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Fullerís Vintage Ale 1998

Formerly brewed at Fullerís
Style: English Strong Ale
London, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 95   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.88/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
Bottle Conditioned.
The second in the series, this Vintage Ale was based on a Champion theme with the addition of Champion Alexis malt and Champion Northdown aroma hops. The result is a sweet, warming, creamy ale that is beautifully balanced.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
The Cheeseman brings the noise with another Fullers Vintage. Cloudy copper color with a thin blanket of white head. Sweet candy corn aroma, sweet malts. Mild malt taste, sweet middle and dry finish. Rich and tasty, but really starts to knock on the door of cloying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
TheCheeseman strikes again! Pours a dark amber, with a smallish off white head. Smells of apples, caramel malts, and some bready yeast. Still sharp in the nose. Good sign. The flavor had soft carbonation as expected with its age, still pretty sweet. The caramel and dark fruits made up most of the flavor characters, and it had a great smoothness to it that helped drink nice and easy. This has held up well, not surprising coming from a great English brewery. Thanks for sharing this rare brew Dan!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
xmarcnolanx (929) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - JAN 14, 2008
Aroma is big bright fruit and sherry. Sweet and sugary with ripe, full fruit. Taste is oxidized, full sweet fruitiness with loads of sweet caramelized malt. I can hardly describe how yummy this is. Actually, this reminds me a lot of the Yona Barleywine. I get touches of heat, some hoppy bitterness. This is rich, deep and complex. Lots of crisp hop and fruit. Very, very good. This has aged gracefully and could go on for a few more years, but not too many more. This is cloyingly sweet, dense red fruit, cloying caramelized malt, and slight hop bite. I really like this beer a lot.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Ratman197 (13426) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - DEC 23, 2007
Bottle @ the Falling Rock poured a clear reddish copper with a small lingering amber head. Aromas of honey, carmel, toffee, spice, light orange and a hint of vinous notes. Palate was medium bodied, smooth and slightly warming. Flavors of carmel, honey, light orange, light spice and light toffee with a smooth warming bittersweet finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
muzzlehatch (4831) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 25, 2007
500 ml bottle (#31697) obtained in trade with Footbalm (Jan 2007) served at cellar temperature from a Corsendonk glass, with pepperoni, smoked mozzarella, and raisins....forms a decent bit of head after an audible pop when the cap is removed, light spidery lacing atop the murkey copper-brass body....caramel-sherry aroma is certainly qutie oxidized but enough interesting earthy hints still exist for some interest....the body is quite sweet, thick and almost syrupy, with caramel and molasses bits, some vanilla and baked fruits as expected, really quite lovely and surprisingly pleasurable to drink, just enough vaguely sour and dry earth-tones to keep it from being overbearingly sweet....amazingly full and well-carbonated for a 9-year-old, while this is probably a bit past prime it still confirms to me that Fullers know what theyíre doing with this series. Nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Theis (15152) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - OCT 10, 2007
Bottle # 6843 at Akkurat - Thanks to Patrick for the taste. Cloudy red/brown - offwhite head. Flowery, dusty, honey, mint, berries, licorice, light light hoppy, sweetness/sourness/bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TBone (16197) - Pori, FINLAND - OCT 7, 2007
Bottled #6843@Akkurat
Ruby red color, steady beige head. Light nose with plums, "Fullers licorice" and nuts. Much less intensive than 1997 vintage (which was sampled just before this). Sweetness, licorice, some late hoppyness. Nice rounded, liquerish mouthfeel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
fro2218 (471) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 3, 2007
Sampled in 2006. Dark red in color. Plums and sweet maltyness. Fairly oxidised. A little metallic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
oh6gdx (25472) - Vasa, FINLAND - OCT 2, 2007
Bottled@Akkurat, Stockholm. Deep ruby red colour, mediumsized beige head. Aroma is vanilla, caramel malts, some hops and wood. Flavour is plum, sraisins, alcohol with some vanillaish notes in the background. Flavour is much more plum, alcohol and wooden than the 97 vintage.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (5858) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 24, 2007
Bottle shared at BCTC on Saturday night, 7/21/07
Another fine appearance, Iím tempted to give it a 5, and probably should. Maybe I will come back and change that. Iíll have to have it again. Whatís in an appearance score, anyways? Medium-sized light light beige head fades to strong cover with ample lacing. Clear, copper-garnet color, still plentiful carbonation.
Ahh, much better than the 97, with less massive sweetness and more complexity. Seems like itís closer to the 1999, though it dosent have the ester profile and light tartness of that one. This one seems more toasted and woody, with some earthy, almost scratchy malts that carve out a path for the sweet, residual sugars to slide delicately down the back of the throat. Or not so delicately, actually, as they are in quite high number by the end of the glass. But the somewhat papery oxidation notes, which were surprisingly more prevalent here than in the 97, and earthy, yeast notes give some balance, if somewhat blandly.
More straightforward cherry, date, peach and vanilla without the spiciness of the hops that you can find when these are still young. Itís been so long since Iíve had the 99, Iíll have to revisit and see if itís as good as I remember, because I dont remember it being this sweet and, rather, simple. Still, a delightful after-dinner cordial (almost) and like Glouglouburp says, somewhat of a barleywine. Regardless, you canít deny this stuff is incredibly well-malted. Iíd like to see a stronger yeast signature out of it, but then, even Fullersí well-attenuated, fresh cask ales do not have much house character. The woodiness and toastiness is nice though. Thanks to Ebay for the bottles (which I got a LONG time ago).

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