RATINGS: 129   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.66/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is a dark Belgian style beer of great distinction produced by traditional top fermentation methods resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavour. Brewed once a year in limited quantity, please enjoy Trader Joe’s inaugural Vintage Ale.

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radiomgb (2686) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 20, 2009
Brown almost cola coloured, thin but lingering tan head, light lacing. The aroma is plummy, very lightly yeasty, sweet and malty. The flavour is malty, some plums, only a very light hint of alcohol, dates and brown sugar. Sweet mouthfeel, medium/light body, medium carbonation. Finishes sweet and syrupy with some alcohol warmth.

If I had tried this in a blind tasting I would never have guessed that it was from Unibroue as this didn’t have their typical yeast characteristics. Pretty nice.

750ml bottle obtained in a trade with vyvvy, thanks John.

Opened on June 29, 2008.

Vintage 2005.

Cletus (6368) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 12, 2008
Pours brown with a tan head. Smells of nuts, dark fruit, cherries, some molasses. Tastes of chocolate, nuts, dark fruit, some spicy hints, touches of spice.

taalhiker (190) - Dayton, Ohio, USA - SEP 10, 2008
From bottle. Poured dark brown with a thick dark tan short lived head. Aromas are dark spices and roasted malts Flavors include toffee, coffee and raisin. Typically Belgian yeasty finish. This is aging quite well - I wish I had more.

IslandHaole (1299) - Misawa, JAPAN - SEP 2, 2008
A nice score from the depths of the closet. I picked this up a year ago when I was in California and had nearly forgotten about it. Near black with a foamy, short-lived dark beige head. Has the scent of a fruity danish (plum/prune, sweet bread, a touch of spice and yeast) a breakfast beer? Traces of cinnamon, cofee & dark chocolate join the danish on the toungue. With the sweetness and strength taken into consideration, this is relatively light feeling, not too sticky. Mild alcohol shows up in the finish. Much better as it warms than straight out of the fridge. I enjoyed this just as much if not more than the Oak aged Damnation I had last night.

mabel (9874) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUN 12, 2008
[1217-20080321] 750mL bottle. Sweet coffee date aroma has raisin malt and earthy syrup notes. Dark brown black body with quick light tan bubbles. Sweet syrupy date and raisin malt flavour has a hint of chocolate. Full body. Interesting.

(w/ jerc)

GRM (4199) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - APR 22, 2008
Sample from a brown bottle, 750 ml, best before 10 13 2008, "vertical" tasting of Unibroue (from 10 to 17) at Philippe Wouters’ on April 4 2008; eye: burgundy, quite effervescent, no head, no lacing; nose: caramelized malt, spices, alcohol; mouth: low profile of savours, quite carbonated, Madeira, medium body, lightly sweet and bitter, alcohol; overall: so


Échantillon d’une bouteille brune, 750 ml, meilleure avant 10 13 2008, dégustation « verticale » de Unibroue (de la 10 à la 17) chez Philippe Wouters, 4 avril 2008; oeil : bourgogne, très effervescente, pas de mousse, pas de dentelle; nez : malt caramélisé, épices, alcool; bouche : profil de saveurs bas, très carbonatée, madère, corps moyen, légèrement sucrée et amère, alcool; en résumé : bof!

xmarcnolanx (945) - Kirkwood, Missouri, USA - APR 18, 2008
UPDATED: SEP 15, 2008 Aroma is nice, malty, sweet red fruit, sugar sweetness and oxidation.
Taste is sweet syrupy sugarness with some belgian fruit esters. Like syrup-covered fruit. Blends well.
Finishes with a slight sourness, but overall very nice taste, but finishes odd.,
---rating as of 2008

LinusStick (3520) - Moon Twp, suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 28, 2008
Nice Belgian strong. Thanks Nick. Aroma was weak but could pick up some grassiness and light malt. Pour was a medium brown with a thin white ring for a head. Taste was strong iced tea mixed with caramel malt. Dark fruits seem present but can’t get past the iced tea taste. This beer does not taste like 9% and it extremely (and dangerously) drinkable.

cheap (6126) - Beaver Valley, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, USA - JAN 28, 2008

Had the pleasure of sampling this at the 1/27/2008 Pittsburgh ratebeer.com gathering upstairs, Sharp Edge Creekhouse. It will be a long time, if ever, I see a spread of bottles like I did there - ever again. I am not good enough for the beers that were that we sampled! For example, how about this beer, courtesy of NIck! A trader Joe’s 2005 retired! COOL! Barely any aroma, but what it present is mildly roasty to the nose. Looks lighter than regular iced tea. Good carbonation, surprisingly good carbonation. Mild yet not too much of the character that would put it over the top. Very good but could not stand up to a Leute Bokbier. Probably more on par with Unibroue Maudite !

Cobra (1100) - - JAN 6, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 10, 2008 2005 batch, 750 ml brown, Belgian bottle. Corked and caged. Aged in my cellar since it’s release. Tasted in a 3 year vertical with the 2006 and the 2007 batch. This one poured out a deep dark chocolate brown. Much different in color & appearance than either the 2006 or the 2007 batch.
A thick mocha colored head sits atop this beer. Aromas are more of roasted malts, with spicy dark dried fruits mixed in. Smells really good, compared to each of the other 2 year’s vintages.
Massive flavors in this one. Some clove, licorice, damp, dank basement, sweet toffee, some pipe tobacco, and strangely enough, some cherry pie flavors. Tart cherries, not the sweet ones. Thick & chewy at this point means more flavor for me. This one stands heads & shoulders above the other 2 vintages in this vertical tasting. it certainly has aged well, no doubt about it.

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