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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 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
JohnnyJ (4356) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 22, 2012
750 ml bottle. Dark muddy brown pour, huge foamy light tan head, which quickly disipates. Dark dried fruit, raisin, very spicy, clove, yeasty, dark sugars, and esters. Lively yeast, makes a light body for the abv. Pretty good beer, I haven’t had a unibroue for a while. Not the best, but good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BVery (6191) - Burnsville, Minnesota, USA - MAR 10, 2012
Bottle. Very dark muddy brown pour with a foamy white head. Nose of yeast and raisin. Medium palate. Taste is dark fruit and a touch of earthiness. Good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
jredmond (5330) - Manhattan, New York, USA - MAR 9, 2012
Bottle courtesy of Linh. Great Belgian ale to ease back into. Spicy ester aroma. Mouthfeel is champagne yeast , sparkling carbonated feel with. Notes of dark fruit, clove, Belgian yeast, spicy esters.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Pailhead (4806) - Brownstown, Michigan, USA - MAR 9, 2012
Bottle: The aroma is a great combination of banana, dark fruits, apple, and clove. It pours a dark brown with some orange highlights and a large greyish-beige head. The flavor starts with dark fruits and raisins. There’s some light banana in the background. The finish has cloves, apple, and faint metallic notes. It’s medium bodied with soft carbonation and mouthfeel. Overall, the metallic notes really hurt. If the metallic notes drop out over time, this could be excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerKurve (501) - - MAR 3, 2012
Pitch Black in color. The flavor consists of Cloves, Figs, Cinnamon, Apples and Hefe-style Cloves and Bananas, which all come together very well. It feels thick on the palette despite it’s medium body. Excellent flavor, definitely worth the $5 I paid for this, it’s a shame I didn’t buy more than one of these, because I was told these age really well!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
unclemattie (4183) - Georgia, USA - MAR 3, 2012
750mL bottle, caged & corked. From Trader Joe’s, Roswell. Black pour, purple hue, Light tan head. Aroma of dark dried fruits, dried plums, prune juice. Flavor is a dark malt, loads of dark fruits, belgian yeast esters, spicy notes, prunes, and a metallic finish. Better as it warms, earthier flavors come out. Oily texture, hearty bodied. (3263)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (7812) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - FEB 29, 2012
2012-02-20. Nice black body with a frothy foamy head. Aroma of Belgian yeast and modest spices carries into the flavour, the overall impression of both is of a spiced take on Trois Pistoles, similar malt and yeast character. Smooth average plus to medium bodied palate is quite effervescent. Quite nice. Bottle from Trader Joes, Michigan

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 1/20
billymax85 (1) - Rock Island, Illinois, USA - FEB 26, 2012 does not count
This is a solid offering. Brewed by Unibroue (which is one of my favorite breweries) for Trader Joe’s, this is a pretty tasty Belgian. It’s a bit dangerous, as it goes down very smoothly with little alcohol flavor, despite it being 9 percent ABV.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
jefcon (1388) - Arlington, Virginia, USA - FEB 26, 2012
Dark and sweet are the operative words here. Raisin, woodsmoke, dark caramel on the nose. A bit of floral esters. Plenty of alcohol and candi sugars on the tongue. Awfully tough for these two strong presences to work well in tandem. Perhaps after cellaring, these elements will blend a bit better.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
SpringsLicker (3132) - Tennessee, USA - FEB 25, 2012
Pours nearly opaque dark brown under an ample head of tan. Slowly dissipating, leaving lace behind. Rolling the glass produces an even sheet that breaks beautifully. The aroma is earthy roast malts. The flavor is sweetness tempered by a vinous acidity. Complex yet fairly light bodied.

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