Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
84
good
230 Ratings
Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Contract brewed for Trader Joe's. Often brewed by Unibroue.

Added by tang3nt on 11-19-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
230
Reviews:
150
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
13.33%
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
76
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 230 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of dry fruits with residual candi sugar and your typical Unibroue yeast. Taste is a complex mix between some candi sugars with dry fruits with some caramelized malt notes, liquorice and the typical Unibroue yeast coming through at the end. Body is quite full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Solid beer from Unibroue which is starting to show the damage of time.

 491 characters

Photo of RMelyon
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Jimmys
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh Review, 2/21/2011

A: deep, roasty dark brown. fluffy soda-like head. looks like a glass of root beer. (3.5)

S: chilling allspice and clove. cinnamon and coffee now that it has heated up. spice masks any complexity i could be getting from the yeast. (2.5)

T: very spicy. sweet chocolate. hop usage must have been on the 'just a touch' side judging by the lack of bitterness. not getting as strong a sense of alcohol as i expected (maybe i didnt need to buy another for the cellar...) for it being such a recent vintage. (2.5)

M: very tangy, light bubbles. pretty fair showing for the style. rich and full bodied. (4)

D: with bel strong darks really being all over the place, this one just isn't my favorite. very curious if the one i have put away develops any significant flavors. (3)

Cellared Bottled, opened/reviewed 6/23/13

A: opaque, dark brown body. super frothy brownish head. big and fluffy. fantastic head retention, thick lacing left behind.

S: smells bone dry. a soft roast mixes with some chocolate. I think there is a little bit of fermentation aroma in the nose. getting a little bit of sweet fruit, pear and fig, but not a ton.

T: similar to the nose, this tastes almost as dry as it smells, at first. a little bit of dry chocolate. a tale-end of unfermentables, some yeast. roasted flavor adds to the dryness. some red grape skins as it warms.

M: a bit effervescent. medium/full body.

D: really aged well. has held up exceptionally as I am not getting any sort of off-flavors. absolutely no heat. all the spicing has dissolved on the flavor and aroma spectrum of things, which is fine with me. for the price, definitely worth getting a few and stashing.

 1,687 characters

Photo of Khutso
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Doogermeister
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Stef422
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of lernerlift
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of rand
3.09/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

A: Pours dark brown in color and forms a huge sudsy head on gentle pour. The chocolate-cream colored head never fully recedes and leaves sticky lacing all over the glass.

S: The nose is cherries and raisin, ripe fruity esters. The aromas are enveloped in a sweet, medicinal overtone.

T/M: Cherries and ripe fruit and the front of the palate. Heavy phenols. Nutmeg, paprika, cracked pepper are noted. The complexion is sticky and syrupy, and leaves a sweet residue all over the palate - could have used a little more carbonation. The flavors become overly medicinal toward the finish, which is long and sticky-sweet.

Not the best showing for Unibroue, or the Trader Joe's Vintage series. I've had this cellared for a couple of years yet the brew is still a little cloying and one-dimensional.

 836 characters

Photo of jabo134
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of MidwestBA
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 cellared about a year after release

a: served in a large westmalle chalice, the beer is a deep brown in color, capped with a well-retained layer of khaki carbonation

s: dark belgian malts and tree fruits form a full, healthy nose - prune and fig, darker sugars, big floral coriander is the spice I find more than any other, black pepper, nice alcohol, the malts are well roasted with brief suggestions of chocolate, papery hop aroma, lots of yeast

m: carbonation medium-high, with a medium-full mouthfeel, lively but substantial on the palate

t: lots of darker sugars, a combination of roasted and caramelized malts, and tree fruits, plum/prune and fig especially, leathery fruit skin flavors hit mid palate with a generous dose of coriander - there are presumably other spices present, but coriander is most dominant to my nose, papery hop flavors and a mild-moderate bittering with sugar and coriander flavors lingering long

o: a classic dark belgian ale with the yeasty, spicy character you’d expect; a slight darker, sweeter, and heavier than is typical, drinks well

 1,081 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of GhjBAR
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of ssimpson89
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of HattedClassic
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured in a Chimay chalice. Aged for two and a half years in various condition while slightly exposed to sunlight and occasional temperature variances.

Appearance:
Pours a darkish black and brown with a hint of purple.

Smell:
Hints of Belgian sugar and dark fruits with a hint of sour grapes.

Taste:
The Belgian sugars are less prominent than in a fresh bottle. The dark fruits tend to comprise of raisin and grapes. However, the grapes appear to have soured a bit. The beer tasted a little bit like a port instead of a strong dark ale. The hops were noticeable diminished.

Mouthfeel:
Full bodied. Light carbonation.

Overall:
A pretty decent and surprising beer given the fact it was brewed for a grocery chain. I look forward to drinking the other vintages that I've been storing.

 786 characters

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Mitchster
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of our members of our homebrew club brought this to our latest meeting and after it was cracked, nobody drank it, so I brought it home with me, loving all things Unibroue and never having heard of this one before. "Dark Ale brewed with spices and Natural flavor added", bottle conditioned, 9.0% abv per the bottle. BBF 9/10/2013, so hey, I'm still within their time range:) Pours out to a very dark brown, like a brown porter, forming a nice whipped light tan head with very good retention and lacing. The cork was notoriously difficult to get out at this age and required a cork screw, pliers, and a knife. Brisk carbonation, ~3.5 carbs or so. The aroma is peculiar...at first I get some Brett like sour cherry pie character, but then it's closer to cola and root-beer..perhaps some sarsaparilla, licorice root, ginger and orange peel. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a light body (considering it's ABV) that finishes dry. Thankfully no oxidation at this age. The taste doesn't have any funky Brett character, just the aforementioned spices sitting on top of some restrained dates and figs. Very mild bitterness, barely enough to retain balance. No roast malt character at all...the color is probably from Carafa or debittered black malt. Finish of root-beer, cola and carob. Very peculiar, unlike any Unibroue beer I've had. It reminds me of a more drinkable stronger version of that "Brewer Patriot 1790 Root-beer" that Sam Adams released a few years ago.

Well, that was interesting. It's a fun beer to try but honestly couldn't see myself ever wanting to drink it again even if it were available.

 1,611 characters

Photo of ctenidae
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of Philousa
2.71/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aged in my own cellar, may taste slightly older than normal since I let it sit in my closet one summer before getting a proper wine fridge.

Pours a dark brown, somewhat red color against the light, black in the glass. Head is billowy at first but settles to a dense off white color, not too far from grey. Lots of spices: mostly allspice with pepper, clove, and ginger. I also get caramel and a bit of chocolate. It's hard to get the aroma out of the malts because the spices are so strong. Yeasty! Flavor is equally spicy and malty. Mostly caramel with cacao and a healthy amount of allspice, pepper, and clove. There's also a significant amount of raisin, prune, and grape juice. It's just this side of cloying, really. The finish is slightly dry, feel is a bit watery. Not my favorite. Glad I only paid $5 at the time. Nice first try in cellaring.

 851 characters

Photo of cowboy83
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of scottiethebody
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of draheim
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL into a chalice. Pours a murky mahogany w/ a big khaki head. Leaves behind a uniform film of lace.

Aroma is dark fruit, bready malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Smells like pumpkin bread.

Taste follows nose. Plums and figs, holiday spices. Alcohol well-hidden. Bready and satisfying.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, delicate, with a dry finish. Bottle conditioning has done its work here.

Overall a very good quad /BSDA from Unibroue.

 440 characters

Photo of jasewaaang
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of cortez
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 230 ratings.
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