Sunday, February 22, 2009
Trader Joes 2008 Vintage Ale - BU YTHIS NOW!
I bought two bottles of this on a lark while at my old neighborhood Joe's down in Ahawatukee last weekend. I had seen it the year before, but assumed it was shyte and didn't bother. OK - THAT JOKE WAS ON ME!! I brought one of the bottles over to the 'Brew Crew' meeting & Social Hour last evening out in Mancos. As I drew out the cork, the first thing I noticed was the prominent "Unibroue" logo stamped on the side. "Holy smokes!", thought I. Unibroue is a brewer of incredible power out of Quebec, on the order of Omegang up in New York State, or any of the trappist houses of the 'old world'. If you haven't, try a bomber of their offering, "Delerious Tremens" - It's the ceramic bottle with the flying pink elephant on it.... Anyway, it turns out that this is a bottle conditioned Belgian Dubbel that was brewed up by these wizards for Trader Joe's. The beer is a big caramel brew with dark candy sugar additions that finished out around 9% ABV. This is a big-assed Dubbel for sure (ok - for the nerds out there, it is way out of style guidelines on both ABV and color, but what the hell, right?) Man - is this stuff TASTY!!!! Wow! For $4.99 a bottle? Are you kidding me? I have an order for a case or two that's going to get called in to the crew in Chandler for delivery up here in March. I couldn't believe it. IT's beers like this that et me thinking about brewing some heavier belgian styles rather than the pale ales and IPA's I've been going after. On that note, I have an Amber and a Pale in the kegs finishing up. The mead from last fall will get bottled in the next couple of days, and the Apricot Mead is probably a month out from finishing. The next batch will be a double size (12 gallon!!) Marzen (Oktoberfest) lager. I have some serious stoke on that one. More on that later.