Beer Review: Unibroue's Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Over the Thanksgiving holiday I visited some friends out of town, in one of the few cities here in Florida that has a Trader Joe's store (a common chain for me growing up out west, but I find they're almost impossible to find down here). I went in to grab a snack for the road and left with this interesting bottle. It's brewed by Unibroue but is exclusively sold and bottled for Trader Joe's. It's now my job to see how this beer differs from Unibroue's other offerings.


This dark beer pours an incredibly thick and resilient head that slowly dissipates as the beer settles. While I initially expected this to be a repeat of Trois Pistoles, it smells slightly fruitier and sweeter than I recall its counterpart being. Indeed, it is a thinner and more noticeably effervescent drink than its cousin, but the two share many similarities. The almost tropical flavors presented in this beer are balanced by a hint of citrusy hops and a moderate darkness, yet nothing too intense to frighten away more timid drinkers. This is a highly drinkable beer and while it's got a great deal of intricacy and flavor, it's hardly intimidating. If you're in a Trader Joe's and find yourself curious, grab a bottle. It's a great price and a great beer, whether you're a well seasoned palate or a curious individual who seldom drinks craft beer. Grab it while it lasts and enjoy!

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