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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

278 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 278
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: 278 | Reviews: 117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

chippo33, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

AnitaBrewski, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

Phyl21ca, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

BeerForMuscle, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +5.5%

JRod1969, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of TasteFiend
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

TasteFiend, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of tkdchampxi
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

tkdchampxi, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of icehawk
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

icehawk, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of mpayne5
1.75/5  rDev -53.8%

mpayne5, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of Khutso
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Khutso, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of woemad
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.

woemad, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of Doogermeister
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Doogermeister, Jun 08, 2013
Photo of Fcolle2
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Fcolle2, May 17, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

djrn2, May 13, 2013
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

acurtis, May 13, 2013
Photo of lernerlift
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

lernerlift, May 05, 2013
Photo of kodt
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

kodt, May 03, 2013
Photo of Bowers-Brew
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Bowers-Brew, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of MidwestBA
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

MidwestBA, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

t0rin0, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of ngeunit1
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.

ngeunit1, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Angryzen
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Angryzen, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

dvmin98, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of lsummers
4/5  rDev +5.5%

lsummers, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of yamar68
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.

yamar68, Feb 04, 2013
Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.