Fullers is London’s brewery. 6th day

Fullers Vintage Ale 2013

Style: Ale

ABV: 8.5%

Size: 500ml (Bottle)

Fuller’s is London’s Brewery.

Or so their website would have you believe. But it’s not that far from the truth to be honest. Fuller’s is an independent brewery founded in 1845 in Chiswick, West London. Their Griffin brewery still stands by the Thames in Chiswick, just over 2 miles from my house, and with the closure of AB InBev’s Stag Brewery in Mortlake could probably now claim to be biggest brewery in West London.

Griffin Brewery, Chiswick West London
Griffin Brewery, Chiswick West London

If you interested in their history, renowned beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones was commissioned to write a book celebrating their 170 year anniversary. ‘Crafting a Company’ looks at the company’s history, ethos and developments over the years. I haven’t read this, but if you’re interested it’s available from the Fuller’s website.

Back to Vintage Ale.

I first came across Vintage Ale in the Brewery Store back in either 2011 or 2012. After a leisurely stroll along Chiswick Mall with my fiancée (now wife) and her parents we decided to pop in. After perusing the selection, we bought a few Vintage Ales to celebrate Christmas, which is primarily why Fullers starting brewing Vintage Ale back in 1997. In researching Vintage Ale, I came across this great post from Mark Dredge from 2011 which does a great job of explaining what it’s all about.  One thing to add to Mark’s post – it is a limited run packaged in a traditional burgundy cardboard box and comes with a strong reputation amongst discerning beer drinkers.

Vintage Ale packaging with detailed write up on 2013 Vintage
Vintage Ale packaging with detailed write up on 2013 Vintage

Now, this was the most expensive bottle in my #12beersofxmas list leaving my wallet £16 lighter for the 2013 Vintage, which on reflection is probably the most I’ve ever paid for a beer. To be fair the older they are the more expensive, the 2015 Vintage would set you back £6. Why 2013? This was the year I got married and had my first child so mainly sentimentality.

My bottle was numbered 73023 of the Limited run
My bottle was numbered 73023 of the Limited run

Reading up on the 2013 Vintage, there was a less than fruitful barely harvest in 2013, so Fuller’s turned to Pearl malt which was brewed with Admiral and Sovereign hops. The batch is limited edition and the individual number on my bottle was 73023, so there was a least that many bottles, which to me illustrates the scale of Fullers (that a run with this many bottles in considered limited).

Box, bottle and glass - a well presented beer with a nice history
Box, bottle and glass – a well presented beer with a nice history

It pours a dark amber colour with a nice creamy head. The aroma reminds me of bourbon and coke but the taste is more like a Christmas pudding. WHich I have no qualms about as I love a good Christmas pud.

Cheers and Happy Christmas!

Useful Links and Resources

https://store.fullers.co.uk/Store/Category/88/Product/NCCFBK.aspx?_ga=1.189121579.1626990074.1450191172

http://www.pencilandspoon.com/2011/10/fullers-vintage-ale-15-year-vertical.html

https://store.fullers.co.uk/Store/Product/BOVA50013BT.aspx

Author: Michael Lally

London-based Australian blogger, podcaster and wannabe photographer. Looking to tell great stories about the world of craft beer and the have conversations with the people behind the craft beer scene in the UK.

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