Tasting: May 8, 2011
Nice presentation — crimson linen cardboard box, bottle is a heavyweight dark brown with a paper label that vertically wraps up and over the cap (looks like a bottle of port wine). My first venture into Fuller’s Vintage Ale (where the hell have I been). The leaflet in the box describes their previous 13 year vintages. This bottle is labeled as # 83,590 out of 125,000. At $8/bottle, that’s a $1,000,000 vintage gross. Enough of the details — onto the main course…
Pours a rich reddish/brown with thin off-white head. The nose is of a traditional english ale — malts, minerals and a wisp of alcohol and raisin. My first couple of swigs are quite surprising, it’s no surprise that I get the malt but that raisin comes shining through. Really a beautiful compliment to the subtly sweep malt. The hops are simply a complimentary ingredient. If you’ve read my last few reviews — that’s a welcome change. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and leaves a nice stickiness. I’ll also note that this ale checks in at 8.5% ABV. I really love English ales and this one is a shining example. I would expect that with some aging, this ale will continue to develop and those raisin/prune flavors will intensify.
Simply a solid A — so, I’ll translate that to 92 points.