Friday, June 10, 2011

Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale

This is a dark ale brewed with spices and natural flavors added.  It is brewed by the Unibroue brewery of Quebec, Canada, as a Trader Joe's store brand.  It is their Christmas holiday season ale.  It is bottle conditioned and can be cellared for up to almost three years.

The 9.0% ABV beer pours dark black in color with a billowing head of light brown foam.  The aroma is very spiced, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, allspice, light vanilla.  It gives an almost root beer effect.  The taste is very yeasty and spicy.  There is a banana element from the yeast but it is softened by all of the spice flavors.  Underlying the spice is very strong roasted, dark, caramel malt.  I generally do not like a yeasty beer that gives off banana notes, but here it is saved by the massive spice.  This is truly a Christmas spice beer.  The aftertaste gives the old-fashioned root beer note. 

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