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Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale

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

128 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 128
Reviews: 96
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 20 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  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: bsp77 on 12-12-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 | Reviews: 96 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +4.2%

DoctorB2B, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Shango42
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Shango42, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of Hatshep18
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Hatshep18, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +4.2%

barnzy78, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

bigred89, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brown with a huge frothy head. Smell was very spicey, grassy and earthy tones with a hint of sweetness. The taste was classic belgian and very nicely done. Fruitness and spices predominate, no hint of alcohol, which at 9%abv is incredible. Really smooth and effortless in drinkability. This is a fantastic brew, way too easy to drink, honestly the easiest 9% I have ever had

mikesgroove, Dec 03, 2011
Photo of McCranky
5/5  rDev +30.2%

McCranky, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of beagle75
4/5  rDev +4.2%

beagle75, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of sgoro
4/5  rDev +4.2%

sgoro, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -21.9%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +30.2%

DocDownUnder, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large light brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of candi sugar and coriander with the typical Unibroue yeast profile. Taste is a very nice mix between some sweet Belgian malt with light notes of candi sugar and quite a bit of coriander. The Unibroue yeast strain profile can also be easily detected but I find the light fruity ester it provides very enjoyable. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with some complexity and easily drinkable characteristics.

Phyl21ca, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black coffee color with a huge frothy tan head. Some foamy cloudy of tanned lace.

Sweet candied dates and currants. Candied ginger. Spiced apple pie. toasty caramel and candi sugar. some roastiness.

Dark chocolate cover cherries and caramel candied dates. A gingery toastiness and clovey roastiness. a medium bitterness grounds it.

Medium body. semi-smooth. high carbonation. Touch of astringency.

Good drinkable interesting brew. Glad I tried a bottle.

Consumed 10/2010

CHILLINDYLAN, May 18, 2011
Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Optimator13 for this one.

Huge 3+ finger head that fades at a med pace and makes me stop pouring, light lacing, dark coke brown color.

Nose has some Belgian malts, a bit nutty, Belgian fruity dark fruit yeast, slightly tangy, light candi and syrupy, light spices.

Taste has some darker Belgian style malts, bit nutty again, and little syrupy, some booze warmth, dark malts, bit of candi sugar, bit of darker Belgian yeast fruits, light cranberry and cherry, little plum, light spices. Finishes dry and spicy, some booze, lingering malts and light sticky malts.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of carb.

Overall pretty good, interesting flavors, dark malts, fruits, bit boozy and syrupy.

jlindros, May 10, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Almost black in color with a huge sandy colored head that lasts nicely.

S: Ginger, brown sugar, saffron and nutmeg. A strange array of spices thrown in. It smells a bit better than it did a year ago.

T: Mostly malt with some hints of spice and a touch of the ginger. For me, the mouthfeel is way too thin and kind of kills this one. The finish just dies into a watery flavor.

notchucknorris, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of mjpolzin
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I loved drinking this beer the first time around in 2009 (and got really drunk in the process) and enjoyed it again when a client of mine gave me a year-aged bottle of it for Christmas 2010. And for comparison, I liked the 2009 vintage a lot more than the 2010.

It has a nice dark look in the glass. One of the first things I noticed is that it has a fair amount of carbonation. I liked it but some people may not but for sure, it is a little different. The taste is a combination of fruits, spices and cola and you can taste the alcohol for sure. I can vividly recall the feeling of taking a drink and feeling that warm fuzzy feeling in my head. I actually think one of the bottles I had was more than 9.0 abv as after I finished it, I was pretty buzzed and that usually isn't the case for me with that amount of 9+ abv beer. I had a friend who agreed with me on that so I know its not only me.

I have only had 2 years (09 and 10) of the trader joes holiday brew but 2009 was my favorite.

EDIT-I just drank my last bottle of the 2009 vintage as it was a few weeks past it's "best by" date. It was not as good as I remember it. I don't know if this was because it was a little bit past it's prime or I have had more good beers since I first had this one and have more to compare to but I am going to downgrade it just a bit. Still a great beer but not as great as I remember it being.

mjpolzin, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of RandyV
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beautiful cedar swamp brown color on the pour with lots of carbonation (interestingly, the cork had a red wine smell). The smell announces the beer as a Unibroue production; yeasty, slightly farmhouse with malt sweet overtones. I got banana and clove more than anything with a nice alcohol warming to follow. The finish just mellows to an almost cloying sweetness, but certainly not unpleasant. This is a very drinkable brew, and great for the season. Wonder what the 2010 Vintage will bring in a year when I open it?

