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
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
firstprev| 176-200 | 201-225 | 226-250  | next → last
Ratings: 230 |  Reviews: 150
Photo of silentjay
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very dark brown that light can barely penetrate with a huge, soapy, big-bubbled grayish tan colored head that retains its size for a couple of minutes and leaves chunks of lacing on the glass.

very strong aroma that has an herbal quality to it (rosemary?). lots of fruits and yeasty spiciness on top of bready malts and some alcohol heat.

flavor is similar to the nose, but has an added sweetness on top of the spice. yeast muscles through to add even more spice and some considerable fruitiness. dark fruits as well as stone fruit and even some tropical fruit. herbs, spices, yeast, fruit and sweetness intermingle nicely without any dominating qualities.

smooth, silky body with a perfect carbonation level. aftertaste is very pleasant and lingers, softly, for a while.

drinks very well. the 9% ABV does not hinder the drinkability at all. definitely a Unibroue beer, yet manages to be unique. A great value and a great brew. I picked up 3 bottles. I'll probably go back to buy a case before its all gone.

 1,012 characters

Photo of rka758
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked bottle poured into tulip glass
$5/bottle
Purchased 11/23/10A:
A: Pours a deep brown with an almost white colored thick head (So far the bottle descrition is right on, "...coffee colored, beige foam."). A lot of action going on inside the glass.
S: I'm having a hard time with this...I notice scents of spice, but I just can't place which ones. I don't really notice the hops mentioned on the bottle, but I can detect the malts.
T: At this point there's no doubt this is a belgian. Strong fruit notes such as banana come through on the tongue. Finishes with a nice malt flavor.
M: A very clean finish. The taste doesn't linger around and there doesn't seem to be any secondary after taste.
D: I think this beer drinks well. At the abv and the price point, I can def. see this beer being a go to if I am craving a belgian on these soon to be cold weather winter nights.

 882 characters

Photo of rpdone
4.8/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just picked up 2 cases (12 corked bottles/case) of this at Trader Joe's. Truly can't beat the price for this very worthy offering ($5/750ml bottle). I should have saved a bottle from last year to compare. But alas, I drank them all.

Cellaring is for people with will power. Anyway, to the review...

This fine ale is in a corked 750ml bottle with a 'painted' label in gold lettering. It is self described as a 'Dark Ale Brewed with Spices and Natural Flavor added.'

As many of you know this particular brew is lovingly prepared by the fine people at Unibroue in Quebec for TJ's. I may lose some man points here, but for the life of me I could not get the cork out of this thing. I ended up breaking it in half and had to get the corkscrew out to pull out the remaining cork.

It was worth the labor and is perhaps a fail-safe to keep me from drinking too many of these.

Appearance - Beer pours a nice deep black. It's almost opaque when held up to the light with some rich red-brown at the edges of the Chimay goblet I poured it in. It has a nice lively off-white frothy head with a semi-aggressive pour (I had to back off on the aggression to keep the head at bay). You can hear the carbonation as you pour, which not surprisingly is noticeable in the mouthfeel. Does it look inviting? Sure does.

Smell - Sweet spicy malts with a little alcohol. It smells, well, Belgian.

Taste - For its 9% ABV the alcohol is very well masked behind this brew's rather complex spiciness. It is not as sweet as it smells. There are some notes of raisins and cloves and a mild malty sugar. It is very well balanced and deliciously spicy. A very nice holiday offering.

Mouthfeel - For the depth of color, and the ABV of this brew the mouthfeel is actually not as viscous as one would think. It's actually rather light. The carbonation is really nice and feels wonderful on the tongue and throat.

Drinkability - As I mentioned the cork broke off. Probably a good thing as I would drink too much of this if I could pop them open like metal bottle caps. I must say though as I type (and have consumed perhaps 600 of the 750ml) I'm feeling rather happy.

Did I mention I really like this?

 2,181 characters

Photo of jamex
3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Wow, what a steal at $4.99. Bottle states 9.0% ABV. Brewed by Unibroue.

I had a heck of a time trying to pull the cork out. Had to resort to pliers. (EDIT: second bottle was also impossible to pull off by hand - grabbed pliers again).

Pours a nice, dark coffee. I poured a bit aggressively which gave me quite a head. Pour this guy gently. Let the head settle for 2-3 minutes which allowed the beer to slightly warm (I'm in San Diego and poured this outdoors).

Smells of a typical Belgium beer with some added dark fruits and dark wine. Some booziness as well.

Tastes like the smell; like a tripel with dark hints of fruit and perhaps banana.

The bottle states that this beer improves with age, and at $5 a bomber I might pick a few up and see. Definitely worth a five spot. (EDIT: Not sure I'd buy this again after the second bottle).

EDIT: I had to edit this because upon trying a second bottle, it was a bit of a mess. WAY over carbonated (almost like champagne) and the taste was a bit off. Maybe they are having consistency issues - who knows.

EDIT x2: Third bottle (a gift) and WTF - way over carbonated again. Meh.

 1,128 characters

Photo of tang3nt
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try this, I've had good luck so far with these trader Joes/unibroue vintage ales.
Poured into tulip glass a dark brown color with a very active tan head.
Strong yeast aromas and a bit of alcohol on the nose.
Tastes just like it smells, tons of yeast - bready and a bit of spiciness to it. Also get some dark fruit flavors a little citrus and a nice amount of heat from the alcohol on the back end.
The mouthfeel is particularly good for this ale, with a good amount of carbonation this beer goes down nicely.
Unfortunately I don't think this beer is as drinkable as I remember last years being, but still a steal for only $4.99 a 750ml at Trader Joes. I will definitely be buying more of this soon.

 715 characters

firstprev| 176-200 | 201-225 | 226-250  | next → last
Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 230 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe