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Fullerís Vintage Ale 1998

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

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 94   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
tiggmtl (4548) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 19, 2005
Waffles topped with vanilla ice cream and lavender floral tones, with some port-like alcoholic sweetness in the uniquely appealing aroma. Opaque brown-tan with a fine-bubbled partial cover of creamy off-white head that leaves some sudsy lacing. Vinous, thick, port-like, bready, earthy, floral, chocolate and marzipan flavours with some mild dark fruit character. Gentle finishing bitterness. Medium body with soft carbonation and creamy texture. Seems like seven years is the sweet-spot for this one! Bottle (#31675) enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, MartinT, Olivier_MTL, Rastacouere and Yowie.

4.7
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
dwyerpg (4528) - 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.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
muzzlehatch (4424) - Burlington, Vermont, 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.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - JAN 21, 2005
Poured a clear copper with a golden outline. Small off-white head. Heavy malt aromas. Molasses, honey, tart cherries, apples, and alcohol aroma and flavors. Light to medium bodied. Alcohol warming and a soft carbonation. Finish is dry leaving you with a long bitterness on the tongue.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
ClarkVV (3892) - Allston, 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).

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 2, 2011
Bottle at the 5th Annual Richmond Industry Gathering on 11/28/2010 courtesy of Mike. Cloduy amber body with a small white head. Sweet honey and fruit aroma. Sweet fruit, caramel and honey flavor. Medium full body with moderately low carbonation.

4.7
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Nuffield (3668) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 28, 2002
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!

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
SledgeJr (3577) - Omaha, Nebraska, USA - JUL 29, 2004
In the bottle at the 2004 Crescent Moon Vintage Beer Tasting. Amber to pink in color. So buttery. High in esters. Fruity and bulbus. I should start buying these up and aging them. They get graceful.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
Pours a murky amber color with no head. Aroma and flavor of doughy yeast, rockets candy, mild alcohol and maybe lavender. Light to medium body, creamy mouthfeel, soft carbonation.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAR 3, 2008
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. 10 years old! Bottle #27359. The cloudy, muddy, medium-brown body with a thin bubbly edge really isnít much to look at, but who cares when youíre talking about a decade old brew as nice as this one. The aroma shows sweet caramel malts, sweet dark fruits, brown sugar, and copious amounts of vanilla. This one smells like Tahitian vanilla beans have been steeped in the dark liquid all this time. The flavor is quite sweet, with caramel and brown sugar malts showing strong. There are still some flowery hops left within, which is surprising given its age. The medium-full, syrupy body is well carbonated and smooth. Good stuff. This has aged incredibly gracefully.


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