Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
117 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by khiasmus on 11-30-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
117
Reviews:
100
Avg:
3.94
pDev:
8.63%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
10
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 117 |  Reviews: 100
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of oline73
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy deep brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of typical Unibroue Belgian ester with deep rich malt with hints of candi sugar. Taste is also a nice mix between some rich Belgian malt with notes of candi sugar and that typical Unibroue ester. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no signs of alcohol. Very well done though quite similar to prior year vintage.

 441 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a brown color with a slight haze. It had a small, bubbly head of off-white foam that left some sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of raisin, dried fruits (cherry & plum) and some bready malts.

T - Sweet bready malt dominated the flavor with a nice dose of dried fruit taste. Just a touch of bitterness and spiciness, too.

M - It was crisp and smooth with a mildly dry finish. A medium bodied ale.

D - This is a very solid dubbel and a very good value at around $5 for a 750ml bottle.

 507 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, reddish-brown body with a well-formed, foamy, off-white head.

Smell: Aromatic nose that's both fruity and rather spiced with notes of black currants and cherries tossed in coarse ground black pepper.

Taste: Dark malts tasting of dark caramel and molasses with a brown sugar sweetness. The taste isn't lacking in spices either, with it's flavors of black pepper, nutmeg, and clove. Ah, there's that Unibroue yeast, my old arch nemesis. More vinous fruitiness. Lesser hint of banana. You never get much in the way of hops or bitterness, though there is a staunch dryness competing with the little pops of sweetness that seem to come and go. Bit of aromatic tobacco in the otherwise fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Highly carbonated. Yes, friends, it's a bit crackling, even prickly in the mouth.

Drinkability: Well, the alcohol is definitely well-hidden in this brew. I liked this well enough. Overall, it's a solid, enjoyable beer at a decent value.

 990 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color; attractive beige head; good slippery lace on the glass.

Strong Belgian smell with strong maple sugar touches and solid yeast. The alcohol is prominent as well.

More chocolatey than most dubbels. Light hop finish in the swallow and aftertaste. Still, the alcohol is potent enough to be notable. Decent body, but not heavy. High level of carbonation of fine bubbles. Slight touches of brandy in the background.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark amber in color, almost garnet on the sides and the bottom with a nice two finger head of white foam that came up and over the to, settling down nicely and evenly across the sides of the glass.

Aroma was full, nice tart notes of fruit, plums, grape skins, an earthy, full fruity aroma. Nice touches of bitterness sprinkled in throughout as well. Warming brings out some more caramel, touches of earthy, grainy hops and a nice balance of earthy tones. Nice full bodied feel as the lush carbonation rolls across the tongue and really gets going. Smooth, even finish with a nice tart bite

 590 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a brownish color with a minimal off-white head forming.

S: The nose is quite sweet with lots of caramel, candi sugar, and light fruits such as pears and apples. There's a touch of alcohol as well as a hint of darker fruits like raisins.

T: Despite the definite sweetness, there's a touch of dryness to the beer. Still some good fruit notes like apples, pears, raisins, and plums. Lots of candi sugar and caramel as well.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation. A bit of alcohol warmth.

D: One of the best (if not the best) of the Trader Joe's vintage beers. A more standard and drinkable Belgian-style beer.

 635 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 7/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a deep red amber. Moderate off white head fades to thin film with light lacing. Nice Belgian aroma. Mild malt with dark fruits, sharp carbonation up front. Fades to lighter fruit and malt, spices and finishes a bit abruptly with a bit of hop bitterness and an interesting lingering caramel aftertaste. Tastes nice. I regret that I did not record my original comments on this when fresh, although I remember being pleasantly pleased (and bought two cases!). Like other Trader Joe's Vintage beers, time has treated this well. Mellow and tasty.

 607 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beer is brown and hazy. Forms an off white thin head of small bubbles. Carbonation is low and steady, beer is really hazy. Head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is strong and bready, sweet, yeasty. Smells like a La Fin Du Monde and that would make sense to me. I like the smell. Some fruits in there, sweet fruits.

Beer is medium bodied and finishes nicely. There isn't really any bitterness, I am not sure what I would have guessed this beer was but dubbel is a fine catagorization, maybe. Strong dark? Anyway, mouthfeel is good, carbonation doesn't really do anything in the mouth but there is some complex fruit character to it. Some nice sweet plum or banana. Finishes nicely as well. It was fine.

 750 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beertunes
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice. Poured with a full off-white head consisting of larger, more course bubbles. After a couple of moments the head settled into a layer of tinier, more compact bubbles. Aroma was pungent, with a sweet component. Flavor was not as sweet as the aroma had led me to expect. Sweetness was typical for the style. Lots of malty roundness. Full, fulfilling body. Very drinkable, but if you drink a full bottle by yourself, you'll want a change of pace after. Not particularly sessionable, but very enjoyable.

 519 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big bruiser bottle that was rescued from...somewhere. Somebody who knew we were beer people offered this up to my wife & said they weren't going to drink it. Well, OK. We'll try anything once! 750ML bottle split into two snifters.

Pours a light brown with red streaks, & plenty of bubbly lightness. Smell is dominated by yeastiness w/spices added, trampled malts. Additions of hard sugar, clove/banana. Almost hefe-esque.

