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

BA SCORE
85
very good
325 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerDocT on 11-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
325
Reviews:
88
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
12.89%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
42
For Trade:
3
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 |  Reviews: 88
Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of mjenkins5
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Hopstout
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of ChetChildress
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Nightrain87
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

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

Poured into a Unibroue tulip glass. Pours a very dark, almost opaque brown with a huge three finger light brown head with great retention and massive lacing. Aroma of dark fruit, sweet malt, Belgian yeast and spicing. Flavor follows, with spicy dark and dried fruit, caramel malt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Sweet start, but finishes semi-dry. Medium bodied with good mouth feel from active carbonation. A bit attenuated compared to a Belgian strong, but flavorful and well made. I really like getting this each year and after a year or two the body gets more depth. A great annual ale at an incredible price.

 603 characters

Photo of Lambocalrisien
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of BRD14
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Coltalenaven
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bomber purchased at Trader Joes.
Dark pour with huge head that settles down eventually to a nice lace around the glass.
Aroma is malt, fruit, brown sugar. Taste is subtle malt, sugar and fruits and a smooth taste I cant place. Best desctiption I can come up with is Licorice.
Nice medium body and solid mouthfeel. High carbonation throughout, but it works and makes this beer an easy drink for the 9% abv.
For a Trader Joes beer this is great, obviously due to being from Unibroue. Great brewery.

 512 characters

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

Photo of Koralin
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of pfamiano
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Pours dark brown with a coarse, spongy head of beige. A partial skimcoat with errant dots of lacing for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics are spicy and chock full of Belgian character. Cloves, nutmeg, apples, and bubblegum ride atop cocoa-laced malt with raisins and rum.

Medium bodied with a creamy, crispish mouthfeel. A bit tacky.

Rum-soaked raisins with clove-studded apples and sweet malt starts the palate. Hints of nutmeg, cardamon, and boozy phenols follow through.

Finishes with lingering spice-dusted raisins and dark rum.

Tasty beer but could use some age to let the spices mellow a bit.

 621 characters

Photo of tbone1384
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of garymuchow
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into goblet.
Quite a nice aroma. Solid mix of yeasty spices and firm malt foundation. Then subtler and occasional aroma's of tartness, sour and sweet fruit (I like this last part as it seems to stay around and it is quite pleasant).
Really dark body with brownish read highlights. Dark tan head that is full. It does settle out some but not too quickly.
Initial taste is really nice. A little more of the added spices are evident, but that nice sweet and sour fruit aroma carried to the flavor. The malt is firm but not heavy handed. The yeast flavors are the same. Seems like the spices are showing with a cinnamon and very slight nutmeg showing. Just enough drying.
Light and effervescent with sufficient carbonation.
As much as I can tell I"m digging this quite a bit more than the 2011. Really like the light fruit aroma and flavor and it seems to stick throughout. The drink was goo throughout the whole bottle.

 924 characters

Photo of drt72
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Marq18
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours dark mahogany. A big pillowy head that falls quickly into thin bubbles.
S- Smells spicy with dark fruit and a bit alcoholic.
T-Has a base flavor of caramel malts with strong winter spices... coriander, nutmeg. Finishes a touch sweet.
M-Highly carbonated feel with medium body.
O- A great belgian ale for the price.

 323 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

Photo of ONUMello
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet
A: Pitch black with a one-finger head that slowly settles
S: Figs, brown sugar, spices, a hint of orange peel
T: Baking spice up front, clove in particular, with figs and citrus. A bit sweet and the finish is a bit off in a way I can't quite place; overall this is perfectly pleasant though.
M: Medium-bodied with a pleasant carbonation
O: Solid overall, though for my palate it would be even better if it were a bit drier

 456 characters

Photo of Stouttyme
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of paleoplant
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Kendo
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the 750 ml, caged-and-corked bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is black with a fluffy 1-finger cream/light beige head. The occasional dash of lace shows up on the sides of the glass.

S: Vinuous, with generic spice, burnt sugar and something that seems slightly "off."

T: Sweet - think candied fruits (cherries) and berries. Some spice - nutmeg, perhaps allspice. Finishes mildly sweet, but not at all cloying; there's a bit of drying at the finish (perhaps from the 9% ABV) that keeps it relatively clean on the aftertaste.

M: Good Belgian-style fizzy effervescence makes this one feel (and drink) lighter than it really is.

O: Decent stuff, certainly solid for the price.

 711 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

When poured into a tulip glass, the color was very dark, dark, brown with a fair amount of tan foam and a medium amount of lace. The smell of sweet spices, fruit and roasted malts were evident in the aroma. The taste was sweet carbonated malts, spices, fruit like sweet figs, rasins, with maybe a hint of coffee and cocoa. I think this is a complex Belgian Dark Ale. The alcohol of 9% is not overpowering, but sutle in a nice way. This is a pleasant surprise and is, for me, the best Vintage Ale that Trader Joe's had made. Unibroue is one of my favorite craft brews and again, I'm not disappointed.

 599 characters

Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
3.8 out of 5 based on 325 ratings.
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