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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2013

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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 139   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   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 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 (2462) - 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 (995) - 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 (1887) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - 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 (1362) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
nuplastikk (4708) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 9, 2014
750ml corked and caged bottle. Opaque brown-black body. Massive steady beige head., rising carbonation bubbles underneath. Interesting black licorice, ginger, anise, black malt tastes. A little bit of coffee flavor this year? Comes off really clean, well brewed. An oddball beer for sure, this one is pretty enjoyable.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Petkus331 (282) - Redford, Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2014
An aroma of sweet pear, lots of nutmeg, and coffee. Almost black, dark brown color with a big light brown head and some beautiful lace. Taste is acidic and sweet like apple juice with big pear flavor followed by nutmeg and minor hop bitterness on the end. Palate is very nice, fizzy anf mouth filling, but at the same time a little bit watery. Overall, a very good beer, we will be getting a few more of these!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
firstsip (508) - Michigan, USA - JAN 8, 2014
From bottle (obviously). Dark pour, good light tan head lasting throughout drinking. Good nose of Belgian yeast and dark fruits. Thick mouthfeel. Subtle dark malt balances well with Belgian yeast and notes of plum, grape, and spices (nutmeg in particular).

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rangerred (956) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - JAN 7, 2014
Poured into a goblet out of a 750ml bottle. Pours a very dark, deep ruby with a one finger light tan head. Not really much lacing but the head retention is downright incredible. The aroma contains a huge metallic note which really detracts from the entire beer. I can tell there are some spices lingering underneath but they are completely drowned out by the metal. There is a little bit of dark fruit in there that does begin to come through after awhile. Fortunately, the flavor leaves the metal behind but is a bit overspiced. Lots of orange and anise lending a licorice note along with cherries and figs. I think I can detect some cinnamon in there too. As the beer warms, more traditional Belgian yeast esters begin to take hold and the spice eases up somewhat. Mouthfeel is full and silky with just the slightest bit of warmth along with a mildly sweet finish. Overall, a good beer but a bit unrefined. I think some age would help tone down the spice and balance everything out. The price is right so i might need to pick up another one of these to age.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
boozedude (1998) - Des Moines, Iowa, USA - JAN 6, 2014
corked bomber from trader joes, into glass, pitch thick brownish black pour with kacki head...aroma of sour fruit and alcohol, taste is spices, and fruit, some prune, very all over the place... crazy good...suprised

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