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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:
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:
Photo of ALZ
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

ALZ, Jul 22, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

leprechaunandfatman, Apr 07, 2014
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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

BrewmanCapote, Jul 01, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

JohnBender, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

lilsmizzul1225, Jun 22, 2013
Photo of dbell23
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

dbell23, Dec 26, 2012
Photo of GPGURU
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

GPGURU, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of mmmaaattt
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

mmmaaattt, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of notdriving
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

notdriving, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of murraymj
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

murraymj, Jan 02, 2013
Photo of CondorMcBride
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

CondorMcBride, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of crewfan1952
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

crewfan1952, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of Rekrule
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Rekrule, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of Swervine44
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Swervine44, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at room temp in flared glass from hotel

A: nearly solid black; very nice frothy head; good carb action
S: strong malt aroma; yeast/lees prominent (reminds me of Unibroue's other offerings)
T: supergreat taste; cherry and plum flavor dominate, with a nice thread of spicing; sweet; hops understated; yeast conditioning is nicely blended into the body

Really fine beer; one of my favorites of the month

Arithmeticus, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of lanceballance
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very warm mouthfeel. Hints of ginger and clove. Also, chocolate and coriander. Not a very hoppy aroma. Some alcohol heat on the finish, but not overpowering (does not feel like a high gravity ale). Pours "whiskey" brown...very high level of carbonation on the pour that diminishes quickly.

lanceballance, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of DaPan
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

DaPan, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. 2012 Vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep and dark brownish amber that is pretty cola like. Big four finger tan head that settles into a very thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A fruity and spicy Belgian style aroma that is typical of Unibroue. Belgian yeast with a consider amount of spicing including clove, pepper, coriander, and a touch of cinnamon. Big hints of banana along with some apple and orange. Belgian candied sugar and dark malts with hints of toffee, dark biscuit, and chocolate. Big dark fruit presence with hints of fig, raisin, and dates. Pretty solid.

Taste: Like it smells, fruity and spicy Belgian taste. Belgian yeast with a lot of spices up front including cloves, pepper, cinnamon, and coriander. Fruity esters of bananas, orange, and apple. Dark malt with a taste of dark bread, toffee, and chocolate. Candied sugars and a good mix of dark fruits including fig, dates, raisin, and plum. Taste is fairly dry with a lot of spice. It comes together well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Crisp, spicy, and pretty drying. Alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: Another solid year for this Belgian style ale. Big on the spices, which I like. Solid fruit undertones.

MattyG85, Dec 15, 2012
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.

secondtooth, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into goblet.
Quite a nice aroma. Solid mix of yeasty spices and firm malt foundation. Then subtler and occasional aroma's of tartness, sour and sweet fruit (I like this last part as it seems to stay around and it is quite pleasant).
Really dark body with brownish read highlights. Dark tan head that is full. It does settle out some but not too quickly.
Initial taste is really nice. A little more of the added spices are evident, but that nice sweet and sour fruit aroma carried to the flavor. The malt is firm but not heavy handed. The yeast flavors are the same. Seems like the spices are showing with a cinnamon and very slight nutmeg showing. Just enough drying.
Light and effervescent with sufficient carbonation.
As much as I can tell I"m digging this quite a bit more than the 2011. Really like the light fruit aroma and flavor and it seems to stick throughout. The drink was goo throughout the whole bottle.

garymuchow, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of BeerManDan
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When poured into a tulip glass, the color was very dark, dark, brown with a fair amount of tan foam and a medium amount of lace. The smell of sweet spices, fruit and roasted malts were evident in the aroma. The taste was sweet carbonated malts, spices, fruit like sweet figs, rasins, with maybe a hint of coffee and cocoa. I think this is a complex Belgian Dark Ale. The alcohol of 9% is not overpowering, but sutle in a nice way. This is a pleasant surprise and is, for me, the best Vintage Ale that Trader Joe's had made. Unibroue is one of my favorite craft brews and again, I'm not disappointed.

BeerManDan, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of puboflyons
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 750 ml. corked, caged bottle. Sampled on April 15, 2013.

It pours dark brown with reddish hues and a full, fluffy tan head that sits on top for several minutes.

Aromas are wonderfully sweet at first with notes of dark malts, Belgian sugars, brown sugar, fig, Allspice, caramel, yeast, and a mild but clean hop backdrop.

The body is full and creamy.

The taste is wonderfully malty and brown sugar sweet with the slightest alcohol note but nothing that puts me off. The spice is delicately dropped in.

Brewed by Unibroue. I wonder if this is a variation of the Don de Dieu. Still, overall very nice.

puboflyons, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of beck2008
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased in Cerritos, CA $4.99

A- very dark brown, big tan head on the first pour, drops a bit after the 2nd and 3rd pour.

S- fruity cherry, spice, yeasty, very "Unibroue"

T- dark cherry, apple, and clovy spice. Alcohol is hidden very well. This beer tastes good if you let it aerate a bit like you might with wine. I usually pour a glass then put it back in the fridge with a loose cap. I actually enjoy this one better after a day being chilled.

M- great carbonation, very smooth

O- I've had all the vintage ale offerings for the last 5 years and I have to say this one is the best. I really like this one. At $4.99 it's no brainer for anyone who is into Belgiums. If you like Maudite by Unibroue, then you'll love this one (and at half the cost!)

beck2008, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of TheSixthRing
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a near black, dark ruby brown with a light tan 3 finger head. Good retention. Leaves behind a small, spotty lace.

Smell - Aroma consists of sugar and cream, spice, bubblegum and candied plum or black cherry.

Taste - Follows the nose. Assertive notes of cream and spice to start, while moderately sweetened dark fruit character shines through mid-taste. Finishes creamy with notes of bubblegum and a hint of spruce pine.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied. A touch syrupy. Well carbonated, leaves a nice tingle on the tongue. Smooth, creamy finish.

Overall - Another creamy Belgian offering from Unibroue. So many intricate layers to wrap one's mind around. Lots of sweetness, becomes a bit cloying after a glass or two. Great candidate for storage.

TheSixthRing, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

very cool of unibroue to brew this beauty for trader joes. i had this in st. louis. pours a redish brown color, hazy from some suspended yeast, with a lacey tan head. the nose is spicey and wintery, warm, some notes of honey, dried fruit, and more hops than i expected. the flavor is complex as hell, is this aged in oak? tastes like it might be. a pick up some licorice, cherry, and birch syrup. finish is sweet and long, alcohol is strong and warming. great carbonation keeps it lively, and a full body is just what the doctor ordered for winter time. this is a really neat brew, and one id like to age for awhile to see how it matures. love this mix of sweet and spice and fruit. its a great bottle to share though. overall an impressive product, and one i will seek out again. this is literally christmas in a bottle for me.

StonedTrippin, Nov 19, 2012
Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 241 ratings.