2014 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale by Unibroue is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Spices and Natural Flavors.
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.
Our Vintage Ale is 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. Keep the bottle upright in storage.
Brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops, Roasted malts and spices, this is a remarkably smooth ale with a wonderfully complex finish. It is best served slightly chilledaround 53 degrees Fahrenheit and pairs exceptionally well with grilled salmon steaks, curried lamb, beef or tuna au poivre. Crafted and bottled exclusively for Trader Joe’s
Trader Joe’s is not a typical store I usually visit as it is nowhere near my home. That and the fact that I usually go to other shops to get special beers. My friend Richard told me about this beer at the Trader Joe’s and advised that this one would be good to try. Trader Joe’s has always had good selection according to Richard. I can definitely vouch for that as he used to work for them back when craft beer was hardly in the major stores but now see them more often. So since I really like Unibroue, I definitely had to see what this one was about. So here we go, cheers!
Dark fruits like raisins, figs plums, dark cherry, vanilla, coffee, phenolic notes, dark candi sugars, brown sugar, port wine notes, stone fruit hints like apricots, pears, apples, dulce de leche caramel, oats, molasses, anise, and cola notes.
Dulce de leche caramel, Coffee, Oats, molasses, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, dark cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, port wine, cola notes, candi sugars, anise, raisin bread pudding, bananas, clove spice, pears, apricots, apples, grapes, pecan pie, phenolic notes, rum hints and wheat bread.
Dark fruits linger along with port wine notes, stone fruit hints, candi sugar and coffee. No alcohol in the taste, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate drinkability and pitch black body.
This is a very good Belgian Dark Strong reminding me of some of Unibroue’s best, like Trois Pistoles. This taste similar to Trois Pistoles but not as through as that one. I still think it is a great ale and you should try it if you happen to stop by a Trader Joe’s. However, if you don’t get the chance, just go with Unibroue’s other beers as those are more widely common and just as great if not way better. A great Belgian beer none the less.
Irisviel von Einzbern and Saber from Fate Zero were used in this pairing to represent the collaboration of Trader Joe’s and Unibroue. Unibroue is Irisviel and Trader Joe’s is Saber. Together bring about an awesome Belgian style that reminds me a lot of Trois Pistoles. As you can see this fits since they are inside what appears to be an abbey or a church or even monastery. The darkness in their eyes and colors represents the Belgian arts of great Dark Strong Ales with the fruity complex. Not too bad for some bad ass collaborations.