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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

275 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 275
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 4
Gots: 72 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 275 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerForMuscle
BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

08-21-2013 03:11:11 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of JRod1969
JRod1969

New York

4/5  rDev +5.8%

08-19-2013 03:01:44 | More by JRod1969
Photo of TasteFiend
TasteFiend

Germany

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

08-16-2013 09:04:13 | More by TasteFiend
Photo of tkdchampxi
tkdchampxi

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

08-11-2013 23:18:48 | More by tkdchampxi
Photo of icehawk
icehawk

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

08-08-2013 16:49:15 | More by icehawk
Photo of mpayne5
mpayne5

Indiana

1.75/5  rDev -53.7%

07-28-2013 05:48:29 | More by mpayne5
Photo of Khutso
Khutso

Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +25.7%

06-24-2013 23:03:33 | More by Khutso
Photo of woemad
woemad

Washington

3.03/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 21:17:24 | More by woemad
Photo of Doogermeister
Doogermeister

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

06-08-2013 21:53:32 | More by Doogermeister
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%

05-17-2013 02:19:18 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

05-13-2013 23:39:01 | More by djrn2
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

05-13-2013 23:37:59 | More by acurtis
Photo of lernerlift
lernerlift

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

05-05-2013 22:17:41 | More by lernerlift
Photo of kodt
kodt

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

05-03-2013 22:29:49 | More by kodt
Photo of Bowers-Brew
Bowers-Brew

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%

04-21-2013 22:07:29 | More by Bowers-Brew
Photo of MidwestBA
MidwestBA

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

04-11-2013 01:05:49 | More by MidwestBA
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

03-03-2013 16:15:36 | More by t0rin0
Photo of ngeunit1
ngeunit1

California

4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 04:48:51 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Angryzen
Angryzen

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.8%

02-23-2013 19:48:30 | More by Angryzen
Photo of dvmin98
dvmin98

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

02-15-2013 16:15:18 | More by dvmin98
Photo of lsummers
lsummers

California

4/5  rDev +5.8%

02-15-2013 00:06:00 | More by lsummers
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.99/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 07:00:13 | More by yamar68
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brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

01-30-2013 04:51:26 | More by brandoman63
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.21/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color with ruby highlights; an inch of tan does an adequate job of leaving a smattering of lace

Smell: Molasses, prune, charred black bread and cloves

Taste: Burnt brown sugar and prune flavors, up front, but there is an excess of clove and sour off-flavors, in the middle; the sourness dominates the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: In order to make the price point, I suspect Unibroue makes some compromises with the ingredients, particularly the malts; this beer strikes me as not having the body or the robust complexity of even a mid-tier BSDA

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 23:12:03 | More by brentk56
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery

Missouri

3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I had this stored in my basement for over a year, thought I would take it out and give it a try. Poured from a 750 ml bottle, into a snifter. Poured a amber color, produced a tannish head, decent retention and it left some lacing on the glass. The Aroma consisted of roasted malt, sweet caramel and prunes. Full bodied, this Belgian Strong Dark Ale the base consisted of roasted malt, caramel and some wine like fruitiness, most likely from the yeast. Overall, it was decent, it under preformed my expectations, but maybe my expectations were to high. Unibroue brewed this ale for Trader Joe's and thus far everything i have sampled from Unibroqe has been outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 18:23:13 | More by GossageBrewery
Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 275 ratings.