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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2011

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


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 149   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.56   SEASONAL: Special   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 ale 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 the bottle upright in storage. Brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops, roasted malts and spices, this is a remarkably smooth ale with a wonderfully complex finish. It is best served slightly shilled, around 53 degrees Fahrenheit and pairs exceptionally well with grilled salmon steaks, curried lamb, beef or tuna au poivre. Crafted and bottled exclusively for Trader Joe’s

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
baraciisch (2010) - California, USA - JAN 16, 2012
Rated with Para.... Dark reddish to black in color with thin tannish head.... Aroma of dark fruits, candi sugar, citrus.... Flavor is licorice, dark fruits, malts, and nuts... Finish is oak and tobacco... Very nice beer,,,,

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerme31 (514) - Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA - JAN 15, 2012
Bottle. Pours black with medium thin tan head. Aroma of citrus, cloves, nutmeg, spices. Taste is mild sweet. Medium body, oily texture, average carbonation. Finish is spice clove and fruit. Overall enjoyable beer and great gift.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jackl (4965) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2012
Bottle. Deep brown color with a small beige head that disappears. The Nose is a bit spicy, some dark fruits, raisins, wood, tart notes. The taste is suprisingly mild given the appearance and nose - fruity, a bit of hot alcohol. some nice dry hops. The body is medium, this feels a bit under-carbonated. Overall, really nice work for the price point - if only Sainsbury’s did something like this! That said, it’s obviously not at the head of the class for the style.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
scooter520 (185) - - JAN 15, 2012
Aroma: very sugary, banana, almost astringent. Appearance: dark brown, frothy light tan head. Taste: very dry fruity, malty, pretty sweet. Mouthfeel: oily, slick, very carbonated almost spicy bite because of this. Overall: really decent beer but I believe it could be amazing in a few years with proper aging. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Mhyzdu (11) - - JAN 14, 2012
Ok. A little bitty for my taste. .................................................. via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RobertDale (3705) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - JAN 12, 2012
750 ml. bottle. Pours dark brown with a nice tan head. Aroma of spices, yeast, fruit, and more spices. Taste is spices, dark fruit, and malt. Decent, but too spicy and too sweet.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bitbucket (2159) - Kirkland, Washington, USA - JAN 9, 2012
Pours a mahogany brown color with a creamy tan head. Aroma of spicy caramel and chocolate. Taste dark fruit, figs, caramel, chocolate, coriander. TJ’s usually does a good job, but for five bucks, this year’s version is amazin, Wish I would have bought more.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
andyhwcinc (1514) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 8, 2012
Purchased at Trader Joe’s in Chicago, IL; enjoyed at a new practice space while recording a song for a new band. Appearance is pitch black with a rich, bubbly off white head. Aroma of Belgian yeast, clove, banana, dark fruit, smells nice. Taste is nice, rather smooth, you can tell it packs a punch, not really hoppy at all, can’t get much of a bitterness out of it, not as carbonated as last years version (maybe I got a better bottle???). It’s still pretty great esp at the price point!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 13/20
HomeBrewHawk (464) - De Soto, Kansas, USA - JAN 5, 2012
750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Pours a deep brown with a massive big bubbled, dark tan head. Lots of carbonation. Herbal/spicy aroma, some dark fruits. Maybe some spruce. Bottle conditioned. Lots of Belgian spice, some malt sweetness. Still getting spruce. Medium bodied. Clove in the finish. Spices seem to overwhelm this one, could use a little time to fade.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cbkschubert (2900) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JAN 2, 2012
750 ml bottle from Trader Joe’s (Tucson) - Pours a hazy brown color with a one finger thick light tan head. Light lacing. Aroma and flavor is fruit, spice, and yeast. The spice a sweetness lingers in the finish. Medium body. A decent beer.

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