Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 277 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
4/5 rDev +5.5%
Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a huge light brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of caramelized Belgian malt with some coriander and the famous Unibroue yeast ester. Taste is also a well balanced mix of caramelized Belgian style malt with some coriander and some light peppery notes with the famous Unibroue yeast ester. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Doesn’t stray away from the brewer standards which is a good thing knowing how he masters the style.
09-13-2013 17:42:07 | More by Phyl21ca
3.03/5 rDev -20.1%
750mL bottle purchased at the Spokane Trader Joe’s…a while ago, for …some money. I totally forgot about this one, and I need to clear out some room in the beer stash. Fortunately, this one appears to have been built for aging. 9% abv, and a best by date of July 6, 2016 makes me think this will be all right. By the way, Trader Joe’s isn’t trying nearly as hard to make you think they have a brewery somewhere as they do on some of their other beers, and the cage over the cork clearly identifies the brewers of this beer as Unibroue.
A very good looking beer, initially. Pours a super dark brown and yields up virtually nothing when held up to the light. Lots of mocha colored foam, though it receeds somewhat quickly for the style and leaves little lace.
In the nose I get mollasses, rum raisins and … cough syrup? There’s a really raw, robust boozy thing happening that doesn’t seem to meld with the other aromas very well. Maybe it just needs to warm up some.
Unfortunately, that raw, crude flavor doesn’t go away. It dominates the middle and finish of the taste, which starts off promising with Dark fruits and brown sugar notes before it is greatly diminshed by the sour, Robitussin thing that takes over.
Full bodied, with a sticky, coating mouthfeel.
A beer that is great in theory, but in practice virtually undrinkable. Someone else suggested in their review that Unibroue might have taken shortcuts in the malt dept to meet Trader Joe’s pricepoint. Seems plausible to me. I will not be finishing this bottle.
06-22-2013 21:17:24 | More by woemad
4.16/5 rDev +9.8%
A - Dark black with a finger of frothy tan-khaki head. Fades very slowly.
S - Dark caramel malts, raisin, plums, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, other spices, a touch of sourness, and a touch of booze.
T - Dark caramel malts with raisin, plum, dates, and other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, and other spices, a bit of residual sugars, a touch of sourness, and a bit of booze.
M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish.
D - Nice BSDA. Good Belgian character and spices.
02-24-2013 04:48:51 | More by ngeunit1
3.99/5 rDev +5.3%
The most stubborn cork I have ever encountered. After struggling with my hands, then a plain corkscrew, and finally a wine opener, I sliced the print of my right thumb clean off. Lots of blood... we're off to a great start.
Very dark stuff. Muddy brown without much clarity to speak of. A swelling khaki head fills the glass and then some. Lacing is loose but consistent.
Intriguing... loads of soft pale fruits, sour yeast, some cola aromas, smooth and sweet, approachable, tame.
Fresh grape, more cola presence, frothy carbonation makes for an exciting presentation of flavors, sweet grain, it finishes pretty damn clean and rather wet. I can totally dig this.
That said - my thumb is now wrapped in gauze and electric tape... it's stinging pretty good, luckily I've already had a few but this is going to be a treat to wake up to.
Before you buy this, get some good gloves. Maybe chainmail.
02-04-2013 07:00:13 | More by yamar68
Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 277 ratings.