lowner (19) - astoria, New York, USA - DEC 6, 2002
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Just bought 3 bottles of Vintage 98. Trust me I am not an easy reviewer....itís just this beer ages sooooo well.Iíve drank one and must say that it is absolutely exquisitie. The malt profile has the magic flavor that only a strong ale that has aged well attains. Its exactly like those times when you drink a an aged wine that is so perfect when it hits your mouth something chemically happens that it implores you to take another sip. Beautiful beer and a definitional beer to age.
Nuffield (3348) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Bottle No: 19570, drunk 28 October 2002 to celebrate the birth of my second child (and first boy). Happy Birthday Aidan John Edward Schmidt! This was a fabulous beer--better than my recollection of the famed 1999 vintage. Pours with the kind of head that I generally donít like--a little bit loosely constructed and quick to diminish. Enchanting aroma, with raisins, caramel, and woody notes, with some slightly fresher fruitiness anticipated in a hint of grape. The flavor is the great unifier: something to put an end to squabbles over "hops vs. malts"--malts are obviously apparent, but the fuggles(?) come out clearly and cleanly. Sweet aftertaste, but firmly in balance. I just canít wait to take my next creamy, full-bodied mouthful and as a result Iím drinking it too fast! My warning to slow down is the alcohol which keeps rising through. It is a warmingly alcoholic flavor, however, quite unlike the ugliness found in some alcoholic flavors. There are complexities all over the place to take oneís mind off the alcohol, including the sense that there are some autumnal fruits in here (grapes, and black currants) not to mention the caramel, like some strange concoction (caramel-dipped currants soaked in port wine) that you might find on offer at a century-old fall festival in some out-of-the-way New England town. It all works so well. Iím over the moon about this beer and my son. A toast, to Aidan!
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - AUG 16, 2002
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle#38344.Aroma of sweet malt and alcohol. A little caramel in there also.First sip brings a huge creamy mouthfeel. Malt is dominant with just enough hops to balance. Sweet aftertaste.Alcohol is very evident for an 8.5 abv.
Gusler (2654) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 16, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle #37603: On the pour a cloudy orange-amber color, the head is beige and moderate in size and texture, the lace is quite decent sheets that cling to the glass to the very end. Nose is Malt, plummish, earthy, hints of Alcohol. Yo Baby Yo Baby Iím going to like this one and I havenít even touch it to my lips! Front is somewhat sweet, the top is medium, the finish is Acidic, dry, nice hop spicy bite, and a bit alcohol bitter, and I can also feel the íTummy Warmingí. I guess I need to borrow the 5 ton low-boy, and go pick up a dozen or so pallets of Vintage Fullerís Ranks #134 on my current 1000 beer master list.
jazz88 (2467) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 26, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2003 Bottle #13013 sampled on 7/27/02. Another blow your mind Fuller's Vintage Ale. A creamy beige head quickly diminishing on an amber body. The aroma is woody, malty, herbal, raisin fruity, and with notes of alcohol. Creamy smooth and bursts with flavor in the back of the mouth. The fruity flavors come through with pear and peaches. As it warms it transmutates into a stronger more intense beer with a warming alcohol presence. Bottle @ Toronado on 11/28/03. Reddish brown color with a tan head. Sweet malty caramel flavors. Smooth as ever with a slick oily palate. A subtle chocolate and toffee mix. Warming. Beautiful.
bigal9699 (152) - Orange County, California, USA - JUL 12, 2002
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
No. 37661: Beautiful deep honey amber color -hazy. Pours with large head, loosly carbonated, dissipates quickly. Medium strength nose of sweet malt, very light hop notes - also a bit metalic. Unique flavor - overall flavors dominated by bitter hops, to a lesser degree some muted/musty malt notes ... followed by a bit of metalic notes. The appreciation is realizing this is a 4-year old beer and thus an education to oneís sensory knowledge. Not at incredible beer by any means - but important nonetheless due to its age.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - JUL 7, 2002
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
No: 31867. Heavy malt, dark fruity aroma. Not as thick on the palate as I expected but maintains drinkability alongside its smooth texture. Malts from start to finish, port-like flavors, yeasty with some dryness. Maraschino cherries add extra sweetness with a lingering jammy aftertatse while a considerable alcohol warmth wraps things up.
estoppel (1028) - Buffalo, New York, USA - MAY 30, 2002
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
(No. 17512, sampled 5/30/02) Very nice sweet maltiness, minimal hops compared to American barleywines. While this is a very fine ale, it doesnít live up to its price.
heykevin (1269) - Decorah, Iowa, USA - MAR 3, 2002
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thick and rich mouthfeel. Multilayered malt flavors with sweetish finish, but not cloying. There is a little bit of chalk in the finish. A very well made beer.
turtlehead (111) - Nottingham, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 22, 2002
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sweet, malty aroma, deep amber color with a well balanced bitterness and alcohol content. Based on the many beers I have had in this class, I would have to guess the alcohol content to be about 9.5 to 10% by volume.