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Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 114
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 8.61%


Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: khiasmus on 11-30-2008)
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Ratings: 114 | Reviews: 100 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by n1ckels:
Photo of n1ckels
n1ckels

Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not as good as the '07! More carbonated than the previous year's brew. The flavor isn't quite up to par, not the marriage of sweetness that Vintage '07 provided. Still, this beer is a cut above average especially for the price. It's just too similar to the other Unibroue mainstays and Chimay. Not like this is a bad thing, but it fails to really stand out. Not for those with discriminating tastes.

I think '07 was such a hit, TJ's ramped up production this year. Unofrtunately, the quality is a little worse even though the supplies are better. (Last year, I coudn't buy the vintage in Febuary at my local store!)

Nick

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2009 02:16:48 | More by n1ckels
More User Reviews:
Photo of PhotoMattT
PhotoMattT

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +1.3%

07-10-2013 23:40:47 | More by PhotoMattT
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Doogermeister

Illinois

4/5  rDev +1.3%

06-08-2013 21:38:56 | More by Doogermeister
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Stef422

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

05-26-2013 00:43:30 | More by Stef422
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Snodman

West Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

03-25-2013 01:41:50 | More by Snodman
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nzerbe

New York

3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

03-04-2013 09:29:35 | More by nzerbe
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t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

03-03-2013 16:14:39 | More by t0rin0
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seldomsthirsty

California

3/5  rDev -24.1%

12-10-2012 04:00:39 | More by seldomsthirsty
Photo of mountdew1
mountdew1

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice. Nice medium brown with a hint of red. Head was thin, maybe 1 finger at best, and left small lacings on the top. Aroma was a roasted malt up front, then switching to a fruity sweet, maybe like plum. Small hint of seasonal spices, nutmeg, cinnamon etc. Taste was mellow up front, shifting to a sweet fruit, then a hint of tangy bitter, before becoming sweet again to finish it up. Range of flavor was complex, however individual portions were more subtle and nuanced. Coated ok, seemed a bit over carbonated on the tongue. Overall definitely seemed to age well, didn't have any fresh to compare it to. ABV definitely seemed to pick up a bit while aging however.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 00:11:36 | More by mountdew1
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cowboy83

New York

5/5  rDev +26.6%

11-18-2012 06:47:04 | More by cowboy83
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beerpadawan

California

4/5  rDev +1.3%

08-27-2012 20:19:19 | More by beerpadawan
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a deep red amber. Moderate off white head fades to thin film with light lacing. Nice Belgian aroma. Mild malt with dark fruits, sharp carbonation up front. Fades to lighter fruit and malt, spices and finishes a bit abruptly with a bit of hop bitterness and an interesting lingering caramel aftertaste. Tastes nice. I regret that I did not record my original comments on this when fresh, although I remember being pleasantly pleased (and bought two cases!). Like other Trader Joe's Vintage beers, time has treated this well. Mellow and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 22:02:30 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of fatbatcat
fatbatcat

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

07-07-2012 18:10:13 | More by fatbatcat
Photo of MyMagicalPants
MyMagicalPants

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

06-19-2012 16:30:48 | More by MyMagicalPants
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

04-05-2012 00:47:49 | More by Falcone
Photo of Rukasu
Rukasu

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The New Year tradition continues...

Though not stored in the most optimal setting, the 2008 Vintage Ale is very good some three years on.

Head is thick and cream colored, which reduces to a thin white layer just on the surface.

Color is a deep brown, dark tan. Not as red as other years.

Aroma is fantastic! Very fruity and jammy. Strong hint of apricot and pineapple. Very similar to Muscat or possibly a Vioginer wine.

Taste is equally fruity, with hints of coriander and a 9% warming alcohol that could only go up a couple %'s over the long storage.

Mouthfeel is light with a bit of tartness, though overall flavor is surprisingly fleeting. Slightly bitter finish, but ultimately the flavor is gone in your mouth within a few seconds.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 20:09:12 | More by Rukasu
Photo of accordselux
accordselux

Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown that looked red through the light. Head was white and fluffy.

Smelled strongly of the Unibroue house yeast. Tart fruit and flowery smells.

