Quick Note: 2006 Vintage Ale, Fuller’s, London, England

This one is being peddled at the LCBO right now for $6.50 for 500 ml. Nice packaging. This is bottle #65180. I have another 2006 hidden away with a 2005. Why? Because I am a nerd.

Tan frothy head over caramel ale. On the nose, just malt sweetness. Rich. Plenty of grain texture all in all and an exceptionally well hidden 8.5% with sweet malt and twiggy and slightly astringent hops on the wash around the chops. There must be more – start again. The nose is more than just sweet. There is a hay loft sort of clean organic smell. Tweedy. What about the taste? Fruit? Sultana and apple perhaps. Maybe one of those green fig varieties as well. Some smokiness as well but gentle. Black tea at the finish with creme caramel.

Some day I will do a side by side. Meantime, pick a few of these up even at this price. Thinking ale. BAers say yes.

One thought on “Quick Note: 2006 Vintage Ale, Fuller’s, London, England”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Temujin – December 7, 2006 9:27 PM
    I quite liked the other two selections from Fuller’s that I have tried. Your review has me sold. I’ll look for it next time I’m shopping!

    Nicholas – December 8, 2006 1:34 AM
    Fuller’s ESB and London Pride were always “buy ’em when you see ’em” on the rare occasions they appeared in my local LCBO. Although I’m not as omnibeerbibulous as I used to be, Fuller’s is still a brewery name to conjure with.

    Paul in Kingston – December 8, 2006 10:10 AM
    But the question remains: is it worth the $6.50? Perhaps I am being boorish but I am steadfast in thinking that the beauty of beer is tarnished by anything (especially price and Holt Renfrew-grade cardboard box packaging) that adds elitism or inaccessibility to its presently global and classless appeal.

    Long live beer for everyone! Reject a two-tiered beer culture!

    PS – I apologize publicly for all of my bashing of bud light, blue light, piss-lite, etc. Those days are behind me now.

    Knut Albert – December 14, 2006 10:07 AM
    I beg to disagree, Paul, there is a diffence between quality beer and crap, and some of us try to do our bit to educate the masses.

    I had planned to visit the Fuller’s brewery whan I was in London last month, but my suitcase was already filled up. A dozen beers from English micro breweries to start with, and the the closing down sale for a lot of the bottled beers from Young’s, until recently the other quality London brewer (if you’re not counting the micros).
    So it will have to be next time.

    Paul in Kingston – December 15, 2006 4:35 PM
    Yes – I agree with you Knut, and I do appreciate good beer made by craft-minded brewers for discriminating consumers. The thing that has me bothered are the trappings of “quality” that are driven by marketing more than the brewmaster. Things like a fancy cardboard box for each bottle, or perhaps bottles that are paper wrapped, and of course the price. They smack of a barking attempt to create the image of a “quality” product that may or may not have anything to do with what’s inside the bottle.

    I’m not saying the beer is bad – I’ve heard it’s very good. I am mostly concerned that it promotes an excalating competition to tart up packaging to elevate some beers to “elite” status while letting the brewmasters craft slide. There is already enough of that in the wine biz.

    I guess my bottom line is a skeptisicm that outside hype is compensating for something missing on the inside.

    Chris – December 21, 2006 12:08 AM
    I just bought two bottles of the 2006 Vintage Ale. I missed the 2005, which was supposed to be one of their best ever.

    Wondering – do any of you ever see Fuller’s London Pride in bottles in your LCBOs? I can only find it (since before last summer) in cans. I hate drinking beer that’s been canned. (Is that wrong of me?)


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