No ingredients are listed on the bottle, but the label says it’s “brewed with a delicate balance of noble hops, roasted malts and spices”.
Although there is a “best before” date, TJ’s says this beer can be stored, and will develop “more complex flavors as the years go by”. Keep the bottle upright and store in a cool, dry place.
We love the idea of a vintage beer to celebrate the close of each year. It gives us something special to look forward to, and it gets us excited each year when we see the new batch on display at our local Trader Joe’s.
We always grab a few bottles for ourselves, and some to bring to holiday parties – who doesn’t love a celebratory beer that has a wire cage and a cork?! What a treat!
The 2013 vintage, like it’s predecessors, is a bottle-conditioned beer. This means that unlike traditional beers that are artificially carbonated (by pumping CO2 into the bottle or can), this beer is given a little extra yeast or sugar after fermentation, allowing the the beer to naturally carbonate inside the bottle. The result is a frothy brew with fine bubbles (not unlike champagne).
So, how was the flavor? We found it to be a dark, full bodied beer that was rich in flavor – with just a touch of sweetness. Note that a dark beer doesn’t have to be heavy, and this 2013 vintage was no exception. It was light and bubbly, with a really good finish – we didn’t find it to be bitter at all.
Keep in mind that there’s a good deal of beer in this bottle (750 ml or 1 pint, 9.4 fl. oz.), so bring your friends. We don’t imagine it will keep well for the next day, but we didn’t <<hiccup>> have any leftovers to test that out.
All told, we’re fans of this beer, and we’ll be looking forward to next year’s batch. Grab a few bottles before they’re gone!