12 January, 2007

Beauty of a beer is up for grabs

It's that time of the year when your fridge and your wallet are empty, so turn to OLN's latest competition for your chance to win 12 bottles of Fuller's Vintage Ale 2006.

Each year, London brewer Fuller Smith & Turner brews a limited number of bottles of Vintage Ale - an 8.5 per cent bottle-conditioned beauty of a beer.

Vintage Ale has been produced since 1997 and is highly sought-after by beer aficionados across the world. Each year, the brew uses slightly different ingredients, but always the best malt and hops that are grown that year. The 2006 Vintage Ale is no exception and combines the finest Fuggles and Super Styrian hops, floor malted Optic malt and Fuller's yeast to create a tapestry of rich, spicy flavours.

Orange, citrus and fruitcake notes are all present, and are balanced well with the biscuity, creamy malt flavours to leave a soft and warming finish. It's the perfect accompaniment to cheese or enjoyed on its own on a cold winter's night, in front of a roaring log fire. Although it is great for drinking now, Vintage Ale can also be kept in a cool, dark place and enjoyed in years to come. At a recent tasting of all 10 Vintages, the 1997 Vintage Ale was still very drinkable, and as time goes on the beer develops even deeper and more complex flavours. To get your hands on this winter warmer, just answer this question:

What hops have been used to create the

2006 Vintage Ale?

Send your answer, with your name, address and telephone number, by Jan 26 to: OLN/Fuller competition, c/o Georgina Wald, public relations manager, Fuller Smith & Turner, Griffin Brewery, Chiswick Lane South, London W4 2QB. Or e-mail Vintage Ale Competition to

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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