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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.
very good

190 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 190
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 4
Gots: 33 | FT: 7
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
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Ratings: 190 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShriverMO
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

ShriverMO, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of napetry
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

napetry, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of alwaysplayin
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

alwaysplayin, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of Biff_Tannen
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

Biff_Tannen, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of Mavigo
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%

Served in a chalice.

A: Pours a murky, dark brown color, has a 1/4 beige head that lasts for a few minutes before dissipating to a thing ring.

S: Smells of plums, cherries, malts, barley, brown sugar, licorice

T: Quite sweet, tasting of plums, brown sugars, malts, yeast

M: Full bodied beer with ample amounts of carbonation. A bit too carbonated, takes away from the flavor profile, which could be more pronounced.

O: I've been getting a bottle of the Trader Joe's Vintage ale for the past 3 years, I think I liked last years better, but none the less, it's worth the price.

Mavigo, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of SFNC
4/5  rDev +5.3%

SFNC, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of menacho1
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

menacho1, May 29, 2014
Photo of bwarren82
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

bwarren82, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of LeahM
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

LeahM, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of frlrv1020
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

frlrv1020, May 20, 2014
Photo of dsm45
4/5  rDev +5.3%

dsm45, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of dbell23
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%

dbell23, Dec 02, 2013
Photo of geocool
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

geocool, Dec 12, 2013
Photo of Wizzman
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Wizzman, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of thedifferencemaker
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

thedifferencemaker, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of Vogey77
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Vogey77, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of wc94wc
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

wc94wc, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of Badger6
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%

750mL bottle, bottled on 1 Aug 13 (label imprint reads 02131837, with an expiration of 1 Aug 16). Poured into a Chimay goblet. Labeled a Belgian dark ale, but strikes as a Belgian strong ale, brewed by Unibroue and consistent with their well-known dark, strong Belgians.

A - First pour was about 300mL. The head was light tan in color and fizzy rapidly diminished with no lacing. The body of the beer was a dark-brown to black, and almost no light passed through.

S - The aroma is slightly boozy, no surprise at 9% abv. Very spicy aroma with pronounced notes of clove, allspice and cinnamon. Smell of molasses and coffee is slight, but clear.

T - The flavor profile is complex. Starts with a malty sweetness, layered with clear, almost overwhelming, spice notes and a pronounced molasses note to the malt, coffee flavor doesn't come through. Finishes with a light acidity as the sweetness fades. The strong spice notes remain throughout.

M - The carbonation is mellow and consistent. The beer has a light to medium body with a clear boozy character that is not overpowering or that interferes with the flavor.

O- A very enjoyable beer. At 9% abv it is surprisingly not difficult to drink, and as the stronger Belgian style beers go is smooth, but could stand to age for another few months. If you plan to pick any up, do it quick, TJs will soon be out, and I recommend you save a bottle or two for next year to compare.

Badger6, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of MWilt
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

MWilt, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4/5  rDev +5.3%

A: Great dark red/purple hue, monstrous light brown head. Strong carbonation can be seen at the edges of the glass. Capitalized Trader Joe's at the top of the bottle makes for pretty lame art. The Unibroue held within is the only thing that drew me to this beer.

S: Heavy spices, some sweet grape, toffee, and malt in there, too. Middle-of-the-road Unibroue style (that's good).

T: Muscat, heavy blend of heated spices, almost herbacious, that faint toffee is still there too. Semi-sweet. Everything works well together, good balance and depth.

M: Fluid, prickly carbonation. Makes for a refreshing, lively drinker, even if somewhat mouth-drying.

O: Buy one bottle with the official Unibroue art for your collection, buy many discounted bottles of this one for frugal enjoyment. A great BSDA, if you like the style you will not be disappointed.

1000lbgrizzly, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of Hoggo
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Hoggo, May 26, 2014
Photo of Moby
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Moby, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of TheBaumer
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

TheBaumer, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of Chiefy770
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pitch black body with an off-white bubbly head. The head collapses and leaves a respectable amount of lacing throughout.

Smell: Sweet notes of fruit. Mild hint of alcohol. Notes of spice stand out, particularly allspice and coriander.

Taste: Many of the nose characteristics transfer to the taste quite well. Sweet fruit up front. The alcohol kicks in and leaves a nice warming touch on this one.

Mouthfeel: The moderate carbonation makes this brew taste very fresh. The fruity flavors hold on well in this low-medium body. Semi-dry finish.

Overall: This is the first Trader Joes Vintage Ale of have tried. You can taste many of Unibroue's signature touches in this beer. I am eager to see how this tastes with a couple of years on it. This is basically a Unibroue beer for 4-5 bucks. It may not be a world-beater but it is certainly a remarkable brew for such an affordable price.

Chiefy770, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of s4s
3/5  rDev -21.1%

s4s, Jan 19, 2014
Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.