The term 'Vintage Ale' always makes me think of Fuller's, who have been producing their annual Vintage Ales for many years now.
Batemans have recently joined the party with their 2012 Vintage Ale, a limited release that I believe only appeared in Aldi stores.
It's a slightly murky, deep copper colour in the glass, with a head that barely lasts long enough to catch it in a photo. The nose is unremarkable; slightly sweet, some hints of dark fruit and the barest metallic whiff.
The taste is certainly more interesting; it's sweet and slightly syrupy with raisin fruit and a subtle background of bitterness. The alcohol is very understated for a beer that is apparently 7.5%, and it's certainly no monster.
There's nothing particularly wrong with this beer, and if it hadn't come in a fancy box with a complicated tale of a hidden crate of 1976 barley wine I'd probably have been quite enthusiastic.
However, it fails to live up to it's own hype and it's lacking the depth and body that the name leads you to expect.
This review was originally published 4th January, 2013. It was last updated 1st June, 2023.