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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2010

Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada


on tap

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RATINGS: 185   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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Unique and limited edition, this Belgian style ale is crafted once a year as a special treat for those of you who appreciate flavorful, bottle-conditioned ales with character. This year’s vintage: a rich, dark and full-bodied ale with a fine and generous coffee-colored, beige foam. It’s ready to enjoy right away and you may also wish to cellar a few bottles. It will evolve interestingly well, developing more complex flavors as the years go by. Keep bottle upright in storage. Best before 9-10-2013.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
estover (65) - Valencia, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 27, 2014
If you like dark strong Belgians this is a beer you need to find. Any edge that this had when fresh has been replaced with smooth choco-coff-malty yummyness with a hint of burnt cherry. Little head but what there is is very uniform.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ineedbeer (931) - Oakland, California, USA - DEC 1, 2014
Aroma is fairly spice forward with a lot of anise, clove , cinnamon, nutmeg and a moderate amount of ginger. Some light notes of dark fruit, especially fig, prune and plum with some raisin. Toasted bread, caramel and light toast notes. Hints of alcohol. Pours dark brown with a moderately sized, thick, tan head that exhibits nice retention as it recedes to a small film that lingers. Moderate lacing and small legs. Flavor is slightly sweet with a moderate bitterness. Moderate malt notes of toasted bread with light caramel, toffee and roast. Some dark fruit notes of figs, plums, prunes, cherries, raisins and red grapes. Lighter spice than in the aroma with ginger, anise and clove. Light alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium to medium light bodied with medium carbonation. Low astringency and low alcohol warmth. Overall, an alright beer but the mouth feel is really lacking and thin. I found the spices way too strong in the aroma but better balanced in the flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (6163) - Reno, Nevada, USA - OCT 2, 2014
"very yeasty (initially) on the aroma. that eventually fades into a nice blend of dark dark fruit and spices, which blends seamlessly into the flavor. full flavored, prickly carbonation. as usual, pretty good stuff."

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
rollsrace (61) - - AUG 9, 2014
Just like the 2009. A lot of xmas flavor seems better the more you drink in one sitting. At $5.50 a 22oz bottle it ain’t bad for the price.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
hotstuff (4303) - Indiana, USA - MAY 9, 2014
Rated on 4-28-2012 (Corked and caged bottle best before 09-10-2013 and provided by patrick767) This beer pours a medium sized very fizzy tan head that mostly diminishes, opaque dark brown body and spotty amounts of lacing. The aroma is fruity, malt, spice, and some alcohol. The flavor is fruity, spice, malt, and very carbonated. The mouthfeel is bubbly carbonation and this beer is light-medium bodied. Other than the amount of carbonation, this beer has a good flavor along with a warming sensation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (4659) - St. Louis Park, Minnesota, USA - MAR 16, 2014
Opened March 16, 2014. Some oxidation, but it works with this beer. Black, and still very well carbonated; the cork required a corkscrew to remove. Some raisin and sweet malt. Sugar, and the yeast is easily recognizable as Unibroue.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nik925 (764) - USA - FEB 23, 2014
Forgot about this one, and it sat for quite some time (passing the best by, but really, if you sell a ’age this bottle’, the conservative date is BS.). Nice punchy dried fruit flavor remains after all these years. Meanwhile, the alcohol (hardly there) and other harsh flavors have floated away. Rather happy I let this one sit. Surprisingly high carbonation - worth the time wrangling the cork out - almost went for the cork screw. Reading a few reviews, it looks like these benefit from sitting a long time. Nice, hard, yeast/lees pack at the bottom of the bottle. Will pick up a 2013 next time I’m at Trader Joes - cheers to 2017.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
skoisirius (1795) - Earth, Washington, USA - FEB 14, 2014
750ml bottle. Not sure why this gets different years for each vintage as I don’t believe the brew changes from year to year. That said, I’m copying and pasting this to each vintage I’ve had due to this factor. Beyond that, every year this comes out it’s worth picking up a bottle. It’s a great dark fruited and spiced out Belgian style, something like a dubbel, yet stronger. Can’t beat it for the price!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GRM (3117) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 30, 2013
Brown bottle, 750 ml, best before 09-10-2013, from Philippe Boutin, with Louise, Luc Bourbonnière and Philippe Boutin, savoured on September 13 2013; eye: mahogany, semi-opaque, no effervescence, tiny sheet of beige head, no lacing; nose: yeast, malt, fruity, candied sugar, alcohol, light liquorice; mouth: yeast, malt, plum, candied sugar, alcohol, alcohol warmth, light liquorice, tired, finale in spices with presence of plum, medium body, below-average carbonation, a bit thin; overall: correct FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 750 ml, meilleure avant 09-10-2013, de Philippe Boutin, avec Louise, Luc Bourbonnière et Philippe Boutin, savourée le 13 septembre 2013; œil : acajou, semi-opaque, pas d’effervescence, petite couverture de mousse beige, pas de dentelle; nez : levure, malt, fruité, sucre candi, alcool, léger réglisse; bouche : levure, malt, prune, sucre candi, alcool, chaleur d’alcool, léger réglisse, fatiguée, finale en épices avec présence de prune, corps moyen, carbonatation sous la moyenne, un peu mince; en résumé : correct

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Boutip (4920) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 21, 2013
Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of dry fruits with residual candi sugar and your typical Unibroue yeast. Taste is a complex mix between some candi sugars with dry fruits with some caramelized malt notes, liquorice and the typical Unibroue yeast coming through at the end. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Solid beer from Unibroue which is starting to show the damage of time.

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