Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

BA SCORE
84
good
320 Ratings
THE BROS
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Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hreb on 11-13-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
320
Reviews:
123
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
14.13%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
79
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 320 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of PaBeerLover
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of sgoro
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of teyuders
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of TMoore
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of Snodman
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of ankdoktor
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of ineva
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of RichH55
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of moneyfunnel
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of Edzomb5
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of TasteFiend
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Khutso
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Koralin
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.64/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a murky Belgian style brown with huge off white head.

The smell is very herby. Coriander, grass, and lemon peal.

The taste is herby on the front, followed by brown sugar, and a prune, caramel, and herb back.

The style of "Belgian Dark Ale" can scare me at times because it has been hit or miss and a pretty undefined style. To me this tastes like a dark Witt if there were such a thing. Outstanding beer and the fact it is so cheap is unmatched. I will buy more for sure.

 481 characters

Photo of qcbrewer
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of UncleBuccs
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of BeerBodisafa
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of pfullah
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of b33rb1tch
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of brureview
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of cowboy83
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.49/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this one. It's dark brown with a large head and minimal lacing. Huge, complex, enticing aroma with cinnamon, apple, raisin, and a sweet-spicy mix that includes alcohol. Tastes much like the smell with layers of sweet fruit and spicy undercurrents. The mouthfeel was a bit thin but overall a great beer at a great price.

 334 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It’s a malty-dark cocoa color in appearance with a healthy topping of foam. Great bouquet with lots of floral, spicy, earthy aromas. Full flavored with mushy berries (thinking mashed blackberries with orange zest, like what I topped holiday waffles with), perhaps figs? Dates? Thick, dark, fruit more savory than sweet is what I’m getting at here, followed by some spices (not chili/peppers—more like mulling spices) and a hint of rootbeer. There’s a clove-banana-rootbeer (sarsaparilla?) finish too. The effervescence keeps this light, and it holds together as it warms over an hour. This is a steal for $5. Even at twice the price it would be a good deal since it’s a terrific brew.

Trader Joe’s annual release of this beer is one of the reasons why I’m always willing to take a chance on their other contract brews. By this point I’ve worked my way through and back on their store brand beers and had more than a fair share of duds—but also found some real gems. Count this among the best of them. Try it if you can find it.

 1,046 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured with a large, three finger head of light tan foam on top of a dark brown body with some amber highlights. The head settles slowly and it deposits average lace on the glass as it recedes.

S - Caramel, toffee, and Belgian yeast notes of coriander, cinnamon, banana, and clove.

T - Caramel, toffee and dark fruit up front with notes of plum, clove, and red apple. More toffee and raisins in the middle with a bit of cinnamon. The beer finishes with a nice combination of spicy and fruity yeast character that works nicely with the dark sugar of the malt.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a very dry finish.

D - The yeast character is spot on for the style and the dark malt is full of complex, dark sugars that work perfectly with the fruity notes. Very drinkable with a dry finish that really hides the high alcohol content, this is a really nice Belgian beer, I would not have guessed it came from North America, let alone that it was brewed for a grocery store chain!

 994 characters

Photo of KEH
4.39/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I aged this one for 5 years, and it aged fairly well! Still kept its carbonation, and I'd say the flavor mellowed out quite a bit. I find that when fresh, the flavor is a bit too sharp, with bright acidity. The spices were also a bit overpowering. All that seemed to have gone away. For the price, I really recommend folks to stock up on a few bottles and let them rest for at least a year.

 394 characters

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Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.75 out of 5 based on 320 ratings.
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