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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

241 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 241
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.19%
Wants: 3
Gots: 33 | 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: BeerDocT on 11-02-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 241 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +31.9%

CEDAMA, Feb 20, 2013
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5/5  rDev +31.9%

shick1, Mar 11, 2013
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4.93/5  rDev +30.1%

TedTopfer, Aug 12, 2014
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4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

DrJaws, Dec 17, 2012
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4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Khutso, Jun 30, 2013
Photo of dcook11
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

dcook11, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of jdkitchi
4.73/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a few of these bombers from Trader Joe's the other day and wanted to try one. This is made by Unibroue and I believe it is Trois Pistoles Belgian strong dark ale. I've had the 4 or 5 more common Unibroue brews and like them a lot.

Poured into a Duvel large tulip glass. There was a massive amount of head on the first pour. The smell is complex. Dark malt, fruit, spicy Belgian yeast a little hops.

There is plenty of carbonation for a lively mouth feel. The first taste especially with the foam was fantastic. Very complex flavors and aromas. It's sweet, spicy, fruit, hoppy and delicious. There is a little bit alcohol kick too. This just keeps getting better as you drink it. This is a world class brew.

As I stated earlier, I think this is the Trois Pistoles from Unibroue. I do have a bomber of that in the cellar that I'll have to crack open and see if it's the same someday.

jdkitchi, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of MikalMick
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

MikalMick, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

brandoman63, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Beermazter310
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Beermazter310, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of Mikecap
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Mikecap, Dec 02, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

MilkManX, Nov 26, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

mattporter2, Dec 09, 2012
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

jaredkc889, Aug 04, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

RandyBrown, May 30, 2014
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Nachi, Aug 08, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

dmorgan310, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of RichH55
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

RichH55, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

Phyl21ca, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of mikeg67
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Pours dark brown with a long lasting, thick, beige head and nice lacing. Aroma is of funky yeast, caramel malt, brown sugar, spices and hops. Body is full and smooth. Funky yeast, caramel malt, brown sugar, spices, dark fruit and hops fill the mouth. Finish is long and very spicy. Very nice, delicious brew.

mikeg67, Jan 06, 2013
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.

scottfrie, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

huge foamy head. very dark and unable to see through even the sides of the tulip glass holding it.
smells like a dark belgium, malty and dark fruit-y.
taste is the same- dark fruit-y, heavy on the malt, a little taste of alcohol on the finish.
this is my first trader joes and i was thinking what a great job they did of brewing such a semblance of a belgian dark ale. and then i read someone said that unibroue is producing these. that explains why it tastes so good. very good considering the 9% abv, in fact. and the tasting ended prematurely after the kids accidentally threw the dog's ball into the glass.... had to be there....

pkalix, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of BeerDocT
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chilled tulip glass. Brewed for TJ's by Unibroue, the pride of Chambly, QC. Can't wait to try this.

-Appearance 4.0: Poured out a very dark brown/black. Completely opaque and gem-like. Huge, inch high head finally dropped down to a thick, khaki-colored swirl on the top.

-Smell 4.0: Very subdued bouquet. Citrusy, with noticeable malt. I also smell a very faint aroma of spices...star anice...nutmeg... . Very nice.

-Taste 4.5: Front is dry, with a light maltiness. Middle really hits you with the Belgian candi, but is subdued and balanced along with the taste of spices: very light hints of those mentioned above and also that wonderful Belgian yeast. Finish is dry, with some light alkaline hoppiness and malt. Aftertaste is brief, but features the candi sugar and more subdued spices. Everything is well-balanced and delightful.

-Mouthfeel 4.0: Carbonation is right on target for this style. Great complement to the beer.

-Overall 4.5: Excellent Belgian Strong Dark. This is obviously a "holiday" style beer, but it is head and shoulders over anything you will pick up at any other grocery store. Why? The balance. Nothing is overpowering or screaming "I AM A HOLIDAY BEER!" Instead, what you get is a very nuanced and enjoyable seasonal brew that is a real treat. Buy it if you can find it. It's times like these I feel sorry for my friends in Pennsylvania (their TJ's cannot sell wine or beer).

BeerDocT, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of cosmicevan
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been a long time fan of the unibroue undercover trader joe vintage ale series (although didn't love 2010 fresh). the wife nabbed me a bottle of this today while doing some grocery shopping...took a while to hit town, but it is here. will i get a case? let's try one bottle first...in 2010 made the mistake of jumping on a case without a taste. enjoyed from a unibroue tulip.

a - brew poured a deep purple with a generous 2+ fingers of foamy yeasty head. looking good...like classic unibroue/vintage ale! perfect to style. what do you expect? it is one of the masters.

s - oh joy! not over spiced, just BSDA magic. dark fruits...prunes soaked in sugar water with grapes and berries. great belgian candied yeast. yowza, smells awesome! i cannot wait for a sip!

t - oh joy. it is REALLY GOOD. i couldn't be happier. they dialed the xmas spicing back in a major way. one of the better vintages in a few years. kind of takes me back to when i first discovered this beer back in 2009 and fell in love. definitely dialed back in intensity. really classic with the dark fruits and candied belgian sugars. very accessible.

m - a bit watery on the flavor profile. not as rich and creamy as i look for in the style, but nice drinker and good feel and carbonation.

cosmicevan, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this one.

is deep deep brown, almost black with a large, somewhat rocky head.

aromas are complex and inviting: sweet candy, green apple, spices including cinnamon and clove, rum raisin, some banana, musty.

flavor is sweet up front with a big, thick maltiness. spices are pronounced, as is the alcohol, although not too much. cheery, spices, and apple come through. finish is a bit sweet. not much hop presence.

moderate carbonation. very tasty and complex.

NatetheGreat, Mar 11, 2013
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Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.