RATINGS: 183   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
The Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale is a brown Belgian-style ale of great distinction produced by traditional top fermentation methods resulting in a rich and full-bodied flavor. The Champagne-like effervescence and smooth moth feel are the result of a natural secondary fermentation in the bottle obtained by the use of carefully selected yeast. This deep brown color vintage ale, with a tint of red hue displays effervescent generous beige foam. It has notes of coffee and spices, mild aroma of tropical fruits. Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale has a smooth round mouth feel and notes of roasted malt, carrying toffee-like flavor, finishing with well balanced noble hops. True to it’s Abby Dubbel style, this year’s vintage ale offers a highly distinctive flavor enhanced by the fruity and floral notes of the yeast. The result is a complex and warming ale that offers both strength and subtlety. Brewed once a year in limited quantity, please enjoy Trader Joe’s 2008 Vintage Ale. This ale will age exceptionally over time, developing more complex flavor as the years go by. Exclusively bottled for Trader Joe’s. Best before 09-09-2011.

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5000 (6900) - Hardened Liver, Washington, USA - MAY 1, 2011
Bottle:   Deep garnet, moderate to large frothy off-white head, fairly sticky lacing.   Bready nose, dark pitted fruit.   Fairly bready on the tongue.   Slight spiciness emerges on the nose and tongue as it warms.   Not as spicy as the 2009 though.   Lingering spices with a hint of breadiness and dark pitted fruit.   Tastes very much like a Unibroue product.   These releases always strike me as just as flavorful as most of the Unibroue line yet not as alcoholic.   This one was also fairly tasty, like the 2009.   Similar, just not as spicy as the 09. Maybe that’s what time does, albeit these are different beers.

Nellie (349) - Dallas, Texas, USA - APR 1, 2011
caramel, no pine, honey, slightly floral flavors with syrup. This might be my favorite year.

mabel (10136) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 20, 2011
[3620-20110304] 1pt9.4floz bottle. Lightly fruity aroma has a hint of something fresh and exotic, a little like freshly baked buttered bread. Clear, amber brown body with a quick bubbly off-white head. Wine-like licorice fruity malt flavour. Medium-full body has noticeable booze. Medium body. Interesting. (7/3/7/3/14) 3.4
(c/o garthicus and HogTownHarry, w/ them, blankboy, GregClow, jerc)

blankboy (7990) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 16, 2011
Bottle [750ml] shared with HogTownHarry, garthicus, GregClow, jerc & mabel -- c/o IrishBoy. Pours a deep amber-brown with a small diminishing fizzy off-white head. Aroma is malty, bready and fruity along with Belgian yeast and spices. Sweet and bready flavour of Belgian yeast, sweet malt, brown sugar and spices. Alcohol’s pretty well hidden. Medium bodied. Amazing stuff, I loved it!

jercraigs (11344) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAR 6, 2011
2011-03-04. Crisp brown body with a nice foamy beige head that fades. 3+ Aroma of spices and mild alcohol over a malty core. 7+ Flavour is similar, sweet malty core with pleasant spicey overtones. Not unlike a sweeter maltier version of Maudite? Smooth medium bodied palate. Not earth shatteringly unique, but very enjoyable. Bottle shared by HogTownHarry/Garthicus

garthicus (2984) - Dublin, IRELAND - MAR 4, 2011
Thanks to Irishboy. Appearance: murky copper brown, little to no head. Aroma: vanilla, caramel, raisins, quite the ’Belgian’ yeast nose to it, prunes. Lovely. Flavour: Tangy malt, very fruity, quite yeasty, lots of carbonation, overripe apples with a caramel finish.

MrChopin (4305) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - FEB 6, 2011
Thanks Richmond crew! Follows ’07 Vintage. Darker brown-tan, still transparent, still a head gone in 2-3 seconds. Apple, sugary nose, light grain. Lots of Candi sugar sweetness, light pepper and cardboard in the finish, faint tea bitterness. Bit better than 07, but still a mess of flavors.

BeerandBlues2 (14578) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 16, 2011
Bottle at 13th Richmond Gathering, courtesy of maniac. Pours clear tawny with an average, fizzy cream colored head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted), light hops (floral), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of dates. Flavor is heavy malt (bread, cookie, caramel, toasted, nutty), light hops (floral), and average esters (apple/pear) with notes of dates and brown sugar. Medium body and warmth, medium-high carbonation, low creaminess with a dry finish.

MaltDawg (1344) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2011
Date: 1/15/2011 Source:Maniac Spicy yeast character in aroma with moderate caramelized sugars . Mostly clear dark amber with little head. Flavor has a lot of spicy yeast phenolics, dry with some caemelized sugars. Medium to light body with light mouthfeel from high carbonation. Finish is medium with spicy yeast character residual.

Butters (4063) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - JAN 15, 2011
Sampled at the Richmond Gather XIII. Clear chestnut pour with fair near clear head. More bready and sweet than the 07. lots of biscuit. Not as complex. But good price. Love trader’s joes.

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