Each year around the Holidays, Trader Joe's releases their Vintage Ale. The 2012 bottle says it is best before 7-6-2015, so this is one that is designed to be aged if one desires. The Vintage Ales are contract brewed by Unibroue of Chambly, Quebec, Canada.
This 9.0% ABV beer is a dark Belgian-style ale brewed with spices and natural flavor added. The beer pours black in color, with some dark ruby when held to the light. There is a huge, roiling, boiling foamy head typical of bottle conditioned beers. It is thick, yet light, like sea foam. The head snap, crackles and pops like Rice Krispies from all the carbonation coming up through it. The aroma is Christmas spices, cloves and nutmeg, an earthy and tangy yeastiness, dark caramel, and raisins. The taste follows the aromas and leaves the lingering aftertaste of spices. It is finely carbonated, tingling the mouth like champagne. There is a warming sensation from the alcohol. This one should put you in the Christmas spirit!