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Review of Fullers 2008 Limited Edition Vintage Ale

30 Jul
Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2008 production of the Fullers Limited Edition Vintage Ale brewed by Fuller Smith & Turner PLC Brewery located in London, England.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try several of these in the past and all have been very good.  I’m really excited about trying this one as well.

From the website, fullers.co.uk, we find this enticing description of these brews.

Vintage Ale is a truly distinguished bottle-conditioned ale, crafted by Fuller’s Head Brewer, John Keeling.  Each vintage is a blend of that years’ finest malt and hops, and of course our unique yeast, creating a unique limited edition brew.
 
Bottle conditioning means that a little yeast is left in the bottle after bottling, which will mature slowly over time like a fine wine or whiskey – well beyond the best before date that we are obliged to state.  Here at Fuller’s, we recently opened (in the interest of research, of course) a few bottles of old Vintages:  they tasted better than ever so stock up now and you’ll be glad you did in years to come!

I have, in my possession, bottle number 118,317 of 145,000.


This beer comes in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 8.5%.

It poured a murky, burgundy/brown color with a nicely sized, off white head.  It was semi-creamy and soft.  It had a decent retention time and it left behind some adequate lacing as well.  A slight appearance of some alcohol legs were left on the glass when tilted too.

The aroma presented a solid dose of caramel and toffee sweetness.  Hints of cranberry, ripe apple and raisins.  Very yeasty also.  As it warmed, it kind of smelled like freshly baked raisin bread with brown sugar sprinkled on top.  Nice.

The taste burst through with that sugary caramel malt sweetness.  Savors of doughy bread and yeast mixed with raisins and dates.  A minor taste of alcohol, but it quickly dissipated after a few sips.  I found it to be well balanced, harmonized and suitable.  Not too strong either.  Just about right.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Dry, chewy, and incredibly smooth.  The carbonation was low to medium/low.  No discernible warmth was felt, however a decent amount of flavor was left behind after each taste.

Well, this brew is very good in my opinion.  Actually, all of these Vintage Ales are very good.  They are super easy to drink, have plenty of flavor and age gracefully.  I’d highly recommend trying some if you have the opportunity.  I’m very happy to be able to obtain these with relative ease.  I try to pick one up every so often to put back for a rainy day.  I think they are very underrated and should be treated with the utmost respect by even the most advanced craft beer aficionado.  Even though this version didn’t seem to be as complex as some of the others I’ve tried I would still say give the Fullers 2008 Limited Edition Vintage Ale a try and see what you think.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A-  

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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Country: England, Fullers

 

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