Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 177 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerDocT:
3.99/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bought at the Trader Joe's in Alpharetta, GA, which I hate. I really wish TJ's would open up a new store closer to North Atlanta so I would never have to go that particular location again.
Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.
Appearance 3.75: Poured out jet black with a creamy white, 1/2" head. Head quickly dissipated, leaving very little froth behind. Lacing non-existent.
Smell 4.0: Nice bouquet. I smell toasted grains, star anise, cloves, orange rind and spicy Belgian yeast. All of it is well balanced and subdued.
Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet, but much more dry than last year's batch. Middle is where the spices come in: cloves, orange, anise...but all very well-balanced and not overwhelming. In the Finish, a certain smoked grains taste seeps in along with a taste of cocoa. Finish is also where I noticed a subtle hop flavor and a very light sweetness. Aftertaste is remarkably (and woefully...I did not want it to end!) short and gives the palate one more kick of spice and subtle malt. Absolutely NO hint of the 9% ABV this baby packs.
Mouthfeel 4.0: Ideal carbonation for this beer. Pleasing on the palate and refreshing.
Overall 4.0: Excellent holiday brew...in fact, this is my favorite holiday brew. The master brewers at Unibroue have stepped up to the plate again and knocked another one out of the park. Light, refreshing and perfectly sessionable. Recommended, even if you have to navigate a horrible TJs like the one in Alpharetta, GA. **shudder**
Serving type: bottle
01-06-2014 05:33:17 | More by BeerDocT
More User Reviews:
3.78/5 rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Called a Dark Ale for a reason , this poured a deep dark ruby with a course of bubbling. These bubbles built an inch of single file of horizontal brown lines that was capped by a dense khaki froth.
Peppercorns, cloves, carriage and anise meet the nose as this hints towards the "Brewed with Spices." There's some light fruit sweetness like prunes and plums.
The flavors are spicy as well but the malt is more substantial. There seems to be some caramel malt, dried dark fruit and more of a black licorice flavor. There is clove spice, and carraway, but the cloves seems to dominate the last of the palate.
This drinks with a slight alcohol warmth and a bit of dark fruit twang, but it's full enough to satisfy.
The cork read Unibroue and my guess is that it's contracted brewed through the Canadian brewery. That makes complete sense as the yeast characteristics seem to be close to many of their products.
Serving type: bottle
05-02-2014 21:52:34 | More by KYGunner
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.