Taste is fairly similar. A bit of spiciness, banana, and fruity esters dominant.

Great carbonation and good mouthfeel.

A basic dubbel; not very exciting. I actually do not prefer the overpowering Unibroue house flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 04:06:10 | More by accordselux
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark amber in color, almost garnet on the sides and the bottom with a nice two finger head of white foam that came up and over the to, settling down nicely and evenly across the sides of the glass.

Aroma was full, nice tart notes of fruit, plums, grape skins, an earthy, full fruity aroma. Nice touches of bitterness sprinkled in throughout as well. Warming brings out some more caramel, touches of earthy, grainy hops and a nice balance of earthy tones. Nice full bodied feel as the lush carbonation rolls across the tongue and really gets going. Smooth, even finish with a nice tart bite

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 18:57:40 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

11-22-2011 22:16:23 | More by brandoman63
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

5/5  rDev +26.6%

11-16-2011 03:27:46 | More by oline73
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big bruiser bottle that was rescued from...somewhere. Somebody who knew we were beer people offered this up to my wife & said they weren't going to drink it. Well, OK. We'll try anything once! 750ML bottle split into two snifters.

Pours a light brown with red streaks, & plenty of bubbly lightness. Smell is dominated by yeastiness w/spices added, trampled malts. Additions of hard sugar, clove/banana. Almost hefe-esque.

Trader Joe's 2008 is a pretty standard dubbel. Sweet Halloween candy up front, along with a slingblade of slightly spicy yeast. The yeast has long legs & staying power: wow. Effervescent, light, bubbly in the mouth is the second thing one notes. Dusting of tropical and/or citrus fruit sticks its nose in. Really feels like a beer one might ring in the new year with, in flutey glasses.

Pretty good dubbel, but pedestrian, nothing about it stands out from the crowd. I'll be happy with the rest of my glass & move along down the road.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 02:10:27 | More by maximum12
Photo of jondeelee
jondeelee

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2008 release smells of dark fruits and brown sugar, perhaps banana bread made with black molasses.

These flavors continue on the tongue, with the dark fruit esters especially present. Deep below those fruits are caramel and chocolate malt flavors, as well as tobacco. A nice, well-balanced smattering of hops completes the palate, mostly noticeable in the slight tingling the ale leaves on the tongue. But the dark fruit flavors easily dominate, creating a huge sugary-alcohol flavor to this brew, no doubt in no small part because of its 9% alc./vol. status.

Anyone familiar with some of Unibroue's other offerings (especially their other "ales on lees" such as Trois Pistoles), will easily recognize the flavors present here. In fact, it might be an interesting comparison to see what the differences are between Trois Pistoles and the 2008 Vintage Ale; it seems to my memory that they share far more in common than not.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 21:11:51 | More by jondeelee
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark murky brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: dark fruits, raisions, plums, malts, sweet,

taste: sweet, caramel, dark fruits, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent dubbel I've had better in the style but glad I got to try it.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 23:47:56 | More by THECPJ
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber/copper color with an enormous cream-colored head that shows great retention.

S: Lots of apple cider, spice and a hint of yeast. Some caramel, brown sugar and apple pie too with a pretty nice aroma of apple pie crust.

T: Lots of caramel sweetness upfront with apple, yeast and a bit of grain on the finish. Just the right amount of carbonation and a nice mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2011 22:17:31 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: westmalle chalice, the beer is a deep chestnut in color, sporting a white head with good retention

s: plummy malts, heavily toasted caramel, yeast esters and some good clove, brushes of chocolate and a grassy hop aroma, dark banana bread

m: carbonation lively, on the high side but smoothing out after awhile, body medium with some sticky sugars lingering

t: lots of sweet, nutty flavors on a crisp, clean base structure, yeasts contribute fruity esters and a moderate, clove flavor, some dark fruit sugars, plum, slight date, nutty dark toast, some old tobacco in there, hops mild and grassy, giving a crisp finishing note, warming alcohol

d: alcohol present but not intrusive, good flavor set, a quality dubbe all told

lost this bottle back in the cellar for a couple years

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 03:46:00 | More by blackie
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Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 114 ratings.