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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

226 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 226
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 4
Gots: 78 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Contract brewed for Trader Joe's. Often brewed by Unibroue.

(Beer added by: tang3nt on 11-19-2010)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 226 | Reviews: 151 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

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

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 02:17:33 | More by blackie
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

2.5/5  rDev -34%

03-23-2013 13:09:31 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of GhjBAR
GhjBAR

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

03-22-2013 03:33:24 | More by GhjBAR
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3/5  rDev -20.8%

03-03-2013 16:15:20 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ssimpson89
ssimpson89

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-02-2013 21:49:17 | More by ssimpson89
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 20:56:23 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of rob99er
rob99er

California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-08-2013 16:30:52 | More by rob99er
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of our members of our homebrew club brought this to our latest meeting and after it was cracked, nobody drank it, so I brought it home with me, loving all things Unibroue and never having heard of this one before. "Dark Ale brewed with spices and Natural flavor added", bottle conditioned, 9.0% abv per the bottle. BBF 9/10/2013, so hey, I'm still within their time range:) Pours out to a very dark brown, like a brown porter, forming a nice whipped light tan head with very good retention and lacing. The cork was notoriously difficult to get out at this age and required a cork screw, pliers, and a knife. Brisk carbonation, ~3.5 carbs or so. The aroma is peculiar...at first I get some Brett like sour cherry pie character, but then it's closer to cola and root-beer..perhaps some sarsaparilla, licorice root, ginger and orange peel. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a light body (considering it's ABV) that finishes dry. Thankfully no oxidation at this age. The taste doesn't have any funky Brett character, just the aforementioned spices sitting on top of some restrained dates and figs. Very mild bitterness, barely enough to retain balance. No roast malt character at all...the color is probably from Carafa or debittered black malt. Finish of root-beer, cola and carob. Very peculiar, unlike any Unibroue beer I've had. It reminds me of a more drinkable stronger version of that "Brewer Patriot 1790 Root-beer" that Sam Adams released a few years ago.

Well, that was interesting. It's a fun beer to try but honestly couldn't see myself ever wanting to drink it again even if it were available.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2013 23:22:50 | More by Mitchster
Photo of ctenidae
ctenidae

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

01-06-2013 23:40:27 | More by ctenidae
Photo of Philousa
Philousa

California

2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aged in my own cellar, may taste slightly older than normal since I let it sit in my closet one summer before getting a proper wine fridge.

Pours a dark brown, somewhat red color against the light, black in the glass. Head is billowy at first but settles to a dense off white color, not too far from grey. Lots of spices: mostly allspice with pepper, clove, and ginger. I also get caramel and a bit of chocolate. It's hard to get the aroma out of the malts because the spices are so strong. Yeasty! Flavor is equally spicy and malty. Mostly caramel with cacao and a healthy amount of allspice, pepper, and clove. There's also a significant amount of raisin, prune, and grape juice. It's just this side of cloying, really. The finish is slightly dry, feel is a bit watery. Not my favorite. Glad I only paid $5 at the time. Nice first try in cellaring.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 19:06:59 | More by Philousa
Photo of cowboy83
cowboy83

New York

5/5  rDev +31.9%

11-18-2012 06:47:31 | More by cowboy83
Photo of scottiethebody
scottiethebody

California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

11-13-2012 06:21:17 | More by scottiethebody
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

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

750mL into a chalice. Pours a murky mahogany w/ a big khaki head. Leaves behind a uniform film of lace.

Aroma is dark fruit, bready malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Smells like pumpkin bread.

Taste follows nose. Plums and figs, holiday spices. Alcohol well-hidden. Bready and satisfying.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, delicate, with a dry finish. Bottle conditioning has done its work here.

Overall a very good quad /BSDA from Unibroue.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 04:50:17 | More by draheim
Photo of jasewaaang
jasewaaang

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

09-16-2012 07:27:23 | More by jasewaaang
Photo of cortez
cortez

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.5%

09-12-2012 05:13:40 | More by cortez
Photo of TMoore
TMoore


5/5  rDev +31.9%

08-12-2012 05:00:46 | More by TMoore
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, poured into snifter. A bit of a Christmas in July was had with this one.

A: Pours an opaque dark brown, with a bit of visible sediment at the bottom of the glass.

S: Dark fruity malts, figs, spice, and yeast. Sweet and festive.

T: Once again, quite sweet, and due to the same basic flavors that showed up in the nose (plus even more spice). This tastes distinctly like a Unibroue beer given the high quantity of their yeast present.

M: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation; a syrupy quailty helps the beer's flavors stick around after the finish.

O: A solid Belgian dark ale, especially given its comparably low price. Well worth picking up for five dollars.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 19:09:41 | More by AwYeh
Photo of fatbatcat
fatbatcat

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

07-07-2012 18:10:20 | More by fatbatcat
Photo of fox227
fox227

California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

07-06-2012 15:45:18 | More by fox227
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours nearly black with a thick, attractive dark tan head with lots of lacing. Spicy malty Belgian and dark fruit aroma. Malt, dark fruits, Belgain spicing. Ends rather subdued. Sweet and spicy I think this will age nicely like the last few years.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2012 23:23:55 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of strangebrew321
strangebrew321

Indiana

4/5  rDev +5.5%

05-25-2012 04:57:01 | More by strangebrew321
Photo of NoProblem
NoProblem

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%

05-02-2012 00:10:37 | More by NoProblem
Photo of bluckbeyes
bluckbeyes

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

04-20-2012 18:18:33 | More by bluckbeyes
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.5%

04-05-2012 00:46:10 | More by Falcone
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I’ve had this one cellared for over two years. Looking forward to seeing how it develops and one suddenly chilly, dreary night it seemed like the right time to revisit it. The recipe changes every year and while I didn’t remember being amazed by the 2010 vintage I had generally positive feelings about it.

This pours dark, dark with a big, billowy cloud of foam. It’s actually a dark ruby-brown color, but you have to hold it up to light to know that.

I get a good deal of dried fruit aromas, Figs, dates, black cherries. Some booze, some phenolic notes, some fruitcake rounding it out.

Flavor … isn’t where I hoped it would be. Thinking of root beer tastes, some licorice and those dark fruits. The carbonation is there but the flavor runs … flat. I want more floral notes on the yeast to give it some life but instead there’s a sense that the tastes are treading through mud, all muddled and murky. It’s not horrible, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just not excited about how it turned out either. I think I have one more of these tucked away so we’ll see if it continues to drop off or if the flavor comes back.

UPDATE:

I had a bottle of this with a best before date of 09/10/2013, opened and enjoyed 12/14/12.

I heard a loud ffffsssst when I removed the cork—we got a live one!

This beer still has sufficient carbonation for a thick head of cocoa colored foam atop a dark mahogany colored brew.

My first impressions are all positive—there’s a pleasant nose with prominent stone fruit nuances, crisp flavor with a delicate sweetness and some dark fruit notes. While the flavors have mellowed out noticeably & taken on a smooth character the tight effervescence keeps them light on the palate. I get cherries, plums, some clove spice, a little orange peel. Finishes clean.

What made this vintage so enjoyable and the subsequent two (2011 & 2012) less so? The "rootbeer" or licorice does not dominant this one, although it is a bit player it works well
in the mix and lends a pleasing quality to the brew overall. A real gem for the price and one I wish I had held on to more of.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2012 20:46:40 | More by elNopalero
Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.