Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by xymyl:
4.38/5 rDev +13.2%
Dark reddish brown with a light tan fragile head that drops fairly quickly to a quarter inch leaving lace, but can easily be stirred up again. Carbonation is intense at first.
Nose is overpowered by phenols at first, then sweet fruity notes emerge, followed by caramel and toasted notes. The whole thing is saturated in spice, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, even some herbal notes including mint, lemon grass and some coriander.
Taste is very much as the nose would suggest but a bit harsh until the carbonation falls to a more reasonable level. Starts off more round with a spicy build up toward the end.
Overall, a very high quality beer at a great price. Medium to medium/full body. Very drinkable. Will display some great qualities as it matures in about 5 years (if you like the winey qualities that develop in such beers). I need to get a case, I like it much better than last years even though it is very similar.
01-30-2008 17:12:38 | More by xymyl
More User Reviews:
4.15/5 rDev +7.2%
Deep auburn brown color, thick and hazy. Head is tight and fades from medium to small size. Smells deeeelightful. All sort of aromas packed into a smooth mix. Some are nuts, bubblegum, berries, delicate fruity cocoa, banana, peppercorns, dough and caramel glaze. With all that and the high abv there is also nice smooth clarity and a crisp, fresh spring water-like edge. Taste is no disappointment. Shares all the characteristics of the nose but has added peppery/tingly carbonation and a noticeable (if you look for it) alcohol. Feels real nice in your mouth. Thick and floaty, soft and smooth with awesome Belgian-like fine carbonation bubbles. Very dirnkably-delightful.
Good thing we bought two bottles so far. More shall come.
02-10-2008 22:30:16 | More by tastybeer
3.68/5 rDev -4.9%
Bomber that is well-drinkable. Medium mouthfeel, candyish sweetness, honey and caramel in finish. Yeasty aroma. Some clove and cardomon. Not very complex but well-served with food. A bomber is a lot.Not the Unibroue yeast that bugs me, but their spice is their signature.
07-06-2008 04:35:47 | More by Sammy
4/5 rDev +3.4%
Bomber poured at Belgique tasting, Huge, MN Thanksgiving 2010.
This is made, I hear, by Unibroue, and therefore may be similar to one of their dubbels.
Looks like tea or cola, foam recedes. Sweet and soft, caramel, the sweeter dessert beer version of a dubbel. An oily heft on the palate. Nutty.
04-19-2011 02:50:43 | More by kenito799
4.28/5 rDev +10.6%
Pours ruddy brown with a too quickly disappearing head.
Huge coriander aromas mingle with rich yeast notes in the aroma.
Sweet and slightly tart up front, round out into a nice, caramel sweetness. Some spice apparent on the back of the tongue.
A nice beer overall. Would have liked to have seen more head and lace, but a very balanced, drinkable beer nonetheless.
01-11-2008 03:04:40 | More by nortmand
3.95/5 rDev +2.1%
An almost clear mahogany with a light tan head. A touch of cloudiness. Good bits of lace here and there. No real carbonation visible.
Smell is rich with dark fruits and roasted malt. A good bit of alcohol and burnt sugar. Yeasty esters mix in.
Taste is roasted malt and mocha. A yin and yang of coffee and chocolate. Dark fruits and molasses. A dark brown bread. An alcohol bite that blends into the hops. Finish is light floral hoppiness and a dry bitterness. Graham crackery notes on the palates and touch of banana and toffee. More mocha as well. The alcohol almost disappears at the right temperature and with the swirling in of the yeast. Feel is full and gently effervescent, leading to an almost creamy consistency. Very smooth it improves significantly with the yeast in the glass.
The drinkability depends on two things. Temperature and yeast. This one really want to be cellar temp and not a degree colder. Drink it as cloudy as possible. A very good winter or cold rainy night warmer.
Thanks to WasTrinkenSie. A solid brew that will have me looking for a TJ's that sell beer.
04-21-2009 04:28:50 | More by scootny
4.45/5 rDev +15%
$4.99 for a large bottle, and this remains the best beer I've tried in '08, although Aventinus is a close 2nd. I know not Trader Joe's history as a brewer, and know my fair share of cheaply priced, but poorly executed attempts at flavor recreation. I proudly wave the checkered flag at this attempt, however.
