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Trader Joe's 2006 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2006 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2006 Vintage Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: DogFood11 on 11-15-2006)
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of malcontent
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale (1st tasting, no aging)

Almost totally opaque in its darkness, decent head with a very good ring of lacing as the beer settles.

Apples, currants, sour fruit and some musty, earthy scents.

Delicious dark bread (marble rye?) flavors mingle with buttery notes. Some hop bitterness although this is mostly more complex than the normal hop/malt descriptors. A really nice Belgian dark ale.

Crisp yet rich, complex yet inviting, this feels, tastes & behaves like a really good beer should.

NOTE: unlike most Trader Joe’s contract brews, this one is not mysteriously/deceptively labeled. The cork and back of the bottle clearly attribute this beer to the bad-asses at Unibroue. In fact, it's very close to the Trois Pistoles (might even just be that beer repackaged). Still, for $4.50 a bomber I'd say Santa Joe got generous this year!

Photo of bennetj17
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The cork is removed with an explosive "pop". Very dark black appearance, the masive foam is a grayish tan color, and it holds up well leaving some good lace along the way. Lots of holiday spice in the nose: cinnamon, nutmeg, peppermint, plus some cocoa, licorice and herbal notes. Nice and warming. The taste has many of the same flavors, dry with plenty of peppery spice. In fact, it really seems almost minty. The flavor is quite strong in that you really don't notice the alcohol. In the mouthfeel there is an intense bubbling that creates alot of foam. This occurs so much that it becomes difficult to try and let it sit on the tongue and discern the flavors. Moderate thickness overall.

I thought this brew was pretty good, an interesting winter offering. Some of the spicy/mint flavors might have been overdone, and the carbonation was way too intense, but I would still recommend picking one up. You don't often see any other beers brewed by Unibroue for $5 for a 750ml. I would like to see if it mellows with some age...

Photo of DogFood11
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fizzy with a minute or two of staying power. Tan head that falls to a thin cover with little lace. Dark brown to black body.

Floral and fruity in the nose and that translates well to the taste. Shades of a backend hop presence and a little pepper are welcomed. The true core of this beer is in the fruity presence that is rich and dark in nature. Lighter citrus comes into play as well. This brew takes you in a lot of different directions. Carbonation is rather strong in this and plays a big role in the mouthfeel and cleansing snap. Incent like cloveyness to this as well. As it warms i get some black liquorice and more alcohol in the finish.

Notes: My how palates change. I liked certain aspects of this beer better this year like the complexity of the fruits and the intensity of flavor. Still though I believe this is a clone of last years in my opinion. I appreciate it more and is reflected in my score. The mouthfeel was a bit harsh for me as the carbonation had a pop rock feel to it. Scores well in the big categories and if it could improve the small stuff it could be excellent. All in all this is on par with some of the better belgian strong darks and @ $5 bucks a pop for a 750ml.... get a case today if you can.

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Trader Joe's 2006 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.