1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

184 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 4
Gots: 31 | FT: 5
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:
Contract brewed by Unibroue.

(Beer added by: djaeon on 11-16-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 184 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Morakaton:
Photo of Morakaton
Morakaton

Michigan

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-19-2014 03:25:49 | More by Morakaton
More User Reviews:
Photo of tbryan5
tbryan5

Louisiana

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-15-2013 04:28:07 | More by tbryan5
Photo of sicilian
sicilian

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

03-09-2014 03:28:17 | More by sicilian
Photo of csmartin6
csmartin6

New York

3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

02-09-2014 02:06:19 | More by csmartin6
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-09-2014 01:41:25 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of Guinnsslvr
Guinnsslvr

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.5%

01-01-2014 03:55:00 | More by Guinnsslvr
Photo of mctizzz
mctizzz

California

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

12-06-2013 21:55:13 | More by mctizzz
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev +13.2%

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Best before date of 08/01/2016.

Appearance: Pours a very deep and dark brownish amber with some ruby. Lots of bubbles and a huge four finger tan head with decent retention. Leaves a decent amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty, spicy, and toasty Belgian style aroma with big hints of fruit and caramel malt. Big upfront scent of Belgian yeast with good hints of funk, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and black peppers. Spices give a cola like scent. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, biscuit, straw, and grains. Scent of banana and apple. Dark fruit hints of grapes, raisin, fig, cherry, prune, plum, and dates. Hints of candied sugar as well. A pretty solid spicy aroma.

Taste: Like the spicy aroma hints at, a yeast and spice driven Belgian aroma with big notes of fruit and toasty caramel malt. Big taste of Belgian yeast with some funk. Big spice presence giving an old school cola like taste. Notes of clove, black peppers, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Bready toasted malts with notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toasted bread, straw, and grains. Fruity taste of banana and apple along with dark fruit notes of grapes, raisin, fig, prune, cherry, dates, and plum. Some candied sugar sweetness as well. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and fairly drying on the finish. A little alcohol heat is felt.

Overall: Another really solid year for this brew. Good mix of spices and fruity esters with a nice toasty malt presence.

11-29-2013 08:25:50 | More by MattyG85
Photo of dblipajunkie
dblipajunkie

California

4/5  rDev +5.5%

12-07-2013 02:06:43 | More by dblipajunkie
Photo of InfernoBoss
InfernoBoss

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-07-2013 10:43:23 | More by InfernoBoss
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

02-28-2014 21:42:19 | More by tdm168
Photo of menacho1
menacho1

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

05-29-2014 01:00:01 | More by menacho1
Photo of SFNC
SFNC

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.5%

01-18-2014 15:06:23 | More by SFNC
Photo of Moby
Moby

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

12-13-2013 00:57:01 | More by Moby
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

05-02-2014 21:52:34 | More by KYGunner
Photo of Snellgg5
Snellgg5

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

12-10-2013 01:49:38 | More by Snellgg5
Photo of kmoen
kmoen

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

11-27-2013 06:42:34 | More by kmoen
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.11/5  rDev +8.4%

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle best before 08-01-2016. Sampled on March 9, 2014 and served at about 55 degrees.

The pour is about as attractive as a Belgian Strong Ale can look with its dark brown to nearly black tone and soft, tan head lingering to the end and leaving lacing with each sip.

The nose is colorful with the dark Belgian malts, Belgian candied sugar, black licorice, plums, coriander, and pepper. There is an earthy hop note that enhances the slightly boozy quality.

Medium body.

The taste is something to remember with the black licorice, dark malts, and vibrant spicy or pepper bite with each sip. Dry finish. Trader Joe's Vintage brews are a Unibroue "knock-off" that have all the same qualities but is a couple dollars cheaper. How can one go wrong?

03-09-2014 18:41:21 | More by puboflyons
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception

California

3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

I've heard a bunch of people say this is really good, especially for the price ($5 for a 750mL)!

Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale, dark ale (brewed by Unibroue). 9% ABV.

Good pop, with a nice haze! Didn't even need the cork screw to pop the cork!

A: Pours a distinct tamarind color. Very dark brown, almost black, in the glass. Half a finger of head. No lacing.

S: Sticky sweet aromas take over, at first. Deep molasses, dark caramel, slight toffee. Prune. Slight herbal coolness (peppermint?). Raisin smell comes out as it warms.

T/MF: Ooh! It has a coolness on the palate. Notes of spearmint and menthol. Very dark molasses. Slight sweet char. Very slight raisin/prune backing. Just the slightest hint of rosemary. Slight ginger as it warms. Very interesting flavor going on in this one. Not typically what I would look for, but pretty good!

Seems like it would go well with holiday food, but I'm not sure which food.

Poured from a 750mL bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

05-01-2014 05:20:51 | More by TruePerception
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Bottle: Poured a deep dark brown color ale with a medium brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet Belgian malt notes with some candi sugar notes with light spices and typical Unibroue yeast notes. Taste is a well balanced mix between some candi sugar notes with some light spices, some fruity notes and some Unibroue yeast. Body is relatively full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very enjoyable but I think I preferred the two previous years vintage which were less fruity and a bit more pronounced on the spicy notes.

04-28-2014 19:16:59 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Beejay
Beejay

Virginia

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%

A: Very dark brown/black in the glass. Some tan head, with very fine bubbles.

S: Some light fruitiness, definite yeast character as well as a little bit of tartness in the finish. Perhaps maybe a little funkiness in there as well. Some lovely dark fruit notes, as well as brown bread, and caramel.

T: Nice dark fruit, with some light tartness. Fruit and caramel come through as well as some toffee notes. The finish is raisins and spices.

M: Medium light on body, carbonation is fine and plentiful. The finish is dry.

O: Overall quite a decent beer, perhaps a little watery in the finish but overall fairly good. Pretty good spice notes, and fairly interesting.

01-18-2014 01:06:40 | More by Beejay
Photo of aaroncom2005
aaroncom2005

California

3/5  rDev -20.8%

12-22-2013 05:36:35 | More by aaroncom2005
Photo of ArtZan
ArtZan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

02-14-2014 20:48:50 | More by ArtZan
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

03-22-2014 20:02:22 | More by jaydoc
Photo of Drew88
Drew88

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +5.5%

02-06-2014 03:34:29 | More by Drew88
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.