Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2014 – Old Ale at 8.5% ABV

Fuller, Smith & Turner PBC Vintage Ale 2014 Old Ale at 8.5% ABV (C$9.49 at NLC Stavanger, 500 ml, best before 31-Dec-2024, acquired 3-Dec-2014, reviewed 10-Jul-2018)

Appearance: clear deep amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and moderate spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel, dark fruit, light citrus, hint of toffee. (8/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly slick body, moderate-high carbonation, sticky building bitter warming finish. (4/5)

I initially had this classified as an English Barleywine, but appear to be outvoted by the usual suspects. And yeah, I guess I could be convinced of that classification, thinking of Old Ale as “Barleywine Lite”. The body is somewhat lighter than typical for a Barleywine, and in particular the carbonation is surprisingly high for such an otherwise imposing offering. The sticky, warming finish, though, would be right at home with a Barleywine. I’m getting only hints of the purported American hopping in this one, which is hardly surprising considering it’s been in the bottle for more than four years now. Big and enjoyable, but a definite slow sipper. (16/20)

My 260th from the 2010 Edition of 1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die, 250th from the 2013 edition, and 274th combining both editions.

8/10 #1001beers #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

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