Session #18 – anniversary beers

This mon­th’s ses­sion is host­ed by The Bar­ley Blog, and we’ve been asked to knock back a lim­it­ed edi­tion anniver­sary beer and blog about it, per­haps explain­ing our choice.

Well, the rea­son for today’s choice is quite easy – the only can­di­date we had in was a Fullers’ Vin­tage Ale from 2005. Is it more com­mon on the oth­er side of the pond to have lim­it­ed edi­tion beers? I can’t think of many British brew­eries that do it.

The trou­ble with these lim­it­ed edi­tion, made-for-aging beers is decid­ing when to drink them. The longer you’ve had them in, the hard­er the deci­sion gets. You need an occa­sion to jus­ti­fy it, and what bet­ter occa­sion than rais­ing a glass to fel­low beer-blog­gers across the globe. Oh, that and the pro­mo­tion one of us got this week.

The aro­ma of this 8.5% beast­ie was over­whelm­ing­ly of alco­hol, specif­i­cal­ly a sweet sher­ry or Pedro Ximénez. Like PX, it coats the tongue with sug­ar and fruits – we got hints of apri­cot and cher­ry. We did­n’t notice a lot of bit­ter­ness at the end, and in fact the fin­ish was a lit­tle on the sour side.

I’m not sure our tast­ing notes bear any resem­blance to what Fullers say about this vin­tage, sug­gest­ing per­haps that it has­n’t aged that well – or that we, and the peo­ple we bought it from, haven’t aged it very well.

Still, it left a pleas­ant warm­ing feel­ing in the bel­ly.