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RATINGS: 188   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.53   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


chimaybier's rating

4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
chimaybier (50) - Redding, California, USA - DEC 11, 2010
12/11/2010: 750 ml bottle purchased at Trader Joe’s in Redding CA. Color: Dark russet brown. Bouquet: coffee, cloves, nutmeg, slight cinnamon, allspice...minty hop aroma as well. Palate: heavy on the nutmeg, allspice & cloves. Reminds me of the bouquet that comes from the breakfast oatmeal I make with cinnamon, molasses, honey and brown sugar. Finish: minty hop bitterness, some coffee maltiness. This was a difficult beer to rate, due to its complexity. It reminded me a bit of Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale. This would be great with a smoked Christmas ham. Reminds me of a wassail.


3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
djd07 (5039) - Houston, Texas, USA - MAR 4, 2015
Bottle during RBWG. Pours a dark brown with large frothy beige head leaving spotty lacing. The aroma is belgian yeast, candy sugar, and dark fruits. Medium mouth, strong licorice, figs, belgian yeast, clove, good.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
douglas88 (6808) - Portland, Oregon, USA - FEB 18, 2015
750 ml thanks to Keir. Pours a dark reddish brown and black color with a smallish beige head. The cork really smelled great, massive sweet berries, the glass ends up with a more mellow version of this with toffee, berries and chocolates. The flavor is light to medium oxidation, berries, blackberry especially, toffee, dark chocolate, light yeasty Unibroue notes. Really quite nice, mellow and flavorful. Certainly still good.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
climberbob (239) - Virginia, USA - FEB 3, 2015
Cellared for 3 years. Very dark ruby. Light head. Raisins, dried fruit. Slightly sweet but not cloying. Dryish finish. Decent. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
estover (68) - 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.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
ineedbeer (1013) - 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.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
slowrunner77 (6576) - 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."

1.6
   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 5/20
rollsrace (65) - - 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.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
hotstuff (4393) - 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.

3.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JK (4837) - 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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nik925 (769) - 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.


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