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

320 Ratings
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Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale

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.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 320 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of KidRagnarok
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of JJOVa
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of wdf210
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of aanth
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of hellcatsjg
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of meich75
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of teyuders
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of pBRale
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A very dark brown pour with a tan head that settles quickly and leaves a few isolated spots of lacing behind. The head retention is impressive and is maintained throughout the entire beer (about 50 minutes for me).

Smell: Dark fruits, banana bread, and brown sugar combine with a smoked oak aroma and a hint of alcohol to create a very nice woody, bready, and slightly fruity/sweet smelling beer.

Taste: There is a rich, oaky taste up front, along with a rich breadiness. There are also some subtle dark fruit tastes that combine in there as well to form a flavor that is reminiscent of spiced banana bread. The aftertaste is woody.

Mouthfeel: This was surprisingly light in body considering style and abv, and it had medium levels of carbonation that led to a crisp, wet finish.

Overall: A very solid beer and a bargain for the price ($4.99). I really like the combo of fruits and smokey wood in this beer. It is nice treat for Unibroue to brew this for Trader Joe's, and I look forward to the future vintages as well.

 1,039 characters

Photo of Vierenner
2.21/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours nicely but the aroma and flavor leave something to be desired. Not a pleasant experience. I'm only drinking enough to write this review and the rest goes down the drain. This is my second review of a Unibroue product ... first one didn't turn out well either.

 265 characters

Photo of mariposafan
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of lawlerj
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - pours a dark black/mahogany with a tan head. Looks like Coke and/or root beer. Big tan head that fades, leaving a touch of foam on the top. Not much in the way of lacing. Can't really tell about the carbonation.

S - dark fruit, licorice, a touch of alcohol. Some belgian yeast and malt in the mix as well.

T - the taste follows the nose. Dark fruit and cherries up front with a bit of tartness, and then it opens up into the yeast. Some chocolatey flavors/cocoa hints in the mix. Alcohol is present but not overwhelming or unpleasant. There's a lot going on, and I can't quite pin it all down. But I like it.

M - very well carbonated and medium bodied. The carbonation gives a bit of prickliness to the beer.

O - overall, a steal. A very solid beer and it dirt cheap price. I have another bottle that I'm saving for next year around Thanksgiving - we'll see how it tastes after a year.

 949 characters

Photo of paxchristi
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of guillemiro
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Stouttyme
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Jiatlas
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of TeamUgly
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Wiz99
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Snodman
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of ikantspel
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml into a duvel tulip

my 3rd review of the night and these strong beer are already kicking in.

picked this bad MFer at at trader joes. felt like a trader to my country going into that hippy joint, but a beer made by unibrouw i cant pass up

pours a dark oak with a lively frothy head and some strong lacing

spice, medicinal phenols, toastyness, and some slight coriander in the nose

herbal spices, followed by some clove, and some belgian yeast in the taste,

alittle too carbonated for my taste, but not bad for a "generic" BSDA. maybe a couple years of aging will do this brew well

 593 characters

Photo of markrmoser
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of jbakajust1
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into 12oz Rodenbach Tulip

A - Pours an opaque black w/ ruby highlights and 2 fingers of beige head that fades to a thick cap, lost of carb, and leaves great lace

S - Smells of chocolate, dried fruits, cloves & cinnamon, cocoa, cherries, oranges, vanilla

T - Tastes of spices, pepper, cloves, fruity, ginger, dried fruits, spice heat on finish

M - Spicy heat & alcohol burn in dry finish, medium/light body, prickly acidic carbonation

O - Very complex, lots of fruits, tons of spices, drinkable, rich, warming, light and spritzy

 550 characters

Photo of MikeMilanoDesign
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

aged a bottle for almost 3 years.

totally worth it. mellowed out really nicely. all the sugars mellowed out and it wasnt so super sweet. still had a bit of a funny taste in the finish.

highly recommend aging a bottle. but do keep an eye on the temp you age it at. i think my bottle got exposed to to much heat in the summer time.

 333 characters

Photo of cbgbslev
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of UncleBuccs
4.5/5  rDev +20%

Photo of MaltAndHopsFC
4/5  rDev +6.7%

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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