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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2005

 (RETIRED)
overall
97
92
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 131   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is a dark Belgian style beer of great distinction produced by traditional top fermentation methods resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavour. Brewed once a year in limited quantity, please enjoy Trader Joe’s inaugural Vintage Ale.


4.6
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
BigBastard (668) - L.A., California, USA - DEC 19, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2005 This is awesome. When I saw that Unibroue was the brewer, I had to pick up a few. A great price at $5 too. Rich, heavy flavors of roasted malt, clove and other spices, ripe fruit, cherries and maybe some banana, also tastes of fresh bread or cake. Very complex but well blended flavors. I will be buying more bottles to see how it ages, but this is one delicious brew.

4.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Darkover (1512) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 16, 2005
Very dark brown/red with a huge head resemblling a strawberry milkshake. Aroma of yeast, fruit and spices. The yeast smells different than the usual Unibroue. Flavor of dark fruits and yeast. Warming finish.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
JohnnyFlake (53) - Henderson, Nevada, USA - DEC 18, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 13, 2006 750 Bottle - picked up 8 of them at a local TJ, some for trades and a few for keepers. This pours a very dark brown with a slightly murky look to it, with a huge creamy tan head. Lacing is minimal. Aroma is full of sweet malt, a funky yeast and dark fruit. Flavor is nicely complex, with nuances of black cherry, figs, apricot and semi-sweet malt, and a tiny hit of alcohol every now and then. Mouthfeel is rich and silky. Aftertaste is long and smooth, with the hops becoming noticeable. This is a very nice offering and a steal at $4.99 for a 750. I may just pick up a few more to to cellar and enjoy every year for the next four or five years.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - MAR 31, 2006
Delicious. For the rest, I’m copying my trois pistoles comments because they are very similar: Nice light clove/apple aroma. I love dark strong ales like this. One of my personal favorites. Wonderful taste, not too sour or funky. Just a hint of lactic sourness on the aftertaste, like they mixed 5% lambic in it.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rmussman (1702) - California, USA - FEB 27, 2007
I was very suprised at Trader Joes to see this beer was from Unibroue. After pouring it was easy to tell that it was certainly from them. The high carbonation and light acidic texture of the beer was classic Unibroue. Very dark nature was rare from them but expected. Very nice.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Cobra (1100) - Banned City, - JAN 6, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2008 2005 batch, 750 ml brown, Belgian bottle. Corked and caged. Aged in my cellar since it’s release. Tasted in a 3 year vertical with the 2006 and the 2007 batch. This one poured out a deep dark chocolate brown. Much different in color & appearance than either the 2006 or the 2007 batch. A thick mocha colored head sits atop this beer. Aromas are more of roasted malts, with spicy dark dried fruits mixed in. Smells really good, compared to each of the other 2 year’s vintages. Massive flavors in this one. Some clove, licorice, damp, dank basement, sweet toffee, some pipe tobacco, and strangely enough, some cherry pie flavors. Tart cherries, not the sweet ones. Thick & chewy at this point means more flavor for me. This one stands heads & shoulders above the other 2 vintages in this vertical tasting. it certainly has aged well, no doubt about it.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - FEB 7, 2006
I lucked out and found a few bottles of this up at Eton Collection - 3 bottles didn’t last long thru the holidays though!!!! Deep dark brown; can’t see thru it except a bit at the edges where it’s a bit ruby. Sweet dark fruit aroma, some cocoa, a good amount of roast; licorice (Lisa liked this despite the anise notes). We drank two bottles of this very close to room temp - nice thick smooth palate. Taste was sweet prune with some roast and a great cocoa powder dusting from middle to end. Excelent!

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
omhper (19192) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 23, 2006
Bottled. Dark brown, clear. Sparkling berryish aroma. Medium sweet and medium bodied with lively, soft mouthfeel and notes of lingonberry. A light yeast character. Feels fresh and intriguingly flavourful. Unibroue-quality...

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Shag (2584) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - MAY 19, 2006
Dark browish black appearance with a large head. The aroma is raisins, chocolate, rum, and gingerbread. The flavor is rather sweet with a heavy alcohol presence. I taste figs, caramel, chocoalte and ginger. The beer has a doughy presence with a warming effect. Good stuff.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CapFlu (4459) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 11, 2007
(Bottle) Acquired from BlankBoy. Lasting almond-coloured foamy head with a deep brown-red body. No sediment. Nose is boozy: fig, caramel and roasted malt and cardamom spice. Flavour is meaty, polished elixir of fresh fig, crystallized brown sugar and bourbon that’s been cherry dipped in syrup. The 3.5 years added to this beer hasn’t hurt this brew one bit. I wish I had more of this...


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