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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

235 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 235
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 4
Gots: 38 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Trader Joe's Brewing Company
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: djaeon on 11-16-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Contract brewed by Unibroue.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 235 | Reviews: 44
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

One year old bottle; a bit of a gusher on opening. Pours a very dark mahogany brown that is nearly opaque in the glass (much darker than previous years) and a massive four finger light khaki head with good retention and thick lacing. Aroma of light bready malt, Belgian yeast, very spicy; coriander and clove, but hints of other aromatic spices like cinnamon, dark stone fruit. Flavor follows aroma with dark stone fruit, Belgian yeast, caramel malt, very spicy, almost to the point of a winter warmer. Medium bodied with peppery, active carbonation. As always, a very pleasant strong Belgian ale with classic fruit and yeast flavors. This year's seem to lay on the spicing quite a bit, but the ale is rich enough to handle it. I'm enjoying the complex spice mixture this year. One of my end-of-the-year traditions that never disappoints. Always a bit different annually, this one darker and spicier. Hope I put another one of these away. This ale seems to improve for a couple of years and a great, inexpensive short term cellaring ale.

Photo of Dicers
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jaycase
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gr8ful4Beer
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Fusion7777
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of campfirebrew
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sendbeer
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KAF
3.62/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of costanzo_mike
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of MickeyHops
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of snowmageddon
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of SpiritHaus2007
2.64/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Jho3325
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of garymuchow
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 year old when giving it a first run. Huge dense tan head that took its damn time in settling down. Nearly a black body. Not sure I've every seen this style this dark before.
Spicy malt aroma with what seems to be the proprietary Unibroue yeast - a mix of spice (the usual but seems like some cinnamon later in the drink) and fruitiness. Dries out quite a bit and leaves a malty dryness laying on the tongue. Nice complex flavors with yeast character more foreground than balanced. Alcohol noticed most in gut warmth and is balanced more on the flavor - in the aroma it shows as perfume. Richer malt flavors than many and most apparent as warms. Body is bigger and fuller than most for style, even beyond the high level of carbonation.
You know, for the price, this is a solid Belgian ale.

Photo of Bluegrass49
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Alpha309
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750ml/1pt. 9.4fl.oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Trader Joe's, Cambridge, MA
Best before 08-01-2016
Served in a tulip

The transparent, mahogany colored liquid was topped by a frothy, three-finger tall, cappuccino colored crown. The crackling, fizzy head slowly dropped to a thin film. Blocky lacing trickled along the glass. The lacing was surprisingly minimal.

Signature Unibrou Belgian yeast notes immediately came through in the nose. Spicy and slightly phenolic with loads of coriander and clove. Good dose of ginger as well. Somewhat cola-like. Semi-sweet yet also slightly dry. As the head dropped, the nose became much more potent and the spices really intensified. A slight tartness also appeared.

The flavor profile was deep, dark and complex. Belgian yeast notes were apparent. Malty with a dark bread-like quality. Loads of dark fruits (raisins, plums and figs) came through as well. Super spicy with strong clove, allspice and ginger notes. Some dark candi sugar was also noticeable. Sweet yet not overly so. A touch of bubblegum came through as the liquid warmed. The beer turned slightly sour on the back end and the finish. All in all, really interesting and dynamic.

The beer was highly effervescent. A crisp, sprightly carbonation gave the liquid an almost Champagne-like quality. With time, the carbonation settled and the mouthfeel became smoother and softer.

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale never ceases to disappoint. Many reviewers complained that the spices were too strong when this beer was fresh, but a year of age seemed to balance out the flavor profile. Always priced at $6 a bottle, this is undoubtedly one of the best deals out there and something I seek out around the holidays every year.

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

Photo of JohnSand
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Drank some tonight. Complex, tasty. Aroma is funky, much more than the taste. Very drinkable for 9%.

Photo of bsling
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mattyrubes
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of LancetherealLeader
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Josh_951
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of SFC21
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%

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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 235 ratings.