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Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

229 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 229
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 4
Gots: 77 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tang3nt on 11-19-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Contract brewed for Trader Joe's. Often brewed by Unibroue.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 229 | Reviews: 151
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3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of dry fruits with residual candi sugar and your typical Unibroue yeast. Taste is a complex mix between some candi sugars with dry fruits with some caramelized malt notes, liquorice and the typical Unibroue yeast coming through at the end. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Solid beer from Unibroue which is starting to show the damage of time.

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3/5  rDev -20.8%

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4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh Review, 2/21/2011

A: deep, roasty dark brown. fluffy soda-like head. looks like a glass of root beer. (3.5)

S: chilling allspice and clove. cinnamon and coffee now that it has heated up. spice masks any complexity i could be getting from the yeast. (2.5)

T: very spicy. sweet chocolate. hop usage must have been on the 'just a touch' side judging by the lack of bitterness. not getting as strong a sense of alcohol as i expected (maybe i didnt need to buy another for the cellar...) for it being such a recent vintage. (2.5)

M: very tangy, light bubbles. pretty fair showing for the style. rich and full bodied. (4)

D: with bel strong darks really being all over the place, this one just isn't my favorite. very curious if the one i have put away develops any significant flavors. (3)

Cellared Bottled, opened/reviewed 6/23/13

A: opaque, dark brown body. super frothy brownish head. big and fluffy. fantastic head retention, thick lacing left behind.

S: smells bone dry. a soft roast mixes with some chocolate. I think there is a little bit of fermentation aroma in the nose. getting a little bit of sweet fruit, pear and fig, but not a ton.

T: similar to the nose, this tastes almost as dry as it smells, at first. a little bit of dry chocolate. a tale-end of unfermentables, some yeast. roasted flavor adds to the dryness. some red grape skins as it warms.

M: a bit effervescent. medium/full body.

D: really aged well. has held up exceptionally as I am not getting any sort of off-flavors. absolutely no heat. all the spicing has dissolved on the flavor and aroma spectrum of things, which is fine with me. for the price, definitely worth getting a few and stashing.

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3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

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3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

A: Pours dark brown in color and forms a huge sudsy head on gentle pour. The chocolate-cream colored head never fully recedes and leaves sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: The nose is cherries and raisin, ripe fruity esters. The aromas are enveloped in a sweet, medicinal overtone.

T/M: Cherries and ripe fruit and the front of the palate. Heavy phenols. Nutmeg, paprika, cracked pepper are noted. The complexion is sticky and syrupy, and leaves a sweet residue all over the palate - could have used a little more carbonation. The flavors become overly medicinal toward the finish, which is long and stick-sweet.

Not the best showring for Unibroue, or the Trader Joe's Vintage series. I've had this cellared for a couple of years yet the brew is still a little cloying and one-dimensional.

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 cellared about a year after release

a: served in a large westmalle chalice, the beer is a deep brown in color, capped with a well-retained layer of khaki carbonation

s: dark belgian malts and tree fruits form a full, healthy nose - prune and fig, darker sugars, big floral coriander is the spice I find more than any other, black pepper, nice alcohol, the malts are well roasted with brief suggestions of chocolate, papery hop aroma, lots of yeast

m: carbonation medium-high, with a medium-full mouthfeel, lively but substantial on the palate

t: lots of darker sugars, a combination of roasted and caramelized malts, and tree fruits, plum/prune and fig especially, leathery fruit skin flavors hit mid palate with a generous dose of coriander - there are presumably other spices present, but coriander is most dominant to my nose, papery hop flavors and a mild-moderate bittering with sugar and coriander flavors lingering long

o: a classic dark belgian ale with the yeasty, spicy character you’d expect; a slight darker, sweeter, and heavier than is typical, drinks well

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2.5/5  rDev -34%

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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

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3/5  rDev -20.8%

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3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

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3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured in a Chimay chalice. Aged for two and a half years in various condition while slightly exposed to sunlight and occasional temperature variances.

Appearance:
Pours a darkish black and brown with a hint of purple.

Smell:
Hints of Belgian sugar and dark fruits with a hint of sour grapes.

Taste:
The Belgian sugars are less prominent than in a fresh bottle. The dark fruits tend to comprise of raisin and grapes. However, the grapes appear to have soured a bit. The beer tasted a little bit like a port instead of a strong dark ale. The hops were noticeable diminished.

Mouthfeel:
Full bodied. Light carbonation.

Overall:
A pretty decent and surprising beer given the fact it was brewed for a grocery chain. I look forward to drinking the other vintages that I've been storing.

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4/5  rDev +5.5%

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Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 229 ratings.