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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
86
very good

240 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 240
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.16%
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 240 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rainier
Rainier

California

1.75/5  rDev -53.9%

05-05-2013 18:13:27 | More by Rainier
Photo of TWM
TWM

North Carolina

1.95/5  rDev -48.7%

Started rough- as I poured from the 750ml bottle, it was so carbonated I couldn't get a smooth pour so it foamed like crazy. 4-5 finger head, nice dark rich color, visible carbonation rising through the little bit of liquid that fit under that massive head.

Smell- normally, I like fruit. In fact, I eat a lot of fruit. Somehow, the fruit smells in this beer were a turn-off. I figured out what it was: the compounds (carboxylic esters) that give fruit its scent and part of the flavor were mixing with the esters of the spices and the whole thing smelled artificial. I'm not accusing TJ's of adding fake flavors, but the results of this fermentation with these ingredients smelled very similar to an artificial, synthesized ester. Think "Runts" candies without the sweetness and a little clove.

Taste- a little better than the smell (thank heavens...). The heavy spicing and aforementioned ester taste competed with what I believe is a pretty darn good ale flavor, the combination not flattering either component. The taste changed through each mouthful- it started very sharp (not generally good for a dark ale) as the high carbonation dropped the pH, then rising to a somewhat sweeter, excessively scented finish.

Feel- as carbonated as any beer I've had recently. Felt sharp at the beginning of a sip, and the escaping carbonation flooded my nasal passages with the clove-cinnamon-spice scent that lingered, feeling like a coating of something greasy, after the liquid was gone.

Overall- I wish they had re-made the 2011 ale, that one was much better. If nothing else, having tried this one will make me appreciate dark ales that respect what makes this kind of brew so unique and good... and won't treat them like some winter-spice, flavor-free mass-produced lager by cramming whatever sounds seasonal into the tun.

12-29-2012 03:45:43 | More by TWM
Photo of Rihup
Rihup

Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -40.8%

07-14-2013 02:51:39 | More by Rihup
Photo of nUgZ
nUgZ

North Carolina

2.33/5  rDev -38.7%

22 ounce bomber poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a dark brown color with a 2-3 finger head and no lacing to speak of.

S: Lots of yeast, spice, fruit, and alcohol on the nose. Not very appealing.

T: Honestly, I didn't keep it in my mouth long enough to distinguish the flavors.

M: Medium bodied good carbonation.

O: This was a drain pour for me. I didn't enjoy it in any way.

12-14-2012 00:24:48 | More by nUgZ
Photo of NoetheMatt
NoetheMatt

Kentucky

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

04-05-2013 14:15:33 | More by NoetheMatt
Photo of bca115
bca115

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

07-10-2013 03:29:26 | More by bca115
Photo of Zanico
Zanico

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

01-13-2013 01:37:35 | More by Zanico
Photo of DotBier
DotBier

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

12-28-2012 07:18:57 | More by DotBier
Photo of Aaron_Ramson
Aaron_Ramson

California

2.6/5  rDev -31.6%

A: obelisk black, beautifully dark with a small 1 finger head that dissipated too quickly, leaving a flat, laceless surface.
S: musty, cheese, yeasty. Just unpleasant.
T: Strong taste of anise and licorice, Belgian hop favors such as bubble gum and banana also noted. Burnt coffee, very little hop bitterness at the end and very boozy.
M: Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.
O: unpleasant and nasty, I poured the last 1/4 bottle down the drain and will not be drinking this again.

11-25-2012 04:48:34 | More by Aaron_Ramson
Photo of s4s
s4s

California

2.9/5  rDev -23.7%

I've really enjoyed the past few vintages, being one who loves the Belgian strong dark type. This one, however, has really over-done the spice aspect to it. A small amount to me is OK, but this reminds me of spiced apple cider. I hope they (Unibroue) can get back on track next year.

I'm about out of Avery's Kaiser beer, so I'll have to go with Optimator instead of this Trader Joe seasonal.

11-13-2012 03:16:26 | More by s4s
Photo of deuce9259
deuce9259

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -21.6%

Serving Type - Bottle to Unibroue Tulip

Appearance - Deep brown color that pours a thick head....looks like plenty of carbonation.

Smell - Strong spices and Belgian-style aroma. Strong malts, clove, coriander, pepper...some fruit.

Taste - Toasted malts, standard spices I get from a Unibroue brew.

Mouthfeel - Way too carbonated IMO. Not quite enough in the body. It gets a little better as it warms....even though its still pretty light.

Overall - Not bad for the price, but don't think I will be bent on getting it next year. I liked the 2011 version much better. Have an extra 2012 and a 2012 that I'll probably sit on for a little while longer...maybe some of the spices will die down by then.

12-28-2012 00:48:21 | More by deuce9259
Photo of brokentee
brokentee

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

07-21-2013 00:45:28 | More by brokentee
Photo of WhitmansNiece
WhitmansNiece

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

12-20-2012 11:33:57 | More by WhitmansNiece
Photo of avckc
avckc

California

3/5  rDev -21.1%

01-03-2014 02:00:14 | More by avckc
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

3/5  rDev -21.1%

09-21-2013 03:58:36 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of fehrminator
fehrminator

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.1%

11-17-2012 01:59:14 | More by fehrminator
Photo of Dave_Treat
Dave_Treat

Virginia

3/5  rDev -21.1%

11-11-2012 03:21:19 | More by Dave_Treat
Photo of olafphysics
olafphysics

Illinois

3/5  rDev -21.1%

01-01-2013 00:35:36 | More by olafphysics
Photo of Hopstout
Hopstout

Minnesota

3/5  rDev -21.1%

02-16-2013 06:29:23 | More by Hopstout
Photo of CB2maltygoodness
CB2maltygoodness

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -21.1%

11-30-2012 23:18:42 | More by CB2maltygoodness
Photo of jmmy3
jmmy3

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

01-13-2013 23:24:49 | More by jmmy3
Photo of leodarko
leodarko

California

3/5  rDev -21.1%

11-11-2012 17:41:35 | More by leodarko
Photo of ejh06752
ejh06752

New York

3/5  rDev -21.1%

12-20-2012 19:41:31 | More by ejh06752
Photo of Thunderballroom
Thunderballroom

New York

3/5  rDev -21.1%

03-27-2013 20:32:02 | More by Thunderballroom
Photo of AliJ
AliJ

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

05-29-2013 05:31:25 | More by AliJ
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Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 240 ratings.