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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: 184   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.52   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 15/20
Aggie80 (785) - Michigan, USA - DEC 4, 2010
Very dark pour with a tan head and strong lacing. Very strong banana esters in the aroma and the strong Belgian spices typical of the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
TheBeerGod (5337) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - DEC 4, 2010
Bottle - 750mL corked and caged. Pours a near black color and is totally opaque. Tall, sturdy, dense foamy brown head. Aroma is dark fruit, caramel, light floral notes, dusty Belgian yeast and spices. Taste is big spices atop more dark fruit, dried tropical fruit, dusty yeast, sweet malt, light caramel and floral hops. Body is medium and very effervescent. Strong prickly carbonation throughout which is standard for Unibroue beers. Ends with a touch stronger floral hoppiness, bigger fruit notes, strong spice, sweet malt, light cocoa, caramel and dusty yeast.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pineypower (2540) - Pine Barrens, New Jersey, USA - DEC 3, 2010
Who would have thought a family member would have randomly brought a bottle to Thanksgiving dinner? Luckily for myself the 2 other people who tried some didn’t like it, so I had most of the 750 to myself. Pours out a dark brown with a light off white/tan head. Aroma is of dark fruits, yeast, spice and a light grainy note. Taste is complex with notes of dried dark fruits, mainly plum and some other fruity sweetness. Light spice and some yeasty notes are in there also with a slightly dry finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Nephilium (1410) - Ohio, USA - DEC 2, 2010
This starts with an aroma with hints of dark fruit, bready malts, and a touch of the Unibroue yeast spice. It pours an opaque black, with a huge pale tan head. A bit of heat in this one, a year or so in the cellar should mellow that out. The flavor is mild, with roasted notes, and the standard Unibroue spice. For the price, once again this is an enormous value at $5 a 750 mL bottle. I’ve got a couple cellared already, and will be picking up more.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
13mikey (503) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - DEC 2, 2010
750 ml bottle from... uh, Trader Joe’s. Virtual black pour with a foamy eggshell colored head. Nice dark fruit aroma with some hints of spices. Taste is similar to the aroma but with more faint flavors. More dark fruit and some spices and a hint of licorice. Not bad, but not as good as I hoped based off the aroma. Licorice makes another appearance in the finish. Not as good as other Unibroue beers I’ve had, but a great value at $4.99 a bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
bb (6861) - Alamo, California, USA - DEC 2, 2010
Bottle. Dark mahogony beer with a beige head. Rich malt and Unibroue yeast aroma with some dark fruit. Rich malt and yeast flavor with dark and red fruit. Medium-plus bodied. Caramel and yeast lingers with fruitiness. Nicely put together.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
andyhwcinc (1514) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 2, 2010
Picked up from Trader Joe’s (obviously), enjoyed on a cool Thursday night after a long, hard week. Aroma of Belgian candi, dark fruits, and Belgian yeast, good aroma but more distant than apparent. Appearance pure black with a noticeable off-white head. Taste has a nice mouthfeel after letting the initial carbonation subside, hints of alcohol, candi, and dark fruits. Much more carbonated than previous years from what I remember. For $4.99 it’s a steal.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
malrubius (1855) - Springfield, Vermont, USA - DEC 2, 2010
Dark brown with lasting head and lace. Spicy licorice dark fruit caramel maple syrup aroma. Maple syrup toasty spice dark fruit plum raisin with clean spicy finish. Nice soft palate. Fairly rich but the spices and the effervescence make it quaffable and good with food. Having it with French onion soup. Excellent.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wajacobs (26) - USA - DEC 2, 2010
2010 is another belgian strong dark ale brewer by unibroue. This one has less licorice than previous releases, a good thing I thought the licorice was overpowering before and is a little sweeter. It has a medium mouthfeel and a malty flavor but lacks the overt fruitiness typical of the style. There is fullness in the middle, that I can’t quite place (I’ll have to try it again after this cold has vacated my head), that subdues the alcohol warmth I would expect in a 9% beer. I enjoyed it and plan to buy a few more bottles to cellar. At $5/750ml bottle its a steal.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
kennydiaz (352) - Manahawkin, New Mexico, USA - DEC 1, 2010
Pours a dark brown almost black with a thick foamy head. Nice Belgium candied taste with hints of spruce, citrus with a floral after taste. Great for $4.99 a bottle but not as good as past years vintage.

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