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RATINGS: 153   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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 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


3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Nuffield (4033) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 4, 2012
This kind of thing is the reason why Trader Joe’s is the best thing to have happened to upward-aspiring but cheap gourmands. To get food and drink that is repackaged from great suppliers, and get it at a great cost...I don’t know if it’s any more ethical than what Walmart does, but it makes for a great experience. Here, Unibroue has given them a Belgian that comes out with a big head, but settles into a warming yet rounding fruitiness, with more backbone than a Sylvester Stallone. Excellent, enjoyable beer.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChainGangGuy (4755) - Woodstock, Georgia, USA - JAN 29, 2012
750ml bottle - $4.99 at Trader Joe’s in Roswell, Georgia.

Best Before: 07-06-2016.

Appearance: Pours out a near black body with a airy, lofty head stand, light khaki in color. Plenty of head from a little, light pour; good thing I’m using the Duvel glass here.

Smell: Mixed fruits spritzed with alcohol and mixed with a variety of raw sugars, then, a sniff of wafting ground cloves and orange peel followed by notes of burley tobacco, aniseed, and banana.

Taste: Toasted crusty dark bread dosed with dark brown sugar, dark candi sugars, a shot of cola (potentially with a doctorate degree), and a blend of finely-ground spices. Moderately sweet. Clove and redolent, bitterish citrus peel carrying over from the nose. Hints of star anise, spruce tips, allspice. More spicy and less fruity here in the taste, though the banana is making a good showing. Teeny tiny sliver of hops here simply blending into the spice tastes. Sweetish, spicy, well-carbonated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Lively, effervescent carbonation -- there will be burps.

Overall: An agreeable brew from the simple, understated packaging to the taste to the price tag. Sadly, I’ve developed the habit of keeping the Vintage Ale in mind until it’s actually released, then, only remembering when it’s long gone. Not this year, thankfully!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BillKismet (3780) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 23, 2012
Blackened amber body with flush coffee cream head. Colvey nose right from the outset, quite musky and with the inference of uric acid. While the flavor initially strikes a green clovey phenolic chord, the nuances smooth out and the brew retains a musky character, while also flaunting rich wet bread crusts, sourdough, caramel, and candi. This would be a good one to age.

3.4
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
beerdad (397) - Kansas, USA - JAN 22, 2012
bottled. pours dark chocolately brown with a large tan head. aromas of cola, roasted malt and banana and a touch of chocolate. a little sweet a little sour with a fizzy tongue feel. may need a few more months in the bottle to mellow. lasting finish of ripe fruit. decent but not what im used to with unibroue

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
baraciisch (2801) - 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,,,,

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerme31 (636) - 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.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
jackl (6814) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, 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.

3.1
   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

3.4
   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

3.2
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RobertDale (5263) - 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.


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