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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2006

 (RETIRED)
overall
96
98
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Abbey Dubbel
Chambly, Canada

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 220   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61   SEASONAL: Winter   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 flavor. The Champagne-like effervescence and smooth mouth feel are the result of a natural secondary fermentation in the bottle obtained by the use of a carefully selected yeast culture. This vintage ale commences with a rich head of foam, followed by a smooth dark flavor with a hint of roasted malt delicately balanced by subtle notes of noble European hops. True to its Abbey style, this year’s vintage closes with a long, complex and subtly spiced finish. Brewed once a year in limited quantity, please enjoy Trader Joe’s 2006 Vintage Ale. This ale will age exceptionally well over time, developing more complex flavor as the years go by. Exclusively bottled for Trader Joe’s. Best Before 08-28-2009.


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Dragonfly1 (494) - Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2010
Aged 3 years- wish I had tried this back in ’06 so I could compare to this 3-yr version. At Al & Sue’s. Pours a very thick brown, still active foamy head. Aroma is super sweet- rich toffee, malt, caramel. Thick, syrupy body- more sweet malt, caramel, spice. Even some mint...I thought I was crazy picking that up, but I see the reviewer below me also picked it up too. Would have thought this one would have dried out more after 3 years, but this got way more sweet, almost cloyingly so. May have let this sit too long, was almost 5 months past it’s "best by" date of August 2009. May have to drink my 2007 within the next few months too...

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beastiefan2k (2478) - Emerald City (formely NYC & KS), Washington, USA - JUL 5, 2009
750mL bottle from cbkschubert, thanks Craig. About 2.5 years old at this point. It pours with a bubbly head that looks akin to an infected beer pour. The color is dark brown, cannot see through it. The aroma is very weird, its is crazy herb, almost oregano-like but it seems to be coming off the yeast and the age. Watery black bread after that as well. Flavor comes off that way as well, maybe some wintergreenl. A bit of an oily mouthfeel. It can almost come off as possibly infected or just a weird age and yeast combo. As far as other aged Unibroue goes this was very different. No need to sit any longer on this.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Glouglouburp (6022) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - APR 23, 2009
In short: A bready and nutty dark Belgian ale with a nice spicy touch. Nice brew.
How: Bottle 750ml. Drank when 2.5 years old (2.5 years after first rating). Sent to me by drewbeerme, thanks a lot Andrew.
The look: Cloudy brown body topped by a small but long-lasting beige head
In long: Nose is Unibroue signature yeast and a light roastiness. The body is full and fluffy with a very lively carbonation, it’s a Unibroue alright. The malts have a strong whole-wheat bread character. Toasted whole-wheat bread, hazel nuts, toffee, caramel, a nice spicy touch and a very light dark fruit presence. No alcohol presence whatsoever. Another nice brew from Unibroue. Being a quebec resident it is really frustrating to have to trade to get the Unibroue exclusive Trader’s Joe brews. It’s Celine Dion’s products I want to be exclusive to the USA.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - APR 13, 2009
2006 bottle, aged 3 years. Pours a dark and murky chestnut brown body with a foamy, beige colored head that settles to a small blanket. Pronounced edges of foam leave minimal spotting behind on the glass. The aroma is really inviting, showing notes of spicy gingerbread, cinnamon, molasses, and root beer malts, with hints of vanilla and dry cocoa. Wafts of freshly bloomed jasmine and lavender add soft, floral, perfumy elements that really impress. Flavors show more of the same, with sweet and smoky root beer and cola maltiness being complimented by spicy ginger root and cinnamon, with a raisin bread overtone that just goes perfectly with this brew. Medium-plus in stature, with soft carbonation and a semi-dry, ever so slightly alcoholic finish. This drinks easier than the 9% ABV would suggest. Signature Unibroue in the bready, sweet yeast profile. I don’t know why I always seem to blow this brewery off, because they really do make some good beers. This is no exception.

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
foundmd (210) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - APR 6, 2009
750ml bottle. Pours dark brown/black with a large tan head. Aroma of yeast and dark fruit. Complex flavor of fruit (raisons, plums, grapes, and citrus) with candy sugar, sweet malt, chocolate, and spice. Medium bodied and lots of carbonation. Similar to Trois Pistoles. A pleasure to drink.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ughsmash (7154) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 23, 2009
750mL bottle. Poured deep, rich brown with a looser-bubbled cap of beige head. The aroma picked up darker, raisiny fruits, molasses, and brown sugar supporting some lactic notes, earth, and light espresso.. cloves and peppery spicage wafted overhead. The flavor was just as good with earth, semi-sweet chocolate, raisins, and molasses at the core.. vanilla, brown sugar, and coffee extend outward.. finished rather spicy with white pepper and cloves.. warmth comes back after the finish in the nose as well as the belly. Medium-plus bodied with lively carbonation on the palate.. balance was spot on.. very good all the way. Oh.. and Joey’s comment on limes was spot on.. that was a component I couldn’t put a finger on (or words to) when I wrote this out, but it’s all up in the beer.. bit of salt too.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
radiomgb (2262) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 20, 2009
Dark brown in colour with a long lasting brown head, excellent lacing. The aroma is yeasty, malty, some light chocolate, plums and raisins, high sweetness. The flavour is of light alcohol, yeast, plums and is moderately sweet. Sweet mouthfeel, medium body, medium/high carbonation. Finishes long, spicy, sweet and yeasty.

This was better than the 2005 as this is more Unibroue-ish. A light Trois Pistoles.

750ml bottle obtained in a trade with hopdog, thanks Steve.
Opened on July 2, 2008.
Vintage 2006.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
iowaherkeye (2692) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - MAR 12, 2009
750mL bottle from moejuck, thanks Joe! Clear deep brown with a two finger short-lived beige head. Aroma has Unibroue’s yeast--no surprise--with some dark frutis--raisins and prunes come to mind--as well as. . .key lime pie? It’s definitely out of place, but not entirely unpleasant. There’s also some dark candi sugar. Flavor has the key lime still present, but taking a backseat, and some white peppery notes coming forth. Bone dry slightly earthy finish with bitterness peaking around a 2. Moderate prickly carbonation with a medium full body. Another good offering from Unibroue.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
madsberg (10308) - Søborg, DENMARK - JAN 10, 2009
Bottled. Dark reddish brown coloured. Fluffy brown pice, berries, light roast and some brown sugar in the aroma. Flavour is spiced, light caramelly and roasty. Has some fruity notes. Medium bodied. Is somewhat medical in the flaovur and aftertaste. Not unpleasant. Ends on a light spiced and fruity note.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nickd717 (3560) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 9, 2009
Dont hate because its from TJs! Unlike other Trader Joes products (see Chuck, Two Buck) this is actually quite tasty and satisfying. Pours a reddish color with medium off-white head. Flavor of yeast, roasted malt, candi sugar, coriander, and some cherry. Fairly sweet and well spiced. Not bad, not bad at all.


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