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Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2013

 (RETIRED)
overall
95
93
style
Formerly brewed at Unibroue (Sapporo)
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Chambly, Canada

bottled
common

on tap
unknown

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 139   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
mikesaum (596) - Newark, Ohio, USA - JAN 6, 2014
Looks like a cola with a big tan head that fades fast. Aroma is lots of belgian spice notes, estery,bananas, maybe hints of nutmeg and clove. Taste is spicy,a bit herbal, and notes of cherry cola. Not too bad.

2.7
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
deathserv (24) - Astoria, New York, USA - JAN 6, 2014
Pours dark brown with a resilient, foamy tan head. Aroma reminds me strongly of wheat toast in the morning. Quite heavy on the carbonation, a tiny bit too much so for my taste, but it mellowed out after a bit in the glass. Got that funky Belgian tanginess going on that starts slightly sour and kind of rides out with some malty/caramel flavors. Not bad but doesn’t really align with my tastes well.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
andyhwcinc (1517) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 5, 2014
Purchased at Trader Joe’s (big surprise), enjoyed at home prior to going out on a snowy New Years Eve. I didn’t take tasting notes, but remember this being a lot like the previous vintage ales, maybe a little more carbonated this year. Still a great value beer...5th year I’ve rated this!

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
drowland (6169) - Valdosta, Georgia, USA - JAN 4, 2014
12/25/13. Merry Christmas! 750mL bottle shared graciously by my brother Calvin. Dark amber pour with a nice khaki head. Malty aroma, some caramel, spice, and light fruit. Malty flavor as well, fruity, esters, light spice. Nice.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Drake (9005) - Free Union, Virginia, USA - JAN 1, 2014
C&C 750 mL bottle from Trader Joe’s Charlottesville, opened 11/24/13. Pours a very dark brown color with large frothy, foamy medium brown head. Average head retention. Aroma of yeast, brown sugar, bread, dark fruits and a bit of cocoa. The taste is yeast, banana, bread, spice, dark fruits, mild nuttiness and a hint of chocolate. Medium bodied, lingering spice, low carbonation.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
drdisque (570) - Illinois, USA - JAN 1, 2014
From a bottle. Flavor is rich and fruity with lots of nice raisin and walnut notes. Complex flavor. Quite good.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Nuffield (3717) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - DEC 31, 2013
Very legit beer--Trader Joe’s probably gets the best BUL beers that anyone puts under their own labels. This is a dark brown with a soft complexion and a good blend of caramel, candi sugar, and general Belgian qualities. Somewhat generic, as others have noted, but very drinkable. Bottle.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dwyerpg (4656) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - DEC 31, 2013
A pretty standard Belgian strong from Unibroue. Sweet, a bit chewy. A lot of Unibroues beers are starting to taste the same to me.

4.1
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
QuezXLV (401) - Virginia, USA - DEC 31, 2013
Almost a black color. Lots of white bubbly suds. Heavy on te palate and intense malts with a pleasant sweetness. Nice job tj's! - Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
bubblehouse (508) - louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 31, 2013
Good offering. Pours good and dark with a nice little aroma. Nice Belgian especially more than I was suspecting.


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