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England, United Kingdom
English Strong Ale
Ranked #2
Ranked #5,825
4.11 | pDev: 9.73%
Saturday at 11:18 PM
Sep 16, 2000
Notes: Matured for 100 days

First brewed in 1995 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Fuller, Smith & Turner, this bottle conditioned recipe is inspired by the original Fuller's brewing books. The Amber malt and Goldings hops combine to create a delicious fruitcake aroma. As this beer is bottle conditioned, we recommend it is stored upright and poured carefully.
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Ratings by krantul:
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Reviewed by krantul from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Wow! I want to second the motion in an earlier review: this is probably the best bottle-conditioned beer I've had... at least in recent memory.

Appearance: An amber bottle (yay!) prevents this beer from being lightstruck. Deep brown and fairly clear, poured a remarkably persistent head two inches thick, almost like Coca-Cola foam (okay, not an entirely appealing comparison, but it's what first sprung to mind).

Smell: Not too much nose, a bit sweet-smelling, a little whiff of yeast, nothing overwhelming.

Taste: Liquid awesome. Balance is the strength of this beer. It has all of the lovely characteristics of a good Fuller's English ale, enhanced by bottle conditioning. The flavors (sweet, malty, a little butterscotch) seriously benefit from the moderate zest of yeastiness, resulting in a tasty, interesting brew.

Mouthfeel: Natural carbonation lends a pretty distinct mouthfeel. A bit more fizz than a cask-conditioned beer would probably have, but still feels pretty smooth.

Drinkability: Eminently drinkable. Personally, I consider a smooth English bitter to be the benchmark of drinkability, and Fuller's knows something about that. Although it's a "strong" ale, the balance is considerable; there's no unpleasant flavors, no excessive yeastiness, and no overcarbonation to create any of the unpleasant tanginess that can creep in bottle-confditioned beers. The higher alcohol content had no impact on this beer's drinkability.
Jun 07, 2006
More User Ratings:
Rated: 4 by rpmello81 from California

Saturday at 11:18 PM
Rated: 3.72 by Eychung from New York

Dec 02, 2022
Photo of AzfromOz
Reviewed by AzfromOz from Australia

3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Purchased from Purvis Beer in Melbourne in March 2022, and drunk in November that year.

L: Presents a rusty, murky orange-brown in the glass with a cm-high, coffee-white head. Significant, fast-moving, yet small-bubbled, active carbonation shoots up the glass.

S: On the nose, there's brown sugar, with a sweet, freshly-mown wet lawn, toffee-like malt aroma that verges on an iced tea note. Maybe a touch of sulphur? If you've ever been on a farm near silage storage you'll know the smell.

T: Once in the mouth there's rich toffee, dark fruits and raspberry, with that sweet silage note at the end. There's a minerality/sulphorousness that lingers after the swallow, as does a touch of residual sweetness. That sweetness grows as the beer warms, and becomes the dominant note.

M: Mouthfeel is full and rich. Carbonation is minimal.

O: The toffee and dark fruit note that first appear proudly state that this beer is an English Strong Ale, but that solid start is overwhelmed by an increasingly sweet note that isn't counteracted by alcohol or carbonation. The beer eventually becomes somewhat of a chore to drink as the sweet note takes over.

Nov 27, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by Tmappin from Canada (NS)

Aug 23, 2022
Photo of James94
Reviewed by James94 from England

4.64/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
L: Light red strawberry colour, big head, good lacing, hazy after pouring sediment in
S: Marmalade, Marmite, pear, apple, orange peels, malt loaf, Christmas pudding, treacle
T: Rich malts, toast, plums, cake, treacle, Marmite, herbs, some alcohol
F: Balanced carbonation, full-bodied

O: 4.75
Jan 18, 2022
Rated: 5 by doctorgary from New York

Oct 05, 2021
Rated: 4 by paulish from New York

Oct 01, 2021
Rated: 4.59 by Daneve76 from Australia

Sep 27, 2021
Rated: 4.31 by readyforthenet from New York

Apr 22, 2021
Photo of Spike
Reviewed by Spike from England

4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
500ml bottle conditioned.
L: Clear, mahogany colour with an off-white head that collapses slowly to a generous cap, leaving arcs of lacing. Stunning.
S: Treacle and tobacco. Rich and heady.
T: Follows the nose plus molasses, dried fruit, wood smoke and a touch of citrus. Solid bitterness.
F: Mouthfeel is smooth. Finish is very dry with some hop sharpness. Alcohol is evident and warming.
O: A gorgeous English strong ale. Simpsons crystal malt is doing the hard yards, while earthy hops maintain an edge and prevent everything getting too sweet and soupy. An excellent ale for the darker months.

(Incredible value at just £1.80/bottle for this excellent ale)
Jan 29, 2021
Rated: 4.03 by pcbnumber1 from England

Jan 14, 2021
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Average size tan head atop a garnet body that leaves nice lacing. Aroma of soft fruit, bready malts and yeast. Earthy taste, some sweetness, mild nuttiness, but well balanced by fragrant, floral hops. Very smooth mouthfeel, gently carbonated, with a dry, long lasting finish. Complex, but extremely drinkable.
Dec 10, 2020
Rated: 4 by eldoctorador from Chile

Aug 28, 2020
Rated: 4 by Insomniac from Canada (ON)

Aug 13, 2020
Rated: 4.1 by smi69 from New York

May 25, 2020
Rated: 4.47 by Gooljd from England

May 21, 2020
Rated: 3.4 by stephenlee93 from England

Jan 04, 2020
Rated: 4.17 by insouciantx from New York

Jan 01, 2020
Rated: 4.28 by misteil from Ireland

Dec 29, 2019
Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
Reviewed by Hat_Fulla_Beer from Canada (AB)

4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
500ml bottle poured into tulip.

