Action Figures & Their Beers — Getting My Goat

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2020-07-08, 17:41:19

FULLER'S VINTAGE 2009

This was a heck of a find! We have a liquor store near where we live (actually, it's a half-hour drive, but I'm still adjusting to that being "near" by American standards) which we occasionally stock up at. And once when we were there, I found that they had a stock of Fuller's Vintage of a . . . well, vintage . . . that I'd not tried before: 2009. Ever since then, we've been buying one or two of them every time we go, and I'd have one on my birthday or at Christmas or for New Year's over the last three years. Well, we can't do that any more, because on her last trip, Greeata bought the last two. Ever.

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I'm not feeling too guilty about that, because according to the people who work at said liquor store, only one other person has ever bought any, and that was a while back. It's understandable, though: these run somewhere between US$8 and US$9 apiece, and most people would rather get tanked on something cheaper that they're familiar with, rather than take a risk on a pricey new thing. All the more for me, though!

Now, there weren't any VTSC, VOTC, or other "Vintage Collection" figures produced in 2009, so I have to go with the figure currently with me that gets closest to the mark. And that's the VOTC Ree-Yees that came with the Jabba's Palace Adventure Set, which is itself just a re-carded re-issue of the 3.75" Black Series Ree-Yees from 2014.

I want to like this figure. I really do. Ree-Yees has been one of my top favourite alien designs ever since I first saw it back in 1983. But it falls just short on so many levels. For one thing, the shading wash on his skin looks a lot thicker and sloppier than on the Black Series version. For another, it hasn't got that nifty shimmery gloss to the clothes that the POTF2 version from 1998 has (which, if you look at behind-the-scenes stills of the character, especially in Steve Sansweet's book Star Wars: The Action Figure Archive from 1999, is surprisingly accurate). He has no ankle articulation, which would really help a lot with posing and balance. His head . . . just looks slightly wrong, as if Amanaman tried shrinking it while Ree-Yees was asleep and it was still attached to him, then he woke up shortly after the process started, and before it got very far. He comes with scaled-down versions of the two guns that POTF2 Ree-Yees came with, which we never actually saw the character wield. }SIGH{

Here's what I'd like to see, the next time they do a Ree-Yees: POTF2 head sculpt & clothing colour. This body, but with increased articulation (swivel-hinge ankles, and possibly wrists, too). The 3.75" Black Series more subdued and realistic shading on the skin areas. And niftier accessories, such as a drinking glass and an updated version of his Vintage gold rifle-axe.

As for the beer, it contains the usual Fuller's Vintage stuff: a sturdy commemorative shipping box with unique identifying number on it, and words from the brewmaster at the time, John Keeling: "I have crafted this ale from the very finest Goldings hops, Tipple malted barley and of course our unique yeast to create a truly extraordinary limited edition brew. Individually packed and numbered, this bottle is one of only one hundred and sixty thousand produced. Although we are obliged to state a best before date of 2012, like a fine wine or wishky this mellow golden ale will improve with age for many more years. For best results, keep upright in a cool, dark room or cellar. This 2009 edition marks 12 years of brewing this magnificent ale. Further information on previous Vintage ales can be found inside." And inside, you get a little information card detailing the previous Vintage brews.

Now, in all my previous reviews of Fuller's Vintage brews, the drink-by date was set at 10 years past the bottling date. Well, this one is now at the 11-year mark. And it's still outstanding. At the time of its bottling, it was at an octane rating of 8.5% ABV, but I think it's crept up a bit more since then. Containing just a smidge over a full true Imperial pint (20.09 fluid ounces, as opposed to dead-on 20), it's the perfect amount to have just one of, without feeling that you need to drink another one. But you still really, really want to. It's rich, boozy, delicious, and hearty. It's like drinking liquid rum cake or whiskey cake. I still think the 2010 is the best Vintage so far, but danged if the 2009 still isn't one of the better FV offerings I've quaffed. If you can find any, nab them. If you already have some, you're a lucky barve. Highly recommended!

Drink this if you also like: Any other Fuller's Vintage release, excellent beers, boozy beers, strong beers, and rich, delicious beers.





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