Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rangerred:
3.71/5 rDev -2.4%
Poured into a goblet out of a 750ml bottle.
Pours a very dark, deep ruby with a one finger light tan head. Not really much lacing but the head retention is downright incredible.
The aroma contains a huge metallic note which really detracts from the entire beer. I can tell there are some spices lingering underneath but they are completely drowned out by the metal. There is a little bit of dark fruit in there that does begin to come through after awhile.
Fortunately, the flavor leaves the metal behind but is a bit overspiced. Lots of orange and anise lending a licorice note along with cherries and figs. I think I can detect some cinnamon in there too. As the beer warms, more traditional Belgian yeast esters begin to take hold and the spice eases up somewhat. Mouthfeel is full and silky with just the slightest bit of warmth along with a mildly sweet finish.
Overall, a good beer but a bit unrefined. I think some age would help tone down the spice and balance everything out. The price is right so i might need to pick up another one of these to age.
01-08-2014 02:23:28 | More by rangerred
More User Reviews:
4.29/5 rDev +12.9%
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
3.78/5 rDev -0.5%
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
4.11/5 rDev +8.2%
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.
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
3.93/5 rDev +3.4%
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
3.75/5 rDev -1.3%
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
3.61/5 rDev -5%
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
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.