I've been tracking the Fuller's vintage beers since 2005 and started these five year old side by sides a few years ago. I buy a few every year as part of our local state monopoly's beneficence and every year I think... that'll take a few years to get there. This year's version, as almost illustrated, is no exception except it is an exceptional exception. There is the lovely aroma that hangs in your nose after the glass is gone. Hot afternoon grain field with a lash of sultana raisin. In the mouth, dignified twiggy herbal hop cutting the ball of pale malt with its tones of husk, straw and sweet. But not time. When you have one of these years after there is more of the sense of the effort and concern of those involved murmuring there in the little acids that spring up over time. A hint of a wrinkle at the corner of the eye or maybe a coarseness, the calloused hand on the rake. The warehouse full of malt. It's not there yet to be tasted. But it is there. Waiting.
Have you read The Unbearable Nonsense of Craft Beer - A Rant in Nine Acts by Alan and Max yet? It's out on Kindle as well as Lulu.
Maureen Ogle said this about the book: "... immensely readable, sometimes slightly surreal rumination on beer in general and craft beer in particular. Funny, witty, but most important: Smart. The beer geeks will likely get all cranky about it, but Alan and Max are the masters of cranky..."
Ron Pattinson said: "I'm in a rather odd situation. Because I appear in the book. A fictional version of me. It's a weird feeling."