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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 23, 2007
Looks like I write on the back of my notebook sheets when Iím drunk. A bit late, almost missed that one. ClarkVV brought it to BCTC 2007. Almost clear amber body. Toasted bread with delicious smooth caramel spread pretty much sums it up. Some residual sugar (brown sugar flavour) and light woody notes. A lot less oxidized than the 1999 bottle I had six months ago at Mugs Ale in NY. This one held up pretty well as I still remember it despite my advanced drunken state at that point. I finish my glass thinking Barley Wine minus the hops, maybe five years ago it was. Very smooth body and medium carbonation. No alcohol presence discernable probably because 8.5% was below my blood system at that point in the night.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Emil (6065) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 7, 2006
Bottle. Thanx to Chris. Bottle. Ruby colour with a big white head. Dark fruits, caramel aroma and a sweet dark fruits, caramel taste. Medium to full body with a sweet light dry finish. A bit over the top.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (6028) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - SEP 17, 2005
Bottle. Numbered 40390 (like the 1997 vintage, the picture to the left was the one I took of my bottle, hence the same number). 1998 Vintage, obviously. Ruby brown with a small foamy off-white head. Nose is sweet and laden with caramel and ripe fruit. Light wafts of alcohol as well. Taste is very sweet and caramel laden. Lots of alcohol and some port wine notes. Raisins, light melon, faint hops, light grapefruity bitterness, and some hints of concord grapes. Body is smooth and creamy with light carbonation and mild alcohol warmth. Finishes with lots of raisins, caramel, ripened melon, dried citrus and hops, alcohol and perhaps light toffee. Maybe some in bloom flora. Nice! This aged much more gracefully than the 1997 Vintage. However, that could also be due to storage methods as I purchased both off eBay.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Boutip (5940) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 18, 2004
Bottle Ė drank in 2004 Ė Poured a hazy medium brown colored beer with an above average foamy off-white head. Aroma is a mix of plums, dried raisins with strong malt. Taste is absolutely wonderful, like a mix between a English strong ale, a barley wine and even an old ale. The plums, dried raisins and post-like taste make this one of the best dessert beer I ever had. Alcohol is very subtle and body is quite strong. What also surprised me was the fact that even 8 years after being brewed, it still had great carbonation. Too bad I donít have another bottle because I believe this could be cellared for a couple more years and still be great. This one is by far the best beer by Fullers and probably one of the best English beers I had the chance to try.

   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).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
decaturstevo (5850) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - MAR 20, 2008
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Very hazy brown pour. Nice strong aroma of dried fruit. Very nice fruity, caramelley, brown sugar flavor that covers the abv nicely. Hints of sweetness. Mouthfeel and carbonation are good as well. Nice beer that is very complex. thanks Dan

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jgb9348 (5721) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - OCT 18, 2004
Bottle #33695
Hazy burgundy coloured body with a dense tan head. Aroma of pit fruit, light caramel and malt. Full-bodied; Super sweet taste of caster sugar, pit fruit, caramel, toffee and cherries. Aftertaste shows pungent sugars and a good toffee overture. Overall, a nice treat to sample. Many thanks go out to Phil (Haddon90) for finding this and picking this up at the bar! I sampled this 500 mL bottle at Toronado in San Francisco, California on the second day of 10-June-2004...our first was spent in Sydney, Australia.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
dwyerpg (5673) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 3, 2007
Had this in conjunction with 99, 00, 04, and 05. This was my favorite. Lovely woody aroma. Nice and chewy. No head. The flavor is sweet and chewy but not overly thick and alcoholic. Lovely caramel and sherry characters.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JPDIPSO (5667) - Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 20, 2003
To start, I would encourage you to drink this now. I've had this one when it first came out and I believe that last prior to now would have been in 2000. It seems to be losing some of its nuances. Amber color with a smaller light tan head. Oak, mild floral and light malt and fruit aroma. Fruity, alcoholic and very warming. Alcohol seems to have taken over a bit more then when sampled in the past. Still a nice night cap, but lacks tha smoothness I remember.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Rciesla (5499) - Exit 15W, New Jersey, USA - JUL 22, 2009
Stratford tasting @ Cletus house. Wow 1998 thanks nelson. Pours an amber body with an off white head. Oxidation is present, a malty apple pine and caramel seep through as the primary character, a bit ashy in the mouth with a dull fruity finish. Some darker plum and sugar notes. Good, given its age.

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