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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
86
very good

196 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 196
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 33 | FT: 6
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Contract brewed by Unibroue.

(Beer added by: djaeon on 11-16-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 196 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

BigPlay1824, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of jgarvis
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jgarvis, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of MWilt
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

MWilt, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

ZEB89, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of Lucoli
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Lucoli, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of taospowder
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

taospowder, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of jim_carignan
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jim_carignan, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Sarmartay
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Sarmartay, Nov 28, 2013
Photo of 2Xmd
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

2Xmd, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

smithj4, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of Wizzman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Wizzman, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

GraduatedCashew, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of LMH88
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

LMH88, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of MarioM
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

MarioM, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of scottwurst
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

scottwurst, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of jmjwolfman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

jmjwolfman, Jan 02, 2014
Photo of tpauer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

tpauer, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of Eisen
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Trois Pistoles goblet: An initially thick coffee-colored, over-foamy head that faded medium quickly into a thin layer with no lacing. Smells mostly of light booze, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee....Sweetness of high alcohol malty beer is well balanced by toast and hops. Very drinkable and great for the price, and thus great for anything.

Eisen, Dec 20, 2013
Photo of rangerred
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.

rangerred, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of YalovaIA
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%

YalovaIA, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

350ml C&C bottle split two ways – FW snifter glass for me.
Notes taken on 01/25/14

A: Pours a very dark cola brown. Mostly unclear. Thick and dense collection of khaki suds on top. Nice hang time with some soapy cling to the glass.

S: Smells of dark malts and burnt caramel sugars with some light Belgian spice. Not incredibly potent on the spicing. A bit of dark dried fruits start to emerge as well. Nice overall but fairly mellow.

T: Tastes of charred malts and dried fruits with some Belgian candi syrup there although it’s not very sweet at all. Reminds me of raisin bread toast and a I am getting a strong red grape juice flavor actually. There is some soft banana peel and a dash of nutmeg with clove spice mixed in. Alcohol is well masked all throughout. A slight dusty mineral note at the finish. Nice balance to it and mostly tasty. Grapey.

M: Medium full body with a very light feel from a frothy amount of carb. Gushy on the palate with a popping feel. Very dry finish.

D: Interesting brew. It’s tasty and pretty well balanced overall but I am getting a lot of grape flavor here. Says brewed with spices and natural flavors added so not sure what that’s all about. Would check this one out again.

Nugganooch, Feb 05, 2014
Photo of elNopalero
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a cola color with lots of foam.
I don’t get much aroma. Some light root beer notes. (Not artificial root beer.)
The flavor has something similar, with a root beer/sarsaparilla/cream soda character, followed by some sherry and eucalyptus . I find a taste akin to tree bark and orange peel rounding it out. Thinly bodied with a drying finish. For the price it’s a steal. I’ve found I tend to appreciate these TJ Vintage beers with some age on them, so revisiting this might be in order down the road.

elNopalero, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of seand
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark cola brown, nearly opaque, with a small amount of tan head. Some surface film retains along with a ring around the edge of the glass, leaving pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet and full, with a light note of yeast.

T: Medium yeasty sweetness with notes of dark fruit. Finishes slightly dry, with a lingering and almost mouthwatering note of fruit.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, very nice, and not surprising that it's a Unibroue beer. Certainly a great value, and a pretty good beer regardless of price.

seand, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Beejay
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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.

Beejay, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle provided by Santa.
Pours a solid dark brown with the faintest of ruby highlights at the edges when held to light. Fluffy creamy off white head shows moderate retention and lace. Aromas of pepper and clove with bits of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Light dark fruit aromas round out the nose. The flavor is a dark sugary spicy affair. Dark sugary maltiness that gets assaulted by peppery clove and other spices. Light prune and molasses round out the flavor. Medium to thick body with a spirited level of carbonation and a sweet bubbly spritzy mouthfeel. Glad I got to try this, but I felt this a bit too spicy for my tastes.

johnnnniee, Jan 12, 2014
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.