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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
3.81/5
Very Good
325 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerDocT on 11-02-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
88
Ratings:
325
pDev:
12.86%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
42
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 |  Reviews: 88
Photo of InfernoBoss
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of BrownNut
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aged this a year. It was very nice. It was raisiny and something fresher in the fruit department like plums. The spices were subtle and the characteristic Belgian yeast taste was somewhat muted, which is good if you're me. It tasted refined, as in fine, as in fancy and mature and good. It was very accessible at the same time. I can't remember if I ever had this vintage fresh but aged one year was nice.

 405 characters

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown chestnut color with a big billowy cream colored head. The big billowy head has a good level of retention, slowly fading to leave a fantastic level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma was slightly roasted and rather fruity. A good dose of a slightly grainy but roasted and toasted malt smell along with darker fruits of cherry and raisin are there. Along with these aromas are some smells of yeast and a little bit of a spicy smells and some hot rum like aromas are there, producing a nice Belgian strong dark aroma.

Taste – The taste begins with a slightly roasted and malty flavor with the darker fruit cherry that was detected in the nose. Some yeasty and spice flavors of a clove and nutmeg later come to the tongue as well as some other flavors of more raisin and fig. As the flavor advances further to the end, the malty flavors dwindle further as the darker fruit and spice seem to increase, combining with a little bit of a boozy rum flavor, which all in all end up leaving a rather nice Belgian dark smell to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side for a Belgian strong dark of 9 % adv. with a carbonation level that is on the slightly higher side. The combo of body and carbonation are nice for styles of the brew as well as in keeping the brew very drinkable but not too drinkable in light of the abv. and the boozy flavors.

Overall – A rather nice drinking Belgian strong dark ale with some nice fruity flavors as well as a good level of roast and booze.

 1,619 characters

Photo of MisterFuzz
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of aaroncom2005
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a cork-and-cage, "best by 2015" bottle and enjoyed over 90 festive minutes.

Color is densely opaque ebony brown that holds up a light tan head with fairly good retention. Not much lacing, though.

Smells of winter spice, chocolate covered raisins, clove, and mild herbaceous phenols. The foundation of malt is evident with a breeze of hop essence.

The taste profile is complex and balanced. It starts sweet, but nicely sliced with carbonation that ushers in a combination of fruits and a-bit-too-bright acids. Figs, dates, raisins, and pears all dipped in melty bakers chocolate that takes over later in each gulp. It's then also chewy and just bready enough, dashed with cinnamon and anise, the latter of which slides into the ending oils that carry a nice long finish.

Thick and smooth, balanced nicely with high carbonation, the mouthfeel is a nice fit to the style and frames the flavor profile well. It becomes a bit tart and tannic in aftertaste in a way that suggests a cleaner ending would help to address--so I dock points here rather than in the flavor category.

In general, I'm extremely grateful that this great Canadian brewer partnered up with a chain of markets I can get to easily. Three cheers for Unibroue south of the border!

 1,260 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle, best before 07-06-2015. This is about a year old now. Served in a Dogfish Head signature glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch and a half light tan head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. The brew smells like cloves, dark fruit (plums, raisins), peppery spice, and molasses. It tastes like cloves, dark fruit (plums, raisins), cola, dark bread, molasses, and a bit of nutmeg. Mouhfeel/body is medium, it's slick and creamy, and is well carbonated. This is very similar to the 2011 bottle I drank right before this, which I liked. Guess I'll have to buy a bottle of the 2013 now!

 653 characters

Photo of Stalgondo
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of kmoen
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of dhannes
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle with 11 months' worth of aging into a standard pint glass.

A=Dark, reddish brown with larger, 3-finger eggshell head.

S=Spice...nutmeg or allspice.

T=Similar to a porter's rich cream malt backbone, but nutmeg and cherry present...at times, it reminded me of cherry cough syrup. Alcohol taste present much of the time.

M=Lighter body...felt flat...also a slick feel to it.

O=I was somewhat disappointed in this beer and would not seek it our or buy it again...for numerous reasons, it was too much of a chore to drink.

 543 characters

Photo of qcbrewer
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Falcone
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Beersnake1
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, best before 7/6/2015. Pours clear nearly opaque reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a lot of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of raisin, pear, apple, grape, clove, peppercorn, cardamom, coriander, orange peel, caramel, molasses, herbal, brown bread, toast, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of raisin, pear, apple, grape, caramel, clove, coriander, orange peel, peppercorn, cardamom, molasses, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, caramel, toast, clove, peppercorn, cardamom, coriander, orange peel, herbal, brown bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with good flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick, smooth, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice spiced Belgian dark ale. All around good balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,468 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of NickMunford
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of caverog
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of BAsbill
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of bzach
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of SkiBum22
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of scottwurst
4/5  rDev +5%

Trader Joe's 2012 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 325 ratings
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