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Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2003

Formerly brewed at Fuller’s
Style: English Strong Ale
London, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 55   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (12757) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 4, 2005
(Bottle, No. 31435) Pours an amer body with an off-white head. Aroma of caramel, toffee, and plastic. Flavor of mild hops and sweet malt. Could use some more aging.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Scopey (12720) - Croydon, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 23, 2012
Bottle at Akkurat. It pours deep mahogany brown, thin off-white head. The nose is rather sweet, tangerine, orange peel, Christmas cake, spice and Brown sugar. The taste is wood, leather, brown sugar, honey, date, raisin, currant, spice and orange pith, with a very dry finish. Full body, fine carb and slightly sticky mouth-feel. An enjoyable beer, but not one of the best Fuller vintages.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hopdog (11681) - 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!).

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
madsberg (11411) - Søborg, DENMARK - AUG 14, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2006 Bottled @ RBESG2005: Dark amber coloured. Almonds, vineous, cocoa and spices in the aroma. Flavour is sweet ans spiced. Some citrus and caramel is present. Is quite young, and will probably be better in one or 2 years. Tried it dec. 2006. More smooth, mellow and vineous than the 1. time I tried it. Very sherrylike, like I often find the Vintage ale to be after some years on the back. Would consider this and 3,9 - 4.0 at the present stade.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Rune (11372) - Tromsø, NORWAY - OCT 25, 2009
500ml bottle, No. 51280, many thanks to Richard for sharing. Pours an orange-amber coloured body, partly cloudy and with a tiny, but lasting, filmy layer on the surface. Smooth aroma of dried fruits and sweet malts. Rich, blended flavour of dried apricots, plums, raisins and prunes on a backbone of soft tartness. Discreet hints of yeast. Long-lived, bittersweet tail. Rounded and soft in the mouth. A tasty drink for very special occasions (dinner party, Tromsdalen 24.10.2009).

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kp (10883) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - SEP 1, 2007
Name: Vintage Ale
Date: 04/25/2007
Mode: Bottle
Source: Tasting
Vintage: 2003

clear blood red, wispy beige head, streaks of lace, sweet caramel and fruit aroma with very light floral hops, creamy yet thin body, rich caramel and fruit flavor, touch of hot alcohol, nice caramel sweetness throughout

Aroma: 7/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 7/10; Palate: 7/10; Overall: 15/20
Rating: 3.7/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: *4

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
slowrunner77 (10253) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 3, 2014
a touch hoppier than in earlier vintages but the same depth of malt that keeps me coming back most years. good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
JorisPPattyn (9532) - Ursel, 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
chriso (7513) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 12, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2011 First of all, apologies to those at the DC gathering who missed out on this. It had always been my intention to bring it along, but I didn’t manage to get a bottle before I left the UK, so my other half picked it up and brought it over to the US. Unfortunately, due to flight delays, she didn’t arrive until after the main event had finished. As for the beer, first the negative. In common with some other vintages of this beer, I find the malts a bit grainy and undeveloped. Perhaps a bit more bottle age would sort that out. Apart from that niggle, it’s a rather impressive beer. There’s plenty of hop presence, as well as the malts, in the aroma. There’s a lot going on in the flavours. Chewy malt (obviously), plummy fruit, raisins, licorice, orange marmalade, herbs. And plenty of hop bitterness to lend some balance. However, like others I think that more patience would have allowed to flavours to integrate more seamlessly. Still a classy beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - APR 25, 2007
Pours a transparent copper amber with a lightly-lacing khaki colored head. Boasts a good, slightly sweet caramely malty nose with some light fruity complexity. Body starts full and caramely malty sweet with some slightly earthy bittering hoppiness for balance. Finishes slightly warming, but otherwise pretty complex.

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