From the store that brings you old-timey ads; aisles so damn narrow that people touch butts (“moon landing”) when they each bend down to grab something on opposite shelves; and quirky, Hawaiian-shirt-clad cashiers who for no apparent reason ring those loud-ass bells…we bring you the annual holiday Trader Joe’s 2011 Vintage Ale (brewed in Chambly, Quebec, by Unibroue).
The bottle says “Ale on Lees”. Fret not, that is just a fancy-pants way of saying there is yeast on the bottom and it’s bottle conditioned. French Canadians are so cute.
One word sums up this beer: Coke. Not the wake-up-in-the-ringtail-lemur-cage-wearing-lipstick-and-a-strap-on-lizard-tail Coke. I mean Coca-Cola Coke. It looks like a Coke that has a nice, retained head. It smells like gingerbread, Belgian yeast…and Coke. And it tastes like a gingery, more carbonated, less sweet version of Coke. Although, I don’t think of this as a bad thing, especially for the price of this beer (like $5). Buy it. Drink it. Like it.
The Haybag: It’s less spicy than last year’s version. I think it tastes like gingerbread and dark fruit. And it’s pretty carbonated. Is that from that Scarface movie you always try to get me to watch. You didn’t tell me it was a Christmas movie!