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Old 11-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Ale on lees?

So, you know, I'm a fan on the Unibroue beers. I dig those labels too, and the names are unique. The beer itself is fantastic with Fin du Mond being one of the finest examples of that style I've ever tasted. One thing puzzles me however...on a few of the Unibroue beers as well as on the Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale (don't laugh, it's really amazing for a $4.99 corked Belgian) which Unibroue mfgrs. for them, it reads "Ale on Lees". What does this denote exactly? I know what lees actually are, but when I google the term nothing specific comes up. Does it mean there's yeast left in the bottle, is it fermented differently?? HELP!

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:24 PM   #2
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It's bottle conditioned, not filtered, so the bottle will have a layer of yeast at the bottom.

+1 on the Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale. I had a bottle of 2010 and it was delish. Received a bottle of the 2012 as a gift and have been cellaring it.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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Lees is usually a wine making term......I means sitting on trub or yeast. In beer we tend to just day "Bottle Conditioned." They're just trying to appeal to the wine crowd by using that term.

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Old 11-11-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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Lees is usually a wine making term......I means sitting on trub or yeast. In beer we tend to just day "Bottle Conditioned." They're just trying to appeal to the wine crowd by using that term.
You know I had a premonition that this was in fact the answer. Thanks guys, it was quite good!
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:43 AM   #5
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I wouldn't recommend aging those Trader Joe/Unibroue beers too long. I've bought a batch of them every year since 2008 and aged a few each. A year ago we did a vertical of 2008-2011 and the oldest 2 years were undrinkable. They tasted like lemon juice. They were dark, had a nice head but were very sour and bizarrely citrusy. I'll probably use the few remainders in cooking or baking.

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Old 10-11-2014, 01:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plinythebadass View Post
STrader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale (don't laugh, it's really amazing for a $4.99 corked Belgian) which Unibroue mfgrs. for them.
No laughing necessary. Especially for the value, those beers are fantastic; probably worth twice what they charge. And, if cellared properly, will age at least 4 years. Doing a vertical with 2010-2014 in a few weeks.

The fact that there's lees (yeast sediment, as was already answered) will just facilitate improvement with time, compared to a filtered beer.
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Old 10-12-2014, 12:47 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kalmah View Post
I wouldn't recommend aging those Trader Joe/Unibroue beers too long. I've bought a batch of them every year since 2008 and aged a few each. A year ago we did a vertical of 2008-2011 and the oldest 2 years were undrinkable. They tasted like lemon juice. They were dark, had a nice head but were very sour and bizarrely citrusy. I'll probably use the few remainders in cooking or baking.
That's crazy they all of a sudden got sour. I've had 2-3 year old bottles that actually aged quite gracefully, and have an 11 sitting around still. Perhaps I'll wait another 2 years to see if it gets sour!
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