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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2009

 (RETIRED)
overall
96
93
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 180   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Trader Joe’s 2009 Vintage Ale
You might be used to seeing vintages on wine; not so much on beer. And that’s what makes this ale so special. Trader Joe’s Vintage Ales were developed, crafted, brewed and bottled for us in limited quantities this year. Its flavor, color, texture and overall character are different from our Vintage Ale of 2008, and in 2010 it will be different once again.

The 2009 Vintage Ale
It is an opaque black color and features an impressive coffee-colored foam. In a glass, it boasts cocoa and malt aromas, with a subtle hint of lemon and ginger. A sip from that glass really brings out the best in this ale - malty and mildly sweet, with hints of cocoa, citrus and spices.

Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is ready to enjoy right away, chilled but not ice cold. Unlike many beers, though, this one will age for a few years, and its flavors will become more complex and interesting as time goes by.

What’s that? You’re a beer geek? We love that. You’ll love this. And we assume you’ll want to know this is a dark ale on lees, 9% ABV (that’s Alcohol by Volume, for the non-beer geeks). Oh, and it’s brewed exclusively for Trader Joe’s, of course.

Best Before 09-12-2012


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Glouglouburp (6022) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - JUL 4, 2012
In short: A liquefied Mars bar with hot spiciness. Good beer
How: Bottle 750ml, consumed when a little over 2 years of age. Bottle sent to me by
The look: Very dark mahogany body with red highlights topped by a large beige head with good retention
In long: Nose is slightly phenolic, sweet soft candies and a spiciness that is usually found in light refreshing beers (coriander, lemongrass). Taste is sweet cereals, nougat, watered down toffee, candi sugar, hot spiciness (black pepper, ginger, more…), milk chocolate, almonds, fruity notes of apples. The various flavor elements of the beer (nougat, milk chocolate, caramel, hot spiciness, etc.) gives the sensation of drinking a hot-spicy liquefied Mars™ bar. Carbonation is a bit on of soft side and the mouthfeel is a bit slimy. Somehow the beer never felt too sweet and drinking a full 750ml was an easy task. Overall, a pretty decent beer, this one had the potential to be one of the best Unibroue but the slimy mouthfeel was a letdown and I would have preferred the spiciness to be a more discreet. I’m also pretty sure this was inspired by Trois Pistoles or even was a blend that uses Trois Pistoles. It angers me that the Unibroue Trader Joes and brewed 20 miles away from my home but are only sold in the USA, I almost feel like hating the USA but it is useless, nobody hates half of the USA as much as the other half of the USA.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
csteele2144 (125) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2012
Black with tan head, cocoa, malt, bready yeast aroma. Dark fruit, toffee, and coriander taste. Easily the best vintage produced so far.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
cblado (243) - Washington, USA - FEB 19, 2012
Wow. Thanks a lot to MeisterbrauMHB for this! Pours a deep, opaque mahogany color. Thick foamy tan head. Aroma is a rich malt, apple, and clove, with coriander notes. Flavor is very complex, with a strong roasted malt backbone and cocoa notes galore. Yet it’s surprisingly drinkable. Holy cow. This is really quite amazing, and worth the wait. Thanks again!

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
RSRIZZO (1855) - Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - FEB 18, 2012
22oz bottle courtesy of Headbanger at gathering on 1/10/10. Color is a deep dark brown that is near black. Carbonation is good making for a nice tan head. Aroma is rich and sweet. It has a full body with a rich mouth feel. Flavor is spicy with rich caramel and dried fruit ending with a light bitterness. Overall its a very good brew.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
PotjeBier (1732) - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS - JAN 17, 2012
(From notes) Bottle, New Year’s Eve of 2009. Dark brown color. Off white to beige head, retaining. Aroma: spices (ginger, aniseed), dark fruits, (milk)chocolate. Flavor is medium sweet, spicy & malty. Quite strong alcoholfeel. Medium bodied. Flavor lingers on (no new flavors). On the spicy side, but nice winterwarmer.

3.9
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jezmez68 (398) - Chesterton, Indiana, USA - DEC 2, 2011
I always like these. This is black and imparts a huge, billowy head. Smells like Unibroue and Coriander. Light in the mouth. No heavy alcohol. I waited two years to try this. I’m not sharing it. Quite good.

4.1
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ApisAles (1576) - Greenbelt, Maryland, USA - NOV 27, 2011
Been saving this one for awhile. Poured deep ruby with a light tan head. Aroma is dark fruit, raisins, Belgian yeast, caramel, toffee, super complex and earthy. Some strong vinous notes. Flavor is similar to aroma. Sweet dark fruit, malt. This beer was excellent.

3.8
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
GRM (3019) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 16, 2011
Brown bottle, 750 ml, from Philippe Boutin, savoured on October 21 2011; eye: dark brown, opaque, no effervescence, tiny sheet of beige head, no lacing; nose: coriander, yeast, fruity, candied sugar; mouth: coriander, yeast, fruity, candied sugar, ginger spiciness, light alcohol, finale in ginger spiciness with presence of coriander, medium-full body, good carbonation, foamy texture; overall: fine FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 750 ml, 9 %, de Philippe Boutin, savourée le 21 octobre 2011; œil : brune foncée, opaque, pas d’effervescence, petite couverture de mousse beige, pas de dentelle; nez : coriandre, levure, fruité, sucre candi; bouche : coriandre, levure, fruité, sucre candi, piquant du gingembre, léger alcool, finale en piquant du gingembre avec présence de coriandre, corps moyen-corsé, bonne carbonatation, texture mousseuse; en résumé : bien

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Boutip (4775) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 31, 2011
Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of candi sugar and coriander with the typical Unibroue yeast profile. Taste is a very nice mix between some sweet Belgian malt with light notes of candi sugar and quite a bit of coriander. The Unibroue yeast strain profile can also be easily detected but I find the light fruity ester it provides very enjoyable. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with some complexity and easily drinkable characteristics.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Lubiere (10139) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 25, 2011
A dark brown ale with a thick big bubbled mocha head. In aroma, loads of coriander spices, with plums, candy sugar, Italian herbs, quite nice. In mouth, a smooth sweet dark fruits with candy sugar, and light sugar, ginger notes, very nice and smooth. Tasted Oct. 21 2011 with GRM and Boutip. Merci Phillipe.


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