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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: 147   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Elwood (3079) - Leesburg, Virginia, USA - APR 25, 2012
Serving: 750 ml. bottle from Trader Joe’s Reston. It pours an opaque black with a tan, frothy head that quickly settles. The nose has a good bit of clove and spice, but not much else. The flavor is a touch metallic and very heavy handed with the spices. I feel like I am drinking clove laden potpourri. There is a touch of fig and sweetness on the back end, but this brew comes across as a little dull. Light to medium body with too much carbonation, thinning out the body more than it already is. This one doesn’t do much for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
mabel (5414) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - APR 23, 2012
[4302-20120219] Bottle. Roasted figgy malt aroma. Black body with a quick foamy brown head. Rich roasted malt grain flavour has a lingering sweet heavy aftertaste. Full body hides its alcohol fairly well. Tasty and delicious. (7/4/8/4/15) 3.8
(w/ jerc, others)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
adrosson (148) - California, USA - APR 20, 2012
Pretty good for the price. A little too dark and rich for my taste. Prefer these drier and hoppier. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Drake (8476) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - APR 17, 2012
C&C 750 mL bottle from Trader Joe’s Glen Allen, VA. Pours a very dark brown color with a medium sized creamy tan head. Good head retention. Big yeasty aroma with notes of citrus, spice, stone fruits, caramela and smoke. The taste is bread, spice, cherries, plums, stone fruits, caramel and a faint bit of smoke. Medium-full bodied, spritzy carbonation, very interesting and pretty damn good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ketchepillar (1068) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - APR 16, 2012
Bottle from Trader Joes. Obviously. Starts out spicy, evolves into a bitter, pruny, smooth nice...thing. Quite smooth. Alcohol shows and adds to the flavor, but in an entirely positive way.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Severian (42) - Saint Charles, Missouri, USA - APR 14, 2012
Honestly, it tastes just like Chimey Red. Red my review on that. I ain’t even lying.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Westmeister (1733) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - APR 2, 2012
Pours a mahogany deep dark brown with a bubbly tan head. Smell is instant and rather big spicy notes (nutmeg, cinnamon), some bready yeast. Taste is more spice and smooth yeast dough finish. Excellant holiday beer and nice brew overall.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
v1rgil (151) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - APR 1, 2012
Made for Trader Joe’s by Unibrue. Pours rich dark brown with frothy white head. Settles down quickly. Aroma is belgian yeast with booze and some malt scents. First sip is boozey, yeasty nutty profile with lots of carbonation. Aftertase is spicy sweet butty finish. Lots of unrealized potential here.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
CapFlu (4501) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 31, 2012
(750ml bottle) Courtesy of Left4beer. Aroma of ginger and malt. Very spearmint and tonic. Dental, gross. Boring. --- reviewed on RateBeer.com

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
radagast83 (4563) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - MAR 31, 2012
750 ml bottle. Poured a dark ruby-brown color with a huge foam light-tan head. Aroma was dark fruits, sweet malts, touch of spice. Reminds me a bit of a raisin cookie. Flavor is heavy on the dried fruits, with a ton of malt. Creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol is quite subdued with this one, even though it’s 9%. Nice!

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