Trader Joe’s 2010 Vintage Ale

A release that I look forward to every year for two reasons; the value associated with this beer is generally exceptional, and Unibroue is simply a brewer that rarely misses when it plays in its own, Canadian inspired, “Belgian” ballpark.
Corked & Caged 750 mL in the usual Unibroue style bottle, with a blue “U” on top of the cap that is reassuring. Best Before date on the rear of the bottle, 09-10-2013. J221 01 953Q dot-matrixed on the shoulder of the bottle at the side.
A very dark brown body which, in less than strong light appears largely just black. Head is a mocha color, that fades fairly quickly to leave a collar and a thin film on the beer.
Nose has some lightly spiced fruit.
The tastes are based on the same light fruit and spice as the nose. The spice builds with warmth and as the bottle is consumed. White pepper is present, alongside a touch of aniseed. Perhaps a dash of pumpkin or cardamon. Some mace and some more obvious nutmeg. Even some carrot cake. Not much alcohol at all, and a nice, slightly lingering bitterness related to orange peel in the back end and finish. A few of the typical Unibroue yeast notes, but it seems a bit more muted than in many of their other beers. The yeast does get a bit bigger as it warms, as does a dash of wintergreen.
The mouthfeel is lively and makes the beer feel much lighter than it otherwise might be.
Very satisfying, moreish and tasty as usual. Exceptional value. Great stuff.

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11/25/2010
Format:
bottle
ABV: 9.2 %
Appearance: 4
Taste: 4.5
Mouthfeel: 4.5
Smell: 4
Overall: 5
Total: 4.48
Series Name:
Year:

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