This beer was like taking a trip back to the mall candy store. The taste was a medley of cotton candy, sourballs, and sweetarts, but not in an artificial or sugary way. Or maybe it was like the aroma of a cinnamon roll bakery or donut shop. All I can assure you of is that this beer will take you to clouds, and believe me, I love beers bitter, but this is an eloquent exception. Try it, buy it. Let the skeptics scoff at the label--
03-17-2008 03:50:00 | More by n1ckels
3.5/5 rDev -9.6%
750 ml corked and caged bottle, best before 10/28/2010. Served in a goblet, the beer pours a murky brownish/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is good, lacing is OK. It smells like raisins, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, raspberries and a bit of spice. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark fruit, caramel, brown sugar and some peppery spice and also an herbal flavor. Taste isn't as sweet compared to the aroma. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and it's well carbonated. Drinkability is decent, would be better if the carbonation was a bit lower. Overall I think it's a decent brew, I liked it.
11-21-2009 00:42:51 | More by bluejacket74
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
Bottle drank in August 2010: Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry plums and figs with a sweet malt base and the usual rich bready yeast profile from Unibroue. Taste is sweeter then I was expecting with some notes of dry raisins and plums, sweet malt backbone and loads of ester of the yeast. Body was full with good carbonation and light warming notes of alcohol. Good thought not as good as the previous example or maybe the aging has not done any good to this one.
08-30-2010 17:43:24 | More by Phyl21ca
3.85/5 rDev -0.5%
A-Pours a hazy brown amber with a cola-like consistence. Thick head and decent retention. Very light, faint lacing.
S-Spicy fig w/light malt. Also some red apple.
T-Attack is tingly carbonation and red apples, with figs and white grapes in midpalate, and tingly spice in the finish. Also a bit of dry hops and alcohol at the end.
M-Fairly light body but carbonation gives it enough backbone to carry the spicy yeast flavors. A little light on the finish as well, but the finish is even and clean.
D-Body is deceptively light for abv. It goes down very smoothly, and it's easy to drink a lot. Overall a pleasant drink.
03-29-2008 06:36:57 | More by BoitSansSoif
4.08/5 rDev +5.4%
Slightly hazed deep chestnut color with a loose off-white head that holds as a sticky ring around the edge. Aromas of sweet malt, a hint of chocolate, dough, cherries, moderate spice, and a pleasant fruity tartness. Very nice. The flavor opens with dark fruity esters, followed by phenols, mild clove, and a nutmeg-like spiciness. Familiar Unibroue yeast. Lingering raisin and mild tobacco. The body is a bit heavier than medium and highly carbonated. Finishes dry and a little warming.
This is quite tasty and, as mentioned by other people, for $4.99 its hard to beat. We already have a second bottle, but I might grab a couple more next time we're at Trader Joe's, just for the hell of it.
02-10-2008 22:00:06 | More by wedge
3.53/5 rDev -8.8%
nice amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting. Comes across almost like an amber ale to me, has that bready maltiness and caramel flavor I associate with it. A bit thin on the feel but the carbonation really saves it
12-03-2011 18:48:57 | More by mikesgroove
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
Pours from the 750ml., typical brown Belgian bottle with cork and cage, a dark coppery-red with a massive ivory head of three plus fingers. The foam settles quickly to a patchy surface with ring and some blotchy lace remains on the glass.
The smell is rather sweet and spicy, mostly of over-ripened stone fruits and notes of yeast as well. Plum, banana, fig, molassas and an array of spices blend together with high carbonation and plenty of alcohol, resulting in a fairly complex, bit too fizzy, better than average tasting strong ale.
Nothing wrong with this brew per se, it just doesn't have enough meat in the body and is a little over carbonated for my likes in this style. Good flavor and definitely worth trying, especially for the price.
02-23-2008 00:57:34 | More by scottoale
4.03/5 rDev +4.1%
a: Fluffy eggshell head with good retention. The beer is a deep plum brown in color. Only thing really lacking is lacing.
s: Fruity dark Belgian malt sugars give heavy candied prune notes. Also a nice estery yeast presence with and an aged hop aroma. Sweet and spicy ethanol aroma. Hints of aromatic, sweet tobacco. Some banana and coriander. Quite good.
m: Delicate, high carbonation and a medium-full body
t: Full of dark fruits and Belgian malts with a healthy dose of yeast. Papery hop flavor with a light bitterness. Appropriate level of sweetness that cleans up nicely. Not killer complex, but very well done.
d: good for the style and abv
a great value at $4.99
01-20-2008 06:10:22 | More by blackie
3.33/5 rDev -14%
Poured in a goblet. Light amber, translucent in colour. Lots of sediment. Very sweet, but no lasting mouthfeel and very little body. Not as rich as I've come to expect from the vintage ales. Tasty, but not terribly complex, just straight simple. Did not develop any as it warmed.
