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Fuller’s Vintage Ale 1997

 (RETIRED)
overall
99
100
style
Formerly brewed at Fuller’s
Style: English Strong Ale
London, England

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 71   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.79   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottle conditioned.
Brewed on 18th May and 22nd July 1997 this is the first in the portfolio of Vintage Ales. Dark in appearance, the taste is almost brandy like with a hint of fruitiness in the aroma.


3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
chriso (7365) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 31, 2006
Bottle #25004, shared with Joeh and DenverLogan, bought from the brewery. Showing some oxidation and vinous development but surviving well enough. Otherwise, its the usual copper colour, pruney fruit and rich malt that is the norm for Fullers Vintage. Seems that earlier vintages may have used superior ingredients so have held up better.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
radiomgb (2249) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 12, 2006
Bottle #84091. Rich copper iin colour, lasting medium sized tan head, some lace. The aroma is of caramel, earth, some light chocolate, plums and other dark fruits. The flavour is showing signs of oxidation, still has some caramel/toffee sweetness, raisins, berries and bread. Lightly bitter mouthfeel, medium body, mild carbonation. Finishes slightly sweet, lingering. Very cool to have all the Vintage Ales as part of a vertical.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Joeh (2038) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - JUL 1, 2006
Thanks to Chris_o for sharing this bottle with Denverlogan and me. Bottle #25,004. Sparkling, copper colour with a thin tan head. The nose has sweet malt and caramel and a touch of berry jam. A rich, sweet, barley wine style ale to taste with sticky malt, fruit and a touch of spice. It had generally held up well but perhaps was starting to show it’s age with some slight oxidation and hints of wet cardboard. Thoroughly enjoyable.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
TheBeerGod (5249) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 12, 2005
Bottle. Numbered 84055 (yes, the same one in the picture, as I took the picture). 1997 vintage, obviously. Murky ruby colored brown. Nose is raisins, caramel, sweet malts, light alcohol, and hints of cardboard. The aroma has most likely gone downhill as I can’t imagine it smelling like it does now when fresh. Hopefully the taste is better. Taste is dry and pretty much pure raisins in the taste. Light caramel, hints of alcohol, rum, and maybe some brown sugar. It’s pretty oxidized. Body is smooth but dry with some chalkiness and light warmth. Finishes with more raisins, dark fruits, cardboard, alcohol, and light toffee. Not bad but past it’s heyday.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
legion242 (2190) - Richardson, Texas, USA - AUG 15, 2005
Deep red color. Thick and soapy head. Big bold nose. Smooth to almost a fault. Definitely did not need 7+ years. Hops are more noticable then usual.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - AUG 3, 2005
Rich brown and amber color with a thin white head. Aromas of caramel and nuts with dried fruits., mostly plums and sweet grapes. The taste is super carame, raisens, malt and prunes. Super sweet but somehow lively enough to clense the palate. The finish though, I get some creaminess like cashew butter.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
OlivierMTL (711) - Quebec, CANADA - JUL 17, 2005
RBSG2005, Post-dégustation. Couleur brune aux reflets orangés, apparence brouillée. Absence presque totale de mousse, quelques grosses bulles savonneuses. Caramel brûlé, sucre, pommes meurtries, vanille, et butterscotch ne savent très bien cacher leur age. Étonnamment, une touche de houblon florale est toujours présente et valse avec les notes sherry témoignant de la faible oxydation. Les flaveurs de caramel, d’oxydation et d’alcool en demeurent plutôt plaisantes. Corps d’épaisseur semi mince, pleinement atténué, carbonatation faible mais toujours présente.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
egajdzis (5336) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 12, 2005
RBSG 2005 # 83857... Poured a hazy brown orange color with a small, off white head that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of spicy bananas, caramel malt, sherry, bready malts, and alcohol. Taste of caramel malt, banana nut bread, light cardboard, and a touch of alcohol. Thanks Walt!

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 19, 2005
Vinous, chocolate cocoa, grapey aroma with some maderization and light alcohol notes apparent. Opaque amber-brown with a decent and lasting cover of fine-bubbled head that leaves some slight lace. Vinous flavour has notes of green leaves, pine, grapes, marzipan, pastry dough, alcohol and plenty of sherry-like oxidation. Mild bitterness. Medium body seems somewhat tired with low carbonation. Bottle (#84041) enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, Olivier_MTL, Rastacouere and Yowie.

3.8
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
MartinT (7811) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
8-year-old bottle:

The Lure:
Maderisation genuflects in front of the hefty dark chocolate fruit and the barley-winish caramel peaches. Superb sherry alcohol notes show sagacity, light years away from senility.

The Festivities:
Mouthfeel, even though round, is more tired than the glowing aroma. Earthy yeast dominates the caramel and berries. Still, overall, a marvelous aging experiment.

Transcendence:
A awe-inspiring nocturnal visit into a cave cellar.


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