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RATINGS: 147   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JMerritt (1940) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2014
Corked/caged bottle, opened and reviewed in March 2014. Pours a red-devil crimson with a large, frothy (yet mostly diminishing) Cinderella-white head. Sweet, earthy spices dominate the nose (licorice/anise, sarsaparilla root, cloves). Malty and sweet brown sugar, rich molasses, anise and toffee flavors are most evident. Moderately carbonated with a full, clean mouthfeel. Finish has a nip of alcohol, nutmeg, some light woody oak, toasted wheat and light pumpernickel rye bread. Root beer qualities are hard to overlook, so if you’re not a fan you may not enjoy. However, I found this year’s version to be quite good, and preferable to previous years.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GT (9982) - Oceanside, California, USA - MAR 17, 2014
[ Bottle ][ TJ Bressi Ranch ][ 750mL ][ $5 ][ Lost Abbey Globe ][ 3/15/14 ]
>> Corks pops with heavy carbonation...dusty deep purple brown pour with guge gray foam. Webby big lace. Nose is excellent cinnamon, cinnamon roll, crumble cake, moving to huge soap phenols, bathroom. Taste is super aerated, dark cherry, cinnamon roll, mild metallic, spices. Mild soap and metal finish. Drinkable...maybe TJ Vintage Ale is so cheap because they are botched batches of Trois Pistoles?

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Hopswagger (199) - South Carolina, USA - MAR 14, 2014
P: Dark brown almost black with flashes of ruby highlights. A thick rootbeer head crowns the top and leaves behind an intricate chain of lacing. S: Aroma is pleasant with loads of doughy bread, dark malts, cardamom, figs, plums, nectarine pits, roasted toffee, amaretto, syrupy rootbeer and cloves. T/M: Taste is prominently spiced and accompanied by doughy dark fruit breads, cherry cola, burnt toffee, amaretto, grain alcohol, and finishes with bitter persimmons. A vivacious, relatively thin body accentuates the spice profile. Scorched grains cover the palate in a chalky film. O: I have to say for a $5 bottle BSDA it’s a surprise. I’m really missing some good Belgian candy sugar and more dark fruit sweetness. The spice and carbonation seem to hinder the cohesiveness of the ale. Overall a good beer but not one of Unibroue’s best. Serving type: bottle

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IrishBoy (4096) - Bakersfield, California, USA - MAR 14, 2014
750 ml bottle from Trader Joe’s Bakersfield. Nose is sweet, cloves, caramel, and hints of banana and bubblegum. Hazy brown with a medium, heavy lacing beige head. Flavor is spicy cloves and cinnamon, sweetness, and they usual Unibroue yeastiness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
UDBeernut (2618) - Between JAX and SGJ, Florida, USA - MAR 12, 2014
plum colored, pitted fruits, grass, gum, clove. light body powered by a butt ton of carbonation, me thinks its too much. decent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Chudwick (2779) - Cincyucky, Kentucky, USA - MAR 9, 2014
Three quarter liter bottle - I grace this magic potion by pouring it into one of AndyReynold’s Trappist glasses. Smells so normal after Punishment. A little too sweet but I like it. Dark fruit and that funky Unibroue yeast. Strange aftertaste like premature fruit. Rerate bump +2.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
AndyReynolds (1085) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - MAR 9, 2014
Bottle thanks to the notorious C.H.U.D.W.I.C.K. and viewers like you, thank you. Aroma is dark fruit, yeast, and band aids(?). I also get something acidic. It is sweet to the taste, bringing out a tea or a chai tea flavor... odd. I think it is that yeast going on up there in the canuck country. Commie bastards trying to take or cheese and shit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
puboflyons (3066) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 9, 2014
From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle best before 08-01-2016. The pour is beautifully dark brown to nearly black and a lingering soft brown head. The aroma is dark malts, licorice, dates, plums, coriander, and an earthy hop note. The body is around medium. The taste has a much more bitter bite to it than the aroma lets on and the licorice and spice kicks in big time. I like the Trader Joe’s Vintage series because they are basically Unibroue’s staple beers for about $2 less.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
jgb9348 (5615) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - MAR 7, 2014
Rich deep dark brown coloured body with a stupid thick, five centimetre tall light brown head that fades relatively quickly. Aroma of grass, caramel, cereal, light spices, apples and tons of pit fruits - a complex and interesting smell. Medium to Full-bodied; Very strong earthy and metallic flavours at first with a deep bitterness, some lighter hops and a more structured sweetness coupled with some spices and an oaky dryness. Aftertaste shows more complexity with a large spruce and woodsy bit on the back and a subtle sweetness of an Old Ale. Overall, a nice and refreshing beer, perhaps, partially because I didn’t expect this beer to fit in this category, but it’s quite the natural fit. I sampled this 75 cL bottle purchased from Trader Joe’s in Falls Church (Bailey’s Crossroads) on 06-March-2014 earlier in the day following on 07-March-2014 at Giant Foods in Falls Church, VA on 06-May-2014.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (6386) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - MAR 6, 2014
Bottle: The aroma consists of banana, apple, dark fruits, Unibroue yeast, spice, and faint lemon/lemon peel. It pours a dark muddy brown with a faint orange glow around the edges of the glass when held to the light. It has a two finger tan head that is a tad fizzy from what looks like rather lively carbonation. It eventually fades to a thick film. There’s is some sporadic dotted lacing left on the sides of the glass. The flavor starts with a quick dose of banana, dark fruits, caramel, and faint cola. The finish has some light apple, lemon peel, pepper, spice, and just a hint of roast. It’s medium bodied with lively carbonation, but the carbonation never gets prickly. I wouldn’t guess this is 9%. After it warms there is a hint of cinnamon in the finish. Overall, it’s a solid beer at a great price...pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the Trader Joe’s Anniversary beers.

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