RATINGS: 185   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.64/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Trader Joe’s 2009 Vintage Ale
You might be used to seeing vintages on wine; not so much on beer. And that’s what makes this ale so special. Trader Joe’s Vintage Ales were developed, crafted, brewed and bottled for us in limited quantities this year. Its flavor, color, texture and overall character are different from our Vintage Ale of 2008, and in 2010 it will be different once again.

The 2009 Vintage Ale
It is an opaque black color and features an impressive coffee-colored foam. In a glass, it boasts cocoa and malt aromas, with a subtle hint of lemon and ginger. A sip from that glass really brings out the best in this ale - malty and mildly sweet, with hints of cocoa, citrus and spices.

Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale is ready to enjoy right away, chilled but not ice cold. Unlike many beers, though, this one will age for a few years, and its flavors will become more complex and interesting as time goes by.

What’s that? You’re a beer geek? We love that. You’ll love this. And we assume you’ll want to know this is a dark ale on lees, 9% ABV (that’s Alcohol by Volume, for the non-beer geeks). Oh, and it’s brewed exclusively for Trader Joe’s, of course.

Best Before 09-12-2012

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skoisirius (1909) - Earth, Washington, USA - FEB 14, 2014
750ml bottle. Not sure why this gets different years for each vintage as I don’t believe the brew changes from year to year. That said, I’m copying and pasting this to each vintage I’ve had due to this factor. Beyond that, every year this comes out it’s worth picking up a bottle. It’s a great dark fruited and spiced out Belgian style, something like a dubbel, yet stronger. Can’t beat it for the price!

thome50 (1295) - Morro Bay via Orange County, California, USA - DEC 8, 2013
Bottle via Casey. Tried alongside a 2011. Pours a deep brown to black. Slight white head. Aroma of fig and holiday spice. Taste is cola forward, raisin, some banana and clove. Malty as it leaves the tongue. Overall, seems better than the 2011.

OldMrCrow (2444) - Seattle, Washington, USA - NOV 28, 2013
Bottle tasted Thanksgiving 2013.

Pours quite dark with a tan head. This one had the misfortune to follow a 7-year-old GC Cuvee de Keizer Blau -- a very tough act to follow, all the more so in that the tastebuds get used to the sweetness and so an admirable dryness to this beer comes off as missing something instead of as a strong virtue. Modest nose, flavors of cola, ginger, pepper, cinnamon. Carbonation relatively aggressive.

jzzbassman (1638) - Arlington, Texas, USA - MAR 31, 2013
Bottle tasted at Oxford Tasting Nov 2012, after sampling the 2012 version. Pours a mahogany with a thick tan head. Same yeasty aroma, a bit more candied. Time was most kind to the mouthfeel and flavor. Spicy, gingerbread, pepper and yeast marry nicely, lively carbonation but with less prickly-ness than the fresh. Very nice, particularly at the price point they are,

SudsMcDuff (8462) - .....Manchester United.........., Texas, USA - MAR 5, 2013
750ml bottle .. . pours a deep ruby . . really nice head, lacing is good as well .. . berry, mild tartness, and a bit of yeast .. . i liked this .. . . 6th grade? thats great! i should fart in more peoples offices

jbruner (5006) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - FEB 27, 2013
Bottle shared at RBWG! Pours a dark translucent copper brownwith thin tan head that dissipates to leave light lacing. Aroma of dark fruity esters and a bit of funk. Taste follows with a boozy back end and a little more funk than the nose. The funk may be because it was past the "best before" date, but still really solid.

Sledutah (7752) - Utah, USA - FEB 27, 2013
Bottle at RBWG grand tasting, thanks to SpringsLicker for bringing a 4 year vertical
Appearance: Hazy brown with a small beige head
Raisins, brown and plum throughout

thedm (6278) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - FEB 23, 2013
This bottled brew from a rating party poured a medium sized head of foamy finely sized tan colored bubbles that were long lasting and left behind a no visible carbonation opaque except at the edges dark brown colored body and a fair lacing. The mild aroma was nutty and brown malt. The crisp mouth feel was tingly at the start and at the finish with a mellow hoppy aftertaste. The nice flavor contained notes of wood brown malt breads and hops. A decent one that I would consider drinking again.

decaturstevo (6339) - decatur, Tennessee, USA - FEB 23, 2013
Brown black with tan head and lace. Aroma of dark brown sugar or molasses. Sour brown sugar sweet malt and a sour finish. Medium bodied and fizzy.

mcberko (18422) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 26, 2012
750mL bottle, pours an opaque dark amber brown with a towering foamy beige head. Aroma of spices upfront, bubblegum, licorice, and some mild candied sugar. Flavour of spices, dark fruits, brown sugar, and some caramel. Complex, more spicy than the last couple of vintages, with medium carbonation that brings out the complexity perfectly. Great stuff, but inferior to the last couple of vintages.

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