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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

313 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 313
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | 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: BeerDocT on 11-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 313 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kell50
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Wizzman
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of Morakaton
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of bvermilion
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
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.

Photo of qchic
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
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?

Photo of Beerswag
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of nstorrs
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of fox227
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of avckc
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Brandegee
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Guinnsslvr
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of BrownNut
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aged this a year. It was very nice. It was raisiny and something fresher in the fruit department like plums. The spices were subtle and the characteristic Belgian yeast taste was somewhat muted, which is good if you're me. It tasted refined, as in fine, as in fancy and mature and good. It was very accessible at the same time. I can't remember if I ever had this vintage fresh but aged one year was nice.

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown chestnut color with a big billowy cream colored head. The big billowy head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma was slightly roasted and rather fruity. A good dose of a slightly grainy but roasted and toasted malt smell along with darker fruits of cherry and raisin are there. Along with these aromas are some smells of yeast and a little bit of a spicy smells and some hot rum like aromas are there, producing a nice Belgian strong dark aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a slightly roasted and malty flavor with the darker fruit cherry that was detected in the nose. Some yeasty and spice flavors of a clove and nutmeg later come to the tongue as well as some other flavors of more raisin and fig. As the flavor advances further to the end, the malty flavors dwindle further as the darker fruit and spice seem to increase, combining with a little bit of a boozy rum flavor, which all in all end up leaving a rather nice Belgian dark smell to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side for a Belgian strong dark of 9 % adv. with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The combo of body and carbonation are nice for styles of the brew as well as in keeping the brew very drinkable but not too drinkable in light of the abv. and the boozy flavors.

Overall – A rather nice drinking Belgian strong dark ale with some nice fruity flavors as well as a good level of roast and booze.

Photo of MisterFuzz
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of aaroncom2005
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork-and-cage, "best by 2015" bottle and enjoyed over 90 festive minutes.

Color is densely opaque ebony brown that holds up a light tan head with fairly good retention. Not much lacing, though.

Smells of winter spice, chocolate covered raisins, clove, and mild herbaceous phenols. The foundation of malt is evident with a breeze of hop essence.

The taste profile is complex and balanced. It starts sweet, but nicely sliced with carbonation that ushers in a combination of fruits and a-bit-too-bright acids. Figs, dates, raisins, and pears all dipped in melty bakers chocolate that takes over later in each gulp. It's then also chewy and just bready enough, dashed with cinnamon and anise, the latter of which slides into the ending oils that carry a nice long finish.

Thick and smooth, balanced nicely with high carbonation, the mouthfeel is a nice fit to the style and frames the flavor profile well. It becomes a bit tart and tannic in aftertaste in a way that suggests a cleaner ending would help to address--so I dock points here rather than in the flavor category.

In general, I'm extremely grateful that this great Canadian brewer partnered up with a chain of markets I can get to easily. Three cheers for Unibroue south of the border!

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, best before 07-06-2015. This is about a year old now. Served in a Dogfish Head signature glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch and a half light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like cloves, dark fruit (plums, raisins), peppery spice, and molasses. It tastes like cloves, dark fruit (plums, raisins), cola, dark bread, molasses, and a bit of nutmeg. Mouhfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy, and is well carbonated. This is very similar to the 2011 bottle I drank right before this, which I liked. Guess I'll have to buy a bottle of the 2013 now!

Photo of Stalgondo
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of kmoen
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of dhannes
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle with 11 months' worth of aging into a standard pint glass.

A=Dark, reddish brown with larger, 3-finger eggshell head.

S=Spice...nutmeg or allspice.

T=Similar to a porter's rich cream malt backbone, but nutmeg and cherry present...at times, it reminded me of cherry cough syrup. Alcohol taste present much of the time.

M=Lighter body...felt flat...also a slick feel to it.

O=I was somewhat disappointed in this beer and would not seek it our or buy it again...for numerous reasons, it was too much of a chore to drink.

Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.