Monday, November 28, 2011

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

Every year, Trader Joes releases the newest release in their Vintage Ale series. I liked the first few years I tried (2006-2007), wasn't a huge fan of the 2008 edition and absolutely hated the 2009. But the 2010 edition was much better and gave me hope that things were back on the right track. Hoping that was the case, I bought a bottle of the newest edition and tried it a few nights ago.

Trader Joe's 2011 Vintage Ale pours a nearly black color with a one-finger tan head. The aroma is full of spiciness with a good kick of Unibroue's signature sweet yeast smell. I also picked up some notes of clove, banana, burnt brown sugar and some cola nut.

The taste had a good deal of spiciness as well alongside some faint dark fruit, cola nut, prune and a bit of booze. Still, at 9%, it hides its alcohol pretty well. Overall, it was a pretty tasty beer and a good addition to the Vintage Ale lineup. My one complaint would be that it was way too similar to the 2010 edition and, up to this point, there had been a pretty noticeable difference between the vintages. Hopefully Trader Joes decides to spice things up a little more with the next edition.

Final Grade: B

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 34

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