Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2004

Formerly brewed at Fuller’s
Style: English Strong Ale
London, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 365   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
95,000 bottles were produced for 2004’s Vintage, which once again employed a traditional approach, this time brewed with Goldings hops and Maris Otter malt. Distinctive cherry notes are evident, before a warming finish that mellows with age. Also limited availability in the Cask, mainly in the London area.

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argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 11, 2005
(Bottle 91879) Very large beige head atop a crystal clear amber body. Aroma is moderately sweet, caramel, bready, some earthy, vanilla, light herbal. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, vanilla, alcohol, light raisin, toffee, minimal bitterness. Finishes with moderate alcohol. Watery medium-full body. Too much alcohol presence, and in my opinion, definitely a notch below earlier vintages I have tried (99-01).

jazz88 (2680) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 10, 2005
Bottle (No. 80180). A reddish orange color with an off-white head. A bready malt aroma with butterscotch, raisins, and toffee. The flavor has caramel, hazlenuts, tofee, bready malts. Rich and complex for the style.

Lizabeth (360) - east falmouth, Massachusetts, USA - JAN 5, 2005
Bottle. Clear dark copper with a thin beige head. Nose: raisons, caramel, vanilla and alcohol. Taste: alcohol, vanilla, hazelnuts, toffee and did I mention ?, alcohol. Might be a nice beer in a few years but it’s too young and raw right now.

jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JAN 5, 2005
Ihave always had this one aged a few years so it will be interesting to try it aged. Bright sparkling copper body topped by a frothy light manila head. The aroma is spicy hops and lightly sweet malts. Remonds me a bit of their ESB. The flavor is much more hoppy than an aged variety (duh!). Sublte sweet and spicy malts. Medium body with a bit of acidity in the finsih. Lingering hoppy bitterness. I like this one young rahter than aged. Good stuff.

Dough77 (821) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - JAN 3, 2005
lots of similarities to the 2000, but obviously fresher all around. hops alot more noticable, malts took a back seat for this trip. Alcohol was a bit more potent and had hints of caramel floating around. Definitly a brew to let sit around your cellar before consumption though.

MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - DEC 31, 2004
Glassy dark red amber color and a thin head. It might be a partial congestion on my part, but im only getting a faint fruity malt smell off this. Very subtle flavor behind the initial strike from the bitterness and alcohol presence. The flavor is a smooth malty, slightly roasted and quite earthy. A fine beer to ring in the new year.

GregClow (3402) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 27, 2004
Dark copper colour with a small tan head. Aroma is strong and sweet, with dried fruit, caramel, licorice and alcohol notes. Flavour kicks off with some sweetness - brown sugar and dried fruit - then gets smoky & woody, moving into a bitter hop finish. The high alcohol is obvious, but not unwelcome on a cold winter’s night. I expect those edges will mellow with age, but even in this young state, it’s a very nice beer.

IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2004
Pours a deeper amber color with a tan head. Strong malty aroma, some raisin and caramel meld well with some of the alcohol. Flavor is pretty sweet up front with some brown sugar, caramel, raisin, a touch of smoke followed up with some bitterness in the finish. Full bodied, some alcohol present, but the amount of it was kind of pleasant. Quite a hearty ale, it should age very nicely. Thanks for the gift mr_kimchee.

mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 25, 2004
bottle #84,004...Amber, nice tan head and thick lacing. Bubbly. Smells leafy and peppery, ALmonds, vanilla, pepper, alcohol. Sticky sweet, annoying so. Just not very enjoyable. Aroma put me off immediately, thinking it was skunked, but it isn’t, its just a sharp alcoholic smell mixed with a peppery peanut/almond character. Maybe it does need age, because it is very rough right now. I expected more, although I didn’t expect a masterpiece. I didn’t expect the dud that I got. As it brethes, the nose takes on more phenolic character...rubber, nail polish remover, wood stain or stripper...This really seems amateur, sorry Fullers. I couldn’t finish the pint. I guess I’ll hold on to my other bottle and hope for a miracle.

hopdog (12673) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 24, 2004
I had a few of these sitting in the cellar so I figured I’d see what one tasted like fresh. Bottle # 65862. Poured a dark amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, fruits and hoppy. Caramel stronger in the tastes. Sweet with a hoppy balance. It will be interesting to see how the hops fad in a few years, but as is, I enjoyed this one.

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