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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2008

 (RETIRED)
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2008
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overall
95
97
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Abbey Dubbel
Chambly, Canada

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 181   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
The Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale is a brown Belgian-style ale of great distinction produced by traditional top fermentation methods resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavor. The Champagne-like effervescence and smooth moth feel are the result of a natural secondary fermentation in the bottle obtained by the use of carefully selected yeast. This deep brown color vintage ale, with a tint of red hue displays effervescent generous beige foam. It has notes of coffee and spices, mild aroma of tropical fruits. Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale has a smooth round mouth feel and notes of roasted malt, carrying toffee-like flavor, finishing with well balanced noble hops. True to it’s Abby Dubbel style, this year’s vintage ale offers a highly distinctive flavor enhanced by the fruity and floral notes of the yeast. The result is a complex and warming ale that offers both strength and subtlety. Brewed once a year in limited quantity, please enjoy Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale. This ale will age exceptionally over time, developing more complex flavor as the years go by. Exclusively bottled for Trader Joe’s. Best before 09-09-2011.


4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
cracklefish (108) - Ohio, USA - JUL 28, 2012
Lovely. Dry on the finish. Lots of very round malt flavors with a dark fruit and pie cherry character.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
HogTownHarry (6042) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - JUL 25, 2012
March 4, 2011 - with blankboy, garthicus, gregclow, jerc and mabel: 750ml corked & caged bottle via trade with irishboy (thanks, Richard!). Clear bright amber, quite bubbly with an average fizzy/frothy beige head (3+). Yep - Unibroue yeast - classic caramel/yeast/spice/alcohol aroma - always appealing. Taste follows - like a fizzier caramel-sweet Belgian brown with nice yeast and alcohol. Thickish and syrupy body, solid carbonation, quick-finishing, a little sweet and boozy - very yeasty. Nice.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
kmweaver (3206) - Petaluma, California, USA - DEC 26, 2011
750ml bottle, courtesy of Mike P. Thanks, dude! Pours a murky, cola-brown color; modest fine-bubbled white head with solid lacing. Light oxidation/dry caramel in the nose along with dried cherries and fruit leather. Medium-full body; lively carbonation. Lots of dry caramel, dried dark fruits, pepper, and doughiness; chewy and reasonably oxidized, but still tasty. Finish of dough and caramel; mostly balanced end.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
kwoeltje (2232) - Manchester, Missouri, USA - DEC 17, 2011
(bottle) dark brown with tan head. Fruity/yeast aroma. Flavor of dark fruits, yeast, slightly sweet.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
verymerrymonk (413) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 20, 2011
Pours a dirty brown body with a healthy white head. Spicy, also some raisin, plum and fig. It has the typical Unibroue tingle or effervescence, for lack of a better description. Very good.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nickd717 (3457) - San Francisco, California, USA - NOV 10, 2011
Hell yeah, another Trader Joe’s tick. 750ml bottle thanks to my buddy Kieran. These beers are actually usually pretty good. Somewhat hazy reddish-brown in color with a lasting two-finger light beige head. The aroma is nice and Belgian with candi sugar, toffee, spicy and fruity. The flavor is great, really complex, with toffee, berries, prunes, and figs, apple, coriander, and clove, along with very Belgian yeasty notes. Medium-bodied with high, lively carbonation. Really nice beer from ol’ TJ’s.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUL 12, 2011
Bottle on 01/15/2011 at the 13th Richmond Gathering. Clear dark brown body with a small tan head. Sweet spice flavor with some fruity notes. Sweet malt flavor with belgian spice. Medium body with moderate carbonation.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
5000 (6180) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAY 1, 2011
Bottle:   Deep garnet, moderate to large frothy off-white head, fairly sticky lacing.   Bready nose, dark pitted fruit.   Fairly bready on the tongue.   Slight spiciness emerges on the nose and tongue as it warms.   Not as spicy as the 2009 though.   Lingering spices with a hint of breadiness and dark pitted fruit.   Tastes very much like a Unibroue product.   These releases always strike me as just as flavorful as most of the Unibroue line yet not as alcoholic.   This one was also fairly tasty, like the 2009.   Similar, just not as spicy as the 09. Maybe that’s what time does, albeit these are different beers.


4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nellie (349) - Dallas, Texas, USA - APR 1, 2011
caramel, no pine, honey, slightly floral flavors with syrup. This might be my favorite year.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mabel (5414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 20, 2011
[3620-20110304] 1pt9.4floz bottle. Lightly fruity aroma has a hint of something fresh and exotic, a little like freshly baked buttered bread. Clear, amber brown body with a quick bubbly off-white head. Wine-like licorice fruity malt flavour. Medium-full body has noticeable booze. Medium body. Interesting. (7/3/7/3/14) 3.4
(c/o garthicus and HogTownHarry, w/ them, blankboy, GregClow, jerc)


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