Beer Review: Trader Joe’s 2011 Vintage Ale

From the store that brings you old-timey ads; aisles so damn narrow that people touch butts (“moon landing”) when they each bend down to grab something on opposite shelves; and quirky, Hawaiian-shirt-clad cashiers who for no apparent reason ring those loud-ass bells…we bring you the annual holiday Trader Joe’s 2011 Vintage Ale (brewed in Chambly, Quebec, by Unibroue).

The bottle says “Ale on Lees”. Fret not, that is just a fancy-pants way of saying there is yeast on the bottom and it’s bottle conditioned. French Canadians are so cute.

They're essentially just Winter hardy Southerners, who speak French.

One word sums up this beer: Coke. Not the wake-up-in-the-ringtail-lemur-cage-wearing-lipstick-and-a-strap-on-lizard-tail Coke. I mean Coca-Cola Coke. It looks like a Coke that has a nice, retained head. It smells like gingerbread, Belgian yeast…and Coke. And it tastes like a gingery, more carbonated, less sweet version of Coke. Although, I don’t think of this as a bad thing, especially for the price of this beer (like $5). Buy it. Drink it. Like it.

Happy f%$king Holidays.

The Haybag: It’s less spicy than last year’s version. I think it tastes like gingerbread and dark fruit.  And it’s pretty carbonated. Is that from that Scarface movie you always try to get me to watch.  You didn’t tell me it was a Christmas movie!

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7 thoughts on “Beer Review: Trader Joe’s 2011 Vintage Ale

  1. You’re the second person I know who had this. I can’t remember if the other guy liked it or not, but I figured that given who it brewed by, it can’t be too bad. I don’t really frequent Trader Joe’s, but if I happen to be there, I’ll be on the look out for this one.

  2. Coke? I’m not sure this one is for me, not that I could purchase it because I live in a backwards state with no Trader Joes. Speaking of which…the one thing that has always fascinated me about TJ’s is that it’s a German owned company whose employees wear Hawaiian shirts.

  3. Pingback: Trader Joe’s Vintage Ale 2012 and Further Elf on the Shelf Shenanigans | beerbecue

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