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RATINGS: 150   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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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


4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Drake (9999) - 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.

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
RedSox2004 (1411) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - DEC 8, 2011
UPDATED: JAN 3, 2015 Dark dark brown with a two-finger tan head, nice retention with modest lace. Standard Belgian yeast aroma with dark fruit, mostly raisins and figs, with brown sugar and light alcohol. Belgian yeast flavor is predominant with caramel malts and rich dark fruit sweetness. Full body, warming alcohol. minimal carbonation and a sweet but dry finish. Another solid offering at an incredible price. Jan 2015 update: Like me, this has mellowed and sweetened with age. Outstanding.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
scrizzz (2223) - Bothell, Washington, USA - DEC 13, 2011
Beautiful spicy winter herbal nose of holly, cinnamon, ginger, pine and brown sugar. Black body, creamy tan head, some awkward volcanic bubbling gurgles form here and there. Spicy again, this reminds me of the 2005? vintage with all of its ginger, brown sugar and Christmas morning. Buy this by the case, it’s amazing now and may age like the Anchor Christmas over the years.

4.2
   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.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChainGangGuy (4494) - Marietta, 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!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Wittales (700) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - FEB 15, 2012
Appearance was claer root beerish with a lasting 2 finger head with lacing. Aroma was dark fruit , raisins,figs and spices and hints of alcohol. Taste was clean sweet spices and fruit and touches of hops with beautiful malts coming through. Mouthfeel was full and chewy with mild carbonation and amazing long finish with alcohol hits you at the finish. Would age nicely...

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
unclemattie (4351) - 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)

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BeerKurve (518) - - 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!

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
hamilton23 (617) - Alpine, California, USA - JUN 15, 2012
Poured from 750ml bottle. Pours cola brown with a couple fingers of beige head. Aroma is Belgian yeast, dried fruit and some brown sugar. Taste follows the nose. This is like poor man’s Chimay or Rochefort 6. A very good beer for the price.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ngeunit1 (1555) - San Francisco, California, USA - FEB 23, 2013
A - Dark black with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades very slowly. S - Dark caramel malts, raisin, plums, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, other spices, a touch of sourness, and a touch of booze. T - Dark caramel malts with raisin, plum, dates, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, and other spices, a bit of residual sugars, a touch of sourness, and a bit of booze. M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish. D - Nice BSDA. Good Belgian character and spices.


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