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Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale | Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale
BA SCORE
3.8/5
Very Good
327 Ratings
Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2012 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:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
89
Ratings:
327
pDev:
12.89%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
40
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 327 |  Reviews: 89
Reviews by JimTeal:
Photo of JimTeal
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

There really is a fig hint. Obvious clove and sweet malt, slight citrus, but overall a very good brew with a high casual drinkability factor. Very enjoyable lighter flavor, and certainly a good value. Not a special brew, but certainly a fair and adequate beverage. It does have a nice appearance, but an average smell, taste and mouthfeel, remember, when compared to fine Belgian dark ales. Compared with mass produced dark lager and dark ale this sizes up very well and more than holds it's own. I feel that one of the plus values of BA is that we always look for comparisons to excellent and compared to excellent, Trader Joe's Dark ale is very good.

 652 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Edzomb5
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Just popped one open after storing since 12/2012 in my closet today is 11/7/14 . Which hit various temperature changes from 60-80 degrees. I know that's not recommended but wow surprised to see it held up. I did the same for a 2013 as a test I opened early and they weren't ready to drink a bit bitter but still good. This year I'll buy a 2 cases of 2014 and enjoy throughout 2016 year. Keep in mind there are far better beers out there but! For the price I can afford to house these for a while till my 2013 are ready. Color pours dark brown. Malty,Taste of cinnamon, wood, raisin, smells sweet and strong. I'm no beer professional but in training. If you want to blind test a friend for a taste test at a party or open up any year as a conversation piece just pick up one of these. I've paid 20 dollars for other pieces and nothing beats this price and quality. (Good job trader joes! Where I can eat healthy and buy decently priced beers and wines while shopping) if your not picky, 2 and a half of these will put u to sleep like a baby. Try it! Oh! And a great inexpensive gift for crafty beginners.

 1,103 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage Ale pours a dark mahogany brown color. It’s close to opaque. Backlighting shows some nice burgundy highlights. It’s capped with a really nice, darker caramel colored head. It rises to about two fingers in height. Retention was quite good. Hung around for a while. Lacing was sticky and moderate. It looks good!

The nose is alright. It’s a tad weak in terms of strength. More would be better. There is a hint of caramel malt up front. Smells a little sweet. It’s followed by a mix of spicy and fruity notes. On the spicy side, there’s a bit of clove and pepper. Fruity scents of apple, cherry, and plum are noted. Belgian is there, but is lighter than it should be. Alcohol is noted, but doesn’t come through all that strong. Not bad. Would improve with a little more strength.

The flavor is good. It is a little sweet up front. Caramel hits first. There’s a toasted praline or nutty flavor that’s interesting (and good). Fruit notes of apple, pear, cherry, and plum are all present. Belgian yeast is there and adds some spicy flavors. Pepper and clove are most notable. Nevertheless, the Belgian yeast flavor is lighter than I’d like. Comes together pretty well otherwise. Alcohol is more noticeable in flavor, but still isn’t warm or hot. Good stuff. Finishes fruity and spicy.

2012 Vintage Ale definitely has a light body. It’s far lighter than it should be. It will not be confused with an authentic Belgian. No way. The feel is actually below average. It goes down pretty easy for a bigger beer though.

Unibroue did an alright job with Trader Joe’s 2012 Vintage Ale. The flavor delivers where it’s lacking in aromatics and body. Those two aspects need work though. No question. Not too shabby otherwise. Definitely worth checking out, especially at its price point.

 1,828 characters

Photo of BrewmanCapote
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of itsiilegal
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of davegray
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of lenbert
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Maillard
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a chalice.

L - deep brown color with a beige head that thinned to a light film.

S - yeast and dark fruits (plum, date, raisin & fig).

T - dark fruit flavor blend and some caramel sweetness with the yeast in the background.

F - medium bodied with a little fizz, goes down easy.

O - a good beer especially at the price ($5), thanks TJ!

 361 characters

Photo of kmoen
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Jaycase
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of WCW
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Brandegee
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in tulip glass... this was a New Year's Day share.

A: Lovely head with lots of lace, a hint of brown in the thick, dark pour.
S: Not much going on here, but a few hints of spice and sweet malt. It's pleasant, however.
T: I didn't try a fresh example, so I can only assume the aging helped bring out some of the dark fruit flavors, which dominate the profile without little hint of sourness or bitterness. Raisin, plum, dates even. Sweet malt and clove round out the flavors for me.
M: Nice, full, lots of room for the spices to play.
O: A nice Belgian seasonal and good effort by Unibroue and hopefully I can still get a 2013 to age for next year. This was well worth what was probably a low price tag.

 710 characters

Photo of cre83
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of freduardo
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of BAsbill
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by my brother in law, thanks for the opportunity Dave!
Pours a deep dark brown with a smallish off white head that shows moderate retention and lots of lace. The aroma holds lots of brown sugar, a smattering of dark fruit, lots of yeast and fruity esters, a bit of pepper, and a faint non descript spice. The flavor follows the aroma quite well. Lots of dark fruits and dark sugars with a strong bit of Belgian yeasty flavors. There's a hint of spice but it is faint and compliments rather that overpowers like so many other holiday brews. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet sugary almost bubbly mouthfeel. This is a very nice beer. It has that unmistakeable Unibroue taste and aroma. I'm told that this was six dollars for a 750, that's a hell of a bargain these days for a great beer.

 843 characters

Photo of NoetheMatt
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of nygannon
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Jd2391
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of augustgarage
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Trappistes Westvleteren goblet. Unibroue produced of course.

Nearly opaque seal brown liquid with a smattering of pale tan suds. Average retention, pasty lacing, faint legs.

Lots of stewed fruit, toasty malt, and a surprising vinuous quality suggesting blackberry wine and clove-studded oranges in the nose. Ester-heavy.

Sweet/sour palate entry that unfurls into increasing complexity, albeit restrained throughout. The flavor profile remains rather heavy handed with dates, honey, berries, cherries, oranges, and so on. The malt bill is interesting and flavorful, though the overall impact is not as well integrated as I would like. Somewhat lacking in the yeast department too. Finishes a touch sweet with a faint nuttiness.

Soft, medium-bodied, with a little warming flourish and a gentle effervesence.

Tasting more and more like a watered-down, rushed-to-the-bottle version of one of Unibroue's regular offerings (e.g. Trois Pistoles), perhaps this would improve with some age, but I would skip buying a case this year. Still, not a bad ale, and still a good value.

 1,126 characters

Photo of civicm87
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this one.

is deep deep brown, almost black with a large, somewhat rocky head.

aromas are complex and inviting: sweet candy, green apple, spices including cinnamon and clove, rum raisin, some banana, musty.

flavor is sweet up front with a big, thick maltiness. spices are pronounced, as is the alcohol, although not too much. cheery, spices, and apple come through. finish is a bit sweet. not much hop presence.

moderate carbonation. very tasty and complex.

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Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 327 ratings