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Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale

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

279 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 4
Gots: 71 | FT: 4
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: hreb on 11-13-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Edzomb5
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Edzomb5, Sunday at 06:55 AM
Photo of mportnoy
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

mportnoy, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of Whiteweasel
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%

Patiently poured from a cellared 2.5 year old 750ml bottle into a...tumbler glass. Gotta make do sometimes.

A: Dark ruby red, dark brown, extremely frothy light tan head, can barely see through the beer. 5

S: Dark and fruity, cherries, black currants, raspberry, a bit grainy and a bit candy-like. Actually quite chocolatey. Boozy. 4.5

T: Dark and malty, with a strong chocolate character, a little sweet candy and dark roasted grain. 4

M: Thick and smooth, quite boozy, but frothy. Leaves rich, smooth aftertaste 4.25

Overall: Tastes like a mix of a stout and a Belgian strong ale. Tasty and frothy. Quite alcoholic. May be rating this higher than normal because of how long it's been held, and how alcoholic it is, but still quite a fine beer. Overall rating: 4

Whiteweasel, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of Snodman
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Snodman, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of nleaders
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

nleaders, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of HoppyBastard2
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

HoppyBastard2, May 18, 2014
Photo of SirWalkAbout
3/5  rDev -20.8%

SirWalkAbout, May 03, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Texasfan549, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of irthesteve
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

irthesteve, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL cork&caged bottle with Best Before date 6-Jul-16.

Cellared on 23-Nov-11. Uncorked on 25-Feb-14 (aged 2 yr 3 mon).

Poured into stemless wine glass.

Looked like really dark coke. Not as translucent as other Belgian darks.

Both aromas and flavors haven't changed much, which is a good thing. The age really smoothed out the edges but maintained the dark fruits and spices of cinnamon, cloves, corriander, and bit of orange peel. It's malty sweet, but not overly sweet like Belgian candy. Again, very smooth from start to finish. No boozy presence either, which I got a bit of when fresh.

Overall, this aged vintage would be able to hold its own against the more infamous of quads in a blind tasting. Wish I put away more.

Rollzroyce21, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

imperialking, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of jabo134
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

jabo134, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

mattmarka1, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

aged a bottle for almost 3 years.

totally worth it. mellowed out really nicely. all the sugars mellowed out and it wasnt so super sweet. still had a bit of a funny taste in the finish.

highly recommend aging a bottle. but do keep an eye on the temp you age it at. i think my bottle got exposed to to much heat in the summer time.

MikeMilanoDesign, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of barnzy78
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Bottle gushed a bit upon opening. Pour reveals a cola-like ale; bubbly beige head fades to a foam.
S - sweet, fruity aroma, bread, caramel, raisin, plum, yeast
T - sweet, very ripe dark fruits - raisins, plums, dates, cherries, yeast, bread, caramel, toffee, alcohol is warming but not hot
M - medium bodied, moderately carbonated, finishes with a lingering sweetness
O - it was nice to see this one age out a couple of years. I had bought 3 at the time; one to drink fresh, one left a year, and now this one 2 years out. Always a perrenial enjoyment from Unibroue.

barnzy78, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of jdhasse
4/5  rDev +5.5%

jdhasse, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of aaroncom2005
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

aaroncom2005, Dec 22, 2013
Photo of davegray
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

davegray, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of bluejacket74
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, best before 07-06-2016. Had this bottle a couple years, hope it's good now! Served in a Dogfish Head signature glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch light tan head that sticked around for a while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is nice, the brew smells like dark fruit (plums, raisins), cloves, peppery spice, and some molasses. It tastes like dark fruit (plums, raisins), peppery spice, cloves, dark bread, cola, molasses and brown sugar. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit coating and creamy with a good amount of carbonation. I liked this brew, it's sweet, spicy and enjoyable to drink.

bluejacket74, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of JJOVa
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

JJOVa, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of JISurfer
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

JISurfer, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +5.5%

warnerry, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of SlainteAlbanyNY
4/5  rDev +5.5%

SlainteAlbanyNY, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of zeledonia
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One that's been sitting in my cellar for a while, finally getting around to drinking it. Tasted 27 October 2013.

Pours a deep rusty brown, though the rust comes through only at the edges, or when my glass is nearly empty. Two fingers of spongy medium-tan head, good retention, not much lacing.

Smell is delightful Belgiany dark fruits, full of plums and figs, brown sugar. In the quad realm, with powerfully sweet and sugary malty aromas, and all sorts of little variants on them. Has great complexity; I'm impressed.

Taste is similar - loads of dark fruit, sweetness, and variety. For malt freaks, this is a treat. It's like dessert, with all those fruits coated in molasses. Has just enough twang in the back-end to balance it out. Excellent.

Feel is nice, and fitting. Medium-bodied, sticky, with medium-low carbonation. Lasting, allowing those sweet flavors to dance and sing and play off each other.

I really like this beer. Shoot, I wish I'd bought more of it when I could. Unibroue is a fantastic brewery. And this is an outstanding beer, a lot like a quad, and just straight-up delicious.

zeledonia, Nov 03, 2013
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Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.