KimJohansen (10341) - Frederiksberg C, DENMARK - DEC 30, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Dark brown with a large beige head. Aroma was sweet with roasted malt and loads of spices. Sweet flavour with roasted malt, caramel and coriander notes. Finished sweet.
joergen (18815) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - DEC 30, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy red brown coloured with a medium sized beige head.
Sweet and fruity aroma of citrus, caramel, yeast and dried fruits.
Sweet and fruity flavour of caramel, coriander, citrus, yeast and dried fruits.
Citric and spicy finish.
yespr (28617) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - DEC 29, 2008
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
75 cL bottle. Pours dark brown with a small off-white head. Mild spiced, light coriander note to a mild roasted malt aroma. Somewhat dark. Smooth roasted malty and medium sweet dark flavoured. Light yeasty touch. Lingering sweet, mild spiced and yeasty finish.
LtDan (1718) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - DEC 28, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Remarkably surprised with how tasty this was. Had the spices I enjoyed when it was fresh, but had this new layer of sweet tangy cherry. Very carbonated and lively. I wish I had saved more.
BMan1113VR (7689) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 20, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle thanks to someone at the Bruery Tasting. Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with an off-white head. Aroma of Cardamon, cinnamon, clove and dark malts. Taste is alcohol, clove, with a nice Unibroue yeast back note. Playful bubbles that come across on the fizzy side of things.
sebletitje (5974) - Enghien, BELGIUM - DEC 10, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy of ibrew2or3.
Pours light brown with tan head.
Aroma is fruity, with floral hops.
Taste, dark fruits: fig,plum. Some nice spices make this a very nice and almost sweet beer while the bitetrness remains hidden.
afterglow (1047) - Florida, USA - DEC 7, 2008
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a dark brown amber with a one finger off-white head that leaves good lacing. Aroma of dark fruit, caramel, and spicy yeast. Taste is the same as aroma. Medium mouthfeel with a mild amount of bitterness and well hidden alcohol. Very good.
Ibrew2or3 (6207) - Tempe, Arizona, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
This 2006 vintage, consumed Dec. 2008, pours hazy dark brown with thin off white head. The aroma has muted dark fruitiness, cinnamon, flower perfume, brown sugar and spices. The taste is much the same with a pulse of carbonation bringing up smooth sweet dark fruitiness swimming in a bath of molasses, some varied spices and a mild note of lemon acidity.
jgb9348 (4273) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - NOV 27, 2008
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 11/20
Deep brown coloured body with a large brown head. Aroma of malt, raisins and a bit of nuts. Medium-bodied; Fizzy and effervescent feel up front with a larger body taste near the end. Flavours of must, mushrooms, malt and a little bit of hay come into play - with a bit of malt and no hops. Aftertaste shows more must - not much good flavours in this one. Overall, a fairly musty and mild beer with decent tastes - but nothing special. I sampled this 75 cL bottle purchased from Trader Joe’s in 2006, sampled on Thanksgiving on 27-November-2008.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - NOV 27, 2008
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
I’m sure that more than a few of you are familiar with a grocers market of sorts by the name of Trader Joe’s. While I am unfortunately deprived of them here in Florida, I was able to enjoy shopping at a few Trader Joe’s while in Oregon. Known for their varied selection of fresh foods, organic, and specialty goods, not all realize that they can and often do carry a nice selection of craft and import beers. Even knowing this, I was pleased to be treated to a bottle of Trader Joe’s 2006 Vintage Ale. Color me surprised because I sure as day didn’t know they had their own beer. Further research revealed that the beers themselves are in some way related to that indomitable Canadian craft brewery, Unibroue. I found this out after tasting the brew within the bottle, but it was still a rather interesting bit of trivia.
My Trader Joe’s 2006 Vintage Ale poured clean and clear black with a nice khaki toned head which left delicate lace along the sides of my glass as she faded into a poufy layer. Her initial mouthfeel after my first quaff is very crisp and carbonated, given me an immediate impression of soda with its fizziness and processed sweetness. Her nose matches the fizzy pop esters along with some warm toasted bread and caramelized sugars. Thankfully her palate tastes nothing like soda pop. A fizziness does linger throughout our entire session, but it doesn’t interfere as much as it could have. Instead, it complements the chewy bready notes that are highlighted by caramel malts, brown spices, and vanilla. Further on, faint chocolates notes come out to play with her friends, adding another dimension to the Trader Joe’s 2006 Vintage Ale. Not much to speak of in her finish which is rather bland and a little lack-luster. I would love to be able to say more about her, but really all that I experienced has been spoken for.
I wouldn’t say my bottle or my tastebuds were off; I was just never bowled over or wholly impressed by the beer. Considering the potential and performance of its parent brewer of sorts, I was hoping for more. Unfortunately for Trader Joe’s, while I may enjoy their quality product selection, beer included, I don’t see myself going out of my way to try this beer again.