Archive for July 29th, 2010

July 29, 2010

Fuller’s Vintage Ale, My Magic Carpet Ride to London

My friend G brought me a bottle of 2008 Fuller’s Bottle Conditioned Vintage Ale. Yep, this is the same guy that brought me a sixer of Bud Light Lime. He followed that with a limited production (I got bottle 135,933 out of 150,000 made) vintage ale from London that came in a fancy red box? What? Well he actually has refined taste. In addition we both had the good fortune to have briefly lived in London; he in Chiswick where Fuller’s is brewed to be exact. So its completely in character for him to bring me a fine brew.

If you’ve never had a beer from Fuller’s, you need to rectify that. They taut themselves as the only remaining traditional family brewery in the city. They’ve been in business since 1845. If you are driving from Heathrow into central London, you’ll pass it on the way. Fuller’s bottles a dozen brews and some seasonals on top of that.  I see the ESB fairly often and love to have a pint of it when I do.

Drinking this beer tonight was a magic carpet ride, instantly transported me to London. I relived a few afternoons in the pub with Beautiful Wife watching Chelsea march through the season on the way to winning the Premiership. I sat lakeside in Battersea Park, eating lunch in the sun as our young son slept in his stroller. I stood on the sidewalk in the sun outside in the late afternoon spring sun with my coworkers making up puns and double entendres. Clearly my hippocampus has associated pleasant memories of London with excellent Fuller’s beer. One drink and my long-term memory went into overdrive.

Damn you G. Damn you for only bringing one bottle of this fantastic time machine beer. Thank you for bringing it too.


Creamy egg shell head over hazy dark amber beer


Sweet corn and dry grass


Silk mouthfeel layers on butterscotch hops, carmel malted orange peel and a slightly bitter alcohol bite at the end. The sweetness and boozy bite are to be expected from a brew that packs in 8.5% alcohol.


Haven’t a clue

 The vintage ale is bottle conditioned with the yeast still in it to give it plenty of aging potential.  Fuller’s recommends that you lay this beer down for 3 to 4 years. I couldn’t wait, so 2 years is all it got. Hey, if I hadn’t drank it, Beautiful Wife would have.