Fuller's Vintage Ale | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

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Fuller's Vintage AleFuller's Vintage Ale
1,296 Ratings
Fuller's Vintage AleFuller's Vintage Ale

Brewed by:
Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
England, United Kingdom

Style: 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%.

Added by Murph on 02-20-2002

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Ratings: 1,296 |  Reviews: 683
Photo of vinicole
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


1999 drunk in May 2015.
Over poured and allowed some yeast that I did not want.
Rich aroma of fruit cake, glace cherry and caramel.
Smooth as smooth can be. A multiplicity of flavours. A very slight sour note like all really good old ales.
I've now tried 2010,2011,2012,2013 and 2014 and this one from 1999 is the best. I have a 2000 to try now.

 354 characters

Photo of Beerandboards
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into a large wine glass

A - looks like dark murky apple cider. About 1.5 inches of thick white foam. Lots of lacing.

S - best description I could give it is apple sauce with some cinnamon. Some mustiness in the background.

T - ripe apples, sweet with some bitterness on the edges. It's actually really nice, but I guess I was expecting too much, given that my comparison to this is JW Lees harvest. It feels like there is a little bit of an element missing from the middle, some backbone, thats keeping it from being great, but nonetheless, refined and tasty.

M - medium thickness, low carb.

O - I wonder what my thoughts would have been had I not had a 2000 JW Lees first. They are different beers for sure, but they occupy a similar category in my mind. This is a very nice beer, but just missing a few key elements. Still, very enjoyable.

 867 characters

Photo of jtdolla911
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Dope
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh 2012 bottle.

A: Pours a clear medium amber. Good sized fluffy and very fizzy tan head which fades away somewhat quickly. Decent head retention but almost zero lacing. Tiniest dots here and there.

S: Big caramel and raisins. Nice honey. Quite sweet. Surprisingly a little boozy too.

T: Again, sweet but not as much as the nose would indicate. There is some caramel and honey up front but then a big toasty and nutty wave shows up in the middle. Actually becomes the prominent flavor in the beer overall. Almost reminds me of a brown ale except this is much sweeter with lots of caramel and honey. Finish is a drier dark fruit flavor with some herbal hops with a touch of honey. Surprisingly decent hop bitterness. Lingering toast and herbs in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Kinda sticky sweet at first but ends on a drying note.

O: Interesting old ale. Lots of toastiness and nuttiness. Prominent typical english hops. Sweet and fairly complex. Feels more like an english strong ale than an olde ale to me. I will have to compare this to an aged version sometime. Tasty.

 1,084 characters

Photo of GoHabsGo
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of peensteen
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle

Murky brownish-red colour, cap of white head, not much in the way of lace. Nose is of sweet caramel and toffee, malty with lots of fruit, cherry, fig and raisin, bit of sugary sweetness and a bit of nutty/almond as well. Taste is of sweet malt and darker sugars, quite vibrant fruit, cherry, plum, fig, caramel like sweetness, lightly bitter hop, fruity finish. Lightly carbonated, full body. Nicely complex and enjoyable, really held up quite nicely, fantastic stuff here.

 486 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of guytyping
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of mttaylor1066
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If you wonder what a master British brewer might do if he(she) could create a Belgian-style ale... this is it. Perhaps this is what old ale was... or should have been. (No wonder our ancestors were drunk all the time. )

The 2012 version, bottle #109350.

I'll forego all the particular details, but suffice to say, this is an ale you need to try. Deliciously balanced between hop bitterness and a figgy backbone of malt. Incredibly luxurious on the tongue and an ale you want to savor for hours. Gets better as it warms in the glass.

Buy some. You will not regret it.

 569 characters

Photo of Chevelle66
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of Digimaika2
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage Ale 2012.

(4.25) A: An attractive slightly hazy burnt copper with a thick and creamy foam head. Long lasting retention and spotty lacing.

(4.25) S: Raisins, toffee, almonds, juicy orange, banana bread, floral qualities, and winter spices. Very smooth with aromas well integrated. Quite a variety of different fruits that can be picked out.

(3.75) T: Raisins, floral elements, banana, orange, spices, nutty qualities, and a rich toffee malt backbone. Definitely a bit of boozy warmth to this. The overall taste indicates that hops and malt are both in large quantities, although some of the hoppier tastes coming through seem a little lost at this fresher age.

(4.0) M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Syrupy texture with quite a bitter and dry mouthfeel.

(4.0) D: I’d like to pick up another and sit on it for a year or two and really give the taste time to develop further. Nonetheless, still a treat to drink in it’s fresher current state.

 964 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of KireeriK
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of BeerLover99
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintages 2010, 2009, 2006, 2004. Pretty similar, just gets more smooth with age. Amber color, beige head. Aroma has dried fruits like figs and raisins. Taste follows with the dried fruits, dark malt and a bit of earthy bitterness on the finish. Medium body and carbonation.

 274 characters

Photo of Ivanhoes_Backpack
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of phishbone23
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of uno99
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty fresh 2012 bottle here. I dont think I've ever had this before, but I intend on starting a vertical.

Appearance: Not sure I've seen this color in a beer before. Almost a rose tint to it. Quite clear and sparkling. Whatever head was brought about during the pour quickly fades away. Some lacing.

Smell: A somewhat expected malt bomb here. Really nice, sweet, oak, raisin, plum and prune. Some almond, rosepetal, and apple.

Taste: quite drinkable but not without its character. Made balanced with some hop bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick as you might expect, fairly high carbonation keeps it a float and ensures that a long stored bottle still has some bite.

Overall: Not brilliant but looking forward to a 10 year vertical.

 748 characters

Photo of nasty15108
4.99/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 1pt .9oz bottle (2006 / #75323) into a stemless red wine glass.

A - Poured a cloudy brown with ruby red edges and a slightly soapy head.

S - Heavy malt character with hints of dark ripe fruit and butterscotch.

T - Malty biscuit flavor with hints of butterscotch. Alcohol comes through in the end but doesn't over power.

MF - probably one of the best beer I have ever tasted. All beers should taste like this one! An absolute classic!

 451 characters

Photo of ant880
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.92/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage. Bottle # 113086. Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a murky ruby-brown with a just over a one-finger fluffy off-white head. Yup, not "cloudy"...murky. Has some lacing, but it and the head fades to nothing as the beer warms.

S - Wow. Strong aroma of toffee, butterscotch, dark fruits, earthy hops, and spicy booze. One of the best beers I have ever had the pleasure of smelling. I just kept smelling it before each sip.

T - Describing the incredibly complex and delicious mix of flavors presented here is challenging, but I will give it a go. Rich, hearty flavors of toffee, fig, butterscotch, fig, date, raisin, maple, caramel, overripe currants, cherry pipe tobacco, mint, anise, and clean grain alcohol. Musty leafy and funky hops carry the finish and offer a deliciously offsetting taste. A hint of non-metallic mineral (gypsum?) in the aftertaste. Delicious.

M - Full bodied, with low carbonation. Smooth, but abv also prickles the tongue a little. Just a hint of syrupyness as it warms. Suits the style extremely well.

O - One of the best beers I have ever had. Simply superb. Love the richness and complexity of the flavors. The fact that there is a store near me that has six more dusty boxes of this fills me with glee, and I will be restocking!

 1,274 characters

Photo of Hultkrantz
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of DCgolfpro
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of csustar001
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 1,296 ratings
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