Name: Fuller’s 2004 Vintage Ale
Bottled/ Draft: Bottled
Bottle Conditioned: Yes
Bottle Size: 500 ml
Price: Approximately £5
Colour: Rich Brown
Clarity: Like a muddy pond
Head/ Bubbles: Surprisingly good head for a bottle beer, with fine bubbles
Mouthfeel: On the thicker side
Taste: Not very hoppy, a syrupy sweet maltiness, just a touch of bitterness towards the end. A slight warmth to the taste (like pepper or spices but without those flavours). Can tell it’s a strong beer, but it doesn’t taste as strong as some with similar ABV. A nice note of bitterness in the aftertaste.
Comment: This is not a beer you’d want a pint of – it’s a little too strong. As such, it’s not really an every day beer. But it’s a great choice for a special occasion, or where you’re looking for a beer to relish and take your time drinking.
Additional Info: Fuller’s Vintage Ales are crafted by their head brewer, John Keeling. Since 1997, he has carefully selected and blended malt, hops and yeast for this annual, limited edition beer. Because the beer is bottle conditioned, the yeast left in the bottle matures and changes the beer slowly over time. The 2004 vintage uses Goldings hops and Maris Otter malt.
The best place to buy a range of those vintages still available is the brewery’s on-site shop in Chiswick.