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RATINGS: 186   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
BeerandBlues2 (11048) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 17, 2010
Bottle shared at RSRIZZO’s winter gathering. Pours dark brown with a bubbly, fizzy light tan head, low retention with fair lacing. Aroma is heavy caramel, toffee, and cookie malt, floral hops, perfume, dates, plums, oak, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Flavor is sweet caramel and toffee malt, dark fruit, spices, wood, and sarsaparilla. Full bodied, heavy carbonation, and a sweet finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
kp (10884) - 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

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mcberko (10559) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 26, 2012
750mL bottle, pours an opaque dark amber brown with a towering foamy beige head. Aroma of spices upfront, bubblegum, licorice, and some mild candied sugar. Flavour of spices, dark fruits, brown sugar, and some caramel. Complex, more spicy than the last couple of vintages, with medium carbonation that brings out the complexity perfectly. Great stuff, but inferior to the last couple of vintages.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrSilverworm (9089) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 9, 2012
Sample from a 750ml bottle, shared by tmoney99. Dark brown but clear color. Minimal khaki head, little lace. Nice estery lightly spicy nose. Soft, light to moderate carbonation. Dry texture. Nice spicy flavor. Light belgian yeast, little roasty malt. Hint of smoke. Liking this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (9041) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 6, 2011
2011-03-04. Very dark brown body with a modest tan head. 3+ Pleasant aroma, dark malt, mild spice is vaguely anise like but not quite, light alcohol. 7+ Flavour is similar, sweet dark malt core, anise/herbal character is well integrated. Smooth medium bodied palate. Recalls Trois Pistole with more spice character. Enjoyable. Bottle shared by HogTownHarry/Garthicus

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
JoeMcPhee (9004) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 9, 2010
Deep brown pour with a thin amber head. The nose is loaded with sweet plummy fruitiness. Very Unibroue-ish. Lots of chewy sweet malt and a little bit of earthiness as well. Raisins, plums and a heavy yeasty spiciness. Dried spices.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
deyholla (8864) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - DEC 15, 2009
Bottle. Poured black with a light brown head. Aroma had notes of sweet citrus, ginger and caramel. Flavor was sweet with notes of chocolate and caramel with a slight ginger undertone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
marcus (7994) - Sacramento, California, USA - JUN 1, 2011
Bottle from bhensonb. Pours dark murky brown with a massive tan head and a slightly smoky chocolate aroma. There is a spicy chocolate and plum flavor with a dry citrus finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7909) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JAN 4, 2010
Bottle (Cheap...$4 something...$5 with tax...for a (9% Unibroue beer? Hellyeah!). Pours with a near black boy and a fluffy and large light brown head. Aroma of metal notes, cocoa, milk chocolate, coriander, berry notes (slightly tart), thistle and ginger. Taste of milk chocolate, spice, alcohol, metallic notes, malted milk, lavender and lots of sweetness. Lively bubbles, medium body, playful alcohol. For some reason I don’t think this will age as well as the 2008 (in the long term). That said I would wait about 6 months (summer) on this one as it is still a bit rough around the edges. A great buy!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (7860) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 4, 2014
"tasted more like a BSA. not bready like a dubbel. lots of spice, cocoa, a hint of hops and malty sweetness. aroma and flavor mirror each other. nicely done. dryish finish. a little too carbonated."

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