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RATINGS: 190   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (5809) - 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 (786) - 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 (1908) - 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 (3766) - 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 (5950) - 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Lubiere (12970) - Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - SEP 13, 2013
A dark brown ale with a thick collapsing frothy brown head. In aroma, dark fruits, licorice, candy sugar, nice. In mouth, sweet caramel, dark fruits, orange peel, Unibroue yeast, licorice and alcohol warmth, a bit tired but decent. BB 09/10/2013. Shared with GRM and Boutip. Merci Phil.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
shigadeyo (3635) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - AUG 1, 2013

2010 Vintage

12/29/2010: Trader Joe’s 2010 Vintage Ale (Dark Ale Brewed with Spices and Natural Flavor Added)... Aroma: Ginger spice aroma; ginger-cola. Appearance: Brown, opaque color; large, fluffy mocha-colored head that is long-lasting. Flavor: Ginger; herby DFH/Stone/Victory Saison Du Bugg flavors - sage? rosemary?; dry, spicy finish; a touch of alcohol. Palate: Smooth with a gerneous amount of carbonation; medium-bodied. Overall: Decent; not unlike previous vintages bymuch.

750 mL corked and caged bottle (9% alc./vol.; Best Before 09-10-2013) from Trader Joe’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rating #174 for this beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Elwood (3336) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - APR 29, 2013
Serving: 750 ml. bottle. It pours a dark and murky reddish brown with a large tan head. The head is pretty short lived. The nose is a little papery with notes of dried fruit, raisin, and dust. The flavor has a tinny bitterness to it with the yeast, dried fruit, and caramel sweetness. This one hasn’t aged all that well despite what the label says.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - MAR 23, 2013
No thanks to Moll for leaving this bottle. This did not age well. Some dark fruits along with mint and a very off dryness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
SudsMcDuff (8112) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2013
You may not feel outstandingly robust, but if you are an average-sized adult you will contain within your modest frame no less than 7 X 10^18 joules of potential energy—enough to explode with the force of thirty very large hydrogen bombs, assuming you knew how to liberate it and really wished to make a point.

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