Fuller's Vintage Ale | Fuller Smith & Turner PLC

1,279 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: 1,279 |  Reviews: 675
Photo of carlbrew
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of archi348
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of lillieja
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of Googs
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Etan
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 2011 vintage (#104959), into a snifter.

A: Pours a blonde-tinged orange with a pillow off-white head.

S: Light grape juice, slightly spicy esters, apricot in the nose. Sweet but dry enough.

T: Crisp dried peach and fig, green grapes, A touch of alcohol, some pleasantly bright grain. Sweet but pretty well-attenuated.

M: Medium-bodied with high carbonation.

O: I love that crisp, dry attenuation character you get with some English old ales. The mouthfeel isn't perfect, but besides that this is really nice.

 527 characters

Photo of Valleyview06
4.46/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage
Bottle 62080
Found at Georgetown Beverage - Wilkes Barre, Pa

Poured in a New Belgium Globe

Dull brown at the bottom leading way to a beautiful blend of dark orange colors on the way up. Head appears off-white in center, toasted marshmallow around the sides.

This is my second time drinking a bottle from 2000 and both bottles needed to breathe for 10 minutes, initial smell was not appealing but given time lends to an inviting yeast/malt aroma before drinking. Doesn't scream "drink me", but you forget about that after the first sip.

This is my favorite English Ale (Old Ale/Strong Ale). That being said I have not opened my Curmudgeons Better Half yet either. The sweet caramel, toasty malts and tongue rolling viscosity take this above all other ales. Almost tastes like a lighter Barleywine mixed with a Quad - in a very good way.

Slides down the throat with a little more than a medium alcohol vapor which stays in the mouth, but also keeps the great flavors lingering. Very creamy and sweet.

Not sure how readily available around the US, but easily accessible in Pa/New Jersey. Bottle prices range from 8.99 to 14.99. Have had every year except 1997, which I will open and review 11/3, have been waiting a while to do so. Seek this brew, from what I have tasted if properly stored it doesn't matter what year you find.

 1,346 characters

Photo of Danielbt
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of ACY73
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of maynard713
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of TGS
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(this was a 2008 bottle - notes from a tasting last month)

A deep amber/rosy and very cloudy ale. The head started sizzling and fizzling immediately, somehow leaving a short, foamy, off-white cap atop which I can only guess can be attributed to much (late) hopping. Are we looking at an infection, hmm?

Smells great, though. Toasty, graham-cracker, vinous (more sherry or cherry) and kind of leathery. Definitely richly malty. Floral alcohol aromatics - mild, highlighting. More so as it warms up indications of infection come through. Sour-spicy marginally reminiscent of Brett, but more like mold. Something's not right.

The flavor is slightly more complex with this funk. But not too bad. Oxidized caramel, raisin - generally damn malty. Quite estery as well, with a slight funky tang in the finish. Says "old ale" to me. No hops, no bitter to speak of. No funk and it scores higher. Still drinkable enough.

The light burn and prickly sensation with each sip was distracting (is that an appropriate word here?). Little bit of a "numbness" left on the tongue. Its pleasantly med-full, almost syrupy body comes to the rescue, sparing my floor a sticky, back-washed mess.

It was certainly drinkable, but I'm finding it funny how many bottle-conditioned, higher-gravity UK (strong, old) ales that I get are straight-up infected. The majority so far. Leaves me to wonder why they are even sent over here if the brewery and/or the distributors and retail outlets can't or won't handle them properly.

 1,501 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of t0rin0
2.75/5  rDev -34.1%

Photo of Molnar
3/5  rDev -28.1%

Photo of gafferjohn
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Molson2000
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of hardy008
3.52/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2011 Vintage. Pours a clear amber color with a 2 finger beige head with decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has caramel, apples, pears, grapes, and spices.

Tastes sweet with grapes, caramel, apples, pears, brown sugar, and alcohol. There is some hop bitterness to provide balance as well. I wish the alcohol was disguised, but still good.

Light to medium bodied with average carbonation and a booze aftertaste. A nice beer, but I would have scored it higher if the alcohol was less prominent.

 504 characters

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of thegrifter
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of beerpadawan
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of korguy123
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage enjoyed 08/26/2012
Bottle 009168
500ml bottle into tumbler.

Slight hazy burnt copper pour, two finger, soapy egg shell head. Lacing is excellent.

Sweet biscuits, dried apricots, orange marmalade, vanilla, brown sugar and slight alcohol.

Brown sugar, vanilla, digestive cookies, orange marmalade, slight maple syrup. With a quick bitter finish.

Medium bodied, sticky on the lips slightly syrupy.

 411 characters

Photo of Steinberger
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Fuller's Vintage Ale from Fuller Smith & Turner PLC
4.17 out of 5 based on 1,279 ratings.
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