DougShoemaker (3146) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 18, 2003
Wine, port nose. Hazy apricot colour, vanilla custard head. Tasted of wine, wood and fruit. Dry finish, bitter. A truly decent representative of the style. Thanks Oakes. Oakes (19714) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 18, 2003
Sampled 2003: Hazy orange-amber; oxidized, sherry, earth and caramel. Chewy, minerally, malty. The youngest in the vertical was the most far gone. UnionMade (621) - Connecticut, USA - MAR 18, 2003
I got the special "collectors edition" three pack box. Lucky I did, because the kid behind the register couldn't figure out how to ring it up and I got all three for $9. Hahahaha!! Anyways, out of the vertical tasting, i liked this one the least. All are very barleywine-like, with a giant maltiness and a really surprising hoppiness, being an english beer. Not much in the way of esters in this year, and it's a little rough-edged. Very strong and powerful beer, the strongest british beer I've had so far. omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - MAR 2, 2003
Now, I sampled the 2001 along with the 1999, so this score is going to be a bit biased because the 99 was OVERWHELMING better. That being said, though, none of the Fullers Vintage Ale is disappointing. As with the 99, it was woody and fruity, but not quite as delicate on the tongue. It was basically a 'younger' beer and just needs time to mature. hopscotch (11526) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - FEB 24, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2003 I was going to save this beer for another year, but then I started reading some of the reviews and decided... why wait?
This beautiful deep copper, almost ruby colored beer is sparkling clear with a large, creamy white head. The head is mostly, but never entirely diminishing and leaves excellent, thick lacework.
The aroma is of cinnamon and caramel. Butter and English toffee. Clover honey and warm alcohol. Dark and fuzzy fruits.
The flavor is sublime. Malty and lightly sweet up front with tweaks and twinges of caramel, dark fruits and English toffee. Lots of pungent and lightly bitter hops to balance things out on the backside. Very well-balanced ale. NewCastle on steroids.
Full-bodied with a silky mouthfeel and soft carbonation.
Long, astringent, lightly bitter, dry finish. Dried hay and lemon rind at the wee end.
Very drinkable... scary! The high ABV is hidden throughout.
Unless you have several bottles, go ahead and drink the stuff now. It's time. Besides, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow and never have the opportunity to enjoy yet another strong effort from Fullers.
3fourths (9386) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 18, 2003
UPDATED: SEP 26, 2012 14669 Smells of candy coasted apples, though slightly harsh. Tastes are hoppy, with strong alcohol, but has some nice soothing hints of plum. Interesting dry, sweet finish, tingling the back of the tongue. About 10 minutes after drinking I still have an extremely sweet sticky feeling in my mouth. This stuff stays with you. khayman70 (153) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - FEB 14, 2003
02229 was incredible. This beer was like manna from heaven. The hops flavor is exactly what I like. The malt is sweet from the beginning and then the hops kick at the end is wonderful. My first impression was barleywine, and an excellent one at that. I wish this was a little less expensive. If you can still find this ale, don't pass it up. Jokes (1455) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 6, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2004 Vintage 1999 bottling 12/4/2002: 8 4 8 5 16 – 4.1 Aubrey (3516) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 27, 2003
Bottle #73224. Pours a nice deep amber/red color, with a slightly off-white head. The aroma starts with sweet malts and moves to light piney and perfumy hops. Light and clean in the mouth. The flavors are very well balanced, starting sweet with malt and a touch of alcohol. A medium bodied finish with a nice dose of hops to balance. Well done, indeed. I still don't feel like I have a grasp on this style, but this has certainly been my favorite so far.
Vintage 2000 bottling 11/23/2002: 7 4 8 4 16 – 3.9
Bottle #63534. A nice dark red/orange body with a tight, full head. Flavors of soft fruit, caramel, malt/cereal, and a touch of hops. The alcohol is present but not over-powering. A nice balance makes this beer pleasant and enjoyable.
Vintage 2001 bottling 2/6/2003: 8 4 7 3 16 – 3.8
Bottle #07301. Pours a bright ruby color with a thick, off-white head that quickly retreats to a thin line. The nose has dry cereals, cherry, whisky, honey and a bit of sourness. The flavors have decent balance, with a nice malt start and acceptable hop bitterness in the finish. Not the best of the Vintages, but with some more time, it could be.
Not as vinous, complex or complete as the 99, but still very good. Enjoyed its nip of sourness, which I didn't notice as much with the 99. DallasBryan (111) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JAN 24, 2003