TChrome (1481) - North Richland Hills, Texas, USA - AUG 30, 2003
This is obviously the standard for English Strong Ales. A big beer, this is one that is malt focused and interestingly, also focused on some very yummy yeast that is evident. Beer pours copper in color with a massive head that is fully retained. There is heavy lacing present. Aroma is sweet alcohol and plums. Flavor is big with wonderful maltiness and significant alcoholic warmth. Excellent beer. ARMed (625) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 16, 2003
#67987: As good as the 1999. Perfect in every way. Sharp sweet aroma with a linguiring honey maple scent. Fluffy foamy white head with a champagne carbonation. Head slowly disspates, but fantastic palate still lingers. Absolutely phenonemal. Alcohol is present but subtly. Hint of apricot brandy comes to mind. Sweet but not overly so. Bitter finish that creates a warmth that is felt for minutes. lunaticharness (183) - Torrance, California, USA - AUG 10, 2003
very sweet malt aromas, clear garnett color with a nice sized initial head, sweet but full of alcohol and unbalanced bitterness, heavy english palate drismyhero (815) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - AUG 1, 2003
My first of the Fullers vintage line. Pours an elegant brown that persuades me to keep my pinkie out, and gives off that Manchester, brandy pipe tobacco kind of smoothness in the aroma as well. There is a slightly out of place hoppiness in the aroma however, I'm not sure what to make of it, especially since it doesn't come through in the flavor at all. This tastes almost entirely of hazelnut and caamel - beautifully crafted with that buttery mouthfeel I dig like nothing else. This has aged well. humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - JUL 28, 2003
My first experience with an english strong ale, so maybe I don't know the style well enough to be overly critical, but this baby is hard to drink. Why you ask, the alcohol is just too overbearing. The aroma is malty caramel and mellow hops with a hint of acrid bitter tones. The flavor starts smooth and sweet but leaves the mouth rather dry and somewhat violated. Appearance is burgandy with chestnut highlights. The flavor is very whisky-like as is the bottle and the box it comes in. Overall, too strong. It challenge the claim of 8.5% alcohol. This beer needs a "proof" listing on the bottle.
bluemeow76 (693) - Lewis Center, Ohio, USA - JUL 24, 2003
Pours a reddish brown with a thick beige head with so-so lacing. Aroma definitely has alcohol to it and some malt. Flavor is strong, sweet and dark. JCW (1279) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUL 11, 2003
Very similiar to 1999 IMO. Bronze colored, with a head that spans the glass. Aroma malts and Britsh hops. Nicely balanced between bitterness and malty. Dry finish. Fantastic Beer. fiulijn (21506) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 3, 2003
Bottle No. 04843BeerLimey (2155) - California, USA - JUN 28, 2003
Hazy amber color; creamy head. Beautiful malt aroma, fruity; Porto wine; sweet, fresh wood. I may feel more if all those bastards around me would stop smoking!
Powerful mouthfeel, malty, liquorice, caramel, light wallnuts.
Long finish, bearing both hop bitterness and bitter maltiness (and liquorice, and light litchie fruitness).
Wonderful. Would like to taste it in another couple of years.
Aroma is hoppy with a nice Indian spice, plenty of fruit and some caramel.Smooth velvetty palatte, excellent vanilla, only mild fruitiness, hints of chocolate and caramel, and a big hoppy bitter finish that rivals a west US IPA. Some sweetness creeps back into the aftertaste but the bitterness is is pretty puckering and long. loweredsixth (946) - Clovis, California, USA - JUN 27, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 28, 2003 Bottle #38231: The color was a glowing amber with a small, tight beige head. The aroma was full and rounded...brown sugar, caramel, bready, malty sweet. The flavor was strong of caramel and alcohol...some breadiness. Soft carbonation...semi-dry finish.