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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2009

 (RETIRED)
overall
96
94
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottling
unknown

on tap
unknown

distribution
unknown

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RATINGS: 178   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.63   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


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bu11zeye (11940) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - OCT 16, 2010
(750ml bottle, courtesy of boomer0813) Pours a dark mahogany body with medium beige head. Aroma of raisins, dates, vinous, and mustiness. Flavor of raisins, yeast, chocolate, anise, and dates.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11452) - Washington DC, USA - JAN 10, 2010
75cl, thanks peregrinari. Medium beige head atop cola black body. Aroma is moderately sweet, raisin, caramel, light sourness. Taste is moderately sweet, caramel, raisin, light anise, alcohol, sourness. Effervescent medium body.

2.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 7/20
Travlr (11156) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JAN 11, 2010
Bottle at DC’s first tasting of 2010. Light brown color with a medium beige head. Aroma of funk and big alcohol. Flavor is also dominated by the alcohol, and not in a good way. Hides the spice which starts to come through toward the finish, but not enough.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
jcwattsrugger (11079) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - JUN 23, 2011
750 bottle-thanks Brent-distiller for sharing-pours a foamy tan head and brown/copper color. Aroma is medium malt-caramel. Taste is medium malt-caramel, spice hops. Effervescence on ther front of tongue.

4.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (10951) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 25, 2009
Bottle from Trader Joe’s in Sacramento, CA. C&C. Cork came off with a pfft. Pours really dark brown with a 5 finger tan head. Sort of a bayberry aroma. Really smells a bit like a Xmas candle. Medium body with frothy carbonation. Flavor seemed evergreen, but suddenly it is definitely ginger. And some sweet, pretty dark, roasted malt. Finishes malty, but the ginger tends to balance that. Chocolate starts coming out after awhile. The head keeps doing interesting things. This year’s ale is really out there. Far, far out there.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
kp (10886) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - FEB 20, 2010
UPDATED: JAN 9, 2011
Name: Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale
Date: January 27, 2010
Mode: Bottle
Source: Trader Joe’s
Vintage: 2009
Appearance: opaque dark brown, big beige head
Aroma: sweet and spicy aroma, touch of swee dark fruits, balancing spicyness with a bite of ginger
Flavor: big malt flavor, nice chocolate, just a hint of sweetness, light spicyness with a peppery ginger bite, dry chocolate, dark fruits

Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 13/20
Rating: 3.2/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: **+ /4

Name: Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale
Date: December 23, 2010
Mode: Bottle
Source: Trader Joe’s
Vintage: 2010
Appearance: opaque dark brown, creamy beige head, drippy lace
Aroma: sweet and fruity aroma, fruity esters, lots of phenolic spicyness
Flavor: rich and fruity flavor, lots of sweet fruity esters, touch of chocolate, balanced with plenty of spicy phenols
Overall: too over the top phenolic for me for a dark Belgian

Aroma: 6/10; Appearance: 7/10; Flavor: 6/10; Palate: 6/10; Overall: 11/20
Rating: 3/5.0
Drinkability: 7/10
Score: ** /4

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
brokensail (10804) - Orange County, California, USA - DEC 31, 2010
A: The pour is a dark brown color with some definite amber tones to it. A decent khaki colored head forms on top. S: A strong aroma of herbs here, mostly chamomile and sage. There’s a bit roasted malt character as well, and a pretty decent chocolate note. As it warms, the herbal nature becomes more and more apparent. T: A bit more subtle in terms of the flavor profile. The sage and chamomile are there, and there’s a bit of licorice that I didn’t notice on the nose. A bit of sweetness and minimal chocolate with some warming alcohol. M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation. D: The herbal nature of this beer isn’t quite as pungent and overwhelming as some of the other Unibroue special releases, making this more enjoyable.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Leighton (10781) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - DEC 11, 2010
Bottle. Drank in December 2010. Pours a dark, brown-black with a thick, off-white head. Very spicy aroma, some dark sugars, light Belgian yeast. Sweet, somewhat bready, ginger, cardamon, yeast. Full bodied with average, lightly tingly carbonation and alcohol warmth. Spicy finish, boozy sting, brown sugar. Very nice beer. Great overall.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (10585) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 9, 2009
Bottle from Trader Joe’s - Cincy. Poured dark brown color with a huge light brown head that mostly lasted and produced good lacing. Moderate to heavy malty, fruit and spice aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture and flat carbonation. Full complex fruit, ginger and malt sweet flavor with a long dark sweet finish with a small alcohol tone. Another good brew at a fair price.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Lubiere (9891) - 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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