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

179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.11%
Wants: 4
Gots: 30 | 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)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bruinbear
Bruinbear


5/5  rDev +31.6%

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

Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
This beer is dark, cream colored head,
Large bubbles (sometimes too large, like force carbonation).
Head doesn’t last

Smell:
Earthy, woody, reminds me of bourbon

Taste:
Smokey malts, very little hops. “flat” in flavor. The flavor doesn’t change as you drink it.
It has a very earthy mushroomy taste. This is classic of dark Belgium ale’s. this beer does it almost as well as any high end ommegang, or Trappist. It’s slightly over carbonated and I’ve been through almost 20 bottles of these and that’s a classic trend.
It’s a bit more mild than other dark ales … and I like that. I can get a good buzz with this beer, which is why I buy it by the 12 pack.
It’s 9% alcohol, and drinks like a 6 or 7%.

Mouthfeel:
Perfect in my opinion. It has a great lingering after taste. It’s thicker than any filtered beer, without having the overly bitter residuals of most autalized bottles.

Overall:
First off, this is my standard drink lately. I bought two cases from Trader Joes, and it’s going to be deeply missed when it’s gone.
Bottle conditioned beer varies. It’s a tough balance. And the guys and UniBroue got it right on here. It’s drinkable enough to not feel heavy and let you get a nice buzz, it’s earthy and deep, and has enough alcohol to get you to your proper level, without making you feel bloated or full.
But it’s also subtle. This beer is excellent chugging or sipping.
Slight critique, after 20 bottles of this, the carbonation is inconsistent. Some bottles pour three inches of head, some a half inch. all stored on the same cellar rack and poured without any turbulence.

FINALLY: There’s no a single beer for the price I’d recommend more than this… if you can find it.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 18:41:06 | More by burntoutphilosopher
Photo of sicilian
sicilian

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

03-09-2014 03:28:17 | More by sicilian
Photo of dbell23
dbell23

Tennessee

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

12-02-2013 23:32:50 | More by dbell23
Photo of TaylorK
TaylorK

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

11-24-2013 00:12:14 | More by TaylorK
Photo of Drumboy410
Drumboy410

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

02-22-2014 00:34:25 | More by Drumboy410
Photo of verge
verge

California

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

04-07-2014 01:53:45 | More by verge
Photo of Khutso
Khutso

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

12-07-2013 02:13:04 | More by Khutso
Photo of tkdchampxi
tkdchampxi

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

03-18-2014 19:17:37 | More by tkdchampxi
Photo of Minnesota_beer_guy
Minnesota_beer_guy

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

04-04-2014 01:11:30 | More by Minnesota_beer_guy
Photo of mcphish22
mcphish22

Maryland

4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

02-07-2014 03:07:10 | More by mcphish22
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

California

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-06-2013 21:55:13 | More by mctizzz
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

11-30-2013 04:31:08 | More by MidwestBA
Photo of derryd
derryd

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-12-2013 22:25:19 | More by geocool
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-20-2013 04:12:52 | More by brandoman63
Photo of BrewClint
BrewClint

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-26-2013 15:18:35 | More by BrewClint
Photo of lisalsd1
lisalsd1

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

01-12-2014 21:28:55 | More by lisalsd1
Photo of OldhouseRecs
OldhouseRecs

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

12-23-2013 01:14:18 | More by OldhouseRecs
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

02-11-2014 00:21:29 | More by PEIhop
Photo of Ohmmygawd
Ohmmygawd

Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good quality beer! I'm pleasantly surprised about this beer. Nose is bright and fresh and the body isn't heavy and full of flavor. It finishes with a nice feeling of spice and cloves and leaves a little tingle on the very tip of your tongue.

A- pours black with a thick head.

S- bananas and

T- Bananas with cloves and cinnamon

M- Clean and light and finishes with a nice tingle on the tongue.

O- Not an overly complicated beer and really does well what it brings to the table.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2014 19:06:44 | More by Ohmmygawd
Photo of LeahM
LeahM

New York

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

01-11-2014 00:48:56 | More by LeahM
« 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 179 ratings.