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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2011



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RATINGS: 150   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Boutip (4995) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 13, 2013
Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a huge light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized Belgian malt with some coriander and the famous Unibroue yeast ester. Taste is also a well balanced mix of caramelized Belgian style malt with some coriander and some light peppery notes with the famous Unibroue yeast ester. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Doesn’t stray away from the brewer standards which is a good thing knowing how he masters the style.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RamyG4 (322) - , New Jersey, USA - JUL 12, 2013
Bottle. Pours dark brown with a huge off-white head. Aroma is sweet, fruity, with lots of spice. Taste follows right along, with lots of dark fruit notes, and a slight port quality. A ton of spice on the finish. Full bodied, loads of carbonation. Solid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
rmussman (1702) - California, USA - JUN 21, 2013
A classic that is well received each year. Bubbly and with a kick of caramel.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
icehawk (834) - Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, USA - JUN 21, 2013
Aroma: Yeast, dark fruit
Taste: Slightly sweet, dark fruit
Palate: Medium/Heavy body with good carbonation. Spices present and linger through finish
Overall: Pretty complex beer with a lot going on. Fruity yeast and spices make this very unique, perfect seasonal/once a year beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
wedgie9 (2501) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - MAY 12, 2013
Tasted on 5/12/13 from a corked and caged 750mL bottle. Pours opaque dark brown with an average, fizzy tan head that recedes fairly quickly to a thin collar of lace. The nose is cola, vanilla, molasses, cardamom and other baking spices, caramel, and some spicy Belgian yeast (Unibroue signature). The flavor is a bit stronger with the cardamom and baking spices, with the cola, vanilla, and caramel coming through nicely on the back of the palate with just a hint of a roasted note. The body is a little fuller than medium with lively, almost fizzy carbonation, and a long bitter baking spices and cola finish. This is holding up nicely for the age.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 8/20
jcnielsen (2391) - Charlotte, North Carolina, USA - APR 26, 2013
Bottle. Pours a deep brown color with off white head. Belgian, slight roasty, malty aromas. Belgian, yeasty, malty flavors. I’m not a big fan.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
djd07 (4921) - Houston, Texas, USA - APR 14, 2013
Bottle as shown. Pours a dark brown with paperthin beige head. The aroma is bready malt and licorice. Medium mouth with sugary malt and light grain finish. A good Belgian strong ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
SudsMcDuff (6448) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAR 7, 2013
thank god, judy is sleeping .. . pours a mild brown bruise .. . medium head, lacing is like a pillow exploded .. . yeast, prune, spruce, and barnyard .. . light mouth .. . like the ’12, needs time .. . . yeah! he ruined nap time and quiet time!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jbruner (2732) - Athens, Georgia, USA - MAR 1, 2013
Bottle shared at RBWG! Pours a deep hazy brown with thin tan head and light lacing. Aroma of belgian yeasty esters that lead to a deep dark fruit nose. Taste follows, a nice deep flavor that is well balanced. This is perhaps of the best of the Trader Joe’s vintage ales.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Sledutah (5574) - Utah, USA - FEB 27, 2013
Bottle shared by SpringsLicker at the RBWG grand tasting
Appearance: Clear dark brown with a small beige head
Aroma: Raisins and plums
Taste: Roasted malts and dark pit fruit
Decent, some hot alcohols

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