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RATINGS: 144   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beersighted (134) - - JAN 19, 2014
Lovely Belgian strong ale. Heavy of Belgian yeast flavor, with bold spiced plum and brandy undertones. This beer had great body, but lost lacing relatively fast. For the money, this is by far the best beer around. I believe this to be a Trois Pistoles clone.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ben4321 (5076) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - JAN 19, 2014
Location: Bottle shared by Dan, thanks bud!, 1/4/14

Aroma: The aroma has some caramel/toffee, lots of Belgian yeast, and dark fruit
Appearance: It pours a dark reddish color with a beige head and some decent lace
Flavor: It has a nice, complex malt flavor, with dark fruit and toffee, spice, and yeast
Palate: The body is medium, it has a somewhat sticky feel, and a short-to-average duration
Overall Impression: I haven’t actually tried one of these vintages since the ’09, but I remember it being a pretty tasty beer, and I am rarely disappointed by Unibroue. This one was quite tasty.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
radagast83 (6103) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - JAN 18, 2014
Ah, it’s that time of year again - $4.99 bottles of Unibroue beer at Trader Joes! This one, like its predecessors, poured a dark brown with a medium sized tan, fluffy head. Aroma was dark fruits, brown sugar notes, sweetness. Flavor was dark, dried sweet fruits, brown sugar, with nice spice notes. Alcohol was pretty well subdued.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
seymour (1750) - Maplewood, Missouri, USA - JAN 13, 2014
Shared from a corked big brown bottle into snifters. It poured a dark reddish brown colour with crazy thick beige foam, everlasting with lots of Belgian lace. Gorgeous. Predictable strong Unibroue Belgian ale yeast aromas: black pepper, clove, some grainy, toasty and spicy hoppy aspects underneath. Strong, spicy flavours too: pepper, clove, red wine tannins, tart acidity, metallic, plums, black cherries, cola, toasted brown bread. Light body, but very complex mouthfeel, intense Champagne-like carbonation, lingering fruity and spicy aftertastes. Good stuff as usual, but it’s probably time for me to do another side-by-side vintage taste test, because these are starting to seem the same every year to me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
MattH (673) - California, USA - JAN 12, 2014
Dark brown pour. Big tan head. Spicy aroma. I detect coriander among other things. Flavor is coriander, nutmeg, and dark fruits. Body is medium and level of carbonation is high. Enjoyed this one. More on the dry side as opposed to many dark Belgian Ales.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
radioseer (299) - Virginia, USA - JAN 12, 2014
Pours a thick tan head. Brown black color. Aroma is of toast, chocolate and fruity esters. Taste is similar.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
johnnnniee (3156) - Bedford, New Hampshire, USA - JAN 12, 2014
Bottle provided by Santa. Pours a solid dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights at the edges when held to light. Fluffy creamy off white head shows moderate retention and lace. Aromas of pepper and clove with bits of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Light dark fruit aromas round out the nose. The flavor is a dark sugary spicy affair. Dark sugary maltiness that gets assaulted by peppery clove and other spices. Light prune and molasses round out the flavor. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly spritzy mouthfeel. Glad I got to try this, but I felt this a bit too spicy for my tastes.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Steasy66 (1086) - Minnesota, USA - JAN 11, 2014
Big and dark with an aggressive tan head. Bit of yeast and malt in the nose. Flavor is clean with some yeast and dark fruits. Nice beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Imaena (2126) - Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE - JAN 11, 2014
Bottle. This is a great big belgian style with lots of interesting flavor dynamics going on in the background.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Panzuriel (1558) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - JAN 10, 2014
Trader Joe’s vintage ale 2013 version ale is a dark opaque brown pour with a very firm head of small light brown bubbles. Nose is typical belgian esters of yeast, stone fruit and a bit of cedar hops on the back. Crisp and acrid. Taste is sharp at first that mellows in the middle. there is wheat bread with aspects of earth and stone fruit like not quite ripe peach. very lively body. the finish is just a bit of good baked bread grain.

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