05-23-2011 07:50:06 | More by KiltedCulinarian
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
Had this in the cellar since '07. A very good balance of fruit and the harsher phenolic tastes unibroue often has. Great drinkability - nice crisp carbonation, not too sweet. This was a good beer, nothing super memorable, maybe it is past it's prime, but I'm not sure since I didn't have it fresh.
06-28-2010 02:30:43 | More by BenZ
4.1/5 rDev +5.9%
Pours a very dark ruby brown in color with a nice head formed. Smell is dark fruits, and that significant Unibroue yeast. I'm not a big fan of Dubbel's but this is bigger, darker and has more dark fruit than your typical Dubbel. This is actually drinking quite nice. Good mouthfeel. These are a great deal at Trader Joe's when they come out. Will have to pick up a bunch of the new release this winter.
03-14-2009 01:22:47 | More by FtownThrowDown
4.47/5 rDev +15.5%
Gotta thank my brother-in-law for turning me on to this one.
My first year for this annual beer. I plan to revisit again next holiday season. $5 for a 750ml. I will definitely go back for more.
Pours brown. The definition of brown. Plenty of carbonation creates an airy, foamy head to fill half the glass.
Flowery, fruit blossom aroma. Similar to some other Unibroue I've had. Perfectly balanced mouthfeel.
01-11-2008 01:52:42 | More by Gump
2.85/5 rDev -26.4%
A--Nice black walnut color. Beige head that stays around awhile. Not very much lacing like other dubbels.
s--clove aroma. Cooking sugar scent.
t--Toffee like flavor. Strong alcohol burn on the way down.
d--not bad representation of the style. Pretty straighforward. Nothing extraordinary.
Much better examples out there.
12-31-2007 00:19:26 | More by jneiswender
3.85/5 rDev -0.5%
Although I think fairly highly of Trader Joe's, I'm still impressed they got Unibroue to brew this for them. The color is a deep, multicolored brown with orange striping. Head is strong at first but soon diminishes to a cap. Nose is lightly spiced and sweet with dark malt and some faint fruits.
Nicely balanced with plenty malt and fruit and a minimum of spice. A clean finish and understated alcohol presence are positive attributes. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a dubbel but the carbonation compensates somewhat.
This is a solid, if unspectacular Belgian and definitely the best of the TJ line. However, when you throw affordability next to quality, this is suddenly a much more attractive option.
01-04-2008 05:32:26 | More by daliandragon
3.63/5 rDev -6.2%
750 ml bottle: I have one of the 2006 and I'm keeping a 2007 as well to age. Lost a bit of it in a cork mishap but most of the bottle is left. Aroma is nicely fruity, very carbonated , yeast, sweet plums, banana, clove and a bit of brown sugar. pours a dark amber color with a thick tan head that lingers around for a while. Taste is yeast to the forefront, sweet, heavily spiced, caramel, and somewhat of a doughy texture to this brew as well. Palate is very well carbonated and effervescent on the tongue. Overall, It's a decent brew but not as good as the other Vintages that I've tried. It's OK...Good beer just doesn't measure up in my opinion.
06-20-2008 01:50:05 | More by demitriustown
3.05/5 rDev -21.2%
Served from a bottle with a cork (Unibroue written on it) and a wire tie. Pours brownish with the fruity, yeasty aromas characteristic of the Dubbel style. A slight spiciness in the taste followed with the tart, estery flavors of a decent Belgian. A whole bottle can be a little cloying so it could use some aging (at least a year or more) to mellow the flavors and make them more well rounded.
02-07-2008 00:32:14 | More by SiphonKing
4.3/5 rDev +11.1%
This is a beautiful brown Belgian ale. It had an active, fizzy head and has a sparkling mouthfeel. The color is hazy, brown with amber around the edges. The taste is perfect, classic Belgian ale--Unibroue does it right! I prefer this to both Chimay Red and Blue. Great paired with a couple of Trader Joe's cheeses!
07-02-2008 18:55:13 | More by PhiloPsych
Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.