Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

65 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 65
Hads: 74
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 8.74%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Overlord on 12-22-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 74
Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 (850 characters)

Photo of dbennett04
4.44/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After cellaring for four years, it was time to pop the cork on this one. Bottle had a "Best By" date of October 2010.

Appearance - Poured a nice caramel color, with a slight head that didn't linger for too long. No sediment in first glass, but by the end sediment was present despite careful pouring. Still, sediment settled quickly even after pouring.

Smell - Heavenly. I could tell right away that cellaring this one wasn't a mistake. Detected notes of dried fruits (esp. figs), cinnamon, licorice, and cloves. Wonderful to take in. I almost forgot to drink it.

Taste - Not as good as the smell, but still pretty nice. The fruits came through here more than the licorice of cloves, and a floral character was present in the taste that wasn't clearly in the smell.

Mouthfeel - About right for a Belgian ale. The effervescence wasn't overwhelming and it wasn't too thin. Nice lingering finish.

Overall, I really liked this beer. I was a little leery about having cellared it for so long, especially after moving around a bit with it. But it matured nicely. Perfect for sitting in a warm, quiet living room after a long day. (1,128 characters)

Photo of KiltedCulinarian
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (279 characters)

Photo of kenito799
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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. (298 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark caramel color with a short lived off-white head.

S: This one also smells super vinous with lots of sweet, white grapes. There's quite a bit of booze, too. Lots of cardboard and a high carbonation that sort of stings the nose. Perhaps a touch of herbs.

T: The flavor is reminiscent of a sparkling wine. A sort of buttery chardonnay flavor to go with the cardboard and mild herbal character. A really high carbonation to it that gives it a somewhat acidic feel.

M: The body is medium with a very high level of carbonation.

D: Not quite as good as the 2005, but certainly better than the 2006. Still don't think I'd really be interested in having this one again. (685 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (546 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged nearly 3 years in a closet of varying temperatures.

Clear mahogany with a thin off-white head with only a ring of retention and little lacing. Aromas of dark fruit and great spice. Dark cherry and raspberry flavors persist with a strong spicy characteristic with hints of chocolate and a lightly floral lingering. A light syrupy feel with moderately high carbonation despite the champagne like quality insisted on in the bottle description.

This was my first attempt at aging a beer for a significant amount of time and I was afraid it would not work considering I recently put a thermometer in there and found the temperature got significantly higher in the summer (duh!). However, 3 months before its "expiration" it was quite a good beer that unfortunately I had originally before I started reviewing beer. I look forward to my other experiments now, especially the ones I've reviewed relatively fresh! I wish I could have another but I'll have to settle for subsequent years which are very different year to year! (1,024 characters)

Photo of BenZ
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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. (297 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy dark brown color with a large light brown creamy head that mostly lasted and produced good lacing. Good malty, fruit and spice aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Full complex fruit and sweet malty flavor with a long fizzy finish with a small alcohol tone. Good brew at a fair price. I got three bottles to age for the next three years. (354 characters)

Photo of gestyr
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been saving this bottle and today was a good day to open it as a toast to my birthday.

A: Pours a nice brown with red and gold tones. 1/2 inch head is long lasting with lacing.

S: Fruit is the first thing I smelled. Raisins, dried fruit. Malty aroma is there along with a subtle caramel smell.

T: Mmmmm....it hits the tongue with malt and fruit and a very slight alcohol warmth. It tastes what you would expect a dubbel to taste like.

M: Smooth and medium bodied. Slight carbonation sting.

D: Very drinkable. Something to savor on a rainy evening while sitting in front of a fireplace.

Overall, I like this very much. I would definitely drink more if I had it. I am glad I had this bottle put away for a night like this. (734 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane for sharing this vintage 2007 bottle on 12/28/09.

A - Poured a deep, earthy brown liquid with dark amber hues and half an inch of bubbly beige head that receded quickly into a sparse patch, leaving a thin ring of lace around the rim of the glass.

