chriso (7533) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUL 31, 2006
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle #18687, shared with Joeh and DenverLogan, June 2006. Bought from the Fullers shop. This felt rather lighter and less complex on the palate than the 1997 sampled at the same time. The malt wasnít as rich, but the fruit tasted fresher with more currants to go with the raisins and prunes. More hops had survived, not surprisingly, to provide better balance and, although there were touches of oxidation this was less pronounced (also not surprising). At this stage in their development , the 2001 wins, but I suspect it would last another 4 years less well than the 1997.
patrick767 (4038) - fort wayne, Indiana, USA - JUL 29, 2006
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle #08906 - Pours a deep and murky copper with a moderate, rather quickly fading head. It has an assertive yeast aroma with some dark fruit and a touch of hops. The yeast and fruits come through in a flavor heavy on the malts with a dry, moderately hoppy finish. Itís medium bodied with a somewhat oily mouthfeel. The finish lingers a little while and has some mild alcohol taste. On a sidenote, some yeast stuck to the bottom of the bottle in some unappealing clumps. I hadnít seen that before, but I hadnít had a bottle conditioned beer that sat basically motionless for five years either. This is a very good ale. I wouldnít call it amazing, but itís definitely worth trying.
radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 10, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle obtained in a trade with <a
href=http://www.ratebeer.com/ViewUser.asp?U target=blank>ClarkVV, thanks Clark. Bottle #11763. Deep copper in colour, long lasting beige head, lots of lace. The aroma was of cookies and christmas cake, dark fruits, caramel malts, some vanilla and very light alcohol. The flavour was quite malty (cookies, dough, caramel, earthy), some hop bite to it, lots of plums and raisins. Rather cakey. Bitter mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes with a lingering moderate bitterness with some very light alcohol. Not much change (if any) from the 2002.
Joeh (2049) - Buckinghamshire, ENGLAND - JUL 1, 2006
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Thanks to Chris_o for sharing this bottle with Denverlogan and me. Bottle #18,687. It is interesting to compare this to the 1997, sampled alongside, as this is the midpoint in age. Pours a bright, sparkling copper colour with virtually no head. The aroma is typically alcoholic, richly malted with a complex array of different fruit characters. To taste a dash of brash alcohol, sweet malt, caramel, stewed fruits and a touch of bitterness on the finish. This is a beer in its peak to the 1997 thatís showing signs of age, instead of the aged cardboard or sherry notes this beer has the smooth malt present when new. The alcohol is less refined than in the 1997, but overall this came out on top.
Kevin (2194) - Texas, USA - MAY 15, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Walt, thanks man. So I sit here in the floor of my apartment preparing to open the penultimate beer in the fullerís vintage series that I havenít tried. It is now nine minutes past mothers day I just worked 13 hours and have some mac and cheese with some earl cambells cooking on the stove that I am going to dump a can of chili into. Hell yeah, lets drink good beer. My feet hurt. The aroma hit me before I finished pouring this, like an English barley wine, apricot, and plum, damp earth, a bit of grape. A touch of oak too. A very sweet nose. The body is murky purple brown with a nice yellow white head. Yep I dumped the chili in with the whole mess, Iíll be doing some crop dusting tomorrow. A tangy sweet dusty bready flavor with a lot in it. I detect vanilla wafers, plum, a lot of plum, tangy yeast, raisin, grape, brown sugar, vinegar, and something that Iíve noted in a lot of beers but I always seem to refer to the flavor that reminds me of how fresh paint smells. A bit warming on the back end without finishing dry. It leaves a sandy feel on my tongue and the flavor of van-o-crŤme cookies. It should be interesting to see how this pairs with my supper.
Ap-4 ar-8 tas-7 pal-3 ov-16
IMtheOptimator (1167) - Brookfield, Connecticut, USA - APR 20, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks go out to Walt for this beer. Bottle # 09435. Poured a semi-hazy amber with a fizzy off-white head. Aroma is maple syrup, alcohol, dark fruits, brown sugar. Flavor is pleasantly dry and somewhat dusty, with sweet dark fruits roasted in maple syrup predominating. Finish is dry and warming with notes of biscuit dough and toffee. Body feels pretty full and decently carbonated. A very nice sipping beer.
muzzlehatch (4922) - Beloit, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 5, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
18.6 oz bottle, probably purchased at Binnys in Skokie, IL (2003). Bottle #21802. Cellar temperature, Corsendonk glass; consumed alongside some excellent fontina and smoked trout, all-in-all an excellent grouping. Pale hazy-dusky bronze with smallish lasting head, tiny hints of yeast floaties in the near-opaque body....massive dusty, oxidized, whiskey-toned aroma on opening the bottle, warm vanilla-oaky character, pineapple and cherry follow....quite peaty-smoky flavor, more akin to scotch than previous versions Iíve had (but this I believe is the only bottle Iíve had at 5 years of age), more carbonation than Iíd expect though there is a smoothness that belies the light fruity qualities and tart acidity just past the midpalate....towards the finish, somewhat ashy, dry and just a bit papery....could use a bit more sweetness I think, but this is still very drinkable at five years.
natedoggkc (164) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - JAN 22, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Appearance had a plum haze hue and very little head. First thought was that it reminded me of a barleywine. Taste has some raisin and caramel. The alcohol is light. A great tasting ale.
TheBeerGod (6158) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2006
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Number 03351 (same as the picture as I took the picture). Muddied copper body with only a ring of bubbles around the rim of the glass. Aroma elicits alot of alcohol. Toffee, light woodiness, and hints of custard. Very nice aroma! Taste is apples, raisins, caramel, light alcohol, figs, and a bit of woodiness. The hop profile has pretty much dimished on this one and the sherry-ish flavors are coming out in full effect. Body is dry, light and has minimal bubbles. Finishes with more caramel, raisins, apples and cinnamon, figs, light wet wood, some cardboard, and some sherry flavors. Not too bad!
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - JAN 9, 2006
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle # 14687 from the evr gracious Walt. Looks like all the other Fullers vintages I have enjoyed, but with less head. Nose-brandy, industrial cleaner, rubbery. Taste-grape, light caramel, sharp bite from what feels like alcohol, biut lacking in any alcohol flavors, apple, mellow stale hops. Iím thinking "apple flavored hops" for some reason. I know. Maybe some hay and honey in the finish. Tastes like a mead and a New England cider mixed.