peel, tropical fruitiness and dry leafy herbal tones, quenching the palate and leading me on to want more!

M/O- I,ve enjoyed aged vintages from Fullers before and this is the first time I've had one right after release....I have to say that I am impressed with the overall flavors and richness for something so "fresh". The carbonation is smooth and allows the full flavors to release onto the palate gently, while the body is somewhere in the medium-full range. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden and soft for an 8.5% brew, but I don't believe this would be something with a high drinkability is plenty in a sitting. I appreciate the usage of experimental hops and the attempt to create something unique, which I think fits the bill here.....overall this is an exceptional English style Pale Ale, and would become a great Old Ale after several years of aging!
Jun 22, 2022
Rated: 4.35 by Hawkfish from Washington

Jun 05, 2022
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Reviewed by RaulMondesi from California

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
This one isn’t hog wild - and it isn’t supposed to be. But what I feel, what it does to me is remind me of a gentle moment. A moment with her; not the one that was meant for me, but one that still gave me that night and made me feel. I’ll always remember you, baby, even if you aren’t in my trophy case.

Be well, my children.
Mar 18, 2022
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Reviewed by Alieniloquium from Florida

3.39/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
500 mL bottle. Vintage 2020. Pours murky amber. Smells of... cardboard right off the bat. Spicy hops with some berry fruitiness behind it. Deep caramel undertones. Tastes of sweet caramel with a combination of spicy and, again, berry fruity hops. Cardboard isn't as noticeable here, as it's got a pronounced hop bitterness. Still has a little bit, though. Medium heavy, fairly sweet. Not boozy, but hits hard after a few sips. I picked this up because I haven't seen one in a long time. My memory of this is fonder than the current experience.
Feb 25, 2022
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Rated by steverx8 from England

4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
2021 vintage excellent
2017 vintage
2020 Superb a cross over of a Barley Wine and a quad.
Feb 24, 2022
Rated: 4.34 by kodt from Illinois

Feb 02, 2022
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Rated by bmaslakov from Russian Federation

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Teste licorice, smoke, sweet pastry. Smells berries. Light carbonation, small head. Color is cloudy black tea.
Jan 11, 2022
Photo of Sabtos
Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Beautifully clear copper-red under a well-retaining khaki head that slowly settles to an unevenly bubbly yet flat collar.

While it may be mildly unfair for me to rate this 2010 bottle straight up, it's clearly intended for extensive aging, which I don't feel caused it much detriment anyway.

That said, it exhibits distinct characteristics of grape and prune, and as such lands well within the intended range of emulating wine. These characteristics are accented by softly light notes of pumpernickel and melba toast before exhaling floral tobacco.

The body is smoothly slick with a lightly soft carbonation that fines out into a faintly tingling, slightly numbing, semi-dry finish. Over time, that leafy, floral tobacco verges into cigar skin to delicately dry the palate out further.
Dec 21, 2021