Updated Review 01/11
About 14 months old by now.
Nose seems stronger than ever (in a good way). The carbonation is still quite prickly, and I think this is probably the weakest part of the beer, but paradoxically it lends a pretty lively element to the beer, and I would rather be it that way than the other, Still fruity and rich, the value here is indisputable. Yeasty elements seems a little higher than originally.
Original review 12/09
Trader Joe’s have been in Atlanta for about three years, but this is the first time I’ve seen the Vintage Ale in the stores here. They told me that they’ve had it once before but I’ve never been able to find it. It comes in pretty small amounts and disappears very quickly. I love Unibroue so this is a real treat.
$4.99 for the 750 mL bottle, INCREDIBLE value.
Dark, dark brown (essentially black) body with a fizzy head that fades quickly to leave a lovely mocha film and spotty lace on the surface of the beer. Looks great.
Nose is very rich with plenty of plum and dark fruits but also a sense of some medicinal aniseed.
As expected the tastes reflect the nose with a combination of all of the rich, dark fruits that one would expect and a decent dose of the Belgian candy, yeast and fruity sugar one would expect. In addition we get some medicinal notes of juniper and aniseed which add to the experience. Alcohol present but not oppressive.
Perhaps a touch prickly in the mouth but it’s trivial.
Very rich, moreish and basically a fantastic beer. MUCH less “Dubbel” (as originally in the BA database, but subsequently changed) and more Belgian Strong Dark.
Super beer, massively drinkable and fantastic value as usual for Unibroue. Delighted by it.
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Belgian Strong Dark Ale