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RATINGS: 183   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
brokensail (16057) - Dublin, California, USA - DEC 31, 2010
A: The pour is a brownish color with a minimal off-white head forming. S: The nose is quite sweet with lots of caramel, candi sugar, and light fruits such as pears and apples. There’s a touch of alcohol as well as a hint of darker fruits like raisins. T: Despite the definite sweetness, there’s a touch of dryness to the beer. Still some good fruit notes like apples, pears, raisins, and plums. Lots of candi sugar and caramel as well. M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth. D: One of the best (if not the best) of the Trader Joe’s vintage beers. A more standard and drinkable Belgian-style beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Oakes (15806) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - FEB 18, 2009
Muddy dark amber. Dark fruitiness and lots of yeastiness on the nose. Full bodied. Dark fruits and very Unibrouey palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mcberko (14665) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 26, 2012
750mL bottle, pours a hazy dark amber with a medium off-white head. Aroma is quite subtle, with some light spices, mild dark fruits, and some Belgian candied sugar. Flavour is very, very similar to the 2007, with dark fruits upfront, some brown sugar, caramel, and more dark fruits. If I tasted this is a blind tasting, I’d likely not be able to tell the difference from the 2007. Fairly restrained carbonation, as the 2007 vintage, with the fruitier tones upfront and quite complex. Stronger flavour than the 2006, and like the 2006 and 2007, this has not suffered at all from age. Excellent stuff.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (14170) - Woodland, California, USA - DEC 6, 2008
750 ml bottle c&c. Hazy rubyish color with a multifinger beige head. Aromas of medium dark fruits, spices and roasted malt. Medium plus body with coarsely creamy carbonation. Flavor is rather spicey, pretty strongly spicey, and that goes well with the dark fruit. The dark malt is sort of covered by all the other flavors. Very Belgian. Fairly dubbel. Excellent continuation of the series. And it was only $4.99?

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Tmoney99 (13606) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JAN 10, 2009
Bottle from Cincy store. Poured clear dark brown color with a large light brown creamy head that was lasting and produced excellent lacing. Good malty, nuts and spice aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium to full complex bittersweet malty flavor and medium sweet finish of long duration with a small alcohol tone. Good brew at a fair price. I got two bottles to age for the next two years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
argo0 (13318) - Washington DC, USA - APR 10, 2009
(750ml bottle) Large off-white head that mostly dissipates atop hazy brown body. Aroma is moderately sweet, banana, cereal, alcohol, some raisin, bubblegum. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, banana, raisin, bubblegum, some alcohol. Effervescent medium-full body. Right along the same lines as almost every other dark Unibroue concoctions -- not that this is a bad thing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Ferris (12904) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - JUL 20, 2013
Bottle - Caramel, dark fruit, grains and yeast. Clear amber with a medium head. Brown sugar, dark fruit and a light sourness. Like a Belgian strong in taste. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (12756) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - JUN 25, 2009
(750ml bottle) Pours a cloudy amber-brown body with a small off-white head. Aroma of raisins, rye, dates, and bananas. Flavor of raisins, dates, wheat, banana, toffee, roastiness, and caramel malt.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bierkoning (12577) - La Tropica, NETHERLANDS - MAR 30, 2009
Bottle, shared @ jbrus’s place. Yeasty, slightly vinous aroma with toffee, butter and citrus. Caramelly, almost vinous flavor, slightly alcoholic and yeasty. Malty beer with marzipan.Absolutely not bad.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerandBlues2 (12193) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 16, 2011
Bottle at 13th Richmond Gathering, courtesy of maniac. Pours clear tawny with an average, fizzy cream colored head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted), light hops (floral), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of dates. Flavor is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted, nutty), light hops (floral), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of dates and brown sugar. Medium body and warmth, medium-high carbonation, low creaminess with a dry finish.

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