CheersMate (1296) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - DEC 15, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
#800! 750ml picked up at Trader Joes in Midtown. At $4.99 a 750ml, for a premium Belgian Strong (9%) you canít beat that. What a nice dark brown color, with an off-white head. Fluffy head sticks around for some time. Nice spice and fruit aroma. Spices dominate the aroma. I get that slight lemon zing along with some juniper. I may be mixing the juniper with the ginger, but which ever one it is is definitely coming through in the aroma. This is a pretty pungent brew. Not much of a "Belgian" aroma to it. Dark fruit and yeast is muted. Flavor is a perfect blend of spice and Belgian. Nice dark fruit Belgian Strong flavor, but the spices are coming through more as the beer warms. That ginger/juniper flavor is everywhere. The dark fruit, and slight yeast flavor is there as well creating a wonderful balance in this Trader Joes beer. Completely amazed at this, and I am damn glad to have tried it. A little too carbonated for me.
Sickboy282 (1115) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 15, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle- Pours a deep brown/amber hue with a semi-fine, lasting bubbly head and moderate lacing. Aromas of peppercorns, cereal, a touch of roasted cocoa and prunes. Hop bitterness on the palate is refreshing and is more apparent than typical of the style . But maybe my glass if still too cold. Mouth feel is medium bodied with flavors of spruce, hints of other spices (cloves), a touch of banana. Interesting flavor combo.
demitriustown (1011) - Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA - DEC 14, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
750ml bottle: Aroma is fruity, yeast, dark fruit (Prunes or Raisins), and a light malt characteristic with a very light floral hop backing. Appearance is a dark ruby to brown color with a huge slightly tan head that lingers forever. Taste is dark fruits, yeast, nice spice notes, very carbonated, and some very light malt notes. Palate is bubbly and melds into an aftertaste of fruit and yeast. Overall, I really donít remember the other in the series, but this is a quality Unibroue product. Cheers!
badgerben (4323) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 14, 2009
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark brown color with a large head. Yeasty aroma with a hint of spearmint. Very malty taste. Caramel and some spices, predominantly cardamom. Bready when warming to cellar temp. Tasty, and for about $4.50, a steal.
HonkeyBra (2858) - Lemont, Illinois, USA - DEC 13, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark pour with big tan head. Nose of spicy coriander, chocolate covered orange, dark fruit. Some yeast. Flavors of chocolate covered orange, belgian spice. Nice mouthfeel, finishes sweet and spicey. For the price? Canít beat it.
ben4321 (3354) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - DEC 13, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Location: 750 ml bottle from Trader Joes (Short Pump), 12/13/09
Aroma: It has spice (coriander, pepper, etc), chocolate, dark malts, lemon, a bit of dark fruit, ginger, along with that familiar Unibroue yeast scent. The dark malts, fruit, and chocolate become more prevalent as it warms.
Appearance: This one pours a dark brown color with a rather large, bubbly tan head that fizzes down, leaving a smaller tan film atop the beer and just a few spots of lace on the glass
Flavor: Medium sweet with a strong malt presence and similar characteristics to the nose
Palate: The mouthfeel is rather fizzy from the high carbonation, with a medium body, and no ABV burn. Ultimately, it is just highly drinkable.
This is my first of the Trader Joes Vintage Ales, but when I went in to the store and saw a Unibroue beer for this cheap a price I was certainly excited to give it a try. An interesting beer, something I would like to drink again with a little age on it to see how it evolves, but it works pretty well right now too. I like the familiar Unibroue feel that this beer has, as I personally enjoy their style, if you donít, I would be hard pressed to recommend this one to you. As far as temperature goes, it does open a bit as it warms, though it even a bit too cold, it is not what I would call muted. A fairly interesting nose leads to a fairly interesting beer.
**Just submitted a Photo for this one as well, as it was missing one.
thegreenrooster (2976) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 12, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pour is a dark brown, darker than I thought it would be. A small tan head comes off the pour. Aroma is all things Unibroue yeast with a strong brown sugar. Flavor is some clove and spice with a nice vanilla aftertaste. A bit of alcohol hits you at the end but nothing to overpower. I would never remember what the previous years beer taste like but this is always a nice cheap treat at the end of the year.
satan165 (1014) - River Grove, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 13, 2009 opaque pour with oxygenated un-foamy head similar to coca cola that fades quick. aroma is subtle citrus, belying the intimidating hue of the body. fresh, floral spice accompanies lightly sharp lemon zest. some sweetness provided by yeast. flavor is heavy malt sweetness a shade even lighter then basic caramel. yeast stays relevant but this remains a very light bodied beer with a bit underdeveloped malt profile. floral/herbal spice notes lighten it further. still well worth the $5 price tag per 750 but might benefit from some age to work out some of the sweetness.
chimaybier (70) - California, USA - DEC 11, 2009
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 ML bottle purchased at Trader Joeís in Redding, CA. The commercial descriptives are pretty much dead on. A great buy for only $4.99!
vyvvy (3422) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 10, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
After a couple of years of fairly disappointing releases for the Vintage ale (still good for the price) this is back to being one I like. Pours very dark with a deep reddish hue and a very large bubbly tan head. The aroma has the signature Unibroue yeast as well as ginger, dark malt, light citrus, anise and crispness. Medium / light body with medium sharp carbonation. The flavor starts with dark malt that has no bitterness, ginger, lemon zest, light sweetness and mineral notes. The finish gets a bit more medicinal, cocoa and minor abv warmth. Quite nice and very easy drinking for a 9% beer. Excellent bang-for-the-buck beer.