Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale - Trader Joe's Brewing Company

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Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage AleTrader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

208 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 4
Gots: 34 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice opaque black beer, with a light tan head that forms up big and tight, and is slow to fade. Not much lacing once the head comes down, though.

S - Sugars and raisins, a sourness suggesting citric acid, perhaps a slight hint of lemon rind.

T - Following the nose, with sweet dark fruits and subtle sour flavors. Earthiness in the close. A slight hint of clay. Some soapy notes, but these are kept in check.

M - Thick and full, but with spritely carbonation that keeps things from becoming cloying or taxing.

O - This a big brew, but it comes across as fairly approachable. Watch it, though, there is enough in a single bottle to knock you on your backside. Not a stellar brew, but good, and a great deal for the price.

Photo of BltByKrmn
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of BrewClint
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jabo134
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of TimHitchings
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of TubbyDullard
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Drew88
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of BeerDocT
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at the Trader Joe's in Alpharetta, GA, which I hate. I really wish TJ's would open up a new store closer to North Atlanta so I would never have to go that particular location again.

Poured into a chilled La Trappe goblet.

Appearance 3.75: Poured out jet black with a creamy white, 1/2" head. Head quickly dissipated, leaving very little froth behind. Lacing non-existent.

Smell 4.0: Nice bouquet. I smell toasted grains, star anise, cloves, orange rind and spicy Belgian yeast. All of it is well balanced and subdued.

Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sweet, but much more dry than last year's batch. Middle is where the spices come in: cloves, orange, anise...but all very well-balanced and not overwhelming. In the Finish, a certain smoked grains taste seeps in along with a taste of cocoa. Finish is also where I noticed a subtle hop flavor and a very light sweetness. Aftertaste is remarkably (and woefully...I did not want it to end!) short and gives the palate one more kick of spice and subtle malt. Absolutely NO hint of the 9% ABV this baby packs.

Mouthfeel 4.0: Ideal carbonation for this beer. Pleasing on the palate and refreshing.

Overall 4.0: Excellent holiday brew...in fact, this is my favorite holiday brew. The master brewers at Unibroue have stepped up to the plate again and knocked another one out of the park. Light, refreshing and perfectly sessionable. Recommended, even if you have to navigate a horrible TJs like the one in Alpharetta, GA. **shudder**

Photo of TruePerception
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Sarmartay
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of One1Asterisk
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jgarvis
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of LeahM
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of SFNC
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of jaredkc889
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of alwaysplayin
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of ShriverMO
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of snowmageddon
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of Biff_Tannen
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of napetry
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Mavigo
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of bwarren82
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of dsm45
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of menacho1
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Trader Joe's 2013 Vintage Ale from Trader Joe's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.