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Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

Fuller's Vintage Ale


81 /100

I picked up 2 bottles of the 2005 edition of Fuller's Vintage Ale back in early December. It comes singularly in an elaborate packaging, complete with box and each individually numbered. Seeing as the one I proceeded to open was # 69817, I no longer felt I was exclusive. Well unless they start numbering around 69000.

Since 1997, Fuller’s have made an annual Vintage Ale. They recommend storing this beer for 3-4 years to reach its peak condition. Without knowing what it tastes like to begin with, there will be no way of judging how well it has aged down the line. Beer enthusiasts recommend getting 2 of any beer that will be cellared: one for now / one after aging. Although it’s been a few months, it hasn’t been too long.

I poured this into a snifter and it looked beautiful – a nice thick caramel color with a ¼ tan head. The aroma was not overbearing. There were malt flavors that came through and hint of sweetness. The taste had a chewy malty backbone with toffee and coffee flavors. A bit of alcohol presence came through, a property that will dissipate with aging. Even still, this is a fine beer and I’m sure it will be even better in a few years.

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