Fuller's Vintage Ale | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

1,276 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: 1,276 |  Reviews: 674
Photo of TempeBeerMan
4.92/5  rDev +18%
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 -16.1%

Photo of DCgolfpro
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of csustar001
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of TMoney2591
2.4/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a Sweetwater mini-snifter.

2007 vintage. I've long eyed this boxed bottle, and now I finally get to try some of the innards. It pours a lightly-brackish sunset amber topped by a minor bit of khaki foam. The nose comprises red apple skin, sweet caramel, and perfume-y flowers. The taste is an unpleasant melange of honey, cerumen and light biscuit. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, I'm not sure if the age somehow got to this one early or something, but either way it did not sit well with my tongue. It actually hurt a little to drink at times...

 629 characters

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage #78615
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Fullers snifter glass.

Pours a thick looking brown colour, with great lacing and a decent head though almost zero carbonation after a while.

Smell is mostly booze - rum like, and with caramel like malts and dark rich fruits.

Taste reflects the smell, very smooth and flavourful.

Overall an excellent drink, to be enjoyed more like a whiskey or port.

 412 characters

Photo of triskadekaphobia
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle @ home (and it was a freebie from a beer-tasting at a local bar). I suppose I should have waited another year or two - but I’m not very good at pleasure postponed. Besides, if in two years time I found out I liked this, I’d be kicking myself for having waited so long to enjoy it.

Pours dark, red-amber. slightly hazy but not cloudy. Malty, caramel flavours, and a sherry-like after taste. Good full-bodied mouth feel. I’d liked it a lot. (didn’t keep the bottle number, I’m afraid)

 501 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of cwd
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of GreyGhost4
3.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of leinie13
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of mullenite
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of cliff1066
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of KalanM
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Bix
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kbuzz
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: bottling and boxing are exemplars of class. Deep amber beer, patiently center-poured crystal clear into a tulip, producing a firm two-fingers of tan foam. Lace and motes modestly follow.

S: cologne and earthy malt, peat and booze; the liquor cabinet; an old bar that stays open late

T: served at what must have been the perfect temperature for a strong English ale: not at all cold, yet cooler than the room - maybe 55-60 F? Tastes sweet, rich, of medicinal barley, like chewy caramel lacquer or polish - it almosts sounds bad, but it is in fact, perfect. Drying bitter finish over the linger of sweet malt and bitter-mellow hop.

M: soap-smooth, running sweet to dry, a caress of spirit across the palate; slightest points of stickiness on the lips. Smoothest in finish, as if it were not there but for the vapor in the nose and slight-sweet coat on the tongue.

O: effortless drinking. Fantastic, world-class, confetti shot into the sky, balloons released, doves, what-have-you - really a classy drink. Like a fine whiskey, from box to glass, this is something to treasure.

Vintages sampled:

 1,114 characters

Photo of Dwtucker90
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of enelson
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007# 103559.

I've been saving this for a few years: tonight is the night!

Poured slowly into my 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard.

Nice looking brownbody with a red hue: on top a full, deep head of off-white foam.

Port like in aroma and intial taste: a rich fruit cake infused with Port and Vanilla. This is so good it frightens me. I only have this one bottle: nothing like any other British brewed beer I've had for many a year.

The flavours just keep coming and as the beer warms in the glass the aromasand taste change a little: Sherry replaces the Port, the Vanilla takes on a dark chocolate hint and caramel easters begin to appear. This is sweet and I like it.

Really, really inpressed. I hope my 2011 version is as good when I open that.

 744 characters

Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,276 ratings.
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