Trader Joe's 2008 is a pretty standard dubbel. Sweet Halloween candy up front, along with a slingblade of slightly spicy yeast. The yeast has long legs & staying power: wow. Effervescent, light, bubbly in the mouth is the second thing one notes. Dusting of tropical and/or citrus fruit sticks its nose in. Really feels like a beer one might ring in the new year with, in flutey glasses.

Pretty good dubbel, but pedestrian, nothing about it stands out from the crowd. I'll be happy with the rest of my glass & move along down the road.

 962 characters

Photo of THECPJ
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark murky brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: dark fruits, raisions, plums, malts, sweet,

taste: sweet, caramel, dark fruits, malts

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent dubbel I've had better in the style but glad I got to try it.

Cheers,
The CPJ

 315 characters

Photo of argock
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a dark glass 750mL bottle into a clear oversized wine glass. Best consumed by 9/2011 date. Purchased from Trader Joe (Richmond, VA) for $4.99.

A: Dull bronze with 1-finger off-white head that thins to a cap with scant lacing.

S: A bit light with a yeast-dominated aroma. Raisins, figs, cinnamon, vanilla, and clove are in there too.

T: Very malty with sweet brown sugar, candi sugar, dark fruit, and earthy hops flavors mingling with a touch of spices

M: A bit too thin in body to be above-average. Carbonation is active. Aftertaste is sweet sugary and pleasant.

D: A very drinkable dubbel and a very good value on a Unibroue-made offering.

 657 characters

Photo of arizcards
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 750ml bottle in early December for $4.99. Best before 9-9-2011.

Beer poured brown with a large bubbly head that disapated quickly. Nose is banana, slight hint of rum, and malts. Taste has classic Belgian yeast strain, dark fruits soaked in a hint of rum, caramel, toffee, and a hint of cinnamon balanced nicely with a hint of hops. Mouthfeel is classic belgian, light to medium bodied and very smooth across the palate. Overall drinkability is very good for the style as the abv is very well hidden. Great deal at $4.99! I'll be sure to look again for it next year.

 578 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an amber/copper color with an enormous cream-colored head that shows great retention.

S: Lots of apple cider, spice and a hint of yeast. Some caramel, brown sugar and apple pie too with a pretty nice aroma of apple pie crust.

T: Lots of caramel sweetness upfront with apple, yeast and a bit of grain on the finish. Just the right amount of carbonation and a nice mouthfeel.

 384 characters

Photo of blackie
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: westmalle chalice, the beer is a deep chestnut in color, sporting a white head with good retention

s: plummy malts, heavily toasted caramel, yeast esters and some good clove, brushes of chocolate and a grassy hop aroma, dark banana bread

m: carbonation lively, on the high side but smoothing out after awhile, body medium with some sticky sugars lingering

t: lots of sweet, nutty flavors on a crisp, clean base structure, yeasts contribute fruity esters and a moderate, clove flavor, some dark fruit sugars, plum, slight date, nutty dark toast, some old tobacco in there, hops mild and grassy, giving a crisp finishing note, warming alcohol

d: alcohol present but not intrusive, good flavor set, a quality dubbe all told

lost this bottle back in the cellar for a couple years

 783 characters

Photo of Falcone
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Overlord
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh...a new Trader Joe's vintage. And for 5 bucks! Sweet! Unibroue offerings around here are typicall 7-9 bucks.

Pours a somewhat ruddy brown. Not an overly pretty beer, but it looks alright. Pretty lively carbonation though, which I like. It's only an inch or so of off-white foam, but that carbonation lasted through the entire bottle.

Smells like a bit of citrus/lemon zest and a ton of bready yeast and ... maybe a whiff of brown sugar. Interesting dubbel. The bottle says "tropical" notes, but I detect none in the aroma.

The taste is sweet. There's a nice lingering bready/yeasty aftertaste, and the consistency, while thin, is pretty great thanks to the carbonation. There's more lemon/orange peel than I expected, but this is primarily a sweet beer. Brown sugar, maybe a few chocolate notes, and sweet rich malt. There's a hint of lingering dark fruit sweetness ... maybe plum.

Really good, and I'm going to go buy a bunch this week.

 947 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big three finger head is light tan in color and full of fast crackling bubbles that fade to a skim in two minutes. Body is a hazy root beer tone that shows amber tones when held to light. Nose is full of yeasty fruit tones and bubble gum. the first sip brings with it lots of that yeasty fruit in the form of dark fruit and mellon. Carbonation carries with it a soft, phelonic spice profile that is very nice. There are notes of raw veggies as well. Actually the mouth feel is dominated by this yeasty veggie feel. This is a nicely drinkable sipper with well hidden alcohol.

 576 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown/red with a head that dissipated quickly.

Smells of tart stone fruit, some sweet malt, and some spice. Very nice.

Great beer made to be shared. Tart cherry/stone fruit notes mixed with malt and spice. Booze is there but you don't notice it (while drinking - it finds you later). Seems to open up a bit as it warms. Wonderful beer.

Mouth coating with a tart/yeast finish. Pretty decent. Overall, this big bottle was meant for sharing, which I did. Cheap brew (price) under a generic brand that is flat out delicious. Grab it if you can.

 556 characters

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Trader Joe's 2008 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 117 ratings.
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