RATINGS: 183   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.6/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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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4.1
daleharshman (1086) - Escondido, California, USA - APR 23, 2010
750 ml bottle purchased at Trader Joe’s, of course, and for a very good price. I drunk a couple bottles when it released (before I was on RateBeer), but decided to age this one. Pours a color that seems to be evenly balanced between red and brown with a generous off-white head. Aroma of candied dark fruits, Unibroue yeast, brown sugar, and some bready malts. Flavor of more sweet dark fruits, yeast, rich malts, and some spice that seems amplified by the prickly carbonation. Some nice dark chocolate comes in the finish. The alcohol is completely hidden. The year and a half of aging seem to have done this very well. Despite the Trader Joe’s label, this beer screams Unibroue in both nose and flavor. Another great one from these talented Quebecois. (126, 280)

4
sepia5 (237) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 20, 2010
Courtesy of my dad, who had been storing a bottle since last holiday season (he recalls buying it for $4.50 a bottle--are you kidding me!!! I would buy a case!). Despite the low price point, I actually think this compares favorably to many other Dubbels I’ve encountered. Very smooth and predominately yeasty, with a light barnyard funk. Masks the 9% ABV incredibly well. Now, the year of aging could be coming into play here, but this just goes to show that $ does not always = superior beer. I should also say that if you like Unibroue’s other offerings, you’ll probably enjoy this as well, as it definitely has that distinct Unibroue flavor profile. If you can somehow find this stuff, get it and drink it.

3.8
CaptainCougar (7634) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - JAN 24, 2010
Pours a transparent deep mahogany with an average-sized from of beige head. Aroma of sweet doughy dark caramel malts with some raisin and fig notes. Starts with good malty fullness, sweet biscuity caramel and raisin flavors and that trademark Unibroue yeast character in the finish. Well-balanced and fairly complex, just like most of their other offerings.

3.2
madvike (3308) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 3, 2010
Bottle drank side-by-side with 2007 and 2009 vintages. Pours deep brown with nary a head. Smell is light spice, with some syrupy sweet notes. Taste is bready and sweet malt and dark chocolate. Spicier than the 2007 vintage, but a bit too boozy and sharp. Syrupy and smooth in the mouth, but I think this one could use another year or two.

3.9
Boutip (6669) - Gatineau, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 1, 2009
Bottle: Poured a hazy deep brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of typical Unibroue Belgian ester with deep rich malt with hints of candi sugar. Taste is also a nice mix between some rich Belgian malt with notes of candi sugar and that typical Unibroue ester. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Very well done though quite similar to prior year vintage.

3.3
TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 16, 2009
25.4 oz bottle. Clear cola brown with a fluffy white head. Nose is yeast, brown sugar and raisin with hints of plastic. Yep, it’s a Unibroue. Medium light, sparkly and sudsy. Taste is chocolate banana and sour fig with a bitter earthy finish. Just OK.

3.6
travita (5008) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 24, 2009
Bottle thanks to bu11zeye. The taste is sweet, fruits, belgian, and very sweet. The look is clear, golden to amber in color, with an off white head. The smell is fruits and the same as the smell.

3.5
jkwalking05 (4745) - Arlington, Texas, USA - AUG 18, 2009
Bottle thanks to bu11zeye. Brown in color with a decent sized beige head. Aroma is of spices, caramel and yeast. Taste is very spicy with notes of yeast and booze.

3.7
boomer0813 (100) - denton, Texas, USA - AUG 12, 2009
Bottle courtesy of bu11zeye. Poured a light brown with white head and no lace. Flavor of ginger, cinnamon, and caramel. Aroma of sweet florals and caramel. Tasty.

3.6
Beerman6686 (6611) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 9, 2009
This poured a darker brown color with a big off white head. Aroma was malty and spicey, just like every other uinbroue beer. Flavor was much the same, sweet and malty slightly roasted and very spicey with clove and banana flavors. I like these beers, but cant Unibroue try something different?


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