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Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2003

 (RETIRED)
overall
96
99
style
Formerly brewed at Fuller’s
Style: English Strong Ale
London, England

bottled
available

on tap
available

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 55   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Bottle Conditioned.
50,000 bottles were brewed using a traditional recipe of Target, Challenger and Northdown hop varieties. The taste is rich with notes of marmalade, raisins and Christmas cake; the spicy hops well balanced with a pleasant bitterness.


3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5347) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - NOV 21, 2004
Bottled number 27154, courtesy of chris_o. Pours a nice copper body with a small whitish head. Nose is malty with alcohol notes, raisins and light caramel. Taste is big alcohol, rum soaked fruit, big malt and caramel. Body isn’t the thickest but has a nice warming feel to it. It works itself out. Finishes with more malts, more alcohol and caramel. Good beer, but I think another year would mellow this nicely.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Joeh (2049) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - NOV 17, 2004
500th English Beer Rated. 550ml bottle. Aroma is malt, alcohol & dried fruits (raisins, sultanas). The beer itself is warming with lots of alcohol apparent, a load of malt, caramel, dried fruit and grape skins. The beer is slightly acidic and has a bitter finish. Interesting and excellent.

3.3
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JFGrind (1860) - Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 20, 2004
Bottle # 14765. Drank as a vertical tasting with ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01 and ’03 Vintage Ales. The youngest Fullers out of the sampling. Golden color, with more of a caramel flavor and aroma than the previous years. An interesting vertical tasting, thanks again to Eyedrinkale for supplying the Fullers.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
egajdzis (5409) - Spring Mount, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 11, 2004
Poured a copper color with a small white head and light lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, fruitiness, alcohol, and even a bit of port. Taste was more sweet caramel (as seems to be the trend with this vertical), spicy licorice, toffee, with light hops... light alcohol was present here as well.

4.1
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Eyedrinkale (3213) - Astoria, New York, USA - OCT 11, 2004
Dark amber color with a thick sticky head. Aroma is alcohol with sweet malt and some dried fruits. By far the freshest of the Fullers I had that night at Erics. Taste is creamy with flavors of toffee, caramel and mellow pine notes.

3.9
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopdog (9189) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 10, 2004
UPDATED: OCT 11, 2004 Tasted as part of a vertical tasting that included the ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01 and ’03 (thanks Eyedrinkale!). Bottle # 14765. Poured a medium amber color with a small tan head (clearest and lightest color of the 5 vintages). Aromas and tastes of caramel, toffee, raisins and plums. Aromas and tastes on the lighter side compared to the ’00 & ’01. Spicy finish. This one needed to age a little more (but I’m glad to have compared the tastes across the different years!).

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
MrWalker (926) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - SEP 23, 2004
Bottle @ Akkurat, Stockholm. Vertical tasting -97, -00, 02 and -03 with official representatives from the brewery. 3rd one ever held by Fuller’s
Feels a bit young and undelveloped. Rich in appely tastes - both the green variety and red winter apples. Not bad, but to much alcohol taste to it still. Will most likely develop.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Spiesy (2338) - Sydney, Greater London, AUSTRALIA - JUN 1, 2004
Bottle No. 12261.
Crimson almost red colour with a quickly dissipating head that fails to hold. Complex raspberry, hop aroma. Complex flavours but that comes through on the initial sip is a strong aniseed flavour, just like eating straight liquorice. Alcohol begins to reveal itself towards the end. Silky mouth feel with an extended palate that goes fare beyond the reaches of mortals.

3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
jfm (1724) - Holbæk, DENMARK - MAR 14, 2004
Amber color with a white head. The taste is sharp with a light malty flavour. The alcohol makes this beer feel sharp and kind of dry on the palate.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JorisPPattyn (8035) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - JAN 31, 2004
Foxy amber; thick, lazy but plenty bubbles to flimsy, disparate head, fast gone. Caramel, gingerbread, vinous and liquorice in the nose. Hopbitter on top of sweet speculoos. The finish swings again to lupuline. Faint wood, liqueurish; but also more vegetable bitterness - Cynar? Also a bit of tobaccoleaf, and, warming up, again liquorice. Velvety, oily mouthfeel. Quite well-bodied. Doubtless a great beer, carefully nurtured. Having sampled the '99 vintage some years ago, and having liked that one even much more, I have a nagging feeling I ought to have had more patience, once more.


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