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

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2007 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2007 Vintage Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

65 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 74
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 9.09%
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.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 74
Photo of jneiswender
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

m--medium body.

d--not bad representation of the style. Pretty straighforward. Nothing extraordinary.

Much better examples out there.

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Photo of SiphonKing
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of boognish523
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bought this at Trader Joes for 4.99.
poured into a duvel tulip glass.

A: dark brown with a large yet light head

S: honey, and perfumely, a bit strong on the alcohol smell.

T: sweet, hoppy

M: light, thin/watery

D:Not my favorite of the Unibroue selection, but not too bad for the price.

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Photo of KiltedCulinarian
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of illidurit
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
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

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Photo of KBomb
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small foamy head on top of an interesting hue of dark copper on the edge but near black at the top and center. A rich bouquet of fruit aromas come off the top: cherry, plumb, and a hint of chocolate. As wonderful as the smells were, they ended up a little confused on the tongue. A bitterness mixed up the fruit a little bit which wasn't entirely pleasant. Also surprising was the high carbonation, a little less might let the flavors blend better. For such a high AVB it was fairly drinkable.

I picked this up at TJs for $4.99 when I heard it was brewed over at unibroue knowing that it was a screaming deal. Even though the taste was slighly underwhelming, I'd still call it a good deal. I'm beginning to think I served it still a little too cold, that the flavors might have found their mark at a better temp. It was certainly unique, and I'm not dissapointed I bought it... only wish I could try it again to find out its true character.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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

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Photo of warmstorage
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle, 2007 vintage ale, no other dating.

Appearance: deep murky burgandy to light brown, with a dense but light off-white head, limited lacing. Decent looking, but not super impressive.

Aroma: candy, brown sugar, yeasty phenolics.

Taste: Lots of Belgian spice, cloves, white pepper, some plummy stonefruits, slight hints of vanilla and bittersweet chocolate. A little bit of cola?

Mouth: Tingly warm spicy, with high carbonation. Almost a little too high.

Overall: Tasty, fun, drinkable, but not amazing. It's good and drinkable for the price, but I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it.

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Photo of demitriustown
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of waldoiverson
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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

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Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of scottoale
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Style note: while it does say "Abbey Dubbel" on the bottle, my (unreliable) memory tells me this is not all that different from TJ's Vintages of yesteryear, i.e. why is this not a Belgian Strong Dark Ale?

A: Cloudy, unfiltered, sepia brown. This is one carbonated beer (champagne-style indeed), the initial head is quite substantial but it dies down rather quickly. A layer remains, which leaves decent lacing.

S: Serious phenols and esters. A sweeter version of a Bavarian weissbier, more prunes and plums than bananas though. Nice...overdose.

T: This is kind of sweet, almost too sweet. But it has the vestiges of balance that will please most beyond the most extreme hopheads. As it swishes around the mouth, all kinds of flavors are happening.

M: Light for being such a tasty, aromatic brew. The carbonation prickles the gums but there is no viscosity to go with that. Nor is this a chewy or oily ale on the palate.

D: Still dealing with this 750 ml bottle...at 9% ABV, it's a struggle, albeit a pleasant one, to down this.

Whether or not Unibroue has "dumbed" this one down from e.g. a Trois Pistoles, this is a good beer. At this price, still $4.99 plus CRV and tax, only a fool would complain. One day, I will do a blind taste test with Trois Pistoles, a Belgian and this one...

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Photo of mpyle
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

App - Rich amber color, very clear, thick white head with okay retention.

Aroma - Initial impression was a minty sweetness, some alcohol, but not overpowering. Candy sweetness.

Flavor - bubblegum and mint initially, quite sweet. No sharp bitterness, but dries out in the finish (candi sugar?) Gentle malt sweetness with some fruitiness, but generally not very exciting. Not flawed, just not much here.

MF - Med-full body, low-moderate carbonation. Style appropriate alcohol warming, but very well controlled. Very pleasant MF for a 9% beer.

