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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2013



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RATINGS: 142   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6   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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
DialSquare (3114) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - DEC 10, 2013
Corked bottle from TJ’s in Tallahassee. Blackish pour with a big khaki head. Aroma is warm, spices, dark fruit. Tastes are herbal, sweet dark fruit, clove, little cherry, caramel. Slightly medicinal. Pretty decent - especially for 5 bucks.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
maxwelldeux (4033) - Everett, Washington, USA - DEC 10, 2013
Bottle. Pours and extremely dark brown color with a moderate tan head on it. Nose is filled with several fruit elements; starts off sweet, then you get some fig and raisin in there. Taste is slightly sweet up front, but also has some dark fruit and sour elements in there. I’m interested to see this one aged...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mike67 (875) - , New Jersey, USA - DEC 9, 2013
750 ml bottle. Pours reddish brown with huge, long lasting, fluffy, beige head. Aroma is of toasted malt, spices and yeast. Body is full and smooth. Toasted malt, brown sugar, spices, plums and black cherries fill the mouth. Finish is long and spicy, with some alcohol warming. Tasty winter brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Butters (3917) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - DEC 8, 2013
Clear dark brown pour with ample tan head. Big malty raisin sweetness And plum and molasses and yeast. Really nice and smooth and big creamy body. Very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Headbanger (3472) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - DEC 7, 2013
750ml bottle 12/7/13 (Trader Joe’s Naperville)-40° in Trappist Glass-Pours dark brown with a tight tan head. Aroma of yeast, dried fruits,caramel, and brown sugar. Taste is of the same with more yeast and some spices. This full bodied brew once again is well balanced and is a kick butt deal.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
thegreenrooster (3399) - St.louis, Missouri, USA - DEC 7, 2013
Pour is a dark brown with a large tan head. Aroma is a nice sugar with some dark fruit. Flavor is a bit sugary sweetness with some caramel and molasses. Finish is more sweetness with some fruit and spice. This one probably needs to lay down for awhile as the sweetness takes over everything. A little to sweet now but some age should take sweetness down a bit.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
PorterPounder (5880) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - DEC 5, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Trader Joe’s - 750 ml cage corked bottle. Pours a deep dark brown with a a medium thick khaki colored head. that leaves a thin trail of lacing. Aroma has some light licorice notes, some brown sugar, a hint of brandy. Flavor is bold with some sweet brown sugar, s touch of licorice, a brief whisper of chocolate, some liqueur-like accents. Mouthfeel thickness does not quite match the flavor. Excellent, especially considering the price.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
BMan1113VR (7890) - Los Angeles, California, USA - DEC 4, 2013
Bottle. Always one of my favorite deals of the year. Pours with a very deep cola brown hued body with a moderate to large off-white to beige head of foam. Good retention. Aromas are of persimmon, dark fruit, typical Unibroue esters and strong candied spice phenolics (cardamom, clove, coriander amongst others). Plum, dark fruit, cake. Very spicy and complex. A bit vinous. Flavors are of dark fruit, plums, slightly tart, a hint of roast as well. Lots of house yeast character. Rounded malt. Dry finish yet still rich. Short duration. Very lightly metallic. Fuller carbonation. I definitely liked the last two vintages (fresh) a bit more than this one. Still quite a good deal.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
vyvvy (4470) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - DEC 1, 2013
Pours dark brown with an off-whtie head. The aroma has pepper, cola aspects, licorice, ginger and Unibroue’s distinctive yeast. It has a medium crisp body with a decent amount of carbonation. The flavor starts with ginger, Unibroue yeast, cola and lots of spices. The finish is much of the same with some alcohol showing. This is fine, I guess, for the price. I feel this is the same each year recently and my ratings are different because of my state of mind at the time.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mep3222 (694) - East Greenbush, New York, USA - NOV 28, 2013
Peppery spice, roasted malt Belgian yeasty aroma. Palate is a bit high carbonation. Some odd fizz on the tongue. Taste is roasted malt, with spice in a nice Belgian dark ale. Belgian yeasty flavors as well (banana nutty flavors). Flavors mostly balanced and nice for a strong Belgian. Enjoyable. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

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