Fuller’s 2018 Vintage Ale


This year’s Vintage Ale is a celebration of Fuller’s long-lasting friendships with the hop growers, merchants, and maltsters of the UK. It has been brewed using exclusively home-grown ingredients. The beer’s passionfruit, grapefruit and mango notes might be synonymous with the ‘new-world’ hops of America and Australia, but the beer’s tropical flavours, in fact, come from the British Olicana® variety. Alongside Olicana®, Ernest hop from Kent has been added to the brew – a variety that brings apricot, citrus and spicy notes. There are also herby, pine and earthy flavours to discover, from the classic combination of Target, Goldings, Challenger and Northdown hops.

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Somewhat rusty amber pour with a short khaki head which slowly peels off. It settles at the rim and drags a wet lace down the glass.

Aroma: Crammed full of the classic EKG and Challenger hop qualities; earthy, herbal spice and grassy but accentuated with a lesser known British hop named ‘Olicana’ which is said to offer passionfruit, grapefruit and mango…all of which are quite hard to detect through the big and beautiful Maris Otter-driven malt profile. Love!

Flavour: Simply amazing. Rich and savoury sweet. Jam packed with nutty malts, toffee/caramel, buttery biscuits and brown leather. Kinda sweet and earthy apricot, orange citrus and raisins fanning out to more greener notes of pine and old herbs as it nears the finish. Definitely ends much sweeter with an emphasis on this syrupy/fruity note which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and silky texture. Flat-ish Co2, medium body. Seriously can’t believe it weighs in at 8.5% ABV. So well buried.

Overall: Full credit to these masters. Sometimes the old world styles need to be paid the respect they deserve. And this one is due for some honours. Superb.