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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

208 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 208
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 4
Gots: 35 | 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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Ratings: 208 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of costanzo_mike
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of MickeyHops
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of snowmageddon
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of SpiritHaus2007
2.64/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of Jho3325
4.04/5  rDev +6%

Photo of garymuchow
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 year old when giving it a first run. Huge dense tan head that took its damn time in settling down. Nearly a black body. Not sure I've every seen this style this dark before.
Spicy malt aroma with what seems to be the proprietary Unibroue yeast - a mix of spice (the usual but seems like some cinnamon later in the drink) and fruitiness. Dries out quite a bit and leaves a malty dryness laying on the tongue. Nice complex flavors with yeast character more foreground than balanced. Alcohol noticed most in gut warmth and is balanced more on the flavor - in the aroma it shows as perfume. Richer malt flavors than many and most apparent as warms. Body is bigger and fuller than most for style, even beyond the high level of carbonation.
You know, for the price, this is a solid Belgian ale.

Photo of Bluegrass49
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Alpha309
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Damian
4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750ml/1pt. 9.4fl.oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Trader Joe's, Cambridge, MA
Best before 08-01-2016
Served in a tulip

The transparent, mahogany colored liquid was topped by a frothy, three-finger tall, cappuccino colored crown. The crackling, fizzy head slowly dropped to a thin film. Blocky lacing trickled along the glass. The lacing was surprisingly minimal.

Signature Unibrou Belgian yeast notes immediately came through in the nose. Spicy and slightly phenolic with loads of coriander and clove. Good dose of ginger as well. Somewhat cola-like. Semi-sweet yet also slightly dry. As the head dropped, the nose became much more potent and the spices really intensified. A slight tartness also appeared.

The flavor profile was deep, dark and complex. Belgian yeast notes were apparent. Malty with a dark bread-like quality. Loads of dark fruits (raisins, plums and figs) came through as well. Super spicy with strong clove, allspice and ginger notes. Some dark candi sugar was also noticeable. Sweet yet not overly so. A touch of bubblegum came through as the liquid warmed. The beer turned slightly sour on the back end and the finish. All in all, really interesting and dynamic.

The beer was highly effervescent. A crisp, sprightly carbonation gave the liquid an almost Champagne-like quality. With time, the carbonation settled and the mouthfeel became smoother and softer.

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale never ceases to disappoint. Many reviewers complained that the spices were too strong when this beer was fresh, but a year of age seemed to balance out the flavor profile. Always priced at $6 a bottle, this is undoubtedly one of the best deals out there and something I seek out around the holidays every year.

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of JohnSand
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Drank some tonight. Complex, tasty. Aroma is funky, much more than the taste. Very drinkable for 9%.

Photo of bsling
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of mattyrubes
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of Josh_951
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of SFC21
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of kushlash23
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of One1Asterisk
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of hurshybear
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Edzomb5
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of mevett89
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Appearance: black with a striking white head. Pours with hight head, dissipates after a few minutes to a persistent creamy foam. Minimal lacing.

Aroma: Belgian spicy phenols and fruit with a caramel malt sweetness

Taste: good spicy and some fruit notes from the yeast. Background of warm alcohol, but not overbearing. Some caramel sweetness, and just a hint of chocolate in the back. Just the slightest hint of cardboard from oxidation. As it warms, dark fruit and burnt sugar are detectable, with a background of low hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: carbonation on the high end presents a nice tingle to the palet. Medium body leaves a smooth coating on the tongue which lingers a short while.

Overall: a good example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Granted, not the best I've had, but certainly enjoyable, and one of the better brews I've had from Unibroue. Well balanced, and it aged well (I aged it one year).

Photo of probert
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +5%

750ml bottle: This one pours a somewhat dark ruby color. There was quite a bit of a tan head on it. It lingers and left some lacing. This one has a nice nose. Spicy, yeasty, fair amount of sweet malts. Some fruity notes also, as well as some clove. The taste is very good. Bready, sweet Belgian malts, some spices, fruit notes. Another solid Belgian style beer form Unibroue.

Photo of Fordknox
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of YalovaIA
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of avwrite
3.81/5  rDev 0%

Was skeptical of an ale brewed from Trader Joe's (though I'm not really sure if it's them anyway), but found this to be pleasant. A bit bitter going down, but then kicks you with sweetness, and finishes it with a spicy aftertaste. Dark brown color, and a bit foamy. Relatively cheap, and I'll be sure to get next year's addition.

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