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 EinWeizenbitte
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of MatthewWilde
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample: 2 bottles of vintage 1999

A: Beautiful ruby red (a bit garnet-like) with surprisingly very active internal carbonation

S: Dried fruits, aged port, wine

T: Not sure if the bottles I acquired was improperly stored but I was not as impressed as I thought I'd be. Flavor seemed dull to me and was gone almost as quickly as it appeared. Seemed muted but did improve with drinking.

M: Very easy to drink with almost no alcohol taste whatsoever. After taste was clean and encouraged further sips (of course, I obliged).

O: I definitely need to try a different sample to gain a better appreciation but certainly a delicious ale.

 633 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Jason, 2006 vintage. 500ml into a tulip. Bottle no. 62451.

Chestnut brown in colour, lightly murky with a cream coloured head. Light retention and lacing. Nose is incredibly malty and complex, dark fruits of fig and date leanings, brown sugar and leather. Taste has more of the same, and the malts are similarly if not more complex in design. Brown sugar, leather, light butterscotch and fruits similar to the nose. A touch of alcohol and light acidity in the finish. Medium full mouthfeel, smooth and subdued carbonation. This has matured (or held up) well for 6 years.

 589 characters

Photo of Relik
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mavbrew
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of MrVonzipper
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of imbibehour
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2011, poured into my large Dogfish Head snifter glass. No. 116458.

A real cream white colored head, with some creamy even appearance, sitting on a gorgeous red crystal hued body of copper sheen and bronze edges. Absolutely gorgeous looking body color here, while leaving a faint puck, and always a solid colar while drinking.

Nose seems kind of small. It comes across as a muted English barleywine. Mild sweet clove and nutmeg spice with a hint of barleywine style heat.

Taste is, not really doing it for me. Flattened milk chocolate sense primarily, giving to a hint of silky richness but not playful in the palate. Kind of sharp carbonation but not fizzy.

Overall, you know this really is not grabbing me, needs to age more? It's not a boozy mess, but it's really just not impressing me. Don't get this beers angle at all even for an old ale, it's not even particularly malty.

NOTE: The next day I woke up and spent the following weekend sick with the flu. I think my senses started to get compromised, perhaps evaluating this brew. I think trying this again in the future is in the cards.

 1,104 characters

Photo of inrodwetrust
1/5  rDev -76.1%

Photo of hoserking
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of w00ddy
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured in a chalice.

2011 Vintage. Bottle #079190.

A: Pours a beautiful deep amber color with a medium and creamy yellow head. Good retention and some nice lacings left. Nice bottle and appearance. Very "elegant" beer

S: Very nice malty aroma followed by sweet caramel, honey, hints of dark fruits. End is citric, earthy and grassy by the hops

T: Strong on caramel malts and toffee. Dark fruits and candy sugar. Sweet upfront but not overwhelming. English yeasts. Finish brings a moderate citrus hoppy bitterness, which is deliciously grassy and earthy too. It warms a bit due to the alcohol level

M: Medium body and smooth carbonation. Creamy and bit molasses feel with a nice mild bitter finish

O: An English classic. Very drinkable and enjoyable beer

 772 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, best by 2009, consumed 8th Feb 2012. I picked this up, back in the day, at Norm's in VA. Bottle #80721.

Served in a Thomas Hardy's snifter, this beer is a clear, ruby red with a dense, light brown head that falls off to a ring leaving little lace. The nose is rich and complex with a nice blend of toffee, nougat, butterscotch, a little bit of sherry and some caramel. Oxidation has definitely started to set in here, with the sherry and the raisin quite prominent. Some honey, mildly floral, is also present. A whisper of cocoa rounds out the nose. Pretty excellent IMO.

Good lord is this tasty. Rich and quite decadent with a blend of raisins, plums, toffee, burnt sugar and a little nougat, this is quite exceptional. Apparently, this vintage was 100% Optic malt (never heard of it), and this pale malt, coupled with a long boil, has picked up a lot of character. Fruity and ripe with even a bit of bright fruits (pineapple and citrus) to go with the dark fruit (raisins, plums), this is pretty good. Brown sugar on the mid-palate, with dark honey, and again, the burnt sugar. Mildly bitter on the finish (grainy, mostly), this beer is medium in body, and moderately carbonated really really good. Lingering fruit and toffee are present on the finish, along with just a little bitterness, this is like a good, rummy fruitcake. I wish I bought more of this, I can see a decade doing wonders for this.

 1,418 characters

Photo of Kahlerbock
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of TubbyDullard
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Photo of Rlombardi75
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of BarryNL
4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2000, bottle 70836, opened 1/2/12

A: Deep reddish brown, with initially a large white head which fairly quickly reduced to a thin, lasting layer. Quite cloudy despite being allowed to stand for a week after receiving this beer from the Fullers web shop. I don't really mind cloudy beers (being a homebrewer), but the appearance was perhaps the weak point of this beer.

S: A rich aroma of dark base malt, earthyness, slight sour notes, honey, caramel. Certainly the complexity you'd expect from a beer with 12 years of bottle aging under its belt.

T: Deserves the maximum score for the sheer complexity of the taste - the sort of flavours that only a significant aging can really impart to a beer. Lots of malty sweetness - all the toffee and caramel you'd expect. After a while the sherry and port wine notes hit you, as do earthy yeast flavours. Little in the way of biscuit or toast, but bitterness comes through later and lasts longest. Alcohol sweetness is well balanced in the overall taste of the beer.

M: Smooth and velvety - perhaps a little over carbonated, but that's probably fairly common in a beer aged for so long.

Overall, a real treat - at around £7.50 a bottle it's not something I'll be drinking regularly, but everyone should be trying a few beers like this. The real difference is the sheer complexity of the taste which can really only be achieved with aging. I had a bottle of the 2012 vintage a few days ago and the difference was stark - the new release is certainly nice enough, but very one dimensional compared to its much older brother.

 1,579 characters

Photo of groetman
3/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of brendaniel
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of projectflam86
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. 16.9oz bottle poured into my Fullers pint glass.

A- Pours a amber orange color with a thin white head that leaves surprisingly nice lacing.

S- Light noble hop aroma with some earth and spice coming through. A very nice malty aroma is present as well.

T- Big caramel malt flavor initially with waves of dark fruits and toffee. A snappy bitterness throughout with a slight warming alcohol burn. Fruity esters coming through from the English yeast and a very well balanced finish.

M- Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Creamy feel with a nice finish.

O- A very solid brew with all of the English ale characteristics that I enjoy.

 659 characters

Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%

Photo of poppyjohn
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of JGuill
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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