1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

309 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 120
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 5
Gots: 78 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: hreb on 11-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 120 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SlainteAlbanyNY
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of zeledonia
4.26/5  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.

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of scottwurst
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Flachs
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of chippo33
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of TasteFiend
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of icehawk
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of mpayne5
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%

Photo of Khutso
4.75/5  rDev +25%

Photo of woemad
3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Photo of Doogermeister
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Fcolle2
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of lernerlift
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of kodt
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Bowers-Brew
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of MidwestBA
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.