MartinT (10014) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - MAY 17, 2005
7-year-old bottle:The_Osprey (8479) - Richmond, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 15, 2016
Caramel-covered cherries and maple syrup on waffles with a touch of port make quite a hedonistic breakfast. Peaches, citrusy and grassy hops and freshly-turned earth blow in from the open window.
A glass of port wine, lawnmower clippings and a bouquet of flowers on the table. A drop of cream on a bowl of assorted berries.
Still a hearty, fulfilling meal after all those years.
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2016 November 2016 - Bottle share at CBC Islington. Many thanks to Kenny for this Fuller’s rarity! As ’Fuller’s Vintage Ale 1998’, #04499. Hazy amber with a foamy beige head leaving dotted lacing. Aroma is apple pie, stewed apple, bready, light citrus. Body is smooth with light carbonation. Taste is white bread, apple, oxidised, some toffee and caramel sweetness, spice. A little past its best but still OK. (3.2)
jackl (8271) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - SEP 14, 2012
Bottle @ THE Barley Wine Tasting. Huge thanks to Ken for breaking out this rarely-found vintage! The pour’s deep brown with a small off-white head. The nose is raisin, brown sugar, some prune and newspaper. The taste is oxidized rum raisin ice cream, more dark fruits and heaps of brown sugar sweetness. Jammy body. Drinkable but clearly past its prime! If you’ve still got a bottle, don’t wait to open this up. jonas (7751) - Garching b. München, GERMANY - SEP 9, 2004
Sampled at the RBESP 2004teorn88 (7682) - Rimini, ITALY - DEC 6, 2016
Aroma has raisins, oranges, chocolate, a bit roast and noticable alcohol
Cloudy amber, low creamy head.
Quite spicy, wood, cognac roast, a bit chocolate , alcohol burn.
Oily mouthfeel, low carbonation.
Not that harmonic overall.
50ml bottle shared at the Hackobock tasting, Craft Islington. Many thanks to MadMitch76 for this one. It pours a hazed Amber color with a small beige head. aroma is sweet and lightly oxidised with caramel and biscuit. Taste is also sweet and lightly boosty with notes of caramel biscuit and cocoa beans. Lightly oxidised and quite tasty. Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Overall, not bad
chriso (7583) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 28, 2006
Bottle, consumed in May 2006. A bit over the top I’d say. Oxidation is apparent. Liquorice comes through on the palate and the depth of fruit seems to have receded. This leaves something woody, a touch harsh and sweet at the same time. Should have perhaps drunk this earlier but I was hanging on to it for a suitable occasion to share with the Danes.
Ughsmash (7508) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 3, 2007
Bottle #19876, BB "End 2001". Poured medium caramel with a thick initial cap of beige head.. receded to a loose-bubbled topping. Aroma held up just beautifully.. deep, lightly-smoked caramel, dried floral hoppage, subtle port wine, and perhaps some rum.. one of the best smelling beers I’ve ever come across. Lightly-smoked, toasted caramel again at the flavor’s core.. some sharper rum and port tackiness at the edges.. tasty, but lost some character to old age. Syrupy on the palate and a touch slick... warm finish. Really enjoyed this one. CaptainCougar (7133) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - FEB 2, 2005
This bottle was believed to have been kept refrigerated for the majority of its life. Pours a clear copper with a thin off-white head with light whispy lacing. Aroma of rich caramel malt and a touch of butterscotch with some English hops and alcohol. Starts rich, viscous and malty with a nice sweetness and plenty of carbonation. Finishes more dry and bitter. This tasted fresher than bottles of the 1999 I have had that weren’t refrigerated. It has aged quite nicely. Thanks go out to TheBeerCellar2 for hooking me up with this gem! MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 20, 2008
A Mes rate: Bottle at the Tom’s awesome Twickenham Brewery tasting.ClarkVV (6825) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 24, 2007
I’m not gonna rattle on about the vintage ale as we all know what it’s like. At ten years old this had mellowed and the ingredients had married really well. There was an odd minty note in the aroma and it was slightly oxidised in the mouth but other than that it’s still going pretty well even though it is nearing the end of it’s life.
Bottle shared at BCTC on Saturday night, 7/21/07
Another fine appearance, I’m tempted to give it a 5, and probably should. Maybe I will come back and change that. I’ll have to have it again. What’s 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 it’s 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. It’s been so long since I’ve had the 99, I’ll have to revisit and see if it’s 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 can’t deny this stuff is incredibly well-malted. I’d like to see a stronger yeast signature out of it, but then, even Fullers’ 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).