1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale

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

236 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 236
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.93%
Wants: 3
Gots: 31 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerDocT on 11-02-2012)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Kromes:
Photo of Kromes


3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with ruby edges and a thin tan colored head.

A big orange peel , coriander, and clove aroma with a touch of alcohol.

Initial flavor is clove, anise and coriander. The flavors remain strong as a bit of the roasted malt bitterness kicks in. There is a lingering anise/clove flavor in the finish along with a dark cherry fruit flavor.

high level of peppery carbonation gives the beer a great texture and compliments the flavors.

Pretty good Dark Ale. Very tasty and bit strong right now with the spices right up front. I imagine it will get better with age.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 20:20:16 | More by Kromes
More User Reviews:
Photo of Howlader

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +5.5%

07-20-2014 19:26:55 | More by Howlader
Photo of GClarkage


4/5  rDev +5.5%

07-08-2014 03:28:00 | More by GClarkage
Photo of david18

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

07-05-2014 12:55:25 | More by david18
Photo of scottfrie


4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle into snifter. Best before date 7/6/15.

A; Pours a deep cola brown color with a couple fingers of dense light tan head that slowly faded into a fuzzy and lasting film. Thick wispy lace was left down the glass.
S: Rich and spicy notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, raisin, and powdery chocolate. I get hints of dark fruits and wood as well.
T: Follows the nose with the addition of mint, slight citrus zest. Clove, chocolate, woody must, dates, plums, raisins, cream, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Spicy lingering in the aftertaste. Tastes like creamy spiced chocolate ice cream. Extremely delicious.
M: Full body, creamy, fluffy, and soft carbonation, light bitterness, smooth and rich mouthfeel.
O: Extremely rich, smooth and delicious. Not overly sweet, fruity, or malty. Very balanced yet complicated.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2014 22:29:38 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Rand_ale_Thor


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

06-27-2014 20:39:32 | More by Rand_ale_Thor
Photo of KevMo84


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

06-09-2014 01:26:33 | More by KevMo84
Photo of RandyBrown


4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

05-30-2014 00:33:08 | More by RandyBrown
Photo of tgraven


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

05-25-2014 16:15:39 | More by tgraven
Photo of secondtooth


4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black, with deep ruby highlights. Prodigious head of tan foam, dissipating slowly into thin and loopy lace.

Aroma is plenty of fermented fruit (wine grapes), spices, Belgian yeasty bread -- absolutely a wonderful approximation of classic Belgian ales.

Taste is similar -- some sweet notes, but this one is really well-balanced on the palate. I get hints of dark fruit and berries again, alongside plenty of spice (coriander, clove). This is a delicious brew, overflowing with complexity.

At $4.99 a bomber at Trader Joe's, this is a real bargain, and well-worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2014 19:24:49 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Foyle


3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark reddish brown, 1" off white head, very light lacing
Aroma: strong fruit and clove/cinnamon spice aromas along with distinctive Belgian yeast. There is a also a somewhat medicinal alcohol smell.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a mostly wet finish.
Flavor: spices dominate (cinnamon and clove) along with some raisin and citrus rind flavors. The middle and finish feature cocoa, some earthy hops, and a warming alcohol presence.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2014 15:49:30 | More by Foyle
Photo of KindaFondaGoozah


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

04-13-2014 14:13:42 | More by KindaFondaGoozah
Photo of leprechaunandfatman


4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

04-07-2014 13:15:45 | More by leprechaunandfatman
Photo of Jd2391


3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

02-19-2014 03:49:07 | More by Jd2391
Photo of mactrail


3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with a modest head in the tall Petrus goblet. Moderate carbonation. Something of a musty aroma.

This has that classic taste that all Unibroue products seem to share. Distinctive yeasty flavor with a seriously dry finish and a bitter edge. Raisiny but not too sweet. Roasted fruity malt. Dark hints of chocolate add some pleasure. Seems to get better as it warms up and you get used to the taste.

This is an interesting big brew at a bargain price. From Trader Joe's in San Diego.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 06:03:50 | More by mactrail
Photo of kell50

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-10-2014 21:43:17 | More by kell50
Photo of Wizzman


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

02-10-2014 00:58:24 | More by Wizzman
Photo of bvermilion


4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-04-2014 06:14:31 | More by bvermilion
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a dark cloudy brown/burgundy color ale with a very generous foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of candy-like ester with some Belgian-style malt. Taste is also dominated by some candy-like ester with some residual sugar notes with some heavy dark Belgian-style malt. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable beer with good drinkability with nice complexity and beautiful ester. Glad they drop the coriander in this year’s version.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 00:15:32 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of qchic


4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For 4.99, a fine value. With a year on it, well worth an evening to sip on. Dark brown with good head retention. Aroma is fruity and spicy. Reminds me of those canned fruit nectars from the Hispanic food section. Tastes roasty and Belgian estery with some grainy malty smoothness. Drinkable with enough going on hold your interest throughout the 750mls. Why didn't I buy more?

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 03:46:20 | More by qchic
Photo of fox227


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

01-14-2014 02:19:45 | More by fox227
Photo of avckc


3/5  rDev -20.8%

01-03-2014 02:00:14 | More by avckc
Photo of Brandegee


3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass... this was a New Year's Day share.

A: Lovely head with lots of lace, a hint of brown in the thick, dark pour.
S: Not much going on here, but a few hints of spice and sweet malt. It's pleasant, however.
T: I didn't try a fresh example, so I can only assume the aging helped bring out some of the dark fruit flavors, which dominate the profile without little hint of sourness or bitterness. Raisin, plum, dates even. Sweet malt and clove round out the flavors for me.
M: Nice, full, lots of room for the spices to play.
O: A nice Belgian seasonal and good effort by Unibroue and hopefully I can still get a 2013 to age for next year. This was well worth what was probably a low price tag.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 00:39:33 | More by Brandegee
Photo of Guinnsslvr


4/5  rDev +5.5%

01-01-2014 03:56:45 | More by Guinnsslvr
Photo of InfernoBoss


3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-31-2013 10:08:05 | More by InfernoBoss
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.