Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2009

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


on tap

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RATINGS: 297   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
Vintage Ale is a truly distinguished bottle conditioned beer. Each vintage is a blend of that year’s finest malt and hops, creating a unique limited edition brew. Being bottle conditioned, it is after bottling that the flavours truly begin to develop, and continue to do so well beyond the best before date that we are obliged to state.

The 2009 Vintage features Kent grown Golding Hops and East Anglian Tipple malted barly. It has an intial aroma of rich Muscavado sugar followed by a brandied caramelised

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hrabren's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hrabren (1271) - Zagreb, - DEC 30, 2012
500 ml bottle bought at Ambrosetti, Berlin, in September, 2011, tasted in December, 2012. Murky amber with beige head that went down rather quickly. Very strong aroma of honey, fruits and caramel with hints of alcohol. Very sweet, maybe to sweet for an ale, full taste, low carbonation. I liked it!

scrumpypete (3) - British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 5, 2017 does not count
This limited edition ale was 2009 vintage, with a BB date ’end of 2012’. I opened it 2017-07-05 with apprehension, although I was told it would last longer. It is ’bottle conditioned’, so I did not worry too much. I will buy a more recent and up-to-date vintage to compare - maybe this has remained too long unopened. This is an English ale, as opposed to what passses for ale in North America - very little creamy head, not many bubbles (not carbonated - just natural ’working’ in the bottle). I served it chilled, rather than cellar temp. No lace. A warm-brown colour, with a glow of red against the light, in the glass. A slight nose of hops, with a whiff of caramel and chocolate, not yeasty, just a bit ’warm’. A strong taste of butterscotch, and a sharp overlay of hops on inhalation. Medium sweet, not very bitter, with a slightly sour aftertaste. It finishes with a ’gimme more’ taste, slightly bitter, and quite lingering . This is a exceptional beer - somewhat expensive, but worth every penny. Best savoured with a good friend, and, perhaps, a plate of oysters.

SpikedLemon (3) - CANADA - FEB 14, 2017 does not count
2009 Consumed in 2017. Hop flavor was non-existant and had a very heavy, creamy, caramel-malt flavor. Almost sweet but very earthy.

Nuffield (4180) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 1, 2017
Part of a vertical tasting of vintage years 2008 through 2015, drank in January 2017. 2008 (bottle #127432) was rounded out to a solid caramel, with that lovely oxidation that makes vintage beers what they are. 2009 (#105287) suggested some tobacco and a luscious nose. 2010 (#094046) help up better than the 2011 (#108000), with better caramel flavors and some fizz; the later year was just flat and old tasting. 2012 (#125741) was clearly brighter in the nose, though losing some of its body, while the 2013 (#109909) was showing some signs of oxidation. 2014 (#141264) was equally bright with 2015 (#134049), and both were worthy bottles that I could have enjoyed had I just been sitting with the whole bottles. Thanks for my friends for joining me as I shared these bottles.

CObiased (506) - Bayfield, Colorado, USA - JAN 28, 2017
1pt 0.9fl.oz. bottle - not sure if it would still be good but oh my. The pour is a clear light mahogany color with a thin off white head. Excellent layered aroma of caramel, toffee, cherrywood, ripe fruit and a hint of nuttiness. Wonderfully smooth flavors like fruitcake, red licorice, toffee and sucanat. Yum

GregClow (3402) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 26, 2016
Bottle from LCBO - bottle #42081. Drunk on December 29th 2015 and reviewed on my personal Facebook page as part of a series of posts reviewing FVAs from 2004 to 2015 over the course of the Xmas and New Year holidays. Now transferring over notes for those that I’ve not yet reviewed on RB. Notes for this one: "First in the series that has had carbonation close to what you’d get from a fresh bottle, and the aroma has only a hint of oxidization. Notes of plum, burnt toffee, cherrywood, and an odd hint of chocolate liqueur mid-palate before a mint and orange dryness to finish. In fine form!"

60minuteman (1744) - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 17, 2016
Bottle no. 125853. Aroma is sweet malt, caramel, warm alcohol, bread and toffee. Flavor is verrry smooth. Good carbonation and heat. Still sweet in the finish but there’s no residual lingering. Yum

Ktwse (5023) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JUN 27, 2016
Pours hazy brown amber with low white head. Aroma of toffee, hazelnut, butterscotch. Taste is sweet, mildly boozy, distinct butterscotch. Medium to rich bodied and creamy with soft carbonation.

JPDIPSO (6236) - Wauwatosa, USA - JUN 8, 2016
Slightly hazed light umber to copper colored liquid. Small head diminishing light taupe head. Sweet roasted malt, caramel, lightly roasted almonds, and light fruit in the aroma. Quick thick, nearly coating and a touch cloying with the sweetness. Really nice finish with a long toasted malt sweetness. Floral hops seem to add to the sweetness rather than distracting from the malt. A fall evening around the fire type brew. 4/10

ciocanelu (2597) - Timisoara, ROMANIA - MAY 28, 2016
UPDATED: MAY 30, 2016 Amber color, beige head. Aroma has dried fruits like figs and raisins. Taste follows with the dried fruits, dark malt and a bit of earthy bitterness on the finish. Medium body and carbonation.

imdownthepub (14745) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - JAN 27, 2016
Bottled, 500ml, aged 6yrs, from Sainsbury’s in Banbury. Dark reddish brown with cream head. Smooth and full, rich beer with a caramel toffee body, sweet but darker roasted malts. Fruit cake fruity balanced with leafy hop notes. I do like these Fullers vintage ales, thank you to Sandra for thinking of them each year.

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