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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2012

Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada


on tap

Local Distribution

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RATINGS: 166   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
csbosox (1224) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - NOV 12, 2012
750ml. Finished my last 2011 a couple days ago, looking forward to the 2012. Dark reddish brown with a mocha colored head. Aroma is figs, dates, rum, cloves and assorted nondescript spices. Taste is dark fruits, white pepper, light anise and moderate alcohol. Finish is dry with a lingering dark fruit and spice flavor. Mysterious but tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
RedSox2004 (1330) - Pacific Palisades, California, USA - NOV 10, 2012
Opaque, dark muddy brown with a frothy tan head, solid retention and ok lace. Yeasty aromas with black cherry, plum, brown sugar, Grandma’s candy dish, and spices. Cherry and plum fruit sweetness is accompanied by clove-like spice and caramel malt. Pepper kick in the finish. Medium to full bodied, lively carbonation, creamy smooth mouthfeel, and a delicately sweet finish. There are a lot of holiday releases I look forward to - SN Celebration, Anchor, Alesmith - but this Unibroue/TJ is consistently outstanding.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
MattBD (11) - - NOV 10, 2012
Pours a dark brown, next to opaque in the glass. Lightly frothed head, sticks around. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
estover (62) - Valencia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 10, 2012
I really wanted this to be a rave review of what has become a favorite "thing"; the annual release of Unibroue’s vintage ale. If you are looking for a killer brew, you might want to keep looking. If you are looking for a smooth, drinkable wonderful yeasty version of what Unibroue does, this is it. Pours black as coal with a tan head that is reduced to a thin covering with just enough lacing. There is very little nose, thin mouth, tons of spicy bubblegum-ish smoked and roasted candy, with a lingering finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
thegreenrooster (3310) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - NOV 10, 2012
Pour is a dark brown, darker than I remember past vintages, with a large tan head. Aroma is musty yeast, big spice like a nutmeg and dark fruit. Flavor is is more of a earthy sweet malt to start then comes a nice berry and spice after the swallow. I can’t remember these things from one year to the next but they are always above par and affordable. This years seems to have a bit more spice and berry.

   AROMA 2/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 3/20
Travlr (13511) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - NOV 10, 2012
Free sample from. 750 ml bottle, thank you Mr Joe. Dark brown color, huge tan head. Aroma of caramel, paper, medicine. Taste is boiled vegetables and a hint of chocolate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
MattH (654) - California, USA - NOV 10, 2012
Dark pour. Big tan head. A lot of coriander on the nose, a little sweet orange, and maybe a hint of bubble gum. Initial sips tasted of cherries. Then cherries gave way to a sweet and slightly spicy cola flavor. Flavor lingers on the palate. High carbonation. I know it’s been said before, but it bears being repeated. Not many, beers if any, of this quality, and quantity 750ml cost $4.99. Thank you Trader Joe’s.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
theOptimator (289) - Sacramento, California, USA - NOV 9, 2012
Aroma is rich dark berry, apple, grape, belgian, coca cola, allspice. Appearance is dark brown almost black with thin tan head of small bubbles. Taste is dark berry, grape, belgian yeast, apple, coca cola, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, sweet dark malt, bit of tart orange. Palate is medium full, but still somehow manages to be almost light and crisp. A malty beer but not overly heavy. Hides alcohol surprisingly well. Overall an impressive beer, especially at this price. Past beers in this series were in need of aging IMO. This years is very nice right now and Im not sure aging would benefit it much.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
mjg74 (2492) - La Mesa, California, USA - NOV 9, 2012
UPDATED: NOV 10, 2012 Bottled from Trader Joe’s. Dark ruby pour. Seasonaly spiced nose along with a bit of dark fruit. Highly carbonated. Slightly sweet with some dark fruit and a bit of spice. Tasty winter Belgian.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - NOV 8, 2012
This is a winner. And the price is amazing. $4.99 for a bomber. This is a spice medley with ginger and nutmeg swirling in this dark brown brew. Alcohol is present but adds to the taste doesn’t take you out of it. Very smooth.

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