D'ability - Slightly bland, but a highly drinkable 9% beer is a bit of an anomaly. Takes like a rounded edges, bland, macro brew interpretation of a big Belgian ale. Not Unibroue's best effort, but packs a punch at a good price from TJ's.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark color with reddish-brown highlights. Thin but dense & creamy off-white head.

Smell: Dark fruity aroma of raisins, figs, sugared plums, etc. Generally sweet.

Taste: Dense dark-fruit taste with plenty of sugar, yet also with a somewhat bitter presence and finish. Has a heavy, dank spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a bit more carbonation than I would have anticipated.

Drinkability: Nice and drinkable; nothing amazing, but solid.

The aftertaste is a bit bitter for this type of beer, but it's a decent American (or, rather, Canadian) attempt at a Dubbel. Though brewed by Unibroue, it's hardly my favourite offering of theirs. Nevertheless, for the price and availability it's a great introduction to Belgian style beer for many people, I am sure.

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Photo of montageman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip.

A: Very nice deep, rich brown color with a nice bone white head that is around 2 fingers at first and leaves a little lacing behind.

S: Sweet, spicy - I smell a little peach as well, maybe a little like peach cobbler?

T: Clove, dried peach, brown sugar - very complex.

M: Decent carbonation - needs more body

D: Very nice for $4.99 per 750mL bottle. Very tasty - will be interested to see how this holds up over time. Recommended.

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Photo of Mudpuppet
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Poured from a 750ml into a Ommegang chalice. Pours a mud brown with amber highlights. Lots of bubbles running to the surface.

S- Not a strong nose. Dark malts with fruity notes

T- Definitely a dubbel. Dark malts at the first sip. With an after taste a bit more bitter than the taste when it is in your mouth. Some fruity and floral notes also. Probably from the belgian yeast.

M- Too carbonated. I burp after almost every sip.

D- Good dubbel for being a Trader Joes brand. I know Unibroue makes it and I think you can tell that in the flavor.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy, initially five-finger thick, light tan colored head that is a full finger above the rim of my glass. The beer is a deeply blackened, concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, ruby red hue when held up to the light. The aroma is an even mix of spices and candied malt / sugars. The spices are a bit earthy, softly savory, yet quite piquant; soft notes of cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, noticeable clove and a touch of young pickled ginger. The malt and sugar notes provide and accent ample notes of prunes, raisins, dried figs and a touch of tart plum, as well as soft notes of molasses, caramelized brown sugar, treacle, browned bread crust and toasty grain. This has quite an interesting aroma, it smells like desert with its concentrated fruit character and soft malt contribution.

Only lightly sweet when compared to the suggestions of the aroma, though this does have a fruity-sweet middle to it. Somewhat light bodied, which is also accented by an ample carbonation, especially when you take the strength into account. This pretty much captures the lightness of the better, higher alcohol, Belgian inspired brews. Spicy flavors of ginger, clove, fenugreek, nutmeg, pepper and light cardamom accentuated fruity notes of prunes, figs and light cherry notes. The alcohol provides a touch of warming to the finish, which couples with some spice driven turpene notes that are surprisingly smooth.

Much more balanced than the 2006 version. This has a really nice mix of fruit and spice; the spices are of the type one would add to deserts so it works quite well, if not a touch simplistic in it desert-like focus; though I should mention that this beer is not overly sweet, which is certainly a good thing.

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Photo of FacistCannonBall
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of choyhosoi
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured fron a bomber into a glass

A-Excellent white head that stays strong for awhile.Dark root beer color is the best I can describe this one.

S-Raisin,plum,some light citrus,a hint of apple. this is just swimming with aroma

T/M/D-Pretty easy to drink. Just a bite of the alchol hits right away then it goes down smooth.I think I would have to try another bottle to compare this one to the 2006 version . I just wish I had saved an 06 version because they are both good.

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