S - Very dry and champagne-esque aroma with prevalent yeast and dark fruit notes... dried fruit, in particular. There is also an underlying syrupy sweetness reminiscent of caramel, toffee and licorice. A light fume of alcohol rounds out the aroma.

T - Flavor takes on a maple syrup-like wuality with a dark fruit character suggesting raisins, plums and dried fruit. Finishes quite sweet and malty with caramel notes and a touch of alcohol warmth.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Fairly dry finish with minimal alcohol warmth on the palate, although it retains its sweetness to the end.

D - Overall, I liken this to a malty, champagne-like Belgian-style beer with a healthy dose of tangy fruit. Quite enjoyable overall. (1,029 characters)

Photo of gford217
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from oldstylecubfan poured into a tulip.

Pours dark chestnut brown in the glass that has lots of orange when held up to light. The head is a creamy beige two-finger cap that recedes to a big collar and a swirl along the top.

The aroma is sweet with candi sugar taking a lead role with some compliments from dark fruits, especially raisins. There is also a sweet yeast aroma with a light spiciness capping off the aroma.

The taste is sweet but doesn't have quite the same overpowering candi sugar and yeast presence as the aroma. They're certainly there but the spices and dark malts seem to be more prevalent. The finish is where the spices really come out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sugary sweet but with more than enough carbonation to keep it from becoming cloying. Between the spices and carbonation, it's very lively on the palate.

A very good Belgian dubbel that balances the sweetness and spiciness very well and remains very drinkable. It's not a great beer, but the Trader Joes vintages are clearly one of the best value Belgian-style beers for the money. (1,091 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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. (652 characters)

Photo of waldoiverson
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Tuplip

A: dark reddish copper with offwhite head and very fine carbonation

S: charcoal, prune, cherry, and tobacco

t: cherry, sweet, pear,

m: a bit cloying, very strong, wishing for a bit of clarity from the carbonation, perhaps

d: it was pretty good, a bit sweet for me (288 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish copper color with a big fluffy beige head. The foam dies out quickly leaving no lacing. Aroma is very gingery with additional accents of chocolate mousse, raspberry, brown sugar, bubblegum, and dried dark fruit. Very complex and intriguing aroma but overall it's just too sweet smelling. Flavor is less sweet but it's also less complex. Dark crusty bread, light spices, leather, pepper. Dry, astringent finish with some alcohol warmth. Body is too thin and carbonation is much too high and it's coarse to boot. Lacks the expected Belgian fullness and refinement. Not bad for the very cheap price tag. (614 characters)

Photo of scootny
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (402 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a nice reddish-brown with good carbonation and a nice head. Nose of raisins and prunes, caramel.Tasted much like it smelled. Not a overpowering brew and eventhough I did not drink it all it is better than most of its kind. I just cant see myself drinking all of that bottle in one sitting. (296 characters)

Photo of a10t2
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of a vertical tasting with the 2006 and 2008.

A: Clear reddish-brown with lots of carbonation. Thin off-white head that fades to a ring pretty quickly but leaves good lacing.

S: Fruity with some alcohol and a little yeast aroma, overall very restrained.

T: Lots more dark fruit flavors with gently warming alcohol to back them up. Some yeasty after-tastes.

M: Smooth with quite a bit of carbonation and a little warmth from the alcohol.

D: Quite good for the ABV, nothing over the top, especially compared to some other (perhaps more traditional) Belgians. (577 characters)

Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't remember exactly when I picked this up, but I don't reckon it was any time recently. Somehow it just got neglected for a while. Popped the cork and got quite a bit of head billowing out. Poured into my Stone tulip once everything settled down.

A: Mild brown with a bit of red in there as well, quite hazy though. Some floties and quite a bit of bubbles coming up from the bottom. Head starts about three fingers, fairly fluffy and well supported by the bubbles. Retention is about 1-2 fingers.

S: Big fruitiness out front with raisins and prunes, along with a strong earthiness. A hint of cinnamon and cloves as well. Fruit is the dominant smell, however.

T: Opening is a nice malt bill with some rich earth a touch of cola sweetness, but then turns to the sweetness of dried stone fruit and again raisins or perhaps just grapes. Finish is again quite earthy and malty.