Pours a dull, hazy deep brown with a thin cap of beige head that leaves scattered bubbles on the side of the glass.

Smells of toffee pudding, honeyed bread crust, marmalade, pecan pie, sultana raisin and some soft earthy hops.

Tastes of honeyed biscuit, subdued marmalade and pecan pie sweetness, baked nuts, cold coffee, candied raisin and more faint hops.

Feels mild and British. Full bodied with gentle carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict, Highly recommended. A nice solid warmer.
Dec 14, 2019
Rated: 3.68 by desint from Belgium

Dec 03, 2019
Photo of mothmanscott
Reviewed by mothmanscott from Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From notes 4/23/12: Pours a reddish brown with a thick tan/deep beige head that leaves decent lacing as it recedes. Aroma is malty bread, caramel, figs and prunes; floral hop hint. The taste is caramel, molasses, dried fig and prune, hints of butterscotch and smoke; some bread and thin roasted nuts with earthy and floral hop hints. It finishes clean and dry. As promised it is fruitcake-like. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with medium carbonation, smooth with a dry finish. Very drinkable.
Oct 23, 2019
Photo of bmaslakov
Reviewed by bmaslakov from Russian Federation

4.53/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Bought this bottle in October last year and opened this August, which added about ten months to the initial 100 day maturing period. Poured in a glass smells honey and banana bread; tastes honey, treacle, orange jam, and tropical fruit. Rich and intense, well-rounded cognac finish and very little hoppy aftertaste. This is a bottle-conditioned beer, so it produces a generous amount of steady, white foam, and has high carbonation. An excellent beer and I can definitely recommend.
Aug 11, 2019
Rated: 3.42 by brandoneast from Texas

Aug 05, 2019
Photo of TooManyGlasses
Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Slightly aged murky reddish brown pour with cream coloured head. Smells of sweet caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar and dark fruits, hints of nutmeg, clove. Taste is malty - caramel sweetness, brown sugar, date, with spicy hop bitterness t finish. Mouthfeel is interestingly creamy with muted but present carbonation that washes across palate. Ends with nice malty bittersweetness.
Apr 13, 2019
Rated: 3.94 by Beer_Rabbit66 from England

Mar 07, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by BlueSpader from Washington

Jan 24, 2019
Photo of Poke_it_with_a_stick
Rated by Poke_it_with_a_stick from England

4.76/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
The finest beer on the planet, in my humble opinion.
Dec 22, 2018
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Rated by mwherritt from Minnesota

3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Had it a fundraiser, pleasantly surprised with the taste.
Dec 07, 2018
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
L- Very deep chestnut. Pours with 5mm white head that holds well. Clear as a bell. Note carefully this is bottle-conditioned, so store upright and pour carefully.
S- Toasted grains is prominent.
T- Mmmm roasty, coffee, toasty, malty richness, puddingy, lovely!
F- It feels like a 6.3% should, it has a solid presence. Actually in a blind-test I might guess this as around 8.0% it has a slight bitter tang on the tongue that might be mimicking a higher ABV%. It's superbly balanced. To me this is squarely in the realm of what a 'winter warmer' should be. Would be perfect to enjoy with an Xmas meal.
O- Absolutely superb. The Smell was rather underwhelming to me but I do have some congestion. Wow, what a gem. I have to keep re-checking the lable after a gulp to re-confirm that this IS only 6.3%. One to sup slowly and savour.
Ale fans need to do themselves a favour and try and seek this brew out. It's my 260th rating and I hope this ends up scoring in my top 10% brews ever (and that includes having lived in Germany for 3 years, and enjoying 100+ brews there...)

Unfortunately I don't recall where I bought this, as it's a real gem, and a bargain at at £1.80/500ml.

edit/ps. I bought it from Waitrose, and have since built up a stock of 50 bottles to see me through 2019, as a weekly treat. They currently have it on a special offer across the Fullers range of bottled beers at '4 for £6'; runs through end of Dec-18. I find that irresistible for a beer of this quality, so I've focused solely on buying this one. Even at full price of £1.80/500ml I'll continue to buy it if my current stock ever runs out...
Nov 17, 2018
Rated: 3 by jeschaefer from Texas

Sep 30, 2018
Rated: 4 by Momon from Philippines

Sep 06, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by Darthmaul from Florida

Jul 01, 2018
Rated: 3.9 by jhart96 from England

Jun 28, 2018
Rated: 4.33 by DownyIsHungry from Minnesota

Jun 25, 2018
Rated: 4.5 by sraufstok from Slovenia

Jun 21, 2018
Rated: 3.73 by mdaschaf from Indiana

Jun 13, 2018
Photo of gutbucket2
Reviewed by gutbucket2 from England

4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
500ml, bottle-conditioned. Pours copper with thick, lasting head. Aroma berries, spicy hop. Taste syrupy, alcohol, goldings hops. Aftertaste: caramel. Overall: worthy strong beer with strong flavour and alcohol warming.
May 04, 2018
Photo of monkist
Reviewed by monkist from Hungary

4.69/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Brewed to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Fullers, this is a special brew indeed. Matured for 100 days, bottle conditioned.
Hard to sum it all up in words: there is a remarkable (hop) bitterness to it along with caramellized malts that give it a round body and somehow in the end you are left with a slightly sour aftertaste. It is a little similar to the Hobgoblin but much more refined and its taste is much more pleasant and round malty.
I love Fullers and I am glad for this special brew, although I just had one of their Past Masters yesterday and that was unbeatable indeed. This is great too, but that was truly exceptional. What should I say, Fullers is the best brewery in the UK, maybe in the whole Europe. Congratulations to their 150th anniversary!
Mar 10, 2018
1845 from Fuller's
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1169 ratings