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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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Oakes (13140) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 23, 2014
Dark brown. Dark malts, fruitiness and coriander on the nose. Sweet front, light yeasty character, and with a drier finish. Good, I like the slight orangey note.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Leighton (13038) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 8, 2014
Bottle shared late night RBWG. Pours clear brown with a tan cream head. Tasty stuff, lightly herbal, a bit of toffee, rich bread, some Belgian yeast. Medium bodied with fine carbonation. Sweet finish, toasted malts, modest toffee. Tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bhensonb (11920) - Woodland, California, USA - NOV 15, 2013
750 c&c from Trader Joe’s in Davis, CA. Pours very dark brown with a creamy, somewhat fizzy, light tan head. Aroma of dark fruit and spice, with something quite different - perhaps licorice. Or fennel. Med body or better. Flavor reflects the aroma, along with dark malt. Something like a medicinal plant in the mix. It’s just on the sweet side, but the spice and herbs keep the malt under control.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Tmoney99 (11479) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 18, 2013
Bottle. Poured hazy reddish brown color with a large frothy off-white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate complex dark fruit and coffee aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and lively carbonation. Solid balanced sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration. This is a smooth complex beer

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Drake (9999) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
hopdog (9461) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 3, 2014
750ml, caged and corked bottle. Poured a brown color with an averaged sized off white head. Fruity, caramel, some spice, and bread.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
GT2 (9102) - San Diego County, 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 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jercraigs (8220) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - NOV 17, 2014
2014-11-06. Very dark brown body with a nice foamy tan head. 3+ Aroma is pleasant, sort of anise like notes, muted spice. Flavour is similar. Lightly herbal character over dark malt, mild Belgian yeast character below. Average plus bodied palate, soft effervescent carbonation. 3++ Better than my notes for it unfortunately, it is pretty solid but not does not particularly differentiate itself from other Unibroue offerings. It is very reminiscent of Terrible or Trois Pistoles. Bottle shared by Blankboy

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
mcberko (8130) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 23, 2014
750mL bottle, pours a deep dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma brings out lots of spices, especially cardamom. Flavour is the same - super spicy, again with the cardamom, and some Belgian yeast. Super spicy, too much so for me. Decent stuff, but not my favourite of the Trader Joe’s specials.

   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.

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