MF: Medium body, slightly syrupy but a decent amount of carbonation. Leaves the mouth feeling a bit sticky, and plenty of warming that goes right to the chest. The finish is very champagne-like, fairly dry.

D: A good sipping beer, and fairly drinkable despite the ABV. Flavor is solid but not particularly daring, and it doesn't really live up to the smell, which is quite good. The price is obviously a bonus-not often you can get something from Unibroue for under 5 bucks. Haven't had any of the other TJ Vintages so can't really compare. As dubbels go this is fine but nothing out of the ordinary. (1,486 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased a few days ago at the Trader Joe's in Manhattan Beach for five dollars, split with my dad and friend tonight, poured into my Rubicon snifter

A-Medium brown with some darker tones, tons of little bubbles rushing to the top, small 1/2 inch bubbly off white head, some retention, small amount of lacing
S-Wheat, bananas, esters, strong bubble gum, brandy and other light booze, coriander, orange peel, prunes, and sweet raisins
T-Starts off with a big wheat flavor mixed with some spice, then the middle is pretty bland and has some slightly sweet malt, finish is slightly dry but has no real strength, gets sweeter as time goes by, more fruit than anything in this one, some warming alcohol in the aftertaste later, it could pass as a dark hefeweizen if it was not for the strength
M-Sweet and chewy mouthfeel, thin to medium bodied, lots of carbonation, taste does not linger long, and was quite light for its style
D-Could not drink much more than the eight or nine ounces I had, heavy on the stomach, taste is tiresome, not much going on, smooth at least, alcohol is more hidden than the 2006

This one did not impress as much as the previous year drank right before it, but still not bad for the money, very dark in color for a dubbel and had good qualities but some that were not so great too, have one more bottle I will drink in the future, worth trying for its price alone (1,420 characters)

Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, cola-like becoming more translucent towards the edge of the glass. The aroma shows the beer's spices influence. The taste does the same tasting much like other Belgians I've had with strong tastes of coriander and other spices. The malt shows some but mostly is subdued by the hop bitterness and spice notes. A good beer, but not one I'll actively seek out. My preferences leaning more toward German beers and American ales. (438 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy deep amber with a light tan head. In the aroma, candy sugar, small roasty malt and a bit biscuity. In the taste, sweet smoothness and a light maltiness, with a small yeasty presence. A smooth, and medium mouthfeel, with a small dry candy sugar aftertaste. Hides the 9% well, smooth and sweet, almost feels session-ish, hiding the 9% that well. (358 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (271 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: a nice maroon murky body with white fluffy head that froths up and fades leaving wisps of lace

s: curacao orange peel; brandy; coriander; prunes and raisins; really spicy and floral bouquet; quite fragrant

t: spicy with apples and raisin overtones; some citrus orange; alcohol; a little underwhelming after such a strong scent

m: smooth with light carb

d: well-done w/ some good flavors; i am interested to see what a year in the cellar will do to this
~~~alright, second tasting from the cellar - 2007 bottle
a: crystal clear ruby and maroon body; tiny white-bubbled foam that fades leaving the glass clean with just a light ring

s: light but sharp alcohol; orange peel; watm spices; warm sweet malts; brown sugar; darker fruits;

t: this beer has really become mild in flavor; light hoppiness on the back that tastes like onion; light dust; some watery malts; really a shadow of its former self

m: incredibly bubbly; too much IMO; slightly watery mouthfeel

d: definitely getting worse at this point which is too bad; i'll try it again later
~~~
alright, now it's 7/7/2010, same beer, stored in cellar - let's check it out

a: beautiful of-white head; murky deep amber; purpley body;

s: lightly vinegary but not in a bad way; raisins; dust; light rum on back of nose; spicy;

t: dry malts; prunes and raisins; mild but enjoyable; some spices;

m: a little thin with tight tight bubbles

d: ok; i think i only have one of these left which is good since it seems to be a little past its peak, but you never know (1,525 characters)

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Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.