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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2010



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RATINGS: 188   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
andyhwcinc (1569) - 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 (1937) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
badlizard (5535) - Berkeley, California, USA - NOV 30, 2010
Black with a big fluffy tan head. Candied dark fruit, Belgian yeast, citrus, and sweet spice aroma and taste.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
IrishBoy (3905) - Bakersfield, California, USA - NOV 29, 2010
750 ml bottle from Trader Joes. Nose is cloves, corriander, caramel, and raisins. Hazy brown with a medium beige, lightly lacing head. Flavor is sweet caramel, spiciness, and prunes. Pretty good tasting brew for $4.99 a 750 bottle.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hombrepalo (1886) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - NOV 29, 2010
Bottle. Dark brown color with tan head. Aromaof spices and roasted malts. Strong peppery, spicy, nutmeg, and raisin flavored. Nice, but not great.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
marcus (7001) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 28, 2010
Bottle from bhensonb. Pours black with a massive tan head and a fruit and treacle aroma. There is a fruity sweet malt flavor with a litlle spice and slightly sour vinous finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mjg74 (2613) - Salem, Oregon, USA - NOV 28, 2010
Quite an effort to get the cork off. Very dark in color upon pouring. Dirty brownish foam. Strong aroma of nutmeg and other spices. Prickly carbonation. Strong spice. Some root like flavors. Strong malt roastiness hidden under the ample spices. Solid spiced winter brew.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
RedSox2004 (1377) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - NOV 27, 2010
Pours dark brown, almost black, with a thick creamy two-finger beige head that left excellent lace. Sharp dark fruit and yeast aromas featuring dark cherries and plum as well as caramel and bread. Flavors are similar, with the dark fruits most prominent, and a gentle balancing hops bitterness. Medium to full bodied, lively carbonation, creamy smooth mouthfeel, and a warming alcohol flourish. Outstanding - unbelievably good at this price.

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