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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,276 |  Reviews: 674
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of kelvarnsen
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of bigox420
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage. Bottle 40890/50000

A: clear, rosy-copper color, clear, nice creamy head, great lacing
S: full nose, sweeter malted barley, slight oxidation, a bit of EtOH
T: full-bodied beer, strong deep roasted malt up front with pronounced bitter finish, slightly cloying up front but quickly overpowered by hops, no oxidation
M: creamy, rounded, very drinkable

 362 characters

Photo of skibum69
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 no 086705

I like the rich red gold colour, with a nice head that burned off quickly leaving traces of lace behind

immediate cherry note in the smell that tapers off to a bit of bread dough and something else I can't find a word for

the cherry carried through in the taste with a malty sweetness and maybe a hint of alcohol near the end

nice smooth mouth feel with medium body

I bought a few to put down and see how they develop.

 438 characters

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

2011 edition, bottle #003432/150000 (!). I always like to review these fresh, then aged.

Pours a lovely and clear copper-amber-ruby colour with a large and loose tan head that burns off quickly, leaving almost no lace and getting retained as a sudsy collar.

Smells like a melange of dark fruits; raisins, plums and cherries. Earthy grains, heavy bread and peas also come through.

The taste is very fruity with a hearty caramel and biscuit body. Wet wood, wild grains. The finish carries a strong bitterness.

The ale is full-bodied with almost no carbonation after the head burns off. The alcohol really makes itself known in the aftertaste.

I can't wait to try this in a few years, I like it more than the 2010 edition and expect the wood and fruit character to really shine.

 781 characters

Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of GilGarp
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. Bottle No. 119859.

Served slightly chilled from cellar temp into a goblet. Upon carefully opening the bottle, it immediately overflows in a foamy volcano.

Appearance is a deep golden red color with good clarity. The head settles very quickly with no lacing. All of this seems pretty typical for the style.

Aroma is sweet and boozy, full of dried fruits, tobacco, and musk.

Flavor is really enjoyable. It's deep, rich, and complex. Somewhere between a red wine and a brandy, it has elements of both. Oak-derived vanilla, tannins, and dark vine fruit. It is perfectly made for slow sipping and enjoying the nuances that unfold.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, low in carbonation but alive on the tongue. Well balanced with a variety of flavors contributing to its profile.

Overall a really excellent beer. With 3 years on it, I think it's drinking very nicely. I would love to have another bottle with a little more age on it to see how it changes.

 961 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Caterwaul
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of KAP1356
3.72/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of my review catch up. 2010 bottle (didn't note the bottle number) poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Poured a completely clear amber-red color that produced a one finger off white head that recedes to a cap of the same color. Not very inviting and poured a little thin.

S - The nose is nice. There are caramel, rum soaked fruits like raisins and dates, dark fruits. Some slight spice comes out as well.

T - Rum soaked raisins, caramel and some bready malts come out right away. Dark fruits like figs and dates come out as well. Nice flavors here.

M - Body was quire thin for my liking. It was almost watery and detracted a bit in my enjoyment of this beer. Mild carbonation.

O - First time having this beer and it was nice, although the mouthfeel was a bit off to me. Might pick some up and age them for a bit to see what happens.

 846 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Edition, Bottle #085765

Fuller's Vintage Ale pours a beautiful amber color w/ an orange hue to the brew. A very nice one finger off white head as well, which quickly disappears to a sliver. Fairly clear, and I'm able to see through it w/o a problem. The smell is of caramel, toffee, dark fruit- w/ a sweet character to it. Taste follows the same profile, and comes very close to getting bumped up to the next score. This is a delicious beer. Feel is fantastic, very light, smooth, and composed- with a million different things happening inside your palate. Overall, this is a definite buy if you see it. I imagine it would age well- I may pick up another and try and cellar it. Cheers!

 691 characters

Photo of danieelol
3.85/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 Vintage

Pours an amber gold with decent head and lacing. Head retention is decent; not spectacular.

Smell is a lot of honeycomb, reminiscent of Golden Pride; but somehow it's better rounded. Breadiness, honeycomb; and concrete, carob, rye. A nice rich toffee and alcohol smell. There's dark fruits in there but they are still deadened a bit by the blunt honeycomb and concrete (and blue cheese; lots of blue cheese). Smells a bit like the potato crust on an old school processed shepherd's pie (so not that amazing).

Taste is honeycomb and breadiness. Very malty with a bit of alcohol burn and hop bitterness to finish.

Mouthfeel is moderately thick with lowish carb.

Yes, it's good; but it's really no better than Golden Pride and it manages to cost twice as much.

 775 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Rempo
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of Nightrain87
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of codynevels
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of crnipeter
3.67/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Amber body is slightly hazed – not surprisingly knowing that the beer has been dry hopped and bottle conditioned – with up to an inch thick light tan cap that sets at medium pace until completely dissipates.
The nose reveals complex caramel-like malty sweetness and esters of dried fruits reminiscent of raisins, and woody, earthy , minerally and slightly citrusy hop-aroma while alcohol and aging contribute sherry notes.
The beer is quite lively and more attenuated and dry on the palate than expected from the aroma. The flavor is slightly tart as if there was Brettanomyces presence and it seems that aging has not significantly affected the hops as the balance is sufficiently bitter; the finish is dry with woodsy aftertaste and alcohol remains well hidden all the time.

Overall: an Old Ale with rich aroma of complex maltiness, esters and various hops, and hop-dominated flavor. (Bottle No 54920, into tulip)

 935 characters

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of nanobrew
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.