Fuller's Vintage Ale 1998

 
overall
99
100
style
Formerly brewed at Fuller's
Style: English Strong Ale
Chiswick, England

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 100   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.87/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
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.

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3.9
Ughsmash (7502) - 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.

3.9
Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 4, 2007
Nice head and adequate lacing. The aromas surprised me on this one as the floral character of the hops could still be detected. Good caramelization detected with a strong and not overpowering malt complexity. A couple layers in here in fact. Still a decent bitterness on the back end after all these years. Overall, one could find that this "lost a step" due to the extended aging, but really held up remarkably well considering. Very enjoyable.

3.9
Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 23, 2007
Looks like I write on the back of my notebook sheets when I’m 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.

3.9
ClarkVV (6958) - Boston, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 24, 2007
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).

3.9
DrewFace (970) - Melbourne, Florida, USA - FEB 2, 2014
Bottle share thanks to mcbackus. This on is legal is some states...I mean, uh. Pours a clear amber color with white head. Big caramel and toffee aroma, dark fruits, and alcohol. Chewy caramel flavor as well, boozy barrel like character, sweet, very tasty!

3.8
mgumby10 (1856) - Jupiter, Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
TheCheeseman strikes again! Pours a dark amber, with a smallish off white head. Smells of apples, caramel malts, and some bready yeast. Still sharp in the nose. Good sign. The flavor had soft carbonation as expected with its age, still pretty sweet. The caramel and dark fruits made up most of the flavor characters, and it had a great smoothness to it that helped drink nice and easy. This has held up well, not surprising coming from a great English brewery. Thanks for sharing this rare brew Dan!

3.8
JMFG (1587) - Florida, USA - FEB 17, 2008
The Cheeseman brings the noise with another Fullers Vintage. Cloudy copper color with a thin blanket of white head. Sweet candy corn aroma, sweet malts. Mild malt taste, sweet middle and dry finish. Rich and tasty, but really starts to knock on the door of cloying.

3.8
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 20, 2008
A Mes rate: Bottle at the Tom’s awesome Twickenham Brewery tasting.
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.

3.8
Leighton (22773) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 10, 2012
Bottle at THE Barley Wine Tasting, London. A massive thanks to Kenneth for sharing what is surely one of the most sought-after Fuller’s beers around. Pours foggy, ruby-gold with a creamy, off-white head. dary caramel nose, some paper, definitely signs of oxidation, some dates and other rich, dried fruits. Medium sweet flavor with dusty brown sugar, bread, some leathery fruits, subtle cardboard coming through. Medium bodied with fine carbonation. Mild dryness at the end, with dusty and toasty malts, some figs, faint cocoa, bread. Certainly a bit of oxidation has taken place, but there is still a great amount of rich, fruity character and soulful nuance to this beer.

3.8
Homer321 (5248) - Melboring, Florida, USA - FEB 2, 2014
Bottle share thanks to mcbackus. Crazy that I’m drinking a 16 year old beer. Nose is full of toffee and amazingly only slightly oxidized. A nice chewy malt component but dries out fairly well with a touch of tannins and a hint of alcohol. Pretty darn good for old beer!


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