RATINGS: 149   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.61/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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.

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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
jgb9348 (6050) - Arlington (Pentagon City), Virginia, USA - MAR 7, 2014
Rich deep dark brown coloured body with a stupid thick, five centimetre tall light brown head that fades relatively quickly. Aroma of grass, caramel, cereal, light spices, apples and tons of pit fruits - a complex and interesting smell. Medium to Full-bodied; Very strong earthy and metallic flavours at first with a deep bitterness, some lighter hops and a more structured sweetness coupled with some spices and an oaky dryness. Aftertaste shows more complexity with a large spruce and woodsy bit on the back and a subtle sweetness of an Old Ale. Overall, a nice and refreshing beer, perhaps, partially because I didn’t expect this beer to fit in this category, but it’s quite the natural fit. I sampled this 75 cL bottle purchased from Trader Joe’s in Falls Church (Bailey’s Crossroads) on 06-March-2014 earlier in the day following on 07-March-2014 at Giant Foods in Falls Church, VA on 06-May-2014.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pailhead (6539) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - MAR 6, 2014
Bottle: The aroma consists of banana, apple, dark fruits, Unibroue yeast, spice, and faint lemon/lemon peel. It pours a dark muddy brown with a faint orange glow around the edges of the glass when held to the light. It has a two finger tan head that is a tad fizzy from what looks like rather lively carbonation. It eventually fades to a thick film. There’s is some sporadic dotted lacing left on the sides of the glass. The flavor starts with a quick dose of banana, dark fruits, caramel, and faint cola. The finish has some light apple, lemon peel, pepper, spice, and just a hint of roast. It’s medium bodied with lively carbonation, but the carbonation never gets prickly. I wouldn’t guess this is 9%. After it warms there is a hint of cinnamon in the finish. Overall, it’s a solid beer at a great price...pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the Trader Joe’s Anniversary beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Arayaga2 (2183) - portland, Oregon, USA - MAR 3, 2014
Dark cola brown with 2 inches of brown head. Aroma is honey, lemon,orange and corriander. Taste is the same, with all the fruity cues, and relatively little residual sugars. $5/750

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
trapped (2866) - New York, TURKEY - MAR 1, 2014
Bottle. Dark reddish brown with beige foamy head, caramel aroma, high carbonation, caramel mocha taste with alcohol aftertaste, long finish. Very good ale I wondered how it would mature.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
killjoy966 (677) - Washington, USA - MAR 1, 2014
André and Serge probably didn’t know a whit about how to broue, but they knew an opportunity when they saw it. Now they (along with a Chimay apprentice) can take credit for creating some of the beers responsible for Kickstarting the craft beer movement in America’s yarmulke. Where once they introduced Belgian ales to a populace satisfied with Molson and Labatt, now they conjure potent potables for grocery stores and must serve their Japanese masters by selling ever more and more beer. But no matter. It’s here again and in order to keep the Trois Pistoles coming someone must drink it. A big whiff reveal a mixture of a new box of Kroger sheer bandages, straight ether, and overripe bananas. There’s some serious Mario Kart shit going on here. It gives me a bit of a buzz just to inhale and I welcome it like only Dr. Larch can appreciate. This libation is out to hurt me. Drinking it is like chomping on a handful of Pop Rocks and RC Cola. I don’t know why they make it so carbonated. You mad bro? But I am patient. I can wait out the bubbles because they simply can’t resist escaping from their liquid prison. I’m trying to come up with the words to describe how it tastes, but half way through the bottle my tongue feels like it is wrapped in gauze that’s been soaked in egg nog spices. I stare at the bottle for inspiration only to realize that this 750mL bottle is 9% ABV (on a school night, no less!) Further bottle label research reveals that this beer is “on lees” which I suppose is French-Canadian for “bottle-conditioned”. I now regret dumping the dregs in my glass. The copy on the back claims “t will evolve interestingly well” if I cellar it, though I must be sure to abide by the Aug. 2016 “Best before” date stamped for my convenience. You know me so well, TJ.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BeerFunGuy (875)
- California, USA - FEB 26, 2014
This deep black beer pours with a very full head. It has an aroma of coffee and is very flavorful. The 9% alcohol doesn't come through and it is a very well made flavorful beer. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
vikingguy (1096) - Carver, Minnesota, USA - FEB 22, 2014
Murky brown. Belgian malt aroma. Tastes like spiced banana bread. Love it. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
davidm (2079) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - FEB 22, 2014
Bottle from Trader Joe’s. Aromas of dough, caramel, hint of chocolate. Taste is sweet, with light sourness.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sailracer (486) - Massachusetts, USA - FEB 22, 2014
Bottle. Pours a clear brown with decent head. Smooth mouth feel with the typical Belgian yeast esters giving a mild banana/fruit taste. A bit of spice. A pretty decent Belgian overall.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerme31 (676) - Holly Springs, North Carolina, USA - FEB 20, 2014
Bottle. Pours dark brown tan head. Aroma of citrus, coriander, dark fruits, spices. Medium sweet taste. Medium body, ave carbonation, spice finish. Overall another good strong belgian ale from Unibroue via Trader Joes.

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