RandyV, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of Overlord
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Considering the reviews, surprisingly pleasant!

Pours a murky, turbid brown with some brown highlights. Brown. Maybe a quarter inch of tan foam.

Smells like some dark fruits, some candied, yeasty bread malts, and a hint of spices.

Taste is interesting. Definitely some dark fruits, but also some lighter fruit esters and a bit of a candi spiced flavor to it. Almost like a mulled, sweetened caramel background.

Pleasant. Nice, thick enough mouthfeel.

Overlord, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some definite amber tones to it. A decent khaki colored head forms on top.

S: A strong aroma of herbs here, mostly chamomile and sage. There's a bit roasted malt character as well, and a pretty decent chocolate note. As it warms, the herbal nature becomes more and more apparent.

T: A bit more subtle in terms of the flavor profile. The sage and chamomile are there, and there's a bit of licorice that I didn't notice on the nose. A bit of sweetness and minimal chocolate with some warming alcohol.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

D: The herbal nature of this beer isn't quite as pungent and overwhelming as some of the other Unibroue special releases, making this more enjoyable.

womencantsail, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of ChimRichels
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Saved this bomber from last thanksgiving... We'll see how it holds up after a year.

A - Cork pops off with with seemingly little carbonation force behind it. Deep, rich, murky brown pour with a head that exhibits cola-esque appearance and the retention to match.

S- Aroma is pungent, attacking olfactory receptors with plumes of raisin, brown sugar, caramel, and charred candy

T - Sour cherries, dark fruit, slight acrid bitterness. Very sweet and delectable. Slight coffee flavors mingle in the shadows of its murky depths

M - Carbonation has faded since its release - something I was looking forward to as I felt the original carbonation was a tad bit heavy. Very smooth and viscous.

D - Delicious :) A year of aging did wonders for this beer. I can't wait to see what another year (or two) can do.

ChimRichels, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of mikeg67
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle. Pours dark brown with a foamy, tan head, and lively carbonation. Aroma is yeast, brown sugar with some dark fruit. Full, creamy, crisp body. Flavor is yeast, brown sugar, roasted malt and dark fruits. Finish is big and somewhat sweet. Nice winter warmer for a great price.

mikeg67, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of NeutroMan
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL caged/corked bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark brown, almost black, with a one-finger persistent foamy light tan head.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, and ginger in the nose. Some fruity esters, as well - dark fruits, mostly, along with some citrus elements. Also picking up some spiciness - coriander, maybe?

Taste: Mostly similar to the smell, but sweeter. Same fruity esters - dried cherries, figs, bananas, raspberries, and raisins, along with a general breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and highly carbonated (but not acidic). Really hides the alcohol - I can barely notice it.

Drinkability: Smooth and sweet, but not offensive. Quite drinkable despite the 9% ABV. A great holiday beer.

NeutroMan, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of oregone
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This screams Unibroue from a mile away. Friend opened this one. Pours with huge carbonation of the large and continuous bubbles that I expect from the company.
Smells predominantly yeasty, definitively Uinbroue style, some malts in there...
Tastes of sharp apples on the front (sharp carbonation gives this effect I think) evolving to yeasty bread and dough flavors backed by dark malts. Finishes with distinct Ginger and Citrus Peel. I'm positive that these were added as they're unmistakable.
Crisp, clean refreshing mouthfeel. True to company.
Very drinkable. Could work my way slowly through a couple bottles of this with ease.

oregone, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Trader Joe's in Alexandria - Winter 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice dark mahogany-brown with a thick off white head with a bunch of lacing as it goes down. Smells like dark fruits and some mild caramel along with a bit of creamy alcohol. Taste brings dark fruits, dates, and dark cherries along with a bit of alcohol and dark, sweet malt flavors. Good creamy mouthfeel with a bit of alcohol. Drinks quite well at a really tremendous price.

Thorpe429, Oct 24, 2010
Trader Joe's 2009 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.