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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

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

176 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 4
Gots: 28 | FT: 4
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)
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rangerred:
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 02:23:28 | More by rangerred
More User Reviews:
Photo of addiwilliams
addiwilliams

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

07-17-2014 01:55:06 | More by addiwilliams
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EvanWilliams

Illinois

4/5  rDev +5.3%

07-07-2014 01:02:30 | More by EvanWilliams
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kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

07-01-2014 22:09:54 | More by kjkinsey
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jschonert

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

06-25-2014 03:14:09 | More by jschonert
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Bruinbear


5/5  rDev +31.6%

06-19-2014 02:00:06 | More by Bruinbear
Photo of Rjdrager
Rjdrager

Massachusetts

3/5  rDev -21.1%

06-17-2014 21:03:04 | More by Rjdrager
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2Xmd

New York

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

06-17-2014 20:45:36 | More by 2Xmd
Photo of dsm45
dsm45

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.3%

06-17-2014 20:42:28 | More by dsm45
Photo of Hohnbaum
Hohnbaum

Kansas

4/5  rDev +5.3%

06-14-2014 21:25:21 | More by Hohnbaum
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sd123

Louisiana

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

06-10-2014 02:01:55 | More by sd123
Photo of BAsbill
BAsbill

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

06-01-2014 03:33:58 | More by BAsbill
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Gregwa

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.3%

05-31-2014 20:36:40 | More by Gregwa
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longisland1983

New York

4/5  rDev +5.3%

05-30-2014 01:36:42 | More by longisland1983
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menacho1

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

05-29-2014 01:00:01 | More by menacho1
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Smarty_Pints

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

05-27-2014 04:29:49 | More by Smarty_Pints
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Hoggo

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.3%

05-26-2014 01:29:02 | More by Hoggo
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frlrv1020

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

05-20-2014 23:09:21 | More by frlrv1020
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deereless

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

05-19-2014 00:43:29 | More by deereless
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mhaugo

California

4/5  rDev +5.3%

05-18-2014 05:54:15 | More by mhaugo
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jerefreakinmiah

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.3%

05-14-2014 00:52:56 | More by jerefreakinmiah
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allstar255

California

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

05-07-2014 04:17:16 | More by allstar255
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derryd

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

05-03-2014 23:09:22 | More by derryd
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
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
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception

California

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2014 05:20:51 | More by TruePerception
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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.